I’m super thankful that I have been able not only to do five different Martial Arts thus far in Life – having, mind you, only started in my 30’s (I’m currently 38) – but also to have achieved some ranks in each one. Mastery in the Arts is a lifetime pursuit – belt color doesn’t mean much when you look at the larger picture! But taking tests – and passing – is a really awesome feeling. I always like to be as prepared as possible, and feel blessed to have the opportunities to demonstrate my knowledge every so often.
I’ve been doing Ninjutsu for just over 8 months – I set a lofty and ambitious goal (from the get go!) of making every single testing cycle no matter what. There are days where that’s not easy to do – I’m either physically not around to be IN class, or I’m flat-out exhausted. That said, I keep in mind – always – that I have these opportunities NOW. I may not always. I want to take advantage of the learning, and progression while I can.
I most recently took my 6th Kyu test, and with that came a second “initiation test.” The initiation essentially boiled down to one hour of my classmates testing my knowledge of all the techniques from the tests I have done up until this point, and doing it in a less structured, “real life” way – I have to say, it was maybe the most fun I’ve had in any Martial Arts test yet!
The honor of receiving my Genbukan patch – one aspect of passing my initiation before 6th Kyu – was a big one. I come from a background in Korean Arts, so re-learning, adapting, and working within an Ancient Japanese structure has been a challenge, to say the least (maybe not AS severe as my Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, but difficult all the same!)
While I have a LONG way to go – and yes, I have goals in place to pass my 5th and 4th Kyu by the end of the year! – I appreciate the steps along the way.
Earning ranks, and the responsibility that goes with them, is an honor in my book, and a blessing. I work hard for it, no question, but I also feel grateful because not everyone can. Some simply are physically unable. Others, less able to apply this level of discipline to an activity that’s “extracurricular” and supposed to be fun! For me, though, learning IS fun – I enjoy the challenge and putting myself in places where I am not at all comfortable. It’s in that zone where the good stuff happens. 🙂
More Martial Arts fun!