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richo's picture
Got my Black Belt.......


Last weekend I got my black belt after 4 years and 8 months of training. Funnily enough I felt coming up to the grading date that I wasn't quite ready; I was expecting to wait and train another 6 months or so to be where I thought I 'should' be. My club is quite small and the standard quite high (in my limited experience anyway) and it'd been 4 years since the last black belt promotion, so I felt quite a bit of "I'm not worthy" pressure going into it. When I was a white belt I wanted a black belt of course, but when it actually came time I wasn't sure if I wanted it! But anyway, I'm not complaining now, it feels great to have gotten it.

The grading itself was tough, as expected, but not that much different from a typical 2hr training session, just more intense and less breaks! Warmup was followed by Kihon and Kata, then Kumite against other black belts once we were all nice and tired. My club is Shotokan style and I had to perform the 5 Heians, Tekki Shodan,  Bassai Dai, Kanku Dai, Jion, Jitte and Empi, but in random order. Our Kumite is continuous point sparring, so score a point and then keep going rather than re-setting, wearing hand and feet protectors, going for hard to the body and good control to the head.

The experience has changed my outlook somewhat in that I think I was largely looking out for my own goals until now, but now I want to try and give back to the club and help assist more with teaching etc. I train Judo also, so I'm keen to try and incorporate that into class somehow. Basic ashi-waza and good break-fall technique is indispensible imho, so I want to get more of that into class, as well as more Bunkai applications of course!

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Just felt like sharing. Oss!

Jason Lester
Jason Lester's picture

Hi Richo, thanks for sharing that one and congratulations on passing your examination, now the fun starts : )

Its nice that you want to give something back to the club, to incorporate a little Judo into your Karate is not a bad idea, look at how some of the Judo techiques may be somewhat similar to your Bunkai in Kata which is something you may have done already. helping with teaching is great and you will find that your techniques will continue to improve even more so, this will also no doubt change your outlook.

Again congratulations.

Kind regards,


Black Tiger
Black Tiger's picture

Awesome Richo, congrats and welcome to the next step, osu

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I think everyone who has gained a black belt can relate to this. Well done and thanks for sharing! Now the fun starts ;-)

All the best, 


Mr P
Mr P's picture

Well done and welcome to the black belt club

Mikeseishin-do's picture

I know what you mean when you say that you didnt feel ready for your Dan grading its so daunting isn't it, but now you've passed it like others say the fun starts, I mean just look at the Parable of the Black Belt, its the first step Shodan and a fantatstic acheivement so congratulations and well done xD