I’m currently a red belt (3rd Kyu) at Black Belt Martial Arts karate, and it’s about 12 months from now that I’ll be in prep-cycle getting ready for my Black Belt grading. The prep-cycle is a 9-week intensive program to ensure that the candidates meet all the criteria required of them to grade to black belt at BBMA.
Some of my friends at BBMA are 1st Kyu and are in the middle of the prep-cycle right now, and will be grading for their black belt on the 22nd May – only 4 weeks away!
The black belt grading is not just 1 session – it’s a whole weekend of physical of mental exhaustion. Continue on to read more about the gruelling black belt grading weekend and how I plan to start preparing for it.
The black belt grading weekend starts on a Friday afternoon with a 5km run in full gi (has to be completed within 30 minutes), followed immediately by 100 pushups, 100 situps and 100 squat kicks – which all must be completed within 10 minutes. And that’s just the beginning.
They then head back to the dojo for more training, including sparring, basics, kata, weapons, self-defence and more.. It’s a weekend of very late nights and very little rest, all through Friday night (until 3am Saturday morning is not uncommon!), all day Saturday, with the presentations for those that make it taking place around midday Sunday.
So, I’ve got 12 months to get myself prepared. I’m reasonably fit already but still have a way to go to get myself fully prepared. I can jog 5km without too much trouble but haven’t really timed myself. And on a good day I’m reasonably comfortable with 50-60 pushups, 100 situps and 50-60 squat kicks. But that’s not directly after a 5km run and not one after another.
So I figure now is a good time to start getting fit. I want to be able to cruise through the fitness requirements of the grading so it makes the rest of the grading weekend that much easier.
I haven’t done any jogging for about a year or two, so I started yesterday morning with a 3km run followed immediately by 20 pushups, 20 situps and 20 squat kicks. I completed those quite comfortably and felt great for the rest of the day. A small start, but it’s a start. Now I just need to find enough time in the rest of my already full week to keep a regular training schedule!
I’ll likely write posts like this every so often over the next 12 months to talk about the countdown and my journey to black belt.
Thanks for reading.