Journey to Black Belt – My Goal is now end-2010!

In a continuing series, every so often I’ll write a post about my Karate as I document my Journey to Black Belt

Last Friday night, I graded to Adv Red belt (still 3rd Kyu). Some of my good friends from Black Belt Martial Arts achieved their Provisional Black Belt (Shodan Ho) the weekend before, and received their certificates at the grading on Friday night.

Another 6 months of training and they can then receive their 1st Dan Black Belt (Shodan). It’s a long road! Unfortunately my road was just increased by 6 months. Continue on to read more about my journey to black belt.

The black belt gradings are only held twice a year (May/June and December usually), while the normal gradings are held 4-5 times per year. So if you’re ready for black belt but just miss out due to the timing, then you have to wait until the next one.

At my next grading (in August) I’ll be brown belt (2nd Kyu), but I have to be on brown for 6 months and then Adv Brown (1st Kyu) for 6 months – so I’ll just miss out on the May/June black belt grading next year. So now my goal has changed from a mid-2010 black belt to end-2010 black belt.

It’s a little disappointing because I’d been preparing myself for a mid-2010 black belt grading, but it’s no big deal. Just more time to train I guess.

Speaking of training, I’ve been keeping up the jog followed by the pushups, situps and squat kicks. At the moment I’ve only been doing it once a week (Sunday morning), but will shortly ramp up to doing it twice a week.

I’ve been documenting my progress, as you can see in the image below.

Fitness Progress

Fitness Progress

At the test, you have to complete the 5km run in under 30 minutes, followed immediately by 100 pushups, situps and squat kicks within 10 minutes. 

So on that score, I’m on track. Still some work to do (especially on the pushups), but once I start doing it twice a week I’m hopeful it’ll get easier. I’ll be looking to increase my run to 6 or 7km and still complete it as fast as I can, so when it comes to doing 5km it’ll be much less tiring 🙂

But of course it doesn’t end there. After the fitness requirements, you head back to the dojo and basically train for 24 hours straight (with only a 3-hour break at around 3:30am Saturday morning). 

Most of my friends that went through the black belt grading last weekend said it was pretty brutal, especially the sparring. I don’t think many of them slept at all – it’d be hard to wind down at 3:30am when you know you have to be back up again at 6am. But what a feeling of achievement afterwards. I’ve seen some of them since, and they’re still glowing – especially while wearing their shiny new black belts!

Anyway that’s enough for this update. More in a few weeks I guess.

Thanks for reading.

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