Preparing for Blue

With less than a week left until my Blue Belt test, I find the nerves mounting and the excitement growing.  This will be my first group test, one of many important experiences in my Kenpo training.  In order to prepare for my test I found that my normal schedule between my son, work and Kenpo had to change.  My balance has been adjusted so that Kenpo consumes more of my time than normal.  Many mothers will understand me when I say this is difficult.  However, I admit it is worth it because Kenpo contributes to my health, which makes me a better mother and an all around stronger individual.

Learning the different techniques takes time.  I tend to confuse them.  In order to help me with this, I took the advice Mr. White gave in class one night and made a recording of them.  At home in the evenings I will hit play and start practicing.  I also made flash cards to help me memorize concepts and the different attacks.  Of course, to many advance Kenpoist the attack is obvious when you know the technique.  But for me, I have a habit of over thinking things and confusing myself.  So, with my flash cards I can break it down.  Memorizing is the first step and understanding is the second.  This past Saturday I met with the other students who are testing to go over techniques with partners and I plan to review again on Wednesday.  This is a highly recommended part of preparing for a test.  Putting the technique into action is the only way I can truly understand the technique and what is going on.  It’s one thing to do the moves in the air and an entirely different experience when doing the technique on an opponent.  Practice is everything and that is what I’m doing.  I practice my forms, practice my techniques, and practice my basics and stretch.  Yes, I stretch.  Stretching has become an important part of my preparation for the test so I can get as much of my flexibility back as possible.  After a minor injury a few months ago, I have not been as flexible as in the past, and this drives me crazy.  It takes time to heal and patience has not been on my side when it comes to my training.  Once again, many of you will understand this as you remember your own “injuries”.

This week is my “last hour of preparation.”  I will spend it reviewing techniques by recordings, reviewing the flash cards and having my Dad call out the techniques in a mock test.  The night before the test will be filled with review, a big plate of spaghetti and sleep.  When it comes down to it, I know that it’s only my nerves that will get in the way.  I will have done what I can to prepare.  And so, on the day of the test it will be time to check the emotions at the door and just do it!