Nidan Grading Part 1

Before I start this post, I want to introduce my partner in crime through this karate journey, Andrew Kerridge Skinner, who started karate with me back in 2005 after moving to Brisbane from Hervey Bay, Queensland. Anyone that is close to me inevitably knows who Skinner is. We have been training together since that faithful night (for another post) when we met James Duggan Shihan and Kain Johnson Sensei and was taught more then a thing or two about physical and mental toughness.

So fast forward. What a month it has been! That is about all I can muster to sum up all that extra training, mental preparation and just overall karate ‘ness’ that is required when making that final climb towards your grading.

On Friday, 10th November Andrew and I along with James Duggan Shihan, Kain Johnson Sensei and most of the other senior students of Brisbane Goju Karate started the usual scurry to get everybody over to Jamie Shihan’s house and get over to the airport.

No time for coffee’s. Let’s just get in there, get to Sydney, take a train down to the ‘Gong’ and get started on this epic weekend. Late that afternoon we arrived in Wollongong for the first session of the Goju Ryu Karate do Seiwakai Annual Wollongong Camp for 2011. It was great catching up with all the students from around Australia and getting down to our karate business.

On the first night we got straight into kata with Glenn Stephenson Shihan taking us through both Sanchin kata and Tencho Kata, the pillars of Goju Ryu.  Jamie Shihan then took the group through kumite drills focussing on owning space and projecting energy. All the while I was thinking about the posts on this blog and the mental tips I had given myself leading up to this weekend. Trying to reflect on my own advice and putting it into action. In the end, a great high energy night with well over 100 students involved.

If there was one thing I could take out of the night, throughout the kumite drills, was the importance of Soto Uke blocking as the lead to any of the standard Jodan, Chudan or Gedan blocking. So this is a little reminder to myself to do a post on this down the track as it was quite evident that this basic technique required some explanation.

Part 2 will focus on the rest of the seminar at Wollongong which includes final preparation for the grading with Seiunchin kata training with Glenn Stephenson Shihan and the nidan grading itself which was completed late Saturday evening.

About Jay Killeen

I began training in 2004 under the guidance of James Duggan Shihan. I have since achieved my Nidan in Goju Ryu Karate do Seiwakai. My favourite kata is Sanchin and I enjoy the challenge of kumite against great opponents.

Comments

  1. Can you explain the black gi grading? I thought you meant black belt (obi) grading at first, but it says gi twice. The post was great, but that caught my attention, as I have never heard of anyone testing for a gi color before. Thanks Jay.

  2. Hi Theodore

    I originally started training in a style here in Brisbane prior to joining Goju Ryu. At a point the decision was made to migrate all our students to Goju Ryu. One achievement we kept from the old style was a Black Gi Grading that was optional for people to attempt around brown belt level.

    This grading was only held within our own dojo even within our style. It pretty much tests on everything we have learn up until that point in our training (might take up to 90 minutes of testing, followed by a tile break (4 concrete roof tiles) and then however many rounds of mid to full contact kumite, each round with a fresh black belt.

    I think I lasted around 16 rounds during mine, it was extremely difficult, very emotional and I learnt more about myself in this grading than I think I have in all of my gradings combined. It is a grading in courage, entering into the unknown despite the very real fear that you experience during the grading. The kumite is intense and our instructor James Duggan Shihan does an exceptional job in taking us to a place where you may only be if you were attacked in the real world.

    It is a bit hard to explain besides that, I have footage which I am planning on releasing onto this blog. Our dojo has completed three of these gradings in our history, once completed you achieve the rank of Kohai, brown belt with a black gi. You may notice in some of the photos I put up there are a few of us wearing these gis. It is just something that we have maintained even while we migrated over to Goju Ryu as it is such a great learning experience. A sort of right of passage for our class now for anyone dedicated and willing enough to attempt it.

    I hope that explains a little, feel free to ask any other questions.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Now that the new year of karate training, or whatever martial arts style you are into, many of your will be struggling with getting back in shape after the Christmas/New Year binge. This most definitely includes myself, and it sucks big time. You may have worked extremely hard, also like myself, getting in tip top condition for your end of year grading. Or in my case, the biggest grading I had after two years being my Nidan Grading. […]

  2. […] we headed down the road to becoming a black belt in karate every action was to learn a new technique, increase our fitness or find a new height of mental […]

  3. […] Now that the new year of karate training, or whatever martial arts style you are into, many of your will be struggling with getting back in shape after the Christmas/New Year binge. This most definitely includes myself, and it sucks big time. You may have worked extremely hard, also like myself, getting in tip top condition for your end of year grading. Or in my case, the biggest grading I had after two years being my Nidan Grading. […]

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