So I am doing it. I am testing for my second degree black belt at the end of April. The last few months have been practice, practice, practice. We are in prep mode so our sensei’s are watching every kick, every stance, every chamber, our balance, and even where we are looking as we are performing our kata. If you know me or have read my previous post about my karate journey you will know that I love the concept of practice and that I have a love/hate relationship with my karate practice. I relish focusing on a specific goal, and I appreciate the attention to detail and technique, but it is hard to hear the corrections and critiques sometimes. I still find it nerve wracking to perform the kata on demand and in front of critical expert eyes. I’ve had my share of good practice days and bad ones. The bad ones often include me feeling frustrated and wondering why am I doing this again?
A few weeks ago our sensei told us that it is time to move from practice mode to beast mode. Okay, those were not her exact words but that’s how I interpreted it. Basically she was saying that we have been in practice mode for long enough, and now we have to take it up a level and perform our katas with power, intention and commitment to each move. It’s time to step it up, execute with confidence –like it is testing day.
This change in direction from practice to execution with confidence is important. Over my several years of practicing karate I’ve noticed that if I stay in practice mode, the way I perform the kata also looks like practice, they lack conviction, strength, and finesse. The added effort and energy also requires practice and just doesn’t show up on demand. Amping up and focusing on power, speed, pace, and energy are key elements of a well executed kata. With only a few weeks left this is now my focus. I’m asking myself, what energy am I bringing to my movements? How can I maintain this energy? What spirit am I conveying as I perform? Making this shift in thinking about my practice is definitely helping with my motivation and determination to get through to testing day.
What does ramping up your inclusion and equity practice look like?
I think there comes a time in any learning process where you have to change direction or shift focus from learning to meaning making and action. If you have taken diversity and inclusion training or read a book or article on the topic, how did you use the information to inform your work practices, behaviours, or decision-making? What have you done lately to elevate your equity practice? What new questions can you explore and what areas of your work can you examine from an equity perspective? Is it time to pilot a new initiative or would you benefit from a facilitated conversation where you can collaborate with your peers on the next steps?
If it is time for you to level up your inclusion and equity practice and you could use some help, let’s connect!
My testing date is Sat. April 29th, wish me luck!