Katy Egginton - My Shodan Experience

Back in January when I received the 2015 calendar I took note of the dates for the Dan grading. The nearer I got to March the more impossible it seemed. I felt that the more I tried to learn the more I forgot, It seemed that Renshi Kidby agreed with me, because at three weeks from the grading date I still hadn’t been invited. I took a step back, refocused and looked forward to a possible October grading. The next thing I know Renshi asked me to stay after class and invited me to grade in March. I couldn’t say no! I desperately wanted to try for it (even though I was overwhelmed inside with the amount I had to learn).


Every night from that point on I spent at least an hour after work in a dance hall practicing Kata and basics and sets. The only ‘music’ playing in my car was Renshi Kidby’s audio terminology. My computer had permanent tabs open on the CFTS website. Any spare time I had was spent trying to memorise facts and moves. I tried to attend as many training sessions as possible. In short the run up to grading was full on.


The morning of the grading, I didn’t want to be late so I ended up waiting outside the school a good while before anyone was even there to unlock the building. But, I was as prepared as possible. At the beginning of the grading nerves nearly got the better of me. I was getting things wrong that I had been doing fine in class the night before. But I managed to settle down and focus on just the instructions, the rest of the room seemed to fade into the peripheral, it just wasn’t important, the technique I was trying to show was.


The rest of the grading flew past (the first 5 minutes still seemed the longest part, even looking back on it now) and the next thing I know we were being released to change and come back for the outcome. The sense of relief, I had passed!


The week after the grading when I wore my black belt for the first time was just as nerve wracking as the grading was. I don’t want to let myself, and others down, I’ve achieved the belt now I have to live up to it! I want to continue learning and am looking forward to a long future with CFTS.