Just before Christmas, I started training more at home and at Newton Longville just in case I got invited for my shodan grading in April. After the competition day Renshi Kidby came up to me at the Newport Pagnell dojo and asked me how I felt about taking my shodan grading.
I was honoured to get invited and from then it started to sink in that I was going for Shodan. Over the next three weeks, the training was both mentally and physically harder, both at Newport Pagnell and at Newton Longville.
The day of the grading arrived I walked into the dojo at Kempston and that's when the butterflies started really kicking in. The grading was under way and some things in it I was not expecting, it took a lot out of me both physically and mentally but the worst thing of it for me was when we got changed and sat around waiting for are results.
We got called back into the dojo and and Renshi Kidby started telling everyone who graded about their grading he then told us all that we had passed, it was such a relief that all the hard training had paid off.
Later that night the physical side of it was starting to kick in all over my body (especially my eye) and I was applying lots of ice everywhere.
The following Tuesday was my first time to put on my new belt I was very proud to wear it and also very scared as well because I now knew that the lower grades looked up at the dan grades and I did not want to let myself down or them down.
I also know that just because you have a black belt does not mean that don't have to train as hard - it means you have to train even harder now. I would like to thank Renshi Kidby for all the hard lessons in the dojo and Sensei McMahon, Sensei Waterhouse and all the other dan grades at Newport Pagnell and Newton Longville for their help and advice.
Paul Comb - April 2014