Festival 2018 is coming (very excited) and everyone is getting ready for testing. I had a number of conversations recently about testing and I have to ask: What is the rush?
At this point I had planned to discuss some of the issues about the differences between when you started training and how much actual training (dirt time) you have in and the difference between time teaching others and time being taught but..
I had a visit from a friend who started training in our art in 1986. His last promotion was ten years ago. He was in the area for business and stopped by to train with me. He told me he had no intention of testing any time soon but wanted to look at the concepts required for his next level.
We trained privately for an hour or so, then for another hour with two of my black belt students looking at some very advanced concepts and the fundamental ideas necessary to understand those concepts. It was pure training, no worrying about our rank, the name of the kata, memorizing what the steps of the kata-model were, just cause and effect experimentation in order to improve our understanding.
The four people in the room that night together have been training for 96 years in this art. We made discoveries, cleaned up bad habits, got excited about learning, and had fun. What’s the rush? There’s so much more to our art then a belt.