First Week. Day One

The Plan:

  • Make ahead breakfast: double batch waffles
  • Cardio: Stair work out
  • Focus Kata: Naihanchi Sandan
  • Study History Decks
  • Monday Class

Made the waffles on Sunday to have them ready for breakfast today. I usually make them as we need them but I’m going to be doing more make-ahead things to free up my morning for training.

Made it to stairs! Usually Bob drives so all I have to do is get dressed and fall into the car. But he was out of town so I had to … gasp… drive myself there.

Focus Kata: Naihanchi Sandan. Working to improve recall. Did the kata anytime I thought of it today. ~ 10 times I think. As soon as Sam showed me the kata, I remembered it.

History Decks: Vocabulary & History

Class: Made it! New adult student too!! Basics. Worked on tension in my legs and relaxing arms.

How am I feeling?

Sore! Exhausted! Fighting the its-not-enough panic. Breathing through it.

Random thoughts:

At the last tournament two very high ranking black belts gave me the following advice. This is not word for word…

  • It is your job to educate your audience as to what you are doing. Be sure you communicate that information.
  • Recoil as fast as you fire.

One of them also mentioned that he would like to be at my shodan test. When I said that I’d be honored he replied “Oh, you won’t like it,” with a grin. O.O He also advised me to know my history.

Knuckle pushups: hate ’em. Should practice ’em anyhoo. Cuz if I don’t, they’ll ask.

Kobudo: (or weapons) Don’t hate it but same reason as above I should practice it too.

Should have name this site “Panic Among the Pines” ; )


My name is Hope Martin.
My style is Matsubayashi Ryu Shorin Ryu Okinawan Karate Do.
My shodan test is April, 21st, 2016.

And I am terrified. Okay. Maybe that is too strong a word. Extremely worried? Again not exactly right but maybe it will do.

Those I’ve talked to it say this test is grueling. Four or more hours long, it is intense workout followed by intense verbal examination followed by intense self-defense type sparring and will leave you wishing for a quick death. No, not really. But kinda.

They were all much younger for their tests than I am. I was about 42 when I started karate. I’ll be 47 for my shodan test. So there’s a smidge of a push to pass this milestone before I get too much older (and break-y-er). I’m still recovering from a knee injury earned during my nikyu (middle brown belt) test three months ago. And the fractured finger from a class before that. And…

So why do this? For now I’ll just say that I’ve just decided it is the right thing for me to do. I’ll save the reasons for a later post.

This journey will be documented here… planning… execution… to keep the panic to a minimum. Yeah. Panic. That’s the word I was looking for.

If you’re reading this (It means I had the courage to hit publish!) don’t expect long and thoughtful articles. No time (or ability) for that.  Do expect to read about what I planned and then actually did. What I learned along the way. And eventually… the outcome!

I am hoping that another “executive senior” kyu rank will find all this helpful. If only because I’ll feel a little less crazy. 😉

Leave a cheerful comment if you feel so inclined. Words of wisdom. Stuff like that.