“You’ll feel like a Shodan after you’ve achieved your Nidan. “
A statement that seems a bit paradoxical at first, but I found it intriguing when a 5th Dan in my Shotokan class first said it. Somehow, it makes sense.
After I got my Shodan Black Belt there was no, ‘Ok, well, I got that! That’s done!’ Instead, the first time I walked into the Dojo wearing a black belt I felt like I had to up my game. I had a black belt around my waist, and now I had to become one. I had to fix the things I knew were lacking before I started to ‘move on’ to the new things that were ahead of me. I was a Black belt now and I had to live it. I had to tighten up my Kata, I had to refine my body connection and to get my head around the fact that wearing a black belt doesn’t always make you one, and more than swinging a hammer makes you a carpenter.
In his reference to our daily lives Jim Elliott said “Wherever you are, be all there.”
So now, rather than spending my time thinking about becoming a Nidan, I’ve realized something: concentrating on being an adept Shodan will prep me to become what’s next.