Not a 2nd Dan quite yet

If you’re reading this you probably want to know how I got on at yesterdays grading. In short, I’m not a 2nd Dan quite yet.

The World Ju-Jitsu Federation holds a high and exacting standard for all of it’s gradings, to which no one is exempt. On this occasion I fell just short of the passing grade.

Now to clarify I have not failed, but I haven’t passed either. I have been deferred, which to most of means “resit the exam” so at some point I will have to attempt it again.
I won’t have to travel back up to the HQ in Liverpool but I will still do it in front of senior coaches, and at the moment the current plan sounds like I will travel to Norwich to do it at Haya-Ashi Ju-Jutsu who I trained with over the summer.

In the mean time I have been given excellent feedback on what I did well at and where I didn’t, which was given to me by 2 of the 3 senseis who sat on my adjudicating panel, namely Kyōshi Russ Walsh (7th Dan) and Shihan Simon Jones (7th Dan). I was also fortunate in that my Uke for the day was Sensei Paul Daley (6th Dan) who also gave his own advice.

On that note, I would like to thank all of the sensei’s mentioned above again, as well as Kyōshi Robert Howes (7th Dan), Sensei David Howard (5th Dan) and Kanchō Robert Hart (7th Dan), who had unpleasant job of breaking the news to me. Everyone I spoke to agreed that I can do it, it just needed more polish than I presented yesterday.

I never walked in expecting to pass. I knew I had to earn it and knew the standards were high, so also I knew there was a chance I could have failed. When it unfortunately happened, it wasn’t a crushing defeat. I don’t even consider it a setback because I haven’t lost anything that I need to regain.

People say you learn more from failure than success, and I plan to use myself as an example for our students. Sure you can train hard and still fail. But you take some time to assess what went wrong, work on those issues and you try again.

I’ll close out this post with a quote that’s served me well in the past and served me well yesterday:

If you’re not prepared to fail, you’re not prepared at all.

I will earn my 2nd Dan, it just hasn’t been quite yet.