Thoughts on 2nd Dan

On October 4th 2019, it’ll be 5 years since I earned my 1st Dan (Shodan) black belt.

I was eligible to grade for my 2nd Dan (Nidan) in October 2016, but I didn’t because I didn’t feel ready. The problem is that I still don’t 4 and a half years later.

I know the 2nd Dan syllabus. I know what I need to do for it, and I think I’m at the stage where I just need to make it look polished. Make it look like I know what I am doing rather than just flailing around.

I know the reason why, notably that in the last 4 and a half years I’ve focused a lot on my coaching, working as an assistant coach and now as a club coach. There are classes where I don’t get to train as a student because I am needed as a coach. I enjoy coaching but I need to try spend more time being a student again.

The next black belt grading day is later this month which I won’t be attending, but the second black belt grading of the year is on October 5th 2019 and the day after is the coaching refresher course which I will have to attend this year.

I have decided therefore, that if I am going to make the trip up to Liverpool that I might as well have a go at my 2nd Dan. No more hiding behind the excuse of wanting to be 100% ready or telling myself “I’ll go next grading.”

No. I need to just go and do it. If I fail then I fail. But I can learn from failure and get better.

Of course I hope I don’t fail because that is going to be an expensive weekend no matter what happens. Petrol, 2 nights in a hotel, grading fee for 2nd dan, refresher course fee, food. By some rough math we’re talking over £300 for the weekend.

In any case, I have 217 days between now and the grading. 217 days to get ready. 217 days to save up for a trip to Liverpool.