4th Kyu

Okay, a bit of self-gloss. Alex and I graded to 4th kyu purple belts in Ishinryu karate tonight. It took us 45 minutes and nine and twelve months respectively. And I got my first distinction!

I’m very proud of that. I thought I might have it in me this time. Everything has felt so natural these past few months, even the two katas, which definitely benefited from the additional instruction at the camp in March.

Two gradings ago I was a mess and felt terrible after my grading, after putting so much effort in while stuffing up many basic things. The most important things I’ve learned and practiced in karate and life since then is to relax.

I learned some techniques to relax from the flight anxiety course but also Sensei Alison and others telling us all to relax between each strike, each block, between moves in the katas.

Even last night when I knew I needed to sleep but was struggling to I used breathing techniques and muscle relaxation to focus the mind and body and stop it thinking and worrying. It worked last night.

And it worked tonight. Time to relax!

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