The final day arrived. I was not feeling confident. There was a open practice on Thursday night that helped some but I did not feel i was there yet.
We did our morning line up and thankfully no Shiza. We were told everyone will take the written test at the same time before the shooting test.
We went to the rear section for the written test. Those testing for Sandan, Yondan and Godan were all in the same room. We had different questions of course.
Unlike my Nidan test with three questions today we only had one this time. Explain Goju-jumonji. Ok cool I am ready for that. I wrote it out and was ready to leave, however they wanted to check the answer sheets for everyone first. That turned out to be a good thing. As I was sitting there waiting I kept reviewing my list of the five crosses in my head. Something did not seem right. Finally it came to me I had put the last cross as the neck and Yumi should form a cross. It was my sensei who wad checking the English answers, I asked for mine back and was given it. I changed the word Yumi to Ya. After turning it back in and having it checked and ok’d I was given permission to leave. Wheeww that was close and over. Now the hard part.
The gym had been changed so there was one shajo. I had heard the makiwara room was open for those who wanted. However that changed shortly after I heard. There were no backing nets in the makiwara room since they put them out on the testing area. Therefore no Markiwara practice before the test. That could have been a help, but was not meant to be.
My group approach me to get a couple more practice line up/ entry’s in before our turn. We practice again over to the side, watching our timing and steps.
My stomach was not happy.
I made my self busy taking pictures of my dojomates, stretching and warming up. I found an out of the way spot on the upper floor and did some tai chi practice.
After lunch it was my turn to line up. My stomach really really turned sour. As I sat I did Chan breathing drills to help calm things. Then it was show time.
Our entrance was good we were smooth and organized. My first shot was a miss. Just off the target to the left but center level. The bad part, my thumb came off my fingers in Tenouchi, ugh! Ok I thought I have another chance.
Next shot I adjust a bit, but it was still a miss but the exact same spot as the first but on the right side of the target :-(
Also even thought really thought about keeping the thumb down and I did, the middle finger came loose. I was toast! I know they were watching closely since I knew they were taking note on my Tenouchi. It was disappointing but not unexpected. I exited my Sensei said you were fighting the bow. Most of your pull came from your arms not your body. Don’t give up hope but it is only a slim chance they will pass you with the two misses and they were not grouped together, along with the shallow draw. I said I was not expecting to pass, it was ok.
I went and changed clothes and hung out the rest of the afternoon and watched the rest of the testing. I was pleased to see my friend pass the first part her Renshi shoot then her oral. Finally it was time for her second shots. Messages were relayed from LA to Davis and over to north Carolina where her husband was updated about the status of things.
Sadly she missed both last shots everyone was disappointed for her. It was a sad ending.
Around late afternoon the results were posted. It was noisy as people rejoiced on their passing. I did not even bother to go look. I knew I did not pass. I came across a line up mate and asked how he did. He said no one in our taichi passed. In fact out of all the Nidans only two out of about at least 15 or more people passed. Things get real serious at this level. I saw that at last year’s test with the large amount of no passes. With such a large amount of company I did not feel lonely not passing. I had been prepared for the outcome.
All of those testing from my dojo for Shodan passed. Good for them as I had heard not all do, some only get 1 kyu.
As I was leaving I saw Kubota Sensei. He gave me his slight smile, I bowed…we will meet again.
PS: Thanks to those who took my picture. I nice treat for this blog. _/|\_