Exam coming up

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Orion Nebula, May 16, 2019.

  1. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Orange Belt

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    My first rank exam is coming up this weekend! I'm both excited and nervous.

    I've done exams before in my previous style, but they were a bit different and they were also in house. This exam is at a regional seminar in front of the head honchos. I'm definitely a bit worried that I'll get nervous due to an unfamiliar audience. I'm also slightly weirded out by a few warnings that some of these guys are jerks and give unhelpful criticism. In particular, I've been told that one guy might rip into me about my weight even if my technique is good, because he's that kind of guy.

    That said, I know the material and I know I'm ready for this exam. I busted my butt for the last three and a half months getting in better physical condition, losing weight, and of course doing karate! I can't wait to get this belt and then bust my butt some more.
     
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  2. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    I wish you the best of luck! If I were to offer any advice it would be to practice, visualize, and don't forget to breathe!

    As far as unhelpful criticism, Listen to what they have to say, thank them for it, then refer back to your sensei before making any changes. If the guy comments on your weight, deflect the criticism. Smile, and say something to the effect of "You're right, that's why I got back into Karate, and I've lost XX pounds since I've been back!" Use it as a chance to be proud of your accomplishment thus far. If he is a jerk after that, he just wants to be a jerk in general, and you can just smile at how sad his life must be.

    Oh, and did I mention, Good Luck!!
     
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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll second much of what Doc said. Visualization is a common practice for many elite athletes, and a good way to deal with some of these anxiety-producing thoughts. I'd include visualizing some comments you consider unhelpful, and you receiving them with detachment.

    Then actually do that with the feedback. Just take it all in when it comes. Don't judge it then - take it back with you and give each comment some serious thought, and look for any useful kernels of truth (checking with your instructor on areas of technique), and let the rest be.

    You got this.
     
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  4. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Purple Belt

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    As the commercial says, "Never let them see you sweat". Get on the floor and look confident in the work you put in to get ready. Regardless of the feedback you receive (positive, negative or childish) the answer should always remain the same "Osu".

    Good luck and remember that the best way to respond to criticism is to succeed.
     
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  5. W.Bridges

    W.Bridges White Belt

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    Good Luck
     
  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Best of luck to you. Do your thing and leave it all on the floor. Expect to be corrected and criticized. Take the good, and leave the bad behind.
     
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  7. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Orange Belt

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    Thanks for all of the great advice and well wishes! Visualization sounds like a good exercise to try. I'll be heading over to the dojo later to do some training on my own - I should take some time to work on that while I'm there.

    I'm not actually supposed to respond to the criticisms except for maybe an "osu," so @DocWard, I won't really be able to deflect. However, I will try to remember to do as everyone has suggested and take what's useful, leave what's obviously unhelpful, and check in with my sensei later.

    This here is a fantastic quote. I need to save that in my back pocket.
     
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  8. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Orion Nebula, you stated in your post "That said, I know the material and I know I'm ready for this exam."

    Don't forget that. And go gettum', brother!

    And enjoy the hell out of the process. It's actually kind of fun.
     
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  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I feel strongly from reading your post over time that you are settled and hard to rattle. Take in the day and all it has in store. It only comes around once. As others have said, let the criticism roll like water. It sounds like there is a healthy mental component so reflect on your training. Try to make everything constructive. I look forward to hearing your good report.
    You got this.
     
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  10. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

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    Of course. It has been awhile, and never in your situation, so my recall of etiquette has lapsed.

    And you're right, that is an awesome quote.
     
  11. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Epic hazing from instructors isnt a new concept.


     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Yes, but Sarge didn't last long after clip.;)
     
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  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I love that movie. Practically every single line from him is just classic.
    I watched it so many times, at one point I could recite every line from the boot camp portion word for word. It came in pretty handy during my fraternity days.
     
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  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    That sounds just like our son with Forest Gump. It is crazy the random stuff we commit to memory.:p
     
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  15. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I was working a kids’ baseball camp one year, and one of the coaches sounded exactly like R. Lee Ermey. I mean exactly like him. He’d get loud and yell at the kids, in a good way, and the adults would just sit there trying not to laugh. A bunch of us tried to get him to do some lines from the movie, but he didn’t. He just laughed and said a lot of people try to get him to do it.

    Edit: the kids at that camp had some fun with him too. He was just a bit too intense. One time he starts yelling at the kids to run out onto the field in between innings. He says (in Gunnery Sgt. Hartmann’s voice) “Lets go! On the hop! There’s no walking in baseball!” One of the kids, about 10 years old at the oldest stops, turns around, and says “Sure there is. Have you ever heard of ball 4?” The whole place starts laughing hysterically. Good thing he had a great sense of humor too. Getting owned like that by a 10 year old in front of an entire camp and being able to genuinely laugh takes some humility.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  16. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Orange Belt

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    I passed my exam!

    I was extremely jittery beforehand, but the other testers helped sooth my nerves. I still felt a little nervous going into my kata, but after a few moves I forgot about the people watching a just did it, and the rest of the test went smoothly. I also received next to no criticism, which surprised me because I usually have a fair amount of criticism for myself. The only comment made was what I already knew - I need to stop raising my shoulders when I punch. It was a super positive experience, and I also immensely enjoyed seeing the tests for some higher dan ranks and hearing about their papers.
     
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  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Well done! The fun part for me in testing was always that feeling afterward: "That's done. Now, what's next?"
     
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  18. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master of Arts

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    Ah didn't get a chance to wish you good luck, but congratulations mate, that's awesome!!! Well deserved, kick back and relax and enjoy your achievement. Now even more fun awaits in the dojo, your horizons are broadened and much more to learn and more depths to reach :). Well done!
     
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  19. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Fantastic! It is always great to hear someone reflect on their testing as a positive experience.
    Great work. Now get ready for the next one.;)
     
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  20. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Just keep on plugging along and doing what you do. You can only control yourself and how you act and react; you can’t control what anyone else does.
     
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