Preparing for my first grading!

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by Ana, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Ana

    Ana White Belt

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    I have my first grading (for my yellow belt) coming up in a month. I know in theory pretty much everything I need to do to pass and I'm working really hard on improving my left leg kicks because they are abysmal.

    However I'm just really really nervous.

    The place where I train has a lovely respectful atmosphere and those with more experience are always ready to help and my friends with high belts (blue-tip,blue,red) say that because it's your first grading even if you "stuff up epically" you'll pass anyways but I want to pass perfectly.

    Any ideas on how I could further mentally and physically prepare?
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    One suggestion. Relax. Getting worked up over a test will hurt your performance.
     
  3. Ana

    Ana White Belt

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    Thanks. That what everyones been saying but I just can't seem to get the hang of it :$
     
  4. decepticon

    decepticon Green Belt

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    At the school where we train, and it appears also many others, students are actually evaluated informally prior to the testing, and only those who will be able to pass the test are allowed to attempt it. My instructor says, "I won't test you unless I know you can pass. The test is more of a demonstration of all that you have mastered, and a sign to you and others that you are ready to rise in rank."
     
  5. ks - learning to fly

    ks - learning to fly Senior Master

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    It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to say, "Don't sweat it"...but I will tell you if your instructor recommends you to test - they believe you're ready and that should increase your confidence! My test for yellow belt occurred at our school's annual outdoor test and was intensified by the presence of our school's grandmaster instructor!! I think my knee stopped shaking about half way through the test!!!!! My best advice is just focus on your training, believe in yourself, and trust that - no matter what happens - you're going to be ok:) Remember, if this was easy, everyone would do it! (Incidentally, I test in 7 days for my 1st degree black belt - so if my 2 cents worth helps you at all - could you throw a prayer skyward that my test goes ok too?;)

    ***bows*** Kris :ultracool
     
  6. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Between now and your test practice deep breathing. This has a calming effect on the body, in through the nose out through the mouth, slow and easy. Good luck................
     
  7. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Some people can't. It's just test anxiety. My wife is much the same. She knows that we evaluate students in every single class, and don't invite people to "test" until we know they are already performing at the new level. Doesn't stop her from freaking out a little before every test. She's testing for 3rd geup next Saturday, so I expect her to be wound up all week.

    Breathing exercises and meditation might help. And try to remember that good instructors do not set people up to fail. If you're told you're ready to test, you are, most likely, already performing as expected for your new rank.
     
  8. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    That was how my GM did things. I marvel when I read of those schools where students are tested with many failures. In the Hapkido I learned, it just wasn't done. No one would send a student to the Hapkido Association for testing for BB who wasn't going to pass. And that was the way it was done at the individual schools for lower belts as well. When I studied TKD under Jhoon Goo Rhee in the mid-60s it was the same. You wouldn't be allowed to test until you were ready and expected to pass.
     
  9. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I think the first test is always the hardest. Concentrate on what you have learned, use breathing and meditation if that seems to help. Don't stress. See, easy already. I think you will do well.
     
  10. Ana

    Ana White Belt

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    (Incidentally, I test in 7 days for my 1st degree black belt - so if my 2 cents worth helps you at all - could you throw a prayer skyward that my test goes ok too?;)

    Haha cheers mate. I suppose if you managed to go through testing in front of a grandmaster I can cope with my friends around. Good luck with your grading!! Hopefully all goes well with you >_<
     
  11. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    The Good Thing about Gradings:

    Grading [Peak Performance] > Post Grading [High Performance] > Interim [Normal Performance] > That Short Period Before The Next Part [Low Performance] > The Time Leading Up To A Grading [High Performance] {And Repeat}

    Even if You KNOW You will succeed, building up to interval Gradings has the benefit of managing the intensity of Training, so as to get You to a peak around the Gradings, then slowly relax Your Body for a bit after, then build back up.
    Train Hard, Good Luck.
     
  12. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    A couple questions...

    Are you always nervous when it comes time to test? Not just in your art, but in school, or other situations where "all eyes are on you".
    I understand this is your first grading. Have you seen other gradings at your school? Not knowing what to expect would certainly increase your stress levels.
     
  13. Ana

    Ana White Belt

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    I'm not really that nervous ever about school because I know that my mind won't fail me. It's just in situations when I'm nervous like this and I have to do things in front of people I just kinda end up nervous as heck!!! My knees shake and my tummy feels like there's a bomb inside and I get all dizzy.:erg:

    I haven't seen any gradings but my friends say that your first grading is always easy and even the complete screw-ups can pass because the instructors feel bad and let them pass. I suppose what I'm most nervous about is passing in a shoddy way like that instead of passing because they feel I genuinelly know the material tought. I don't want to just pass I want to excel in what I've been taught and I'm scared I won't.
     
  14. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    So you get nervous when all eyes are on you. Gosh, that's unique... ;)

    I seriously doubt that people pass because 'the instructors feel bad'... I suspect that people pass because instructors know that people are human and that nerves affect performance. As has been mentioned before, in many (most?) schools, tests are not really tests. They're just demos. The testing is done every class. You might want to try to think of it that way.
     
  15. Ana

    Ana White Belt

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    I like what you said about the whole "class being a test and a grading being a demo" thing. That's actually really calmed me down now :eek:
    Thanks to all the other people who replied too.
    I guess my mindset i snow that if they've seen me do the same thing before in class it isn't that big a deal to do it again now.....only better.
     
  16. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    Firstly, your nervousness is perfectly normal and simply caused by natural adrenal hormone response to the perceived stress. Secondly, that you are recognising your symptoms of nervousness at this stage should tell you how well-prepared you really are - many do not account for nerves until it is too late and they are in the middle of it and so well done on that count.

    There are many approaches to dealing with nervousness - if you are of a rational mind then you should acknowledge to yourself that you have not so much to be nervous of. that is not the same as belittling the gravity of your tast, no, rather it is reminding yourself in no uncertain terms that you ARE prepared, you KNOW your stuff, NOBODY is going to shout at you for errors, those grading you are your FRIENDS and not your enemies, and at the end you will SMILE a big smile at how WELL you have done and go treat yourself. It is in that sense that *rationally speaking* there is little to be nervous of.

    For some, meditation helps. I sense this is not where you are yourself?

    Do you like music? Often the right kind of music is a suitable distraction. Here is a song for you, I like this just because of the line about getting up and making history and but whatever motivates YOU and resonates with YOU is good to listen to - it takes your unconscious away from dwelling upon the irrationality of nervousness and reframes it more positively.

    [yt]xpfNGSU0jYw[/yt]

    There are a million songs out there, I guess you have your favourite MOTIVATIONAL music :)

    Visualisation is another useful tool. In any ordeal, I never picture myself caught in its midst and but instead always picture myself at the end, smiling :)

    And also you know it is entirely possible I have found rather than trying in vain to suppress your nerves that you use them as a source of fuel since it is the fighting stress response that you are dealing with, then simply go out and perform your pieces with utmost physical expression. This in itself will dissipate the adrenal dump that causes the nerves.

    Finally, as has already been stated, do not believe you will do well, KNOW.

    Let us know how you get on :)
     
  17. Ana

    Ana White Belt

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    Gahhh thanks for your uber long reply and link. The fact that people care enough to give advice has me pumped! I think at this point I'm ready to take the rational approach and just practice my butt off and try not to lose sleep over it. I know I can do it and no body is stopping me but myself! There's gradings for those ready every 2 months so even if I do stuff it up I have ages to absolutely perfect everything and surprise everyone.

    The song I'll probably have a listen to beforeahnd will be Learning to Fly by Pink Floyd. That song inspires me to no end and it calms me down evern when I get into an angry raging fit.





    Anyways I'll reply after I finish my grading which is about only 2 weeks away!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  18. shinka

    shinka White Belt

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    It's true that the first belt is kinda easy (no offense) it's a given belt. Showing that you still want to continue in the art. (lots quit so it's kind of a test by itself)
    I've been doing Hapkido for a couple years now and my best advice (many said it before me)...RELAX.... it's like in a combat...if you're nervous, stress and mad for some reason....you will get hit and could even be hurt.

    I understand that you want to be amazing but...Too much is not always better. Just do your best and your master will see it for sure and he or she will know that you trained hard and did your best.

    Best of luck.123
     

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