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A new shodan teaching his first class of white belts was so nervous he could hardly speak. After class he asked his sensei how he had done. The sensei replied, "When I am worried about getting nervous on the mat, I put a flask of saki in my gi. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip after I fall, before I get up." So next evening he took his sensei's advice. At the beginning of the class, he got nervous and took a drink. He proceeded to talk up a storm. Upon his return to the dojo the next day, he found the following note on the door:
- Sip the saki, don't gulp.
- There are 15 required white belt techniques, not 20.
- There are 20 white belts in your class, not 15.
- Oni Kadaki is referred to as "Crushing the devil", not "Shake itand break it".
- The technique for unbalancing your opponent is "Kuzushi" not "Kamakazi", "Wooshie", or "You're Sushi".
- When applying pain to a white belt, the white belt slaps the mat, you do not slap the white belt.
- The creator of small circle jujitsu is Wally Jay, not "Mr. Miagee".
- A belch is not an appropriate ki-ai.
- "Dropping the big rock" refers to a specific jo staff technique, not to a Koshi-Nage performed on your larger students.
- The T-stance has nothing to do with the tea ceremony, and does not involve sitting down.
- A come-along technique never, ever, involves a conga line.
- Beginning students are called white belts, not virgins.
- The thank-you spoken when bowing at the end of class is not "Domo Arragoto, Mr. Roboto" and you are not turning Japanese.
- Only the blue mats, not all students named Matt, should be placed in the locker after class.
- Some things are loved because they are valuable; others are valuable because they are loved........Beverly Kendall
- At first I believed I could...then I believed I could not. I was right both times.......Betty Skildum
- "If you can imagine it, You can achieve it. If you can dream it, You can become it." William Arthur Ward
- To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." Anatole France
- "You must do the things you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt
- "A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it." Anon
- He who angers you conquers you." Elizabeth Kenny
- "I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image." Stephen Hawking
- For excellence, ask an expert....for wisdom, ask a sage...for honesty, ask a child.
- The concept of the mind itself is always constant but the reality of the mind changes. At every moment a new mind is created and fades away. There is neither the same mind nor the permanent mind. Any permanence is an illusion.
- A hundred years from now it will not matter the kind of house I live in, what my bank account totals or the kind of car I drive. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.
- Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet.
- There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks all of them
- One thing you can give and still keep is your word.
- You should never be afraid of making mistakes. What you should be afraid of, is not learning what valuable lesson they have to offer you.
- The common person turns his mistake into a bigger mistake. The wise man turns his mistake into an advantage.
- The master hides his talents, never displays his strengths but always leaves the faint trace of his essence.
- Something badly taught can be harder to overcome than something that was never taught at all.........Beth
Advice for getting through a black belt test?
Focus on improving yourself, and worry less about others. A 1st brown belt working toward a black belt has already completed the 3rd brown teaching requirement. After 3rd brown, a student should shift attention back to self-improvement, for he will get a chance to teach again once the black belt is acquired. This inward focus does not mean that a person should stop helping others to learn by working one on one. Being a good uke is always important. Others do not want to waste their valuable training time on someone who is not willing or is not able to be a good attacker. An upper belt knows how to counter certain techniques by dropping the center of mass. Let go of the fear of falling, so the inclination to counter, even slightly, is not present. Let go of the fear of failure. A person does not always succeed, but can always learn. See learning, not skill, as the noble attribute. Answer when someone asks for advice, but do not criticize. Be friendly and supportive. Listen to your sensei. Though she is not infallible, her advice, based on years of experience, is often invaluable.