Success at Gradings

Success in gradings is often measured in what we may NOT see!

When we grade students, it is not always what we see on the day that makes a successful pass, it’s very often in the things that we ‘don’t’ see. For example; The student may demonstrate the best techniques in the world right in front of us, but if he has the wrong character or has a bad Dojo attitude, he may very well fail. 

At ALL times consider your attitude and how you conduct yourself in the Dojo and, just as importantly, towards others around you. Do you show the necessary respect towards those around you? Do you call your Sensei by name while he still wears his Gi (even outside the Dojo)? One of the biggest taboos is not reflecting the correct Dojo protocols. Remember, Wadoryu is NOT just for the Dojo, consider implications outside as well.  

If you failed your last grading, or simply did not do as well as expected, did you blame yourself for your failings, or did you blame something or someone else – Do you take responsibility for yourself?

How well do you take setbacks, how modestly do you take successes?

Quote… “We are all ready to win, just as we are born knowing only life. It is defeat that we must learn to prepare for!” (Mr Han. Enter the Dragon.) 

Training in Martial-Arts, as we constantly remind ourselves and emphasise to others, is also about making us ‘better people’. Very rarely do we need to use the skills in ‘real life’, although they are there when relied upon, but nowadays we look upon our ‘art’ as a vessel for creating a better character for ourselves through mutual challenges. We remove our ego and arrogance behind to replace those impostors with correct human characteristics, befitting us as ‘full’ Martial Artists with honour and dignity. 

I hope that when we see our British Wadokai students in front of us, attempting various grades, we can confidently say that they have the essential qualities befitting of a true Budo-ka. So when they eventually stand in front of the British Wadokai Black-Belt Panel to be judged, they will be worthy to be called, and referred upon as, true British Wadokai Yudansha!

Gary E Swift Hanshi.