Looking back at the White belt level

March 8, 2018
It’s been about a year since I started to learn Shotokan Karate with GMAU.  Gotta say, there is still wind in my sails.  ZERO disappointment, plenty of energy to continue on.  It is a very good day and age when one can receive quality training and instruction, let alone remotely.  I remain excited about my martial arts education.


A considerable amount of adjustment had to occur for my body TO be able to do the workouts.  In my case, particularly my quadriceps.  

I needed to find locations to practice.  A racquetball court is great for the exam, a big empty room at the health club, later in the evening, is great too.  Also, for more casual practices (such as practicing kata run-thrus over & over), a parking lot is good.  Grass, not so good. 

40 hours is not enough to level up from zero to Yellow belt. 70 hours is about right.  The reasons are as follows:  I had to build strength, I had to learn vocabulary, I had to learn concepts (there are specific stances, there are things called ‘katas’, etc.), I had to fine tune my exam once I COULD do the exam, I had to fine tune my exam guide-which took me at least 3 trips to the local ‘Office Depot’/’Staples’.  I had to watch videos of myself and critique them, make a list of the errors, then correct them for the next videos, re-watch, make a new list of errors, etc.  All THAT with an uneducated eye, as evidenced by what I still got wrong in the final belt video I submitted.

As a noob I watched the videos and practiced positioning my arms, legs, and body as I saw, with my uneducated, non-critical eye in the videos.  The last TEN hours of my training for the belt I looked for how NOT to place my arms, legs, and body, all so that I could define where I SHOULD be placing and positioning myself.  In other words, I looked for what TO do, then later, what NOT to do.  This is essential-and can only occur at above the 40 hour level.

I had camera errors and refinements to make.

I had uniform issues.  WEAR THE LIGHTEST UNIFORM YOU CAN.  Otherwise you bake.

I had SHOE issues.

Get a longer belt than the size that comes with the uniform.

Get a tripod.   Also, get orange cones.

I’m a Yellow belt in Shotokan Karate!  Wow!

: )

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