Sunday, November 16, 2008

The To-Do List

One of the most anxiety-inducing parts of knowing Sensei intends to test me soon, is that I don't actually know everything I need to know for the black belt test yet. I'm not down to polishing, I'm still actively learning new material. Now Sensei knows how fast I can learn (and so do I), but there's still that extra edge of "I don't even know this stuff!" So, I'm putting up a to-do list here, and going to try to make some sort of attempt to sort it out. Ideally, I'd like to have the new stuff down by early January, giving me at least a month, and more likely three months plus to give everything the appropriate polish.

Empty hand katas:
Sunsu - started, unfinished(1-2 classes to learn the remainder - I'm almost there)
Sanchin - not started

Weapons katas:
Tokumine no Kun (1 class to learn the very first bit (reverse-shaping kata), otherwise in excellent shape)
Kusanku Sai - I know the empty hand version, but only know the opening section with sais.

Still need to learn the last 3 patterns. First six in good shape.

Vocabulary is under control.

Essays still need to be written. I have posts on this blog that would do for first draft versions of two of the three essays (more coming soon).

Huh. I think I'm better off than I thought. Sanchin is really the only thing that really worries me on the list. Sunsu is going well (though I need to spend more time at home working it, it's still choppy - largely because I'm so in love with Tokumine no Kun that I spend most of my at-home kata practice working on that .) Kusanku Sai is going to be more a matter of getting reacquainted and comfortable with my sais (Please, Santa, can I have the Sureido sais for Christmas? I've been a very good girl!) than of memory, since I already have the patterns. The self-defense patterns are short and sweet - the main concern is that the people testing them on me really will be trying to deck me, and so far nobody in the dojo has been willing to practice with me full-tilt. I'd hate to get my nose broken at my own black belt test!

But all-in-all, I think that's a pretty doable to-do list for two months.


minivanninja said...

OMG, I just posted something similar on my blog today. In 4 whole days I'm supposed to know everything for both my belt and yellow belt. Yellow belt is no problem, but I've only had my current belt for a week. I think katas/forms/poomsaes are the hardest to learn, especially when there are multiple ones you need to know.

The stuff that needs to be memorized for black belt tests is insane. Is there any other time when one person has to retain that much knowledge, and demonstrate it?

Perpetual Beginner said...

I saw that, minivanninja - spooky!

The only equivalents I can think of for knowledge regurgitation is licensing exams. E.g. Bar exams, Medical boards, and like exams require that the doctor or lawyer in question learn and regurgitate a tremendous amount of material, much of which s/he may never use in his or her specialty.

For example, my father had to spend two months learning all the newest stuff on antibiotics and all the new drugs and dosages to pass his Mississippi licensing exam, yet as a neurologist, he uses very few antibiotics of any kind, and is quite well up on the few he does use. But for that exam, he has to know them all.

pawpads said...

Oh I wish I could learn so quickly.
I really struggle with Kata and usually begin to get comfortable with it just as my next grading starts to rear it's ugly head.