I got to have a private lesson with my Sensei this last weekend, which was quite a treat. I always feel like I learn so much when I get one-on-one time. We went through the ends of Kusanku Sai, and Sanchin, which means I officially know all the kata I need for my black belt test.
Afterwards we had a talk about my black belt test, and decided to postpone it from its original tentative early April date to this summer. He feels (and I agree) that while I could probably pass a test in April, it would be a cram and a struggle to be ready. In addition, he would rather send me off to Worlds in June as a really prepared brown belt, than a shiny new black belt. While it would have been awesome to test for black at my fortieth birthday, I agree with his reasoning. In fact it will be good to be able to settle down into steady practice of my new katas, and to be able to pull them apart and polish the dickens out of them, instead of having the pressure of needing them ready NOW!
In the same vein, I got to go see the new digs of our old dojo mates this morning. They finally got into the new place about six months after we split off, but I hadn't had an excuse to go over there (they're two towns over from where I live). This morning, two of my friends tested for black, so Sensei and I went to watch the test. They both did very well - tested and passed without any problems, though Master B threw them a few curve balls. Everybody remembered not just Sensei, but me as well - and about eight people threatened to come kick my butt if I don't remember to tell them when I test, so it looks like I'll have a rooting section beyond just my kids and husband.
Now I just need to work, work, work to get ready for Worlds and the test following. Sensei is really riding me about increasing my hand speed, and following up in kumite to prove his point (I'm getting tired of the footprints on my ribs). If anyone out there has suggestions on how a strong, but not terribly fast girl can get faster, I'm open for any suggestions.