August 21, 2009
That's my test date for my black belt. Sensei and I have been talking about the end of August for a couple of months now, but last week he finally said that August 21 was the date. For the last several weeks (barring the family reunion, when my cousin took over duties (Thanks, Jim!)), I've been having a extra private session each week with Sensei. He seems very confident for me - which is good, because my confidence seemed to fly out the window as soon as he gave a specific date.
This last session we started the stress testing of Sanchin kata. Just Sensei, thumping me at about 2/3 power right now (as opposed to the four people who get to have at during the test). I'm middling pleased with how I did - no faltering or loss of concentration - but I did get rocked back on my heels with a couple of the ab punches, so that's something to work on.
That was yesterday. Today was regular class which was primarily sparring. This was fairly painful, since I had plenty of nice fresh bruises to get re-thumped. And of course, I had given my e-balm to Sensei D some time ago, to see if it would work on his burn scars, which react badly to most moisturizers. E-balm, is short for Everything Balm, which comes from Goodies Unlimited, and is absolutely wonderful stuff. Works on most skin problems, non-toxic enough you can even use it on canker sores inside your mouth, and the best stuff I've ever found for bruises. Takes a lot of the tenderness away, and seems to speed up the healing process. Since I'll be adding new bruises to these this weekend, I think ordering more balm was warranted.
So for the next three weeks - lots of practice, lots of getting thumped, more practice. My neighbors are getting so used to seeing me waving weapons around in the front yard that they've stopped even noticing.
In other news, Nicky's hind end paralysis, after a brief rally, seems to be here to stay. Other than the dragging rear he seems to be fairly happy, so we've ordered a doggy cart to see if he'll deal with being a wheeled critter. If it works, he should have several more years. The cart was shipped today, and should arrive sometime next week.
Organ is going well - I played half the service on Sunday (and received half the pay, my first organ paycheck!), which went quite well. The painist who played the other half (who is an intimidatingly awesome player) was quite complimentary, as was pretty much everyone in the congregation. Now I get to ease off until after Labor Day, which is good because, you know, there's enough on my plate just this second. I'll still put in my daily practice, but I'll back down to an hour, instead of two or three. More practice time for kata!
Three and a half weeks - Eeeeek!