The Littlest Shodanho II Enters the Home Stretch

(Actually, owing to a clerical error, the card on which my class attendance is recorded lists me as wakashodan II. Which would make me ~two belt ranks higher and twenty years younger: the wakadan are the black belt kids. But whatever. <g>)

I had another belt test on Friday, 11 months after the last one. It would have been a good deal sooner, were it not for ankle surgery intervening; one hopes I will not face such an obstacle again this year. Because at this point — having attended class last night — I am 59 classes away from being able to test for my Real True Black Belt. Actual shodan, instead of shodanho, the “probationary” black belt degrees that in our dojo precede the thing itself.

There are three classes a week that I can attend. 60 classes at three a week is 20 weeks, or roughly five months. Except there are holidays; there are times when I’m out of town; there are nights when I’m sick or just plain don’t feel like going. My goal is to test for shodan by October, which will be the seventh anniversary of my first class. That’s eight months away: gives me a realistic margin of error for the classes I’ll miss, while being tight enough of a timeline to motivate me to get my lazy carcass to the dojo.

It’s a long, long road to a black belt, at least where I study. (Longer when you have two ankle surgeries along the way.) But the end is finally in sight.

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