My black belt test is less than two weeks away, and I'm concerned.
I basically have to do three things: 1) 50 pushups in excellent form. 2) 50 situps in a minute. 3) Show I can attack and defend in two 4-minute grappling matches.
I'm worried about the standards I will face for pushups and grappling.
I can do 50 pushups. But I do them with my hands wider than my shoulders. If the standard is to get my chest down to the floor--some judges want that, some don't--I probably won't pass. My shoulders don't move that way. If I had spent several years doing pushups with my hands right next to my torso, it would be easier to get my chest down to the floor, but that's not how I've been training.
I am not a natural grappler. I can't bend my knees as much as I need to really sit on my heels in the guard; I have difficulty remembering and instantly putting into action all the various moves, or even enough of the various moves. I just don't think like a grappler. I'm a much better grappler, I believe, than when I tested two and a half years ago. But again, it depends on the standard of the judges I'll be with.
Tonight, my sensei was telling me many things I need to do better at grappling--sit up in the guard, get out of the guard quickly, move back and push the legs to the side if his feet are in my hips, etc., etc.
The other thing looming over me is that I don't know when I'll be able to test again. I can't keep this pace up. I have, at 52, the most demanding job I've ever had. I am missing classes taking my daughter to visit colleges. I have another child generating a lot of worries for me. My wife misses seeing me because I'm either working or training.
So this feels a bit like a last chance to try for the black belt, for now at least.