In order to honor the time and effort my teachers have spent with me over the years, I decided to test for my black belt in Spring, 2013. I had a tremendous amount of help in preparing- not just from the senseis, but also from my fellow students.
By the time I got to the seminar I felt well prepared for the test. Hyped up, a little nervous, but mostly just ready. Kneeling on the mat waiting for test to begin, a feeling on calm focus came over me- I was going to test, I had prepared as best I could, and I had a great uke to work with.
The actual test was a rather peaceful experience. I knew the techniques called, I knew what and how I would respond, and I knew how to recover from a mistake. I wasn’t thinking about the other aikidoka watching, or even about the testing committee- this was my uke and I practicing together, like we had done hundreds of times before.
The end of the test brought a sense of satisfaction in a milestone achieved, and relief that I had not embarrassed my dojo or myself. Testing was not a comfortable experience, but neither was it scary. Thanks to the training and support of my dojo, I was ready.
Domo arigato gozaimasu!