Saturday, November 26, 2005

It's a good kind of sore...

There were three tests held today at North Texas Aikido. After a full hour of spirited tanken-dori, the students were lined up in order of rank and two of the test-candidates and their ukes were called forward to perform the required techniques and weapons excercises required for their new rank of Gokkyu. Sitting on the sidelines, I found myself discretely trying to keep my muscles from cooling off from the prior excercise in preperation to serve as uke for our Sankyu candidate's test, which was to immediately follow.

Even though I wasn't the person testing, I found myself getting a charge out of the energy and excitement that always permeates the testing environment. We frequently claim that Sankyu is the first of the "big" tests at the dojo, and the training and preparations involved can literally take months before a candidate is ready to test. I was thrown down in some form or another 30 to 40 times before it was time to demonstrate weapons excercises (and give me a break from bouncing off the mat). The candidate performed well, and with few hiccoughs in technique, so the test proceeded as quickly as the comprehensive list of requirements could allow.

Sore? You betcha! But it's the kind of productive pain that remains after achievement. After the "runner's high" subsides, there's always that pleasant soreness that reminds you of the miles behind you and beckons you toward those to come. Individual accomplishments strengthen the dojo just as surely as excercise strengthens a muscle. In this case, the accomplishment was not my own, but a boon for the dojo as a whole, regardless.


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