Well, the grading was yesterday…and I passed!

It was nerve-wracking, the sessions ran over so the waiting was difficult! Battling with my nerves and trying to stay calm while walking through the patterns and stretching my legs!

We started with patterns and line work, and I was happy with how that went. I have practiced my colour belt and black belt patterns over and over so I was relieved to get them done! Then two step sparring and self defence, where my partner threw some obscure things at me (like a kick instead of a grab!) but I reacted quickly enough and blocked her before countering. Then we did sparring, which was exhausting as always! I got a few good ‘points’ but took a few as well! Everyone was hungry for their belt so it’s every man (woman!) for themselves. I have some nice bruises developing as I type…

After sparring we did knife defence, which is an aspect of my training that Master Cockburn had asked me to develop at my recent assessment. We have invested a lot of time into knife defence at the club and Mr Plant has been busy helping me learn and perfect the techniques. Adrenaline also helped a lot today and we were both pleased with how knife defence went. After that it was onto jumping kicks. We have to kick a pad, three times with a favourite leg, at head height after a jump. I used front kick and kicked the pad successfully each time.

Next was breaking, and I haven’t practiced this since my 1st Dan grading. I have of course used the techniques plenty against pads and fellow students, but not using the breaking holder. I was frustrated with myself for not doing an effective technique on the day yesterday. We then made our lines up and waited for each person to answer their theory questions. I was number 6 of 7 so waited for maybe 15-20 minutes. During that time I had managed to unpick all of the grading and convince myself I’d failed. I got all my theory questions correct (as far as I know!) and was dismissed.

Mr Plant said he was really pleased and that I had done well. I wasn’t so sure! But, I got my result later and I am now officially, Anna Bradford 2nd Degree Black Belt!!!