“Black belt cycle, week 1” was misleadingly titled, since in fact I wrote it on the first day of the first week of cycle. I flog myself in shame. It is now about halfway through week 7, and…?
Well, we’ve had candidate classes and runs every Saturday, except Nov. 12 (senseis out of town at conference). The Nov. 19 class was pre-check, meaning we banged through a lot of material and the senseis took note of how we did. We have one more class on Dec. 3 before the first pre-test on Dec. 10.
I feel like I’m doing all right. Some material is decidedly rusty (or was never quite as solid in the first place). But nothing seems disastrously so. Most of the criticism I’ve gotten on my kumite has been regarding details; the bones of it are apparently good. Though I’m now trying to get used to some minor changes I made recently to smooth out some awkward parts and sharpen it up.
On the four times we’ve done timed 2–mile runs, I’ve come in under 16:00 three times, so the running is definitely adequate. (The fourth time was this past Saturday, my time was over 16:00… but that was right after a class in which my left big toe got injured, so that’s my story and I’m sticking with it. Besides, it was really a 3–mile run with a time check at 2 miles, and my 3–mile time was more than a minute better than my previous best.)
So I’m feeling fairly optimistic about this cycle, which is good, because going through cycle multiple times is not something I want to do. We’re supposed to take four classes a week, run four times a week, and assist in teaching two classes a week, and we’re encouraged to do the Monday extra help class in addition. Add to that the three classes a week I take Kenny to, and it’s a lot of time I could be spending at home and/or with my wife. And a lot of car trips. That aspect of cycle is getting old already, and it’ll continue for two and a half more months. I look forward to the end of that.