I’m back from the grading now and I think it went well (same for Chris too). I didn’t make any mistakes so the belt should be assured, the quality of the pass is down to how good my stances were etc.
The seminar before the grading was very interesting. Right from the start it was obvious that the 7th Dan taking the class could easily make a grown man cry. Me and Chris had the dubious honour of being used for the majority of the demonstrations. We would be shown how to execute the moves (usually evading a grab or punch) correctly and then everyone got to practice them in pairs.
All the moves were like the self-defense ones we sometimes practice in class. The only difference here was that there were usually extra moves tacked on the end for generally hurting your opponent. One talk about “not needing power, just skill and timing” involved the instructor hitting Chris in the groin whilst everyone around the room laughed – it was funny because it wasn’t them. I was also the happy recipient of a demonstration groin blow (this time from a kick) but I didn’t have long to think about it before I was elbowed in the nose.
There was no permanent damage to any of us and we all learnt some new moves. Why me and Chris were the lucky demonstrators most of the time I don’t know… either he thought we were useless or he thought we looked tough enough to take it – I am choosing to go with the latter 😉 Yeah right!