Preparing For Your Black Belt Test

So how can we prepare for a formal black belt test if that is one of the advancement requirements in your school?
What is the one THING that can push it over the edge and really give you the advantage in the test.
Two things actually.
Confidence and believing in yourself.
Personally I’ve been through several such tests, directly given two, and watched and participated in at least a dozen and though all that there is a very common theme that goes beyond technique, repetition, and form.
The single element responsible for a good or bad test was the mindset of the student taking it.
Consider this- if you are up for a belt test chances are you have a good chance, or better than average chance of passing it, or else your teacher would not put you up for the test. Failure is an option always, but let’s play the odds.
Take some confidence in the fact that you have probably been training for a while, been focusing on the requirements, and know in advance of the date of the test so you can practice.
So why be nervous?
It helps to approach a test like this from the point of view that you are competing and testing against your own fear or failure.
And with this fear, once you let it in, it can run rampant.
When we take such a test, generally as one moves though it you kind of know how you are doing. If the last thing that you showed or performed was “bad” that is the moment of fear. You start to doubt, and if you let that doubt in…
Controlling the fear, anxiety, and doubt is how you pass the test.
One such example from my own training?
Myself and two of my sempai were up for such a test and we were deciding on the order of who would take it first among ourselves. What should have happened, following good etiquette, was that the order should have happened based on seniority. Who was training the longest- they go first. Cultural norms like this really are a great thing since they take all the guesswork out of a social situation and really promote good harmony among the group, but that is a post for another time…
Full of confidence, and a bit of arrogance, I stepped up and volunteered to go first. Unstoppable I walked into the room full of my seniors and teachers in the art, gave my teachers name, and then my name…and then completely freaked out with fear.
Fear is like that. You are all good till the actual moment, and then it is a contest of wills to see if you can control your own.
Work on managing confidence, believe in yourself, and when confronted with the possibility of failure, put it out of your mind and don’t give into it- not for a moment.

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Located in Westchester New York, the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo is a martial arts training group founded in 2005 with the aim of coming together as martial arts friends to study the Japanese martial art of Masaaki Hatsumi through the lessons of the Bujinkan dojo.

As friends (buyu) we come together to grow, learn, and share our individual potential in this wonderful martial art.

Questions, comments, feedback, and inquiries may be emailed to the group here: BujinkanShinmyoken@gmail.com.