Testing Testing

Just got through watching a randori testing video at Dan's Dojo where a bone-tired brown belt testing for shodan was taken to the cliff-edge of his endurance. The man was running on fumes and instinct, between the void and satori, the place where all true black belts dwell.

There comes a time when you might know everything you need to know to pass to another level, except for one thing: can your spirit take your body over the divide. This is the one true test. You can't theorize it, you can only know it being there, experiencing it. Prior to my "last" brown belt test, I had had a horrible day. A family problem had put me through the grinder some 48 hours before the test. I was sleepless, tired, eyes bloodshot, wasted. Pissed too, because I felt in no condition to take the test. I was well over 40 and it was the second time I tested for brown belt in over 12 years. I went to the dojo merely to excuse myself. Jaime Acosta Sensei just nodded and told me to change to my gi. He called me anyway, in no uncertain terms. I rose like a lamb to the slaughter, but half way through something kicked in. He made me bunkai with every black belt...

Next week I sauntered into the dojo with the brown belt Kimo had given me 12 or so years before.

So I know what Dan was testing and what he was looking for. It is undefinable and can only be experienced. It is the spirit that moves the water.

The water stirred

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