My journey in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu started in the 90s when I first stepped onto the mat as a beginner. I was immediately drawn to the art's technical complexity and practical applications, and I knew that I had found something that I wanted to pursue for a long time. Over the years, I trained consistently (with one large break), striving to improve my technique, knowledge, and understanding of the art. I faced many challenges along the way, from injuries to setbacks in training, but I never gave up. I was determined to keep going and reach the next level.
As I approached my Sandan grading, I knew that it would be a challenging test of my skills and abilities. The grading would involve demonstrating proficiency in a range of techniques, including throws, joint locks, and striking techniques, as well as showing a deep understanding of the principles of the art. To prepare for the grading, I trained harder than ever, attending classes regularly and dedicating myself to refining my technique and improving my physical conditioning.
The day of the grading was intense, nerve-wracking, and incredibly challenging. I felt the pressure of the moment, knowing that everything I had worked for was on the line. But as I moved through the various techniques and challenges, I found myself drawing on all the years of training and preparation that had led me to this point. I focused on my technique, my breathing, and my mindset, and I gave it everything I had. And when it was all over, and I received the news that I had passed, I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment and pride.
Looking back on my journey to Sandan, I realize that it was not just about the destination, but about the journey itself. The hard work, dedication, and perseverance that it took to get there were the things that really mattered. Passing the Sandan grading was just one moment in a much larger journey, one that I am committed to continuing for years to come. I am grateful for the support of my instructors, my training partners, and my family and friends, who have been with me every step of the way. And I am excited to see where this journey will take me next.