Now that I think about it, I have to blame acting for my struggles in karate.
I was pretty good at acting in university because the nature of the way actors prepare for plays suited my learning style.
When you first start working on a production you’re given your script and start memorizing your lines. As you do this, you work up your character and start filling in the history the play doesn’t give you.
After that, you are walked through the blocking and told where to stand and when to turn and as you do it the director is making changes. It’s fair to say that for the first month you’re memorizing stuff but none of it is expected to be perfect. The perfection comes later and culminates, if you’re lucky, in a crappy dress rehearsal that panics everyone and usually produces a good result on opening night.
It’s a slow process that I actually like because it gives time to learn things carefully and to learn any changes.
Unfortunately, in sports, and especially with my karate sensei, you’re expected to get things perfect after only a few tries. Any more than that and you’re wasting time. With my sensei it’s “Watch one; Watch one again; Do one; Screw one up; Do one again; Patience is lost.”
This is especially true as we approach my belt test. If I do badly, it’s reflection on him. Me emphasizing “no, really, I suck at this” doesn’t help. I also have a hard time practicing techniques by myself. Sure, I can practice the basic moves but it all falls apart at speed. It’s the difference between learning your plays in basketball and actually running them in a game.
The other issue I’m having is that December is a bad time for belt tests as I’m marking exams for my job. On the other hand, the May test is bad because it comes after March exams, Spring break; and the start of school.
Luckily, I’ve had some time this weekend to review and a couple weeks to memorize. Now if I can just convince my sensei a bad dress rehearsal is a good thing.