I am going to start off with some ways in which I think I need to improve throughout the rest of the test, then I will talk about things I think I have been doing well, and finally I will talk about some of my goals that I would like to accomplish by the end of the black belt test. So I have pretty bad self control when it comes to sweets, so my dieting has not gone too well, I will often find myself eating some type of sweet just compulsively, usually when I am bored which is a really bad habit. This I think will be one of my biggest challenges this year is working on my disipline and eating habits. I do think that I have gotten slightly better as the month went on due to advice from Sensei Paul on how to deal with this(highly recommend by the way, whenever I have gone to him with a problem he is very helpful,) such as, drinking more water trying to wait out the cravings, substituting the sweets with an actual meal or something more healthy, or getting sugar from natural sources such as fruits. Another somewhat related thing that I have had trouble with is that I dont drink enough water throughout the day which can sometimes lead to cramps when I am in martial arts class. My solution to this is that I am going to start bringing a water bottle with me to school and make sure that by the end of the day I finish it twice over, this way it is much easier to keep myself accountable on this front. I think I am doing a good job staying in good physical and mental shape, making sure I am working out etc. I think I am doing a good job staying sharp on my techniques especially in terms of grappling. For the black belt test, we all needed to set two goals, one pertaining to our personal lives and the other pertaining to our fitness. My personal goal is to read 15 books by the end of the test. I plan on creating a blog of some kind within the next month where I will discuss the books that I have read and what I have gained from them. I used to read much more when I was younger, but in recent years, I have fallen out of the practice, and it is something that I really value, so I think this will be a great way to re-establish the habit. I also don’t have a full list of books that I am going to read so feel free to suggest books if you have one you really liked. For my fitness goal, I will be trying to learn how to do the salmon ladder(if you don’t know what it is, I really suggest you look up some videos, it is a really cool ninja warrior obstacle!) I am hoping that by the end of the test I will be able to do five rungs on the salmon ladder. My sister will be a big help with this as she has a lot of experience with ninja warrior, so i will be using her as a resource to help me with the technique, and will be doing plenty of pull ups to try and work the muscles that will help me with this. I plan on documenting this process by taking a few videos a month of me trying to do the salmon ladder, and will edit them together at the end to show my progress.
Thank you for reading, Sam