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#414316 - 01/14/09 04:45 PM Belt Test Anxiety
stac3y Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 42
I suspect this has been discussed in various ways before, but I couldn't find anything pertinent. Sorry if it's a repeat.

I am taking my brown belt test next month, and I'm already freaking out a little bit. I have a history of performing far worse in belt tests than in class or tournaments (still passing, but not being AT ALL satisfied with my performances.)

Do any of you get really nervous and forget practically everything, make stupid mistakes, etc. during tests? Do you have any suggestions for how to cope?

I'm hoping that having gone to lots of tournaments in the last year will have helped (I haven't tested in at least 6 mths) because it's more experience performing under pressure--but short katas and two minute sparring rounds are NOT the same as a 3 hour test. Eek.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Stac3y
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Stac3y Karate Moms have Brass Ovaries!

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#414317 - 01/14/09 08:27 PM Re: Belt Test Anxiety [Re: stac3y]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Breathe....and picture everyone in their underwear.
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#414318 - 01/14/09 09:26 PM Re: Belt Test Anxiety [Re: BrianS]
WhiteDragon11 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/02/07
Posts: 1165
Loc: Florida, United States
Only advice that I can give is to do repetitions over and over again. Get those katas/forms and technique into your muscle memory. That way there is no reason to have to think about them... they should just come natural.

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#414319 - 01/15/09 08:38 AM Re: Belt Test Anxiety [Re: WhiteDragon11]
underdog Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
Good luck. I think some test anxiety is normal. Just remember that if you ever were in the fight of your life, you would be anxious too.
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The older I get, the better I was!

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#414320 - 01/15/09 02:04 PM Re: Belt Test Anxiety [Re: BrianS]
stac3y Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 42
Quote:

Breathe....and picture everyone in their underwear.




LOL! If I did that, I'd never make it through the test. I'd pass out from laughing too hard!
_________________________
Stac3y Karate Moms have Brass Ovaries!

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#414321 - 01/15/09 02:53 PM Re: Belt Test Anxiety [Re: stac3y]
JMWcorwin Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
Best advice I can give is always repetition as well. Do it over and over so many times that you're completely sick of practicing it. Make it a part of you, and I've found that in doing that the anxiety tends to lessen quite a bit. You'll still be a little twitchy becuase you're amped for the test. But what you won't be is worried that you don't know or won't remember or perform well.

Another thing that helped one of my students is this:
Every time you go through practicing your kata or whatever you're practicing, start by closing your eyes and take 1 or 2 deep breaths in slowly and out slowly. Then, when your eyes open, jump right into it. If you practice this every time, it will have a psychological affect on test day that will just come: your subconscious knows that after those 2 or 3 breaths, it's on. So by taking them, your body will automatically start it's run through the activity as it normally does when you do that. Just some mental prep there.


Edited by JMWcorwin (01/15/09 02:59 PM)

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#414322 - 01/16/09 12:05 PM Re: Belt Test Anxiety [Re: JMWcorwin]
stac3y Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 42
I think the worst of this is that the amount of material I have to know for it is, IMO, immense, and since I have a full time job and a family, I simply don't have the time to practice everything every day. I'm doing as much as I can, but all I had time for yesterday was my required situps and pushups! I did do some visualization, tho, while falling asleep.

I have the katas down cold (unless I have a senior moment during the test, which is likely), but there are a LOT of self defense techniques, and I am weakest there. Being elderly, I also am not terribly good at any of the techniques that involve getting aloft (except the flying side kick--I rock that one.) I think I can make progress on those before the test, though; I just have to wait another week or so to work on them so that the torn ligaments in my ankle can heal a bit better.

And both of my kids have stinkin' science fair projects due at the end of this month, which I agreed (under duress) to be responsible for.

AND I used up my husband's goodwill toward excessive class attendance in November when I was preparing for the State Championships (it paid off in the tournament, but he sure got crabby!)

So I think it's the time pressure that's making me nuts this time around. <deep breath> /rant

I can do this. And I will.

Thanks for the advice, y'all.
_________________________
Stac3y Karate Moms have Brass Ovaries!

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#414323 - 01/16/09 12:20 PM Re: Belt Test Anxiety [Re: stac3y]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Stac3y - Really all of this is self appraisal, you are bring more pressure on yourself then is needed. I know you want to perform well during the test,but trust me your Instructor is like me he watches you often in clas and he wouldn't ask you to test if they knew it was beyond you. During class you are passing your requirements every class, your Instructor Knows what you are capable of it is just up to you to do your best. Some people excel at test times others don't do as well wanting more from them self. But I suggest just let it happen don't think too much and don't be hard on yourself during the test. And above all don't quit during the test and everything will be alright.

Only a small percentage of people that started with you will stick it out to 3rd-1st kyu so you are part of the die hard group and future of the dojo. At this point they want you to make it, it won't be a given but you have past all the prior requirments you know what to come, its just time to do. Relax and don't be tense.

YOU are your greatest foe at this point, it is mind over matter.


Edited by Neko456 (01/16/09 12:21 PM)
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#414324 - 01/16/09 01:47 PM Re: Belt Test Anxiety [Re: stac3y]
JMWcorwin Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
Yeah, the visualization can go along way as well. Walk throught the whole test in your mind last thing before you fall asleep and first thing when you wake up. That helps me alot.
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There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand. ~Corwin

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#414325 - 01/17/09 10:19 PM Re: Belt Test Anxiety [Re: stac3y]
Christy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 61
Loc: The D
What style do you practice? If you don't mind my asking, I mean.
I was sixteen when i took my 3rd kyu -- waayy back in 1993. Totally frakking bombed it, too. To this day, I don't know why I had so much trouble learning Tekki Shodan and Empi back then. Looking back, I guess there's a lot I would have done differently; just sticking to the fundamentals -- really knowing my kata... sharpening my kihon to the degree that my progression would have been more apparent in my kata in the first place.. hell, not being hung up on all the kumite or self-defence stuff... Anyway, I eventually passed it and did much better when I tested to 2nd kyu.


Edited by Christy (01/17/09 10:20 PM)
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