Hey! Isn’t We Supposed to be Having a FIESTA?!

The test was nearly two hours long. I performed four kata, two bo staff kata, and dozens of sequences of punches, kicks, blocks, and throws. I sparred for three minutes and broke four wooden boards with three different parts of my body. I answered questions and wrote an essay.

It’s official: as of Saturday, May 28, I have a black belt in karate and jiu-jitsu.

Which, you know, is pretty flippin’ sweet.

I’ve talked before about the similarity between writing and karate. It’s probably no surprise that I see a similarity, too, between getting a black belt and getting your first book published.

In both cases, it’s the culmination of years of work (three and a half years for my black belt). In both cases, it’s a major milestone, something worth busting out the champagne for, something you can point to and say: see? See? I never gave up. Something you will have forever. Something you will tell people about forever, whether they’re interested or not.

In both cases, it’s also a sort of validation. It says, all right, look: you’re not totally crazy, you’re not just screwing around, this isn’t just some hobby we’ve humored you about. This is a real thing. This is something you’re actually pretty good at. For someone with infinite reserves of self-confidence, that might not matter, but for me, it’s pretty damn rewarding.

And finally – most importantly – it is, in both cases, only the first step. Getting a black belt really only means one thing: you’re not a beginner anymore. The intro is out of the way; you know the basics. You may not have mastered the basics (and trust me, I haven’t) but you more or less know what’s up with this thing. You’re ready to start for real; it’s, like, on. Let’s see what you can do.

Well, I have a black belt. What I don’t have yet is a published novel. Let’s see what I can do.

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

Second-pass revision progress on The Counterfeit Emperor – 88%.

5 responses to “Hey! Isn’t We Supposed to be Having a FIESTA?!

  1. Congratulations on the black belt! My weekend wasn’t nearly so interesting, had a nice cookout and took it easy.

  2. Why does the scene from Mulan come to mind?
    Mulan: You’re, um …
    Mushu: Intimidating? Awe-inspiring?
    Mulan: … tiny.

    Haha, sorry Brian. You are a bit on the scrawny side, no offense. Still wouldn’t want to spar with you though. lol 😀

  3. Haahaa, well then is there a karate name for the move where you place your hand on my forehead and i just swings my arms back and forth because I can’t reach?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.