Do you ever just wish you didn't have to wear your obi when training?
Of course I'm happy with my new belt, but there are times that I really wish I could ditch it and train sort of anonymously. Not sure if that makes sense or not, but having everyone in the dojo line up and fall in wherever they are without having rank determine where one stands seems like a great idea to me sometimes. The reason? Higher rank seems to not only net a certain expectation of responsibility and accountability, but of understanding, too. Of course, those "in the know" don't expect brand spanking new shodans to know everything, but it sure feels like everyone else does.
My reality is that I don't really care too much about the belt - I just want to learn all I can about this incredible art. When I'm in the dojo - especially when I'm being taught by someone I've never worked with before - I feel like the proverbial sponge, anxious to soak up as much as possible before the training session is over and it is time to exit the karate world and re-enter the other one. Onegai shimasu -"Please teach me/Please let me train with you!" in Japanese - has become my mantra.
That applies not just to forms or techniques and combinations but to humility and graciousness as well. I'm learning my "something new" each day I train, be it working with new weapons, making new combinations flow or getting bumped and bruised in the process, simply realizing that there is an awful lot left to still learn. I'm loving it, though!
That's my two cents. What's yours?