Ummm...that'd be "promotions" folks. Yep - grading was discussed vaguely in class this week. I was simply told to "prepare to look ahead towards the next level."
What that means is this: be ready for anything. Training partner Ed's nidan grading was mentioned then happened without him being told "tomorrow is the day." So sharpening, tightening and refining wasn't really an "OK - I've got to do THIS to prepare" sort of thing as it was for our shodan grading (we knew about that one for a year) - it just happened.
But truthfully, I don't believe there ever really is a date when the info you've learned and the skills you've acquired are "done" like cookies in the oven. A little less time won't make them a totally incohesive mess; neither will a little more time burn them to a crisp.
I had always envisioned my heart thudding like a drum and an overwhelming OMG! pause when I got the word, but none of that happened. I just sort of filed it away to think about later - after the Diamond Valley Classic tournament upstate in early November (six short weeks away!). What actually went through my mind was "That's cool - but I wonder if we're going to have time to spar tonight?" Grand championship on the brain, I guess :-).
So, no date or anything has been announced, just a slight mention that nidan maybe somewhere on the horizon. It was mentioned, we trained and now I can just continue to do the same and not have to really think about it. It is what it is.
In my head, I hear my senseis channeling a wine commercial from back in the day: "We will grade no karateka before it's time."
Or was that its (possessive) time? Ha - time will most certainly tell, that's for sure.