Red Belt Challenge: Final Note


Some of you may ask whatever happened to the Red Belt Challenge I started this past February? Did I knock my red belt test out of the park?

Unfortunately, I was not able to make my red belt test due to some extenuating circumstances.

A week later, while training with some excellent gentlemen about to take their black belt test, my left elbow was hyperextended.

After a visit to the doctor, he told me I had torn ligaments. On the bright side, no broken arm. He advised six weeks of healing before going back to training.

Six weeks of no training (again) is hard. Last weekend we made the trip to our home dojo so my husband could make up his final stripe (thank you Sensei Jeremiah) before black belt testing. With my arm in a sling (they made wear it – probably a good idea) I was able to get some training.

Sensei Stefano was generous enough to show variations in techniques using only one hand. In two hours, I gain more understanding of movement and capabilities than in the previous month of training; and I had practiced a lot.

Even though my doctor advised me not to train for six weeks, I feel it is vital to explore (in a safe manner of course) techniques and strategies when you are injured. An attack is less likely to come when you appear strong and more likely to happen when you look like a victim.

I am learning that even in an injured state you are only as much a victim as you let yourself be.

The idea is to move smarter not harder.

Is this the end of my Red Belt Challenge? Have I tested out of red belt? No. I will keep working, training and climbing stairs. However, I will not be reporting my daily advancements. My next test will be at the beginning of May. There is no rush. It will happen at the right time.

I want to give a quick message to my Senseis. Thank you for all your support and protection on my journey to becoming part of the Bujinkan. Most importantly thank you for understanding that sometimes we need protection from ourselves. In the future, I can only hope to do as much for someone as you have done for me.

Train Safe



Thank you for reading.

J. R. Lowe

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