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5 Non Mistakes

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

What are Non-mistakes?

Non-Mistakes are actions that aren’t actually errors, but could really use a bit of attention

to really make them shine. They are generally subtle changes that can be the difference

between good grading and a great grading.

Here are my top 5 Non-mistakes...grab your polishing rags folks!

1. Is It Getting Hot in Here?

So you warmed up off the floor...Great! That’s exactly what you should do, work out

the nerves, warm up the body and focus on those little tough spots and niggles that

anyone over the age of twelve has. If you need to spend ten minutes on that tight

calf or injured shoulder – off the floor is where to do it. That doesn’t mean you get to

cop out of the warm up when you’re on the grading floor. Oh no. If you need help

with warm ups, Click here.(Link to a post about doing warm ups

2. Good Form!

Pulling faces, wincing, sighing, shaking your head, biting your lip, or any one of the

common actions made when you are annoyed with yourself after making a mistake.

For some it’s a reflex action, for others they subconsciously want to indicate to

whoever's watching that they KNEW they made a mistake so that it doesn’t appear

that they don’t know the kata.

Here’s a secret. We KNOW you know it. You are on the floor. Your instructor and

your grading co-ordinator signed you over to the grading panel saying ‘Yep, this

student knows their stuff’.

Don’t worry about it. Cop it on the chin, push through as if there was no mistake.

After all, your grador might have blinked, or coughed or been writing something on

your grading sheet and not seen it anyway.

3. Help Please!

Your best tool in your journey of belts is your instructor. Add to that any equal to you

or higher ranks – use them. Grab them and review what you need to know, work

your defences, get opinions on what you’re doing – there’s nothing better than

another set of eyes.

There’s also a saying - “You don’t know something until you have to teach it”. Grab

someone and teach it to them. Break it down for them. Teaching a form or drill to

someone is the best way to check yourself that you indeed have learnt it.

4. The Flippy Floppy Fringe Fiasco.

I tend to tease a few of the people from my club who have what is fondly known as

a ’emo fringe’...and I mean that in a loving way. It looks great on them, but when

sparring they tilt their head, puff at their fringe and do all sorts of

star-in-a-shampoo-commercial hair-flicks in order to try and see their opponent.

When I stop laughing at this, I find it really annoying. Gel, pins, clips, spray – don’t

care...make sure you can see.

5. Hey You...You Like Karate? See that person from that other club/group/social

circle? Go say hi. Especially at state gradings. And you all have one thing in

common – how easy is that conversation starter!

It’s likely you’ll follow through your ranks at roughly the same pace as the other

people in this group and like distant cousins at the Christmas table, it’s fantastically

fun to catch up and see how they progress. Your fellow gradees can also be a great

source of inspiration and reassurance throughout the lead-up to the big day...

..not to mention you have a tonne of new friends to tear up the floor with at the after

party who are just as tired and in need of a drink as you!

So there you go – my top 5 non-mistakes. 5 things you didn’t get wrong, but could polish

up to make everything go as smooth as possible.

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