Camp Phoenix kicks off next Friday morning so, by this time next week, we will be training in the lake. Camp is a highlight of my year as it's one of the very rare times when the a large gathering of Phoenix Karate-ka takes place (in the States at least). It's one of my favorite times of year.
Camp is a highlight for many of us, but for a select few it will be historic as they walk through the trials of the shodan and nidan tests. So, with less than a week until kickoff, what does the next few days have in store? What tips does Sensei have for you testers?
1. You're probably not going to get stronger, faster, or more conditioned in the next five days. So, with that in mind, don't try to be Wonder Woman or Captain America. I'd recommend making Monday your last solid conditioning workout. If you train here at The Forge, don't worry, I've got you covered:-) No unnecessary injuries this week. Lots of visualization this week. As best as you can, visualize yourself in the suck and think your way through and out of it. Nice long walks are a great way to stay loose, get some low impact exercise, and can help you keep from going crazy from not training with the same intensity you may be used to.
2. Do not use your body as a chemistry experiment. I do not recommend changing your diet too much this week as you gear up for your test. If anything, clean your food up a little bit, but don't introduce anything new in the couple of days leading up to Camp. Never tried sushi before? This is not the time to branch out. Not into spicy food? Don't eat Thai Thursday night.
3. Make sure you've got everything together. Some folks will wait until Thursday to pack. Heck, some of you may throw everything in a bag Friday morning before your drive up to The Mount. If you're testing, you do not want any more surprises than what's already going to be coming at you. I'd recommend packing Wednesday and then double checking everything Thursday.
Finally, know that you're ready...to test. If you've made it this far and you're still slated to test next week, then your instructor believes you are prepared to walk through your respective trial. You know the material. You've practiced the techniques and the kata. You can fight at your respective level. That being said, YOU have to do it.