We invited Craig to share his story regarding his preparation, focus and determination in achieving his 2nd Degree Blackbelt in December 2016.
Craig’s story – The Real Deal
2016 has been and gone, however it’s a year I won’t soon forget.
It was a year of change, sacrifice, commitment and reward. The 2nd Dan carrot had been dangled in mid 2015 however things changed as unknown to me I had been booked on a cruise around the South Pacific at what would have been my Grading time. During the cruise on what would have been my grading day, I couldn’t help but think what might have been, as I had trained well for the first half of 2015 and couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. It was then I made a decision to give it my best in 2016 and see what happens.
From that day I started laying off the beers, I started going to the gym and even going for a jog around the ship. I was eating a lot – as I love my food and there was plenty to be had, however I was eating healthy and to my surprise when I returned I had actually lost weight, how could this be? This prompted me to look into nutrition and found that I needed to make a few simple changes, cut out white breads or any breads after b/fast, more protein especially in the morning, no sugar (or a lot less), drink more water and snack on nuts and fruits.
These small changes had almost instant effect, I lost 10 kilos I didn’t even realise I was carrying. I’m a tradie and burn a lot of energy thru a work day, but know I still had fuel in the tank after work and so began training in the garage. These sessions range from stretching to weights to bag work and usually of high intensity. All this demand on the body requires good rest in between.
I’m a keen surfer and to my wife Jenni’s astonishment, it seemed surfing had taken a back seat to training along with beers and pies. My work and the kids (I have 3) were now receiving less attention than they might normally receive which they all sucked up and kept smiling.
My Gi constantly needed washing, bleaching, bloodstain removal and running repairs, and they kept smiling.
I received some nasty injuries, went on secret sparring missions, training camps, missed kids sporting events as I didn’t want to miss training and all the while they kept smiling and supporting me as it was clear to all of them how much this event I was training for meant to me.
On grading day as the photos show and as anyone who was there would know, their smiling faces had now turned to faces of shock, as it was now apparent why I had been so focused and committed, why I had trained so hard, why I’d given it everything and what it meant to sit for a 2nd Dan.
Reassurance during Craig’s 2nd Degree Blackbelt Grading test.
Sensei Jim, Anthony, and all senior grades have all been there, some many times as their belts show. After a test like that, the respect level for these guys deepens and it becomes obvious how lucky I am to have access to guys with so much talent, I will always bow a little lower to these guys, as they are the real deal.
Craig Cordingley, 2nd Degree Blackbelt