In the weeks before the grading examinations, the dojo was buzzing. It seemed like there wasn't room to move in class with so many people training with enthusiasm, trying to impress the Sensei enough to be allowed to test.
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I never really wanted to be a grading examiner. In fact, for a long time I used to joke with my students that I would make a terrible examiner because I would be too strict and fail everyone. (What do you mean you can't do Bassai-Dai? How do you ever expect to get your white belt?) But over the last few years it has become apparent that it was going to be a necessary evil, because of a lack of grading examiners in my region (in our organisation) and because of the increasing numbers of clubs and students in that region.