I’m among kyus (pupils) most of the time, but sometimes I’m among dans (masters). Playing with kyus is like chatting, you don’t need to be really concentrated. But if you play with a dan, you shouldn’t loose your concentration, never. Of course, this makes the situation far more interesting. You really fight!
When you are a top kyu (my personal position), just the kiai (fighting spirit) is what defines if you are going to jump the frontier, and become a dan. The feeling of “this is NOT good enough, I should find a better result“.
Every time I have the opportunity of sitting with dans, I realized how much I still have to learn. I can understand the topics, but I try to learn all the details, as much as I can. Tireless learning is the secret weapon.
Soon I’ll beat them (if they accept to play with me, of course).