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December 17, 2004, Ushiro Tekubidori Sankyo Surprise…(may I have sprinkles with that?)
I tested for 4th kyu last night. Before testing there was a regular beginner's class as per usual, but the nidan instructor focused on testing techniques. I'm glad that I went to the class not because I needed the review, but because it warmed me up and calmed my nerves a lot. I took ukemi for ushiro tekubidori kotegaishe and in doing so I landed on the outside of my left knee. It was fine during the test, but is a bit sore today.
There were four people testing for fifth kyu and as luck would have it I was uke for one of the first pair to test. I am not in as a good shape as I thought I was. I run three or four times a week, but I guess a different kind of fitness is required to take falls, protect yourself at the same time, and then get back up over and over again. I was a bit winded at the end of it. The other two tested for fifth after the first pair so I got to have a breather.
I barely watched the test. I just stared at the green wall in the background.
When Sensei called me to the front for my test I didn't feel a lurch in my stomach or anything. No butterflies. For my uke, Sensei chose the deshi, whom I had worked with a lot in my test preparation. As we knelt before the kamiza I gazed calmly at O'Sensei's photo, inhaled deeply, bowed, turned to Sensei, bowed, turned to uke and bowed.
Sensei started me off with suwari waza. My uke often confuses katatori and katatetori. When Sensei called for katatetori nikkyo uke grabbed my wrist. I looked at him with wide eyes trying to say, "Hey, I thought we went over this last week. Katatetori is shoulder." But he didn't get it. And I wasn't sure if I should say anything. Luckily I had done katatori nikkyo in practice, so I just went with it. On the second go Sensei emphasized KATATETORI. Uke then realized he grabbed the wrong body part.
The only notable thing to mention about the standing techniques is what happened during ushiro tekubidori sankyo. In practice the deshi and I had mostly done the normal opening attack where uke actually gets to grab nage's wrist, goes round back and grabs the other wrist. Well, in class on Monday evening Sensei did the "quick" version, so that's what I did last night. Uke was very surprised. Before he could get a hold of my wrist I'd grabbed his hand, tenkaned under his arm, had him in sankyo and was about to do the cut down to get him in the pin. But I guess I flung him around real good because it drew a chuckle from those watching. He started to back up, stepped on his hakama, lost his balance and landed on his butt. So there he was on his butt, me applying sankyo and not entirely sure of what to do.
"Oh Boy," says I.
He couldn't turn over because I wasn't letting up on the sankyo and I couldn't apply the pin while he was in that position. I guess I eased up enough for him to turn over so that I could do the pin. He was laughing as his face was pressed into the mat. I was laughing as I pinned him.
Physically, I need to get into better shape. I was getting winded during my test. My uke is a 6'-0", very fit guy who lifts weights. So moving him around got tiring.
In the end when Sensei made his closing comments about the tests he said that I did a "nice test." Which is pretty much all you'd hear from him if you've done well.
Everyone passed. Four 5th kyus, one 4th kyu, and one 2nd kyu.
After we'd cleared the mats and most everyone had gone home we rewound the videotape to the sankyo surprise. It was very weird seeing myself do the test. And the camera does put ten pounds on a person.