View Full Version : Grading advice

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Dan Gould
04-10-2006, 04:40 PM
Hello, everybody, damn it it's exciting to be back :D

You may all remember me... I was the coward who quit aikido about a year or so ago, a couple of months after starting, due to illness and general fear, really.

Well, I'm bloody back. I more or less dislocated my shoulder on my first lesson back, but hey.

Anyway, got an email from my sensei about a week ago to say that even though I've had a year out, my time then and now combined, I qualify for my first grading.

Problem is, my mother's just had two operations (to remove an abcess and a hernia, if anyone's interested), and can't take me anymore, and my brother's not always available (tonight he chose to go to his recording studio for the night rather than take me :p), so I need to practice some techniques as best I can on my own.

So I was just wondering, for those who could help, what's a likely syllabus for a first grading in the shin gi tai style aikido?

I'm expecting people to reply to say not to practice without a black belt present to guide me, and I'd be reinforcing potentially incorrect technique, etc, but I really just wanna practice a little more because I'll be missing some lessons over the coming weeks :s U just wanna know if I'll just be expected to do the first, say, four techniques, from a standard first form position, or more techniques, first and second position, with movement, etc, what?

Anyway, thanks, guys, I just don't like surprises, I wanna know what's likely to happen if I possibly can.

Also, if anybody's out there in Wales who could come practice with me, that'd rock too.

Dirk Hanss
04-10-2006, 04:58 PM
Well Mr. Gould, you already have your first "Dan", so I would not bother ;)

Let me first say, I am sorry for your mother.

For your aikido grading, do what you want, but take your time, there is no reason to rush. Aikido is a way for all your life, and it does not really matter how far exactly you reach at the end. Especially a few month slower in the beginning do not really have any effect.

I do not know in your style, but in most dojo, the first test just means to know the few techniques that are tested and perform (dance) them as they are called. So if you know the names and roughly how to move, it is fine. If you have some aikido fellows, who are willing to practise with you, it is even better.

And again - do not worry: nobody can take your "Dan"


04-10-2006, 05:59 PM
shin gi tai? I'd check with someone in the style. Most of us have not like ran across this style to provide any useful advice. Better yet e-mail your sensei and ask him what the testing techniques or criteria are going to be.

Dan Gould
04-10-2006, 08:18 PM
Yeah, was planning to after I posted that, but guess I got distracted. Dirk - good joke with the Dan :p lol. Never heard that one before ;) I favour Japanese martial arts, so I've had that one in about everyone I've tried, lol.

Dan Gould
04-13-2006, 05:19 PM
Had an AMAZING class tonight, bloody loved it! Bar the need to fart really bad while sensei was talking :p But anyway... had a great class, got through ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo, shihonage, iriminage, and kotogaeshi, both hands, but only first form. But still, not a bad start, I have another 5 weeks or so to learn I think kaiten nage, tenchinage, and uhm.. another one I forget the name for :$ But still, do the second form, and I'm all sorted, I think I'm gonna fly it, things went so well tonight :) Not getting arrogant, just confident, not worried at all :)

04-17-2006, 04:16 AM
you have sankyo and kotogaeshi for your first grading ?? are you sure.

David Gardner
04-17-2006, 02:24 PM
Hey Dan,
I don't have loads of experience at different dojo gradings, but I have had a look in on a few different types in the UK. From your most recent post it sounds like you'll be taking your 5th KYU grade if I've read that right. Most of the dojos around where I practice will ask you to demonstrate basic ukemi, usually forward rolls, maybe just 1 or 2, which don't have to be perfect, just to make sure you are landing without hurting yourself.

Then taisabaki, tenkan etc. those basic things you do at the start of the class which kinda feel a bit embarassing when your doing them in front of 3 guys by yourself. So that bit kinda sucks.

Then the nine basics from ai hanmi, from the sounds of what you said your practising that kinda fits. The old "SKI-KT", Shiho-nage, Kote-gaeshi, Irimi-nage, Kaiten-Nage and Tenchi-Nage. Then Ikkyo, Nikyo, Sankyo and Yonkyo all from right hand to right hand or left hand to left hand. No problemo. I only know one person who ever failed this grading so I'm sure you'll take it no problem if that is what you need to do. Saying that you might have a different syllabus just sort of throwing this one out there.

Just try to make sure you have an Uke you feel comfortable with, preferably someone who isn't really rigid. Anyway you'll probably know all this, glad you enjoyed your last lesson!