PDA

View Full Version : Nervous Newbie - About to Test


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


tim evans
07-17-2009, 09:38 PM
I was informed today my 5th kyu test date is in sept.I have 70% of the techniques down rolls are good the only thing is my cardio is awful I mean I,ve watched a few tests to get a ideal on whats involved and this aspect of it makes me nervous any tips on test conditioning is greatly appreciated. thanks

tim evans
07-17-2009, 09:55 PM
sorry wrong board

ninjaqutie
07-17-2009, 10:51 PM
Try doing practice tests to see how you handle it.

PhilMyKi
07-18-2009, 05:53 AM
Remember to breath or you go a funny colour :crazy: I can testify that this is easier said than done! As for CV, fall down and get up a lot, I always try to swim a mile in my lunch break (and fail as soon as I see some totty go into the sauna!:drool: )

caelifera
07-18-2009, 07:01 AM
I'm trying to get my cardio/endurance up myself. I'm not a doctor, but I would just try pushing it a little each class AND do something that gets your heart moving every day.

I'm going to go and try out my advice now. Good luck with your test.

Garth Jones
07-18-2009, 07:42 AM
You have plenty of time to prepare for a 5th kyu test. Just keep going to the dojo, working on the techniques, and doing regular CV exercise (walk, run, bike, swim, whatever works for your body). Even regular brisk walks will make quite a difference over two months. Just take it gradually.

Then the hard task - relax! IMO the most important part of the testing process is now, the preparation. The actual test should be just another moment in your training. Do the best you can - celebrate what goes well and use the test (the good and the bad) as a map for your next phase of training.

Cheers,
Garth

RED
07-18-2009, 09:07 PM
Remember, slow is fast, fast is smooth.

Rolf Granlund
07-19-2009, 03:01 AM
For me, the worst part of testing has always been remembering to breathe. If I can remember to breathe, the cardio aspect always goes a little better. And don't forget to smile and enjoy yourself.

Amir Krause
07-19-2009, 06:27 AM
I have an advice for you. Though I kow it will be difficult for you to follow.

This is only 5th Kyu, the requirments are typiclly very low, and you are not expected to be able to do more then you normally can (otherwise, your Sensei would not have recommended you to test).
All you really need to do, is to keep training seriously, and do your best at the test, nothing more. Most chances you will pass.

good luck
Amir

P.S.
You may replace 5th Kyu with any other rank, including dan grades. A good Sensei only sets you with a rank test if he believes you are worthy of the rank. You train every day to prove your rank, and the test is only an affirmation show.

tim evans
07-19-2009, 11:13 AM
I have picked up my training to 3 to 4 days a week and I can see the pieces coming together slowly but surely.I have good instructors and I,m confident I will be ready on time just need to get the butterflies out.

bleepbeep
07-19-2009, 11:42 AM
To minimize nervousness, think of it as just another day at the dojo and you are practicing the techniques being called out. Just be mindful of balance and form.

I would like to suggest have fun, too but it might be misinterpreted as irreverence, which it is not.:D

StevieT
07-21-2009, 11:08 AM
Take some water on board before you start the test. Otherwise I find that the combination of nerves, the physical exertion, and the curious effect that Aikido has on one's ability to remember to breathe makes me dry up very quickly.

CarrieP
07-31-2009, 03:17 PM
That was me about a year ago. And I was just informed I'll be testing for 4th kyu in about 2 weeks. Heh.

All advice here is good so far, but I'll add or reinforce a few things.

* If possible, do your level best to get on the mat, warm up, maybe even go through a couple of techniques with your sempai before the formal test starts, if possible. I had this option for my test and was too nervous to do it, and my test suffered as a result.

* Definitely do a practice test or two if offered. At the very least, get some experience with having techniques called out, and then doing them. You want to try to get faster with hearing the technique names and pulling up that recall of what the technique is. You are learning a foreign vocabulary, and it may take some time for your brain to just "know" what the techniques are.

* Keep showing up to train on a regular basis. That will do you a lot better than trying to do cardio on the side. Cardio on the side is nice eventually, but don't worry about it right now. If you are doing an hr class 3 days a week, completing a 10-20 minute test is well within your abilities as-is. The best way to condition for aikido is to do aikido. If you *really want* to do cardio, just don't overdo it.

* If your dojo is a more social one, plan to do a group dinner after. It will give you a space in which to relax after the test, to toast your success or drown your sorrows.

* Think of the test as another practice, to try to take some of the edge off of your first test. I personally have a fair bit of test anxiety, which I am constantly working on managing. At this point, though, I'm comfortable enough in my practice and with the people I train with that, no matter what the result of the test (pass or fail, my emotional response to it), I will learn a lot from it, and keep on training. Ultimately, all grading in aikido is practice, just a specific, formal type of practice where you get a grade afterwards.

* Definitely make sure to breathe. This will help your stamina, help you to relax, help you to recover if you get worked up over something.

RED
07-31-2009, 03:23 PM
Cardio and th kyu shouldn't be a super huge problem I think unless you are horridly out of shape. Then again on my 5th kyu test I was winded by my first technique-- but that's because I forgot to breath. Just remember to breath. Being nervous won't help. :dead: I was told that when I test to act like you have to go to the bathroom real bad lol.. so you just go in, do what it is that you do effectively, ad get out. You're not gonna wow anyone with 5th kyu.

tim evans
08-01-2009, 11:37 PM
Cardio and th kyu shouldn't be a super huge problem I think unless you are horridly out of shape. Then again on my 5th kyu test I was winded by my first technique-- but that's because I forgot to breath. Just remember to breath. Being nervous won't help. :dead: I was told that when I test to act like you have to go to the bathroom real bad lol.. so you just go in, do what it is that you do effectively, ad get out. You're not gonna wow anyone with 5th kyu.

Well Maggie if I can get through it without looking like a deer in the headlights I would be satisfied.:D

Suru
08-02-2009, 12:07 AM
Approaching test time, my sensei would teach techniques for various kyu. I hope yours do(es) too since that's a big help. Oh and be nervous. There's nothing anyone can say that's going to chill you out for a test. Evaluation apprehension is certainly no stranger to many others and me. On the bright side, when your sympathetic nervous system gets going, it will be like natural cocaine, keeping you alert and on your toes.

Drew

RED
08-02-2009, 06:02 PM
Well Maggie if I can get through it without looking like a deer in the headlights I would be satisfied.:D

Try not looking at your uke. So long as you know your stuff the movements should be natural. When I feel intimidated I try using soft eyes so I don't directly see the mass of what is approaching me. This I warn only works however if you have a keen sense of where your uke is and how they are moving without directly looking at them. If you can master soft eyes, it can make things smoother, fluent and a lot less intimidating. The reason I started doing it is because I'm 5"2' and a small woman, everyone and everything scared me at first in aikido. :hypno:

"Do not stare into the eyes of your opponent: he may mesmerize you. Do not fix your gaze on his sword: he may intimidate you. Do not focus on your opponent at all: he may absorb your energy. The essence of training is to bring your opponent completely into your sphere. Then you can stand where you like. "-- O' Sensei

GMaroda
08-02-2009, 10:16 PM
Take some water on board before you start the test. Otherwise I find that the combination of nerves, the physical exertion, and the curious effect that Aikido has on one's ability to remember to breathe makes me dry up very quickly.

I second this. If you don't have to pee, you're not hydrated enough!

That and have fun! Sure it's nervous, but it's controlled and no sensei worth their salt is going to let you test unless they already know you're going to pass! :)

Suru
08-03-2009, 09:53 AM
I learned in cross country and track not to drink much before running or between events. My coaches said to just drink enough to refresh. But that was a long time ago, so maybe theories have changed.

Drew

RED
08-03-2009, 01:01 PM
I learned in cross country and track not to drink much before running or between events. My coaches said to just drink enough to refresh. But that was a long time ago, so maybe theories have changed.

Drew

He's right I think. You want just enough to hydrate, anymore and it will give your cramps. Never drink cold water when doing something strenuous. This is simple science. When you drink cold water it not only can give you cramping, but your body has to exert calories to bring the water to body temperature before it can be used for hydration. Always drink room temperature water. It's not as refreshing, but it will be more effective in hydration.

Ryan Seznee
08-03-2009, 02:28 PM
I learned in cross country and track not to drink much before running or between events. My coaches said to just drink enough to refresh. But that was a long time ago, so maybe theories have changed.

Drew

He's right. One should never take more than three mouthfuls of liquid while they are doing anything strainuous. I would recomend that you don't take any drinks directly before class, the water splashing around in your stomach will make you feel ill (people with weak stomachs tend to throw up a lot when they take their first water break).

Karo
08-03-2009, 09:45 PM
On the bright side, when your sympathetic nervous system gets going, it will be like natural cocaine, keeping you alert and on your toes.

Or it will paralyze you and impair your memory, so you're just standing there with your brain totally blank... (Yeah, that would be me.)

I'm just saying, people have different reactions to stress :o

Karo

tim evans
08-29-2009, 09:38 PM
Well testing is 3 weeks away and to be honest I,m just wanting to get through it cleanly and not sloppy I have picked up the classes but my pins is whats going to kill it for me.

Voitokas
08-29-2009, 11:40 PM
Three weeks is plenty of time to work on your pins - ask some sempai to work with you after class, maybe. It'll be fine!

Linda Eskin
08-30-2009, 12:43 AM
Hi Tim. How are you doing on your cardio? I'm doing my first test on Sept. 19 (we test for 6 kyu first), and that's something I need work on, big time. I do a lot of walking, and am pretty good at low-level endurance stuff (working hard for hours in the yard, etc.). But I figure for the jiyuwaza part of the test I need higher-intensity, shorter-duration cardio (working really hard for a few minutes), plus remembering to breathe. So my thinking is that I should be training exactly that. Like sprints on the elliptical or something. Anyway, if you've found anything helpful, I'm all ears. :-)

Is your test on the 19th, too? Is this your first? In any case, I'm sure you'll do great.

Suru
08-30-2009, 02:05 AM
My real testing nightmare occurred when I had to uke for a fellow Aikidoka's test right before my test. Toward the end my face must have looked like the Japanese flag. But I passed, and here I am, alive.

Drew

tim evans
08-30-2009, 11:04 AM
Hi Tim. How are you doing on your cardio? I'm doing my first test on Sept. 19 (we test for 6 kyu first), and that's something I need work on, big time. I do a lot of walking, and am pretty good at low-level endurance stuff (working hard for hours in the yard, etc.). But I figure for the jiyuwaza part of the test I need higher-intensity, shorter-duration cardio (working really hard for a few minutes), plus remembering to breathe. So my thinking is that I should be training exactly that. Like sprints on the elliptical or something. Anyway, if you've found anything helpful, I'm all ears. :-)

Is your test on the 19th, too? Is this your first? In any case, I'm sure you'll do great.

This is my first test, our dojo is USAF and 6th kyu will be implemented on tests from now on I test on sept.19 and if theres one thing I have learned the xtra classes make a differrence in your learning of the techniques .As far as cardio it,s a little better I have picked up walking but I just want my test to be clean .BTW linda that short sprint idea shounds good I will start doing that.

tim evans
08-30-2009, 11:09 AM
Three weeks is plenty of time to work on your pins - ask some sempai to work with you after class, maybe. It'll be fine!

Jeremy,it,s the shomenuchi ikkyo pin thats killing me my short arms make it impossible to pin with my back straight settled into the mat but I,m pressing on it will come I,m just keeping the faith.TIM:)

Linda Eskin
08-30-2009, 12:24 PM
Jeremy,it,s the shomenuchi ikkyo pin thats killing me my short arms make it impossible to pin with my back straight settled into the mat but I,m pressing on it will come I,m just keeping the faith.TIM:)

I think it's OK to lean forward from the hips (not be strictly vertical), just keep the extension through your arms, and don't collapse or bend at the waist. Of course, don't trust me on that, ask your sensei or sempai.

Here's some inspiration for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKz3sCr5V8M :p

Keith Larman
08-30-2009, 12:32 PM
Just as a story on preparing...

It seems like not that long ago but I guess it was now... Where does the time go? Anyway, I was ranked at gokyu. So I was told I would be testing for Yonkyu. So being one of those over prepared people I carefully studied the required arts for both yonkyu and sankyu (which my sensei probably saw me do as time permitted). So my test rolls around and I suddenly realize they're asking me both sankyu and *nikyu* arts.

Sheesh...

The nice thing is that they skipped me over yonkyu directly to sankyu.

After that I sat down with various lists and created a list for myself with all the kyu and dan level required arts so I could sort them by attack, technique, level, etc. Then I made sure I knew all of them regardless. Made all the remaining tests I had to take (we test up through sandan so I've been done for a while) a lot less stressful on my obsessive personality.

And all that said... Prepare. Be rested. And when it is time to test, relax and do what you've been training to do. It is time to simply perform. Not much else you can do, neh?

Linda Eskin
08-30-2009, 01:00 PM
That's great advice. I've found myself very well prepared - for the wrong thing - in the past. Horrifying. :p Showing up on the right day/time is kinda important, too.

tim evans
08-30-2009, 06:16 PM
I have been doing a walk thru test everyday on my own but it,s so much differrent interacting with uke but the main thing that I am striving for is taking uke,s balance,footwork,proper maai,and go to there shikaku all slow ofcourse.:)

Voitokas
08-30-2009, 06:30 PM
I think it's OK to lean forward from the hips (not be strictly vertical), just keep the extension through your arms, and don't collapse or bend at the waist. Of course, don't trust me on that, ask your sensei or sempai.


I'd definitely agree with that - it's the curving of the back that breaks your strength over uke; a straight back and bent at the hips should make your sensei happy. It also helps me to angle my front toward uke's head a bit. Try it a few ways with a sempai watching to tell you how it looks! Good luck!:)

tim evans
09-12-2009, 06:22 PM
Test is a week out and I feel ready my instructor signed my test form today under the condition I show up every class next week to be better prepared thats not a problem I just don,t want to let him down and prove to myself I can do this.:)

allowedcloud
09-15-2009, 02:14 PM
I'm sure you'll do fine :)

tim evans
09-15-2009, 09:36 PM
I'm sure you'll do fine :)
I sure hope so josh I was so screwed up I had my gi top on wrongside out :D

tim evans
09-18-2009, 01:40 PM
Well guys and gals my 5th kyu test is tommorrow after a few practice tests I feel better but it,s still nerve racking and btw thanks to all who responded.TIM

Linda Eskin
09-18-2009, 10:28 PM
All the best on your test, Tim! Mine (6th kyu) is tomorrow as well. I'll send out some calm, centered, freely-breathing vibes for you. :-)

Stay focused on how well you are going to do, and picture everything going well. And get some rest.

Cheering you on,
Linda

tim evans
09-19-2009, 02:29 PM
All the best on your test, Tim! Mine (6th kyu) is tomorrow as well. I'll send out some calm, centered, freely-breathing vibes for you. :-)

Stay focused on how well you are going to do, and picture everything going well. And get some rest.

Cheering you on,
Linda

Well Linda those breathing vibes were definitely needed and highly appreciated I thought my test went well my wife and instructor said I was all over the mat hands up ready to engage overall I,m happy with it just need to polish up a few things .beginners a quick tip take as many classes as you can before you test even advanced ones also practice tests help tremendously I,m happy it,s over now on to the couch I,m wore out. linda how did you do?TIM

Linda Eskin
09-19-2009, 06:35 PM
Congratulations, Tim! Sounds like you did great. :)

I got some good feedback about my test, too. I'll post something on my blog shortly, with a link to the video. Overall it was fun, and I feel pretty good about how I did.

Darryl Cowens
09-20-2009, 04:02 AM
Good stuff Linda... just read your blog and watched your vid.. :)

tim evans
09-20-2009, 08:28 AM
Congratulations, Tim! Sounds like you did great. :)

I got some good feedback about my test, too. I'll post something on my blog shortly, with a link to the video. Overall it was fun, and I feel pretty good about how I did.

That was awesome linda! good technique and control I,m gonna post later on my test and things that went right and wrong.again linda congrats.TIM

heathererandolph
09-20-2009, 09:55 PM
To work on your cardio, try to get up faster during class and pick up the pace of technique with your partner. For the test, I suggest working on the beginning and ending of technique confidently. That is what people notice the most.

tim evans
09-21-2009, 08:31 AM
To work on your cardio, try to get up faster during class and pick up the pace of technique with your partner. For the test, I suggest working on the beginning and ending of technique confidently. That is what people notice the most.

Thanks heather those are great tips and I will use them. My test went well up to tsuki kotegaeshi my first 2 went good on the 3rd one some how me and my uke got jammed up and I ended up throwing him off and he rolled out and I have to take my hat off to him he really helped me a lot thanks chuck.This was a great expierence that I will remember for the rest of my life.TIM:)