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Modern Bushi
11-26-2016, 04:49 AM
Hi everyone,

It's Modern Bushi here.
In mid-December, I will be passing my 4th Kyu test, and I am kind of nervous for it. Can you give me some advice on how to go undertake "correctly" the test (etiquette, mindset, technique, rythm, speed etc)?

Thanks for any help,


Janet Rosen
11-27-2016, 11:07 AM
Hi, Christian
Don't sweat it too much :-)
The actual etiquette is going to be different from dojo to dojo, so ask a senior student. In fact, if you can find somebody a couple of ranks ahead of you to sort of guide you (would have been nice to do so with more notice, but it doesn't always work that way, does it?) in most dojos that person would do extra practice with you on test techniques, discuss etiquette, and let you know in YOUR dojo what it is the instructor is most looking for in a 4th kyu candidate.
I would think recognizing the names of the attacks and techniques so you don't have to hesitate or be prompted, and maintaining the best presence and body structure you can are generally important (and nobody will expect your presence and structure to look like a shodan! but also not like a beginner...).
Again, in my experience in a variety of dojos and seeing many tests over the years, beginning to demonstrate control of breathing, rhythm, and speed is something that takes more training than at 4th kyu so some inconsistency there is to be expected.
Breathe and have fun :-)

Walter Martindale
11-28-2016, 06:51 AM
Ask the sensei and/or senior students.

One dojo I trained at does a "pre-test" a few weeks before a testing weekend, where the dojo sensei observes people going through what is essentially a dress-rehearsal for a grading test - people are coached through the etiquette (where to sit, when and who to bow towards, etc.,) and given written notes about what they did well and what they need to improve.

The "pre-test" is observed by the main sensei of the dojo and by all the other sensei, with discussion amongst them of the candidate's means to improve and things to help with over the intervening time between the pre-test and the "real" test with the shihan present.

Good luck in your yon-kyu. Luck has nothing to do with it - prepare, prepare, prepare.

11-28-2016, 10:04 AM
Many associations out there. Some start at 10th, I started at 5th.

Gokyu had the subtitle "to know the basic forms with accuracy." Yonkyu had the subtitle "to have proper balance and timing." Accuracy is always good. Be able to demonstrate you have some sense of the relationship with your uke. Stay calm. Don't rush. Years to go.

11-28-2016, 03:28 PM
I concur with much of what has been offered. We also do a pre-test, particularly for nikyu and ikkyu candidates, pretty much a dress-rehearsal for the test. One big item is to slow it down. Lots of adrenaline flowing with the ki but it's not combat. Establish a rhythm for doing your techniques--left, right, forward then ushiro ukemi on kokyunages. BREATHE--kokyu, remember? When I gave aircraft checkrides I told the victim, uh--person!--that no one ever flew a perfect ride, there was always something that could have gone better. If you muff something badly, don't try to salvage it at the expense of safety. Shrug it off and do it again, but (more) correctly. Think of this less as a test, more of a chance to show what what you can do. May The Force be with you....

11-29-2016, 08:18 AM
Hello Christian,

If you have never tested in your dojo before, by all means ask your seniors how tests are run. We usually offer to do some extra practice with juniors who are up for testing, and if it's their first test, we make sure to walk them through the testing protocol -- this is unique to every dojo, although there are similarities, so you really need to ask in your dojo. Likewise, the techniques you'll be tested on and the expectations for them are unique to your dojo, and (if your teacher's a good one) unique to you as well. What is expected of you is not what will be expected of others, even if they're testing for the same rank at the same time. The only specific thing that I think is valid for an outsider to suggest is, control your techniques and do not harm your uke. Your ukes will be doing their best to help you, and their attacks will be appropriate to you and your skill level; if you harm an uke, you demonstrate a lack of control and consideration for your training partner, and that is most likely thing to cause you to fail a test.

Modern Bushi
12-07-2016, 07:14 AM
Thanks everyone for your valuable advice!

Susan Dalton
12-15-2016, 11:52 AM
I hope your test went well. If you haven't taken it yet, my best advice is to breathe slowly and deeply and concentrate on your posture. Keep moving, even if you mess up, and complete the technique. Most dojo will not expect you to be perfect at 4th kyu, but having good posture will make everything you do look better. Try to go a little more slowly than normal but of course match the speed of the attack.

Modern Bushi
12-15-2016, 03:17 PM
Thanks everyone for your valuable advice! I'm now Yonkyu :)

12-22-2016, 03:09 PM
Congrats! That name tag moving up a notch looks kinda neat, yes?

Modern Bushi
12-28-2016, 11:02 AM
Congrats! That name tag moving up a notch looks kinda neat, yes?

Thanks :)... How do I change my "5th Kyu status", now that I am officially yonkyu? How do I generally edit my profile?

02-21-2017, 06:34 AM
Congrats on your promotion. Not sure that there is an option to choose your rank on your profile you may simply want to add it as free text where possible when you edit your profile.