View Full Version : Suprise grading.

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10-04-2002, 06:32 AM
First Randori.
Okay we've been here about a million times, but last night we did randori properly for the first time as we have been graded they trust us a little more that we can handle ourselves falling etc. anyhoo we did three attacks shomen uchi, yokomen, and atemi to the stomach, one question would be how long does it take before your techniques start kicking in here, because basicaly we were just getting out of the way and deflecting them. One uke came for attack using shomen uchi and i just ducked he went right over me.
twas kewl.

Anyhoo back to the topic last night at class we were doing some moves and mostly randori when one of the head sensei's showed up, so we all sat in seiza waiting to see what horrors he was going to unleash on us when he called up Blodge (mat blower) my m8 blodge who actualy got me into aikido, anyhoo sensei chapman gets him up and asks him to show him some moves ikkyo, nikkyo, shihonage etc... we were uke in turn and afterwards he turned round and graded him as 6th!
bit of background info, blodge was the only person from our class that couldnt go to the grading because of personal reasons and we were all gutted cause we all got graded and we knew he was good enough.
so anyhoo sensei chapman shows up and grades him! it was excellent, were all chuffed for him cause were all now 6th kyu, except pete who jumped to 5th (tsk theres always one)
thats us newbies anyhoo. hehe
just lettin ppl know really has your sensei ever done something like that?

Otama shimini

10-04-2002, 07:03 AM
:) nice one. and Grats on passing your grading!

I'm assuming thats your first grading? that one is one most people remember because it is a new experience (up until your black belt grading hehehe).

As for randori...

at 6th kyu, if someone is attacking and you are moving to get away from it, as an instructor I would be very happy to see that.

the techniques come in randori with time and practice. you do techniques over and over again frmo many different situations until you can forget about them and let them happen.

Like driving... you learn how to drive and then you let go and stop concentrating so hard.

Randori can be the biggest rush! I love it

10-04-2002, 08:00 AM
yeah, I got my 5th kyu like that. My sensei always does two or three grading sessions during grading week so that all can attend. However I was working shifts at the time so I missed them all.

So we agreed that I could do my grading on a weekend training or something, but at the end of the class we all sat seiza and he called me and one 3rd kyu guy up. I though we were just going to demonstrate some techinques, but realised quicly that I was going to be graded there and then.

A bit surprised really, and I had not gone through the syllabus as I normally would. But it went fine.

Now that was 1 year ago and I still havent gotten my 4th. Blerg! Must practice more regularly.

10-04-2002, 08:15 AM
I only heard this story out of second hand, but when one of my sensei did his nidan exam for Tamura Sensei (8th dan from France), Tamura sensei asked the grade of his uke (which was 1st kyu I believe). Tamura sensei promoted my sensei to nidan and his uke to shodan!! Imagine his suprise.

10-04-2002, 08:28 AM
One of the sensei's in my dojo knew his 4. dan grading was about to happen (by recomendation), so he spend the anual easter camp two years in a row trying to hide from our shihan because he couldn't afford to pay for it :D In the end he was cornered and had to accept the honor. BTW this year he was graded 5. dan and the board of the dojo has offered to lend him the money so he won't get in trouble with his wife again... Imaging to come home and say "Honey I've just been promoted to 5. dan. I costs an arm and a leg, and all I get to show for it will be a piece of paper which will arrive in a year or two - if I'm lucky...." :eek:

10-04-2002, 08:31 AM
is it usual that people have to pay for their gradings? (sorry for going off topic)

10-04-2002, 09:42 AM
Dan grades through the Aikikai cost money; the higher the grade, the more $.

Off topic.

I've walked into the dojo a couple of times to have people start congratulating me on my grading; once to nidan and when I got my (not a grade) fukushidoin certificate. I had no idea what they were talking about, and was directed to the notice of the instructors board.

10-04-2002, 09:43 AM
whoops, nikkyu, not nidan, that I had to test for.

10-07-2002, 04:22 AM
...has your sensei ever done something like that?

I've never seen him do it quite like that. One fellow in our dojo found out he was testing for shodan about 5 minutes before he did it. I found out on a Friday evening at 7:00 that I would be testing for nidan the next day at 2:00 p.m. No time to prepare, just enough to worry a little. Sensei likes to do stuff like that :)


10-07-2002, 04:37 AM
We tend to hold our dan gradings during the break in a national or international course. One time we took the bow for the break, and said, could all of those who have been invited to grade, please stay on the mat.

He then turned to one first kyu leaving the mat and said.. 'where do you think your going?'


Larry Feldman
10-07-2002, 10:41 AM
I will sometimes do a 'surprise test'. It is usually for the earlier kyu ranks.

When I start, I just ask the student to demonstrate some techniques. As long as they are 'performing' as they practice in class I will ask them if they want that to count as their test. They usually are pretty humble about the performance, which is typically very good.

As far as charging - I don't charge for kyu ranks, but I believe that is unusual. Dan ranks are expected to donate something to the chief instructor/founder.

10-07-2002, 10:58 AM
Two years ago when the head of our school, Tanaka Shihan, was here from Japan there was lots of preparation going on for testing, including my shodan test.

We were all at dinner the night before the test, after an all day seminar with Tanaka Sensei. At one point, Sensei asked my instructor and one other yudansha their respective ranks (they were both nidan) and how long they had held that rank. Without blinking an eye, Tanaka said "You can test tomorrow".

They had been busy getting their students ready for testing, and hadn't had a thought at all about testing themselves.

They both did fine, of course.... but were a little miffed at first for having it tossed at them. Not surpisingly, as we all had more sake, it didn't seem to bother them as much ;)