View Full Version : Count-down to Shodan:

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Dave Miller
05-07-2003, 05:45 PM
Over the next several weeks I will be training for my Shodan demonstration (test). I wanted to elicit any suggestions that any of you Yudansha might have for me.

It's kinda cool, I'll get my M.S. in biology and my Shodan (high school diploma?) in Aikido the same summer.


Jeff R.
05-07-2003, 07:28 PM
Over the next several weeks I will be training for my Shodan demonstration (test). I wanted to elicit any suggestions that any of you Yudansha might have for me.
Yeah, smile during every technique; mind your manners; let the universe unfold as it should.

And, of course, "If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong."

Good luck with it, and have fun.

Greg Jennings
05-08-2003, 06:58 AM
Work your tail off!

I had a year to prepare for shodan and still felt cramped.


05-08-2003, 10:46 AM
The best advice I received before my shodan test was : "remember to breathe".

Good Luck!


05-08-2003, 11:44 AM
Dave congrats on being eligible for your shodan. As Tom points out, breathe-most get so nervous they forget to do that and then run out of endurance before the test is over. Another trick to resolve nervousness is to try and disengage your sympathetic nervous system (controls fright/flight). If you have some free style stuff on your test try to do things you know real well-like running through the ikkyo to gokyo techniques systematically-this gives your system time to settle down. Good luck.

Charles Hill
05-08-2003, 04:18 PM
I've noticed two common problems when people test, both related to the nervousness mentioned in the other replies. First is that it gets hard to hear the name of the technique called when you are nervous. People often pause in an awkward way to clarify which technique, or they do what they think might be the technique but in a hesitant way. I think you should perform whatever technique you think you heard in a confident manner. Even if you are wrong, it still gives a better impression than pausing or acting halfheartedly.

The second problem I see is that many people scare their uke. The uke attacks in a normal matter, and the person testing often cranks the technique really hard due to nervousness. This causes the uke to hold way back on the subsequent attacks. This often causes nage to crank even harder. It then turns into a downward spiral circle that looks really bad.

I have old videos of my tests that I can't even watch because of the above problems. I have seen a LOT of other people have the same problems I did. I hope this helps you.

Larry Feldman
05-09-2003, 01:58 PM
I agree with Tom on the importance of breathing. A good way to make sure you do this and don't get carried away with the emotion of the demonstration is to make sure you take a long deep breath (or two)when you pin your uke. Start doing this in your practice - so it will be more natural to do on the demo.

05-09-2003, 04:36 PM
Forget systems! Forget top tips! Forget any hints and pointers!

If you can't get through it on what you know then the time is not right to be shodan. Your teacher thinks it is, so "just do it"!

Good luck, and as my late teacher alway told me, have the courage of your convictions! If you are ready, then you have nothing to be worried about!