View Full Version : 5th kyu test advice for a begginer

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Steven Tame
07-21-2003, 09:41 AM
I'm going to be taking a test for 5th kyu soon and was looking for some advice on the kinds of mistakes they will look for and how strict the examiners are.

I'm asking because the only kind of martial arts testing I did was a long time ago and was only "kata" based Karate.

If this helps these are the 4 things I need for my test

Katatedori Shiho nage OMOTE/URA

Shomen uchi Irimi nage

Shomen uchi Ikkyo OMOTE/URA


Thanks in advance

07-21-2003, 09:47 AM
Things I'd tell someone in my dojo:

Look after your uke.


Slow down.

Enjoy it.

The rest is probably dojo specific.

07-21-2003, 11:17 AM
Stay relaxed, and based on your techniques, keep your weight underside. I once lifted a heavy mahogany desk with my dad, and realized the difference between strength and weight. I was strong, but the desk was heavy. It won. :)

Most importantly, keep your center. Control yourself, your thoughts, everything -- "be mindful of yourself and the present", as they say.

Good luck!


07-21-2003, 12:33 PM
Hey, I've got a Steven (different last name) testing for fifth kyu at my dojo soon too, and those are the same techniques! As you were specifically looking for these answers:

"looking for some advice on the kinds of mistakes they will look for and how strict the examiners are." I would say it depends on your teacher and your teachers proclivities. If you were at my dojo, I would say to relax and just try and do the techniques as they have been presented; try and remember the names of the techniques when they are called out (remember, the name of the attack preceeds the name of the technique, e.g., Shomen-uchi (downward strike) then ikkyo); don't try to do anything other than what you have practiced in class, remember, your teacher knows where you are already; to relax and have a good time. I can't say that I would be looking for mistakes, I would be looking for what you did right, and what could be improved upon for the next test (like entering the wrong way or something like this), and wouldn't be that strict on a first test. Sounds like you are USAF-ER, and this is the first test material. You should be serious, but also remember that it is your first test, and the big thing is just getting out there and doing it.

Best wishes on this!


07-21-2003, 12:35 PM

Something I've done before each of my tests is to visualize how things are going to go while at the same time, going through the motions that I'd do as nage. This has really helped me be confident in my footwork, posture, etc.

Know the techniques as well as you can. Focus during the test on what you're doing. If you are corrected during the test, don't let it bother you -- just take the correction and continue. If you really mess up, don't let that bother you either, just do your best.

Nobody ever does as well as they want to on a test. So just relax and give it your best shot. :D



07-21-2003, 03:53 PM
If your Sensei has asked you to test, you are probably ready. Trust them. Relax, breath, and enjoy yourself. Look forward to the day after your test when you can just resume training.

07-21-2003, 09:24 PM
Everything everyone else said seems exactly right to me. I would emphasize the basic knowledge aspect (knowing what 'shomenuchi ikkyo ura' means) and the relaxed ability to take care of uke. In my experience, when 5th kyu tests are hard to watch it is either because the person simply forgets basic terms (which is a little embarassing for everyone) or else they become over-excited and in their eagerness start really trying to throw uke around.

Adrian Smith
07-22-2003, 01:49 AM
Hi Steven! Interesting - I'm testing for 5th kyu in a few weeks and my test will be identical to yours except that we have to do morotedori kokyunage in addition to the four waza you listed.

My advice would be to practice them a few times to make sure you're comfortable with them, preferably in front of or with a friendly yudansha to make sure you're doing them correctly and finishing them appropriately. I discovered, for example, that my suwariwaza kokyu ho was incomplete - I wasn't turning to follow uke as he went over and completing the motion by blocking his hands from hitting upwards at my face. We didn't practice it that way in class and so I hadn't learned it.

That sort of thing would bite me in the butt come test day and I wanted to make sure I had it all worked out.

I also discovered that the bowing sequence for my test will be different than that we usually do in class. Again, a close call that would have hurt me at test time! <grin>

Just my $0.02...


07-22-2003, 08:17 AM
Another thought:

far more important that figuring out how to do the test 'right' or 'well' may be your own sense of what you want to get out of the test or learn from it. One possibility, of course, is just demonstrating to yourself that you can 'perform under pressure.' That's a fine thing to want to prove to yourself, as far as it goes. Still, it leaves the thing as a test ("am I good enough") and doesn't allow the process to become a learning opportunity. What is the way of approaching this test that will let you learn the most?

Steven Tame
07-22-2003, 08:48 AM
Wow I honestly didn't expect so many replies.

Thanks for all the advice,I feel a bit more confident about taking the test now.

I think the think that is worrying me is that I'm actually at Hombu and my Japanese isn't that great and I'm scared of doing something silly during the test. The technique names are not a problem. Well I'll post back on my result or any further feedback:)

Lan Powers
07-22-2003, 08:58 PM
Good luck........*breath* :)


Steven Tame
09-04-2003, 07:03 AM
Just 2 days left before my test now and really haven't been practicing as much as I would like to due to interviews for jobs and stuff....

However I'm pretty confident with the techniques now and there are still 6 lessons I can attend before my test. I will ask some Yudansha if I'm making mistakes when I practice next time.

Thanks for all your advice and encouragement.


Adrian Smith
09-04-2003, 05:56 PM
Hey Steven. I came up to Aikikai Hombu yesterday (Thursday in Japan) and trained for the day. Did you train, and if so, which classes were you in?


Steven Tame
09-06-2003, 11:13 AM
Adrian- I didn't train on the Thursday. I'm in the begginers class on the second floor.

(Japanese 2nd) (European 1st) that is.

The test is tomorrow I'm excited and nervous.

Adrian Smith
09-06-2003, 04:32 PM
Good luck Steven! We trained on the third floor all day Thursday. I've never SEEN so many hakamas in one place at one time!


Steven Tame
09-07-2003, 06:38 AM
I'm presuming that I passed my test seeing as the examiner said that all the people taking go-kyu were okay except the fact that most people didn't pin the arm from Shiho nage.

Adrian- Yeah I'd like to train on the 3rd floor. Maybe after I get Yon-kyu :)

Adrian Smith
09-07-2003, 09:52 PM
Ummm, were we not supposed to train on the third floor? There were two of us from Kurihama Aikido Club there and we just asked at the front desk which floor the class was on. We're only go-kyu and our membership cards verify that but they directed us to the third floor.

No *wonder* we were so tired at the end of the day! <grin>

Anyway, congratulations Steven!


Steven Tame
09-08-2003, 11:21 PM
I don't think there is anything official that says so but my perception is that mt class on the 2nd floor does all of the techniques up to Yon-kyu.... so I'm guessing if you want to practice for 3rd kyu you train on the 3rd floor.

I've never asked though....my class in the UK just did all the techniques in one class but I guess that could be due to the size of the class.

09-09-2003, 12:52 PM
so did you pass?


Steven Tame
09-10-2003, 09:21 AM
Yeah I passed :)

09-10-2003, 10:11 AM
awesome! congrats!


Adrian Smith
09-10-2003, 06:00 PM


Steven Tame
10-11-2003, 05:18 AM
Hi everyone! Gonna be going for Yon-kyu next month 2nd November....

I'm not so worried about the test procedure this time.

These are the techniques I need to do

-Shomen uchi ikkyo

-Shomen uchi irimi nage

-kata dori nikkyo

-yokomen uchi shiho nage

-sitting kokyu ho

10-11-2003, 01:49 PM
Pardon me for using this space to vent, but I'm feeling the need.

I made 6th kyu a year and a half ago after more than two years on the mat. Owing to illness, injury and accident I lost four months this spring but almost had enough hours in to test this past July nonetheless. I could deal with the testing master not letting me cram in the missing hours but then they pushed back the day a month - without re-evaluating who was eligible.

So I'm a little annoyed, but I can deal with it and work on practicing patience ... until everybody forgets about the next testing day. I bring the matter up with the testing master and with many an apology we discuss some possible dates. I make it clear that there is one day that I absolutely cannot make, 15 November.

I'm feeling good about this whole testing thing for the first time. I find a sempai and clear time in my calendar for extra training. And then, this morning, they announce the testing date - 15 November.

10-11-2003, 06:45 PM

From my own experience, when the instructors nominate you for a test you are already considered to be at that particular level. Most of the "evaluation" is done during regular training. So, clear your mind, focus on the moment, perform each technique as slowly as necessary to make it clear, and above all enjoy it. To illustrate the importance of basics and principles, consider the following total requirement for promotion to

Sandan in ASU:

"All basic techniques performed to demonstrate more understanding of the relationship of basic principle to the technique with maturity and clarity." And that's the updated version; for years it was simply "All previous techniques performed demonstrating kokyu-tanden-ho".


I've been there. Before returning to active duty I was in the National Guard, and it seemed that every test date coincided with a weekend drill:mad: Needless to say, it only got worse when I returned to active duty. It took me almost eight years to test for Shodan, but then again I had a great test.

Looking back, I have never noticed any dramatic improvement in my technique the day following any promotion, much to my chagrin:blush:

The truest test lies in finding a way to deal with a committed and sincere attack, in any case.

Regards, Brad

Steven Tame
10-12-2003, 01:11 AM
Bradford Allen- Unfortunately that is not how things work at Hombu there is a set requirement for the amount of days that you must practice

i.e 5th kyuu is 30 days after you start

4th kyuu is 40 days after you got 5th kyuu

and so on

the instructors did not tell me I was ready to test I had to take the initiative and apply to be tested otherwise I would still have no kyuu after 4 months of training everyday....

10-12-2003, 07:25 AM

I know that there is no real value in having any particular rank - and yet I allow myself to be disappointed nonetheless. What is really bothering me isn't my situation but my internal response to that situation. That and the way my own ambition has put me here in the first place. If it weren't for my ambition, however humble it may be to want to achieve 5th kyu, I wouldn't have approached the testing master in the first place and there wouldn't be a testing date that I cannot make.

There is value in deserving a particular rank and great value in progressing to that point. I'm continuing to study and prepare myself as if I were to be testing. And I'm going to have to do some more work on renouncing my own desires and expectations.

Nick Simpson
10-12-2003, 08:58 AM
I can understand your frustration Charles, but after 4 years or so of training at least you should be able to beast that 5th kyu test when you do take it! Hope you get the situation sorted out soon, im in a similar situation. I was supposed to take my 5th kyu in june and because of politics it was pushed back to september and then october, but im currently supposed to be taking it in december. I dont really mind though as it means that I'll be testing in front of the head instructor of our organisation and possibly Shihan Ken Cottier (gulp!). Something to look forward too...

10-12-2003, 02:34 PM
Charles, I have had the same frustrations at times. And I've also had to deal with internal questions such as yours. There certainly is value in progressing up the ranks; I'm not suggesting that anyone should not care about promotions. I know that I did, and I also wondered how long it would take me to reach yudansha ranking. For myself, I took some satisfaction in being able to "hold my own" while training with higher ranking Aikidoka. I was also fortunate to have Sempai who understood the situation and arranged for me to test for some ranks outside the normal parameters. If it doesn't make you uncomfortable, perhaps you could ask to test for the kyu that you would hold had you not missed any test dates.

Stephen: We have similar guidelines as well...a certain number of calendar time must pass before you can test for the next kyu, and you must have logged a certain number of hours of consistent training. These are minimums. However, there is a roster posted a week or so before each test date (there is a kyu test every three months or so), and if your name is on it you are expected to test. We do have to apply for Dan testing, though.

I have also witnessed the following scenario happen to students who do not show up for tests:

A normal class begins and everyone trains. With about twenty minutes to go and without warning, so-and-so is called up with an uke and tests right then and there:eek:

Imagine that during a 7:00 A<M< class:eek: :eek:

Anyway, good luck with everything. We are all beginners, just at varying levels.

11-12-2003, 09:07 AM
No joy. I had thought that I would be allowed to test some other day and indeed I will, three months hence. There have been some reasons for hope along the way. One of the more senior members of the dojo said he'd bring up the matter. A usual list was posted of those eligible for testing at what grade and several of my fellow students seemed startled to discover that I was still a 6 kyu. But last night I had occasion to mention publicly that I would not be available to test Saturday. My sensei replied with a joke. I suppose that it's time to sit down with him and ask if he's trying to tell me something. All of which brings up a question, How does one know that one is just not cut out for Aikido?

cindy perkins
12-11-2003, 10:23 PM
"How does one know that one is just not cut out for Aikido?"

I fear I'm showing a lot of hubris to answer this question -- there are teachers here who will answer far better, and I am a raw beginner. But as far as I could figure from my experience, you'd ask yourself:

Do I love doing aikido?

Do I feel a rush when just this once, by accident, I move correctly and the energy flows and the movement and the throw are effortless...?

Do I find repeating the same technique again and again to learn a subtle improvement worth the practice, or do I get bored?

If the answers tend toward "yes," then it seems to me that you're right for aikido.

It sounds to me like the problem isn't aikido, or even the testing schedule. It's a nagging fear that there's really something wrong with you that the sensei isn't telling you and they're deliberately keeping you from testing. Maybe it is time to sit down and have a quiet talk, just to clear the air. If there is something wrong, Sensei should have told you by now. If not, you need reassurance that you are OK.

12-12-2003, 01:44 PM
You've a good grasp of my problem but I'm not sure that I like your answer. I want to know if I'm a slug, somebody who has no aptitude for Aikido. Your answer, which is the same as my Sensei's, is to say that as long as I'm happy being a slug it doesn't matter. I'm happy when I'm training but I'm unhappy when I think of myself as a slug. I suppose that I could work on building a false sense of my place in the world of Aikido, a la Terry Gilliam, but truth has always been important to me. My only saving grace in all of this is that I've discovered someone in the dojo, somebody I respect and who is clearly not a slug, who waited twice as long as I did to take that first test.

Nick Simpson
12-12-2003, 05:18 PM
Hi Charles, Im sorry to hear that you are still in the same situation. If you are worried that your sensei may think you an aikido "slug" then I suppose you have to ask yourself a couple of questions:

A) Is my technique any good?

B) Is my attitude towards aikido/others a good one?

From what I have seen these seem to be the biggest reasons for not being tested, I know of people who were technically brilliant but had the wrong attitude and werent allowed to test untill they had corrected that. I also know of people who had a brilliant attitude but because their technique wasnt up to scratch were never considered for gradings.

If you know your technique is good and you know your attitude is decent then I dont see any reason why you shouldnt test. As others have suggested, only your sensei knows why he hasnt considered you for testing, maybe its time to have a chat with him?

Steven Tame
12-18-2003, 03:20 AM
I`m not gonna start a new thread for this so I`ll just add it on to my thred here. I passed my 4th kyuu test at Hombu last week....

now I`m kind of worried cos the next test is 3rd kyuu

As far as I can remember I need to know

ikkyo-->yonkyo from shomen uchi both sitting and standing

shomen uchi and tsuki irimi nage and kote gaeshi

yokomen uchi shiho nage

tenchi nage

sitting kokyu ho

Now the thing is I have been training for 6 months pretty much every day and we have practiced yon-kyo only twice and san-kyo maybe

5 or so times.

We have never practiced tsuki irimi nage or tsuki kote gaeshi

I am nowhere near proficient at any of these techniques....

What should I do?? It is only occasional that there is time to ask a sempai to help me out with these techniques and doing it once a week or less is probably not going to be enough. I wouldn`t say I`m a fast learner but not that slow either. I have brought some Aikido books and it has helped somewhat to get the idea of the techniques but I don`t feel it is enough.

The way Hombu is organised I don`t feel it is something I can talk to one of the sensei`s about... I`m kind of worried about it... I`m due for testing in March... I really like Aikido and it means a lot to me, I really don`t want to fail my test. I know it is a while away but it is something I have to think about now....

thanks in advance for any help and advice

12-18-2003, 09:13 AM
Some things that have helped me (your mileage may differ):

I keep a notebook and write down what we did in every class. The notebook also has an annotated list of the techniques I need for my next test (fourth kyu) and I make a point of trying to relate what we did to those tests. We might not practice the shomenuchi shihonage that I need, but if we did any shomenuchi, or any shihonage, maybe I can make a connection. I also note if any part of the technique is recognizably a hitori waza (solo exercise) because those are easy to drill at home.

The note-taking also tells me what my really weak points are (I had never seen one of the fourth-kyu throws at *all*, I discovered) and then I try to seize on sempai when I have a few minutes, for example between classes, and ask specifically for help on the soft spots. It is easier/politer to ask sempai rather than sensei, and they are often glad to help.

Many of my fellow students also form test-prep partnerships with someone else on their level. I haven't been able to do that yet but would jump at the chance if I got it--that seems to help more than anything else. The student who was uke for my fifth kyu test had a regular practice partner, and the two of them together looked very good--calm, confident, well tuned. I didn't...and I think the specific practice together probably mattered.

Mary Kaye

Nick Simpson
12-18-2003, 05:49 PM
Well done Steven! I dont know how things work at hombu but it sounds like testing times and testing syllabus's are fairly strictly organised. Do you absolutely have to test in march? If your aikido is so important than perhaps it would be better to spend a little longer practising for your 3rd kyu until you are entirely confident in your abilities. I think that would be better than testing at the earliest opportunity and failing. But then again thats just my way of thinking and I tend to always err on the side of caution, it is better to be over prepared than under prepared. Or to qoute one of my favourite saying's: Proper planning prevents p*ss poor performance ;)

Steven Tame
01-12-2004, 06:18 PM
I have returned to England for a while and asked my Sensei for a copy of the BAF testing requirements. When I saw it my jaw dropped. There were just so many techniques even for 5th kyu. Just a quick comparison to BAF and Hombu. My next test will be 3rd kyu.

Hombu requirements

50 days of practice after 4th kyu

-Shomen uchi

Irimi nage

Kote gaeshi

Ikkyo-->Yonkyo (standing/seated)

-Yokomen uchi

shiho nage


Irimi nage

Kote gaeshi

-Ryote dori

Tenchi nage

seated kokyu ho

BAF requirements

-katate dori

kote gaeshi

udekimenage (what is this? never heard of it)

kokyu nage seated/standing/hanmi handachi



-morote dori


shiho nage


-yokomen uchi

shiho nage


kote gaeshi


kaiten nage

kokyu nage




-ryote dori

kokyu nage



-kata dori

san kyo

yon kyo

kokyu nage

shiho nage

(all standing/hanmi handachi/seated)

-shomen uchi


sumi otoshi

uchi kaiten sankyo

kokyu nage


-ushiro ryote dori


shiho nage

kokyu nage

-ushiro kubijime

kokyu nage


I'm wondering why the BAF requirements are so over the top compared to Hombu.

I will be going back to Japan in March and hope to take san kyu at Hombu but after that I will have to follow the BAF requirements since I will be studying at Uni for 2 years in England.

I'm wondering how the gradings can be interchangable with Hombu and BAF when the sylabus is so different. I have 4th kyu from hombu but according to the BAF requirements I couldn't even be a 5th kyu.

Nick Simpson
01-27-2004, 03:53 PM
This kind of difference in syllabus seems to be a common thing, but I think the BAF would respect your rank as it comes from the Hombu and is officially recognised by them.

I've also got loads of stuff to learn for my third kyu, plenty of weapons work and suburi, which is why I dont really want to test for a very long time. I would hate my training to become grade orientated.

01-27-2004, 07:03 PM
In the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), the individual "kingdoms" are allowed to make rules that are more stringent than the national rules but can't be less stringent....maybe it's the same deal here.

I know my sensei requires much more on the tests in his dojo, especially dan tests, than our organization does.


Steven Tame
01-27-2004, 07:31 PM
I suppose the thing is that people would expect that someone with a 4th kyu from hombu would have covered the stuff in the BAF sylabus and maybe more.

I truth is in Hombu I never so much as picked up a bokken or jo. I never used it even once but it seems to be an integral part of the BAF sylabus

Basically as I stated above in Hombu the begginers class basically covers these techniques

shomen uchi irimi nage

katate dori shiho nage

shomen uchi ikkyo

kata dori nikyo

yokomen uchi shiho nage

sitting kokyu ho

basically this covers the sylabus at Hombu up to 4th kyu

occasionally we may do san-kyo, kote gaeshi or tenchi nage.

Normal class starts after you pass 3rd kyu test.

In England all of the classes are like the normal class in Hombu and covers a wide range of techniques and aplications and it has been very difficult for me to adjust and I also have to do a lot of explaining because fellow students kind of expect me to know certain techniques which they assume that I know.

I will be back at Hombu from March and hope to pass my 3rd kyu test in May and move up to the normal class at hombu.

I suppose I just feel a bit weird not being the smae level/experience as same ranked aikido-ka in England

01-27-2004, 07:54 PM

Consider it going for quality over quantity.

I've been taking iaido now for a few months. I can do all 12 of the seitei kata....poorly, but I can do them. I recently met a guy who studied iaido for two years and learned the first 3 kata....and he does them really well. Sure I can do more than he can but it just means I suck at more ;)


04-25-2004, 03:58 AM
To Steven,
Congratulations. I have also been to the Hombu Dojo. The difference in the testing elements is directly related to image.

In Japan "Shodan" means the beginning. Having reached "Shodan" in Japan, it means that you have the required abilities to really begin training. Before I reached "Shodan", all the dojo Yudansha were very gentle, throws done slowly. After I received "Shodan" all that changed. I was a fellow Yudansha and the serious training began. It was open season on the Gaijin.

In most western cultures (meaning US, Canada, UK) "Shodan" is a mark of excellence. The final hurdle to be overcome, before you become a Aikido teacher. This is why the training takes longer and the testing more comprehensive.

My advice to you is dont worry so much about the testing. Aikido is about your personal development. Have confidence in yourself and it will all work out in the end.

Robb Sims

04-25-2004, 04:10 AM
To Charles,

My advice about not being tested is... :rolleyes:

Ask your teacher in private "when can you have a chance to be tested". If he states you are not ready, then ask "what do I need to work on".

It is my opinion that the examiners should make every effort to accomidate examinees who have good reason for being absent.

Hope this helps :)
Robb Sims

Steven Tame
04-25-2004, 07:55 PM
Thanks Robert.... I remember reading something similar to what you said sometime but I didn`t really take it in at the time.
My 3rd kyu test is in 2 weeks now and I feel pretty comfortable about everything except tsuki irimi nage which I haven`t really practiced.
I`ll post back on the results soon.

Nick Simpson
04-27-2004, 07:45 AM
Go for it Steven, Nailing people with Tsuki iriminage can be great fun, just imagine your doing it ai hanme but dont wait for them to grab. Im also preparing for my third kyu but it's not until early july, Im just working on new ways of moving into technique from chudan tsuki and yokomen uchi at the minute. I dont want to repeat what I did for my fourth kyu!

Steven Tame
04-28-2004, 03:27 AM
Sorry Nick I`m a bit confused about what you mean. Do you mean do it the same as katate dori irimi nage? I had a look at Doshu`s book and there were two ways.
1/enter with irimi to the outside of yhe tsuki and just do the Throw
2/use tenshin and do it kind of like yokomen uchi irimi nage

A yudansha showed me to do it like no.1 but to enter,pivot and continue as in shomen uchi irimi nage.

I`m not sure what will be the standard way for the test though....

Nick Simpson
04-28-2004, 05:41 AM
Yeah, the first way sounds like what I meant, Irimi in, cut down the tsuki hand with tegatana and then pivot and apply iriminage. So satisfying when its done right :) When have you got your test Steven?

Steven Tame
04-29-2004, 11:26 AM
My test is on 9th May but I only have 4 practice days left due to all of the national holidays here. I`ve been going through the motions and stuff at home but I need to try the stuff with a real uke before I test.

04-29-2004, 12:31 PM
My sensei hinted towards possibly me testing for my next step (dont know what Kyu...I am currently white belt--Kokikai)...my only concern is that i seem to have a mental block with the names of the moves. I see you folks listing techniques and I will recognize a few words but couldnt tell you what the tech, looks like. Maybe if somebody were to test before me so i could watch one first, but I am the only white belt there...

Nick Simpson
04-30-2004, 09:53 AM
Ask your sensei or a sempai then, im sure they will be more than happy to help you, afterall, knowbody comes to a dojo knowing everything, training is a learning experiance ;)

Nick Simpson
05-11-2004, 07:57 AM
Well Steven, howd your test go? Hope you did good!

Steven Tame
05-12-2004, 03:37 AM
I was told that I needed to work on my footwork but I passed because my te-sabaki was good.

Nick Simpson
05-12-2004, 06:44 AM
Well done! Ive got my third kyu in july possibly but I think I might ask to be pulled out of it, my technique isnt up to scratch and im getting too stressed about it. Id rather learn all this stuff over a period of time and really get the hang of it than cram it in 2 months and make a fool of myself.

Steven Tame
05-12-2004, 10:20 AM
I understand your feelings. I practiced for 5 months for mine but I think your sylabus is probably harder than mine cos my sylabus back in the uk has many more techniques than the Hombu sylabus I`m on now.

05-12-2004, 10:54 AM
Id rather learn all this stuff over a period of time and really get the hang of it than cram it in 2 months and make a fool of myself.

Question...are the requirments for your next grading made available anytime? If so, why not be working on them all the time?

I'm not picking on you ;) It's something I see in my own students as well. The requirements are in the office for anybody to look at. They are told they can get them anytime, but most never do until just before testing.

Just wait until you get into the dan grades. I had less than one days notice for my last test...which was to be in front of the head of our organization no less :D


Nick Simpson
05-12-2004, 03:12 PM
The syllabus is available to me and I know what is required at third kyu, I also know what is required beyond of shodan.. I am working on the requirements all the time, but it just feels rushed to me, I know my grading isnt supposed to be perfect and that its the attitude and what we do when we mess up that is important but im a perfectionist and I cant summon any enthusiasm until I know I will perform correctly all the time. 10% margin for error at the most. Its either going to be an excellent grading or no grading at all.

05-13-2004, 06:58 AM
Hmmm, if I think back on my tests the one that sticks out is sankyu. I learned a lot about myself and my training on that test....because it was terrible :D Now, I wouldn't trade that experience. Having a test where I nearly failed (and probably should have) was the best thing that happened to my training.

I know someone who failed his test for yondan in iaido. He was given a list of 10 things to work on. The next time he tested he again failed. This time however the list was down to 5 things. Instead of being bummed over failing he was excited because he'd fixed half of the things that needed fixing.


Nick Simpson
05-13-2004, 04:24 PM
Worthy advice, you definately learn more from your failings than your winnings. last time I graded I made one empty handed mistake and slightly mucked up 3 out of 10 of the jo suburi, i realised this as I did it, but it was still a very good grading. Ive since corrected these issues but I wont approach third kyu unless im certain that I will do a good job of it, its just not my nature to go into something hoping for the best, I pick my ground and my time and expect to do my best. Im feeling a little more enthusiastic today though, had some brainwaves on the mat concerning tachi dori and kubishime...

12-14-2008, 05:30 PM
I'm going to be taking a test for 5th kyu soon and was looking for some advice on the kinds of mistakes they will look for and how strict the examiners are.

I'm asking because the only kind of martial arts testing I did was a long time ago and was only "kata" based Karate.

If this helps these are the 4 things I need for my test

Katatedori Shiho nage OMOTE/URA

Shomen uchi Irimi nage

Shomen uchi Ikkyo OMOTE/URA


Thanks in advance

Whoa! What organization are you in? We have to do:
1. Shomenuchi Ikkyo
2. Shomenuchi Iriminage
3. Katatetori Shihonage
4. Ryotetori Tenchinage
5. Tsuki Kotegaeshi
6. Ushiro Tekubitori Kotegaeshi
7. Morotetori Kokyuho

12-16-2008, 12:30 PM
Steven is at the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo and they starts at 5th Kyu.