View Full Version : My first graduation

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10-21-2003, 07:34 PM
Hello everyone.

I have been training Aikido for a little under a year, with a 4 month pause in between, and I have just gotten the opportunity to do my first graduation.

I asked my sensei if I could try when the next one came around, and he told me that he believed I should, as I was ready for it. (This is the first graduation in my time at the dojo)

He told me that we start out by testing for the 10th Kyu, and if we do well, the sensei will ask us to do something more advanced and we will have moved up to the 9th, if that goes well, we can try for the 8th and so on. So it is possible to go up more than one kyu at a time if I understood him correctly.

My question is: What should I focuse on in order to prepare myself? My ukemi needs work, so that is where I will start, but besides from that, what is expected?

I realise this is a tough question as dojo's are different, and I may be good at one thing, and bad at another, but I would really appreciate some pointers and advice.

What is expected at the first kyu's, and what can I do to improve my aikido in the 2 weeks I have?


10-21-2003, 08:21 PM
What to prepare yourself for when testing in Aikido is near impossible to give advice on. Even within the same organization the differences (preferences really) are always the difference between pass and fail. Even though we can all argue irimi-nage is irimi-nage – it’s not the same between teachers let alone organizations.

I remember my first test, I had practiced all the techniques for 5th kyu for 2 months straight, only to be scolded by our shihan that my attacks were all wrong during the test and couldn’t really understand what he was even saying due to his poor English…and he almost failed everyone just because of that one reason but reconsidered when he found out we had never even seen his style of attacks – and he was our shihan!

The hardest part is that each “style” has specific idiosyncrasies as how to attack, and how to hold the wrist, and how to roll, and what the names are called. It’s near impossible to even discuss techniques (as you will notice on this forum) because of the diversity.

And while yes, people could give you very general advice like relax, find out what in particular your requirements are and concentrate on those things…that advice is the same thing you’ll get on your SATs or an exam or any test for that matter, so I don’t know how valuable it is.

Really you need to ask someone in your organization – for instance I have never even seen a style that has 10 kyu ranks (other than for children to adult (i.e. the first 5 are children kyu ranks, and the next 5 are the normal adult kyu ranks)).

Hopefully someone from your style or organization will reply :)

10-22-2003, 03:36 AM
Hi Alexander.

I'm from Aarhus, and we both practice in dojo's associated with the Danish Aikikai. On the page http://www.aikikai.dk you can see the curriculum for gradings within our society. However you will not find anything about 10-6 kyu. Those gradings are decided by each dojo in the country.

I think you should ask your sensei - or one of the senior students to tell you what is demanded for your first test, and what you should prepare. It is likely that they will tell you that you must wait and see, since these kyu-gradings must be very basic stuff.

The best thing you can do to improve is to go to as many practices as possible and have as much fun as you can. Remember nothing can truly go wrong. You grade as far as you are ready to grade, and if you fail there will allways be another chance later. Don't be scared about gradings. They are a faboulus chance of getting very competent comments on your technique, so just enjoy it and get as much of out it as you possibly can.

I hope you have great fun.

BTW: will you be going to the camp this weekend in Odense ?

Ari Bolden
10-22-2003, 04:00 AM
Hey Bruce,

I always found trying to understand Kawahara Sensei more difficult than the actual test! I KNOW what you are talking about!

The funny thing is that he is from Osaka and most Japanese have trouble understanding him (as they call it "Osaka Slang")

Made me smile....thanks!