View Full Version : Wondering whether to test for 5th kyu

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Brehan Crawford
12-03-2003, 02:08 PM

First of all, I realize I should probably just discuss this with my sensei, but I'm somewhat bored at work and would love to hear opinions of those of you who have more experience in this area than I.

My dojo will be holding tests towards the end of January and I'm pondering asking sensei if he thinks I could test for 5th kyu. I've been training since the beginning of September 3 times a week save two 2-week absences (one due to travel and illness, the other due to a broken toe, when I came and watched class but didn't participate).

I think I will have had the required mat time by the testing date but I'm not sure what is expected of 5th kyus besides that and knowledge of the techniques... is it okay to still consider myself a clumsy beginner or should I be a bit more confident in my technique, in maintaining my center, in controlling uke's center, etc?

I guess my real questions are: how did some of you know when you were ready for your first test? And for those of you that are sensei/instructors, how did you know when your students were ready, and what did you look for in their testing?

Thanks! :D

12-03-2003, 03:38 PM
how did some of you know when you were ready for your first test?
My instructor put my name on the testing roster :D

The etiquette in our particular dojo is to not ask to test. If you have met the time requirments and do not see your name on the testing roster it's ok to ask what you need to work on, but not to be put on the roster. Of course this is just us. The etiquette in your dojo may be wildly different. Find a sempai and ask what the correct way is if you don't already know.

Bronson (who didn't feel at all ready for his first test even with nearly 3 times the required mat time)

12-03-2003, 04:17 PM
Hi !

A little off topic -

Is it OK for you to chat at Aikiweb when working ?

I'd hate to see you fired - and not being able to pay matfees !

yours - Chr.B.

Brehan Crawford
12-03-2003, 04:30 PM
The etiquette in your dojo may be wildly different. Find a sempai and ask what the correct way is if you don't already know.
I doubt we're "wildly" different :) but I don't see anything specifically about testing on the etiquette sheet. I think asking a sempai may be the best thing to do. Thanks!

And Christian - I'm pretty free to goof off at work as long as I get my job duties done first. But thank you for your concern!

12-03-2003, 05:04 PM
As a general rule; in our dojo we test for a particular level when we feel ourselves confident at performing the next level - i.e. if we're preparing for a 5th kyu test; we'll practice until we're comfortable with the 4th kyu techniques. That way; we're that much more comfortable with the level we're testing for, and ready for any surprises the testing panel might throw at us.

Hope this helps. :)

Jim ashby
12-03-2003, 06:10 PM
If you don't take the test, you can't pass it.

Jeanne Shepard
12-03-2003, 11:51 PM
I've never felt ready for ANY test I've taken, and I've only failed one ( 4th Kyu, first time)


12-03-2003, 11:54 PM
A Portland person, that's nice - you've got a fun dojo, btw. . .

I think testing really is a question of how your dojo does it. At my first dojo, you just signed up to test if you had the hours and you either passed or failed, that was your problem, sensei did not interfere with encouragement or dire warnings beforehand. :) Under that system, I trained regularly for 1.5 yrs before first testing.

I'm not at all sure how testing works in my current dojo (only been in Portland for a few months), but I've got a feeling sensei's much more involved (this is a MUCH smaller dojo , so that's an understandable difference). I'm not in a rush to test, but I will if it comes up in a conversation that I should.

It's a bit different with the first test, I guess - I think I'd have been better off if I'd taken it earlier, just for the motivation, so I'd recommend you take it now if at all possible. At least in my first dojo, almost nobody ever failed the first test (the only person I know of who failed showed up after less than half the required mat time and took a fall badly, being unable to continue). Doing it can prolly give a boost to morale and, by extension, technique.

Good luck!

Ps. Yeah, ask your sempai, they're smart people. I'm in the same dorm with one of them (Louis) :D.

12-04-2003, 04:24 AM
One of the rules of thumb in our dojo is that if you feel completely ready for the test you probably should've tested sooner ;) This of course only applies if, in the past, sensei has put you on the roster and you've chosen to not test.


12-04-2003, 05:53 AM
Our dojo is pretty traditional since our Sensei trained in Japan: bow went entering and leaving the dojo, bow at the start of class, bow to partner throughout class, don't talk during the practice (unless you're asking a question). Maybe that's why we don't ask if we're ready to test -- I don't think it would even occur to any of us. Sensei tells us when he wants us to test, and we trust his judgement. (That doesn't stop us from being nervous about testing, thought, when he tells us we're ready.)

Michael Karmon
12-04-2003, 06:27 AM
I've never felt ready for ANY test I've taken, and I've only failed one ( 4th Kyu, first time)

In our dojo you practically can not fail a Kyu test. In our dojo Kyu tests are given every 3 months. You write your name on the roster Sensei hangs out. The practice is to ask a Sempai a month ealier if you are ready. Even if the Sempai arpporves Sensei may suggest to you that he belives you should not test this time and you do not test.

Kyu tests are done in a very sympathetic and supportive environment and you will have to perform dismally in order to fail.

I am probably testing for my 3rd Kyu on Sunday.

12-04-2003, 08:06 AM
Interisting question. In the Dojo where I train, there is a system of 'pre-grading' tests with feedback. Even so I don't think I know anyone who ever felt ready to grade/test.

Personally I think the word for people who feel completely ready to test is complacent.

Brehan Crawford
12-04-2003, 04:21 PM
Thank you all for the comments. I think I'm going to hold off on testing for this next round, and just continue to focus on training. :)