View Full Version : Our dojo just tested; my account (kinda long)

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12-23-2003, 01:13 PM
Hi all, bcole23 from Snake River Aikido here in Idaho Falls, ID. We train under Frank Roberto sensei, sandan, who trains under Frank Doran sensei.

I'm just logging on and writting this to get what I thought and felt down and out of my system and hopefully it has some worth to someone out there. :)

We had two 9 yr olds test. The first ever kids in our dojo and they did very good for 9yr olds. Of course they were very nervous. We also had 3 5th kyu, 2 4th kyu, 2 3rd kyu, and 1 2nd kyu (mine) test. (long class)

The 5th kyu tests were honestly the best 5th kyu tests I've ever seen. The 4th kyu tests blew me away, as did the 3rd kyu tests. Everyone in my dojo really came together and worked very hard at making this a successful day and I'm so proud of all of them.

Now for my personal views on my 2nd kyu test.

I've had almost two years (two classes a week) between my 3rd kyu and my 2nd kyu test. I've been hampered by injuries this last year. I have been nursing a badly torn tendon in my ankle that was aggravated at the beginning of the year. Then after some time off, I came back and cracked a bone in my finger. After that healed, I broke my index toe in two and was out for a month and a half. I finally get back from that and I get in a car wreck and get whiplash. The next class I'm in a hard collar and sensei announces that it's almost test time. I think that my sensei put off testing as long as he could to allow me enough time to heal so I could test. Needless to say, I didn't uke for anyone last night which makes me feel sorta bad because EVERYONE uke'd for me. I was feeling really out of sorts because I had been off of the muscle relaxers for a couple of days and had huge headaches because of it. So I was just starting back on them and was feeling really out of sorts last night. I had also been up 'till 1:30 am the night before dealing with a personal problem.

Getting the idea of how I felt yet?

Well, this is why you have to practice consistently whether you want to practice or not. If you only practice when you feel like it, you'll bomb when have to do it when you don't feel like it.

I started out nervous as everyone does but I felt that I got my nerves and breathing under control after about the first few techniques. My main things I always try to do when testing is to slow things down, be controled, not hurt anyone, flow, footwork, and actually try to 'do' aikido, not just techniques.

So I started out with Shomenuchi, Ikkyou - Gokyou, ommotte and ura. Then went on to do shomenuchi shihonage, kaintennage, kotegaeshi, and irimi nage. Then did pretty much that whole list plus a bunch of others from kata dori, yokumen uchi, gyaku yokumen uchi, tsuki, ryotedori, morotedori, ushiro ryotedori, hanmi handachi, suwari waza, etc etc etc.

Then I did some jiyu waza. This is where sensei said I did my best. He worked me until I was tired as heck and didn't have any way of putting muscle into anything cuz I didn't have any muscle to use at that point. What was nice is that I only lost my flow in the jiyu waza once (that I can remember, gotta go look at the tape). I did what to me was a suprising number of techniques as from my experience, people tend to get tired and do the few techniques that they are really comfortable with and not what may be appropriate for the situation. I definitely cleared my mind (for the first time) and didn't once think, "Ok, I'm gonna do this technique now, cuz I haven't done it yet." I just tried to let everything go. Overall, I don't know how I did from my personal viewpoint cuz it all kinda goes by you at a hundred miles an hour, but sensei said I did very well. One thing that was bad, or good depending on how you look at it, was my conditioning was a little off from the time I spent recovering from my accident. Normally, everyone in my class is expected to do 50 roles at the beginning of the class and more advanced people do 100. (my max is 75 or so)

The weird thing was, after the class, I was so elated and happy, but a TON of other weird emotions were going on inside me. I think it had to do with finals at school, lack of sleep, problems at home/work, maybe a bad reaction to my medications. I just hope that no one took my weirdness after class the wrong way.

Well, there you have it. Hopefully, I'll get to see the tape soon and see how I did from my viewpoint.

As a final note:

MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR, and love to everyone.

Jesse Lee
12-23-2003, 02:06 PM
Didja pass?

Either way good job :cool:

12-23-2003, 02:41 PM
:D Yes, I did. When I'm through with the redesign of our website, I'll hopefully have pictures and videos to post. We recorded on a digital camera so it shouldn't be too tough to do.

12-23-2003, 03:24 PM
If you had a concussion, you could also get very emotional.

12-23-2003, 09:09 PM
Nah, it was almost two months ago, but I agree with your point.

12-24-2003, 07:51 AM
that's one scary series of injuries..

did you offend a higher power? :)

anyway, nice writing about your experience. Maybe we all should do this every now and then.

12-24-2003, 09:14 AM
Sometimes Aiki-Web becomes Aiki-Blog. Many Aikidokas share their story and wait for comments from other posters...

08-23-2005, 11:35 PM
Our dojo just tested again. I have passed my 1st Kyu test and while that's nice, I just can't express say how extremely proud I am of all the other people who tested. Congratulations to everyone who had just outstanding tests.

What I find both amazing (and bit disconcerting that I'm getting old), is how good everyone else in the dojo has gotten. We've really had a commitment from everyone that is absolutely phenomenal.

From my first post in this thread (blog), I noted my injury to my ankle. I've had steriod injections, physical therapy, and mucho time. It's still screwed up and overall, my ankles seem to be degenerating somewhat. Before every class, I take Tylenol and Ibuprofen and I ice all the time. When I get up in the morning, I walk like an old man until things start loosening up a bit. The point at which my other leg's calf muscle attaches to the foot constantly hurts and I'm not sure if it's just small tears or inflamation in the bursae. I could go on, but basically, I've been just trying to keep everything working until I tested so that I could take the necessary steps to fix the problems that I have. I'm really not wanting to though since I'll miss Aikido, but I need to.

As for my test itself, even though I dropped 17 lbs since my last test and was in better shape, I still felt that I wasn't at an appropriate fitness level. Part of that is injury related, and part is lack of time and too many commitments such as family, work, university, etc., but really, though those are partially reasons, they're more excuses aren't they?

The big change from this test from the last one was, other than another years worth of work, was a realization that I had. In the past, I was always concentrating on making sure that the throw or technique worked and was sufficently, well, martial. However, this line of thinking leads one to make non-aikido adjustments, however small, to effect a technique that may not be correct. As I am a the ranking student in class, I guess I was feeling pressure to be correct all the time but didn't have the proper perspective, looking correct and being correct are not the same. That's why I feel that being a sensei would be difficult to say the least. I realized that if my aikido is wrong, in a training environment, the correct thing to do is to do it incorrectly and find out why your Aikido is not Aikido. It's the beginner's mind thing. It's funny that as I progress farther that I feel more and more like a beginner. It's part of finding the path I guess. Needless to say, to me, I looked pretty bad there for a while as often, I would not get the throw or whatnot, but I allowed myself to just let things happen, trying to blend and not force things. I've had to really work on appropriate response, it's been a weak point.

I must say that Aikido has been a huge part of my life, ever since the first time I started back in '93 (4 years of Air Force in there..) . I am indebted to Roberto Sensei for the IMMENSE amount of patience that he has shown me and the years that we've spent practicing together. Often I can come off a unapproachable and much too businesslike in what I do (too much work) and I regret the times that I've come to Aikido in bad moods or with a chip on my shoulder. Inevitably, by the end of class, I'm grounded and centered and happy, but it shouldn't be at anyone elses expense. So what I've been trying to learn is the Ai part of Aikido and trying to leave the harm part of harmony out of it. (stops rambling)

Anywhoo, one of my main views on testing is that it is to demonstrate that which you have learned, in a stress situation. The bulk of a test is however, not in the 30 minutes that you're testing, but in every day you practice, every day you try to live a good life and be a good person, every time you step on the mat and begin again anew.

So, I'm gonna go keep practicing.

08-24-2005, 01:49 AM

A very nice conclusion to your initial post. Best of luck to you in your future training. Sounds like you have traveled a significant distance on the path....


Nick Simpson
08-25-2005, 08:08 AM
Nice one dude, glad you did good. i've got my first kyu next saturday *shudder*...

08-14-2012, 04:28 PM
Necktie... Nectar... I'm sure it was an 'N' word... [ ref: Army of Darkness ]
*Thread Resurrection Complete*

Just finished and passed my Shodan test here at Snake River Aikido. I just thought it might be interesting to go back and read this and thought, why not post it? Trust me, I could've done much better and much worse. It's also my first time converting .mov movies and cutting them up, so I'm not sure on the quality.

Part 1 (http://youtu.be/l1gqPTWNFdg)

Part 2 (http://youtu.be/hOZCf4D9rms)

Part 3 (http://youtu.be/YbVxnMwr3Eo)

08-16-2012, 02:50 PM
Congats on Shodan.
Good work putting them up, not sure I'd want my tests up for world view, bad enough when my sensei included some of our tests in loop of aikido vids she plays on the monitor at the entry of the dojo. Took me a while before I could even bring myself watch my video, maybe that's just me :)

Janet Rosen
08-16-2012, 03:48 PM
Necktie... Nectar... I'm sure it was an 'N' word... [ ref: Army of Darkness ]
*Thread Resurrection Complete*

LOL! Congratulations!

08-20-2012, 07:40 PM
Congrats on Shodan. I myself have joined your ranks of Shodan. I enjoyed reading your journey of how you got there. Awesome.