View Full Version : Knowing you have already passed

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06-01-2004, 05:49 PM
After reading the thread about standards for testing I felt compelled to start this thread.

It seems that most dojos work off the idea that testing schedules are held and students can apply to test. After they have done the test they must wait for a decision as to whether they passed or not. (I could be totally wrong on this)

At my club testing works a little differently. We have scheduled grading times, but the sensei tells the students who will be going for the grading and generally this means that sensei thinks those students are ready to advance. So basically the decision has already been made. What the grading is used for is to see how the student performs under pressure and to see where the students needs to improve in technique.
Now, of course some students refuse the offer, but to do this is a great insult to the sensei as he obviously sees the skill in the student so to turn him down is like saying "you don't know what you are talking about, I'm not that good yet".
Sensei obvioulsy thinks you are.

So some students may not grade for a while because sensei doesn't think they are ready so won't ask them to grade.

What I like about this method is that I can go to training and not worry about cramming for a test. I just forget about ranks and train as well as I can, when sensei thinks I'm ready to advance he will tell me. Of course, I start to get nervous when I'm told that I'll be participating in the next grading, but hey, I"m only human.

Is my club alone in this method or am I reading things wrong?

Jessie Brown
06-05-2004, 07:35 PM
My dojo's way of doing things is kind of similar. Students can ask Sensei if they have his permission to test. Sensei has no problem telling students to wait if he thinks they aren't ready. If he does allow them to test, this is by no means a guarantee but rather an endorsement along the lines of, "if you continue training hard and if you prepare, you will pass the test."

So...students almost always pass their tests. Only infrequently, when the student doesn't rise to the occasion, does he not pass. We don't have the kind of testing where there's usually someone who doesn't pass. Of course, there are always varying degrees of success, which influences how soon Sensei will allow you to take your next test, etc...

Testing is and should be stressful on some level, though, so I wouldn't think a guaranteed pass would be constructive.

Jeanne Shepard
06-05-2004, 08:10 PM
We get told its time to prep for the next level (test), as in " I think, Jeanne, you should be ready to take 2nd Kyu in November." That means, though, that learning all the techniques ,( and the correct variations) on the test is up to us, and we have to find a sempai who will work with us, because not all of the required techniques are done routinely in classes.


Nick Simpson
06-08-2004, 07:12 AM
Were told when we will test by our sensei.

06-08-2004, 07:29 AM
we have a test every 3 month, and if you get the 1st Kyu, you wait 1 year and attend to 4 seminars during the time, to get a black belt.

If you have participated almost to every training, you have the right to take a kyu test (but I saw people who come to train just 2 weeks ago before the test is done and also take the test !!!)...almost everybody passes the test (have not seen yet anyone who failed)...about 3 weeks before the test will be hold, we start to train only the techniques, we will be responsible at the test.

06-08-2004, 08:28 PM
One good thing about belonging to an independant style of Aikido is that we don't have things like set test times and applying for tests. The theory our style uses for testing is that you are constantly testing for the next rank. (Example: a student tests for 4th kyu. The next he gets on the mat, he starts testing for 3rd kyu.) The actual tests are more of a demonstration instead of a pass/fail event. Our Sempai and Sensei do not put us up for the different ranks unless we are ready for that rank.

06-08-2004, 10:01 PM
My dojo test biannually. Whether you pass or not, the decision has already more or less been decided by the chief instructor (sensei) weeks in advance. When we practice, I observe that my sensei will inconspiciously observe our techniques, our kokuro (spirit) and general attitude. When the final day comes, it is more to see how we handle ourselves under pressure. If you do not make a major blunder you pass.

If you are going for higher grades, sometimes the sensei will also ask us to take over the junior grades class and he will observe you, quitely. You better know your stuff. From these activities my sensei would have decide if you are ready to move ahead.


06-09-2004, 03:53 AM

I actually have no idea i no one has even given me a ocument or told me how the system works in my Dojo!

sad but true.What I do know is that 1 year agao there was a girl who started at the same time as me nad is now a black belt,so i guess it takes one year at my dojo to become a blackbelt!!

just my 2 cents,

Tiyler Durden

06-10-2004, 11:55 AM
I'd like to clarify what I said earlier. There is one way you can fail the tests in our style of Aikido - You give up! As long as you push yourself to get through the test, you are promoted.