View Full Version : Testing vs demonstration

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dan guthrie
06-18-2004, 07:27 AM
I just did my 5th Kyu demonstration last night. It's my first.
I was a nervous wreck until sensei distracted me with a shiny object, and a lot of mind-occupying games. After I got up in front and started tenkan, the pressure stopped.
I'm still new so I may be wrong, but in our dojo you are invited to demonstrate after sensei has watched you do the required techniques during regular class. It's not a test, she already knows you can do it. It really lessens the pressure.
Does this match anyone else's experience?

06-18-2004, 07:43 AM
No but i really like it. Well done

Charles Hill
06-19-2004, 09:54 PM
sensei distracted me with a shiny object

Years ago, in ATM, there was an article of a Yoshinkan dojo in Indiana that dropped testing and went to a system of grading demonstrations. There were some letters to the editor criticising the idea, but I thought it was a good one.

Charles Hill

Lan Powers
06-19-2004, 10:11 PM
* Testing vs demonstration


I was a nervous wreck until sensei distracted me with a shiny object, and a lot of mind-occupying games.

Works for me! Shiny objects, bits of string, trailing a ribbon on the ground for me to bat at...etc. :p
Simple games for simple minds (mine that is...I don't know yours) :rolleyes:


dan guthrie
06-20-2004, 07:40 AM
Oooh, pretty colors . . . :D

Lyle Laizure
06-20-2004, 05:56 PM
In our school once a test candidate performs their test the candidate then teaches class for a few minutes while the board discusses the test. Long before that though students are invited to demonstrate/teach techniques during regular class. But all the while leading up to test day the candidate has been demonstrating to his/her sensei.

Testing vs. Demonstration hmmmmmmm. Depending on how one does a demonstration this could be a good thing. Maybe it is a word thing but I am an advocate of testing. In the beginning the standards are loose but as the student progresses the standard is raised to a higher level. For my last test I had two ukes that were trying very hard to connect with their strikes. If I were doing "demonstration" I do not feel my technique would have been efficient in protecting me.

dan guthrie
06-20-2004, 08:16 PM
I haven't seen any higher level "tests" yet but I think the same escalation of quality is part of each level. The fourth and third kyu tests I've seen were much more demanding than my demonstration. The point for me, at least, is that a demonstration doesn't lessen my effort or sincerity. I still have to do the technique properly. You can't fake Aikido, at least I can't. The only downside I can see is that it might take a little longer to get to the next level. Higher ranking isn't on my "to do" list. The demonstration is a rite of passage.

07-13-2004, 07:33 PM
Mr Laizure and myself share the same instructor, and have both gone on to start our own schools. I feel that we both handle promotions in the same way. The chief instructor of the dojo knows if the testing candidate is going to pass or fail the test before the arts are ever demonstrated. As far as my school goes, the students never really know when they are going to be tested or in what manner they will be tested in. I've given a couple weeks notice, a week's notice, a day's notice, an hour's notice and on a few occasions, informed them that they had just tested after it took place. I guess that I use a combination of both methods, it all depends on the student and the situation. In saying this, I don't feel that it suggests favoritism as each student is keyed up and nervous for their respective tests. I feel that the nervousness is important because a real life situation that might require you to use your training is not going to be a calm or pleasant experience. The testing helps you perform under pressure and helps build your composure.

Mike Taylor
Rising Star Aikido