View Full Version : Who deems you ready to test?

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Al-li Edwards
02-21-2005, 10:40 PM
Umm I'm very new here..and I haven't even begun the art yet, but something has me nervous already...and I'm not sure how to put it but I'll try. After you've been practicing for a while..how do you know your ready for a test? I mean do *you* say "I'm ready" or does the Sensei just talk to you one day and tell you that he/she believes your ready? I'm slightly confused about this as I've read different responses. Does it vary from Dojo to Dojo or is there a set standard?

Also...I'm sorta shy..and I'm not sure if this will hinder me when I finally get to taking my tests or not. Is it simply a matter of getting used to the people in your class (which doesn't help me sometimes) or learning to be calm? These maybe simple questions I know..but they've really been bothering me.

Thank You.

Jerry Miller
02-21-2005, 11:45 PM
Sensei will let you know.

02-22-2005, 04:08 AM
Hi Jessica,
it seems to vary dojo to dojo. The majority of dojos tend to go with a system of your instructor will let you know when you are ready, or that is how it appears to me.

the best bet is to join a dojo, start training and find out from fellow students or your instructor how it all works. each instructor and association have their own way of doing things and you will definately not be the first person that your instructor has met that is nervous about these things, so they will understand.

Enjoy your training (when you start)

02-22-2005, 07:24 AM
Wait a sec! You haven't started aikido yet and you're worrying about testing? Go to a dojo, start training, and in a few months ask someone at the dojo about testing if you are still anxious about it. But first, just get out there and train! And have fun...

Steve Mullen
02-22-2005, 09:56 AM
hi jessica, im my experience its your sensei who asks you if you feel you are ready, if he/she does this then don't be affraid to believe in yourself and say yes (but only if you think you are). id deffinately agree with gaia, start training, have fun and you will get to know the people you train with in no time. you will be supprised how quickly you can become friends with someone who you get to beat up a few nights a week :D

02-22-2005, 10:32 AM
There are always two aspects to consider about testing: when you think you are ready, and when your sensei thinks you are ready. ;)

:blush: Contrary to what I've read in this post, some instructors expect their students to ask them if they are ready to test -- they require the student to ask them directly, well in advance of the test date. They may hint, they may tell you that they expect you to test, but unless you ask, they will not test nor promote you.

Remember, the quality of YOUR test is a reflection of the quality of their instruction. Especially if your test is conducted by a regional Teaching Committee, your sensei may be reluctant to allow you a chance to fail. But, sometimes, an instructor may allow you to test before he thinks you are ready, to give you the experience of failure, and force you to focus on what you need to work on. More often, the testee is so over-prepared that failure is not only not an option, it's not even likely.

And it is possible to fail a test, on your own merits. But it's not the end of the world - it's just a test; You can always test again, after further preparation, and then you will know exactly what will be expected of you. :)

Eric Webber
02-22-2005, 12:28 PM
Regardless of who suggests it to whom, the senior students (Sempai) of the dojo should look after the new junior (Cohai) student - You - and guide you on the particular customs and traditions of aikido and that dojo in specific. Find a good Sempai and your aiki journey will be great. Now get on the mat and start having some fun. :D

02-22-2005, 02:53 PM
Your sensei should let you know when it is time to test and some sempai should tell you how the testing works - but don't count on it. Trust me, don't count on it. I had trained for eight months before I overheard somebody talking about the time cards. We log in our time ourselves and eligibility is determined by time elapsed and hours trained. Everybody assumed that I knew how things worked and I assumed that somebody was keeping an eye on me. It turns out that when you assume...

Or put another way, the only dumb question is the one unasked.

02-22-2005, 08:23 PM
In the dojo where I train, Sensei tells you when you're going to test and tells you to get ready. We log time as well though he usually knows who's there and who's not so I doubt it makes a big deal.

The best piece of advice I'd give is to Relax. It'll help in every aspect of Aikido I think. Taking Ukemi (not sure of the spelling), finding your center, preforming techniques, testing, everything. Just relax and things will happen in their own time. Don't worry too much about testing.

The first few weeks I started I told myself I was going to reach Shodan within three years. But I soon realized through my Sensei's example that rank really doesn't matter, it's the skills associated with that rank that I want to attain. Sure I will continue to test and to strive to reach my goal, but if I fall short, it doesn't matter. I enjoy what I am doing and my skills improve a little more every day.

Eventually the nervousness and shyness will pass, after you've tossed around people twice your size your confidence starts to grow :D

In any event have fun with it and don't worry too much about testing, when the time comes, AikiWeb's still here with it's wonderful collection of people and advice.

Al-li Edwards
02-23-2005, 10:20 PM
Thank you, all

I feel alot better now. I have a definite idea of what will probably happen and not. I know..it's alittle premature, I just have a thing about being put on the spot and is notorious for trying to back out of it...even if I *need* it. I'm breaking that habit...slowly but surely. I suppose I just needed to make sure really early so that I can make sure as I practice things I do so in a certain mind set. I practice as I did when I took dance, in a sense Things become instinct so that when the time comes (recital/test)...I don't freeze or forget. Thank you again.

02-23-2005, 11:21 PM
I just have a thing about being put on the spot and is notorious for trying to back out of it...even if I *need* it.

Don't let your Sensei know you get bothered by this. Mine would put you on the spot so you could have practice dealing with it :D ;)


02-24-2005, 07:32 AM
You took dance? That'll help you out with some of the footwork later on. I found that latin ballroom dancing with my girlfriend helped to get me more aware of what my feet were doing and improved my techniques.

Anyways as I said before, I was really shy before and after practicing Aikido for even a few short months I found my confidence had increased by a vast amount. So now, being put on the spot only really gets me when I have no idea how to begin a technique. :D

Al-li Edwards
02-24-2005, 10:50 PM
*Looks shocked* Put me on the spot intentionally? Thats...thats...inhumane j/k lol. I've had a teacher do that to me afew times..I'd try not to make eye contact with the teacher and become "invisible." She'd instantly call me. *Shutters* ugh...lol

Dance will help? That's good to know, I thought it was just good for posture, rhythm, and body awareness not with foot work. Then again I've been told otherwise and it's nice to see that I wasn't delusional in believing it would help me (even if only a little) anyway.

02-24-2005, 11:18 PM
I thought it was just good for posture, rhythm, and body awareness....

"Just", you say....if more of us entered Aikido with "just" these skills we'd be much better than we are :D


02-25-2005, 06:02 AM
Yeah those dance skills will really help you out with Aikido and vice versa. Posture, Rhythm and Body Awareness are key in Aikido. And I found that being able to move your feet in a certain way gets you thinking about them more.

For example, before I started dancing, my Irimi (I think that's right) was almost always unbalanced because I led off with my front foot and usually forgot to bring along my back, something one of the Sempai used to call 'the lame duck walk.' But afterwards I found myself more aware of what my feet were doing and have since corrected the problem.

But anyways get out and start practicing and you'll see what I mean.

Al-li Edwards
02-25-2005, 11:55 PM
Hmmm and to think I used to hate it when my dance teacher would tell us to imagine we're being suspended from the ceiling by a string to get us to stand up straight and thinking "This will never profit me outside of here...." Glad I was wrong.

I eagerly await starting. Whenever the doors open, I'll be one of the first in there registering.

Lyle Laizure
02-26-2005, 07:45 PM
Enjoy your training and don't worry about testing. Think of every class as being a small part of your test. Just showing up can be test enough. Generally speaking your sensei will let you know when you are ready to test. It is considered bad taste in most dojos to ask to test. But with new students some quarter is given. Have fun.

Al-li Edwards
03-14-2005, 10:26 PM
I will follow everyone's advice. The most important point being: "Start training." Though I have to wair for the school to open first. Thank you again for responding. :)