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So I've been sitting here for weeks, looking at the aikiblog link (OK, so I wasn't just sitting here, staring at a link, for weeks...I DID do other things, too! sheesh) thinking about what the things I could write, to pass on the gleanings I have discovered, some sage words of wisdom for all those doka to read, reflect, and nod sagely in their newfound wisdom.
I have trouble reading other people's reflections on Aikido. It's why I don't get long-winded discussions about say, iriminage, very often. And so, I found myself procrastinating in writing this blog, not to mention the paper due in a week! :O Just call me The Procrastinator...better yet, don't.
Still, to be honest: procrastination IS a part of my M.O., especially when it comes to journalism. I wait until the last minute to write about a new adventure, and little-to-no writing about the day-to-day, normal elements of what my life is like, before the adventure.
And so, here I begin my "Sandan-ho" blog, a week before I test. It lacks the appropriate build-up, careful meditation and a recounting of the process that got me from "there," to "here," you say?
But let me take a moment here to give you the Cliff Notes. You invested in reading about my test-preparation, and an accounting you shall get. And, what a journey it has been.
I have always been adverse to the "X-treme Testing Mania" that seems to afflict us all at some point in our respective paths. You know: a few weeks before a big test and suddenly there's a committed cadre of ppl who want to train, train, train, after class is over, as jiyukeiko, or sharpening up this or that technique, staying on for an hour or so for a few nights, getting all hopped on testing day, and then...blam--a month later, they disappear for a couple of weeks, or months.
They burned themselves out, cramming for the test.
I always thought that a really good test should be an "organic" part of training, that the test should enrich your training, and not the other way around. But, our society and educational system teaches us to do the opposite--we train to enrich our test.
For me, tho: this time it will be different. But, maybe the difference lay less in my approach, than in the very nature of the test. In Sandan, I am expected to give a demonstration designed by me, as opposed to demonstrating technique called out by Sensei (or a testing board).
In my dojo, the parameters for Sandan are:
1. At least 15min in length, preferably 20
2. The demonstration must have the following elements:
a. "Basics" (ikkyo thru yonkyo);
b. jiyu waza;
d. and some form of weapons.
3. I also have to write about some aspect of Aikido and distribute it in some form to the community (newsletter, internet, etc).
Pretty broad parameters. Just the way I like it.
Tomorrow, I'll go into more detail about what, exactly: I am preparing for my demonstration. Constructive feedback is always welcomed.