Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
Last night's test went pretty darned well. In addition to the 2nd kyu test for Richard and me, we had two people test for 7th kyu -- Justin and Greg. Greg tested for some 6th kyu test techniques too, but he was not quite ready for those. Robert would have tested for 4th kyu, but he's recently back from a toe injury and didn't feel ready to test. He took ukemi, however. Micah (our senior student) suffered a freak injury to his ankle this past Tuesday, so he did not take ukemi. He sat with our sensei and was part of the testing committee (which consisted of him and our sensei *grin*). Craig, who has been with us for a month or two also took some ukemi. The other Robert (I think we'll call him Bob), who just started on Saturday and had previously studied TKD, mostly watched, but he provided some good ukemi for Richard and me when we had to test against kicks.
After the two 7th kyu tests, Richard and I tested for 2nd kyu. We started out with ki tests (unliftable body and testing whilst standing on one foot). Then we had an oral exam on a couple of key questions regarding aikido. That went pretty well except that I could remember very little about Earth breathing, heaven breathing, and human breathing. They came up as part of the question on meditation training. However, I acquitted myself well when talking about before-and-after-class meditation, and zasen meditiation. My blank on breathing was due to the fact that we hadn't practiced it for three or more years -- something our instructor realized.
The technique part of the test went well. For part of it, Richard and I took ukemi for one another, other times we had other ukes. After having lost so much weight since my last test, I found that I didn't get so winded. That was a great feeling! Our sensei noticed that I'm in better shape as well. I swore after the last test that I'd loose weight and I did. We did jiyu waza, but not randori as we had a dearth of healthy, experienced ukes. Mentally, I was ready both to perform a nage and uke, so I was a little disappointed.
We'll get the official results of the test on Tuesday, but our sensei said, in not so many words that we passed.
Our instructor likes to make the point that the purpose of testing is not really to see if we're good enough for the rank, but rather to demonstrate that we know the requirements and can then show junior members what they need to know. I think that an additional benefit is that the junior members seeing Richard and me test for brown belt gave us a bit more credibility. We showed that we could perform under stressful circumstances. This is not an ego stroke, but rather a way of showing that we have earned our particular places in dojo and we can accept the added responsibility. At the same time, I thought it was fantastic that everyone got to participate in the testing. In time, the new students will, I hope, come to learn why I was so grateful for their ukemi.