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Connor Haberland 03-08-2008 02:31 PM

My shodan test
 
Its finally time, everyone. Four years into Aikido, and its time for the biggest test in my life. My senseis always tell me that the preparation for this is, well, H E double hockey sticks. I will be testing for shodan on May 11th. So far I havent gotten hurt while training for it, but, it takes your energy. The things I love to practice most on are: Jo dai san, Randori, Bokken Dori, and Kumitachi's.

I will be prepared, but then again, no one can be perfect.

Connor
:ai: :ki: :do:

Stefan Stenudd 03-08-2008 05:49 PM

Basics
 
Good luck with your coming test!
May I give some suggestions? If they're not relevant to you, just forget about them.

Often in a shodan test, you are expected to show a decent ability with the basic techniques in the basic attack forms. Beforehand, check through the list of demands for the grade, and try out the things you have not done in a while. It is easy to forget how to do a basic technique against one or other uncommon attack form, especially in the stress of a grading test.

At the test, make sure to do reigi (the bowing and stuff) with style and devotion - that will make the examinators positive, and the opposite might aggravate them.
Along that line: make sure not to let uke pay for your shortcomings - for example by using unnecessary force when you are unsure of how to manage a technique.

If you lose your breath - and that is likely in a test, where the nerves make you waste a lot of energy - concentrate on exhaling forcefully, so that you give room for fresh air to enter your lungs. Don't worry about inhaling - your body will take care of that fine, without you having to think about it :)

At the moment when you enter into a technique, start thinking about what you might need to do after it is finished. This is a good way to stay ahead, so to speak. Many people tend to think only about what they are doing at the moment, so they have no time to prepare for what they need to do next.
When you have entered a technique - the first step and arm movement - you can trust that the body knows how to finish it, without your mind needing to focus on it.

Try to keep a straight posture throughout. That makes the techniques look fine, even if you don't do them perfectly ;)

There's more, but that was what I got off the top of my head. I hope it is of some use to you.

No Dan 03-08-2008 09:21 PM

Re: My shodan test
 
A little hint from my test last year. Just do it the test is already over. Once this portion is understood you will have fun with it. Then look at all the photos people will take and you will see what people are talking about. Entering into the technique and already finished as you go to the next uke esp in Randori. Of course you will say like I did at the end. Man did I suck...lol...
Anyways goodluck and you will do fine. If your sensei didn't feel you were ready for this step you more than likely wouldn't be taking it right now.

Connor Haberland 03-09-2008 09:12 AM

Re: My shodan test
 
Thanks for your help, guys. I think Im gonna do well, but my problem is not being able to remember my Tonto Dai 1, which I could do really well. Which I know Master Jarret will ask me to do.

lt-rentaroo 03-09-2008 02:29 PM

Re: My shodan test
 
Hello Connor,

Keep your mind at ease and remember to breathe, you'll do well. Will you be testing at the Chishinkan Dojo or will you have to travel to the St Albans Dojo?

Shizentota 03-09-2008 03:13 PM

Re: My shodan test
 
I will be testing for shodan on May too, I will travel to Japan for it, and I am nervous too, I will be testing this with all new Ukes, all Japanese inf front of Takeda sensei, ufff It sounds scary but when I look inside me I said, no matter how much I trained I will fell the same way, then I think, If my Sensei doesn't think I am prepared for it he wouldn't ask me to take this challenge.

Good luck I will needed too , so please any tips or advice are welcome.

Regard
:) Manu

Connor Haberland 03-09-2008 05:41 PM

Re: My shodan test
 
Louis, I will be testing at the Chishinkan Dojo.

rob_liberti 03-22-2008 11:14 PM

Re: My shodan test
 
My advice is to note well how hard you are training right now for your test. This is supposed to be your new base level of training intensity. You step it up and don't step back down after you pass. Good luck and enjoy it. -Rob

Jory Boling 03-22-2008 11:56 PM

Re: My shodan test
 
Quote:

Manuel Aldunate wrote: (Post 201268)
I will be testing for shodan on May too, I will travel to Japan for it, and I am nervous too, I will be testing this with all new Ukes, all Japanese inf front of Takeda sensei, ufff It sounds scary but when I look inside me I said, no matter how much I trained I will fell the same way, then I think, If my Sensei doesn't think I am prepared for it he wouldn't ask me to take this challenge.

Good luck I will needed too , so please any tips or advice are welcome.

Regard
:) Manu

Hi Manu! I feel your pain! I haven't tested for shodan but the AKI tests stress me out! Not so much the waza but the Japanese portion of them! and the burnout ukemi at the end. Good luck!

Daniel Blanco 03-24-2008 01:36 PM

Re: My shodan test
 
Hi Jory, I just passed my Shodan Exam on 2/29/08 in front of x3 Fifth Dans,my advice to you is get your stamina up,by jogging at least 4 to 5 miles a week,work on your routine until it comes natural,then stay calm through out your exam,dont rush,show your tech,and move with confidence and you will be excellent. Good Luck.

lockdown tactics 03-31-2008 11:22 AM

Re: My shodan test
 
Congrats! Thats A great accomplishment!

Nick P. 03-31-2008 12:42 PM

Re: My shodan test
 
Second the cardio advice; not just for the test, but always.
And welcome to the fold.

<get it? fold? like the hakama? you know, folding....never mind.>

Shizentota 03-31-2008 01:46 PM

Re: My shodan test
 
Quote:

Jory Boling wrote: (Post 202339)
AKI tests stress me out! Not so much the waza but the Japanese portion of them! and the burnout ukemi at the end.

What do you mean,
they make you fall till your last breath, how will you define the test?

Thanks

cconstantine 04-02-2008 10:44 AM

Re: My shodan test
 
Quote:

Connor Haberland wrote: (Post 201218)
Its finally time, everyone. Four years into Aikido, and its time for the biggest test in my life.

Everyone above has had many great things to say!

Here's a piece of advice I give often: Pay attention to your ukes. Not in the "protect them" sense -- although that is very important!

Rather, I mean honestly notice them, and greet them with a smile and an open heart when they are called up to work with you. When you bow to them, do it with care and respect. If you speak to them (depending on your Aikido style/traditions) try to be pleasant; don't gasp and cough (if you can help it) and don't rush yourself or your uke. Approach the whole test, and the whole experience of the test, with a relaxed mind and an open heart. Try to think of the "now" and not the "what's next" or "when will I be done."

Why?

In those few minutes of your test -- and really, even a 45 minute, gruelling dan grading is only a precious few minutes or your life -- you're going to make some very unique memories. Chances are the people working with you are already your very close friends. Some of my favorite Aikido memories are from tests in moments shared with my friends and mentors.

Enjoy your test!
-c


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