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-   -   How long before first test? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=255)

Kajiko 09-09-2000 02:45 PM

hi out there!
My sister and i started Aikido at the beginning of last month (August). Anyway, we used to wake up really early and go to the morning classes, which has all adults (i found it intimidating on my first class, hehe), we went about..*counts* 4 days a week, and since school has started, it's only been three, because we both have to go to the evening classes. Each class lasts about 1 hour 1/2, and i was wondering, how long would it be before I can test for kyu 7? anyway, thanks for reading =^.^=

-Kajiko

ze'ev erlich 09-09-2000 02:51 PM

hi kajiko

enjoy your aikido classes

what do you care so much about ranking?

your sensei will test you when you are ready.

you should just train to be a good aikidoka, it is far beyond being good at applying aikido techniques.

think about it.

yours

Ze'ev





Kajiko 09-09-2000 03:05 PM

Well, i didn't intend the message to be like that, I was just curious. I do enjoy my classes; i enjoy learning new techniques every visit and meeting new friends each time, and the privilege of being taught Aikido. It's not like I am not allowed to know the average time between beginning aikido and then testing for rank, right?
And i just wanted to know what testing was like. Is it in front of the whole class? Or is it between the sensei and you?
well, thanks for the reply anyway.

kajiko

guest1234 09-09-2000 03:56 PM

Hi Kajiko,

yes, you are certainly entitled to know about testing, and considering the large percentage of folks answering the poll, you are not alone in valuing rank. personally, i really like testing--it shows me what i really know, and where my weaknesses are, so each test makes me better :). i would think each school is different, so asking a senior student at your dojo is the best way to know what to expect. Some schools just promote students without tests (a friend of mine came from one like that). Most i think have minimum time training (i.e., months since you started or last tested) and minimum hours of training (usually a day, no matter how many hours, counts as one, but some count each class hour as an hour). these minimums are good to make sure you are not just breezing through in search of rapid rank, but are putting some thought into what you are learning, processing it and making it part of you. i've never heard of a school that tested just in front of the sensei, but i suppose there are some. i think most test in front of the class, often at the end of a regular class, sometimes at a special time, or at a seminar. Some schools tell you (via senior student or sensei) when you are eligible to test, others won't test if you don't ask. some people get bad test jitters or stage fright, so this is what i tell people worried about that: that your sensei wouldn't test you if he/she didn't already think you could pass; you usually get the best ukes in the class for your test uke (what fun!), and you are testing in a room filled with people who care so much about you, and are really pulling for you to do well---how could you go wrong! besides, the worst thing that could happen, is you'd get to test again if you had trouble---in the big scheme of things, with all the terrible things that could go wrong in one's life, how bad is a second chance to show what you know (which, remember, your sensei thinks is a lot or you wouldn't get to test).

Kajiko 09-09-2000 04:31 PM

hi there,
thank you for your reply! it cleared up a lot of questions i had :) I have stage fright (kinna, hehe) when i'm doing oral reports in school...with 30 pairs of eyes fixed on me, i can never feel right, lol. But what you've said has really helped. again, thanks for your time :)

Nick 09-09-2000 05:41 PM

My opinion about testing:

You should test when you stop thinking about testing.

-Nick

Chocolateuke 09-09-2000 09:18 PM

nice qoute nick:) ( how is school so far just finish first week?)

anyhow my sensi does not test us unless he thinks we can pass. I was in Aikido for about 4-6 mounths till my first test.. I bet you will beat me but oh well that is not what Aikido is about. I say have everyclass as your last one do your best and try to gather as much as you can. dont push your self to hard it can resulst in injuires and other things. well back to homework...


RONIN 09-09-2000 09:27 PM


Testing varies from school 2 school it is up 2 your Sensei when u test.Ranks are very much an american thing we as americans need 2 c that we are progressing a student in japan would never think of such things.Aikidoka in japan are happy 2 train on the same technique for months on end which explains why the japanese have such excellent technique.I have seen yonkyus who were much more adept at aikido than some shodans.So just keep up your training and the day will come when your Sensei tells u it is your time.

Kajiko 09-09-2000 10:25 PM

lol, i'll keep that in mind :) thanks for the reply ^^

Kajiko 09-09-2000 10:30 PM

Quote:

RONIN wrote:

Testing varies from school 2 school it is up 2 your Sensei when u test.Ranks are very much an american thing we as americans need 2 c that we are progressing a student in japan would never think of such things.Aikidoka in japan are happy 2 train on the same technique for months on end which explains why the japanese have such excellent technique.I have seen yonkyus who were much more adept at aikido than some shodans.So just keep up your training and the day will come when your Sensei tells u it is your time.

Oh, okay. I think i'll have to ask some senior students at my dojo more about testing :) thank you for the advice!

-Kajiko

Kajiko 09-09-2000 10:32 PM

Quote:

Chocolateuke wrote:
nice qoute nick:) ( how is school so far just finish first week?)

anyhow my sensi does not test us unless he thinks we can pass. I was in Aikido for about 4-6 mounths till my first test.. I bet you will beat me but oh well that is not what Aikido is about. I say have everyclass as your last one do your best and try to gather as much as you can. dont push your self to hard it can resulst in injuires and other things. well back to homework...


ok! i'll keep those things in mind too :) thanks for the reply =^.^=

Erik 09-10-2000 12:39 AM

Quote:

RONIN wrote:
Ranks are very much an american thing we as americans need 2 c that we are progressing a student in japan would never think of such things.
Where do you think the idea for ranks came from? A Japanese student would never think of progress? Don't think so. A Japanese student would never think of rank? Don't think so. I guarantee it's an issue there as well as here although I do agree that in theory there is a different approach.

Quote:

Aikidoka in japan are happy 2 train on the same technique for months on end which explains why the japanese have such excellent technique.
Some Japanese do have excellent technique and no doubt do exactly what you say, just as other countries also have individuals with damn excellent technique. You've obviously never met a hack shodan/nidan/whatever rolled out in a year or two from Japan whose technique might be called excellent by only the loosest of loose standards.

I would suggest that if your experience of Aikido is such that you need to get out more. There are an awful lot of good American (or other countries) teachers (named in numerous other threads) as well as students with absolutely exceptional technique. Exceptional technique is not the sole purvey of the Japanese, at least in my experience.

Quote:

I have seen yonkyus who were much more adept at aikido than some shodans.
This is pretty rare in my experience. While I'm sure it happens, in my experience it's been because the student had a background in something that meshed really well with Aikido. This background usually means years of experience in some other art and that she/he was a kyu rank solely because he/she was new to Aikido.

As a general rule, I think ranking is actually taken reasonably seriously at least in the dojos I've been around(although it's definitely been abused, here and in Japan). It's not perfect, by any means, but I meet very few yudansha where I think "somebody was smoking way too much crack when they put this one through."

Quote:

So just keep up your training and the day will come when your Sensei tells u it is your time
Maybe, maybe not. In some dojos, the sensei just arbitrarily ranks you when the mood strikes. In some dojos, students are actively encouraged to get rank and thoroughly supported by the dojo in doing so (some of these are damn fine dojos with very good students and teachers). Other dojos just put out a sign up sheet and those that sign up, test (assuming they have the hours). There is great variability in this process. These just happen to be 3 that I have personal knowledge of.

I think ca hit it on the head in asking the senior students. I'm willing to bet that the dojo probably has a pretty clear policy on rank.

And I'm not sorry for ranting on this one.

Nick 09-10-2000 05:53 AM

Chocolateuke- School's goin well :).

I like to think of testing as a demonstration, that testing itself does not give you a certain rank, but that by testing, you've already earned that rank and are showing people that you deserve it.

Ja,

-Nick

DJM 09-10-2000 03:52 PM

Hi Kajiko,
Just wanted to add my 2p to the pile!
Personally I'm looking at grading myself this November, first time I'll have graded in Aikido. I could have graded earlier, but I don't think I would have felt really comfortable trying to grade to 5th kyu until now (more ukemi problems than technique problems). As one of my fellows once said 'Better to be a good example of your current grade, than to merely scrape through a grading.'
At the end of the day your Aikido won't be judged by your rank, but by your demonstrated proficiency...

Peace,
David

[Edited by DJM on September 10, 2000 at 03:55pm]

Kajiko 09-10-2000 09:25 PM

Quote:

DJM wrote:
Hi Kajiko,
Just wanted to add my 2p to the pile!
Personally I'm looking at grading myself this November, first time I'll have graded in Aikido. I could have graded earlier, but I don't think I would have felt really comfortable trying to grade to 5th kyu until now (more ukemi problems than technique problems). As one of my fellows once said 'Better to be a good example of your current grade, than to merely scrape through a grading.'
At the end of the day your Aikido won't be judged by your rank, but by your demonstrated proficiency...

Peace,
David

[Edited by DJM on September 10, 2000 at 03:55pm]

alrighty, i've got a lot to keep in mind :) thanks!
-kajiko

Kajiko 09-10-2000 09:27 PM

reply to erik:

oh wow! that was a lot ^^ thanks for taking your time explaining all those things =^.^=

akiy 09-11-2000 09:51 AM

Quote:

RONIN wrote:
Ranks are very much an american thing we as americans need 2 c that we are progressing a student in japan would never think of such things.Aikidoka in japan are happy 2 train on the same technique for months on end which explains why the japanese have such excellent technique.I have seen yonkyus who were much more adept at aikido than some shodans.
So how long have you trained in the United States and how long in Japan?

PS: Please use your real name to sign off your posts as per the Forum Rules.

-- Jun

Nick 09-13-2000 05:10 PM

I need to see if I'm progressing. If I stop progressing, I shouldn't waste my dohai's time in the dojo.

Please also note I don't refer only to technique.

-Nick

JJF 09-14-2000 01:48 AM

Quote:

Nick wrote:
I need to see if I'm progressing. If I stop progressing, I shouldn't waste my dohai's time in the dojo.

Please also note I don't refer only to technique.

-Nick

Hi Nick!

No offence - but I don't agree. Nobody can expect you to progress all the time. What would be a waste of your dohai's time would be if you don't do you best. Another aspect is that as you advance in rank, gradings will be further apart so you will have to rely on your own perception of your progressions rather than a senseis accept through gradings.

All the best

akiy 09-14-2000 09:20 AM

It's not the progress that's important in one's practice; it's the many plateaus that you work through.

Try reading the interview with George Leonard sensei on this site. He says it better than I can. One section reads:

Quote:

George Leonard sensei wrote:
I think one of the things that characterizes almost all of [the people who are very advanced in their field] is that they're not only willing to stay on a plateau in between spurts upwards for a long time and are not only willing to practice, but also love to practice. And, if I can make a radical statement, they can love the plateau.

We all have these little spurts of improvement in our training, and we say to ourselves, "Now I'm learning!" But, that's not true. That's when the time you spent practicing on the plateau just "clicks in" and you have the spurt upwards. Without the time on the plateau and without the time practicing, you would never have had the spurt upwards. Even in intellectual work, the same is true.
-- Jun

Nick 09-14-2000 03:49 PM

Perhaps I should say that I must always be learning, rather than progressing. Even if one night, no techniques work, I hit my head everytime I fall, and pass out during randori, I am still learning; learning how not to do things, and perhaps how to perform the particular task better next time.

Always learning,

-Nick


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