On June 2nd, I have my blue belt test. I am quite anxious over the entire event as the test board will include the teacher of my sensei's teacher as a special visiting guest (besides the normal test board of my sensei, a few peers and his teacher) and as part of a special birthday celebration. I have also been invited to a small informal gathering of each teacher plus one student for a dinner the night before. I am hoping this informal setting will help some of the "jitters". My question is this: Excluding repetition and practice--which as a type A I continue to work at that aspect---how do you prepare for an upcoming test?
I'm getting ready for my next test, 4th kyu, as well and I have been nervous about how I will do. I stopped worrying the other night when I talked to my sensei. He eased my anxiety by telling me that I'm almost ready for 3rd kyu. With that anxiety gone, I have been able to relax and just concentrate on being mentally prepared for the test.
It sound like you have done all your background work. The key now is your mental focus. Having done the usual repetition of practice, I have found it easier to keep myself relaxed and confident.
Just have the faith in yourself that you will do well and you will do well. Don't fuss over mistakes during the test, just keep going.
Right now when I'm getting ready for bed, I will visualize myself doing the test.
Other than that since you have done the practice, I don't know what else you can do.
An old instructor of mine would always have fun with the lower grades being tested by asking for a technique he new they hadn't covered (or at least couldn't do). The reason for this wasn't to make them look stupid but to see their reaction. People that stood there and fluffed generally failed but those that would just do whatever technique came would usually pass.
A thing to keep in mind (once you've done the practise) is that the testing is not just about doing a set of techniques on someone that attacks - it's a chance for your instructor to see how you cope under pressure.
So, once you're happy with performing the techniques to a suitable standard, just relax and live in the present.
Also remember, it makes no difference if you pass or fail the test in that you're still going to be exactly the same standard in aikido (i.e. improvement is through training, not through awards).
As an instructor I do not test students unless I feel they are ready. So if your instructor is testing you then you are probably ready and the test is just a formality. Just relax and let your skill show.
How did your test go, Mitchell??
belt test results
Thanks for all the encouragement! The test went very well (translates: I now have a gokyu certificate), with only a few minor problems. Most of my stress was due to my concern that my performance would not reflect on myself alone, but also on my sensei, HIS sensei and would be observed by such a senior member of our ryu. About an hour after the test, my salivary glands decided to come out from hiding and I was able to enjoy the nice meal with the test board. Lau Sensei had wonderful stories to tell (he trained with O Sensei!) and gave considerable encouragement to all that tested.
Again, thank you for the good words and thoughts!! I'll be glad to return the favor!!
Re: belt test results
1) Scratch Sensei's eyeglasses before the examination. He won't be able to see a thing and thus will be afraid to commit an injustice;
2) Take Jennifer Lopez, in shorts, to sit in seiza in front of Sensei (do not scratch his eyeglasses!);
3) Explain to Sensei how much you do love and respect him and about the magnificent eletronic equipment you intend to give him as an expontaneous gift (before the exam, of course!);
4) Pay for your exam (Essential!);
5) Buy a beautiful island for Sensei and give it to him, BEFORE the exam;
6) Commit Seppuku in front of the Examiners' Board. They'll be astounded and you'll be a "late" yudansha;
7) Explain to Sensei that you will not make the examination because you just discovered that you have an incurable cancer that will take you soon for a meeting with O-Sensei. Trust his compassion;
8) Go with two crutches and an eye-cover to do the exam. If questioned (and, believe me, you will be!), say that you suffered a severe accident but your giri demands that you do the examination anyway. Go limping to your place. Sensei will be impressed and will consider this in your evaluation;
9) Explain to your Sensei, in private, that your parents have a severe cardiopathy and that their lives depend on your passing the examination; and, above all else,
10) Have faith in god's mercy!:rolleyes:
P.S. By the way, is your teacher's teacher's teacher, BERNIE LAU Sensei?
I'll be sure to keep your advice in mind!
Yes, Lau Sensei is BERNIE LAU Sensei. I was able to share two meals with him. The first was a private party in which my sensei invited me as "uchi deshi". The second was a meal for the members of the dojo to celebrate the belt test and his birthday. Have you met Lau sensei?
Makoto ni Aiki
of his family.
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