Thread: Testing
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Old 07-26-2001, 12:26 AM   #14
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Originally posted by ca
starting someone's heart again
I had the distinct pleasure of nearly having to attempt this in the none too distant past. I was biking and came across a man who'd just collapsed (I found out later) with a heart attack. My CPR was 15 years rusty. I start fumbling around trying to figure out if he was breathing (he coughed) or if he had a pulse. And where did I push on the chest again and how many times was it? Right about then 2 women come walking around a corner. Turns out they were nurses which saved my butt. They did the CPR, I went and got help although I did hold their really big dogs for them when I got back. Yea, it gets the pulse moving.

So Erik, besides the obvious character building found in stubbed little toes and pulled chest hair , what do you see as testing pros/cons?
Actually, none of that happened, at least on a test. I did know a mean guy who pulled chest hair but we sent him off to the Iwama folks. He seemed to really like them.

My honest most dramatic test moment was just before my shodan test. I was warming up and my uke did a toe nail swipe on my foot and off to bandage it I went. Meanwhile, my instructor, who was clearly way more nervous than I was, went ahead and started my test with me in the back room. Made for an interesting entrance.

I'm really pretty neutral on the whole thing as I see the benefits as mentioned and also would be fine if tests went away, assuming someone remembered to stress the technical form. I've had teachers where almost the only way to get them to teach technique was by saying, "gee, uh sensei, my whatever isn't really very good, and well the test is this Saturday and...." I guess the fear of a wayward deshi doing improv Aikido in front of one's peers will do that. So I think they do drive standards from both ends of the spectrum. I also think they give the dojo a nice rallying point, including those who are not testing. They seem to bring the group together.

On the other hand, the dojo where I hang out these days doesn't test dan ranks. We do demos, at least the last couple of times. The theory being that you've already shown the sensei you can do what he wants or you wouldn't be testing. I really like that process as it limits the sameness so endemic to most of the tests I've seen and allows some creativity and uniqueness to come out. On the other hand, we do run a very real risk of losing touch with building a good base, so I can see issues here as well.

Really I'm just curious how the process got started as I doubt O'Sensei ran formal testing, at least in the early years.

Last edited by Erik : 07-26-2001 at 12:34 AM.
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