Originally posted by PeterR
My Shodan test took less than 30 minutes - I knew exactly what would be asked and in what order.
Hope training is going well for everybody out there.
The only Shodan grading I had the chance of seeing was my own... and that lasted over 2 hours
. After which I was in some other Universe mentally I think, was totally exhausted... and had to take charge of teaching the class afterward as an "unofficial" part of the grading.
Peter, as a Shodokan person I envy you ... but then again, you were in Japan(...hmm, actually I take that back, I don't envy you
). Seriously though, my Shodan grading included every kyu test as well as the Shodan syllabus (9 gradings in 1 sitting), which included both kata and randori. I believe my sensei did the grading this way because he had to leave us indefinitely, and needed to be sure that whoever he left in charge at least knew ALL the basics up to the point of Shodan.
Near the end of the official grading I was so mentally and physically spent that I think I entered a place that was the beginning of mushin (no mind)in my humble opinion. My mind became totally empty, having no spare energy to entertain rambling thoughts anyway.
The techniques, however, became truly effortless.. even in full Randori some techniques worked as cleanly as if my partner was actually cooperating like in kata.
Mona, as far as deserving the black belt goes, I'd agree that I was not there and don't know what your sensei was particularly looking for in the grading, hence I cannot say. However, I do believe that at the point of testing a person has not necessarily achieved the standard of that grade... this will grow on them with experience (kinda like getting your driver's license, but then having to learn the unwritten rules of the road by your own driving experiences).
I also believe that although one may know exactly what to do during normal practice, under exam pressures we may sometimes forget the simplest commands and most basic things... hence their lack of response to the kime requests. Also, discipline should be shown by all Dan grades (IMHO). As they are to be examples for the kyu grades, as well as the fact that a Shodan grade means "serious beginner" in my book.
Hope I didn't ramble too much
My $9.99 on the subject.