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Old 05-24-2007, 09:25 AM   #1
David Paul
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 28
Frustration about testing

Hi- this is actually my first post on AikiWeb. So hello to all. I actually joined so I could seek some advice from fellow aikdoka on a growing frustration that I am dealing with regarding rank.

First a little history--insert appropriate audio flashback sounds here--I began training in aikido roughly 4-5 years ago. I was there for nearly two years, tested for 6th kyu in that time and ultimately discontinued at the dojo because the dojo lost its lease and had to relocate. The move made it too difficult for me to continue there so I found a new dojo-that was under a different governing organization- -with a good reputation and a very well known Sensei. I studied there for roughly a year--about halfway through that year I wanted to test for 5th kyu.

The dojo's governing body suggests a minimum of 60 class hours to test. I had just over that with a few weeks to go before the test. I asked a sempai about testing and upon hearing that I had just over 60 hours; I was advised to not submit an application and not to test. I was told that the 60 hour threshold was an absolute minimum and that you should have well over that number to test.

So-after a few more months of training I started to get into a rut, picked up some good nagging but minor injuries and decided to discontinue my training. I took about a 2 and a half year layoff and decided I wanted to go back to aikido. So in November I did just that.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I am at a new dojo--which has an affiliation with the previous dojo I attended. Testing time has come upon us--I have just over 60 hours and once again I will not be testing, although I will be taking uke for another student testing out of our dojo.

Needless to say this is a little frustrating for me. It wouldn't be so bad if this was my first dojo and first test--but with roughly 3 years of aikido experience and basically no rank whatsoever to show for it-I am a little discouraged.

Even more discouraging is the fact that the next test offered wont be until the end of the year. So--by the time I have 3 and half years of experience I will be eligible to test for the lowest possible rank. It kind of makes me wonder if I should continue here, find a new dojo, stop altogether or perhaps just continue to train and simply not worry about testing at all--if ever.

I've promised myself that I am not going to make any decisions about my aikido future until after the test—as I am trying hard to focus on my ukemi and working on my attacks so that I can be a well prepared uke for the test. That being said-any insight would be welcome.
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