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Old 09-20-2007, 02:55 PM   #36
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
One wouldn't necessarily understand that from your posts.

Anyhoo...we all know it's cooperative training, in archaic techniques, in archaic dress. With some applications to current day self defense, if you go beyond the average training.
Back in post 17 I was addressing the issue of testing being important not for the result (promotions and ranks) but for the experience of pressure and consequences beyond everyday training. That's a fair point, but I then suggested that it was possible to go far beyond the level that most people in aikido experience even in testing.

I started from the point of tests that everyone passed and asked if there would be more pressure if the chance of failure was greater. Even if the chance of failing a test in the organizations I mentioned is as high as 20%, and I doubt that it is that high, perhaps the pressure could still be increased by making the failure rate higher. However, again, that's still a minor point.

The next thing I suggested is that the pressure could be increased even more if the other person was fighting back. For example, if it were a competition where only one of the two would pass. Another example would be the dan tests in Steven Seagal's old dojo. If you have ever seen the videos then you know what I mean: three people really trying to tackle you is a very different experience from three people coming at you with weak, telegraphed attacks that are meant to just give you a handle to throw them with rather than to do anything bad to you (and that's how I would describe most of the multi-person randori I have seen in aikido tests).

But why even wait for a test that comes once every year or two? I believe it is possible to have this level of training every day, by gradually working up to it, of course. This is true in competitive arts like judo and kendo, but it is also true in many non-competitive, totally choreographed koryu. They all have archaic dress and techniques, but that doesn't mean that the practice should go completely down to the road to martial fantasy land. Why not have in aikido the same level of intensity and realism that these arts have, and why not have it every practice?