Re: To Test, or not to Test
Just passed my 5th kyu test yetserday.
Our curriculum for 5th kyu in our dojo Shooting Club, Cairo, Egypt was as follows:
mae ukemi, shiro ukemi, shikko
Shomenuchi ikkyu (omote and ura)
Katedori nikkyu (omote, ura)
Katatedori shihonage(omote, urs)
Ryotedori KokyuHo Suwariwasa
6 kata jo
7 kata bokken suburi
I think the mental and psychological buildup to it is the most challenging. I was so tense that I injured my right ac joint (after just have heeled from exactly the same injury but on the left shoulder) while practicing mae ukemi just before the test. Without the adrelanin jump temporarily removing all notion of pain, I would not have been able to pass the test but the injury got worse of course after the test, but I just needed that, to break this huge difficulty, well for me at least, of passing tests in front of people and realizing where I really stand. And i passed, without being pretentious as I did so many mistakes and stupid blockages or missing whole steps of a technique, mostly because of the stress. But I guess I must have done a few other things a little bit better to pass.
Another advantage of this test, is to really start focusing on your mistakes, where did I raise my arm way too high in shihonage because of poor entry below uke's arm, when did i lose concentration while applying nikkyu, why did I raise my side shoulders high in kokyuho suwariwasa etc. the list is very long. I believe without this test, one cannot improve as good as he/she should or could. It gives you a much needed boost to help you start taking Aikido way more seriously than before and think of the techniques more intelligently and most of all to focus on the importance on ki that is still non existent in me.
To anybody hesitating taking tests because of the stress buildup etc., just hold your nose and jump.......You won't regret it.
Your thoughts? Cheers!