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Old 05-20-2002, 02:42 PM   #9
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
1. What are the words that are verbally transmitted to you as the principles of aikido?
Speaking for one dojo in the style of seidokan aikido.

The principles of aikido:
Masakatsu agatsu (true victory is victory over oneself)
principle of range of effectiveness
principle of blending
principle of circular motion
principle of ki (allow ki to flow)

Also, the principles to unify mind and body:

maintain controlled relaxation
maintain your one point
keep weight underside
allow ki to flow

2. Is knowledge of this "dogma" included on tests?
Yup. Questions like, "In your own words please tell us what masakatsu agatsu means to you?".

"Please tell us what the principles of aikido are." "And now the principles to unify mind and body."

"Please explain the principle of blending using a non-martial example."

We also have others that aren't exactly the principles of aikido (for us) but we are required to be able to talk about them eventually.

"the correct and proper usage of ki"
"take one step aside and cut immediately"
"shodo o seisu" (control the first move)
"the spirit of loving protection"

The questions change very little over time. Your answers however should change as your understanding deepens. I believe that's what my sensei is looking for. That you're gaining a deeper understanding as you train and are thinking about the principles more and trying to apply them to daily life.

My sensei also requires a pre-test interview essay to be written. We have a sheet with several questions that he wants answered as one long essay. Things like "why should you be considered for promotion?" and "what is your strongest aikido art or skill? What is your weakest?" What is the most significant thing you've learned since your last test?" "Have you used aikido outside the dojo, give an example" There's a couple more that I can't think of right now. This interview is required for every test. Again he's looking for the answers to change over the years as the understanding deepens (I think )

Recently he announced that from now on for all dan tests he is also going to require a short research paper on some aspect of aikido history. Haven't seen one yet, no dan tests as of late.

That's what I get for studying with a doctor and ex-educator


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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