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Old 06-27-2008, 07:33 AM   #32
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Re: Do you test like this?

Ron, I had a similar experience to yours. I wasn't failed, but I had the distinct impression from the shihan that I should have done much better. Like you, I determined never to repeat such a performance -- and never have.
Well, in my case, I wasn't so much concerned about *never* repeating the experience. I was concerned about living up to my instructors expectations of me. He made it clear that my test wasn't a failure in his eyes...but simply that he expected more of *me*. His respect of me and what he thought I could do was my motivator. To me, that is an important distinction that I should have expressed more clearly before.

While I can appreciate the value of your negative testing experience,
Well, to me the whole experience was quite positive. Because of what I said above.

I would much rather my students benefited from being tested in the way I've described. Personally, I don't believe I've done my job as an instructor if one of my students fails a test (which, to date, has never even come close to happening).
I'm not sure of my (then) direct instructor's take on all this, I had Father's day dinner with him and our families...we talked about many things, but not this. I think I'll ask him about it though...I'm glad the topic came up, it is sometimes interesting to review past events briefly. I *think* though, that he was not embarrased at all by my failure...I think he has pretty much the same mindset as I do in this regard. I say that because **he** had failed an exam himself under this same 7th Dan.

If a student of mine wants their next rank, they must go through me to get it. They will have to train before their test like you trained after your failed one in order to be put forward for testing.
At that time, I WAS training an average of 5 days a week...sometimes six. Believe me, it wasn't like I hadn't been training a LOT before the test.

If they can satisfy me, they will satisfy our shihan. This saves Kawahara sensei the embarrassment of failing a student, it saves the student the embarrassment of failing, and it saves me the shame of causing so much embarrassment to both shihan and student.
I guess embarrasment avoidance is just pretty low down the hierarchy of needs for me when it comes to testing. I think because I tend to embarrass myself so much in daily life!

Ron (I'm a lousy test taker in any case; I don't like doing demonstrations either)

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 06-27-2008 at 07:38 AM.

Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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