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Old 02-20-2009, 01:58 AM   #8
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
Location: Stockholm
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 601
Re: Preparing for Test Outside of Regular Class Time

On topic:
In my current dojo the testing criterias are easily available for everyone and students themselves apply for testing. So if you want to run trough the ranks as fast as possible you will probably need to team up with sempai and train outside of class to make sure that you are comfortable with the requirements. Or be ready to flunk a few exams.

In my first dojo the headinstructor tested you when he thought you were ready so almost no one did any extra training for examinations (exept maybe for ikkyu-exams).

Personally I think that the sooner the student realizes that they are responsible for their own training the better.

Off topic:
At Dalen:

There might be an apparent lack of structure where you train but many schools/styles are in fact highly structured and follows a more or less set curriculum.

Getting good at anything takes time. You need both the hours doing "it" (drilling techniques etc) and the rest between practice to let your cns take "it" into your body.

Sure, you can award shodan after 6 months but since the students would be as incompetent as 6 month-shodans as 6 month-rokyu. So whats the point?

Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
It would seem that the apparent lack of structure is why it takes so long to learn Aikido...its the bit that makes it somewhat intriguing and unattainable - because it 'works', but it take many people years to figure out why. (Trying to get that 'perfect' ikkyo.)

Personally I believe its much simpler than that.
Understanding the basic structure of Aikido and truly appreciating why its not a 'hard' art, will go a long way in making Aikido less mystified and practical for people.

Tohei, in an interview, said it should not take someone more than 6 months, and that taking years to learn it was just too long.

True, in his time, it was as unstructured - if not more so - then now. Suppose that is one training method...and people obviously choose it and even continue on that style.

Why is this? Out of habit?
What would happen if you just taught things in a structured manner with the basic concepts? Perhaps after 6 months to a year it would not be good for business...and/or you would have to many black belts that would make it look less valuable.

Perhaps we put to much emphasis on aspects of martial arts that are not important. (Not just in Aikido.) - you know, the 'mystical black belt', etc.

So after 6 months and people 'get it' what would that mean for the dojos? Would the instructors be concerned they dont have anything more to instruct? Or that people would still practice but do it on there own?

Dont get me wrong, Im not saying that 6 months is long enough to 'perfect' technique...but if Shodan is where it all 'starts' stateside, from what I understand, then Shodan should be at 6 months to a year and then you can figure out the kinks.

Personally instead of just learning all the movements I try to learn the in-and outs of it as I go. The emphasis is a bit different here, that is why a brown belt can teach here.
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