Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Thanks for the replies, all; they're a big help. At the dojo today, I sat down and discussed it with my instructor for a bit, we came to the following conclusions:
Most of the testing I've done in my life have been centered around life-threatening situations - skills that if done incorrectly, can kill. The same goes, naturally, for my role as an instructor, in the Army and in flying. Testing in both those areas is tough and in some cases, harsh, due to the simple fact of necessity. A soldier can't afford to screw up in a potentially hostile situation; thats when men die. A sailplane pilot MUST make a good landing every single time - without an engine, he can't go around. My experience, therefore, while helpful doesn't give me the whole picture; I've never really run across an art like Aikido; the concepts involved are new.
I've been doing a bit more thinking on the subject, and wound up forcibly reminding myself that I'm a total beginner in this venture; while I readily admit to being a newbie, and am constantly reminded of the things I don't yet know, there's still the little arrogant whine going on in the back of my head that says 'But I've learned so much!' (I've been arguing with that little voice my whole life - haven't got it licked yet.)
As Mr. Rehse says, 5th kyu, I now think, isn't so much a test as an initiation - a small rite of passage into Aikido. A point that says "You now have what you need to start to learn." That's basically what Basic Training is in the Army - I'd forgotten that.
Anyway, whatever tests I'll take along the way, I'm going to approach them as if they were my shodan test - which it will be, eventually. (And the world will no longer be safe. LOL!) Train, study, practice, practice practice. Push, then push harder, then when I'm tired of pushing myself, shove. Too hard on myself? Naaah - just squeezing every last drop out of the experience and loving every minute of it.
Ah, well. Kyu or no Kyu, test or no test, I'm still gonna be showing up every chance I get, learning, watching, trying, enjoying. And, of course, getting rolled, stomped, flipped, smacked, squished, bent, twisted, whacked, poked, prodded, banged, bumped and tweaked into something resembling a practicioner of Aikido along the way.