|Originally posted by DaveO
Thanks for the kind words, Peter, but I'm not worrying about other people's performance. Or mine either. I was simply confused over the seeming ease of the 5th kyu test. If my 1st post seemed to suggest otherwise,then its my overenthusiastic keyboard rhetoric getting the better of me.
As one who presides over testing I will put in my two cents. Do I see a range of quality on the sixth and fifth kyu tests (we start at sixth kyu)? You bet. The folks that even take the first test are a minority since the majority sign up, dink around for a few weeks and disappear long before they get to the three month point at which they might be able to test. So as Peter points out it is a rite of passage which makes the student just that much more a part of the dojo.
Occasionally I get the really talented or dedicated student who is really burning up the track in his training. I have had such people test for sixth and fifth at the same time. This is rare but I have done it. My teacher did the same with me. Other times, if their test was so good that it merited a higher rank I would have them test again the next time we had testing even though they might not have the hours usually required.
Usually I don't do any of those things but simply note who the movers and shakers are relative to the rest and make sure that they get training opportunities that push them harder. We have an "advanced" class that takes place once a week. There is no rank requirement but you have to be able to train hard and not get hurt. I have people who are only sixth kyu training in that class because they have already gotten to the point where they can train that hard without holding the others back. So I invite those folks who are really burning up the track to do more training.
If you are really serious about your training you have to set your own standard because the standard set for the average is not very high in most places. Take a look at the standard set for the senior students when they test (like 1st Kyu and Shodan). If you still think they are lax compared with your expectations you might look at training elsewhere. But if you look at the seniors and feel that they are at a standard that you aspire to then you are doing fine and shouldn't worry about comparisons with the others. Your teacher will make sure that you get maximized based on your own ability and desire.