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Old 09-22-2009, 12:38 PM   #24
mjhacker's Avatar
Dojo: Renshinkan
Location: Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 200
Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

We don't "test" for rank in my family. I do test students, but the test is every day. There is no "pass/fail" formal examination, but we do invite students to demonstrate to share their practice with their peers and loved ones.

I am authorized to promote as high as 2 grades below my own. Sensei trusts me with this, and it is a reflection of my judgment and understanding of the art. Like Tarik said, whom I promote, and on what grounds, it is a reflection on me, not on the student. As such, it is also a reflection on my teacher.

The earlier ranks are usually a little more cut and dry (i.e. time on the mats, time in grade, improvement in skills, etc.). As a student nears nidan, things start to get a little less clear-cut. But an understanding of what each rank means, earned by coming up through them, has proven vital and useful to educating me on how to discern where someone is.

Interestingly, I've found that someone can be at shodan level in ABC, while being at nikyu level in XYZ.

I tend to be picky--inappropriately picky--when it comes to judging mudansha students, but have been working on this. Not only is it unfair to a student to hold back recognition, it is also inappropriate from an educational standpoint. I wouldn't expect a child to master Calculus before allowing them to graduate 6th grade. Yet I see some teachers expect their students to be of nidan/sandan level before they'll promote them to shodan. This serves to confuse the educational process. I also find it abusive.

I will often promote a student JUST as they're getting close to achieving the next level. This usually gives them just the tap they need to step over the line.

Last edited by mjhacker : 09-22-2009 at 12:42 PM.

Michael Hacker
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Renshinkan

自由心流合気武道 - 鍛心館
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