I've seen other's and I can tell that we're pretty different. What I have seen is that we seem to have waaaay more stuff for each rank. Still, this is the last rank test with the "long form" requirements- they will change next year to not so much. I am curious to see what is going to happen.
I also kind of like NOT knowing who uke is going to be for the simple reason that if you know your technique, it doesn't matter who uke is, it should work. We have some real extremes in size when it comes to the guys in my dojo. I am thinking specifically about two guys right now.. one is tall like a basketball guy but isn't that much heavier. One guy I swear is the size of Steven Segal. He's tall and he's big. He's got to be like 6'3, 6'5" and 260-280lbs. What I get away with with others in the class (I have a little more muscle on me than maybe I should) I CANNOT get away with Mr. Steven Segal- like dude. The day I dropped him from some strange (to me) technique was like "OMG". I didn't believe I had actually done that. I thought I he was faking it until sensei heard me going on and walked over to ask me to do it again and show him. I was able to drop this guy again and it was confirmed that I was doing it and he wasn't falling for my benefit. I LOVE when I have to go against someone bigger than I am or way stronger because that really tells me when I am getting something or not.
Now mind you- I pray to god Mr. Steven Segal -look alike does not offer to take ukemi from me on Saturday. I'll DIE from effort- but if he offers to do it, I think I know my stuff enough to make it work on him.
The only thing different that I wish I could do is that on some of the taller guys- I would never do atemi to the face on them in the real world. I still do the technique but their balls are usually closer to my fist than their face (I'm only 5' 3") so I'd punch them there then move forward.
But that is kinda frowned upon on in the dojo and probably isn't a good idea to attempt during a rank test... pity.
Our gokyu and yonkyu testing consists of the following:
5-10 minutes oral testing on the history of aikido, philosophy, O'sensei, our founder and techniques. This is followed by demonatrations of aiki-taiso and leads into our 15 basic techniques (both sides, some have several variations that you perform as well). Next are optionals such as 5 techniques against a specific attack, 5 demostrations of the same technique from different attacks, etc, basically whatever sensei calls for, you never know! We then go into kokyudosa, followed by suwari-waza, hanmi handachi, tanto tori, bokken tori and jo tori. Then comes jodo randori, followed by general randori with 5-6 uke and then ryokatatori randori (with a few more uke) until you simply can't continue and drop from exhaustion. All in all it takes about an hour or so and you usually want to puke, but it's gotta be the most fun lead up to vomitting that one can have! Oh I also forgot 5, 8, 21 and 31 move jo kata.
balltemi is always a good option when you can get it! Nothing gets an attacker (male) lightened up quite like it!
Be sure and report back on your thoughts on testing, though I can guarantee you that while you might be nervous now, you're going to be extremely proud of yourself afterwards, as you should be. Enjoy the moment!