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Old 09-14-2010, 02:29 PM   #4
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Re: Testing before minimums???

Officially, the test amounts are minimums -- you're technically supposed to have that many _or more_. Otherwise I doubt they'd bother putting them.... How much does the USAF enforce them? That I don't know, and I suspect it depends a lot on your sensei.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. Many people aren't really ready at the specified number of days (including some who test anyway, sadly) -- if you have the opportunity to do each test at a really high level, I'd just do that. It's to your _benefit_ to have more days of training. When you eventually get to shodan, it would be great to have a really good strong test, and not just pass. It's not like testing earlier in your training will let you learn anything faster...

It seems that the black belt in our western society has been given the view of "Man, I'm a black belt in blah, blah, blah, I am a master of my art." This is horse#@!$. It is just the start, If we want the train in traditional Aikido, then we need to stop tacking on years and years of training for a beginning level shodan.
OK, I'm totally not getting this -- shodan is just an arbitrary designation -- so one organization makes it a more intermediate beginner grade, and another makes it a more advanced beginner grade. So? It doesn't really make any difference to how much you learn; it's just a name. It just means the ranks won't translate from one organization to another, and a shodan in one organization will be like a 2nd kyu in another. For me, I prefer the second way, since in the USAF there are only formal tests up to sandan... so if shodan is too easy then nidan becomes what I am used to thinking of as shodan, and then there's only sandan after that to make sure that people are going past solid basics.

But as to your original question, I think you'd have to ask in your dojo... Or watch to see how many days your fellow students have when they're asked to test.

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 09-14-2010 at 02:35 PM.
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