Responsibilities of Advanced Training
I've been training for over 3 years now. I recently passed my 3rd Kyu exam. While training for my 3rd Kyu it became clear just how much of the responsibility for learning and preparing for advancement falls on the student's shoulders. At my dojo my dojo myself and another gentleman are the senior students. We also have sempai that come train at the dojo from time to time. As we progress I'm noticing that my aikido basics are becoming more sound. I'm able to at least apply the principles that I've been taught to figure out newer techniques...or what the possibilities could be anyway. Along with trying to rely on basic Aikido principles I've been studying dvd's, youtube, asking sensei, asking other sempai, and reading as much as my free time will allow. This test was the first time that I felt daunted by the amount of curriculum. I felt like I might not be to be fully prepared. I made it through the test ok. Stumbled once or twice. Nothing too major, but I wanted to be as close to perfect as i could be. At one point one of the examiners asked to see a technique that we have never covered nor was on our guidelines to study. It should've been in the batch of techniques that we covered, but was taken out of the guidelines recently for some reason. I guess it doesn't matter how much you train and study. There's always more to learn. Anyway, I'm begining to understand that anything could be asked of you at any moment. Either to test your knowledge or to see where your head is at. Of course we train technique and go over things in class, but often times there simply isn't enough time. To train everything thoroughly while trying to work with newer students is a challenge. I'm curious as to how other's train and how you're able to efficiently make it through your curriculum? Thoughts and/or wisdom is greatly welcome.