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Old 03-28-2013, 07:42 PM   #2
Dojo: Suenaka-Ha Aikido of Bloomington
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 171
Re: Responsibilities of Advanced Training

Barry Johnston wrote: View Post
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.

Hey Barry!

I think a lot of that depends on your organization and Sensei in terms of testing. We run on the idea that every class is a test, not only in terms of how you perform your technique, but how you treat your fellow students, sempai and kohai, your general attitudes in and out of the dojo, and just how often you show up. When it comes time for testing, we have actually already passed, and testing is just a way for us to show what we know. Additionally, our testing is done under extreme stress circumstances, not to upset us, but to have us drained physically and mentally by about halfway through. Our testing is not, do you know your techniques, but, what can you do when you have nothing left to give? Because of that, we have specific curriculum we do study, but that's not nearly enough to prepare yourself. Our tests start out with questions about our organization, O'Sensei, and Aikido principles in general, move into a set number of techniques that are always the same techniques in the same order, then 'optional' techniques, which can be anything from techniques that someone wasn't quite able to get the first time, things like, yokomen attacks only, any defense, or ikkyo defense only, any attack, suwari waza, or even tanto defense. Then we have to do weapons katas, jodori, randori, and ryokata randori. We all know what is expected of us and how the test will progress, and we also know that we're going to be exhausted by the middle of the first technique set, and barely able to stand by the time randori starts.

Even now I can look at the list of our 50 basic techniques and mentally know how to do them. I can have someone call them out before class and run through them quickly with a compliant uke just to make sure I know them. But what actually happens during testing, that's a completely different story.

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