Peter A Goldsbury (Peter Goldsbury) wrote:
Was the fourth dan test at your dojo anything like the one I conducted?
No, not really. Our tests tend to be pretty short affairs. The yondan test this time around was probably on the order of fifteen to twenty minutes long (as are the rest of the tests). All uke were chosen neither by the candidate nor by the teacher but was basically "whoever jumped up to take ukemi initially and for any subsequent 'uke change' situations."
Our teacher pointed out after all of the yudansha exams that evening (three shodan, one nidan, one sandan, one yondan) that he asked the yondan candidate to do pretty much exactly what he asked the shodan candidates -- pretty much the same "basic" techniques (outside of the five person randori). From what he commented on after the tests, I think he wanted to show people that there should be discernable differences between shodan and nidan, nidan and sandan, and sandan and yondan. By asking the yondan candidate to do pretty much the same things as the shodan candidates, I think he wanted to show the differences quite clearly.
As far as showing teaching capabilities, the yondan candidate is part of our "teaching staff" (as it were) and has taught many classes in the past. I think our teacher has seen that and knows he is a capable teacher.
I'll close by saying that I've seen some sandan exams conducted by Saotome sensei in which the candidates were asked to teach something to show their ability to do so. It gets creative at times with the candidates being asked to teach, say, ikkyo without using any words.