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Old 12-18-2003, 09:13 AM   #35
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
Some things that have helped me (your mileage may differ):

I keep a notebook and write down what we did in every class. The notebook also has an annotated list of the techniques I need for my next test (fourth kyu) and I make a point of trying to relate what we did to those tests. We might not practice the shomenuchi shihonage that I need, but if we did any shomenuchi, or any shihonage, maybe I can make a connection. I also note if any part of the technique is recognizably a hitori waza (solo exercise) because those are easy to drill at home.

The note-taking also tells me what my really weak points are (I had never seen one of the fourth-kyu throws at *all*, I discovered) and then I try to seize on sempai when I have a few minutes, for example between classes, and ask specifically for help on the soft spots. It is easier/politer to ask sempai rather than sensei, and they are often glad to help.

Many of my fellow students also form test-prep partnerships with someone else on their level. I haven't been able to do that yet but would jump at the chance if I got it--that seems to help more than anything else. The student who was uke for my fifth kyu test had a regular practice partner, and the two of them together looked very good--calm, confident, well tuned. I didn't...and I think the specific practice together probably mattered.

Mary Kaye
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