Re: Grading question advice please
Sorry, didn't mean to sound like I was flaming anyone. The fact that the question is asked tells me that the person still has some questions about their ability in relation to the ability of others in the dojo. Furthermore, it tells me that the person is not sure about what is being recognized in the grading. The person must find out those things by 1) asking, 2) watching, 3) thinking, 4) reading, 5) deciding for themselves.
You can never solve a koan by focusing on the koan. You will understand it when you are enlightened. If you keep asking the question that the koan poses, you will never solve it. Ignore the question but keep it in the back of your mind and your everyday practice or living will answer the question for you as long as you live your life in a way that revolves around the question rather than trying to grasp it. It is like trying to get a mule into the corrall. pull the mule by its harness and it will never be put in. Ignore the mule and walk into the corrall and start doing your other work and it will come join you.
Like the rest of Aikido, if you make grading a competition with yourself or others in the dojo, or even your child, you will never succeed or succeed with great difficulty. Try not competing with yourself. Learned that lesson in trying to improve my golf game. I got away from competing with others and playing my own game. I lost it competing with myself and the course. I do much better when I just concentrate on my swings, stance, weight distribution, focusing on the ball, holding my stance, etc.
Again, I apologize if anyone took offense at the way I write. I am told that I do this often and make people feel that I am angry at them. If I am angry at anyone, I don't pay attention to their questions but rather ignore them. I only answer questions for those that deserve an answer.