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Old 07-26-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

It sounds like there are two separate "problems."

1) Rougher throwing: The more advanced one becomes, the less "roughness" should be applied when throwing. I cannot think of a reasonable explanation as to why roughness should be "introduced" as you get more advanced. Connection with the uke, moving smoother, faster and with less tension will make the uke move faster in a throw. The significant difference should be that the uke should "take" the ukemi better because of the higher level of the nage's execution.

2) Testing when you are not ready: Some people are reluctant to take exams. The teacher should work WITH the student to properly prepare and encourage the student's progress so that the testing experience becomes more tolerable, enjoyable and meaningful for everybody. This balancing act is different for each student. Blanket approaches typically fail because each of us are different people. If part of advancing in Aikido is to become better connected with ourselves and with those around us, I think it would be logical to expect that this "personalized" experience becomes the norm as the teacher advances.

Ultimately it is your call. Listen to lots of advice and you will likely find that the advice that strikes you at some deep place in your soul will guide you appropriately.

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams
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