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Old 08-01-2005, 05:30 PM   #1
~RIYO~
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Talking testing

I was wondering, what is everyone elses test like.
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:38 AM   #2
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: testing

Hard

Every test is different. It depends on the testee and the grading panel/officiator/sensei.

They say the hardest tests are 5th kyu cos its generally your first. 3rd kyu because it is a big leap in terms of required techniques and ability. And shodan because it is the first of the 'senior' ranks and more is expected of you.

Or so they apparently say at Aikikai Hombu...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:49 AM   #3
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: testing

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
Hard

Every test is different. It depends on the tester and the grading panel/officiator/sensei.

They say the hardest tests are 5th kyu cos its generally your first. 3rd kyu because it is a big leap in terms of required techniques and ability. And shodan because it is the first of the 'senior' ranks and more is expected of you.

Or so they apparently say at Aikikai Hombu...
Pretty good Nick. My hardest test was 5th kyu. I was scared, under pressure and in a daze when I did it. I have always seen my third kyu as a benchmark as well because of the number of techniques and their difficulty. I still remember how hard I prepared for suwariwaza katatetori kaitenage, uchi and soto omote and ura. On my shodan, I was excited because I knew I was close to something important. When it was over, I felt like crying because emotionally, I had put a lot into the time and effort it took to get there. I remembered all the times in my first dojo where our little group couldn't pay the rent and how we would all meet in the office, and empty out our pockets until we came up with what we were short to make each months rent. We had a sempai but no Sensei. I recalled all the suffering I endured from another instructor I had who didn't' like me but I persevered refusing to let him take aikido away from me. I remembered when our dojo was broke and they said we weren't going to be able to bring our shihan from Japan so I privately emptied out my savings account and gave $1000 to pay for his plane fare.A lot of emotions came flooding inside of me because getting to shodan for me didn't come easy.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:15 PM   #4
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: testing

Lots of dojos and organizations are starting at 6th kyu now... But every test is hard.
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Old 08-02-2005, 02:19 PM   #5
rogueenergy
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Re: testing

My dojo starts with 7th kyu. Smaller easier to accomplish jumps It allows us to build ourselves up slowly and get used to testing. I don't think it lessens the impact of testing, but lets us learn early on that you never know what to expect.

I am now 6th kyu and am preparing for my 5th kyu test. Apparently I'm ready

We were talking about testing in the locker room the other day and I was corrected by my sensei. I said, in reference to 2 other students, that "they should test before I do". Sensei corrected me with "They test when we decide they are ready." It wasn't stern, but it was direct.

This gave me a new insight into testing though. Why should we get ourselves worked up over it. If our instructors didn't feel we were ready would we be invited to test? Taking that into consideration treat your tests like another class. Practice with joy and energy and you'll do wonderfully.

Back on thread:
7th Kyu - brand new world. Lots of push ups and sit ups to the point that you think you are exhausted. Technique beyond the point that you are exhausted. I could barely get up off the ground by the end of my first test. Then we had a sit down and discussed our personal motivations for practice.

6th Kyu - I thought I knew what was going to happen. I was wrong. I actually tested twice. The first was purely technical. Did I know the techniques required. I passed. Second test was with Roseberry Shihan. We covered etiquette till neither of us testing could recite anything new. Then we did a few techniques and a lot of randori. Then once again we sat down and discussed our personal motivations for practice.

In hind sight I think there were 3 tests. 1st being the technical test. 2nd being presented with the option to let that test stand as my test or to choose to test with Shihan. 3rd Shihan's test. Let me say this. Never pass up an opportunity to work with a shihan. It is always worth the time. Even if I hadn't passed my test it still would have been worth it. Just being in their presence you can learn volumes.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:10 AM   #6
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: testing

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
Pretty good Nick. My hardest test was 5th kyu. I was scared, under pressure and in a daze when I did it. I have always seen my third kyu as a benchmark as well because of the number of techniques and their difficulty. I still remember how hard I prepared for suwariwaza katatetori kaitenage, uchi and soto omote and ura. On my shodan, I was excited because I knew I was close to something important. When it was over, I felt like crying because emotionally, I had put a lot into the time and effort it took to get there. I remembered all the times in my first dojo where our little group couldn't pay the rent and how we would all meet in the office, and empty out our pockets until we came up with what we were short to make each months rent. We had a sempai but no Sensei. I recalled all the suffering I endured from another instructor I had who didn't' like me but I persevered refusing to let him take aikido away from me. I remembered when our dojo was broke and they said we weren't going to be able to bring our shihan from Japan so I privately emptied out my savings account and gave $1000 to pay for his plane fare.A lot of emotions came flooding inside of me because getting to shodan for me didn't come easy.
Best,
Thanks for sharing that Jorge. Nice to hear something like that

Our dojo starts at 6th kyu also, but at hombu they only recognise 5th kyu. 6th kyu here is really just a qausi-test to get you used to the nerves etc etc.

I was terrified before my 6th kyu. Wasnt too bad in hindsight, didnts step through on kaitennage and I put the wrong knee up on the yonkyo pin.

5th kyu was much better. Was still nervous as I hadnt tested in front of the dojo head on a course before. Did pretty good and got a 4th kyu test straight after too which I also passed. Mucked up Jo Suburi 7-10.

3rd kyu was a bit annoying as I believed I was ready and had trained a hell of a lot for it, only to be paired with an unco-operative uke. Was pretty angry about that for a while. Still passed but good ego training more than anything.

2nd kyu was easy as I was over-prepared for it. Got told not to do so many 'dangerous techniques' so that irked me a little too. No mistakes made on this one. Unco-operative uke not a problem this time. Had to leave the dojo afterwards to calm down.

(more ego-training needed, obviously )

Getting ready for first kyu in september now. Looking forward to it after a pretty disasterous year in aikido for me, but I am of course still very worried about what will happen on the day. I know I can do it, but Im a bit of a perfectionist. Anyways, we will see on the day...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:28 AM   #7
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: testing

on my yonkyu test I screwed up sankyo so bad I thought I was going to fail, but I passed, and the nerves weren't so bad because I was testing with 4 other people, so all eyes weren't on me. I only have 70 training days left until my sankyu sest, so I hope I pass this one too.

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:17 AM   #8
Nick Simpson
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Re: testing

In my experiance, the examiner wants to see you screw up. Then they want to see how you react to that and if you can recover the technique/turn it into another one or otherwise keep on top. Your attitude during this is obviously important too, its no good looking like you screwed up and being annoyed with yourself. You have to look like you meant to do that and that nothing can bother you.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 08-04-2005, 02:25 PM   #9
rogueenergy
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Re: testing

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
In my experiance, the examiner wants to see you screw up. Then they want to see how you react to that and if you can recover the technique/turn it into another one or otherwise keep on top. Your attitude during this is obviously important too, its no good looking like you screwed up and being annoyed with yourself. You have to look like you meant to do that and that nothing can bother you.
That seems to be pretty accurate. I think that earlier on in your training they are really looking for you to keep moving.
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:00 PM   #10
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Re: testing

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
In my experiance, the examiner wants to see you screw up. Then they want to see how you react to that and if you can recover the technique/turn it into another one or otherwise keep on top. Your attitude during this is obviously important too, its no good looking like you screwed up and being annoyed with yourself. You have to look like you meant to do that and that nothing can bother you.
I would concur, too. I recently watched a friend take his shodan test. He did an excellent job throughout, and then it came to the randori at the end. It was obvious that he was out of breath, that the will to keep going with 3 (might have been 4) ukes attacking him was in danger of slipping away, but he kept going, the other dojo members chanting his name and encouraging him to put in the last drop of technique he had left. He perservered and got through it. Looking back, the sensei was pacing the test so that the student would still have enough energy to survive, but would be pushed to his limit. I also went through a similar thing in Judo, where the shodan test was 5 hours, with 5 minute breaks every hour. Everyone was exhausted, and I do not know how we got through randori and shiai at the end. The sensei testing us told us afterwards that he was looking for correct form, technique and control at all points during the test, especially at the end, when things can go to pieces. Boy, was that a long day!
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:00 AM   #11
Nick Simpson
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Re: testing

'That seems to be pretty accurate. I think that earlier on in your training they are really looking for you to keep moving.'

Yeah, sounds about right to me. Nothing worse than watching someone standing there with uke holding there wrist while they try to think what technique to do. Or getting hit and and having to start again.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:26 AM   #12
Ben Eaton
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Re: testing

At my dojo it starts at 6th kyu, not a test, when you start you're at 6th.
This morning I passed my 5th kyu test, I'd never even seen a grading done before, and was nervous as anything.

But the sense of satisfaction afterwards, sensei announcing my success, outweighed the nervousness of before. Along with what Nick said, Sensei saw me screw up a couple of times, talking to him afterwards he told me he noticed when I knew I'd done so and corrected it, which I may have been a factor.
Such a good feeling afterwards though.
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:24 AM   #13
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: testing

funny story actually. When I took my 5th kyu test, sensei was movin real quick and I was out of breath by randori as well. I got through the ukes and as we were bowing near the end (of class), I passed out. It's a funny story now, but when it happened, they called the paramedic student in the dojo to check me out. My last test was just as fast, but since the incident I've built up stamina exponentially, an dcan take the heat better. Always a good feeling after having completed a test.

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 08-08-2005, 09:43 AM   #14
Conan Pieter Arnold
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Re: testing

In my Dojo, Our tests are soft to middel, depending on the capability of the Tori..

Conan Arnold
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Old 08-08-2005, 10:13 AM   #15
giriasis
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Re: testing

Our tests are rather short, even our dan tests. Actually, the dan tests are really short if you test in front of the shihans, because we have a lot of people testing at once. Four groups go up at a time with the test taker as nage and his/her uke. It can take about two hours to test everyone. Sometimes we can have up to 15-20 people going just for shodan. I couldn't imagine two hours for each person as we usually test a seminars -- although most sensei in our association can test their own students at thier own dojo most give deference to the shihan (you know Yamada, Sugano, and formerly Kanai Sensei). But kyu tests are not in front of the shihan just our sensei.

BUT, the test isn't the test, it's what you do to get there that matters. For the dan ranks, my sensei conducts advanced classes and if you're planning to test for shodan and up your expected to attended, and 2nd kyu and up are allowed as the 1st kyu test is very similar to the dan test. It's in these classes that we are put through the paces, and at which time you'll be told you'll be permitted to test.

For 5th kyu through 2nd kyu we have a list of techniques to perform. These are not real long tests either and take around 20 minutes for the nage to complete. I don't remember my 5th kyu test that much. I just remember learning the techniques and demonstrating them. Now my 4th kyu test stamina-wise was the hardest. I was really out of shape at the time and I was partnered with another test taker which means I would both "nage" and "uke". Well, fortunately I got to be nage first, but as uke -- I couldn't finish because I was close to passing out, and they had to switch ukes. Pretty embarrasing. I was told to "work on your stamina" after that test, which meant lose weight in my case.

With my 3rd kyu test, I got an uke who I really wasn't familiar with and his ukemi was really different. He would attack so hard I'd evade and he would just just fall over. Fine for effectiveness but not fine for demonstrating the techniques. I had to really slow down my throws so I could control him. As a result my test wasn't the "prettiest" but as Penny said it was "good" in that I didn't freak out, as some people would, and that I demonstrated control over my uke. Sometimes your test is as much as how well you respond to your uke as you perform your techniques because you don't always get your favorite uke that might make you look good.

My 2nd kyu test was fun. I was in shape by this time and got to do randori (2 person) on my test for the first time. I was really thankful for all that jiyuwaza I did for the past few years the randori just flowed although it wasn't perfect, but was evading people and throwing them into the other attacker. I wasn't intentionally doing that -- I just did. Nice to know that all that training has been ingrained into my body memory.

Now, I'm approaching my 1st kyu test, and that will be different because we don't have a list of techniques to memorize rather you do jiyuwaza (in our dojo that is more like a controlled randori where one attack is called and you perform a variety of techniques). I have to perform at least 5 techniques demonstrating variety of openings and variations. I just can't repeat the same 5 over and over again with each attack. Also we do suwari waza, handmi handachi, tanto tori and a 3 person randori. The 1st kyu test can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes depending on sensei's mood that day. 1st kyu for me will be the longest test, and it will probably my hardest test not test anxiety-wise but just personal expectation-wise.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 08-16-2005, 07:41 PM   #16
Adam Huss
 
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Re: testing

Interestingly enough, our first test is 9th kyu. Another thing I found interesting was that stripes are taken off, not put on. In other martial arts Ive studied you would get darker stripes on your belt to symbolize movment towards the darker belt's rank. But where I train at now, they put on lighter color stripes and take them off as your progress to symbolize fully achieving that belts rank.
Anyways, I was wondering how other peoples dan tests are. I have heard that in Japan they are quite short...more like a demo than a test. Our's are about average....shodan is like 45-55 minutes long, usually depending on how many times sensei wants to see a technique and how well you do on the question/answer/technique teaching portion/s. One of the teacher's at our dojo took a 4th dan test that lasted her 2-2.5 hours long.
Our tests are quite specific and they can definatley be failed. A lot of times sensei will do remidiation testing though..if you only failed like a kata or just one technique...but your core skills and fundamentals were pretty sound. And of course your tested to your physical capabilities as well.
Oh, if we give up on a technique, leave the mat, or an uke can't finish (if we hurt them, i mean), we automatically fail.
cheers!
~adam

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Old 08-17-2005, 12:32 AM   #17
Sonja2012
 
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Re: testing

Quote:
Adam Huss wrote:
I was wondering how other peoples dan tests are. I have heard that in Japan they are quite short...more like a demo than a test. Our's are about average....shodan is like 45-55 minutes long, usually depending on how many times sensei wants to see a technique and how well you do on the question/answer/technique teaching portion/s.
Our shodan tests last for about 40-50 mins, I would say, but I havenīt seen that many yet. If it is longer then that means you are either doing really badly (and they want to give you a chance by letting you go on for longer) or really well (and they are enjoying the show, as it were).

The test consists of

i) all techniques learned for all of the kyu grade tests
ii) aiki no kata (kata performed with uke, consisting of ikkyo to gokyo)
iii) "new" techniques for shodan (tenchi nage, sumi otoshi, kokyo nage)
iv) randory (jiju waza) against one attacker
v) theoretical test where one has to talk about some principle of aikido in front of the testing board (this doesnīt have to be done if the testee has completed a three weekīs teacherīs training course for aikido)
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Old 08-17-2005, 01:49 AM   #18
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Re: testing

My nikkyu test "seemed" to last at least an hour, but since we had practice afterwards (don't recall how long), I would guess that it was more like twenty to thirty minutes.

Then again, this is a fifteen year old memory and I never asked anyone who watched how long they thought it took....Then again, they were all in seiza, so they "may" have thought it was longer than it was....

Brenda
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Old 08-17-2005, 01:46 PM   #19
Faith Hansen
 
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Re: testing

I just passed my Nikyu test two weeks ago and it was an hour long. Longest hour of my life. It was by far the most difficult test I have had to pass. I had my Sensei and three Yudansha sitting in on it. It was also on a very HOT day (no AC in the dojo), and I swear I almost passed out a few times from the heat.

For our Nikyu test the basic layout is: 4 arts from each attack, must have the ability to execute leads from basic arts. Kick defense, ground defense, tanto dori. Must be able to execute any jogi or kengi. Jo jiuwaza (3 techniques).3 person randori, kokyudosa. Must be able to execute any Aiki Taiso (22 total), understand principle of oneness, shodo o seisu, application of basics to self defense, unification of mind and body.

Now, that is just the basic layout. I ended up having to do all 22 Aiki Taiso (some of which we barely do), then I had to come up with another Aiki Taiso not on the normal list. I was asked to do Jogi 1, and Kengi 2 (Kengi 2 I was told by my Sensei I did not have to know, ha ha).Then I did jo jiuwaza. After that I did the four techniques from any attack (techniques are not specified, we are free to choose, each test is a reflection of that person "own aikido"). I think it was 8 or 9 attacks. I did tanto dori, ground, single leg take down, and kick defense. Then I had to do an attack where I was held ryotemochi by two people. Then I had an attack with a person on either side of me grabbing my shoulders with two hands, then kata dori gamnetsuki from the front. That was interesting. Then it was my randori (now 50 minutes into the sweltering test, I got nothing left). 3 person, full force, free attack. That was hard. I was very tired. When that was over one of the Sensei's blindfolded me and had me do nikyo on three different people and then tell him who was: angry, frightened, and happy. Testing my perception/mind. Then it was kokyudosa. And the end!

So, that is a layout for ya. It was a test I will soon not forget.

Last edited by Faith Hansen : 08-17-2005 at 01:56 PM. Reason: realized i missed some stuff
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