Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Testing

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-25-2007, 03:07 PM   #1
aikispike
Dojo: Yoshinkan
Location: Toronto
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 95
Canada
Offline
what makes a test great

I've seen tests in a number of dojo over the years and I have rarely been very impressed with them. At times I hear rave reviews about the tests I have not been very impressed with. Is it me, are people being too nice. not sure.

So what makes a test a good or great one in your eyes?

For me I want to see clean sharp technique and a high enough fitness level that they dont look ready to fall over before the end.

But most importantly I want to see a high level of energy and 100% effort. I want atemi that threaten to smack uke in between the eyes, and throws that make uke bounce off the mats. What bothers me most about tests is that people hold back and take it safe doing normal level techniques. I find people are so afraid of screwing up, they dont extend themselves. I would much rather see a spectacular screw up done strongly then a properly executed lame technique.

Spike

--
Michael Kimeda
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2007, 05:12 PM   #2
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Quote:
Michael Kimeda wrote: View Post
But most importantly I want to see a high level of energy and 100% effort.
I'd rather see aikido done with little or no effort

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auHbz...elated&search=

I really enjoyed watching one of my colleagues grade for 1st kyu many years ago, she is a lady of small stature, but by remaining calm and putting a large distance between her and her uke between each throw and subsequent attack she wore out 2 ukes and was onto her third by the end of the grading

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2007, 01:02 AM   #3
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,639
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Quote:
Michael Kimeda wrote: View Post
I've seen tests in a number of dojo over the years and I have rarely been very impressed with them. At times I hear rave reviews about the tests I have not been very impressed with. Is it me, are people being too nice. not sure.

So what makes a test a good or great one in your eyes?

For me I want to see clean sharp technique and a high enough fitness level that they dont look ready to fall over before the end.

But most importantly I want to see a high level of energy and 100% effort. I want atemi that threaten to smack uke in between the eyes, and throws that make uke bounce off the mats. What bothers me most about tests is that people hold back and take it safe doing normal level techniques. I find people are so afraid of screwing up, they dont extend themselves. I would much rather see a spectacular screw up done strongly then a properly executed lame technique.

Spike
Actually, the tests one tends to remember ten years later were the ones during which the fellow testing got in deep trouble and then pulled it together again. That is one of the hardest things to do and it speaks to the focus and will power of the person testing that he doesn't give up. I remember tests like that longer than I remember the test in which the person testing was in control the whole time, no matter how competent he was...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2007, 01:59 AM   #4
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 643
Israel
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Quote:
Michael Kimeda wrote: View Post
But most importantly I want to see a high level of energy and 100% effort. I want atemi that threaten to smack uke in between the eyes, and throws that make uke bounce off the mats. What bothers me most about tests is that people hold back and take it safe doing normal level techniques. I find people are so afraid of screwing up, they dont extend themselves. I would much rather see a spectacular screw up done strongly then a properly executed lame technique.
What you describe would be considered a great brown belt (1st Kyu) test in our dojo and a mdicure 1st Dan test.

Good strong techniques are nice, but at BB level one wishes to see the accompanied with flow and softness (not weakness) and of course timing and position.

Amir
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2007, 08:39 AM   #5
Jason Woolley
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 16
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

My personal view is that a good test is one where the candidate is pushed to the limit of their capabilities in order that their true nature, and their best Aikido, be revealed - both to the tester and the candidate. Whether they pass is another issue.

If they are not fit, it may be a short test. Does this affect the quality of their Aikido?

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2007, 01:22 AM   #6
Princess Rose
 
Princess Rose's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern CO
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 70
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

I think a test is all about the demonstration of your ability to work hard to get your aikido to a new level. In my home dojo people practice for months before the actual test. It is not so much about the testing but about the person's effort and desire to improve their Aikido. The best tests, in my opinion, are the ones on which a struggling student works really hard and pushes their own aikido ability up to the level required to pass a test.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2007, 03:11 AM   #7
Mike Hamer
 
Mike Hamer's Avatar
Dojo: Shinki Rengo, Mt. Pleasant MI
Location: Alma, MI
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 244
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

I have never tested, and I've only watched one testing (3rd kyu) but I found it interesting. It's fun watching somebody advance and get some well deserved recongnition.

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2007, 07:35 AM   #8
Eric Webber
Dojo: Aikido West Reading
Location: Reading, Pa
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 261
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

When looking at a test and gauging whether it is a great test or not I look at two things: the level of the test and the candidate. On a 6th kyu test, I want to see very careful and controlled excution of technique rather than attempts to "make it work." I want to see a calm and slow appraoch to the exam to demonstrate a composed mind. By the time a candidate gets to 1st kyu, I like to see variety in technique, power with control, and some risk taking in the exam. I think that Shodan candidates should go back to basics, exhibiting basic form and tons of control, while still having a dynamic approach to movement. All test candidates should be aware of their uke's ability to take an amount of power in technique, and not wreck 'em just becasuse it's test time. If you want to prove how wrecking-machine-strong you are to your teachers and seniors, grab them after class and throw down.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2007, 01:02 PM   #9
Juliette
Dojo: ANV
Location: Arlington, VA
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 6
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

[quote=Eric Webber;170084]When looking at a test and gauging whether it is a great test or not I look at two things: the level of the test and the candidate. On a 6th kyu test, I want to see very careful and controlled excution of technique rather than attempts to "make it work." QUOTE]

This is of great relief to read. With my impeding 6th kyu test in a month (I'm assuming here) I have been wondering what exactly is expected of me at this point. I know what techniques I will have to demonstrate but I have not been sure if it would be permissible to go as slowly as I do when training, or if we are expected to perform at a realistic speed. In my 2 months I have not seen anyone be tested so I guess I am just still a bit lost.

Can anyone else share their expectations for 6th kyu testing?
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2007, 04:50 PM   #10
Bronson
 
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Quote:
Juliette East wrote: View Post
Can anyone else share their expectations for 6th kyu testing?
Pretty much what Eric said. I want to see control and that the testee knows what the pieces are and where they go. You will NOT impress your sensei by going fast and hard, you will impress your sensei by being controlled and correct.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2007, 10:46 PM   #11
aikispike
Dojo: Yoshinkan
Location: Toronto
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 95
Canada
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote: View Post
You will NOT impress your sensei by going fast and hard, you will impress your sensei by being controlled and correct.

Bronson
I would be impressed with fast, hard, controlled and correct. That is what I am trying to do.

Spike

--
Michael Kimeda
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2007, 10:58 PM   #12
aikispike
Dojo: Yoshinkan
Location: Toronto
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 95
Canada
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Quote:

Can anyone else share their expectations for 6th kyu testing?
Originally i was only reallying thinking of higher level tests... 1kyu and above.

With respect to 6th kyu tests, it depends somewhat on what 6th kyu means to your dojo - is this your first test? Some places 6th kyu might be your third or fourth test.

Assuming it is your first or second test. Do the techniques without having to think about them. When the technique is called you should be able to do it straight away. Move with your uke; the techniques dont have to "work". Dont fall over. Dont go too fast, normal training speed is good (unless you are in a dojo where people chat about things a lot.)

Spike

--
Michael Kimeda
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2007, 12:12 PM   #13
Juliette
Dojo: ANV
Location: Arlington, VA
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 6
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Thanks. I realize this thread was originally mean for discussion about higher grade tests. This will be my first test and from reading these few posts I have a better idea about what is generally expected, so thank you very much.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2007, 12:35 PM   #14
Eric Webber
Dojo: Aikido West Reading
Location: Reading, Pa
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 261
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Quote:
Juliette East wrote: View Post
This is of great relief to read. With my impeding 6th kyu test in a month (I'm assuming here) I have been wondering what exactly is expected of me at this point. I know what techniques I will have to demonstrate but I have not been sure if it would be permissible to go as slowly as I do when training, or if we are expected to perform at a realistic speed. In my 2 months I have not seen anyone be tested so I guess I am just still a bit lost.

Can anyone else share their expectations for 6th kyu testing?
Jimmy Sensei will not test you until you are ready, so when he says it's time, relax and test the same way you practice.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2007, 10:38 PM   #15
Irv Lachow
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Quote:
Eric Webber wrote: View Post
Jimmy Sensei will not test you until you are ready, so when he says it's time, relax and test the same way you practice.
That's my understanding of Jimmy's appraoch as well. When I was freaking out about a test that I didn't feel ready for, several long-time students told me that Jimmy views "testing" more as a demonstration of what he's already seen on the mat than a one-time pass-fail type event. That being said, be prepared. I believe that a big part of testing is showing how you handle the pressure of the moment. If you are confident (or at least act that way) and stay calm, you will leave a positive impression even if you "mess up" in your technique.

See you on the mat!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2007, 09:03 AM   #16
Mato-san
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 290
Iceland
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Just personally and it might not mean much but I think mark said it best,

"I'd rather see aikido done with little or no effort"

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2007, 09:15 AM   #17
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,209
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

I don't know or care if it was great for other people but my third dan test was great fun....

Good ukes, smooth mat, a lot of space and relaxed technique...it still makes me smile. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life.

Here is a litte bit of it :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIDoTSrIwb8

Mary
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2007, 09:56 PM   #18
Just Jamey
Dojo: Aikido of West Bend
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 45
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

This was sort of mentioned, but one thing that helps make a really great test is your uke(s). I say this because they tend to be people whom you know, are probably friends, and whom you don't want to hurt.

I've seen a few tests and the ones that always look great to me are the ones when the tester knows with a certainty that they can preform techniques during their test without worrying about ripping someone's arm off... Well, it makes for a very smooth test.

Now, I'm not talking about uke(s) bailing out of technique, or "giving in" for you. I'm talking about nage preforming strong technique with the foreknowledge that uke can roll with it...

Roll with it! Do you get it!!

and that folks is why I will only do one show a night...
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2007, 09:24 PM   #19
Insane Duane
 
Insane Duane's Avatar
Dojo: TenShin Budo Kai
Location: Washington
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 31
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

I think focus and control are very important. I remember being an uke for a black belt test 3 or so years ago as a sister dojo. The guy had no control and my elbow ended up being tweaked for several weeks.

I would rather see a slower technique that had total control than a faster and sloppy test. We usually give people a break on the first test (7th Kyu at my dojo) due to testing anxiety (when we ask someone to test, we already know they can pass).
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2007, 07:55 AM   #20
Amelia Smith
 
Amelia Smith's Avatar
Dojo: Martha's Vineyard Aikido Club
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 154
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

This December, I watched three sets of tests at three different dojos, mostly lower-level, which for us usually means 5th and 4th kyu, though one dojo has started doing 6th kyu.

At one dojo, the 5th kyu tests were miles beyond the ones at the other dojo. I know that their sensei puts a lot of emphasis on test preparation, and what impressed me about these tests was that all of the testers clearly knew what the technique was supposed to look like, the basic physical principles behind it, and where all their hands and feet went. For me, that's what a good early level test is about: demonstrating an understanding of a specific set of techniques.

Jumping ahead to sho dan, that same principle applies, only more so. A sho dan canidate should be able to apply a wide range of techniques to a wide range of ukes. Sure, it'll look better if you just throw everyone's favorite uke around, but it's more impressive to me if you can adjust the technique to different ukes. The technique should be strong, but in a sensetive way. I've seen a lot of fast and flashy tests, too, and they're all right, but not the be-all and end-all.

That said, I can't stand to watch the really sluggish tests, especially when they're both sluggish and choppy.

Confidence and Competence are probably the most important things, and all that comes from practice (which should also result in a reasonable level of fitness). I find that lots of test-focused practice really does make the test look better, too, even though I think it's more important to keep up with regular practice.

I could go on, but I have to go to work.

--Amelia
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2007, 03:51 AM   #21
Edwin Neal
Dojo: Ronin
Location: Henderson, North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 597
United_States
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

in my experience testing is about a mix of showing the precision and details of the waza and showing some speed and power... mix it up... use a variety of waza and i try to do variation on left and right sides not the same ikkyo left and right... it is also an endurance will power thing a test lasts as long as you can keep going... one guy's final randoori went on well over an hour until sensei called time because it was getting late!... as uke i try to give good realistic attacks not too fast or slow... i make nage throw me... in fact i tell them before hand to not worry just cut loose on me i will look after myself... and on the question of preparing for a test i prefer to be called with no prep as i feel this gives a better indication of my ability under some stress, and we are never asked to test unless we can pass... if you wouldn't pass you aren't ready... it is a demonstration of your skill not a pass fail thing... good luck and have fun!

Edwin Neal


  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2007, 08:42 AM   #22
Avery Jenkins
 
Avery Jenkins's Avatar
Dojo: Litchfield Hills Aikikai
Location: Litchfield, CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 139
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I don't know or care if it was great for other people but my third dan test was great fun....

Good ukes, smooth mat, a lot of space and relaxed technique...it still makes me smile. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life.

Here is a litte bit of it :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIDoTSrIwb8

Mary
Loved it, Mary, give us more!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2007, 03:06 PM   #23
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,209
Offline
Re: what makes a test great

Thank you Avery.
You are welcome to come visit our dojo anytime....)
Mary
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The GREAT kata debate Jorx General 35 04-01-2009 08:02 PM
ki in scientific thought shadow Spiritual 193 06-22-2003 04:49 AM
Scripting your "free-style" test Jesse Lee Testing 25 05-19-2003 11:09 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:40 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate