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Old 06-26-2008, 09:54 AM   #26
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
Any test that diminishes a student's confidence and that requires the student test again for the same rank ought not to have happened in the first place.
Hi, I'm sorry, but I disagree with this statement. Perhaps I could agree with some minor changes though...

I have been in a situation where I failed a test, and, rather than diminishing my confidence, it inspired me to spend every available night, and saturday, doing as much keiko as my body could stand. Rather than being discouraged, I was motivated to train, train, and train some more, for the month and a half or so between my failure and the re-test.

I was offered to wait until my direct instructor thought I was ready, and then just get the rank without the test. But I thought so highly of the testing instructor, that to me it would be an honor to re-take the test in front of him. And by doing so, live up to his expectation of me and what he had taught.

I would not give up that experience now, looking back on it. I do know some others, however, who did not take that approach, and I believe they suffered for it (just my opinion).

So I guess it is both up to the teachers and the students. The teachers to set and exemplify a high standard, and the students to seek to meet the bar. And if the bar is not met, to not lose confidence, but rather, to be encouraged, to do more keiko, to do more instruction, and to meet that bar.

Best,
Ron (there was no public humiliation involved in this process in any way)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:01 PM   #27
mickeygelum
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
Any test that diminishes a student's confidence and that requires the student test again for the same rank ought not to have happened in the first place. For such an unfortunate occurrence, the fault should lie primarily with the teacher, not the student, however.

Jonathan Hay
Mr Hay...I believe that you are just restating what I have already said. Thus, the prescreen by the grading board. I will add this, Shodans and Nidans up for grading have passed the prescreening and failed the actual grading. Our gradings are performance based, principle and technique, consistency and no "uke-do".

Quote:
I have been in a situation where I failed a test, and, rather than diminishing my confidence, it inspired me to spend every available night, and saturday, doing as much keiko as my body could stand. Rather than being discouraged, I was motivated to train, train, and train some more, for the month and a half or so between my failure and the re-test.

Ron Tisdale
Mr. Tisdale...Says great things about your character...

Mickey
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:46 PM   #28
Jonathan
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
Mr Hay...I believe that you are just restating what I have already said.
No, just stating my point of view, which happens to agree more or less with yours.

Ron, I had a similar experience to yours. I wasn't failed, but I had the distinct impression from the shihan that I should have done much better. Like you, I determined never to repeat such a performance -- and never have.

While I can appreciate the value of your negative testing experience, I would much rather my students benefited from being tested in the way I've described. Personally, I don't believe I've done my job as an instructor if one of my students fails a test (which, to date, has never even come close to happening). If a student of mine wants their next rank, they must go through me to get it. They will have to train before their test like you trained after your failed one in order to be put forward for testing. If they can satisfy me, they will satisfy our shihan. This saves Kawahara sensei the embarrassment of failing a student, it saves the student the embarrassment of failing, and it saves me the shame of causing so much embarrassment to both shihan and student.

Best to you, too.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:30 PM   #29
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Re: Do you test like this?

I think it is a test in Belgium not in France. Ppl in Belgium have developed love for administration and looks like they have a lot of administrators in aikido LOL .Can you believe, this is very small country with 8 milion ppl, but they have 3 separated governments, each one with more then 20 Ministry!

I agree with David, this is large exaggeration. May be these folks think that being member of testing board give them special nobility? I don't think that in reality there is a need for more then 3 board members.Even if you have two large federations like in France.

Nagababa

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Old 06-26-2008, 09:52 PM   #30
eyrie
 
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I have been in a situation where I failed a test, and, rather than diminishing my confidence, it inspired me to spend every available night, and saturday, doing as much keiko as my body could stand. Rather than being discouraged, I was motivated to train, train, and train some more, for the month and a half or so between my failure and the re-test.
Mr. Tisdale...Says great things about your character...
Nah, Ron just needed a "little prodding"...

Ignatius
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:30 AM   #31
Dieter Haffner
 
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Can you believe, this is very small country with 8 milion ppl, but they have 3 separated governments, each one with more then 20 Ministry!
Can you believe, this is very small country with 10,5 milion ppl, but they have 6 separated governments (to complicated to explain), with a total of 58 mandators.

It is painfull to admit this.
But at least I could correct the "unpronouncable one".
Not many of us can say that.

Last edited by Dieter Haffner : 06-27-2008 at 01:31 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:33 AM   #32
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Do you test like this?

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Ron, I had a similar experience to yours. I wasn't failed, but I had the distinct impression from the shihan that I should have done much better. Like you, I determined never to repeat such a performance -- and never have.
Well, in my case, I wasn't so much concerned about *never* repeating the experience. I was concerned about living up to my instructors expectations of me. He made it clear that my test wasn't a failure in his eyes...but simply that he expected more of *me*. His respect of me and what he thought I could do was my motivator. To me, that is an important distinction that I should have expressed more clearly before.

Quote:
While I can appreciate the value of your negative testing experience,
Well, to me the whole experience was quite positive. Because of what I said above.

Quote:
I would much rather my students benefited from being tested in the way I've described. Personally, I don't believe I've done my job as an instructor if one of my students fails a test (which, to date, has never even come close to happening).
I'm not sure of my (then) direct instructor's take on all this, I had Father's day dinner with him and our families...we talked about many things, but not this. I think I'll ask him about it though...I'm glad the topic came up, it is sometimes interesting to review past events briefly. I *think* though, that he was not embarrased at all by my failure...I think he has pretty much the same mindset as I do in this regard. I say that because **he** had failed an exam himself under this same 7th Dan.

Quote:
If a student of mine wants their next rank, they must go through me to get it. They will have to train before their test like you trained after your failed one in order to be put forward for testing.
At that time, I WAS training an average of 5 days a week...sometimes six. Believe me, it wasn't like I hadn't been training a LOT before the test.

Quote:
If they can satisfy me, they will satisfy our shihan. This saves Kawahara sensei the embarrassment of failing a student, it saves the student the embarrassment of failing, and it saves me the shame of causing so much embarrassment to both shihan and student.
I guess embarrasment avoidance is just pretty low down the hierarchy of needs for me when it comes to testing. I think because I tend to embarrass myself so much in daily life!

Best,
Ron (I'm a lousy test taker in any case; I don't like doing demonstrations either)

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 06-27-2008 at 07:38 AM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:36 AM   #33
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post

Mr. Tisdale...Says great things about your character...

Mickey
Ha! What character?!

I am a character, all right... Thanks for the kind words.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:22 AM   #34
Jonathan
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
Well, in my case, I wasn't so much concerned about *never* repeating the experience. I was concerned about living up to my instructors expectations of me. He made it clear that my test wasn't a failure in his eyes...but simply that he expected more of *me*. His respect of me and what he thought I could do was my motivator. To me, that is an important distinction that I should have expressed more clearly before.
I was concerned about not repeating my poor performance for more or less the same reasons you've expressed above (except it was the respect of my shihan and not my teacher I was wishing to retain).

Quote:
Well, to me the whole experience was quite positive. Because of what I said above.
Yup. I got that. I refer to it as a "negative experience" insofar as you did not meet the expectations of your teacher and did not initially pass the test. I understand that in the final analysis the experience as a whole was a good one.

Quote:
At that time, I WAS training an average of 5 days a week...sometimes six. Believe me, it wasn't like I hadn't been training a LOT before the test.
So, what happened, then? Did you sorta' choke, or what? How did you come to be testing? Was this your decision or your teacher's?

Quote:
I guess embarrassment avoidance is just pretty low down the hierarchy of needs for me when it comes to testing. I think because I tend to embarrass myself so much in daily life!
Ah. I see.

Take 'er easy!

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:57 AM   #35
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
At that time, I WAS training an average of 5 days a week...sometimes six. Believe me, it wasn't like I hadn't been training a LOT before the test.
Quote:
So, what happened, then? Did you sorta' choke, or what? How did you come to be testing? Was this your decision or your teacher's?
A combination of things, I think.

a) I had tested for the "shihan" before, because he always came for the kyu tests...but this was for 3rd kyu, which in that school is the first level of brown belt. Thus the first level of higher expectation.

b) I had expressed some interest in teaching, thus the 2nd level of higher expectation.

c) I choke a lot on tests. of any kind, more so now that I am older.

d) At brown belt, all the waza are called in Japanese.

e) It was a decision reached by my immediate teacher and myself together. We both thought I was ready...but please also understand that in the Doshinkan, failing a test is certainly not unheard of, and I'd say it is not unusual to fail at least one test along the way. I think in some sense, it may be a test in and of itself...how do you handle failure? Are you encouraged, or discouraged? Do you train more and prepare, or do you say "ah forget about it?" I think these are important things that someone will never know if they don't go through the experience.

One thing guaranteed in life...you will fail sometime. How will you handle it?

Oh, did I mention I choke a lot on tests??

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #36
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
Dieter Haffner wrote: View Post
Can you believe, this is very small country with 10,5 milion ppl, but they have 6 separated governments (to complicated to explain), with a total of 58 mandators.

It is painfull to admit this.
But at least I could correct the "unpronouncable one".
Not many of us can say that.
Hohohohoooo these guys improving his country quickly I left Belgium 12 years ago, so I'm out of date but I'm in better shape...... Looks like in next 12 years they will have 12 governments!
Thank you Dieter for update.

Nagababa

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Old 06-27-2008, 02:52 PM   #37
Shany
 
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Re: Do you test like this?

The swari-waza was bit stiff, without movement and flow. The handachi-waza was much better.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:37 PM   #38
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Quantities

France has a joint aikido organization for the purpose of issuing dan grades in accordance with the government rules. Maybe the "jury" is that big, because they need to have representatives from several of the aikido federations cooperating in this grading organization.

In Japanese kendo and iaido examinations, there are usually several people in the "jury" - the more, the higher the grades tested.

In aikido, there are many cases where one shihan alone is the judge. That is not at all common in other budo.
In Sweden, we normally have three persons judging dan examinations. I have the impression that this is often the case also in other countries.

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:19 PM   #39
Peter Ralls
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Re: Do you test like this?

Am I the only one that thinks that the attacks seem to lack much intensity? I am used to seeing attacks with a lot more speed and intention, especially when people are testing in front of their friends and family and other aikidoists. In my experience that tends to jazz people up a bit. This testing seems very slow and controlled to me.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:44 PM   #40
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Re: Do you test like this?

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
IFor such an unfortunate occurrence, the fault should lie primarily with the teacher, not the student, however.
I would have to disagree. At some point the student is responsible for learning and performing. A teacher can't make a student learn and a teacher can't make a student perform well on any given day. I have seen people fail tests who were very capable of doing everything required for the grading. They just, for whatever reasons, didn't perform at the expected level on that day. I fail to see how this would be the instructor's fault. The instructor can provide the knowledge, training, and motivation but the student ultimately is the one who must provide an acceptable performance during the test.

Bronson

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Old 07-01-2008, 03:48 PM   #41
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Re: Do you test like this?

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Pauliina Lievonen wrote: View Post
I've been to a couple dan tests where all the yudansha present were asked to sit around the mat during the test and to join the teachers (two or three of them) who formed the actual testing panel for discussion afterwards.
When my Sensei conducts testing all yudansha are asked to grade the test. We are not part of the testing board but what we do is compare how we graded the test with how the people on the board graded the test. We get to ask them questions and determine why they scored it as they did. This is all in an effort to teach us what to look for and how to grade tests.

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."
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:57 AM   #42
Jonathan
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Re: Do you test like this?

Quote:
I would have to disagree. At some point the student is responsible for learning and performing. A teacher can't make a student learn and a teacher can't make a student perform well on any given day. I have seen people fail tests who were very capable of doing everything required for the grading. They just, for whatever reasons, didn't perform at the expected level on that day. I fail to see how this would be the instructor's fault. The instructor can provide the knowledge, training, and motivation but the student ultimately is the one who must provide an acceptable performance during the test.
You may, or may not, have noticed that I didn't say that a student's poor testing was solely the instructor's fault. I recognize, of course, that the student bears responsibility, too, for his/her successes and failures. What proportion, exactly, you and I might not agree on, but I do agree that the student is "the one who must provide an acceptable performance during the test." Actually, this seems rather obvious to me...

I have seen quite a number of students taking a test for which they were woefully under-prepared. They were confused about terms, beginning stances (ai or gyaku hanmi), and fumbled badly through the performance of techniques. You can't hide a lack of reps; there is a quality of movement that comes only by repetition. Even if a student is having a bad day, you can tell if they put in the reps necessary to be testing. Most of the students I have seen flubbing tests did not evidence such quality of movement. In these instances, I believe the teacher, not the student, is to blame for the student's bad performance. They should not have been allowed to test until the stamp of sufficient repetitions had impressed itself upon their movements. This is the responsibility of the teacher, not the student, to judge.

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Old 07-15-2008, 05:23 PM   #43
Amassus
 
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Re: Do you test like this?

Greetings all.

I'm replying to this thread as a member of an independent aikido club. I am very aware of my own club's limitations and standards for testing compared with other groups who are affiliated to a larger organization.

The grading panel at the club usually consists of the head instructor and two or three other yudansha. During the test, the head instructor will call out techniques but may also ask other members of the panel if there is anything they would like to see that has not yet been shown. For yudansha, freestyle situations are asked for.

A person who is asked to test is almost guarenteed to pass as the instructor 'invites' the student to take the test knowing the student is capable. He wants to see the student perform under pressure of the testing environment. I know of only one student my instructor has failed in this manner. The student was failed not on technique but on attitude and the treatment of his uke.

We train in a Judo dojo that also supports a third japanese budo so the atmosphere is pleasant, appropriate to the art and the formality is there with the underlying intimacy of student/teacher relationships.

How does it compare to other clubs? Well, by attending seminars run by the bigger organizations I am proud to say that our 'quality control' is in place and on par with what I have seen out there.

Just a few thoughts.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:16 PM   #44
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Re: Do you test like this?

It was intimidating enough with 3 people watching me...but a whole panel.

We had a 4th, 3rd, and 1st dan for our testing.
But Im sure for higher ranks it gets more, at least by the looks of it... guess I will find out one day.

Peace

dAlen

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