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 > Anonymous

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 08-03-2010, 01:51 AM   #26
Eva Antonia
Dojo: CERIA
Location: Brussels
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 208
Belgium
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Hi all,

in my club we also don't have many women, but I don't think that matters for the teacher or for any of us. I neither noticed really a different treatment of women (except by male adolescent newbies, but they adapt quickly), rather a treatment according to the different physical characteristics of everyone.

Among the females, we have one nikyu of middle height and middle weight, who is rather strong and dynamic. Training with her is not different from training with a guy. Then we have a 14 year old, small, thin, frail sankyu, who attacks without power and does not resist. You could make all errors of the world and the technique would still work. So obviously nage would treat these two very differently.

Then there is myself who is 1,78 m but weighs less than 60 kg. That makes it very easy to break my equilibrium, and if I attack dynamically and a heavy nage performs let's say kokyu, I'd fly something like 5 m. But if I throw the heavy guy, he just rolls smoothly out of it.

We have two male aikidoka, one sankyu and one gokyu, who the approximately my statue and weight, maybe a BIT heavier, and they are pretty much treated the same as myself. I really don't think there is much of a gender issue in it.

But then it is true that women are generally frailer, smaller and easier to unbalance - and even if every individual is treated individually, if you look at the average, women are still treated softer than men.

Coming to the exam; I'd also feel rather unhappy if I was awarded a rank because the teacher wants high ranking female...it is like this quota issue in politics or business. If you have a policy of having at least 35 % of women in top ranges of management/ government or whatever, everyone starts immediately to question if they arrive there because of merits or because of the quota. And the person herself couldn't be sure if she was chosen because of gender or because of qualification. That does not exactly boost self-esteem....

Best regards,

Eva
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 05:19 AM   #27
"It's The Ukemi, Stupid"
IP Hash: ca0e086e
Anonymous User
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Listen, I am a woman myself. In addition to being a relatively strong aikidoka I am also a sculptor and currently work as a welder and rigger with a team of men, so I am a woman who tends to put myself in typically "masculine" situations. I have about one thousand experiences a day that confirm that I am different from the men I surround myself with, not in ways that are deficient, but in ways that are different. I'm not a tiny man! I do think differently than my co-workers, and that is usually a good thing. It's a benefit to have someone on a jobsite who's thinking about how other people feel. It's a serious safety bonus to have a rigger who's been socialized to communicate very well. It's good for the morale of a team to have someone around who's just naturally touchier, or who remembers about families more. I solve problems differently than my colleagues, I tend to think more indirectly.

I empathize with RED's and others' assertions that she learned just fine from men, and that it bugs her when people treat her differently. I am in a similar situation, I tend to "learn like a man" myself. But you know, I think that aikido is fundamentally an act of communication, and when I get treated "like a girl" on the mat, it's my responsibility to communicate my training goals, desired level of intensity and so on. I can only do that if I am confident enough to just do that instead of whining about it or assuming that someone who looks at a tiny blonde woman and attacks softly is being a sexist. I have the skills and intensity on the mat to overcome this without having to label anyone.

I think this thread is about giving more women the opportunity to have as much skills and intensity as they want, and I think that's a good thing. I think the first step toward doing that is openly admitting that women are different than men, that they learn differently and are socialized, generally speaking, to value different things. It's not a deficiency that women tend to value safety! I use my need to be safe on the mat and on the job all the time--it's what makes me really good at lifting heavy things in crazy situations! It got me to work on my ukemi all by myself!

It is a drag that women tend to be socialized to look at themselves as innately this or that in a way that men aren't, and don't tell me that it doesn't happen because I still battle it every time I make a mistake at work, less on the mat for some reason. I think that an aikido class is a great place to get over that sense that you simply "are" any one thing.

I don't think that women who do aikido do aspiring women aikidoka a favor when they exclaim that they don't have that problem. It creates a dead end, in which the only logical conclusion is that it must not exist for others. I think that everyone has a responsibility to create as much opportunity for others as possible. It's impossible to do that when you're stuck on saying the problem doesn't exist. I think it's far more enlightened to organize the learning experience so that more people can get it. Who doesn't benefit from five minutes of rolls at the beginning of class?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 08:15 AM   #28
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Quote:
Coming to the exam; I'd also feel rather unhappy if I was awarded a rank because the teacher wants high ranking female...it is like this quota issue in politics or business. If you have a policy of having at least 35 % of women in top ranges of management/ government or whatever, everyone starts immediately to question if they arrive there because of merits or because of the quota. And the person herself couldn't be sure if she was chosen because of gender or because of qualification. That does not exactly boost self-esteem....
Yes, totally... and if they want to encourage beginning females students and give them confidence in their potential, having a bunch of female shodans that are clearly worse than the male ones isn't exactly going to be encouraging to the beginners... .

Sounds like simply teaching everyone better ukemi would be a lot more helpful....

This is assuming the poster's interpretation is correct, though. It's always possible she's misinterpreting the situation and she's just being asked to progress quickly because she's learning more quickly than she realizes or something like that.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 08:49 AM   #29
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 903
United_States
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Quote:
David Board wrote: View Post
No, being a women is the same as being skinny or tall. An attribute. Women typically have a set of physical attributes in common. Women's hips are different then men's hips. The angle of the femur is different. Female spines are different then male spines. This changes how you move. This changes how I should respond to you.

Just as my height changes how people should respond to me. I have watched multiple times as nages are forced to adapt to my height. Sidesteps are modified to include a slight backwards angle. As nage, I have to change how I do some techniques. My height changes how a technique is performed in subtle and not so subtle ways.

Now there is no doubt that attributes can mislead. When people see me put my legs behind my head they assume I have the flexibility of a Yogi (if they know my wife is yoga teacher the assumption is reinforced) but I can not touch my toes. In fact, I can not even sit at 90 degrees with my legs out straight. As an aside my wife informs me that this peculiarity is associated with males and that she has yet to encounter a women with this mix of flexibility but several males.

I have no doubt that you are a better at Aikido than I am. I have no doubt that you can take better Ukemi than I can. I have no doubt that you could take more than I could dish out. If we were to meet on the mat I would treat you as my better and try to learn from you. I would treat you as are young, flexible, healthy, capable and female. Not because I need baby you but because I want to give you my best.
While I agree that you should adjust say for a woman's high, hips and what not, I find it ridiculous in my original point to refuse to punch, or throw a woman.
I think there is a world apart from adjusting to specific attributes, and insulting.

MM
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 09:08 AM   #30
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,741
United_States
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I am not a fan of generalization. Often times I find they come from a place of assumption instead of actual experience. I'm not here to invalidate the generalization, I'd rather erase it all together.

A female student who is a serious student of martial arts I think would more typically not fit into this generalization. You sort of walk in knowing that it will take physical and mental demands.
Well, now we're into the realm of who gets to decide what a "serious student" is. Maybe we don't want to go there.

What does it mean to "erase" a generalization, anyway? Do you wish to stop people from making an observation? What if there's truth in what they observe? If I make the generalization that sexism exists and that it has an effect on women's attitudes, why do you want to "erase" this generalization, and how do you propose to do it? Pointing out that there are exceptions to generalizations would seem a waste of time -- that is inherent in the definition of what a generalization is -- and stifling the expression of a generalization because the underlying reality is distasteful seems a case of shooting the messenger.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 10:06 AM   #31
David Board
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Reno/NV
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 74
United_States
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
[..]
Don't expect special treatment. I train with male students, I train as hard as them. MY only point really is that altering your teaching or training style for a woman is really an insult more than it is a help. And if the newbies annoying me stick around long enough they learn this fact...then everything is cool.
Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
While I agree that you should adjust say for a woman's high, hips and what not, I find it ridiculous in my original point to refuse to punch, or throw a woman.
I think there is a world apart from adjusting to specific attributes, and insulting.
Fair enough, I did read your concluding paragraph as expecting no special treatment and this was obviously a misinterpretation. And while I agree that refusing to punch or throw a woman is insulting, I would expect a teacher in particular and your training partners in general to be aware of who you are. This includes not only your physical attributes but your cultural and emotional background as well. Your sex influences all of these.

The original post that you took exception to gave a very good example of this, using a band saw. Not as many women have used large shop equipment as men in American society. Women are not expected to use power tools like men are in American society. While this is not ideal. It is true. The original poster found that despite her encouragement many women did not feel comfortable just walking up to a band saw turning it on and having a go (Perhaps proof that women are smarter then men or at least prize their fingers more.) Her solution was not to single women out nor was it to change the expectations of the class. She trained everyone in the proper use of a band saw; she taught in a manner that was aware of why her students were having difficulty with this particular tool. Everyone benefited. The women became better than the men (perhaps because they came with their cups empty). She adapted her teaching to her students. She recognized that the women in her class needed familiarization with the tool and she modified her teaching to account for this. (As a safety officer at my work place I hope she was at least giving a brief safety lesson in the first place).

It is not that women shouldn't be creating sculpture nor is that women shouldn't be using the band saw. The point is that awareness of their background allowed a better class. Taking the analogy back to Aikido, it is not that woemen should not be doing Aikido nor is it that women should not be given a full and proper attacks. But being aware of their background will allow for a better class.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 10:09 AM   #32
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 606
United_States
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

I posted this article, http://singletrack.competitor.com/20...-the-bike_6764, a while back to a thread Janet started. It was written by a professional woman mtn biker -- a "serious student" of that sport by any estimate.

Her point seems to be that women may tend to have different responses to learning how to do dangerous things than men "generally" do, and that many women may learn more effectively if this different set of responses is understood.

Working with the grain and not against it, so to speak.

Is this sexist or feminist? Is it restricting or liberating?

I could see how this kind of description might be misused to pigeon-hole women and restrict a woman's training.

But it seemed to me the author's point was "hey, there's a better way for a bunch of us to learn than we're used to."

Ultimately, it shouldn't matter whether that "bunch of us" is composed completely of women or contains all women -- I'm sure neither is true, based on the kinds of reactions I've seen on the mat from beginners training.

But perhaps that "bunch of us" -- whoever it turns out to be-- has something to gain from having a different model to work with.

FWIW

David Henderson
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 10:16 AM   #33
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 606
United_States
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

http://singletrack.competitor.com/20...-the-bike_6764

works

David Henderson
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 12:52 PM   #34
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 903
United_States
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Well, now we're into the realm of who gets to decide what a "serious student" is. Maybe we don't want to go there.

What does it mean to "erase" a generalization, anyway? Do you wish to stop people from making an observation? What if there's truth in what they observe? If I make the generalization that sexism exists and that it has an effect on women's attitudes, why do you want to "erase" this generalization, and how do you propose to do it? Pointing out that there are exceptions to generalizations would seem a waste of time -- that is inherent in the definition of what a generalization is -- and stifling the expression of a generalization because the underlying reality is distasteful seems a case of shooting the messenger.
I'm going to play the hippy's advocate for a second here:

I think that exceptions to generalizations are of a grave importance, and they should be empowered.

The fact that not every black guy is in jail despite the fact that USA prisons are made up of mostly black males, not every Arab is a terrorist even though the most notorious terrorist attack on US soil was by middle eastern men, not every woman is a flake even though we all have known a few princesses, not all rich people are greedy despite the fact we have all read the Christmas carol.
Generalizations are damaging..they are stereotypes frankly, and the exceptions are more worthy of pointing out then the stereotype frankly.

MM
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 01:59 PM   #35
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 606
United_States
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

It's great that you want to "empower exceptions."

But your examples of pernicious generalizations are all generalizations that rest on a clear logical fallacy, not on a statistical proposition that can be proven empirically true or false as a generalization. They are therefore not a sound basis to "generalize."

Even a valid generalization, as Mary points out, is subject to exceptions. Some, nonetheless have empirical truth content. E.g., "Women generally have smaller feet than men."

If you're making shoes for women, this is a generalization it pays to be aware of; if you're a women with big feet, its probably a drag. But the shoe makers stay in business making the sizes they do because the generalization is, generally, true.

Compare that to this statement -- "Many mentally ill people smoke cigarettes, therefore, most cigarette smokers are mentally ill."

This, like the examples you list as a "hippy's advocate," is logically fallacious -- its called "affirming the consequent." Whatever the statistics end up showing, the reasoning is flawed and provides no logical support for the conclusion.

This gets touchy, of course, when we talk about personality and gender, and its not always obvious whether a particular generalization falls in one category or another.

But that's a different kind of argument, and leads to a different conversation, than a falacious generalization about generalizations.

David Henderson
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 03:06 PM   #36
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,121
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

I went back and re-read "Promotion Reluctant's" original post when this started to devolve into a gender issue discussion. I was struck by a particular line "He's decided to push a few of the female mid-rank students through their belts faster hoping that a few 1stkyu/shodan women around the dojo might encourage the newbies to stick around." That suggests to me that PR has some real knowledge of her sensei's thought process. If she actually knows that is his motivation, I can understand her reluctance. I personally want to walk away confident that I've earned everything I've achieved through honest effort, rather than being gifted for some economic or political reason. If such is the case, then PR enjoys my respect and admiration for not buying into what I consider an artificial and demeaning situation.

On the other hand, if PR is simply guessing what her sensei's intent is, she should clear the air and explain her perception and concerns. She could be wrong and truly ready for advancement.

If it is the former, then he will be disappointed with the result. My limited experience suggests that only one in ten new students will stick around beyond the first test, regardless of gender, and it appears that less than one in a hundred will ever see shodan. I have strong doubts that creating a cadre of artificial Amazons will change that and he will end up with some less than stellar yudansha. Then again, I could be wrong.....

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2010, 05:53 AM   #37
"anotheranonymousperson"
IP Hash: ca0e086e
Anonymous User
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Michael Hackett wrote: "My limited experience suggests that only one in ten new students will stick around beyond the first test, regardless of gender, and it appears that less than one in a hundred will ever see shodan. I have strong doubts that creating a cadre of artificial Amazons will change that and he will end up with some less than stellar yudansha. Then again, I could be wrong....."

Absolutely, and honestly most women (like the OP) who are going to stick around in a martial art anyway are going to see this in sexist terms, as being held to different, lower standards than the men. It's a real dead end!

The two reasons people quit at my dojo are injury and just getting frustrated because they want to have learned, to know what they are doing. There are infinite variations and everyone's body is different. Yudansha often feel retarded on the mat, at least they do when they are still learning.

I'm no sensei. But if I had a small dojo, I would deal with retaining students (all students) by really focusing on ukemi and by actively framing this infinite quality of aikido as a good thing that I experience myself.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2010, 06:53 AM   #38
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 779
Germany
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
... I personally want to walk away confident that I've earned everything I've achieved through honest effort, rather than being gifted for some economic or political reason.
In my experience there is always some scope whether grading a person now or than.
And that scope can not only be used depending on the individual, but also depending on the "social" aspects of a dojo.

And another thought: Very very seldom in my experience teacher and student agree on the right moment of grading.

Quote:
My limited experience suggests that only one in ten new students will stick around beyond the first test, regardless of gender,
Wow!
In our dojo nearly 100% of those who become gokyu stay for a long time.

Quote:
I have strong doubts that creating a cadre of artificial Amazons will change that
I think it is important to have graded women as a "model".
And we are lucky not only to have such women our dojo, but also in the dojo of our teacher. And we have some very good women as teachers in our federatio, who run their own dojo.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2010, 08:38 AM   #39
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,121
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Carsten,
I agree that grading is subjective and people do get promoted in consideration of other factors than pure skill, but skill still plays a major role in the decision from what I've seen. What I have seen is a person who contributes to the welfare of the dojo and students through his efforts, putting in hard work and demonstrating a commitment to the dojo, receiving the benefit of the doubt on some occasions. What I was referring to was being promoted primarily on the basis of an unchangeable quality such as gender or race.

You are fortunate in retaining students. I hear sensei in most of the martial arts here complaining about student retention and have read numerous articles and blogs about the problem. It seems to be endemic here in the States. I don't understand the cause, but certainly see the effect here.

Finally, having quality seniors, male and female is certainly an advantage to a martial arts school. I've seen, and trained with many skilled and talented female seniors that I greatly admire and wish to emulate. They make terrific role models for all the junior students without question. The thrust of my comment was keyed to the word "artificial". By that I was trying to convey that promoting a person beyond her skill level simply for the sake of gender would be self-defeating to the school.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2010, 12:30 PM   #40
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Quote:
I think it is important to have graded women as a "model".
Not nearly as important as having technically strong ones, IMO... when I joined my current dojo there were no female black belts... I think the excellent 1st and 2nd kyu women were good 'role models' for me (as were many of the men each in different ways, also, e.g. one who was physically small, ones who had various difficulties at times but overcame them), though, and just as important was their treatment (and mine) by the Sensei and by the male students. A student who is clearly noticeably less skilled than the other students of their level (or apparent level, going by rank) is as much of an anti-role model as anything, at least I would have found it rather discouraging when I started if there was a noticeable pattern in that direction.

Besides, as a student if I was fast-tracked (assuming that's true and not just her guess, which is quite possible) I think I'd feel like I'd been cheated out of some training and learning... it's harder to take pride in an achievement you've been striving for if you don't really get a chance to achieve it. And I might feel like it was unfair that I hadn't gotten to learn as much at a given level, and to be able to look back on my tests and feel really proud of how I did in them.

One more note: if women are genuinely being scared off by feeling they can't do ukemi, then logically speaking a 'good female role model' would be one who has good ukemi and can reassure them that they will learn it too with time and practice, regardless of her actual rank. Although male students who initially struggled with falls but got better with time can also be equally encouraging.

Quote:
Finally, having quality seniors, male and female is certainly an advantage to a martial arts school. I've seen, and trained with many skilled and talented female seniors that I greatly admire and wish to emulate. They make terrific role models for all the junior students without question. The thrust of my comment was keyed to the word "artificial". By that I was trying to convey that promoting a person beyond her skill level simply for the sake of gender would be self-defeating to the school.
Exactly!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 05:16 AM   #41
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Sweden
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
My sensei is happy that so many women have started, but he's getting frustrated by how quickly they vanish. He's decided to push a few of the female mid-rank students through their belts faster hoping that having a few 1st kyu/shodan women around the dojo might encourage the newbies to stick around.

As one of these women, I'm torn between being flattered that he thinks I'm worth the effort it takes to move me through the ranks faster, and being frustrated that I'm being pushed through tests faster than I feel I'm ready. Although I can perform the techniques for each test, I'm not happy with the quality at which I'm performing them, and so even though I'm passing I don't feel I'm at the level I should be for my rank.

I've tried politely bringing this up with my sensei, but he's stubborn (me: "I don't feel I'm ready for this test", him: "well then practice until you are ready"). Should I just ignore my inner perfectionist and accept that there are a wide variety of skills at each rank? Should I get my butt on the mat every single day and train until I'm sore because I know I'm testing whether or not I want to? Should I put my foot down and refuse? I don't understand dojo politics at all, so I'm just looking for advice on how normal this is, and how much say I get in putting my needs before those of the dojo.
Not sure if you're still here, but in case you are.

The 2nd sentence quoted here, "He's decided to push a few of the female mid-rank students through their belts faster hoping that having a few 1st kyu/shodan women around the dojo might encourage the newbies to stick around". Do you know that for a fact, that he decided to do that - or is it your interpretation? How about asking him?

I think that if ten male and ten female students were left to decide for themselves how fast to test, then on average the men would pass through the ranks faster than the women - regardless of who were the most talented or skilled. So perhaps your teacher is simply trying to compensate for this tendency he has seen, that women don't take the tests and then they stop coming to the dojo? Perhaps he isn't pushing you for the sake of the dojo, that you and your aikido sisters in the dojo will act as role models for female newbies. Perhaps he is pushing you trying to make at least a couple of you stick around?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 08:40 AM   #42
carina reinhardt
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 428
Spain
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Perhaps reading this will help you also http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in...do-tests-4066/
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2010, 03:10 AM   #43
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Quote:
Eva Röben wrote: View Post
But then it is true that women are generally frailer, smaller and easier to unbalance
Hi Eva,

Although women may be generally smaller and less muscular, I don't agree that they are easier to unbalance!

In my experience female yudansha (1st - 6th dan) that I have trained with are generally harder to unbalance than the men of the corresponding rank I think this is because we are physically able to get the whole dropping of centre and sinking of weight thing (due to our build) better than the guys, who tend to use a bit too much upper body even at yudansha level..

I have also noticed this amongst some upper kyu ranked female students, when they get the balance right and stop trying to copy the upper body led techniques and ukemi of the men

To the OP - I don't think there is anything your Sensei can do to increase the number of female students - people (regardless of gender) will quickly decide whether or not Aikido is for them, and although you can offer it to them, you cannot decide for them.

Ruth
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 09:39 PM   #44
Keith Burnikell
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 11
United_States
Offline
Testing At the Right Time

I have seen four poor tests as a result of being tested too early; two men, two women.
Both of the ladies in question had serious advanced reservations about the timing of their tests. They were right. It wasn't that they didn't have self confidence....they actually performed an honest self assessment and came to a correct appraisal....they really weren't ready from a technical perspective.

Sometimes, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck.....it really IS a duck!

So, how did they get pushed to take the test? Lots of reasons. Their senseis knew they loved the art and were sincere. The senseis had a vested interest in both cases. One was because of a sensei/student romance and all the complications that brings and the other because the sensei truly wanted his student to be successful.

The fall out from the two situations:
One was awarded a shodan after a pretty 'weak' test (not my words). You know what? the testing committee was spot on for awarding it. Once she donned that Hakama, she blossomed. She's a joy to train with, humble as can be and one of the most teachable folks you can imagine....she's going to go far.

The other is struggling mightily. She tested too early for one test, which was compounded recently by testing too early for her next test as well!!!! In such a situation you keep hoping it's going to work out for the best but it hasn't. Injuries are compounding the problem which creates an even greater sense of urgency on her part.

In this case I'm hoping sanity prevails and the 'schedule' is relaxed for everyone's sake.

I think there's a risk that in some dojos women could be 'rushed' through the ranks in order to retain/showcase them. In those rare cases it does everyone a disservice.

If someone is reticent to 'test' it can be just due to lack of self esteem and we should trust the sensei to know best.
Sometimes the candidate has all the qualities for the next level and still struggles on the test. We all recognize that happens.
However, there are times that senseis make mistakes. Sometimes, it's because of overriding self interest and other times a blinding bias toward that student. The latter case is potentially very destructive and unfortunately real.

To the OP, if you're worried that you're going to get hurt or hurt your uke you have a legitimate reason to refuse the test. If you're worried that you're going to perform badly, the onus is not on you. It's your sensei that's suggesting you take it. Smile and have fun!
K
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 02:53 AM   #45
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,211
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

If you feel you are not up to the rank , then it's most likely you aren't.......
My wife practised aikido even when pregnant, brought up two kids and still attained a 3rd Dan within 15 years, was good at ukemi and "respected" for her no nonsense positive technique....
I never, ever graded her, she earn't it by sheer hard work and nothing else.....
She eventually retired from aikido, to concentrate on the kids, which she felt was more important, This is only natural......
She is of the opinion that most people today who say they do "aikido" are just playing and should stick to yoga or something......
She came back on the odd occasion on my request just to show (women in the club) that women are very capable of doing aikido and can be equal if not better than the men.....
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Seminar with Frank Doran, Shihan - Aug. 8-10, 2014 at Sunset Cliff's Aikido, near San Diego's finest beaches



Reply


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

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

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I test on Saturday: Now, I'm feeling a bit nervous. Victoria Pitt Testing 36 06-14-2010 05:54 AM
To Test, or not to Test GBiddy General 24 10-31-2007 06:04 PM
One thing NOT to do before a test.... cbrf4zr2 General 3 09-09-2002 04:07 PM
5th Kyu test: Too easy? DaveO Training 28 07-16-2002 07:40 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:17 AM.



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