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Old 05-08-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
Lyle Laizure
 
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How ready should you be for a test?

How "ready" should a student be for a test?

Should everything be so polished that there are no mistakes and the test looks like a choreographed number you might seen on the silver screen or should there be flaws and mistakes?

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:19 PM   #2
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

You can judge by seeing your Dans.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:22 PM   #3
GMaroda
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

By the time you test your sensei should already know if you're going to pass or not. Everything else is ritual.

Alternate answer: Yes.

Alternate alternate answer: Ask you sensei what they want.

Alternate X3 answer: Shut up and test.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:20 AM   #4
Mario Tobias
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

I'm not an expert with tests nor aikido but it depends on what you mean by "polished" techniques.

I just note that when you go observing tests for 6th kyus, 5th, 4th, ikkyu and so on going to higher dan grades, you observe differences in how "polished" the techniques and movement are as you go from lower level to higher grades. and its not only in the techniques, technique is just a part of a good test IMO. Other important factors are in play as well like zanshin, posture, confidence, proper kuzushi, clear/strong entry, crispiness/economy of movement, the finer details of the technique, calmness of mind, centredness, clear understanding of kihon and many others which are clearly refined and ever present in the higher grades. Having very good understanding of these factors would lead IMHO to your movement being "polished". You need to have these factors at a level which suits the grade IMHO which your teacher can be able to ascertain.

If the lower grades I know have more of the above factors than myself and know better than I do, then I think I am not ready to grade yet.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:49 PM   #5
NagaBaba
 
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
How "ready" should a student be for a test?

Should everything be so polished that there are no mistakes and the test looks like a choreographed number you might seen on the silver screen or should there be flaws and mistakes?
When you can successfully execute the techniques against actively resisting and countering attacker, it means you are ready for the test.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:32 PM   #6
Basia Halliop
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

What test? 5th kyu? nidan?

I find it hard to wrap my mind around the idea that a 5th kyu test could not have mistakes... if there are no mistakes at 5th kyu, then that implies their technique is already perfect? They have nothing left to fix or change?

I wonder what you mean by mistakes, though... My own impression is that you just make different mistakes at different levels... And I also think you've set up a false dichotomy: you can have a test that, as you put it, 'looks like a choreographed number you might seen on the silver screen,' AND is full of flaws and mistakes... Just because you do something smoothly and 'polished' doesn't mean you're doing everything right. You may be making lots of mistakes, just making them smoothly .
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:15 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I wonder what you mean by mistakes, though... My own impression is that you just make different mistakes at different levels... And I also think you've set up a false dichotomy: you can have a test that, as you put it, 'looks like a choreographed number you might seen on the silver screen,' AND is full of flaws and mistakes... Just because you do something smoothly and 'polished' doesn't mean you're doing everything right. You may be making lots of mistakes, just making them smoothly .
Good points!
I'd add that while one wants to look calm and polished, the good instructors I've seen, once they have seen enough of the test to let the student "strut their stuff" (assuming it IS a good test....) add just enough to the individual's test to bring them out of their comfort zones so we can also see how the student responds to stress, including possibly making mistakes but seeing HOW they recognize and deal with them.

Janet Rosen
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:44 PM   #8
Mario Tobias
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Depends also what you mean by "mistakes".

Mistakes to me mean missing the finer details/polish of the technique. There are some dojos that fail a testee if another technique was performed other than what the tester requested.or get hit by a weapon during uke's attack.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:53 AM   #9
Mark Uttech
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Onegaishimasu, I think one should know the omote and the ura of each technique called for on the test, and should know the clear difference between the two.

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:14 AM   #10
Dazzler
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
When you can successfully execute the techniques against actively resisting and countering attacker, it means you are ready for the test.
I can understand why you'd say that to a degree ..but its not what I'd expect from a lower kyu grade.

I'd expect them to be able to demonstrate what they'd been taught in lessons.

I'd also expect Uke to give the requested attack unless some form of jiyuwaza or randori were taking place.

Maybe its just me...but my view has always been that if uke is free to vary the attack then naturally tori is free to deploy any response.

Including atemi.

All in the spirit of harmony of course.

Regards

D
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:41 AM   #11
sakumeikan
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
When you can successfully execute the techniques against actively resisting and countering attacker, it means you are ready for the test.
Dear Szczepan,
A test is a platform for a would be applicant for testing to show the examiners that he/she is capable of demonstrating Aiki principles..The way you have answered this blog suggests to me you see a test as a competition of sorts.Any test should have good attacks, spirited correct waza, good posture and kokyu. Testing is not imo a vehicle to launch all sorts of mayhem or to be as an Uke the embodiment of King Kong.Personally I dislike use of the term Test.Any test implies a win /lose mentality.Aikido is not about win /lose , but win /win.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:44 AM   #12
sakumeikan
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
I can understand why you'd say that to a degree ..but its not what I'd expect from a lower kyu grade.

I'd expect them to be able to demonstrate what they'd been taught in lessons.

I'd also expect Uke to give the requested attack unless some form of jiyuwaza or randori were taking place.

Maybe its just me...but my view has always been that if uke is free to vary the attack then naturally tori is free to deploy any response.

Including atemi.

All in the spirit of harmony of course.

Regards

D
Dear Daren
Punch the guy on the snitch [in a caring manner ]with a smile on your face?My favourite ploy!!Hows old Kenny R?
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:58 AM   #13
Dazzler
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Daren
Punch the guy on the snitch [in a caring manner ]with a smile on your face?My favourite ploy!!Hows old Kenny R?
Cheers, Joe.
Hi Joe...

Been reading all your posts with interest.

'KR' is fine...been raking in the cash as a doppleganger for ken bates too.

What with that and his winter activities in that fetching red coat he's a busy man.

In between he's found a little bit of time to do some Aikido and kicked my butt at the weekend.

Of course I said Thank you Sensei in a respectful and appreciative manner.

Best

D

ps. He has mentioned to me in the past that you had a trick or 2 up your sleeve..you can show them to me next time we meet ...preferably on the tatami next time and not in the ...er...alternative venue ...that we used in Cardiff
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:51 PM   #14
NagaBaba
 
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Szczepan,
A test is a platform for a would be applicant for testing to show the examiners that he/she is capable of demonstrating Aiki principles..The way you have answered this blog suggests to me you see a test as a competition of sorts.Any test should have good attacks, spirited correct waza, good posture and kokyu. Testing is not imo a vehicle to launch all sorts of mayhem or to be as an Uke the embodiment of King Kong.Personally I dislike use of the term Test.Any test implies a win /lose mentality.Aikido is not about win /lose , but win /win.
Cheers, Joe.
Hello Joe,
I didn't suggest that countering and resistance (however we may define it) should be part of testing process. So you are reading too much in my message.

However, during preparation for testing, such activities must take a place. It is impossible to develop any decent understanding and embodies aikido principles without those elements. Only AFTER it is done, a candidate will be able to actually demonstrate it while testing!

Otherwise, he and his uke will execute only choreographed, robotic-like movements without any sense.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #15
sakumeikan
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Hello Joe,
I didn't suggest that countering and resistance (however we may define it) should be part of testing process. So you are reading too much in my message.

However, during preparation for testing, such activities must take a place. It is impossible to develop any decent understanding and embodies aikido principles without those elements. Only AFTER it is done, a candidate will be able to actually demonstrate it while testing!

Otherwise, he and his uke will execute only choreographed, robotic-like movements without any sense.
Dear Szczepan,
Sorry if I misunderstood your blog.Like you I hate tests that look a though they have been rehearsed like something from a bad Steven Seagal movie.Solid basic stuff should be order of the day not showy or whatever.I like to see some real intent, focus and I am not averse to the odd bit of sweat from the participants.I dislike seeing tests where Fred Astaire would have been at home in the chorus line. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:28 AM   #16
philipsmith
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

i'm in the middle of trying to define the testing process for our members http://www.ukaonline.org.uk/UKA/News...%202011-04.pdf

hope this is of use (parts 2 &3 to follow)
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:25 PM   #17
Walter Martindale
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Most of my previous sensei have said that you should be able to do all of the material of the next level up from what you're testing to a pretty good performance level, and the test you're going for should be quite easy.
Another thing most of them have said is that while the test is important to the person doing the test, it's also an examination of the sensei - what kind of student is this person turning out...
My senseis haven't put me forward for testing until they thought I was more than ready. My shodan test - the shihan signed the form, gave it to my dojo sensei, and told him to test me later in the week.

Gotta go watch a river go past..
W
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:58 AM   #18
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Greg Maroda wrote: View Post
By the time you test your sensei should already know if you're going to pass or not. Everything else is ritual.
Agreed! An instructor should already know your abilities since he sees you in class all the time.

-
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:32 AM   #19
Mark Mueller
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

During the first few kyu tests (6th, 5th and 4th) it is my opinion the students are learning the "alphabet" of aikido and its expectations, much as a toddler learns to talk. 3rd, 2nd and 1st Kyu are where they are learning to put understandable sentences together.....Dan rankings should be able to put comprehensive ideas and concepts together and communicate them via technique.. IMHO.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:29 AM   #20
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

The answer is in the late Kensho Furuya Sensei's book: Kodo: Ancient Ways.
And here it is: Saigo said: "do your best and let the outcome to heaven".
Takamori Saigo was a very respected samurai from the late Tokugawa and the early Meiji period.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:50 PM   #21
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Mark Mueller wrote: View Post
During the first few kyu tests (6th, 5th and 4th) it is my opinion the students are learning the "alphabet" of aikido and its expectations, much as a toddler learns to talk. 3rd, 2nd and 1st Kyu are where they are learning to put understandable sentences together.....Dan rankings should be able to put comprehensive ideas and concepts together and communicate them via technique.. IMHO.
I like this analogy. But I would ask is the rank of shodan really worthy of comprehensive ideas and concepts? At this stage one is certainly better off then when he/she started but the ability, understanding and skill is still in a very rudimentary stage isn't it?

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:59 AM   #22
Michael Varin
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote:
How "ready" should a student be for a test?

Should everything be so polished that there are no mistakes and the test looks like a choreographed number you might seen on the silver screen or should there be flaws and mistakes?
In my opinion, there are two basic types of tests. I think both are valid and actually there is no reason why both couldn't be used together.

One is the "show me how well you can demonstrate what you have learned" test.

This would only include things in which the student has had exposure sufficient to learn the material. To pass this type of test the student should be able to look polished to whatever is appropriate for their level.

The other is the "here is something beyond your capabilities show me how you react" test.

This will include variables that the student has not previously been exposed to. There will be many flaws and mistakes, but this type of test is passed by demonstrating calmness, creativity, and adaptability.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:07 PM   #23
Basia Halliop
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

There's also option three, where both are included in the same test. I.e., part of the test is familiar and therefore the expectations for that part are high, and part is unfamiliar and used to stretch the student or see their reaction to a challenge.
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:51 AM   #24
Michael Varin
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote:
There's also option three, where both are included in the same test. I.e., part of the test is familiar and therefore the expectations for that part are high, and part is unfamiliar and used to stretch the student or see their reaction to a challenge.
Yeah... I already said that.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
actually there is no reason why both couldn't be used together.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:16 AM   #25
Mark Mueller
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Re: How ready should you be for a test?

Lyle said,

"But I would ask is the rank of shodan really worthy of comprehensive ideas and concepts? At this stage one is certainly better off then when he/she started but the ability, understanding and skill is still in a very rudimentary stage isn't it? "

I would concur but I would clarify that they should have all the tools by then to start putting together ideas and concepts.
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