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Old 10-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
OwlMatt's Avatar
Dojo: Milwaukee Aikikai
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 401
Post 5th Kyu Test

The day finally came.

Last night, I got to take my test for fifth kyu. You may remember that I missed this test once already because of an injury, the result being that I was still sitting at sixth kyu two-and-a-half years into my aikido journey.

It would make for good reading for me to say I was anxious, sweating bullets, shrinking under the exacting stare of my instructor, but the truth is that I was ready. I was more than ready, in fact: I had essentially been training for this short test for a year-and-a-half. The excitement, the anticipation, the apprehension, and the doubt had all come and gone long ago. It was a little anti-climactic.

It isn't much of a stretch to say that I just wanted to get it over with. I'm ready to move on in my aikido journey, to start learning the stuff that the quitters who leave after a year never get to see. Couple that with my rather mixed feelings about rank in general, and you get a test that felt not so much like an important milestone as a formality, a cutting of red tape.

After the test, I called my wife. She was hungry and my daughter was crying. There were clearly bigger things to worry about at home than whether or not Dad was a fifth kyu. I didn't even bring it up on the phone. I hurried home to them, grabbing some dinner along the way.

By the way, I passed.

(You can find the original post on The Young Grasshopper here.)

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Old 10-23-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
Neal Earhart
Neal Earhart's Avatar
Dojo: New York Aikikai / Aikido of Westchester
Location: New York City
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 98
Re: 5th Kyu Test

Congratulations !
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:03 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 705
Re: 5th Kyu Test

Matthew Story wrote: View Post
Couple that with my rather mixed feelings about rank in general, and you get a test that felt not so much like an important milestone as a formality, a cutting of red tape.
I think this is how it should be. Congratulations though.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:57 PM   #4
jamie yugawa
jamie yugawa's Avatar
Dojo: Sapporo
Location: Sapporo, hokkaido
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 183
Smile Re: 5th Kyu Test

Congrats on a next step on a long journey!!

One little candle can light 10,000 candles- Koichi Tohei Sensei
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 386
Re: 5th Kyu Test

Good you took the test, and congratulations. I remember my Dad saying, "Get the piece of paper." I don't know whether it was an M.A. in an exotic European language that came from Asia (Hungarian) -- passed the test but would have had to redo the thesis..... went to work for Dad instead....

Anyway, still like the language but never did complete the thesis, worked for Dad for over a decade and studied Aikido while in N.Y. but I am happy to say we had a senpai T.K. Lee who always made sure we took our kyu tests. In your case you were definitely ready, but as for myself, I feel the urge to confess something; The previous test was, I think, the first one with freestyle, I can't even remember whether it was one or two ukes. I didn't spring to my feet soon enough and trying to do tenchi nage it was like two pieces of sheetrock not knowing which one was going to fall back. I let out a yell and managed to be nage!

Wondering if I failed due to being caught off balance to start with, I was swept up with the group into cars going uptown to a restaurant. Sensei was in the front seat and I was squished in the back between two or three others, and it was if one eye swiveled back at me, or maybe was even looking straight ahead. But I heard him say distinctly (his accent is way gone by now but this was decades ago) "You didn't scream you failed the test."

Well, that was somethingl In a dojo that didn't go in for a lot of kiai shouts, it worked that time, or at least it was accepted and I passed.

Sorry to be so long winded, but there's a bit more. I thought for sure that I would skip the next grading, having been caught "flat footed" so to speak (even though kneeling to begin with) at the previous test. So Lee in looking us kohai's over, said to me."Take the test again" He knew it was for the next kyu rank, but he wanted me to go for it, not to hesitate or hang back from the experience just because of awkwardness, mistake or whatever on the previous one!

It's nice to be over-qualified, but even if not, it's good to have a senpai encouraging a person to go ahead anyway.

Glad you took it, and then right into looking after, and enjoying your family. That's the way it should be!
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