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Old 02-13-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
Amberblue
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Double Grading!

First off, I'd just like to say that I had my first grading last Tuesday, which went better than I anticipated. I was initially to be graded for 6th Kyu and was both surprised and delighted to be awarded 5th Kyu at the end of my exam!!
Despite becoming a little overwhelmed at the start during the tai sabaki movements.

I have a little background in Karate from years ago which probably helped me pick up basic movements during my time training, I was only training for 3 months before I graded, so jumping from nothing to 5th never crossed my mind once during my time training. I know in Aikido it's "not about the belt" so to speak and I realise that double grading isn't uncommon, especially during the lower/beginner rankings.

At the same I was wondering have people experienced this in general, for themselves or where they train?
It would be interesting to see other people's perspective on the matter, especially those who have more experience under their belt(s) than me (pun not intended)
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:40 AM   #2
akiy
 
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Re: Double Grading!

Congratulations, Katrina!

-- Jun

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:03 AM   #3
lbb
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Re: Double Grading!

I haven't seen a double grading at my dojo, and I'm guessing we probably won't ever have one, but I have no idea if that's typical. We start at 5th rather than 6th, and it's rare for a beginner to test as early as three months, even with pretty intensive training (I can only remember one), and of course the time between gradings gets longer as you go along.

Another big factor is that we're a fairly small dojo, so it's not uncommon to train for quite some time after you've met the requirements, just because there's no one else who's ready to test. And then every time Sensei starts thinking about testing people, there's always the problem of finding a date that works, which tends to push things off further. So, even within one dojo, I'd say there's a lot of variability. We've had people (well, at least one person) who tested for fifth after one month, we've had many more who trained for over a year before the tested.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:18 PM   #4
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Double Grading!

In our dojo, ranking starts at 6th kyu, but I've only seen people going from unranked to 5th kyu, skipping 6th. Typically they had been training for about a year when they had their first test. I think 5th kyu is considered equivalent to yellow belt in our dojo.

Anyway, congratulations!

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 02-17-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Double Grading!

Moving from unranked to 6th kyu isn't uncommon in our dojo and many do. Our first kyu ranking at 7th kyu isn't overwhelming and combining the 7th and 6th kyu requirements in one grading is doable for most people. I can tell you that those promoted to 6th kyu have earned it as I am sure you have. Congratulations on your successful test, your promotion and your training!

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
Walter Martindale
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Re: Double Grading!

Hi, The dojos I've attended have had 'unranked', 5th kyu (first grading) and so on.
I went into one grading test as a 5th kyu, came out of it a third kyu. I think the judo shodan background may have influenced that. It's unusual for double gradings. (but, oddly enough, I was also double graded from 5th kyu to third kyu in Judo, many years earlier, with the admonition that I'd better prove I deserved the extra promotion)
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
lbb
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Re: Double Grading!

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
We've had people (well, at least one person) who tested for fifth after one month, we've had many more who trained for over a year before the tested.
Just reread my own post..meant to say, THREE months. I don't expect to ever see someone test after one month.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:19 AM   #8
Edgecrusher
 
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Re: Double Grading!

That is great and I hope you stay with it. The challenge and frustration should keep you going as you progress in time and in rank. I am happy for you. I remember my first grading and what it did for me. I will tell you this, it does not change (the feeling) when you achieve Shodan. Congrats to you!
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:20 AM   #9
JJF
 
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Re: Double Grading!

well... it all comes down to the way you instructor decides to interpret the rules of the given association.

In Denmark we have a standard curriculum for 5th. kyu to 3. dan. Each dojo can decide if they want to have a 6th kyu grading. In my dojo we do. It has the benefit of being a very easy way to get your feet wet when it comes to gradings. It is very basic stuff and requirements are not that big. 15-20 training days will get you there. What does happen is that some get a minor revelation and realize that grading is not bad, and that it help you to understand better what you have actually picked up so far.

I have on one occasion jumped one person from no-kyu to 5th kyu. He had participated in a week-long seminar with 28 hours of training in six days. So he was way ahead of 6th. kyu. I would maybe do it again in a similar situation or for somebody who had extensive experience from a different type of aikido or budo... but I expect that's it. Don't think I will ever let somebody jump any ranks above 6th. They will be better of putting the hours in.

Anywho. Congrats on the grading - now go practice. It's the only thing that really matter.

JJ

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:55 PM   #10
Krystal Locke
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Re: Double Grading!

I double passed my first and only TKD test. Was told I would have tripled, but the association wouldn't allow it. Nice to hear. When I walked up to the front to get my new belt, I discovered that my pants had come untied and my white belt was the only thing keeping me from being em-bare-assed. I clenched as hard as I could while keeping a solemn, respectful, martial expression on my face. Just one of those profoundly perfect life experiences.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:46 PM   #11
PaulF
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Re: Double Grading!

Congrats Katrina

Our society generally grades people from unranked to 5th but does the kata for 6th (ai hanmi) at the same time, I know of one dojo in the society that does 6th though, and throws in weapons and randori for good measure.

When my wife and I did our 3rd kyu we had a guy with us who was ungraded but had trained in various dojos in various countries for a couple of years, never in one place long enough to grade due to his work. He didn't know any our kata/syllabus but his ukemi was lovely and his grasp of basic techniques and principles sound (so far as I'm any judge). Sensei asked him how long he'd been training and then just said "you better be 3rd kyu as well then" at the end of the grading, smiles all round.

Krystal, nice one
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:49 AM   #12
JP3
 
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Re: Double Grading!

Back in the TKD days I somehow managed to get lifted past one complete belt rank, which at the time I thought was fantastic, and then got into stuff that my fundamentals weren't equipped to handle. It was an excellent challenge, and I am still grateful to my instructor for handling the situation in that way as I trained twice as hard on those fundamentals as I would have in order to correct the underlying mechanics than I may have if I just worked up the system from the bottom. In the end was I actually "ahead" on anything, I've no clue. Worked for the too-much testosterone mindset I had back in the late teens, however.

At our school now, we, like the above, aren't a big dojo (8-10) and we start folks t 5th kyu, and go from there. There's no double -grading, as I use the belt grades to break up the syllabus into digestible portions. We have had people come to us and be ready for a 5th kyu promo in 6 weeks, and for it to take as long as a year (not coming consistently was the issue).

Regardless, I think you are right about the background in karate and understanding the "idea" that movement is actually part and parcel of what the arts "do" to make them work gave you a leg up towards the double-promotion.

As Jun said, Congratulations, ranking up is always rewarding. it should be.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:02 PM   #13
Hellis
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Re: Double Grading!

Kenshiro Abbe Sensie - my teacher in the 1950S /60S said in regards to grade " No matter your pretence,you are what you are and nothing more " - or in the modern vernacular " You is wot you is and you aint wot you aint "

Henry Ellis
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http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:17 PM   #14
dreamborn
 
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Re: Double Grading!

For children, (younger than 15) they start at 10th kyu in our dojo. And yes for children they can double test or even triple test. BUT once you reach 5th kyu you get registered in Japan with Hombu Dojo and then things go one step at a time. If you are 15 years or older you start at 6th Kyu and your first test is for 5th kyu.

Kent

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Old 12-17-2013, 03:55 PM   #15
Brian Gillaspie
 
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Re: Double Grading!

I passed my 6th kyu test and then was asked to test for 5th kyu as soon as the test was over. I passed both so I kind of skipped a rank but had to do both tests. We are an independent dojo so I don't know how our testing process compare to other dojos.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:39 PM   #16
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Double Grading!

I almost never see double grading in aikikai aikido. I feel like this has a lot to do with the complexity of technique, the way its taught, and the fact syllabi often start off at 6th/7th kyu. In my aikikai school I've never heard of someone double grading.

Double grading was not too uncommon in my karate organization, but we started at 10th kyu. By not uncommon, I mean like maybe one or two people a year would be double graded.

In my Yoshinkan school, I've never heard of someone double grading, and we have 10 kyu ranks. I have seen people promote faster than normal, given certain situations. At that school, techniques are taught very specifically, and there is a lot of memorization for weapons forms…all techniques are given a number grade and all of them have to be passed to move forward. So that standard is held regardless of frequency of testing.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:16 PM   #17
Michael Varin
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Re: Double Grading!

In my early days of training, ranking began at 6th kyu. It took me six or seven months to take that first test. From there I advanced pretty quickly. I actually tested for shodan as a 2nd kyu. I guess being an uchideshi didn't hurt. I trained four to six hours per day during my first two years. As funny as it may sound I felt deprived that I was never a 1st kyu; I always felt they had an admirable position in the dojo.

-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 12-25-2013, 09:11 AM   #18
Krystal Locke
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Re: Double Grading!

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
In my early days of training, ranking began at 6th kyu. It took me six or seven months to take that first test. From there I advanced pretty quickly. I actually tested for shodan as a 2nd kyu. I guess being an uchideshi didn't hurt. I trained four to six hours per day during my first two years. As funny as it may sound I felt deprived that I was never a 1st kyu; I always felt they had an admirable position in the dojo.
I also like brown belt, 2nd or 1st kyu ranks. The catalog is pretty much installed, details and martial effectiveness are the aims (at least in my dojo) but the pressure of dan ranks isn't there. It is like getting your learners permit to drive. And, there's all that lovely brown belt syndrome.
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