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Old 05-06-2014, 10:43 AM   #1
gcsr
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Ranking Up

Well Brothers and Sisters I'm pleased to announce I'm doing my Sankyu demo in June 2014 So I have a month to get my act together.. I was just told this Saturday me and two other guys will be tested.. What are your thoughts on my second test or demo.. Things to work on or to focus on for the future.. I've been in training for about 1yr and 6 months now and I'm 45 this year any over the hlll guys like me still training and any advice one can offer to better myself.

Thank You for all your advice in the past and in the future.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:55 AM   #2
GMaroda
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Re: Ranking Up

Specifics are going to vary enough that you can't get advice on those specifics from anyone who isn't part of your dojo.

So I'll give you the same advice everyone should get for every test of every sort: Relax. Have fun. It's just a test.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
gcsr
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Re: Ranking Up

Thanks.. For your advice.

My Green belt or Yonkyu demo was nerve racking.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:12 AM   #4
GMaroda
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Re: Ranking Up

The racking of nerves is to be expected!

Don't think of it as a test of your abilities. Your sensei already knows how good you are. This is a demonstration under pressure. You've already passed, you just get to show off first.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:54 AM   #5
lbb
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Re: Ranking Up

Go to class and pay attention. No, really, pay attention. Every day in class, your sensei is teaching you the principles that he/she wants you to develop and show in your aikido. Can you demonstrate all those principles in your aikido? Do you know what they are? Then that's what you need to focus on. The details are just meat.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:08 PM   #6
gcsr
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Re: Ranking Up

That's why I love coming here like Minded Bros/Sisters.

Also GMaroda

Holly Cow I never thought of it that way.. You just gave me a whole new outlook.

Well now I can really relax.. Just think of it as showing what I already know.

We have some guys in my dojo who have been with me their just as long as i have yet their progress comes more steady mine seems to be quicker but in burst does that make any sense?
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:35 PM   #7
GMaroda
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Re: Ranking Up

Quote:
Mario Garcia wrote: View Post
That's why I love coming here like Minded Bros/Sisters.

Also GMaroda

Holly Cow I never thought of it that way.. You just gave me a whole new outlook.

Well now I can really relax.. Just think of it as showing what I already know.
It's what my teachers always tell us. So I at least learned that much! Now if I can just figure out this ai ki do stuff too!

Another thing that helps is to remember that if I screw up, it's not the end of the world. This isn't to-the-death combat. It's just another day in class.

I have an anxiety disorder, so it helps me to think of these things as a matter of perspective. Combined with things like proper breathing to cut out the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Quote:
We have some guys in my dojo who have been with me their just as long as i have yet their progress comes more steady mine seems to be quicker but in burst does that make any sense?
I think it's very difficult to judge our progress in comparison to others. We all have ups and downs and plateaus in our practice. And they certainly vary. But I would bet your dojo mates think the same thing about their progress as you do about yours.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:37 PM   #8
Millsy
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Re: Ranking Up

We always have the idea that tests are a celebration of what you have achieved. This is particularly true being tested in you dojo by your sensei, as they wouldn't test you if you weren't ready.

If I watch a kyu test as a Yudansha and something doesn't go right, my first thought is I need to do better at teaching that, or we havent covered that well enough recently. Nothing bad about the testee as they are there because we know they are ready for the next level.

So relax, enjoy, its you sensei being tested, not you
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:05 PM   #9
gcsr
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Re: Ranking Up

Yet another inciteful concept by "TONY MILLS" hats off also YOU See this is why I come here. I get many prospective thoughts on things that seem stressful to me, I knew i was a reflection of my Sensei but I never thought that my Sensei was also testing himself/herself.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:06 PM   #10
lbb
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Re: Ranking Up

I have a slightly different take on the "test as celebration" thing, and the "you've already passed" thing. In some dojos, I think an invitation to test is more a statement that in your sensei's opinion, you can be ready to show what a <insert rank to be attained> is supposed to be able to show on such-and-such date. Whether you will be ready is another matter; so is whether you'll show the right stuff, ready or not. If you're invited to test, you will probably be granted your next rank no matter what. But in at least some dojos, an invitation to test carries with it the assumption/expectation that between now and then, you're going to step it up, continue to improve, and demonstrate what you have achieved on test day. It is not an invitation to "relax" -- but remember, for at least one meaning of "relax", the opposite is not "worry", it's "work".
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:10 PM   #11
kewms
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Re: Ranking Up

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
In some dojos, I think an invitation to test is more a statement that in your sensei's opinion, you can be ready to show what a <insert rank to be attained> is supposed to be able to show on such-and-such date. Whether you will be ready is another matter; so is whether you'll show the right stuff, ready or not. If you're invited to test, you will probably be granted your next rank no matter what. But in at least some dojos, an invitation to test carries with it the assumption/expectation that between now and then, you're going to step it up, continue to improve, and demonstrate what you have achieved on test day. It is not an invitation to "relax" -- but remember, for at least one meaning of "relax", the opposite is not "worry", it's "work".
I agree. In my dojo, at least, it's generally phrased as "you should think about prepping for such and such a test in such and such a time frame." Generally speaking, the higher the rank the more advanced preparation is expected and needed. And it's not at all unusual to be told that you need to take more time to prepare than originally anticipated.

Katherine
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:42 PM   #12
Millsy
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Re: Ranking Up

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I have a expectations ferent take on the "test as celebration" thing, and the "you've already passed" thing. In some dojos, I think an invitation to test is more a statement that in your sensei's opinion, you can be ready to show what a <insert rank to be attained> is supposed to be able to show on such-and-such date. Whether you will be ready is another matter; so is whether you'll show the right stuff, ready or not. If you're invited to test, you will probably be granted your next rank no matter what. But in at least some dojos, an invitation to test carries with it the assumption/expectation that between now and then, you're going to step it up, continue to improve, and demonstrate what you have achieved on test day. It is not an invitation to "relax" -- but remember, for at least one meaning of "relax", the opposite is not "worry", it's "work".
Agree, don't get me wrong, I dont mean relax as in slack off. But I see people's nerves get them, relax on the day you are meant to be here, but yes put in the work up till the day. Sometimes I defiately see people asked to test as a motivation to get them to step up to the next level. I think there are also different expectations and motivations in regard to this between kyu and dan grades

PS I have never seen someone slack off when moving towards a grading but have seen them let nerves get to them more than is helpful.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:47 PM   #13
gcsr
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Re: Ranking Up

I was thinking of taking off the Friday before my actual demo so as I'm rested up and my nerves will be settled.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:48 PM   #14
gcsr
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Re: Ranking Up

Also I've never asked to test i don't feel as if its my place but I have seen someone do it. Before I just feel like its not my place to tell my Sensei his or her job. I guess its a respect thing.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:05 PM   #15
kewms
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Re: Ranking Up

Quote:
Mario Garcia wrote: View Post
Also I've never asked to test i don't feel as if its my place but I have seen someone do it. Before I just feel like its not my place to tell my Sensei his or her job. I guess its a respect thing.
A better question than "when can I test?" might be "what should I be working on to move toward my next test?"

Also, at many dojos the chief instructor teaches primarily the more advanced students, who in turn teach the more basic classes. (This is for a variety of reasons, among them being good training for the senior students.) If yours is like that, then you should probably talk to someone who actually sees you on a regular basis.

Katherine
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:27 PM   #16
gcsr
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Re: Ranking Up

Ah Now that makes allot of sense Katherine. and the Phrasing " when can I test" is PERFECT non pushy and more of a question not a demand I definitely like.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:55 PM   #17
Phil Van Treese
Dojo: Tampa Judo and Aikido Dojo, Tampa, Fl
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Re: Ranking Up

As far as testing goes, I always tell my students that they are the sensei for that period of time and everyone watching knows nothing. It's up to you to show them what a particular technique is and how it should be executed. To this day, when I go to Europe and give seminars, as in Milan this August, I tell myself no one knows anything and I am going to have to show them aikido. It works great and it also kills the nerves. And just like any test, you study for it. Study for your promotion test and you will show the others what aikido is since they know nothing.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:14 PM   #18
gcsr
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Re: Ranking Up

Mr. Treese that is also a very good example I will take everything I've seen today as an example to teach others. "So for the Demo I'm the Sensei" Wow Powerful statement you show others how to do the tech. That is something else.. I started to prepare a visual write up for myself to read as far as techniques go with photos showing how techniques are preformed I find that it helps me to further commit it the moves to memory or muscle memory since the brain is one of the core muscles for learn. I'm a notes kind a guy.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:24 PM   #19
Mario Tobias
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Re: Ranking Up

Mastery in a nutshell.

1. Master the basics
2. Focus on principles, not on techniques. Collect principles, not techniques. 99% of us are doing it the other way around
3. Understanding principles will lead you back to understanding basics and vice versa
4. Go back to 1
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:24 PM   #20
Edgecrusher
 
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Re: Ranking Up

Practice and keep calm. You shouldn't be drilled too hard on content and do not expect to be perfect. I think you will do just fine.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:22 AM   #21
gcsr
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Re: Ranking Up

Mario Tobias tell me more about this concept of focusing on Principles I've heard other and my Sensei talk about it.. But what is your take on it?
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:14 AM   #22
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ranking Up

Breathing. If you breathe and time your movements to your breath it will help you stay focused, centered and able to turn a faster attack than I might want into a technique performed at the speed you choose.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:52 PM   #23
Mario Tobias
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Re: Ranking Up

Quote:
Mario Garcia wrote: View Post
Mario Tobias tell me more about this concept of focusing on Principles I've heard other and my Sensei talk about it.. But what is your take on it?
Aikido as they say has thousands upon thousands of techniques with its variations. As beginners, we tend to focus on or just observe the differences between techniques as well as external forms. As a start this is ok because that's how learning is. But in order to advance you need to go a step beyond. You need to change your learning from observing the differences and start looking at the commonalities between techniques. Focusing only the differences will hinder your advancement. You may succeed in doing this but I think the understanding will be very shallow. Doing it this way also simplifies things greatly in a way.

When we start we see techniques as isolated from each other. Slowly you will see there are direct relationships with different techniques and that they are inter-connected.

Similar to discovering and collecting techniques, you also discover and collect principles. If there are several thousand aikido techniques, there may only be several dozens of principles. I personally have collected around 50ish.

To easily visualize, the aikido knowledge base can be viewed as a pyramid. The bottom half of the pyramid represents the number of techniques, the trivial many. The upper half of the pyramid represents your principles, the vital few.

Techniques are just the manifestation of the permutation of principles combined together or principles applied to a different body part. Combine or apply different principles on a different body part and you will come up with a different outcome. This outcome is called a technique.

To me, a kotegaeshi throw is no different to a sumiotoshi nor to an irimi nage throw nor an ikkyo or a nikkyo. The external form may look different but the underlying is exactly the same. It's just applied to a different body part. A shihonage is just the opposite of ikkyo.

Ikkyo undo is a principle. So is suwariwaza kokyu ho movement, tai no henko, aiki age-sage, tanden, hiji. Etc. Look for these in all or majority of techniques.

Osensei IMHO summed it up nicely when he said "I move and techniques are born"

Hope this helps
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:57 PM   #24
TonyBlomert
 
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Re: Ranking Up

In terms of preparing for the actually examination I usually advise folks to work on and have proficiency on the skills required for the level above(next) to the grading you are planning to test. For example if you are planning an examination for 6th kyu have those skills down pat and at least get the 5th kyu requirements in your skill tool box. At our dojo we also have a senior student (senpai) conduct a "mock test" before someone is considered for examination. This is usually completed a month in advance of an upcoming test date. It provides specific feed back to the student on things to fine tune before the exam. It is also a good way for the student to determine if they are ready and a line of communication from senpai to Sensei about that particular student's status (particular if Sensei mostly teaches the senior students).

For the exam itself, I recommend you work diligently and frequently right up to a day or so before the exam. Then give yourself a break. Give yourself a "free" day. Your body knows the techniques. There is probably nothing that you can do the day before that will make much difference in your exam. Relax and take a moment to reflect on all it has taken to get to your exam. Then at the exam, breathe - settle your mind. Do what you know and how you know it. All will go well. If your Sensei has requested that you grade for 2nd kyu, he has confidence that you are equal to the task.

Best wishes on an outstanding exam!

Tony Blomert

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Old 05-08-2014, 01:08 PM   #25
gcsr
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Re: Ranking Up

What happened was on Saturday he pulled me and another guy aside and said I want to see the following things out of both of you two so demo them to me I said ok and we both did them and completed them at the end of it he tells the two of us in June you both need to be ready to demo. My eyes popped open wide I was taken back you realy never know when your going to ask they just ask.
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