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Old 01-15-2005, 04:58 PM   #1
spinecracker's Avatar
Location: Reno, NV
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 65
Starting at the beginning

Many, many years ago (13 to be honest) I gained my shodan in Tomiki (Shodokan) Aikido. Because of moving around, college and working, I have been unable to train seriously for along time. Now I have found an excellent Iwama ryu dojo, with an excellent 5th dan (trained under Morihiro Saito sensei at Iwama - heck, I sold my Traditional Aikido books on eBay to be able to afford the classes!). The sensei is looking for me testing through the first few kyu levels relatively quickly (up to 3rd kyu if I'm not mistaken), but I was wondering if it would be better to begin at the beginning and progress at a more sedate pace? The dojo holds testing every month, so I wouldn't have to wait long to test when I was ready. Anyone got thoughts on this matter?

Also, the testing syllabus mentions shomenuchi ikkyo undo as part of the 5th kyu testing requirements. Does anyone have the address of a website that has descriptions of aiki taiso (I think that is what the set of exercises are called)?
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:23 PM   #2
Jerry Miller
Jerry Miller's Avatar
Location: Spring Tx
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 163
Straight Face Re: Starting at the beginning

I can't help you with the aiki taiso. However I know about starting at the beginning. I never made it to Shodan and had to move to a city that had no aikido in my youth. Well life happens and after over thirty years walked back into a dojo. You will find you own level. Trust in your Sensei in this matter. I had some body memory but since the organization was different some of the techniques were different enough to be frustrating. I started at the very beginning. Honestly I do not bounce as well as in my youth. This is a barrier. After 2 years I am not back where I was at the age of 15 in many ways. I found that for me the best approach for me was to bring beginners mind to class every day. Some stuff will be different. This is natural. You will do fine and find your own level much like a bubble will find its own level in water. Good luck to you and happy training.

Jerry Miller
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Old 01-16-2005, 12:52 PM   #3
Kevin Kelly
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Fernley, NV
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 64
Re: Starting at the beginning

Robert Fox wrote:
the testing syllabus mentions shomenuchi ikkyo undo as part of the 5th kyu testing requirements. Does anyone have the address of a website that has descriptions of aiki taiso (I think that is what the set of exercises are called)?
Hi Robert. Hopefully I will be testing for 5th Kyu at the end of this month. I just practiced the test the other night during one of the open classes. If you have a chance, go to one of the open classes at 8pm and someone will help you. They also do pretesting at that time on certain days for specific Kyu levels and it is usually posted. If you are talking about the exercises at the top of the syllabus, they are a couple of excercises that we do almost all the time in class, especially when Sensei is there.

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Old 01-17-2005, 06:24 AM   #4
Dojo: New River Aikikai
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1
Re: Starting at the beginning

I would submit that the answer may lie in the response to another question - "Why do I study/practice aikido?"
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Old 01-17-2005, 09:28 AM   #5
Larry Feldman
Dojo: Atlanta School of Aikido
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 341
Re: Starting at the beginning

When faced with your situation I agreed to take an 'equivalent' test, never got around to it, and eventually tested for higher rank with the new guys.

Yet I have a student who requested to start at the beginning and test rapidly as you suggested. He was more comfortable doing this, and we run through a lot of techniques in a test - so we are walking him through the ranks. I think either is a legitimate apporach. Your instructor makes the call, but he might be willing to run you through thte lower ranks if you think that works best for you - ask him.
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