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Old 03-02-2005, 07:29 AM   #26
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 659
Re: Exam Question for Beginning Aikidoists

Nick Simpson wrote:
Why dont we have aikido college courses over here? Would be a lot more fun than the crap I have to study Be an uchi deshi for three years and get a degree at the end, Id be up for that.
Hold that thought Nick, it may be available just around the corner!


We've been linking our aikido study to various courses for a few years now.

Overall its been pretty successful and the general aikido knowledge of students has been greatly enhanced.

The courses are pretty much activity based eg. Basic Aikido links to the first 6th kyu exam.

For this one we ask a number of general questions...off the top of my head..

describe the dojo.
describe a traditional dojo - explain differences,
describe ura, omote, kamae, maai.
who are main parties within aikido practice, sensei, tori, uke...explain their roles.

on top of this we ask them to maintain a dojo diary, we ask them to describe the techniques in english that are within their syllabus and to make notes on each.

To be honest the results can be distinctly low level...students do the bare minimum to get through although most that complete it really enjoy it and some produce War and Peace.

Everyone does them - even instructors.

At the moment I'm doing one entitled "weapons techniques in traditional aikido - level 1 - Bokken" which request such things as demonstrate the 7 suburi, show an understanding of bokken awase - outline reasons for awase, explain principles behind awase and their relation to aikido ...and finally to demonstrate this.

I've seen quite a few negative reactions to this concept, even in the posts here there are those that just want to bash away in the dojo.

But before you totally dismiss the idea...all it really does is encourage you to provide evidence that you have understood aikido to a level commensurate with your grade.

I've always kept a diary of my practice...I've always made notes...for me this hasn't really cost me any extra effort since I did this stuff anyway. I'm sure many others do to.

As for research...well this forum for starters provides a shedload of background info. Lots of students read aiki books and they hold loads of discussions with seniors and friends...Everyone reasearches aiki anyway..who really turns up at dojo then dosn't think about aiki until next class? sometimes I wish I could

Any one that says the can't be bothered with writing about aikido they just want to do it...what are your posts here if they aren't writing down your thoughts on aikido?

I also know I've worked a lot harder at aikido than I ever did in school or college. So some form of accreditation for something I'd do anyway is a big bonus.

Anyway - good luck with it Neil.


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Old 03-02-2005, 01:16 PM   #27
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 420
Re: Exam Question for Beginning Aikidoists

Okay, here's a test question (it's actually from my 2nd kyu test):

Name and describe the four prinicples of mind-body unification (Tohei's four basic ki principles).

Naming them:

1.Keep One Point
2.Relax Completely
3.Keep Weight Underside
4.Extend Ki

The rest of the essay would be a description of each. If I were the instructor, I'd limit the paper to two-three pages.


-Drew Ames
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Old 03-02-2005, 05:40 PM   #28
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Re: Exam Question for Beginning Aikidoists

Keith Krajewski wrote:
I think it's ridiculous.

I would have a hard time taking such an assignment seriously.
(Shrug) Then you'd fail any class of mine. I test hard.

I believe very strongly in approaching education from both a physical and mental direction. Knowing how to do something is important, but knowing why is much more valuable in the long run. In my mind, why? is the most underused word in the English language - it's the 'why' which forms a framework; a foundation of understanding on which to hang the 'how's'.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:59 PM   #29
stuartjvnorton's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Shudokan
Location: Melbourne
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 225
Re: Exam Question for Beginning Aikidoists

Beginners, right?
Ask them which is their left foot & which is their right.
It will probably change every 5 minutes for the first 6 months or so.
More often when they actually get training.

Questions about the life of O'Sensei? Sheesh.

There's a great line in Angry White Pyjamas about 1 of the guys getting a buzz cut in prep for his shodan, to the effect of: "You have it the wrong way around. Don't cut your hair and think of training. Train and think of cutting your hair."
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