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Old 02-24-2017, 04:55 PM   #76
Clare Din
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 27
Re: 6th kyu forever

Chris Sawyer wrote: View Post
Clare do you have another update for us? How is it going and have you found your training more relaxing now?
Hi Chris,

Yes, it's been quite a while since I last commented. Many things in my life have happened since then. I've taken many advanced yoga training courses and will fly to Malaga, Spain very soon for a 16-day intensive training course. I teach at a new studio with smaller classes, but more devoted students. I took my oldest son (he's 12) on a cruise to the Bahamas. He totally loved the experience. Aikido-wise, things are going well. My kids (12 and 7 year old) are liking their Aikido training more these days than last year. My 7 year old is probably going to be the youngest orange belt in his class. Quite coincidentally, I saw this forum post today right after I responded to someone asking me how things were going. I responded:

I'm 4th kyu now and it felt like it took a lot less time to get from 5th to 4th than 6th to 5th (it actually didn't; it actually took 9 months versus 7). I think it's because I learned a lot more about myself over the course of training or maybe I just see Aikido as fun rather than work. I basically stopped caring about rank thinking that I'd never go up from 5th. I just enjoyed coming to Aikido class and learning techniques. It wasn't until the end of last year that a number of my senior colleagues gave our Sensei the nod that I was ready to test. I even heard one of them say "She's ready" and then a few weeks later Sensei called me up to demonstrate a subset of the test. I tested for 4th a week later (mid January). Now I'm working on the premise that I'll never go up from 4th. I'm just having fun learning techniques.

So, now I can say I'm "4th kyu forever," but this time with no hints of frustration like I had when I was 6th kyu.

YOGAIKI girl - yoga and aikido!
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:52 PM   #77
Peter Goldsbury
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,308
Re: 6th kyu forever

Hello Clare,

I trained for nine years without taking a single test. When I returned from the US in 1975, I had the rank of first kyu, but Kanai Sensei gave me the rank without an examination. Back in the UK, I trained in a local dojo and my university club, but my instructor wanted some assistants to cover for him when he taught seminars elsewhere, so I took my first ever grading test, for shodan in 1978.
I had just one hour to prepare, but I passed and this stood me in good stead when I came to live here. The Japanese regard shodan as the point at which serious learning really starts and so I think you should consider shodan as a long-term goal.

On the other hand, I have a student here who has never taken a test. He trains regularly, as does his son, who has just started taking his kyu tests. His son is a teenager, but has the aim of taking his shodan when he is old enough. (I think you need to be sixteen.)

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:08 AM   #78
fatebass21's Avatar
Dojo: Westminster Tenshinkai Aikido Dojo
Location: Fountain Valley, CA
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 280
Re: 6th kyu forever

Let's define 'forever'

Chris Sawyer
Training day is every day
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Old 04-13-2020, 04:12 PM   #79
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 1
Re: 6th kyu forever

There is a lot of good advice above, but, to provide a slightly different perspective:

Different instructors have different styles, and different students are looking for different things. If you want the thing your instructor is teaching, be happy with whatever it is the instructor is doing. If you are not happy with it, either try to get something else out of the classes, or look for another instructor. If you determine that the instructor doing something other than what you are looking for (for example, maybe you specifically want a standard USAF education that matches those training videos), that is 100% fine, and neither of you have any further obligation towards the other. It would be no different that if you found a Yoga instructor in your town teaching a different style of Yoga than the one you were hoping to learn.

Also, "the thing your instructor is teaching" is best judged by looking at the more senior students in the class (assuming there are senior students around), and not the instructor. Some instructors are very good at passing what they do along to their students, others are not, but they are definitely passing along something or no one would be there. So don't ask "do I want to be able to do what sense is doing?", and instead look at someone who's been there a few years and ask "would I be happy if, in a few years, I was doing as well as that person?" Then repeat the process for students who have been there a few years longer than that, and again for students who have been there a few years longer than that. If you like what you see, then trust in the process and - to the best of your ability - relax, and let any frustrations slip away.
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