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Old 02-03-2006, 09:35 AM   #26
Edwin Neal
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Re: Reasons for testing

Eric... i have a few questions... how many kyu ranks does your dojo have, and how long does it take for the average student to make shodan... by my calculations (which is why I am asking) apparently someone could make brown belt ni kyu in about a year and shodan in a year and a half!!! please let me know a little more about your testing criteria if you do not mind... i understand that different dojos have different ranking systems, and am curious to understand the various methods and gradings... thank you...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-03-2006, 05:46 PM   #27
ESimmons
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
Eric... i have a few questions... how many kyu ranks does your dojo have, and how long does it take for the average student to make shodan... by my calculations (which is why I am asking) apparently someone could make brown belt ni kyu in about a year and shodan in a year and a half!!! please let me know a little more about your testing criteria if you do not mind... i understand that different dojos have different ranking systems, and am curious to understand the various methods and gradings... thank you...
This is a little off-topic, but since you brought it up, there are 8 kyu. Two months to 7 kyu, 3 months to 6, 5, and 4 kyu. I'm not sure about the others, as I'm working toward yonkyu now, but I think it goes to 6 months per grade after that. I think I calculated the total listed time to shodan a while back and it came out to be ~3 years, though I suppose it's closer to 4 years due to the scheduling of tests and depending on your attendance.
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:53 PM   #28
Edwin Neal
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Re: Reasons for testing

fast track... not really that far off topic we are talking about testing... thanks for the info

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-04-2006, 12:47 AM   #29
ESimmons
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
fast track...
Maybe you can drop in and show us some real aikido some time.

http://www.usamartialarts.com
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Old 02-06-2006, 05:15 AM   #30
Nick Simpson
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Re: Reasons for testing

He's got a point Edwin

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:16 AM   #31
Edwin Neal
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Re: Reasons for testing

i did not mean to imply that it is not real, just that some schools use different curriculum... and thus rank can be somewhat misleading... i once met a shodan who did not know how to do shiho nage because that was a more 'advanced' technique, and he had only been doing it for about 2 years... i was still a white belt at two years, and knew a number of shiho nage variations... so that not to say that anyone's aikido is less real than anyone else's, just differences in testing

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-06-2006, 06:38 AM   #32
Nick Simpson
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Re: Reasons for testing

We've all seen people who in our opinions, dont live up to their rank. Your always gonna find this, I spose it comes from imposing/judging people by our standards but this is human nature. Shodan is merely the first step. I dont think that 3 - 4 years is particularly fast track. It may not be ages, but it seems like a fair enough time to reach that level/grade.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:52 AM   #33
Edwin Neal
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Re: Reasons for testing

i agree Nick, by the curriculum i am most familiar with it is about 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 years... but again this says nothing to the quality of the aikido being taught or learned, nor the quantity of techniques taught or learned... just time in grade, before next test...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-10-2006, 07:35 AM   #34
Mato-san
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Re: Reasons for testing

Personally, I would never ask to be tested, Sensei says, you are ready this is the requirements lets do it. So I bow and receive, never take. Be it grade or even praise.
My opinion, if its warranted, I know every dojo/affiliation is different.

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 02-10-2006, 07:55 AM   #35
Edwin Neal
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Re: Reasons for testing

thats how we do it too Mato-san...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-15-2006, 03:57 AM   #36
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Reasons for testing

It is good to remember that most people who have just passed their driving test are terrible drivers but they divide into 2 camps: those who now think that a license equals skill and those who know it allows them to go on the road and develop further

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 02-15-2006, 04:48 AM   #37
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote:
What would you say is a good reason for wanting to test?
I didn't ask to be tested.

Quote:
"Tell me why we should put you in for this test"
You shouldn't, I'm not ready.
(Which means, it's not when I think I'm ready, but when the teacher thinks I'm ready)

But to be honest, I now dislike testing - I think it focuses people in the wrong direction. When you have a Sunday soccer match, on the day, everyone knows who is better than who - you don't need belts/grades. And if you had them, you'd soon realise it made no sense at all as young 16 year old Jimmy with no soccer grade dribbled past five seniors and scored.

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Old 02-15-2006, 07:16 AM   #38
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Alec Corper wrote:
It is good to remember that most people who have just passed their driving test are terrible drivers but they divide into 2 camps: those who now think that a license equals skill and those who know it allows them to go on the road and develop further
Great analogy!
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Old 02-25-2006, 05:28 PM   #39
Ali B
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Re: Reasons for testing

Good luck with the test when it comes Ed!

I have been asking those questions myself - why do I want to grade? Why do this to myself? Why put myself through this again? I have an exam next weekend! I have been knocking around the aikido scene for nearly 10 years and managed to get away from grading for a lot of that time - due to moving around a lot...

The school I am in now has a high grade class where you have to be 1st Kyu or above to attend. We don't get to use weapons either and not having a grade did not matter before but now the colour of my belt does. Its not all about the grade or the belt or I would have gone for it years ago but for the first time in my life, this part of my practice has become important to me. Is it so wrong to want to be a black belt?

Love n light
Ali
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:21 AM   #40
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
i once met a shodan who did not know how to do shiho nage because that was a more 'advanced' technique, and he had only been doing it for about 2 years... i was still a white belt at two years, and knew a number of shiho nage variations...
How odd. I've never seen a testing syllabus that didn't have shiho-nage listed at the lowest kyuu rank. Of course, I've only seen Aikikai syllabi, but still. It's not like it's koshinage...

As for myself, I train to improve my aikido. I test merely to get the hakama. I love long flowing clothes, like trench coats and hakama.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:10 AM   #41
David Paul
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Re: Reasons for testing

I know that this is a super old thread--but this question has always driven me crazy. My belief is that if you have the necessary hours and you know the techniques you should be allowed to test.

I have had an experience at two different dojos where I met the requirements for the minimum hours and I knew the techniques-yet in both cases I was passed over for testing (for 5th kyu) because I was told that I should have well in excess of the minimum hours. My gripe with this has always been if I need to have 70 or 80 hours as opposed to the 60 that USAF says I need, then change the requirements and tell me that. Otherwise, let me test and if I fail, I fail.

I've always been a firm believer-especially at the lower kyu levels-that the student should be able to request the chance to test if they meet the requirements. I never liked the idea of having to work under the watchful eye of Sensei for the most basic of ranks. Especially since all you are really doing for that first test (and maybe even second) is demonstrating a basic understanding of the techniques. It is not as if you need to have them mastered in order to pass. As we all know-you can practice even these most basic techniques your entire life and you may not have them mastered.

Just my two cents.
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:36 PM   #42
Ed Stansfield
 
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
David Paul DeIuliis wrote: View Post
I know that this is a super old thread
It's a very old thread indeed. Although, not so old that I've actually taken the test - that's in September.

I'm not sure that I'd come up with better answers than I did last year, but my aikido has certainly changed, and I think that's a really big part of the "Why?".

Before I'd set out on this particular path, I wanted the goal so that I could be on the path. Now that I'm on it, the goal isn't the most important thing, but the path is everything...

Best,

Ed

Last edited by Ed Stansfield : 06-04-2007 at 12:48 PM. Reason: clarity

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Winston Churchill, 1930.
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:22 PM   #43
Qatana
 
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Re: Reasons for testing

If you don't like "working under the watchful eye of Sensei" then he probably can't See that you are "ready to test".

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 06-05-2007, 04:40 AM   #44
nmrmak
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Re: Reasons for testing

I believe testing is not all that important for a single person as it is to the whole dojo. Think of it this way, if you were somehow awarded a high dan rank today, would that benefit you the slightest? Even when you pass for a higher rank, your aikido is still pretty much the same as yesterday, right?

However, it is very beneficial to the dojo to have a certain hierarchy, so people can know who the higher ranks are and practice with them more if they are unsure about their techniques.

If it was my decision, i wouldn't be taking tests at all. What matters is the technique you have, not the rank. Therefore, only compare yourself to the people who do better aikido than you, not to those who are merely higher ranked than you.
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:18 AM   #45
PeterR
 
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Nebojsa Mrmak wrote: View Post
I believe testing is not all that important for a single person as it is to the whole dojo.
My view entirely. This is especially true in a dojo which has a hightly developed curriculum and where it is expected that other students help their juniors along within that curriculum some time during most classes. It really helps to know who has mastered what at the required level.

It may be a bit pithy but I like to say that kyu grades have meaning only in the dojo and dan grades only in the organization Besides adressing the relative non-importance of grade in the wider world it does hint at importance with the various levels of the organization. I do not like it when people say they wont grade for various reasons other than lack of confidence ("and I want to hold off a tad") or financial (that is the dojo/organization's problem) because they throw a monkey wrench into the works.

One other good reason to grade I like to point out is that someday you might change your mind and still have to go through the time requirements. Grade when you can.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:38 AM   #46
Hanna B
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote: View Post
Hello,

What would you say is a good reason for wanting to test?

So, if your teacher said to you:

"Tell me why we should put you in for this test"

What would you say?
"That is your job to know. If you don't know why I should be testing - or not - who does?"

Quote:
Eric Simmons wrote: View Post
If I were to fill out my test application for 4th kyu today, I wouldn't really have a better answer than the one I put down for 7th kyu a year ago.
OMG people do get asked this question? People do fill in formal test applications for kyu ranks? Yikes. I filled in applications for my dan ranks, but it was only about name and age and such things.
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:38 PM   #47
DonMagee
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Re: Reasons for testing

I would probably write down this.

"My belt is getting a little dirty. I think I'd like a clean one."

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:57 PM   #48
tarik
 
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I would probably write down this.

"My belt is getting a little dirty. I think I'd like a clean one."
If you did (and I were part of a system where we used such applications), I'd send it back with the following response.

"Wash it before you get on the mat again."

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:37 AM   #49
dalen7
 
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote: View Post
Hello,

What would you say is a good reason for wanting to test?

So, if your teacher said to you:

"Tell me why we should put you in for this test"

What would you say?

Best,

Ed
Well, personally I think its to help gauge and show the progress that has been made.
I would love if my instructor told me the requirements for each level (granted I dont speak Hungarian,) - so I use the M.I.T. requirements for advancement as a guide to help show where I should be at. (as we seem to do every move in each class...I need to 'nail' down and feel like I know something and not just random moves.

So testing is good as you can see if you know a given set of material, and if you are executing it well. Truth is, I can feel if its good or not, but still.

Peace

Dalen
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:19 PM   #50
David Paul
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Re: Reasons for testing

Quote:
Jo Adell wrote: View Post
If you don't like "working under the watchful eye of Sensei" then he probably can't See that you are "ready to test".
I am just revisiting some of my posts and I saw that you responded. I think perphaps you have taken my quote a little out of context. What I was driving at is that I think if you meet whatever your governining body's basic requirements are to test you should be allowed to submit an application and take the test. I believe this to eb tru especially for the lower kyu ranks. I do not think that you should have to wait for sensei to give you his/her blessing for 5th kyu or 4th kyu...

If you have the hours-you should be able to test. If your aikido is not good enough-you will fail said test. That's all I am saying.
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