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Old 10-14-2001, 02:14 AM   #26
shihonage
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Thanks Colleen, ranZ

Colleen, you just quoted exactly word for word the thing that I've heard many times from different sempai - ""for 6th kyu, if we (the grading committee) can be reasonably sure what technique you are doing, that's about what we expect..."

Our grading system starts with 5, not 6, but otherwise its exactly the same.
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Old 10-17-2001, 08:15 AM   #27
Jetcar
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belt testing

Colleen, thanks for the input.
I have asked my sensei to elaborate on some of my "anxiety points", and am still waiting for a reply. However, I think that your obvious point of "if he is testing you, it's 'cause he thinks you are ready" is sinking in to my brain. Thanks, Carl.
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Old 10-20-2001, 01:12 AM   #28
sceptoor
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What's the confusion??

I realize this is going to sound a bit pompous and believe me I do not intend it to be at all, but I find it difficult to believe that this question was even seriously asked in the first place. The answer, YES, pretty much needs not be said. In my mind it is just understood, for obvious reasons based on common sense.

The only things I disagree with are excessive ranks/testing,[meaning more than 6 kyu rankings]colored belts and/or the hakama worn by "Dan ranks only".

Other than that, I believe testing/ranking/grades are only good for the dojo. Remember, it's an exhibiton, not a competition. It is the responsibility of the teachers to shape the minds of their students, so if there is a competitive mindset from the students then there is something wrong. There is no place for competitive egos in aikido, but I do not believe that simple testing breeds this attitude either. Again, if it does, there is a problem. These misplaced egotistical/competitive attitudes in aikido training is of course what I refer to as the "Kobra Kai" Aikido.

This is not to say that I see "competitive" Tomiki Aikido as "wrong". It's just contradictory to the original aim/development of Ueshiba's Aikido, that's all. If one wants competition with other people, with the aim of gaining "points" then by all means, compete, but if one just wants to TEST ONESELF, to keep track of what knowledge one retains at one's own pace, then by all means, train and test as much as one can, for the benifit of oneself, the dojo's students and it's instructors.

As many have pointed out in the past, ranks are only generalized guide markers. I'm currently only 5th Kyu, so I am in no way qualified to comment on the qualifications of a (insert rank here), but I've read countless times how people have trained with/met/observed undeserving/unqualified Dan ranks as well as 1st and 2nd Kyu ranks that should be a dan rank.

At the moment, I do not personally know of any "belt factory" aikido schools, but I will be sure to stay away from them if I ever discover them.

Anyway, I see absolutely nothing wrong with testing in Aikido. Personally, I love to test. It shows me that I am making progress in my training. There is no pressure to "win", and no agony of defeat. One is either ready to test, or one is not, and that is usually decided by one's teachers long after they ARE ready.

C. Martin

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Old 10-20-2001, 10:39 AM   #29
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Re: What's the confusion??

Quote:
Originally posted by sceptoor
The only things I disagree with are excessive ranks/testing,[meaning more than 6 kyu rankings]colored belts and/or the hakama worn by "Dan ranks only".

Other than that, I believe testing/ranking/grades are only good for the dojo. Remember, it's an exhibiton, not a competition. It is the responsibility of the teachers to shape the minds of their students, so if there is a competitive mindset from the students then there is something wrong. There is no place for competitive egos in aikido, but I do not believe that simple testing breeds this attitude either. Again, if it does, there is a problem. These misplaced egotistical/competitive attitudes in aikido training is of course what I refer to as the "Kobra Kai" Aikido.
I dont think a grading examination is either an exhibition or a competition, its an opportunity to demonstrate what you've learned and in doing so to thank your fellow students (including your sensei) for what they've taught you. Its also a challenge against which you can measure your progress for yourself.

If you think sporting competition inflates the ego in a way that exhibition does not, I suggest having a chat with an athlete, and then having a chat with a movie star.

As for "the responsibility of the teachers to shape the minds of their students", ick!
That sounds creepy!
My teacher takes responsibility for teaching me aikido, and does his best to set a good example generally. But he's in no way responsible for my twisted psyche, the 'shape of my mind' is entirely my own responsibility.
(Well, ok, sometimes I blame my parents, but thats besides the point.)

Quote:

This is not to say that I see "competitive" Tomiki Aikido as "wrong". It's just contradictory to the original aim/development of Ueshiba's Aikido, that's all. If one wants competition with other people, with the aim of gaining "points" then by all means, compete, but if one just wants to TEST ONESELF, to keep track of what knowledge one retains at one's own pace, then by all means, train and test as much as one can, for the benifit of oneself, the dojo's students and it's instructors.
Actually, the purpose of competition in Shodokan aikido is precisely to test ourselves. We dont train to succeed in competitions, we use competitions to help us succeed in our training.

Testing as often as you can isn't going to be very often, in any case. Theres no reason not to continue studying aikido for your whole life, and compared to that the few years you spend as a kyu-grade go by in a flash. Once you are yudansha, grading examinations are spaced years apart, and whether you involve yourself in tournaments or not you'll want to test yourself much more often than that. Fortunately, you'll have the opportunity to test yourself every time you step on the mat.

Sean
x

Last edited by deepsoup : 10-20-2001 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 10-20-2001, 05:22 PM   #30
sceptoor
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Re: Re: What's the confusion??

Quote:
Originally posted by deepsoup
I dont think a grading examination is either an exhibition or a competition, its an opportunity to demonstrate what you've learned and in doing so to thank your fellow students (including your sensei) for what they've taught you. Its also a challenge against which you can measure your progress for yourself.

I think you're being rather *literal*, and nitpicking here. The point of it being an exhibition and not a competition is true, whether we are performing for others or for ourselves, since, there is no winner or loser. The competitive mindset during training is unneeded and uncalled for. So, testing and training ARE exhibitions, even though it generally isn't "performing" for a not so aikido savvy audience. An "exhibition" and a "demonstration" to our teachers and fellow students are just about the same thing, so therefore we must agree.

Quote:
As for "the responsibility of the teachers to shape the minds of their students", ick!
That sounds creepy!
My teacher takes responsibility for teaching me aikido, and does his best to set a good example generally. But he's in no way responsible for my twisted psyche, the 'shape of my mind' is entirely my own responsibility.
Again, you're being *literal* just to be argumentative. I do not mean that the teachers must actually hold his/her students brains and mold it like clay, NOR do I mean that the teachers are responsible for his/her students' mental health or dictate one's "psyche". All I meant was that it is the Aikido teachers' responsibility to shape the aikido students' minds regarding the subject he/she teaches---AIKIDO.


Quote:
...Once you are yudansha, grading examinations are spaced years apart, and whether you involve yourself in tournaments or not you'll want to test yourself much more often than that.
That's a good and fair point. As a Kyu rank, I didn't really look at it that way, and I totally agree with wanting to test yourself more often than that, but sporting competitions are still not the way to do that in Aikido, because it only builds EGO, not confidence.

EGO= one's recognition of superiority over others, arrogance.

Confidence= one's recognition of self improvement without the expense of others.

Quote:
If you think sporting competition inflates the ego in a way that exhibition does not, I suggest having a chat with an athlete, and then having a chat with a movie star.
As far as talking to Athletes(competition) and Actors(exhibition), I missed your point here. Not all athletes are competitive, and Actors do compete for Emmys, Oscars, and TV/Movie roles last time I checked, also they compete in ratings and salaries. Also, aikido exhibitions do not get a fraction of the attention these well marketed examples you gave. Everyone knows who Jerry Rice and Micheal Jordan are, not Morihei Ueshiba. Everyone knows who Sean Connery and Micheal Douglas are, not Mitsugi Saotome.

But as far as egos go, there are some egotistical athletes as well as humble ones, and the same goes for actors and actresses.

C. Martin

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Old 10-20-2001, 06:08 PM   #31
Erik
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Re: Re: Re: What's the confusion??

Quote:
Originally posted by sceptoor
sporting competitions are still not the way to do that in Aikido, because it only builds EGO, not confidence.
Only?
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Old 10-20-2001, 10:11 PM   #32
deepsoup
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Re: Re: Re: What's the confusion??

Quote:
Originally posted by sceptoor

Again, you're being *literal* just to be argumentative.
<snip>
I missed your point here.
You did indeed miss my point, there and elsewhere, but lets not worry about it too much. I probably missed your point too.

If I'm too literal, sorry, I have to take you at your word because this is a text based forum, and your words are all I have. Maybe your metaphor was just too clever for me.

I wasn't trying to be argumentative though, its merely that I disagree with you. Do you appreciate the difference?

(Thats a rhetorical question, by the way.)

Sean
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Old 10-20-2001, 11:12 PM   #33
Suru
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Square

In the novel Steppenwolf, by Herman Hesse, the author makes a point which has long stayed with me. I would just like to share it with you all. I can't remember the exact words, but it goes something like this:

Self-hate is really the same thing as sheer egoism, and both bring the same despair.

It is hard to tell the difference between someone who has a big ego, and someone who knows they are good because people tell him/her so. We do live in a relative world, and people consciously or subconsciously compare themselves to others. Sometimes in an upward fashion, sometimes in a downward fashion, and sometimes in a horizontal fashion. Some people deny that they relate comparatively to other people, and they say they have no ego. We must be mindfull of one of the worst ego problems of all: The ego of no ego.

Drew
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Old 10-21-2001, 01:45 AM   #34
sceptoor
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Re: Re: Re: Re: What's the confusion??

Quote:
Originally posted by deepsoup


You did indeed miss my point, there and elsewhere, but lets not worry about it too much. I probably missed your point too.

If I'm too literal, sorry, I have to take you at your word because this is a text based forum, and your words are all I have. Maybe your metaphor was just too clever for me.

I wasn't trying to be argumentative though, its merely that I disagree with you. Do you appreciate the difference?

(Thats a rhetorical question, by the way.)

Sean
x
Wow, look how competitive you are.

Yes, I can appreciate anyone that disagrees with me, and yes I understand the difference.

However, quoting me and then editing it to serve your purpose is most certainly not appreciated, and is a sign of condescention. "<snipping>" I believe you call it. If you must quote me, please do so without editing it in such a way that it misrepresents what I originally posted. I did not miss your general point in your post, but you said, "If you think sporting competition inflates the ego in a way that exhibition does not, I suggest having a chat with an athlete, and then having a chat with a movie star."

Why?? Is this supposed to prove to me that an athlete is less egotistical than a movie star because the athlete "competes" and a movie star "exhibits"??

I think most people are still waiting for the answer as to why I need to chat with an athlete and a movie star, so THAT is the only point I missed, because, well, IT'S NOT THERE.

Which "metaphor" are you talking about?? The one about "shaping minds" or the one about it being an exhibition and not a competition??? Both are pretty old cliches, and not really that "clever". Sorry you're so confused.

Anyway, I truly did not want this to escalate into any kind of "disagreement" or "arguement" of sorts, I merely wanted to express my perturbation at the original question at hand. Can I do that, or is this no longer America??

Yes, testing is good.

C. Martin

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Old 10-21-2001, 07:06 AM   #35
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's the confusion??

Quote:
Originally posted by sceptoor


Wow, look how competitive you are.

<Yawn>
I'm not interested in repeating the old 'competition' debate, unless there is some chance of finding a new angle on it.
I'm all the more convinced that you and I will not cover any new ground now that you've come out with that tired old chestnut.
Been there, seen it, done it, bought the t-shirt, sorry.

Quote:
However, quoting me and then editing it to serve your purpose is most certainly not appreciated, and is a sign of condescention. "<snipping>" I believe you call it. If you must quote me, please do so without editing it in such a way that it misrepresents what I originally posted.
Sorry you feel that way. Quoting selectively is pretty standard practice in forums like this, particularly on Usenet.
I'm not trying to misquote you, I'm trying to keep it short and concise.
The purpose of putting in that "<snip>" is to make it obvious to everyone that I've edited your remarks, and they should refer to your entire post (on this very page) to see those remarks in context.

Quote:
Anyway, I truly did not want this to escalate into any kind of "disagreement" or "arguement" of sorts, I merely wanted to express my perturbation at the original question at hand. Can I do that, or is this no longer America??
Of course you can express your opinion, you have a perfect right to do so, even though this is not America. Its an international forum, read and contributed to by people all over the world.

It is ridiculous to suggest that I am, in some way, compromising your right to free speech by excercising my own.

Anyhow, since you're not looking for conflict, perhaps you'll be happy to leave it there.

Sean
x
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Old 10-21-2001, 03:09 PM   #36
sceptoor
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's the confusion??

Quote:
Originally posted by deepsoup

<Yawn>
I'm not interested in repeating the old 'competition' debate, unless there is some chance of finding a new angle on it.
I'm all the more convinced that you and I will not cover any new ground now that you've come out with that tired old chestnut.
Been there, seen it, done it, bought the t-shirt, sorry.
Pointing out that you're competitive is a "tired old chestnut"?? Well, since this is my first time ever conversing with you, I must have hit some truth there Skippy. I'm obviously not the only one that feels that way since the "chestnut" is tired, so thanks for the confirmation.

Quote:
Sorry you feel that way. Quoting selectively is pretty standard practice in forums like this, particularly on Usenet.
I'm not trying to misquote you, I'm trying to keep it short and concise.
The purpose of putting in that "<snip>" is to make it obvious to everyone that I've edited your remarks, and they should refer to your entire post (on this very page) to see those remarks in context.
Yes, quoting is quite standard on these forums, but you obviously need to re-read what I said about that. Quoting "selectively" is only standard for those that wish to twist words around for their own benefit. You're busted on that one, admit it already. Seriously, why bother quoting someone when you're just going to butcher it??? You are not just "trying to keep it short and concise". You are merely posting only what will support your weak retorts. I believe that you are either purposely ignoring what is really being said, or you're just incapable of comprehending what is posted.


Quote:
Of course you can express your opinion, you have a perfect right to do so, even though this is not America. Its an international forum, read and contributed to by people all over the world.

It is ridiculous to suggest that I am, in some way, compromising your right to free speech by excercising my own.
I agree, but I never suggested or implied anything of the sort. Your words do not have the power to deny or compromise any of my American birthrights, so again, you've made a useless point. The fact that this is an international forum is obvious as well as irrelevent.

Quote:
Anyhow, since you're not looking for conflict, perhaps you'll be happy to leave it there.



Sean
x
I think I've done my best to diffuse the situation, but you clearly do not know when to stop the word twisting and/or butchering. You simply must have the last word. Trust me, I won't lose sleep because you disagree with something I said, even though I never brought up "Shodokan" Aikido in any of my posts to begin with.

Testing is good, as the first poster stated.

Now can we get back to the original topic at hand???

C. Martin

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Old 10-21-2001, 05:13 PM   #37
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Quote:
Originally posted by sceptoor


Pointing out that you're competitive is a "tired old chestnut"?? Well, since this is my first time ever conversing with you, I must have hit some truth there Skippy. I'm obviously not the only one that feels that way since the "chestnut" is tired, so thanks for the confirmation.

Quote:
Quoting "selectively" is only standard for those that wish to twist words around for their own benefit. You're busted on that one, admit it already.

Quote:
I think I've done my best to diffuse the situation, but you clearly do not know when to stop the word twisting and/or butchering. You simply must have the last word.


Sean
x
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Old 10-21-2001, 09:56 PM   #38
Suru
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Let's stop sounding smart and start speaking straight from the heart.

Drew
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Old 10-21-2001, 10:57 PM   #39
ranZ
 
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(*skipped the flames*)

i dunno if this is relevant or not, i just came back from a 2 days gasshuku on the mountains. It was a lot of fun, a lot of laughs. On our way home 3 students including me hitched a ride with Sensei's assistant & translator. We talked about the great times we just spend, to bad we can't practice long because of heavy rain etc.. and then he said "It was all a test".

Suddenly the car was quiet, we just stare at each other and went "a test??!". Man, if that was a test, we wouldn't have passed. We don't even have a belt system in our dojo..

I guess our sensei was testing us from a diffrent point of view.
Belt or no belt, a test necessary for improvement.
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Old 11-09-2001, 09:15 PM   #40
chezmike
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Testing, 1 2 3

I think testing is plain and simple: it shows structure in discipline and order are recognized more than chaos and anarchy. Belt ranks are only important in the dojo, but ideas can flow out of the dojo into the world where they are needed. When I leave the dojo, my belt & gi goes in the bag, but I take what I've learned with me (sometimes even until the next practice...).

"Self Control" is learned by degrees. I believe the term is Kaizen (?), or small increments. Like the abbacus: without the frame to hold it, it would be a scattering of beads and sticks. Organized, it can contain almost endless answers.

Deep, but good.

Reality is a figment of your imagination.
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Old 11-11-2001, 11:36 AM   #41
Johan Tibell
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Somewhat of topic perhaps...

I'm up for my 3rd kyu (first test is towards 6th) test on the 8th of December and I'm starting to get somewhat nervous now. I've increased my training dose (probably helps to ease my mind more than improve my techinque) from 4-5 days a week, betweem 1h 15min and 2h a day to 6-7 days a week (with a 2-4h session on sunday with some of my sempais).

Why is it that always the month or before a test all techniques feels like crap?

Best Regards,

Johan Tibell

Last edited by Johan Tibell : 11-11-2001 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 11-11-2001, 12:12 PM   #42
ranZ
 
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Johan, maybe you could "relax" a bit
You know, if you keep thinking about the test, the more stressed up you'll get.
In the end i'm sure you'll do just fine (*considering the many hours of practice you've done*)
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Old 11-13-2001, 08:03 AM   #43
Thalib
 
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just a reply...

Quote:
Originally posted by ranZ


and then he said "It was all a test".

Suddenly the car was quiet, we just stare at each other and went "a test??!". Man, if that was a test, we wouldn't have passed. We don't even have a belt system in our dojo..

If you actually remember... every practice is a test, even everyday is actually a test. What is the point in learning, if we don't apply it in everyday life.

The actual test is with yourself. The belt test is just a type of formalization and standardization by the organization.

Only you know when you are ready.

Remember... in classical martial arts, there are no such things as ranks and belts
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