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Old 09-19-2007, 05:54 PM   #26
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
My experience is primarily with the two major aikikai-affiliated groups in the US (USAF and ASU). I've seen many dan tests (and a few kyu tests) over the years in both groups and have never, to the best of my knowledge, seen anyone fail a test.
I have seen this as well in another organization. I've heard the explanation that when a poor test happens it's the sensei that gets in trouble from the shihan doing the test, not the student. So the student passes, but the sensei gets lambasted who in turn is supposed to take the criticism and do more to prepare the next batch of testers. It kind of makes sense, except for the fact that sometimes people pass even if their test is horrible. Personally, I would rather flunk it and get a chance to do a better job. Spending years at a rank that I felt I really hadn't earned would feel rather awful.
 
Old 09-19-2007, 08:30 PM   #27
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Giancarlo,

Where were you at the USAF Winter Camp 2000, 2002 and 2003? I was there and people were failed.

Where were you at the USAF Yudansha Seminar in 2006. I was there and people were failed.

Where were you at the seminar in Montreal this year? I heard a few people were failed there.

Failures happen and standards exist. It's not like Yamada Sensei is going to look up your name on AikiWeb and let you know when people failed.

In my eight years of aikido, I've seen people get failed at the dan level and within my own dojo, too. It happens.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
 
Old 09-19-2007, 09:08 PM   #28
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote: View Post
Where were you at the USAF Winter Camp 2000, 2002 and 2003? I was there and people were failed.

Where were you at the USAF Yudansha Seminar in 2006. I was there and people were failed.

Where were you at the seminar in Montreal this year? I heard a few people were failed there.

In my eight years of aikido, I've seen people get failed at the dan level and within my own dojo, too. It happens.
Thanks for the information. I certainly haven't been to every USAF seminar in the past eight years, nor did I even necessarily watch the tests at every seminar I attended (I find them rather boring), but I still have been to a lot of seminars and seen a fair amount of tests over the years. Since your experience is different than mine, I'm curious what would you estimate to be the overall failure rate for 1- to 3-dan over the past several years in the USAF? For example, you mention failures at the winter seminar in 00, 02, and 03. Would it be correct to assume that you also attended in 01 and 04-07 and that everyone passed in those years? Adding up all of the people testing over those years, even just at that seminar, what percentage would you say failed? If you think the failure rate is different at each rank, that would be interesting to know as well.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 02:50 AM   #29
Jason Woolley
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

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Avedan Raggio wrote: View Post
So, really, why test? What does it mean to say 'I passed my ___ kyu or my ___ dan test, when the person with whom you train might not be able to tell, or might not care? Why do *you* test? What does your rank mean to you? What do you think it means to other people?
Good questions.

To say "I passed my n -- kyu/dan test" is to reduce Aikido to the status of one more qualification/certificate to be collected. Given that grades are not usually recognised between organisations and have a huge variance within large organisations (eg Aikikai or even individual clubs), it becomes meaningless to all but the gradee.

Personally, I test because when it happens, it happens. I have trained in places where the entire focus of every class was to practise the syllabus for the next grading and I have trained in places where there were no gradings -- students were put ‘under pressure' at unexpected moments and continually assessed during regular classes. Grades were handed out when the teachers considered it appropriate with a casual ‘you are now this, congratulations, carry on…'

To me, my rank is a measure of progress and it's just part of the personal relationship between student and teacher. To other people, I would suggest, it's pretty meaningless.

Gradings have become part of the ‘business' of the martial arts and a marketing tool to keep to keep the gentle masses interested, and paying.

Full consideration of the questions posed in the OP lead to more profound questions like:

What is the purpose of the martial arts?

and

Why do you train?

 
Old 09-20-2007, 05:12 AM   #30
Karen Wolek
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
My guess would be that in the USAF the failure rate over the last several years for 1- through 3-dan (these are the only dan ranks for which they test) would be close to zero. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it is exactly zero, though I would be very surprised if it was even as high as 5%.
The last time I watched dan tests at a USAF seminar, six people failed their test. Four shodan tests and two nidan tests failed.

I don't remember the exact number of tests, but that six was probably around 25% of the tests that day.

My sensei also told me about one time where EVERYONE failed at a dan test.

I have watched a lot of dan tests in the USAF and I have seen many people fail. Next year, I will test for shodan and you can bet I will be 150% ready before my sensei lets me test.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
 
Old 09-20-2007, 08:14 AM   #31
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

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Karen Wolek wrote: View Post
The last time I watched dan tests at a USAF seminar, six people failed their test. Four shodan tests and two nidan tests failed.
Do you know why these people failed? Did they know the techniques and perform them to a substandard level, or did they simply not know the techniques. Were there other problems? Also, do you know if those who failed were direct students of one of the testers or students of someone else?

Quote:
I don't remember the exact number of tests, but that six was probably around 25% of the tests that day.
Would you say it is typical for this number to fail at every test, or only occasionally? For example, if this percentage failed at only one test in four, assuming the same number of applicants each time, the overall failure rate would be closer to 6%. Even that is higher than I had thought, though. Based on the information in this thread, perhaps an estimate of 10 to 20% would be more accurate.

Quote:
My sensei also told me about one time where EVERYONE failed at a dan test.
I have heard of that too but not any time recently.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 10:01 AM   #32
Ron Tisdale
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Obviously, only one poster here has the experience of no one failing...

Best,
Ron

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Old 09-20-2007, 11:07 AM   #33
Basia Halliop
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

In our dojo (at the kyu level, anyway) there is a 'pre-test' where you basically do the test but after/before class with a smaller audience and without filling out the forms and paying the money... you also get comments and errors pointed out. If you pass the pre-test, you will 'nearly' always pass the test test (in class, everyone there, have to pay a fee, same content as pre-test). However, it's comparatively more common not to pass the pre-test or to yourself decide not to test yet after the pre-test.

I suppose it works OK. Practically speaking, I do like the idea of saving the money by having them tell me if I'm not good enough to 'probably' pass. And even if the vast majority pass, the pressure is there on test day in the form of embarrassment (also pressure on pre-test day, certainly!). Everyone wants to have a good test, not just barely pass.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 12:14 PM   #34
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

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Obviously, only one poster here has the experience of no one failing...
If my assumptions, based on my experiences, about the failure rate in the organizations I mentioned were wrong, I want to know about it so that I will have better information in the future, but it does not substantially impact the point I was making about the usefulness of such tests as a device that increases the pressure and consequences of training beyond what is experienced in everyday practice. As I already wrote earlier in this thread in response to one your posts:

Quote:
I wrote: View Post
Anyway, the failure rate of dan tests is not the only issue I mentioned. Although increasing the possiblity of failure would also increase the pressure and create more adverse consequences for a bad performance, I still don't think it would come close to what you would experience in a real fight as long as we are talking about the the extremely compliant ukemi that is typical in most organizations. If you let people start to really attack then maybe you might have the beginnings of something useful.
The fact that such tests are just performances from a catalog of techniques that would not work except on compliant ukes who have been properly trained to fall is much more important from my perspective than the issue of whether anyone fails such tests.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 02:02 PM   #35
Ron Tisdale
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

One wouldn't necessarily understand that from your posts.

Anyhoo...we all know it's cooperative training, in archaic techniques, in archaic dress. With some applications to current day self defense, if you go beyond the average training.

Heck, the same could be said for boxing. Except for the coopertive part.

Big Deal.

Best,
Ron (I'm feeling a little snarky today, please forgive...)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:55 PM   #36
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
One wouldn't necessarily understand that from your posts.

Anyhoo...we all know it's cooperative training, in archaic techniques, in archaic dress. With some applications to current day self defense, if you go beyond the average training.
Back in post 17 I was addressing the issue of testing being important not for the result (promotions and ranks) but for the experience of pressure and consequences beyond everyday training. That's a fair point, but I then suggested that it was possible to go far beyond the level that most people in aikido experience even in testing.

I started from the point of tests that everyone passed and asked if there would be more pressure if the chance of failure was greater. Even if the chance of failing a test in the organizations I mentioned is as high as 20%, and I doubt that it is that high, perhaps the pressure could still be increased by making the failure rate higher. However, again, that's still a minor point.

The next thing I suggested is that the pressure could be increased even more if the other person was fighting back. For example, if it were a competition where only one of the two would pass. Another example would be the dan tests in Steven Seagal's old dojo. If you have ever seen the videos then you know what I mean: three people really trying to tackle you is a very different experience from three people coming at you with weak, telegraphed attacks that are meant to just give you a handle to throw them with rather than to do anything bad to you (and that's how I would describe most of the multi-person randori I have seen in aikido tests).

But why even wait for a test that comes once every year or two? I believe it is possible to have this level of training every day, by gradually working up to it, of course. This is true in competitive arts like judo and kendo, but it is also true in many non-competitive, totally choreographed koryu. They all have archaic dress and techniques, but that doesn't mean that the practice should go completely down to the road to martial fantasy land. Why not have in aikido the same level of intensity and realism that these arts have, and why not have it every practice?
 
Old 09-20-2007, 05:43 PM   #37
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

"Even if the chance of failing a test in the organizations I mentioned is as high as 20%, and I doubt that it is that high, perhaps the pressure could still be increased by making the failure rate higher"

Just sort of playing devil's advocate here, but wouldn't that depend also on the 'consequences' of failing, even (or perhaps especially) the psychological consequences? I wonder if failure was _very very_ common, if there might actually be less fear of failure because 'it's no big deal, it happens to everyone all the time'? I don't know if that would actually be the case (or maybe if might just shift it from 'fear of failure' to 'really hoping you can pass' and make passing that much more exciting and rewarding, which could be a motivator too), but I do think if failure is a minority but possible if it makes you really not want to be 'that one that everyone will remember who failed' or however you may picture it in your mind.

In any case to me personally it's more important mainly to 'know that I really honestly passed', so I would just be suspicious if testing and grading seemed too automatic or arbitrary.
 
Old 09-21-2007, 11:46 AM   #38
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
Just sort of playing devil's advocate here, but wouldn't that depend also on the 'consequences' of failing, even (or perhaps especially) the psychological consequences? I wonder if failure was _very very_ common, if there might actually be less fear of failure because 'it's no big deal, it happens to everyone all the time'? I don't know if that would actually be the case (or maybe if might just shift it from 'fear of failure' to 'really hoping you can pass' and make passing that much more exciting and rewarding, which could be a motivator too), but I do think if failure is a minority but possible if it makes you really not want to be 'that one that everyone will remember who failed' or however you may picture it in your mind.

In any case to me personally it's more important mainly to 'know that I really honestly passed', so I would just be suspicious if testing and grading seemed too automatic or arbitrary.
Good point. Probably the ideal failure rate from the perspective of increasing the stakes psychologically is around 10%. This is enough that people know that there is a real possibility of failure but not so much that failure is too commonplace. It's kind of like a casino (expect in reverse): they need to let you win sometimes to keep you coming back, but not enough that they would lose money.

In the case of aikido, there's also other good reasons why they want to keep the failure rate low, beyond the fact that it becomes more of a stigma to fail. Because rank is so tied to status in aikido dojos, failing a rank test can be a major blow psychologically not just for the failure but also for the consequences in daily training, so they need to be judicious about using it. In competitive arts like kendo there are other formal provisions (such as tournaments) for the expression of physical skill in ways that give practitioners a socially-acknowledged feeling of accomplishment. In aikido, often even informal expressions of skill in paired practice are only permitted in ways that correspond directly with rank, if at all. So rank takes on an elevated level of importance in aikido and it becomes a much bigger deal to formally deny it to someone.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 09-21-2007 at 11:48 AM.
 
Old 09-21-2007, 12:33 PM   #39
Budd
 
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

I think rank is between the student and teacher. It doesn't necessarily translate anywhere else (other dojo or organizations) and at best represents a process of long, consistent training.

On the one hand, I don't buy that someone wearing a skirt necessarily knows anything worth a damn.

On the other hand, I don't buy that some 20 year student that couldn't be bothered to test beyond 4th Kyu necessarily knows anything, either.

Regardless of whether "competition" formally exists in aikido or not, there's ways of checking your stuff against someone else that has nothing to do with cooperation, but doesn't need to degrade to the level of "fighting", either. I find that it's usually insecure people that need attention or recognition that place undue emphasis on the former or latter to the extent that they have to walk away thinking they're "better".
 
Old 09-21-2007, 02:12 PM   #40
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
I think rank is between the student and teacher. It doesn't necessarily translate anywhere else (other dojo or organizations) and at best represents a process of long, consistent training.
If rank were just between the student and the teacher then why do we need to have special certificates sent from Japan, make a big deal of presenting such certificates, require to people to wear different color belts based on rank, reserve hakama for some ranks and not others, put up a prominent list of members by rank (nafudakake) in the dojo, advertise what rank a teacher has on websites and other promotional material, etc.? Rank actually is a product and tool of organizations that they use to obtain, retain, and control students politically, technically, and financially. Its connection to the student-teacher relationship exists only to the extent that this relationship can be appropriated by the organization to advance its own goals.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 09-21-2007 at 02:17 PM.
 
Old 09-21-2007, 02:22 PM   #41
Budd
 
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Mr. DiPierro, while you're entitled to your opinion, like I am, I don't think that you have the authority to speak on behalf of all aikido organizations, dojos, or its practitioners. When you make such broad generalizations regarding aikido (an art practiced differently within and between organizations and dojo), it lessens the credibility of any valid points that your argument might have.

FWIW

Last edited by Budd : 09-21-2007 at 02:32 PM.
 
Old 09-21-2007, 03:27 PM   #42
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Mr. DiPierro, while you're entitled to your opinion, like I am, I don't think that you have the authority to speak on behalf of all aikido organizations, dojos, or its practitioners. When you make such broad generalizations regarding aikido (an art practiced differently within and between organizations and dojo), it lessens the credibility of any valid points that your argument might have.
When I make generalizations, I'm usually speaking about the major aikido organizations, or sometimes only about the aikikai, which is the largest of those groups. I try to include qualifications like "most", "many", or "typical" as much as I can to make it clear that I don't mean to include every aikido dojo, but at some point you just have to rely on the reader to know that I'm talking about the common traits you would find in the average dojos in these groups. I think the places that deviate from the norm know it already and it is probably somewhat of a point of pride for them anyway. For example, when I compared aikido to competitive arts earlier in this thread I obviously did not mean to include the JAA in with the aikido groups since they have tournaments, and I don't think that there is any confusion that this is something that makes them different from other kinds of aikido. So I think it was clear enough that I was not talking about them without me having to explicitly state that.

Anyway, if you want to discus that issue further please contact me privately since it does not pertain to this thread. However, let me make it clear that my statement in my previous post about rank being a product of organizations is not a matter of opinion but something that is always true, in any art and any style. If it were just one teacher and one student (which is really the way transmission works anyway), then how could rank have any meaning? That student is both the most senior student and the most junior one. The alpha and the omega. Sure, you call that rank anything you want, and change it at any time, but it is completely arbitrary and has no reference point except that of the teacher, who is always going to be higher in rank.

Once you have another student then you can rank them. You can do it by when they started, how many hours they have practiced, how good they are, how old they are, how tall they are: any standard you choose. But now you have an organization: three people, with one in charge and the other two remaining to be ranked second and third by the first. As your organization grows, you can add more ranks, and at a certain point you might want to standardize them in some way so that people can move up systematically. Or you might not. But outside of the context of such an organization, rank has no meaning.
 
Old 09-21-2007, 04:40 PM   #43
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

While I understand your general caveats, I disagree that it 1) Doesn't pertain to this thread & 2) Even talking about one organization from a position of authority is tenuous at best, unless you can provide some indication of qualification for speaking with such authority.

I also disagree regarding your definition/opinion/interpretation of rank via organizational decree. In some cases, the organization becomes the stand-in for the teacher (or the true method of transmission when the teacher may not qualify - pros and cons of which can be debatable), but it's still going to be a case by case instance of transmission of an art and rank being an aspect of the relationship between the student and transmitter/student/teacher/organization/whatever.

While I also do get what you mean about organizations sometimes existing to support the organization, rather than further transmission, I would be very careful (good lesson learned for me) about trying to take it upon myself (I train with folks/dojo in organizations periodically, but belong to an independent dojo) to make any worthwhile comments about how aikido organizations exist or should exist. I have enough to do with just being dedicated to my own training and, frankly, what they big groups do is none of my concern.
 
Old 09-21-2007, 06:24 PM   #44
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
While I understand your general caveats, I disagree that it 1) Doesn't pertain to this thread & 2) Even talking about one organization from a position of authority is tenuous at best, unless you can provide some indication of qualification for speaking with such authority.
Well if it wasn't already clear, let me state now for the record that anything I say about any aikido organization comes from no position of authority whatsoever. I speak as an outsider who has seen some things and has opinions on those things, and those opinions might or might not be useful to you. Think of it like the difference between reading an article in the newspaper about the President's policy and reading the press release issued by the White House press secretary. I'm the former, so you'll have to evaluate my opinions on their own merits.

Quote:
I also disagree regarding your definition/opinion/interpretation of rank via organizational decree. In some cases, the organization becomes the stand-in for the teacher (or the true method of transmission when the teacher may not qualify - pros and cons of which can be debatable), but it's still going to be a case by case instance of transmission of an art and rank being an aspect of the relationship between the student and transmitter/student/teacher/organization/whatever.
Perhaps, but the point is that rank only has meaning relative to other people in the organization. It speaks of the transmission itself indirectly through comparison with others who have received some part of that transmission. If a teacher chooses to use rank (and it is choice, although one that is essentially made for you if you happen to be part of an organization that issues rank), then it can become one aspect of the student-teacher relationship, but it still only has meaning in terms of the organization, not the transmission.

Quote:
While I also do get what you mean about organizations sometimes existing to support the organization, rather than further transmission, I would be very careful (good lesson learned for me) about trying to take it upon myself (I train with folks/dojo in organizations periodically, but belong to an independent dojo) to make any worthwhile comments about how aikido organizations exist or should exist. I have enough to do with just being dedicated to my own training and, frankly, what they big groups do is none of my concern.
I have somewhat more of a connection to the big groups than you do, but I'm also independent right now, and I probably will remain that way. In any case, I don't have much to say about what those groups should do. They do what they do. What I'm interested in is why they do what they do (which is not the same thing as why they say they do what they do) so that I can better understand the roots of my own training.

When I first started teaching I had a very hard time getting away from doing things the same way I had seen them done in the organizations I trained in, even though I knew there were a lot of problems with that system. I just didn't know another way. I've spent a lot time discovering other, and I think better, ways of doing things, but it's still a process of exploration, and the more I can understand exactly why things are the way they are in those other places, the more I can determine what needs to be changed in order to go in the direction that I want my students and myself to go.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 09-21-2007 at 06:29 PM.
 
Old 09-22-2007, 12:56 PM   #45
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Out of interest and because I enjoyed reading it, this translation of Yasuo Kobayashi Shihan's blog is relevant to the whole testing discussion, both in terms of how he sees tests and also the failure rate ( particularly note the yondans).

http://www3.cnet-ta.ne.jp/c/coby/aik...dojo/3dan.html

The translation is by Ekoba (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/member.php?u=12375 another Kobayashi dojos student but no relation!) and very welcome for us non-Japanese speakers & readers.
 
Old 10-09-2007, 04:25 PM   #46
John Bernhard
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

In response to the original posters original question.

To say I didn't originally start Aikido when I was 18 so I could get a "black belt" would be a lie. However, the group that I started training with changed my mind considerably by the examples I saw with them. The sensei of our dojo (George Reynolds) had studied for 10 years and was a 1st kyu when I first started. I recall the first seminar I went with him too up in Nashville, TN back in 1998. It was a Doc Jones Sensei/Dennis Hooker Sensei (From Shindai Dojo in Orlando, FL ASU organization) joint seminar, my very first seminar ever, and I had only been training for 6 months previously. My Sensei's Sensei (Dennis Hooker, Sensei) as I recall it from 9 years ago basically told my Sensei he was going to test for Shodan. My sensei really didn't' want too but he did after being told he was going to. It was seeing my sensei's non-importance placed on rank, and more so his being able to grasp the principles of Aikido that changed my mind significantly about attaining of rank. I trained for years and never tested, it just wasn't important. What was more important was my grasping the principles being taught to me by my sensei.

Now 10 years into my training I tested for my 4th kyu, and this time I had the reverse happen to me. I was asked if I wished to test and I said yes. After approximately 2 weeks more of training it was announced that I would test the next time we trained. Did I want too, nooooo, I didnt' feel ready by any means, talk about pressure. However, my sensei (Jim Novak) must have seen something in me that said test him next meeting.

Our instructors are always "testing" us. He tests us when we are working with others he or she tests us when we are uke for them during class, etc. We are constantly being tested. I believe during Seminars for ASU any 1st Kyu who wishes to test for Dan rank must attend 2 seminars with either Ikeda, Shihan or Saotome Shihan before they can test at which point the Shihan will evaluate he candidate for testing. Now there may be other rules that I'm just not aware of and thats alright. However, It sounds like to me that the Sensei is testing the candidate on their understanding of the "principles" of the techniques being studied. These are the same Sensei that will be testing the candidate for Shodan, etc.

As for colored belts and Hakama. One thing I love about my dojo is that anyone may wear Hakama from day one or not at all. Its up to you. Belts....i LOVE my dirty gross white belt. Its very special to me, and I woudln't trade it for anything in the world. It makes me understand why it took my sensei just about a year to change his old white belt into a black belt even after he attained Shodan. As I recall it, he was given one by another Sensei and told to wear it. But that is why I love my Sensei, for he has completely changed my mind and allowed me to focus on learning principle not matching my belt to my Hakama color.

Now I wish to go higher in rank so that I may one day open up my own dojo, but I am glad that I learned some of those lessons above first.

John
 
Old 10-10-2007, 04:11 AM   #47
stelios
Dojo: aikido dojo nippos Crete
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Testing IMHO is all about you learning of what you do not know well. A silent dive deep into oneself.
 
Old 10-12-2007, 12:16 PM   #48
dalen7
 
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Initially my response was similar to some here. Test and achieve rank so that you may teach or open a dojo.

But funny thing is, from what I am seeing, there is so many different ideas of what one should be required to know and do as you 'rank up' in Aikido - that it doesnt really make a difference.

One guy comes from one dojo, goes to another, and you can see a difference. Go to another country, even a different system still.

Worse is what Im seeing in my own dojo. Things are random and without purpose. This bothers me to an extent, and Im learning to 'let it go' as its not that important, but Im the kind of guy that has a list and wants to stick to it and know what it is Im tackling.

I have such a list, but it doesnt appear that it really matters, at least in my dojo. Communication about ranking isnt even there, I had to take it upon myself to find out what test requirements were - most students are clueless at what they need to do.

Funnier yet is we have higher level belts that dont know what they should have known at lower level and I have corrected them (im not even ranked yet...that I know of, I say that kind of jokingly, as it appears that some people can skip test.)

So, at the end of the day - if it were just my dojo, I would say what some of you will say...move on. But again, it does seem subjective to dojo, and has been said before that there is no commmon set requirement, per say. Though, there may be some organizations within Aikido that are more in 'sync' - which Im very sure there is.

At the end of the day, like one guy said, if you know what your doing, people will come. Doesnt matter the color of your belt if you dont know squat.

Peace

dAlen
 
Old 11-08-2007, 10:15 AM   #49
tenshinaikidoka
 
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Dojo: Tri-City Aikido TenShin Dojo
Location: Richland, Wa
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

I have seen white belts that are comletely outstanding Aikidokas and I have seen blackbelts who have no clue what is going on and I wonder how they achieved thier rank. It really is no matter what belt color, just train hard. As for testing, I think it is good not for promotion, but to see a person level of understanding, plus, a sensei (at least in my experience) is always "testing" his/her students. Some people want rank and some want to just train. I really just like to train, but I have rank!!! My humble 2 cents worth!!!
 
Old 11-15-2007, 06:01 PM   #50
gregg block
 
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Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

Testing in Aikido is important for the same reason testing is important in school. It is a measure of your mastery of a given curriculum. Problem is if your curriculum or the person teaching the curriculum sucks getting an "A" is pretty meaningless.
 

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