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Old 07-21-2003, 09:41 AM   #1
Steven Tame
Dojo: Hombu Aikikai /North London Aikido Dojo
Location: Tokyo , Japan
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5th kyu test advice for a begginer

I'm going to be taking a test for 5th kyu soon and was looking for some advice on the kinds of mistakes they will look for and how strict the examiners are.

I'm asking because the only kind of martial arts testing I did was a long time ago and was only "kata" based Karate.

If this helps these are the 4 things I need for my test

Katatedori Shiho nage OMOTE/URA

Shomen uchi Irimi nage

Shomen uchi Ikkyo OMOTE/URA

Kokyuho SITTING

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-21-2003, 09:47 AM   #2
justinm
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Things I'd tell someone in my dojo:

Look after your uke.

Breath.

Slow down.

Enjoy it.

The rest is probably dojo specific.

Justin McCarthy
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:17 AM   #3
PhilJ
 
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Stay relaxed, and based on your techniques, keep your weight underside. I once lifted a heavy mahogany desk with my dad, and realized the difference between strength and weight. I was strong, but the desk was heavy. It won.

Most importantly, keep your center. Control yourself, your thoughts, everything -- "be mindful of yourself and the present", as they say.

Good luck!

*Phil

Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
http://www.aikidobukou.com
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Old 07-21-2003, 12:33 PM   #4
rachmass
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Hey, I've got a Steven (different last name) testing for fifth kyu at my dojo soon too, and those are the same techniques! As you were specifically looking for these answers:

"looking for some advice on the kinds of mistakes they will look for and how strict the examiners are." I would say it depends on your teacher and your teachers proclivities. If you were at my dojo, I would say to relax and just try and do the techniques as they have been presented; try and remember the names of the techniques when they are called out (remember, the name of the attack preceeds the name of the technique, e.g., Shomen-uchi (downward strike) then ikkyo); don't try to do anything other than what you have practiced in class, remember, your teacher knows where you are already; to relax and have a good time. I can't say that I would be looking for mistakes, I would be looking for what you did right, and what could be improved upon for the next test (like entering the wrong way or something like this), and wouldn't be that strict on a first test. Sounds like you are USAF-ER, and this is the first test material. You should be serious, but also remember that it is your first test, and the big thing is just getting out there and doing it.

Best wishes on this!

Rachel
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Old 07-21-2003, 12:35 PM   #5
jxa127
Dojo: Itten Dojo -- Mechanicsburg, PA
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Steven,

Something I've done before each of my tests is to visualize how things are going to go while at the same time, going through the motions that I'd do as nage. This has really helped me be confident in my footwork, posture, etc.

Know the techniques as well as you can. Focus during the test on what you're doing. If you are corrected during the test, don't let it bother you -- just take the correction and continue. If you really mess up, don't let that bother you either, just do your best.

Nobody ever does as well as they want to on a test. So just relax and give it your best shot.

Regards,

-Drew

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:53 PM   #6
SeiserL
 
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If your Sensei has asked you to test, you are probably ready. Trust them. Relax, breath, and enjoy yourself. Look forward to the day after your test when you can just resume training.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 07-21-2003, 09:24 PM   #7
opherdonchin
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Everything everyone else said seems exactly right to me. I would emphasize the basic knowledge aspect (knowing what 'shomenuchi ikkyo ura' means) and the relaxed ability to take care of uke. In my experience, when 5th kyu tests are hard to watch it is either because the person simply forgets basic terms (which is a little embarassing for everyone) or else they become over-excited and in their eagerness start really trying to throw uke around.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 07-22-2003, 01:49 AM   #8
Adrian Smith
 
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Hi Steven! Interesting - I'm testing for 5th kyu in a few weeks and my test will be identical to yours except that we have to do morotedori kokyunage in addition to the four waza you listed.

My advice would be to practice them a few times to make sure you're comfortable with them, preferably in front of or with a friendly yudansha to make sure you're doing them correctly and finishing them appropriately. I discovered, for example, that my suwariwaza kokyu ho was incomplete - I wasn't turning to follow uke as he went over and completing the motion by blocking his hands from hitting upwards at my face. We didn't practice it that way in class and so I hadn't learned it.

That sort of thing would bite me in the butt come test day and I wanted to make sure I had it all worked out.

I also discovered that the bowing sequence for my test will be different than that we usually do in class. Again, a close call that would have hurt me at test time! <grin>

Just my $0.02...

-Adrian
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:17 AM   #9
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Another thought:

far more important that figuring out how to do the test 'right' or 'well' may be your own sense of what you want to get out of the test or learn from it. One possibility, of course, is just demonstrating to yourself that you can 'perform under pressure.' That's a fine thing to want to prove to yourself, as far as it goes. Still, it leaves the thing as a test ("am I good enough") and doesn't allow the process to become a learning opportunity. What is the way of approaching this test that will let you learn the most?

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:48 AM   #10
Steven Tame
Dojo: Hombu Aikikai /North London Aikido Dojo
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Wow I honestly didn't expect so many replies.

Thanks for all the advice,I feel a bit more confident about taking the test now.

I think the think that is worrying me is that I'm actually at Hombu and my Japanese isn't that great and I'm scared of doing something silly during the test. The technique names are not a problem. Well I'll post back on my result or any further feedback
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:58 PM   #11
Lan Powers
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Good luck........*breath*

Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 09-04-2003, 07:03 AM   #12
Steven Tame
Dojo: Hombu Aikikai /North London Aikido Dojo
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Only 2 days now

Just 2 days left before my test now and really haven't been practicing as much as I would like to due to interviews for jobs and stuff....

However I'm pretty confident with the techniques now and there are still 6 lessons I can attend before my test. I will ask some Yudansha if I'm making mistakes when I practice next time.

Thanks for all your advice and encouragement.

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Old 09-04-2003, 05:56 PM   #13
Adrian Smith
 
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Hey Steven. I came up to Aikikai Hombu yesterday (Thursday in Japan) and trained for the day. Did you train, and if so, which classes were you in?

-drin
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Old 09-06-2003, 11:13 AM   #14
Steven Tame
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Adrian- I didn't train on the Thursday. I'm in the begginers class on the second floor.

(Japanese 2nd) (European 1st) that is.

The test is tomorrow I'm excited and nervous.
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Old 09-06-2003, 04:32 PM   #15
Adrian Smith
 
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Good luck Steven! We trained on the third floor all day Thursday. I've never SEEN so many hakamas in one place at one time!

-drin
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Old 09-07-2003, 06:38 AM   #16
Steven Tame
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I'm presuming that I passed my test seeing as the examiner said that all the people taking go-kyu were okay except the fact that most people didn't pin the arm from Shiho nage.

Adrian- Yeah I'd like to train on the 3rd floor. Maybe after I get Yon-kyu
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Old 09-07-2003, 09:52 PM   #17
Adrian Smith
 
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Ummm, were we not supposed to train on the third floor? There were two of us from Kurihama Aikido Club there and we just asked at the front desk which floor the class was on. We're only go-kyu and our membership cards verify that but they directed us to the third floor.

No *wonder* we were so tired at the end of the day! <grin>

Anyway, congratulations Steven!

-drin
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Old 09-08-2003, 11:21 PM   #18
Steven Tame
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I don't think there is anything official that says so but my perception is that mt class on the 2nd floor does all of the techniques up to Yon-kyu.... so I'm guessing if you want to practice for 3rd kyu you train on the 3rd floor.

I've never asked though....my class in the UK just did all the techniques in one class but I guess that could be due to the size of the class.
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Old 09-09-2003, 12:52 PM   #19
Aemon_
 
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so did you pass?

later

Richie Anderson
http://www.capitalcityaikido.com
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Old 09-10-2003, 09:21 AM   #20
Steven Tame
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Yeah I passed
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Old 09-10-2003, 10:11 AM   #21
Aemon_
 
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awesome! congrats!

later

Richie Anderson
http://www.capitalcityaikido.com
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Old 09-10-2003, 06:00 PM   #22
Adrian Smith
 
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Congratulations!

-drin
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Old 10-11-2003, 05:18 AM   #23
Steven Tame
Dojo: Hombu Aikikai /North London Aikido Dojo
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Hi everyone! Gonna be going for Yon-kyu next month 2nd November....

I'm not so worried about the test procedure this time.

These are the techniques I need to do

-Shomen uchi ikkyo

-Shomen uchi irimi nage

-kata dori nikkyo

-yokomen uchi shiho nage

-sitting kokyu ho
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Old 10-11-2003, 01:49 PM   #24
Charles
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Pardon me for using this space to vent, but I'm feeling the need.

I made 6th kyu a year and a half ago after more than two years on the mat. Owing to illness, injury and accident I lost four months this spring but almost had enough hours in to test this past July nonetheless. I could deal with the testing master not letting me cram in the missing hours but then they pushed back the day a month - without re-evaluating who was eligible.

So I'm a little annoyed, but I can deal with it and work on practicing patience ... until everybody forgets about the next testing day. I bring the matter up with the testing master and with many an apology we discuss some possible dates. I make it clear that there is one day that I absolutely cannot make, 15 November.

I'm feeling good about this whole testing thing for the first time. I find a sempai and clear time in my calendar for extra training. And then, this morning, they announce the testing date - 15 November.
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Old 10-11-2003, 06:45 PM   #25
bca333
Dojo: Nashville Aikikai
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Testing in general

Steven:

From my own experience, when the instructors nominate you for a test you are already considered to be at that particular level. Most of the "evaluation" is done during regular training. So, clear your mind, focus on the moment, perform each technique as slowly as necessary to make it clear, and above all enjoy it. To illustrate the importance of basics and principles, consider the following total requirement for promotion to

Sandan in ASU:

"All basic techniques performed to demonstrate more understanding of the relationship of basic principle to the technique with maturity and clarity." And that's the updated version; for years it was simply "All previous techniques performed demonstrating kokyu-tanden-ho".

Charles:

I've been there. Before returning to active duty I was in the National Guard, and it seemed that every test date coincided with a weekend drill Needless to say, it only got worse when I returned to active duty. It took me almost eight years to test for Shodan, but then again I had a great test.

Looking back, I have never noticed any dramatic improvement in my technique the day following any promotion, much to my chagrin

The truest test lies in finding a way to deal with a committed and sincere attack, in any case.

Regards, Brad
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