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Old 05-21-2002, 01:07 PM   #1
Sherman Byas
Dojo: Anshindokan Dojo
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 44
Surprise Ni Kyu Test!

Saturday's adult class started with everyone grabbing a Jo and going over the first two katas. Sensei made me go over them by myself in front of everyone. Didn't seem to a big deal because he will often have someone do it alone on occasion to check for a glitch or three. Same thing for the first two Bokken kata. Then Sensei showed a technique that involved a brakfall at the end. I don't do well at breakfals but on Saturday he picked on me some more and I did several excellent breakfalls. (A tip to those trying to get the "breakfall thing", Relax!)

To my surprise he then stopped class and had me come out and be nage (or tori) for several techniques. I missed the Ni Kyu test in March because I was out of commision from a car accident. Well I thought this was a review.

Surprise ,after I completed my spirited review (i went over everything on my test) he asked the class how they thought I did and they actually were pretty hard on me. No more so than me on myself. Then he words were "Well that was your test, you are now Ni Kyu." I cried.

Has anyone ever seen or heard of such a thing? Not the crying to all the comedians out there, but the suprise testing. If you are Sensei, have you ever done this before and why?
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Old 05-21-2002, 01:14 PM   #2
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,049
Hi Sherman,

I don't think I've ever been at a "non-test" test where the participant didn't know that s/he was being tested. I have been present for "pop tests" wherein the person testing in one instance was used as our teacher's uke for the entire hour (which, let me tell you, is like a marathon in and of itself) and then, right afterwards, tested for shodan. He passed, and our teacher gave this person his own black belt right then and there after the test. It was his last night of training before he headed back to his home country...

(I had 10 hours notice on my last exam...)

In any case, congratulations! Now, get back to training.

-- Jun

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Old 05-21-2002, 01:38 PM   #3
Sherman Byas
Dojo: Anshindokan Dojo
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 44
I intend to do just that. Being a glutton for punishment, I will participate in Sense's annual semiar. It wil be jujitsu & many of us are anticapitng much pain and suffering.

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Old 05-21-2002, 02:03 PM   #4
Dojo: Norwich School of Aikido Dynamic
Location: Norwich
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 28
Hi, my Sensei does not do gradings for the first few ranks, he watches and after he thinks you have come far enough he will give a belt with no warning.

Sometimes he will get us to do a one in the middle any defense against, punches or something like that and he will see what you have remembered and what you can do off the top of your head. I like this it is god fun and gets you moving and thinking about what you are doing.


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Old 05-21-2002, 03:36 PM   #5
Dojo: University of Chicago Aikido Club
Location: Chicago
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 36
Great Job

First of all Good Job Sherman. I'm sure it must have been an excellent exhibition. Secondly, I recently had a friend go through the exact same experience. Our sensei asked him to demonstrate several techiques for the class and in the process be "very attentive to his body". As he went though each technique he became more and more confident of his technique and at the end we all congraduated him on his wonderful nage and uke waza. In all I believe what your sensei may have done was see you be confident enough to handle this type of situation, where in fact you would be surprised as to the abruptness of the test. Yet, at the same time, show enough composure to execute your technique to the best of your ability. That in itself is a part of Aikido, to expect the unexpected, even when it seems so familiar, "Expect nothing. Be ready for anything." But, as you showed, the ability to stay calm, react, and most importantly, to adjust, made your test so memorable and emotional. Best to you on your next test.

Good Training,
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Old 05-21-2002, 05:47 PM   #6
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
My sensei does stuff like that. He does seem to tailor it to fit the individual, whatever will be the hardest on the person. I was given almost two weeks notice for my shodan (just enough time to worry and loose sleep, but not enough to actually learn anything). His step-son found out that he was testing for shodan when he was told to lead warm ups and that he was testing that day.

I kind of like the idea of watching people everyday and seeing what they do and how they act when they don't know they're under the microscope. Seems to me you'd getter a more honest representation.

That's just me though.


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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