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Old 07-24-2002, 05:45 PM   #1
David H
Dojo: Slough UK
Location: Slough UK
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 7
Essay for Dan Grading?

Hi all,
Just curious:: A friend (who is taking Shodan in 4 weeks) and I were discussing how difficult it is to write your essay so it makes sense and you like it.

Then we wondered... do all organisations ask for an essay to accompany Dan grade applications?

And if you do - what do you all try to write about?
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Old 07-24-2002, 07:10 PM   #2
Thalib's Avatar
Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 504
I'm preparing for my shodan grading sometime in January-February 2003. I'm starting to write a short paper, almost done. Right now I'm writing the significance of ukemi and uke in Aikido training. Ukemi and uke is widely misunderstood, I'm just going to write the proper significance of ukemi and the uke from my point of view, through what I have learned.

The essay will be quite subjective, there's actually no need for references. It is just to show how far you have come in understanding Aikido. Doesn't have to be scientific nor spiritual, just write what is true and what you believe. Don't try to sugar-coat it, because they will know.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 07-24-2002, 07:58 PM   #3
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,049
I know that some organizations do have such "ronbun" type of requirements for gradings, but I can't say I've ever done such, nor do I expect I'll be needing to any time soon, either...

-- Jun

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Old 07-24-2002, 09:43 PM   #4
Dojo: Aikido Kokikai Delaware
Location: Delaware, USA
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 57
As I've only just tested for 4th kyu, it'll be quite awhile before I need to test for shodan.

I practice kokikai aikido, and yes, it requires an essay for shodan and a photo as well.

Good luck on your essay,


P.S. Maybe just try to let it flow without your mind getting in the way too much. Then go back afterwards, and see if you can reform it into something worthwhile. It may come together better than you expected.

Jason Hobbs
"As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life."
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:18 PM   #5
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 188
I did not have to write an essay or a paper for my shodan test. My school is aikikai affiliated.
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Old 07-24-2002, 11:03 PM   #6
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
Location: Middle of nowhere in California 14 miles from Buellton
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 238
Wow speak of the devil I'm grading for sodan in 4 weeks to! Yes I have to write an essay, so I'm brushing up on my grammer! grrrrrrrrrr What fun!

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 07-25-2002, 12:23 AM   #7
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
In seidokan individual sensei are given wide lattitude on adjusting testing requriments. As far as I can tell as long as they don't go below what is required by the organization they can add all the extra stuff they want to

Our sensei has a pre-test interview we have to write. It's a list of questions that you are supposed to answer in the body of an essay. It starts with the very first adult test (6th kyu) and continues on through sandan I believe. The questions never change, but your answers should as your understanding deepens. He has recently added a "book reaction paper" for all dan testing. He has a list of approved books or if he thinks there is a particular book that you would benefit from he'll assign it to you. I'm in the process of reading mine for my nidan test right now. I get to be in the first wave of people who get to do the "book report"....lucky me


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