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Old 09-16-2002, 09:42 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 97
On Testing

I've been taking Aikido for 6 months now and have yet to take my 9th Kyu test. My instructors have said from the beginning that they will let the students know when they are ready to test. I believe they stated that it was proper Aikido etiquette to be told when your ready to test. I have progressed very rapidly in my training, my senseis even tell me so, yet no test. It can be frustrating thinking about this at times since I have put alot of hard work into my training and it seems I am not recieving credit for it. For the most part, this does not bother me since I feel and know how well I am progressing. For me this is satisfactory and is partly why I enjoy Yoshinkan Aikido so much, but from time to time testing does cross my mind. Any thoughts or experience on this?
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Old 09-16-2002, 10:09 AM   #2
Dojo: Tenshin
Location: Higashihiroshima
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 106
So you need to test to receive credit for how much you train? Your seeking acknowledgement via testing and rank? As egocentric as it sounds, rank is also about 'no-ego'. Perhaps your sensei(s) is just "testing" you. Try thinking of every class as a test.. You never know, maybe your sensei(s) will give you a field promotion.

Besides, what is rank? If your proficient with a technique, your uke will know it and others will notice it also.


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Old 09-16-2002, 10:17 AM   #3
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
I'm sure many people would disagree with me on this, but there's nothing wrong with wanting to get tested on time; Human nature being what it is, we do the work, we want to see results, and not only in ability. The belts and levels are established for a reason; we want those belts and levels. I think it's to your credit you've been patient about it and acknowledged that the training itself is more important than advancement of status.

While you're right, your Sensei will tell you when your test comes, I personally don't see anything wrong with respectfully asking him/her if it's coming anytime soon.

If Ontario yoshinkan's anything like Ontario Ki Society Aikido, the reason you may not have been tested yet is because of a distinct lack of Yudansha - our dojos are few and far between; getting enough Yudansha together to test students is a bothersome problem at times. (For instance, we have a Yudansha in Cambridge, another one a couple hours away in Chatham, and one about 4 hours in the other direction; in Kingston. Yeeps!)


Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 09-16-2002, 09:41 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 97
Thanks for the replies, but I dont feel like im being egocentric. Maybe that came out wrong? I dont feel like I need to test. Aikido has given me and continues to give me all the necessary skills and ideas I need to be a better person. I dont care about how I compare to others. I like training my hardest and helping others to do their best aswell.

Its one thing to participate and do the various techniques with the class, and its another to get up and perform infront of others. So maybe I feel that I'm missing out on something by not testing or I want a more critical view on how my skills are progressing. Is there anything wrong with that? Am I really missing out on something by not testing?
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Old 09-16-2002, 10:36 PM   #5
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794

each individual needs to follow what is right with them. I know several people who never wanted to test, and usually got dragged into it unknowingly (took an hours worth of ukemi; got called up to test during a regular class, etc). I know one man who never has taken a test in his aikido life, yet is a third dan who's been practicing 20 plus years.

Definately a "to each his own" problem.

My last "test" was a demonstration for my sensei. It was really the most difficult "test" I ever had to do, because I had to think about it, prepare, and had no excuse to mess up! I learned a great deal from that "test", and am glad I did it. But then again, that is me, and others could/would feel completely different.

You'll know what is right for you. Just work with that.

all the best,

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Old 09-22-2002, 04:50 PM   #6
Location: Auckland
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 971
New Zealand
Hi Bryan

While 6 months is certainly enough training to do your first grading (especially if your school starts at 9th kyu), some schools will only hold gradings every 6 months or so. Since you've been there have other students been tested? How long ago? Many schools will test twice a year so it may be that while *you're* ready, it's just not grading time yet.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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