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Old 02-20-2003, 07:36 AM   #1
Kung Fu Liane
Location: Jersey
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 64
Confused Aikido essays

Does anyone else study with a teacher who encourages them to write essays on martial arts realted topics?

i've heard of dan gradings sometimes incorporating essay writing (from what i know some aikido and karate schools require this), but i've never heard of kyu grade students being asked to do this.

if the teacehr requests that a student writes the essay, does the teacher want to read it at the end, or is it just for the student's personal learning?



Aikido: a martial art which allows you to defeat your enemy without hurting him, unless of course he doesn't know how to breakfall in which case he will shatter every bone in his body when he lands. Also known as Origami with people
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Old 02-20-2003, 03:50 PM   #2
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
My sensei requires us to write a "pre-test interview" for every grading from the very beginning. You are given a list of questions that you need to answer in essay format. The questions never change. They are (in no order): What is your strongest/weakest aikido art or skill? What is the most significant thing you have learned since your last test? Why should you be considered for promotion? Have you used aikido outside the dojo? Give examples.

It's really very interesting to go back and read your old ones and see how you've changed.

At the dan levels we are also required to write a paper on a book that is either assigned or ok'd by sensei.


"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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Old 02-20-2003, 03:53 PM   #3
Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 641
>Bronson Diffin My sensei requires us to write >a "pre-test interview" for every grading from >the very beginning.

I was gonna get all huffy and call that stupid, until I read your questions. Then I changed my mind. Seems like a good idea really.
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Old 02-20-2003, 04:48 PM   #4
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 188
Last essay I did was in college.
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Old 02-21-2003, 12:58 AM   #5
PhilJ's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Bukou
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 240
I used to have essays be a part of a student's exam as well. The questions were nearly identical to the questions Bronson mentioned (which doesn't surprise me because I also am Seidokan along with IAA).

I 'stole' this idea from my teacher, who used the same questions as well. Aikido tests are great for testing physical ability (technique), but to test someone's mettle on paper is even tougher. That said, I still think there is a useful purpose served for eassy tests.

Liane, I, like others, believe tests are for the student, first and foremost. The student learns more about him-/herself that day than ever before, with any luck. Students can take the opportunity to ponder their reactions, try to understand why s/he "got so frustrated" or why s/he lost control of the attacker(s). Sensei learns about the student, too, but I believe that's secondary.


Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
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