Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Testing

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-25-2003, 02:45 PM   #26
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Re: I couldn't help myself......

Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
Which leaves me to wonder... clearly Sensei knew the student's abilities, why not just award the rank
I like Ted's answer and it's probably as accurate as I could guess: "Maybe the sensei knew the student's abilities, but the student didn't. That's why a test was needed."

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2003, 07:35 PM   #27
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
Offline
Ted and Don,
Quote:
Maybe the sensei knew the student's abilities, but the student didn't. That's why a test was needed
Maybe. "Needed" is such a strong word.

Certainly there are some students who, for whatever reason(s), feel as though they aren't up to par. But a 15 minute test will enlighten such a student more than weeks/months/years of training? --- how about a frank, 5 minute conversation?

Regards,

Paul
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2003, 11:10 AM   #28
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
....a 15 minute test will enlighten such a student more than weeks/months/years of training? --- how about a frank, 5 minute conversation?
I understand your point, but I think part of the point of aikido is doing, not talking. Knowledge and insights come in through the body.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2003, 08:33 PM   #29
Nick P.
 
Nick P.'s Avatar
Dojo: Sukagawa Aikido Club of Montreal
Location: Montreal
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 639
Offline
Quote:
Don J. Modesto (Don_Modesto) wrote:
I understand your point, but I think part of the point of aikido is doing, not talking. Knowledge and insights come in through the body.
I would agree with you, Don. Mat time is practice time, and it is through practice that one learns. However, many do not share our views, and I have come to appreciate that some want to "know" (ie talk about).

Some need to talk or be talked to.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2003, 04:06 PM   #30
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Quote:
Nick Pittson (Nick P.) wrote:
I have come to appreciate that some want to "know" (ie talk about).

Some need to talk or be talked to.
er, as evidenced by this forum and, um, you and me here...

Thanks for the post.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2003, 06:52 PM   #31
Nick P.
 
Nick P.'s Avatar
Dojo: Sukagawa Aikido Club of Montreal
Location: Montreal
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 639
Offline
Quote:
Don J. Modesto (Don_Modesto) wrote:
er, as evidenced by this forum and, um, you and me here...
Y'know, I didn't even notice that...

That's funny.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2003, 10:32 AM   #32
acot
Dojo: West Michigan Aikido
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 112
United_States
Offline
Ranking is a great tool to be used in gadging ones Aiki path. However, a lot of business and polticking gets invovled and it tends to lose all value.

As an english teacher I also know that when a student knows what they need to learn in a certain amount of time they tend to stay more focused on the subject at hand.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2003, 01:49 PM   #33
Joe Jutsu
Dojo: Currently relocating
Location: On the Road, USA
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 100
United_States
Offline
Man, I wish my last test was only 15 minutes long!

I'm in agreement with those who said that they don't really care about ranking, but I will say that my last (4th kyu) test really whipped me into shape. I was asked (sorta told but I could have refused) that I was testing in January, and for about a month I drilled nothing but those techniques that would be on the test. Needless to say, I was SO tired of doing the same handful of techniques, but as of testing time my kokyunage's had never been stronger (including now ). So it was a beneficial experience, and it felt great to get it other with.

A non-Aikido friend told me that you have to register with the government when you reach a black belt... I live in the US, has anybody heard about this? Is it only in certain states, or certain martial arts? I would like to know, because this would definitely keep me from ever taking a dan test (assuming that I make it that far down the path, which I'd like to think that I will). Thanks for the help and the interesting thread.

Joe
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2003, 08:27 PM   #34
acot
Dojo: West Michigan Aikido
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 112
United_States
Offline
I don't know of any law the requires black belts of any martial art to register with any agency. I might be wrong, but what good way to have an ego trip. The US government now considers you a WMD..

ryan
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2003, 08:54 PM   #35
Dross
 
Dross's Avatar
Dojo: Goleta Cultural School
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 22
Offline
You don't have to currently, there was talk about doing it in New York IIRC. And I believe it was the dojos that had to register, not the individual black belts.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2003, 11:07 AM   #36
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,631
Offline
Avoiding Testing

In my opinion the "I'm not into rank" thing is a form of false humbleness that simply masks a reluctance to step up to the plate and take the risk and deal with the pressure of testing. In saying it's "no big deal" the student makes it a big deal and is avoiding it. I will occasionally let students slide on testing when I know they have a great deal of pressure in their lives outside the dojo. What they need at that time from their Aikido training isn't more pressure. But they know that at some point I expect them to get on with it.

Someone said

"The Sensei knows how good someone is... why doesn't he just give the rank that reflects the skill?"

This reflects a lack of understanding about the function of testing. There is no competition in Aikido. One of the few times in your Aikido career that you will have to step up and put it all on the line is testing. The point isn't to recognize ability (although that is a result) but rather to get that individual to make a concerted effort beyond whatever his standard level of commitment is. Ability isn't the point, it is making the jump to a new level that is the whole point of testing.

We test during seminars and there will be dozens of people, including many heads of other dojos, attending. There's a lot of pressure not to get out there and look like a fool. Also, my students are quite aware that their performance reflects on the dojo and myself. My own teachers don't see me more than a couple three times a year at camps and seminars. The only real way they can judge what I am doing as a teacher at my dojo is by the students I am turning out. This puts even more pressure on the person testing. Since this is a martial art and not just a social club I consider that pressure to be quite valuable. Students find out quite a lot about themselves in the process preparation for and then the doing of the actual test.

I think that it is precisely this "finding out" that the anti-testing people are really avoiding. Having to face whatever stuff you have is not usually something people willingly go after.

It's been many years since I had to worry about testing. But last year I was invited to demo at the Aiki Expo. Getting up in front of seven hundred people, many of them teachers of various arts whom I highly respect, reminded me of what I had felt like when I was testing so many years ago. It had that "No more time for practice, no more second and third chances, just get out and do it now" feel that a martial encounter has. Any screw-up would be there for all to see, permanently as they were filming. It reminded me why the ritual of testing is important in the development of the kind of spirit that I am looking for in my students.

I am surprised at how many posters have said things along the lines of the Sensei shouldn't make you test, or that it should be up to you when you feel like doing it... One of the functions of a teacher is to encourage you to make those jumps that come with facing things you don't want to do.

Finally, testing has a social function within the dojo. No one can prepare for a test alone. When someone is getting ready to test the whole dojo community is involved. The beginners support the effort by being patient with the fact that for a bit of time they don't get quite the attention from the seniors as they are focusing on working with the test candidates. All of the candidate's peers and seniors have to step up to the plate and put in extra effort, sometimes within class and often after hours, to help him prepare. The energy of the whole dojo rises when testing is approaching. If the candidate(s) is doing his job he actually pulls the whole dojo up in his wake to a higher level of effort. The beginners see a wonderful example of focused training which can be quite inspirational for them.

I think that the arguments for testing far outweigh the arguments against both for the individual and the dojo as a whole. I think those folks who have a "button" which they ought to look at in an honest fashion.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2003, 11:51 AM   #37
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
Offline
George,

Hiya!
Quote:
Someone said "The Sensei knows how good someone is... why doesn't he just give the rank that reflects the skill?"
That would have been me.
Quote:
This reflects a lack of understanding about the function of testing.
Thanks. See if you can find a crueler way of saying it
Quote:
There is no competition in Aikido.
cough *** Tomiki *** cough
Quote:
One of the few times in your Aikido career that you will have to step up and put it all on the line is testing.... snip
Aikido's put on the line everytime we step on the mat. Everything we do is a reflection of our ability. For example, a shodan is judged by their ability with every action they do by everyone present (based on people's notion of what a shodan should be). More specifically, if a shodan bows out of warm up, for no apparent reason ... falls when they should be throwing (and uke is of a lower rank and skill) ... cannot perform a technique with a cooperative uke ... these actions all add up and suggest maybe the shodan shouldn't be a shodan.

For me, personally, stepping up and testing wasn't that big a deal. Sure, I would be nervous. Sure, I wanted to do well. And yeah, I've seen people who had honest to goodness panic attacks while testing, but not me. Put in shiai, though, and I get an adrenaline dump every time.

Be honest, haven't you seen people pass exams that you personally wouldn't have passed if the decision was yours? I bet we all have.

I feel that current exams are waaaay to subjective for my preferrence. Hence, I would prefer no rank be assigned to anyone. I've gone into detail about this on the other forum, so I'm sure you're familiar with why I feel the way I do. But for those who don't know me, I have tested many times, hold rank and (this is key) I haven't returned my rank in aikido to Hombu, so I freely confess I'm being a hypocrite. (Gotta tell the truth).

As always, George, I appreciate your posts more than I can express and I appreciate your honesty and integrity.

Warm Regards,

Paul
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2003, 12:26 PM   #38
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,631
Offline
Too Direct! Sorry!

Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
George,

Hiya!
That would have been me.
Thanks. See if you can find a crueler way of saying it
cough *** Tomiki *** cough

Aikido's put on the line everytime we step on the mat. Everything we do is a reflection of our ability. For example, a shodan is judged by their ability with every action they do by everyone present (based on people's notion of what a shodan should be). More specifically, if a shodan bows out of warm up, for no apparent reason ... falls when they should be throwing (and uke is of a lower rank and skill) ... cannot perform a technique with a cooperative uke ... these actions all add up and suggest maybe the shodan shouldn't be a shodan.

For me, personally, stepping up and testing wasn't that big a deal. Sure, I would be nervous. Sure, I wanted to do well. And yeah, I've seen people who had honest to goodness panic attacks while testing, but not me. Put in shiai, though, and I get an adrenaline dump every time.

Be honest, haven't you seen people pass exams that you personally wouldn't have passed if the decision was yours? I bet we all have.

I feel that current exams are waaaay to subjective for my preferrence. Hence, I would prefer no rank be assigned to anyone. I've gone into detail about this on the other forum, so I'm sure you're familiar with why I feel the way I do. But for those who don't know me, I have tested many times, hold rank and (this is key) I haven't returned my rank in aikido to Hombu, so I freely confess I'm being a hypocrite. (Gotta tell the truth).

As always, George, I appreciate your posts more than I can express and I appreciate your honesty and integrity.

Warm Regards,

Paul
Paul,
Sorry if I was too direct. I get carried away by making the argument. Too much time spent arguing politics with my right wing grandfather growing up. Didn't mean to be a hardass.

You notice that I didn't actually talk much about rank. The rank part of it is secondary and not that important. It's the test itself and the preparation for and doing of it.

My apologies of course to the Tomiki folks. The fact that they have competition develops certain strngths that the general Aikido population doesn't tend to have. Since there isn't all that much Tomiki style here in the US, I forget about them sometimes when refer to issues that effect Aikido in general.

As for passing people who didn't deserve to pass... That is a whole can of worms that has been opened here before and I won't get into it. The subjective nature of grading has made Dan rank irrelevant from the standpoint of indicating any particular standard of ability. It doesn't however usually indicate some level of commitment and that can be an important recognition as well.

Anyway, please accept my apologies for any offense given. It wasn't intentional in any personal way. Just too agressive a communications style. I like to debate (in case you couldn't tell).

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 05-09-2003 at 12:29 PM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2003, 12:38 PM   #39
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
Offline
George,
Quote:
Anyway, please accept my apologies for any offense given. It wasn't intentional in any personal way. Just too agressive a communications style. I like to debate (in case you couldn't tell).
No apology needed, no offense taken. Heck, one o' these days, we'll meet and the first round's on me.

Warm Regards,

Paul
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2003, 03:53 PM   #40
Darren Raleigh
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 22
Offline
The shortest test I ever saw:

"If I tested you today, would you pass?"

"Hai!"

"You did."

I should add that the Sensei had worked with this particular young lady for years and knew her integrity.

"If he would not be a stick whirled and whelmed in the stream, he must be the stream itself, all of it, from its spring to its sinking in the sea."
- Ogion the Silent
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Grading question advice please Anonymous Anonymous 73 02-07-2006 10:34 AM
grading on tues the slayer Training 13 05-30-2005 05:02 AM
Grading Issues and Questions :MAD: tiyler_durden Training 18 03-18-2005 04:49 PM
Seminar and grading Henning Ulseth General 1 11-02-2004 08:02 AM
Argh! Grading tonight! Amassus Testing 7 06-23-2004 05:55 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:08 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate