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Old 05-07-2003, 04:45 PM   #1
Dave Miller
Dave Miller's Avatar
Dojo: UCO Budo Society
Location: Oklahoma
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 204
Cool Count-down to Shodan:

Over the next several weeks I will be training for my Shodan demonstration (test). I wanted to elicit any suggestions that any of you Yudansha might have for me.

It's kinda cool, I'll get my M.S. in biology and my Shodan (high school diploma?) in Aikido the same summer.


If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 05-07-2003, 06:28 PM   #2
Jeff R.
Dojo: River Valley
Location: New Hampshire
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 93
Re: Count-down to Shodan:

Dave Miller wrote:
Over the next several weeks I will be training for my Shodan demonstration (test). I wanted to elicit any suggestions that any of you Yudansha might have for me.
Yeah, smile during every technique; mind your manners; let the universe unfold as it should.

And, of course, "If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong."

Good luck with it, and have fun.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-08-2003, 05:58 AM   #3
Greg Jennings
Dojo: S&G BJJ
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,125
Work your tail off!

I had a year to prepare for shodan and still felt cramped.


Greg Jennings
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Old 05-08-2003, 09:46 AM   #4
Dojo: Hacienda LaPuente Aikikai
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 50
The best advice I received before my shodan test was : "remember to breathe".

Good Luck!

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Old 05-08-2003, 10:44 AM   #5
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Dave congrats on being eligible for your shodan. As Tom points out, breathe-most get so nervous they forget to do that and then run out of endurance before the test is over. Another trick to resolve nervousness is to try and disengage your sympathetic nervous system (controls fright/flight). If you have some free style stuff on your test try to do things you know real well-like running through the ikkyo to gokyo techniques systematically-this gives your system time to settle down. Good luck.
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:18 PM   #6
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
I've noticed two common problems when people test, both related to the nervousness mentioned in the other replies. First is that it gets hard to hear the name of the technique called when you are nervous. People often pause in an awkward way to clarify which technique, or they do what they think might be the technique but in a hesitant way. I think you should perform whatever technique you think you heard in a confident manner. Even if you are wrong, it still gives a better impression than pausing or acting halfheartedly.

The second problem I see is that many people scare their uke. The uke attacks in a normal matter, and the person testing often cranks the technique really hard due to nervousness. This causes the uke to hold way back on the subsequent attacks. This often causes nage to crank even harder. It then turns into a downward spiral circle that looks really bad.

I have old videos of my tests that I can't even watch because of the above problems. I have seen a LOT of other people have the same problems I did. I hope this helps you.
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Old 05-09-2003, 12:58 PM   #7
Larry Feldman
Dojo: Atlanta School of Aikido
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 373
I agree with Tom on the importance of breathing. A good way to make sure you do this and don't get carried away with the emotion of the demonstration is to make sure you take a long deep breath (or two)when you pin your uke. Start doing this in your practice - so it will be more natural to do on the demo.
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Old 05-09-2003, 03:36 PM   #8
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
Forget systems! Forget top tips! Forget any hints and pointers!

If you can't get through it on what you know then the time is not right to be shodan. Your teacher thinks it is, so "just do it"!

Good luck, and as my late teacher alway told me, have the courage of your convictions! If you are ready, then you have nothing to be worried about!

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