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Old 09-13-2004, 08:02 AM   #26
Dojo: Whitefriar Aikido Club
Location: Dublin
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 14
Re: How do "no test" dojos work?

Hello Heather and all,

I train at a "no test dojo" - of sorts. It's a fairly informal/un-japanese club. We say "thank you" in english, and simply bow to one another standing before each paired practice.

Our instrucotrs (we don't use "sensei") offer that if any individual wants to test, we can do so through the umbrella aikido organization (Irish Aikido Association). So, even though the option is there, it is ineffect a no-rank dojo.

And yes - our instructors hold dan degrees!

I've also trained in a more japanese settting, and tested there. I think testing is a great (though wholly frightening! ) experience.

That said, I think the reason this club doesn't test is to make aikido more accesible (don't quote me on that! It is just my impression!). It's also interesting to me when I have someone ask me if it's my first class too!! (ummm....no!)
- or vice versa : when someone treats me like I could be their senior.

wery,wery intewesting...
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:29 AM   #27
Chad Scott
Dojo: Hombu Aikikai
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 41
Re: How do "no test" dojos work?

A friend of mine used to practice at a small dojo in another part of Tokyo, and his sensei would give them a black belt when he felt they were ready. My friend seemed to like that system. Maybe that's how it was in the old days...?
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:08 PM   #28
Dan Gould
Dojo: Cilfynydd, Pontypridd
Location: Abercynon, Wales
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 49
United Kingdom
Re: How do "no test" dojos work?

My dojo works in the same way. You're a white belt until you're a black belt (damn weird, coz I can't tell how experienced people are there, any my aikijutsu sensei is now a white belt, and we're both as lost as each other, lol). I personally find this comforting, if a little abiguous. All students are on equal ground. I'm not sure if they do gradings, but we all have white belts (not that I have my gi yet.) Maybe they'll just give us a black belt when we're ready, I think it's like that.

It really takes the pressure off and makes me feel more at home. Like there's no showing off, and when I walk into a room, I'm not the only one with a white belt. I like that a lot :-) It's very encouraging.
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