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Old 03-31-2005, 12:22 PM   #26
Ki No Nagare
Dojo: Aikido School Ki no Nagare
Location: Waddinxveen
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Re: Grading too fast???????

Quote:
Si Wilson wrote:
You asked so...

I think he should test you if he is picky!

Why would he test me if he knows I am worthy of my kyu?

And I can assure you...when you eventually get a new grade...you are more than worth it.....it may take a while longer than testing once a year....because we must also know things from 1th kyu when we are 5th kyu...

And he expects that when you are shodan.....you will have your own school.....so you must have enough skill and knowledge to do that....

It is not that I think testing isn't necessary or anything....I just never done it.....
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:57 PM   #27
Hardware
 
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Re: Grading too fast???????

My understanding is that in our association one has to be a sandan before they can run their own dojo. Shodan's can teach, but it's under the supervision, or auspices (at the very least) of a sandan.

As much as I dread testing in the period leading up to it, I think testing is important for grading. Yes it's stressful, but that's kind of the idea. The way it's done here, six or seven senior black belts from different dojos observe. This ensures the testing is impartial and not the opinion of one sensei thinking that one of his students is ready to be promoted. This maintains a consistent standard.
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:14 AM   #28
fatebass21
Dojo: Westminster Tenshinkai Aikido Dojo
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Re: Grading too fast???????

If you feel that you are moving too fast why not tell your Sensei that you would like to devote more time and effort to learning the techniques that you feel you are lacking in.
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:49 AM   #29
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: Grading too fast???????

Some excellent points of view from everyone so far, especially nice to see everyone coming together even though many people on this thread have a completely different approach to and system of grading and training!

I would just like to add that Steve passed his grading with both style and great attitude! It was my priviledge to be uke for him during some of it and I didnt let him off easily (god, I love hitting my friends :P ) but he kept a cool head and pulled some beautiful techniques out of the bag. Although he's only been training a year and a half he really does possess skill and (most importantly) spirit beyond his years and time on the mat. Proud to have you has a kohai bud, you deserve it! Cant wait till your second kyu now...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 04-05-2005, 01:51 PM   #30
Tim Gerrard
 
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Re: Grading too fast???????

Still think he graded too fast.....


Aikido doesn't work? My Aikido works, what on earth are you practicing?!
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:17 PM   #31
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: Grading too fast???????

Haha. Well, we need to keep the kids in line I spose Nice one, soon to be skirt wearer gerrard.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:48 PM   #32
TearriaSmith
Dojo: Doshinkan Akido
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Re: Grading too fast???????

In my dojo we test every other month for kyu levels, but once you reach the your first kyu(brown belt), you have wait 6 months to take your black test. To fast? To slow? What do you think?
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Old 05-03-2005, 12:25 AM   #33
PeterR
 
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Re: Grading too fast???????

In reality Kyu grades are nothing but points in a curriculum designed to get you to a level where you can begin to learn Aikido or [insert favorite martial art here]. The amount of technical aspects you have to accumulate during the Kyu grade doesn't really allow for much in the way of internalization and frankly speaking neither does the time span usually required.

We have an hourly minimum and grade every three months. The idea is that your average off the street student should be able to grade successfully if they have those requirements - especially at the lower kyu grades. If this is not the case then perhaps ones curriculum should be re-examined.

I encourage my students to test when they are able. If they don't pass (hasn't happened yet) they know what needs to be fixed over the course of the next three months or possibly the next couple of weeks if its minor. My students travel to Honbu for grading - I don't grade them.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:32 AM   #34
Anat Amitay
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Re: Grading too fast???????

I know someone who learned in England and they graded once every three months. On the other hand, they practiced about 5 days a week.
We have a certain amount of classes needed before each grading but also the feeling of the student. I think it's less important in the first grades, and more imporant around 2nd and 1st kyu, since then the sensei will be making a fool of him/herself if their student is not truely ready for these gradings. I know that Dan grades have a minimum of years in between them, and I guess of the number of training hours too.
just my two cents
Anat
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:46 AM   #35
makuchg
 
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Re: Grading too fast???????

I have training in many different dojos and one thing is certain, Sensei will determine if you should test and what is applicable. I have seen dojo's I though were "belt happy" and promoted to help keep students interested and I've seen dojos that adhere to a lengthy training regiment. I think the important factor is competency. Time does not make a student competent, practice does. 6 months or 6 years, proficiency is measured in performance and Sensei is in the best position to judge. Don't second guess your instructor if he/she says you are ready.

Gregory Makuch
Wandering Ronin
Chesapeake, VA
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:08 AM   #36
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: Grading too fast???????

"In my dojo we test every other month for kyu levels, but once you reach the your first kyu(brown belt), you have wait 6 months to take your black test. To fast? To slow? What do you think?"

How many kyu levels do you have? Our first test is 6 months and then about every 6 months until you get to 2nd kyu. It spreads out after that and you spend about a year as 1st kyu. Roughly 3.5 to 4.5 years to shodan.
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Old 05-04-2005, 03:01 PM   #37
Kevin Kelly
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
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Re: Grading too fast???????

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
"In my dojo we test every other month for kyu levels, but once you reach the your first kyu(brown belt), you have wait 6 months to take your black test. To fast? To slow? What do you think?"

How many kyu levels do you have? Our first test is 6 months and then about every 6 months until you get to 2nd kyu. It spreads out after that and you spend about a year as 1st kyu. Roughly 3.5 to 4.5 years to shodan.
We basically start at "Beginner", then are basically graduated to 7th kyu. That is the first kyu level for adults. To be eligable to test for each kyu you have to have so many training days and of course know the material. I think for us, to go from 1st kyu to shodan, you need 200 training days, plus one year at 1st kyu. But also when testing for 2nd kyu and up in our dojo, you have to wait until sensei says you are ready to test. Basically you have to be invited to test at those levels. I just made 4th kyu. I now have to put in another 60 training days and of course know the material before I can test again. But I think it is different where ever you go.
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:14 PM   #38
MatthewJones
Location: Washington State
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Re: Grading too fast???????

I have a feeling that my dojo is on the slow side compared to some. We only test once a year, although sometimes people skip early belts, I went from 5th to 3rd. Then a year later I took my 2nd. I would imagine in a year I will take 1st. It then requires 400 days from Ikkyu to Shodan which will be at least two years at my rate. So about 6.5 to 7 years for Shodan.

I'll admit that this was a sour point for me when I first started... product of my culture I guess... but as I began to train more and began to look at martial training as a lifelong learning experience I began to care less. Now I'm thinking "When I'm seventy-five years old will I care how many years it took me to get a black-belt?" Hell no! In fact I'm not going to care if I ever get a black belt, just that I am always improving and having fun.
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Old 05-20-2005, 02:09 PM   #39
the slayer
Dojo: kaa headquarters
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Re: Grading too fast???????

are grading is done by so many hours on the mat for 6th kyu this is the first grading for are dojo minimum 80 hours on mat after joining kaa 5th kyu minimum 100 hours practice since previous grading 4th kyu minimum 120 hours practice since previous grading 3rd kyu is 140 hours 2nd is 160 hours 1st kyu 250 hours then shodan 200 days practice min 1yr nidan 300 days min 2 yrs sandan 400 days min 2 yrs i am doing my 4th kyu this week on tue hopefully panicking a bit now. any other dojos do it this way also in the dojo only have white belts get black when shodan.
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Old 05-24-2005, 02:02 PM   #40
Kevin Kelly
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Re: Grading too fast???????

In our dojo, 3rd kyu and up wear hakama. I guess to designate who is sempai. Kyu levels are white belts but with a little strip of colored tape so you can kind of get an idea of where people are at in their training.
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Old 05-24-2005, 03:48 PM   #41
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Hakama and sempai

Quote:
Kevin Kelly wrote:
In our dojo, 3rd kyu and up wear hakama. I guess to designate who is sempai.
Also in Sweden, most dojos have 3rd kyu as a requirement for hakama. Normally, that grade takes about two years to reach.

Regarding the word sempai, I understand it as something relative: I have a sempai, but can still be somebody else's sempai. It's a senior to junior thing: sempai and kohai. It's not titles.
It's the same with sensei, teacher. It's not something you call yourself, but others call you, when appropriate.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 06-08-2005, 02:49 PM   #42
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Grading too fast???????

time spent building a practice is pretty important.
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Old 06-27-2005, 02:50 PM   #43
Steven Tame
Dojo: Hombu Aikikai /North London Aikido Dojo
Location: Tokyo , Japan
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Re: Grading too fast???????

In Hombu Dojo we have a set number of practice days before you can take each kyu grade. From starting you can take 5th kyu after 30 days and then the intervals get bigger 40,50,50,60 and then 70 for the shodan test. Students decide by themselves when they want to test. Kyu gradings are once a month and dan grades once every two months so technically you could become a Yudansha in just over 1 year if you are training every day.

As I side note I decided to grade for 2nd kyu this weekend coming.
Of course I already decided long before now and have been putting in the practice. I just declared my wish to test today. At that time I had a discussion with one of the Shihan's about my commitment to Aikido etc. He also explained that since 2nd kyu is the first of the more senior ranks he would like me to make Hombu my main dojo meaning that I shouldn't really mix gradings from different organisations but of course he didn't mind where I trained. That suits me anyway. Due to study I can only train at hombu for about 2-3 months a year which is when I intend to take my tests anyway.

I got my 3rd kyu after about 1 year. Most of the sensei's seem confident in my ability although they don't actually suggest testing. There are lots of Yudansha here anyway so I usually ask one of them whether they think I can pass the next test or not.

Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes after the weekend.
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Old 06-27-2005, 05:26 PM   #44
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: Grading too fast???????

Edit: I swear there were two posts about what constitues yudansha here a second ago???

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 07-01-2005, 05:45 AM   #45
Nick Simpson
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Re: Grading too fast???????

Good luck this weekend Steven, tell us how it went!

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 07-08-2005, 07:07 AM   #46
Emma Willox
Dojo: Exeter Aikido
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Re: Grading too fast???????

I don't think that 3rd Kyu in a year and a half is to fast as long as your ready. I did something along those lines with the last style I trained in. Whareas with the style I'm in at the moment they only hold gradings once a year, which means you have plenty of time to prefect the movements and locks.
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Old 07-28-2005, 11:48 AM   #47
Terry Lane
Dojo: Acadia Aikikai
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Re: Grading too fast???????

Well there is the other end of this situation where grading is at the discretion of the association and one is invited (or not ) to test at no particular interval. Took me 7.5 years to get to third kyu (6hrs training per week) and although in the year and a half since then I have been practicing 2nd kyu techniques, I have no indication that I'll be asked to grade again.
With the range of criteria that present themselves in response to this type of question, I agree with some of the previous posts that one should enjoy the day to day training. No matter whether you grade fast or slow, by time put in, or by ability or any orther yardstick, someone in another setting, dojo, or group may have the same rank name as you with a very different meaning attached.
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Old 07-29-2005, 02:30 AM   #48
Sonja2012
 
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Re: Grading too fast???????

On the one hand I believe that testing people too fast does not help them at all and will make things more difficult for the student later on. I know someone who often tests people way too early (IMNSHO), the students not even knowing all the entries for their techniques in the test (not because of nerves but because they simply didnīt know and he had to actually talk them through it during the test...). I think testing too fast places too much importance on belt colours and tests and makes people forget that they simply train to get better.

On the other hand, look whoīs talking . I tested pretty much every six months (minimum time between kyu tests required in our organisation, we start at 6th kyu) and am preparing for my shodan test now after the minimum time of 1 year of being 1st kyu. So I was pretty fast for our organisation and have come accross people who thought that I tested too fast. True, I sure was eager to test, but I also practiced a lot and I never asked to be tested. However, I always knew my techniques and my sensei is known for placing a lot of importance on principles and not giving belts away for free.

I feel that a lot of people say that the great thing about aikido is that everybody can take their time and do aikido/test in the speed that suits them, but at the same time that only seems to be true for the people who take long. People who test fast are often met with suspicion and possibly envy.

I think the issue of testing is a complex thing.
Also, getting ready for my shodan test, I wonder if we simply place too much importance on kyu testing. I donīt mean to belittle kyu grades (after all I am one myself), but the first test where one has to really show something (and in our organisation: usually the first test where one gets tested by a board of three people who probably have never met you - therefore making it more "objective" in a a way) is the test for shodan. If someone got tested too fast through the kyu levels, then that person would just have to wait longer to get to shodan. The shodan test kind of levels it out. And as shodan IMHO is the beginning of real learning, everything before that is maybe not so "important" (no offence meant). I dunno, havenīt thought this through and would like to hear what others think about this.
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Old 07-29-2005, 05:24 AM   #49
siwilson
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Freaky! Re: Grading too fast???????

BTW, too fast may be 20 years if you train once every month. A year may be right if you train every day for 8 hours.

To turn this around a little, what do think is a good time to regrade to a Dan grade in a new school or style? It took me 18 months of 2 or 3 times a week, but I have heard of people doing it in 5 or 6 classes!!!!!!!!


Last edited by siwilson : 07-29-2005 at 05:28 AM.

Osu!
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Old 07-29-2005, 07:04 AM   #50
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: Grading too fast???????

Quote:
Si Wilson wrote:
BTW, too fast may be 20 years if you train once every month. A year may be right if you train every day for 8 hours.

To turn this around a little, what do think is a good time to regrade to a Dan grade in a new school or style? It took me 18 months of 2 or 3 times a week, but I have heard of people doing it in 5 or 6 classes!!!!!!!!

Hi Si

I think you've answered your question with you're first statement.

It depends on the quality of the shodan and the extent of the variations.

We've just accepted someones shodan grading by regrading them after about 5 months. Training maybe 4 classes a week plus courses.

There are still somethings to work on but at shodan who is perfect...come to that who is perfect at any grade?

I get visitations from shodans from all sorts of places - currently I've got a yoshinkan hombu trained female shodan and an aussie takemusu shodan.

Both were very different in style to us...but both have enjoyed their practice and wear their existing black belts in the class.

To me its not a big deal what someone else has graded them at - Its just important that they can satisfy our grading criteria before we officially accept their grade.

On the other hand - I've had 'shodans' or higher come in that ended up being helped by beginners ...and students arrive that were given their dan grade as a goodbye present from previous instructors.

These might as well start again.

I'd expect and hope for similar treatment elsewhere. If my style matched then recognise my grade. If it doesn't then start me off again ....assuming I still want to train.

Cheers

D
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