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Old 05-09-2005, 10:54 PM   #1
Kevin Temple
Dojo: Jinbukan
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 35
Quick Test vs Slow Test

In your experience, is it better to push yourself towards an earlier test date to make your training motivated and more focused or to test fewer and farther between to spend more time with the techniques and developing your skills? I'm really curious about it
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:14 PM   #2
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 571
Re: Quick Test vs Slow Test

I don't think it really matters. Its up to the individual and their personal goals. Personally, I train for the technique and the knowledge...not the test.

However, that being said, one reason to go through tests quickly in the beginning is to get your breakfalls up to speed so that you can join in more advanced techniques. Specifically - from a Yoshinkan perspective (which I think you are) - being able to do flips will increase the number of techniques you can do by quite a lot.



Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:46 PM   #3
jester's Avatar
Location: Texas
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 329
Re: Quick Test vs Slow Test

I wouldn't test if I, or my instructor, didn't think I was ready. That way the testing is more of a formality.

Do you get to pick when you test?
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:06 AM   #4
Tim Gerrard
Tim Gerrard's Avatar
Dojo: White Rose Aikikai - Durham
Location: Newcastle
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 156
United Kingdom
Re: Quick Test vs Slow Test

I was quite happy not to test, and went for three years as ungraded (had some fun on courses as a non-grade too, shocked some people), it took my instructor virtually ordering me to grade before I did. Now I realise that it's important as you are giving something back to your instructor and dojo by grading. It's taken me 15 months to get to 1st Kyu, a lot of work and stress along the way too! But it's worth it.

Aikido doesn't work? My Aikido works, what on earth are you practicing?!
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:14 AM   #5
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 916
United Kingdom
Re: Quick Test vs Slow Test

I just did what I was told to do. I find thats the best way to do it

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:57 AM   #6
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
Re: Quick Test vs Slow Test

It isn't about pushing your training to test sooner, but pushing your training so you improve your skills to another level. When I do that testing for my next rank just falls into place, and it's just a result of good hard training rather than the point of training.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:07 PM   #7
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 66
Re: Quick Test vs Slow Test

There are beginner/intermediate/advanced classes at my dojo (Yoshinkan affiliated), and we have a decent-sized student body and consistent influx of beginners. The obvious advantage of ranking, therefore, is moving past the fundamentals and working with more experienced aikidoka.

Before I signed on, I tried out another, smaller dojo of mixed rank classes. I was with them for about a month. The style of training didn't suit me very well, as I felt like I wasn't focused enough in terms of what I was learning. (They were a fine bunch of folks, though, no mistake.) Someone who is more suited to that type of learning environment, I could definitely see taking their time.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:03 PM   #8
Dojo: Bangsar Shobukan
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 12
Re: Quick Test vs Slow Test

But that all comes back to the same issue of doing what suits you, right?

Me, I'm pushing like mad to get through my gradings because I see it as a way of affirming my capabilities...or not. Only under the gun of a true grading test - as an alternative to a street fight or similar altercation - is one really tested as to what you can and cannot do.

Re: Yoshinkan and the other possibilities - again, it's what works for you. I don't pretend to know enough about Yoshinkan to be able to comment properly but I understand there are katas etc. and from my own martial arts background, being able not to have to work through techniques via katas suits me best.

Full circle: it's what works for me. And for you.

Train well. Train safe!
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Old 07-28-2005, 06:30 AM   #9
Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith's Avatar
Dojo: Martha's Vineyard Aikido Club
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 154
Re: Quick Test vs Slow Test

When I was testing for kyu ranks, having the test coming up really helped motivate me to get to the dojo and rack up my training days on the mat. I don't think I would have pushed myself as hard if I weren't working towards a test. After tests, I would generally slack off a little, but not too much.

After my shodan test, with nidan uncountable years in the future, I wound up taking some time off to do things I'd been wanting to do for years, but had put off in part because I needed to get to aikido regularly (a longish saililng trip, travel to lands of no aikido, etc.). Getting back into regular practice was tough, and I'm not even quite sure I've done it yet. There have been some changes in my dojo and the organizational structure outside of the dojo, and my relationship to aikido has definitely changed, and is still in a bit of a limbo.

That was a bit of a digression, but I guess the point is that for me, working towards tests was a good structure which seems to have pretty much outlived its usefulness. Sure, the nidan and sandan tests might still be ahead of me, but I'm not really feeling driven towards training for them, they're so far off in the future, and to me they seem less specific in their goals than the earlier tests.
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