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Old 09-22-2009, 04:18 PM   #26
tarik
 
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

Quote:
George Howard wrote: View Post
I agree with Tarik (that the person grading's reputation is at stake when awarding grades)
I don't think that's exactly what I said, although I guess that can also be inferred and is an important point. I was referring more to students who question or doubt their promotions.

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George Howard wrote: View Post
In my opinion, footwork is key in aikido, so if footwork is lacking/non-existent, then the technique is inadequate; seeing these people grading who have inadequate footwork is galling to me - it's a poor reflection on a great aikidoka that such people are graded. If you aren't able to perform the footwork, or suwari-waza due to bad knees, or not being limber enough, or whatever, then you aren't adequate enough to progress through gradings, simple as that - that's the point of a grading (in my opinion): there are certain things in aikido which, if you can perform, you are awarded a grade to 'prove'.
I agree and would add that posture is just as important as footwork. However, I don't see suwari-waza as absolutely necessary for learning how to become skillful (except when training with my 4'10" students). Of course, that could be my body speaking, which always hates me after I do some.

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George Howard wrote: View Post
Also: my first post, so hello to everyone.
Hello, George, and welcome to aikiweb.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:27 PM   #27
Gorgeous George
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

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Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
So you are telling me that if an older person joins aikido who has bad knees that they can't test and go up in rank? You can do the same techniques from standing as you can in suwariwaza. In my dojo, a person with bad knees wouldn't even be able to test and would be 6th kyu forever because suwariwaza shomenuchi ikkyo and suwariwaza ryotedori kokyuho is on the first test.

That just doesn't seem fair to me......
Well i guess that would beg the question of why suwari-waza techniques are in the grading if they aren't relevant...

I guess that what i'm saying is that if you can't do a technique (whether that is tenchi-nage or anything in suwari-waza), then it doesn't make sense that you are given a grade which, by definition, says that you can do that technique.

And surely grade is an important thing in this sense: if somebody unable to perform something on the 2nd kyu syllabus was given a dan grade in spite of this, and was to end up teaching a class (which a dan grade permits you to do, in a lot of cases at least) which included this technique, then somebody may get seriously hurt.

The fact is, as 'happysod' said: permanent disabilities or illnesses may affect your capabilities; - we're not all gonna be big sports stars, or astronauts - that's life. It'd be great to give everybody a black belt, and make them feel really good, but you have to do certain things to get it; and if you do give grades out willy-nilly then it will make a mockery of the hard work put in by people who have truly earned them, and you won't be able to tell anything about somebody's proficiency by grade; the point of a grade would be nullified.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:36 PM   #28
Gorgeous George
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I don't think that's exactly what I said, although I guess that can also be inferred and is an important point. I was referring more to students who question or doubt their promotions.

I agree and would add that posture is just as important as footwork. However, I don't see suwari-waza as absolutely necessary for learning how to become skillful (except when training with my 4'10" students). Of course, that could be my body speaking, which always hates me after I do some.

Hello, George, and welcome to aikiweb.

Regards,
Hi, thanks for the welcome.

I guess what i meant was that if somebody has been given a grade which they don't deserve, then someone who does deserve it is given that grade, then it tarnishes the deserved grade.
My thinking this is as a result of (particularly recent) experience to be honest.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:43 PM   #29
BWells
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

As someone with bad knees who can't do suwariwaza anymore I'm pretty sure I don't agree with the comment that I don't deserve to advance in grade or that this lack of ability to do suwariwaza degrades the rank I hold.

The question for me is not can I do suwariwaza, but can I demonstrate the principals that suwariwaza teaches. Can I move from center, drop my weight, be grounded, etc. If I can demonstrate the principals that we usually use suwariwaza to teach, then I can still truly deserve my grade.

Thanks
Bruce
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:05 PM   #30
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

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George Howard wrote: View Post
Well i guess that would beg the question of why suwari-waza techniques are in the grading if they aren't relevant...

I guess that what i'm saying is that if you can't do a technique (whether that is tenchi-nage or anything in suwari-waza), then it doesn't make sense that you are given a grade which, by definition, says that you can do that technique.
I'm not saying they aren't relevent. You can demonstrate something without actually doing it by principles. The person could sit in a chair and have someone across from them sitting in a chair who does the attacking. They are still sitting and they are still using all the same principles behind the technique and are eliminating the need for them to further damage their knees.

Quote:
George Howard wrote: View Post
The fact is, as 'happysod' said: permanent disabilities or illnesses may affect your capabilities; - we're not all gonna be big sports stars, or astronauts - that's life. It'd be great to give everybody a black belt, and make them feel really good, but you have to do certain things to get it; and if you do give grades out willy-nilly then it will make a mockery of the hard work put in by people who have truly earned them, and you won't be able to tell anything about somebody's proficiency by grade; the point of a grade would be nullified.
I agree with you to an extent. I think that there should be a certain level of skill needed. I have always been against people getting belts that have not earned them. However, if you can demonstrate the technique standing, you are still doing the technique. Are you saying that those people (like my sensei) who can't do suwariwaza anymore due to age or injury should have their rank taken away because they can no longer demonstrate the technique to those lower then them?

I guess we are never going to agree with each other and that is fine. Life would be boring (though much more simplistic) if everyone had the same opinions.

Oh and in case you are wondering, I do not have bad knees so I am not biased for that reason.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #31
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

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In my opinion, footwork is key in aikido
Footwork is only part of it. How a person moves is as important as where they move to. How is the posture held? How is tension dissipated?

Quote:
If you aren't able to perform the footwork, or suwari-waza due to bad knees, or not being limber enough, or whatever, then you aren't adequate enough to progress through gradings, simple as that
I have bad knees, don't do suwari waza, and don't require it of my students. Does that disqualify me?

Quote:
Also: my first post, so hello to everyone.
Hello and welcome.

Michael Hacker
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Renshinkan
http://renshindojo.com/

自由心流合気武道 - 鍛心館
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:38 PM   #32
mjhacker
 
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

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George Howard wrote: View Post
Well i guess that would beg the question of why suwari-waza techniques are in the grading if they aren't relevant...
Actually, suwari waza is almost completely irrelevant to my practice. (Well, 99.99999999% so.) It can be an interesting exercise once in a while, and can be used to illustrate the point that I can still do techniques on someone much bigger than me. If anything, suwari waza has only served to screw up my hips and knees permanently.

BTW, not to be a stickler, but the phrase "beg the question" is a actually logical fallacy that is often misused when people really mean "raise the question." - see: http://www.fallacyfiles.org/begquest.html. Like I said earlier... I'm picky. ;-)

Michael Hacker
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Renshinkan
http://renshindojo.com/

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Old 09-22-2009, 07:02 PM   #33
Gorgeous George
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

Bruce, Ashley, Michael: i understand what you're saying about suwari-waza not being definitive....
And the case of somebody who has practised aikido for fifty years but due to age can no longer perform ukemi or suwari-waza perhaps, but is very very skilled at applying techniques/footwork etc. does show that somebody's inability in basic areas doesn't necessarily tell the whole story...

I guess what my complaint is, to try and explain it as comprehensively and specifically as possible, is that some/a lot of people never obey/practise certain things which are cornerstones of aikido: most commonly in my experience is footwork. I practise with a person who tries to make out like he's really martial and expert and so forth, who has no footwork to speak of.
He can apply nikkyo (way too harshly by the way), sankyo, etc. but he just has no footwork; what's the use in having a gun if you have no fingers (*insert a better analogy*)?
When it comes time to practise swordwork, he's not very good, because swordwork really is all about footwork (isn't it?), and i am considerably superior to him (in my humble opinion...).

mjhacker: hahaha, being a philosophy student i shouldn't have made that mistake...my apologies. Thank you for being a stickler.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:31 PM   #34
mjhacker
 
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

Quote:
George Howard wrote: View Post
I guess what my complaint is, to try and explain it as comprehensively and specifically as possible, is that some/a lot of people never obey/practise certain things which are cornerstones of aikido: most commonly in my experience is footwork.
This is why we have what basically amounts to a solo tai sabaki 'kata' that we teach beginning students first. After a student has gotten through this and is somewhat competent at it, we introduce them to another 'kata' that teaches the building blocks of all techniques without being techniques themselves. It all works brilliantly. Everyone from the newest beginner to the most senior person in the family works on these... forever polishing.

Quote:
mjhacker: hahaha, being a philosophy student i shouldn't have made that mistake...my apologies. Thank you for being a stickler.
You'll be amused, then, that at first glance, I thought you were thanking me for being a "tickler."

Michael Hacker
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Renshinkan
http://renshindojo.com/

自由心流合気武道 - 鍛心館
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:56 PM   #35
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Re: Test Passing Standards - What is it?

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Jordan McClure wrote: View Post
I'm far from an expert, but the impression I get from our dojo is that the tests are more demonstrations than tests, and therefore unless something goes horribly wrong, everyone passes.

The senseis won't let people test who they aren't sure are ready and thus the real "test" is in whether or not your sensei thinks you are ready to represent the dojo at the test.
I agree until it is time to test for dan rank. I've seen many fail the shodan test. Some teachers look for certain things and if not seen they will fail you!
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