Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ah Heck 2 Weeks! Really!??

I get to the dojo on Friday night and there is a notice posted that there is a test in two weeks (well... 1 and 1/2 now). This isn't a lot of time to prepare for a test. And... what do we do that Friday night? 1st kyu techniques. As far as I know (although I may be wrong) there isn't anyone testing for 1st kyu this period.

I'm way overdue for a test. I have something like double the number of hours needed for a 2nd kyu test. So now I'm torn. I want to take it to get it out of the way but it kills me to give a crap test from lack of practice.

Peter was kind enough to go over a couple of techniques on Sunday that are on the test. Monday night I asked for help at North Shore Aikido and they were kind enough to do a couple of other techniques for test and cover another on another day. The fact of the matter is... other than those few classes, I hadn't seen a test technique for 2nd kyu in months/years. Previous to this I was seeing lots of 1st kyu, shodan, and nidan stuff. Fun to be sure and some of my henka waza is looking pretty good. This doesn't help me for the upcoming test however.

I hadn't even run through the whole test with anyone as yet. No idea who could uke for me.

So.... do I test or not?


At January 31, 2012 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya, but not THERE.

At January 31, 2012 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think taking that test is not good aikido. You are reacting to a situation which feels wrong and are still considering it. Would you do this in any other situation unless you were forced into it? If you want to test, practice for a few more weeks, feel comfortable with your techniques and let us know. We have tests coming up soon anyway. Rob

At January 31, 2012 11:57 PM, Blogger Poxbox said...

Two things immediately pop into my mind.

I got the distinct impression from Mike that testing at NSA was not an option. Although I attend regular classes I am still a drop in at NSA and not a full time student.


Second.... if I did, the last person from Shodokan that tested outside the dojo was kicked out. No discussion... no teaching moment created... just simply booted from the dojo in a very non-aiki manner. Even when she asked to come back she was refused.

This of course poses an interesting question. What lesson did that teach?

Am I not testing at NSA because I have fear of being booted or is it out of respect?

At February 01, 2012 2:11 PM, Blogger aikidonut said...

Which particular 2d kyu techniques do you feel uncomfortable with? for moretetori nikyo, there is a high and a low finish, are you ok on both ?could you explain your reluctance to test..I would take it, mainly because I imagine your hours aren't going to start accruing for the 1st kyu test until you pass the 2d kyu, and you already have over the required amount for 1st kyu.

At February 01, 2012 2:28 PM, Blogger aikidonut said...

oh, and here's an ok 2d kyu test, this aikidoka was kind enough to post the entire thing


I couldn't attest to its correctness, especialy the randori,but it's the most lucid one on YT.

At February 01, 2012 9:26 PM, Blogger Poxbox said...

Nice test to watch. I'll have to watch the whole thing some night. Unfortunately, it is not a USAF 2nd kyu test so I'm doubting it's going to help.

A lot of my hesitation on testing is because I have a severe lack of practice in each of the techniques. I haven't done the ushiro jujinage in about 9 months.... ushiro shihonage has been a while.... and I could use more work with some of the hanmi handachi as well.

Basically, nothing I do is going to be as clean as I'd like simply from lack of practice.

I can look videos up, stare at aikido 3d and so forth but nothing is a replacement for time on the mat.

One of my larger concerns is that the test will pass and class time will totally abandon 2nd kyu techniques leaving me in the same boat I'm in now.

At February 02, 2012 1:43 AM, Blogger aikidonut said...

Does your sensei allow extra mat time after class for working out with an uke ? If you have a willing uke, can you work out outside of class ? It's best if you can find a place with mats, but failing that, just going through the motions with an uke anywhere even in the living room would develop muscle memory. Since you already have twice the hours for 2d kyu, I'm sure it'll come back easily.You don't have to review them in front of a senior student. Work out with Yamada's book ,"Ultimate Aikido" open, on the floor.indispensable. talk about USAF, he defines it! Maybe even throw in a visit to NY Aikikai,take the #1 downtown to 14th st.from Grand central, walk 4 blocks uptown, make a right, you can't miss the flag. Just remember no color belts on their mat.they have loaner white belts at the door..always good to get a different perspective, relieves the anxiety.

During randori, avoid Koshi Nage, because it slows the ukes' rhythm and increases the chance for injury, and definitely throw in aiki otoshi ..definitely impressive, ryotetori kokyunage, and other kokyu throws are great. Shihan Hagihara used to say he wanted to see "touch-throw" during randori.Think beforehand about what you want to do from ushiro.

Lastly, if you're anxious to pass, the sensei probably is on your side. It's not a good reflection on him either,keeping you back, and frankly, there is a fiscal incentive to passing you..if you get too frustrated, he'll worry about you leaving, and in today's environment, that is anathema.

At February 02, 2012 8:03 AM, Blogger Poxbox said...

I think you misunderstand. I'm concerned about giving a crap test. I'm not concerned about passing. If the test isn't up to my standards, then I don't want to test.

A book is no replacement for mat time and unfortuantely there are no senior students who could help with questions.

As for the freestyle, I always have some idea what I want to do and hardly ever execute it. The aikido just flows out and you get what you get.

Are you taking classes at NY Aikikai or are you just an aikido fan.

At February 02, 2012 9:22 AM, Blogger aikidonut said...

I achieved 2d kyu,USAF,under Shihan Hagihara,then stopped. I have practiced only a few times at ny aikikai.You're right, test only if you're ready.Sun Tzu. Do you get to take many classes from Shihan Mulligan?

At February 02, 2012 8:43 PM, Blogger Poxbox said...

Mr. Mulligan is teaching most Wednesday and Friday nights nowadays. Friday night is an advance level class. So... I typically get a class in with him at least once a week as I am there most Fridays.

At February 03, 2012 1:16 AM, Blogger aikidonut said...

do you get to uke for him much?

At February 03, 2012 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you KNOW you can ask us to fit some of your techniques into a regular class - we already do that for you. Pick a couple you want to work on for this coming Monday. We can also review the ushiro kubeshime that we did last week.


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