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aurik
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 316
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2022 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
I agree with DarthPenguin, 100%. I would only add a few things. One, that control is paramount in keeping you and your partners safe, but at the same time, someone getting hit doesn't always indicate a lack of control, but could indicate a failure to apply a technique or block correctly, which becomes a learning experience in and of itself. The other thing I would add is that it is a contact sport/activity, so at times, things like this will happen, and it's important for the students to be able to accept that and move forward with their training.

Now, the student that came to you about the excessive contact, and what also sounds like inappropriate contact, is a different matter entirely. It sounds like you are doing a good job dealing with that, and please let us know how that works out going forward.


So today was the first day I've been back to the dojo since Friday. I taught the youth advanced class from 5-6, and I thought the class went pretty well. We started out with warmups, and one of the students was making whin-ey noises after I announced each of the exercises, so when we finished doing the splits, I had students walk their hands out a few steps, and did 10 push-ups there. I then told them why and pointed out the student in question.

I'm getting into the habit of giving students random mini pop-quizzes in class, to make sure they're paying attention. In the advanced class, all of the techniques are announced in Japanese, so every so often I'd announce a technique and quiz a student, "which means what, <student name>?" I feel that this is a way of making sure they're paying attention, and they also will need to know most of these vocabulary words for their black belt tests.

We focused on the dan kumite drills for the first half of partner techniques. I had the brown belts/black belts working with purple belts (since purple belts/yonkyu are just learning this drill). Since we had an odd number of students, I'd work with one student, give them some feedback, and then have that student switch with another one. That way I had a chance to work with 4 or 5 different students. I then worked with the junior black belt on the Okikukai dan kumite. We then ran through kata, all the way up to seisan (required for 1st degree).. I didn't give any kata feedback today -- there wasn't enough time.

I then was able to attend the advanced adult class. Before class, I saw E (the girl who had talked to me about her partner). I talked to her about Friday a little and her mom had discussed the situation with the CI as well. He said that he had also noticed the issue.
For the time being, he didn't want the two of them training with each other.

We started off with 2-person hojo undo and rotated partners. After that we ran sanchin kata twice, and then Kyoshi had us start working kote kitae while he evaluated sanchin individually. He loves to talk, and when I noticed that he had been talking with the first student for 5+ minutes, I found the next higher-ranked student and had her go stand where Kyoshi was giving his dissertation. He got the hint and moved on. I then was sending the next higher-ranked student over there to keep things moving.

After kotekitae and my sanchin session with Kyoshi, I worked the Okikukai dan kumite drills (aka 10-point) with one of the 2nd degrees, and he was amazed at how well I have it down now (he tells me I've got a mind like a steel trap). Well, one of my obvservations is that when I'm running a class, I get to pick what I work on to a degree. There's a template, but I can pick and choose from within that template. I then ran the 10-point drill with one of the other black belts, and then I started working in with the other students on their dan kumite drills. I took particular note with T (one of my favorite training partners) and G (his partner for his upcoming shodan test). When I checked their drills, I noticed that both of them had gotten into the habit of doing the flying kick NEXT to their partner instead of AT their partner. I had T run the drill again and just stood there (instead of getting out of the way, pointing out that he missed me. When I did the kick back at him, he did NOT get out of the way, and even though he did the prescribed block, I still tagged him in the chest (not hard, but enough for him to know he biffed it). I then talked to both of them about making sure that they are pushing each other to be their best, because if they aren't, they will get called out on it. I also gave them an abbreviated version of the speech I gave on Friday, reiterating that they are each responsible for their partner's safety. I also told them that if something goes wrong on the test KEEP GOING if at all possible. The testing board may miss a mistake if you keep going and don't have that "OMG I screwed up" look on your face.

All in all I thought it was a good class. I didn't get to work on all the material I wanted, but I also felt that I helped out the other students quite a bit.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15923
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2022 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds to me that it was prosperous all in all. That's the great thing about classes for all concerned, it's all about give and take. In that, there's no one part of the class that's more important than another. All learn something, including the CI and instructors. After all, no one knows everything and no one's perfect.

Keep up the good work!!
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DarthPenguin
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 316
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2022 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aurik wrote:
I also told them that if something goes wrong on the test KEEP GOING if at all possible. The testing board may miss a mistake if you keep going and don't have that "OMG I screwed up" look on your face.



I always look at it as you don't need to score 100% to pass. Tbh if you performed every technique perfectly then you should likely be a LOT higher than whatever grade you are testing for. Everyone has something to work on.

I was told that attitude is a big thing for our grading examiner. He puts a lot of store in it and it can swing things when they are borderline. I see his point tbh, someone with the right attitude that is borderline will likely take his feedback on board and work on it really hard before testing again.

Worst case you fail and you get independent feedback from an expert on something you need to work on to improve. At the end of the day self improvement is what is important anyway, to be the best martial artist YOU can be. What does your passing / failing a grade mean in the grand scheme of things anyway, it is about your own journey and development.

I tell all my classmates the same before we grade and most of them think i am mental! I will try my best and if the examiner thinks that is good enough then i get a grade, if not then they tell me what i need to do to get it next time. I don't want a pity pass, i want to BE a belt not just have one. If not i wouldn't have decided to regrade!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15923
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2022 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarthPenguin wrote:
aurik wrote:
I also told them that if something goes wrong on the test KEEP GOING if at all possible. The testing board may miss a mistake if you keep going and don't have that "OMG I screwed up" look on your face.



I always look at it as you don't need to score 100% to pass. Tbh if you performed every technique perfectly then you should likely be a LOT higher than whatever grade you are testing for. Everyone has something to work on.

I was told that attitude is a big thing for our grading examiner. He puts a lot of store in it and it can swing things when they are borderline. I see his point tbh, someone with the right attitude that is borderline will likely take his feedback on board and work on it really hard before testing again.

Worst case you fail and you get independent feedback from an expert on something you need to work on to improve. At the end of the day self improvement is what is important anyway, to be the best martial artist YOU can be. What does your passing / failing a grade mean in the grand scheme of things anyway, it is about your own journey and development.

I tell all my classmates the same before we grade and most of them think i am mental! I will try my best and if the examiner thinks that is good enough then i get a grade, if not then they tell me what i need to do to get it next time. I don't want a pity pass, i want to BE a belt not just have one. If not i wouldn't have decided to regrade!

I've never graded any student of mine with a 100% because no one deserves that score because no one's perfect. As DarthPenguin has mentioned already, students don't need a 100% to pass at all. Make a mistake, BIG DEAL...KEEP GOING...the Testing Cycle ALWAYS takes care of itself. Like I've always told my students that the Testing Cycle will take care of itself, therefore, stop worrying about the Testing Cycle and just do your best. Either the student will pass or fail. Worrying about the outcome of something that's not even taking place yet fuels the fire which adds to one's poor execution of effective techniques.

Regardless to the outcome of any Testing Cycle, feedback is crucial across the board for all concerned.

Train hard and train well.



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aurik
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 316
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2022 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
DarthPenguin wrote:
aurik wrote:
I also told them that if something goes wrong on the test KEEP GOING if at all possible. The testing board may miss a mistake if you keep going and don't have that "OMG I screwed up" look on your face.



I always look at it as you don't need to score 100% to pass. Tbh if you performed every technique perfectly then you should likely be a LOT higher than whatever grade you are testing for. Everyone has something to work on.

I was told that attitude is a big thing for our grading examiner. He puts a lot of store in it and it can swing things when they are borderline. I see his point tbh, someone with the right attitude that is borderline will likely take his feedback on board and work on it really hard before testing again.

Worst case you fail and you get independent feedback from an expert on something you need to work on to improve. At the end of the day self improvement is what is important anyway, to be the best martial artist YOU can be. What does your passing / failing a grade mean in the grand scheme of things anyway, it is about your own journey and development.

I tell all my classmates the same before we grade and most of them think i am mental! I will try my best and if the examiner thinks that is good enough then i get a grade, if not then they tell me what i need to do to get it next time. I don't want a pity pass, i want to BE a belt not just have one. If not i wouldn't have decided to regrade!

I've never graded any student of mine with a 100% because no one deserves that score because no one's perfect. As DarthPenguin has mentioned already, students don't need a 100% to pass at all. Make a mistake, BIG DEAL...KEEP GOING...the Testing Cycle ALWAYS takes care of itself. Like I've always told my students that the Testing Cycle will take care of itself, therefore, stop worrying about the Testing Cycle and just do your best. Either the student will pass or fail. Worrying about the outcome of something that's not even taking place yet fuels the fire which adds to one's poor execution of effective techniques.

Regardless to the outcome of any Testing Cycle, feedback is crucial across the board for all concerned.

Train hard and train well.




For our dan gradings, the test is very structured and formalized. For a passing grade, you need to get 80/100 or better, and you are expected to pass each section. A typical shodan candidate will score 82 to 84 on their exam, partially because they are being evaluated on elements that they aren't expected to know yet. One of the key elements is that if a member of the test board asks, "Can I see that again", and passing on that item is 8/10 or better, then the best you can expect to receive on that section is 7.9/10. In fact, the ONLY section of the test you can expect to get full marks as a shodan is the oral examination, where if you are exceptionally well prepared you can get 5/5.

Granted, I did hear several students get the "Can I see that again" during my shodan grading, but everyone did pass . Very few candidates actually fail in a dan grading -- the 3 month prep cycle pretty much sees to that. However, that also doesn't mean you shouldn't do everything you can to maximize your score and increase your chances of passing.

To a great degree, I agree with your sentiments - if I go in and do my absolute best on a grading, and I end up failing then I'll just re-test in 6 months. However, I also want to make sure that when I do grade that I am as prepared as I can be and put my best foot forward.
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DarthPenguin
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 316
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2022 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Aurik, i'm slightly puzzled by the above. I like the structured nature but what is puzzling me is this :

if you need to pass every section to pass, with every item being an 8/10 minimum to pass, then surely if the maximum you can achieve on a section you are asked to re-perform is a 7.9, this leads to an automatic fail as one section is now below 8/10?

Is it a general rule instead where the sections should be 8/10 but the examiner is allowed to use their discretion where appropriate (tbh 7.9 isn't exactly much different from 8.0 anyway).

Am just curious, i do like the idea that you get a clear score though. Seems a really good system, as if you get access to the score and the criteria it gives you clear guidance on where to prioritise improvements.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15923
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2022 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our Testing Cycles also have sections that must be passed. Any failed section ends the Testing Cycle immediately for cause. We never allow do overs whatsoever.

The higher the rank the more sections there are. For example, there's no sections for Kobudo until 6th Kyu, and in that, there are sub-sections for Kobudo due to the fact that we've more than one Kobudo weapon to be concerned with. Fail any sub-section, like Bo, wity is the first learned Kobudo weapon, and if you've still several more sub-sections to still do, and you fail the Bo sub-section, then you're Testing Cycle is over with a failure score.

Our Karate-do and Kobudo are separate. We rank separately in Karate-do and Kobudo; I'm ranked in both, in that, I ranked first in Karate-do way before I ranked in Kobudo.

We've two grades...Pass or Fail. Any total combined score less than 70 is a Failure, IF, said testing candidate even completes the entire Testing Cycle. Any "Testing Cycle Failure WITH CAUSE" has been recorded on their Hard Card as well as other supportive documentations simply means that said testing candidate didn't complete the entire Testing Cycle.



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aurik
KF Sempai
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 316
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2022 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DarthPenguin wrote:
Hi Aurik, i'm slightly puzzled by the above. I like the structured nature but what is puzzling me is this :

if you need to pass every section to pass, with every item being an 8/10 minimum to pass, then surely if the maximum you can achieve on a section you are asked to re-perform is a 7.9, this leads to an automatic fail as one section is now below 8/10?

Is it a general rule instead where the sections should be 8/10 but the examiner is allowed to use their discretion where appropriate (tbh 7.9 isn't exactly much different from 8.0 anyway).

Am just curious, i do like the idea that you get a clear score though. Seems a really good system, as if you get access to the score and the criteria it gives you clear guidance on where to prioritise improvements.


Each section is worth a different number of points - I used 8/10 as an example. The key takeaway is that you want to maximize your score in every section, because if you get one of those "Can I see that again", you know you didn't quite pass that section. There are sections that if you don't pass, members of the test board may recommend a fail regardless of your overall score (Sanchin is one of these sections. It's worth 25 or 30 points). However by maximizing your score in other sections, you can pass even if you marginally fail one section. Also, the score you receive on each section is the average score from all of the examiners on the testing board.

And no, you generally don't get to know what your score is after your test.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29539
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2022 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aurik wrote:
DarthPenguin wrote:
Hi Aurik, i'm slightly puzzled by the above. I like the structured nature but what is puzzling me is this :

if you need to pass every section to pass, with every item being an 8/10 minimum to pass, then surely if the maximum you can achieve on a section you are asked to re-perform is a 7.9, this leads to an automatic fail as one section is now below 8/10?

Is it a general rule instead where the sections should be 8/10 but the examiner is allowed to use their discretion where appropriate (tbh 7.9 isn't exactly much different from 8.0 anyway).

Am just curious, i do like the idea that you get a clear score though. Seems a really good system, as if you get access to the score and the criteria it gives you clear guidance on where to prioritise improvements.


Each section is worth a different number of points - I used 8/10 as an example. The key takeaway is that you want to maximize your score in every section, because if you get one of those "Can I see that again", you know you didn't quite pass that section. There are sections that if you don't pass, members of the test board may recommend a fail regardless of your overall score (Sanchin is one of these sections. It's worth 25 or 30 points). However by maximizing your score in other sections, you can pass even if you marginally fail one section. Also, the score you receive on each section is the average score from all of the examiners on the testing board.

And no, you generally don't get to know what your score is after your test.


If these numbers get put on the testing sheet, and the students get to know what they scored, do they get to ask the instructors what they can do to improve their score?

I'm a firm believer that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Striving for perfection can be rather exhausting, but striving to be better is achievable.
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aurik
KF Sempai
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 316
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2022 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At kyu gradings, you get individual feedback from the instructor responsible for your evaluation. At dan gradings, the feedback is more general, where each member of the board gives feedback to the candidates as a group.

Keep in mind, before a dan grading, students have to complete a 12 week prep cycle, where you are given weekly feedback and evaluations on exactly what the test board is looking for. The sessions are usually run by our CI, but he also rotates in some of the other members of the test board, so you can hear what they may be looking for. So in effect you're getting your feedback before the test instead of afterwards.
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