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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:24 am    Post subject: Promotions Reply with quote

I am pleased to announce that I conducted our first testing cycle for our new organization. Of course all would have been tested under the old organization but still an achievement.

I promoted 1 Godan to Rokudan, 4 Nidan to Sandan, 2 Shodan to Nidan and 3 Ikkyu to Shodan this weekend. It was a good day.

We started on Friday and concluded on Sunday. Funny how worn out you get watching others test.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2202
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thats a huge achievement having that many people promoted to such grades!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, sounds to me that you successfully put your first Testing Cycle behind you; great results for a great Shinshii...YOU!!

The first of many to come!! Congrats to your students, to your governing body, and to yourself!!



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**Proof is on the floor!!!
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2431
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations to all!
_________________
Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage, Jeff Allred
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker, Adrian Rivera
My Blog: www.karateobsession.com
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Well, sounds to me that you successfully put your first Testing Cycle behind you; great results for a great Shinshii...YOU!!

The first of many to come!! Congrats to your students, to your governing body, and to yourself!!




I can not take all of the credit as only one of these is my direct student. I can also not take full credit as there were 12 other instructors that sat on the testing boards and helped me with scoring and observations.

We have four testing area's within the Hombu or should I say two Dojo's that we split in half to make four testing areas. The Shodan and Sandan were in one Dojo and the Nidan and Rokudan were in the other.
Three instructors sat on each testing board and I oversaw all tests and bounced around between them but mostly concentrated my time between the Shodan and Sandan testings as these are our bench mark grading's and take more time than other ranks and are closely scrutinized.

Shodan takes on average three days to complete, as it is a total culmination of the Mudansha curriculum. The student must be very proficient in all grades from Hachikyu to Sankyu and be proficient in Nikyu and Ikkyu. They must have a very good understanding of the postures within the Kata and understand and be able to show the applications of each (Bunkai). They must understand the history and be able to answer questions without the aid of the student manual. They must be able to dominate Ikkyu and hold their own against Shodans and they must be able to go three rounds against Nidans without quiting.

Essentially they must re-test all of their previous grades, fight one grade down and two grades up (how ever many show up for the testing, but typically 10 of each minimum), demonstrate proficiency and understanding of the applications contained within the Kata's to their grade level and understand the history, terminology and traditions of the art.
It is the hardest grading we give.

Sandan is done over time with observations of the student teaching classes under the supervision of his instructor, they must write an essay on three subjects (they have the choice of subjects that they can pick from a list), They are given a written test under the direct supervision of their CI and finally a one and a half to two day physical test to include the curriculum of their grade (Kata, applications, curriculum) and teaching grades senior to their own (typically the testing board instructors).

Our Sandans are basically taking two tests, one for the grade and one for the title of Shinshii (Sensei). If they can prove that they are capable of passing on the art in a concise and coherent manner they are awarded the title of Shinshii. Note: the title is not guaranteed at Sandan or for any rank. We do have a few that hold the grade but not the title. Not all can teach.

The Shodan and Sandan tests started on Friday morning. The Sandan tests finished Saturday at 10:00am and the Shodan tests finished on Sunday at 2:00pm.
The Nidan test took 4 hours on Saturday and the Rokudan test took 5 hours on Sunday.
Our new Rokudan will have the chance to return in a year to a year and a half to test for his Renshi teaching license.

I re-read my post after some of the comments and realized I made it seem like I pulled this off by myself. This could not be more further from the truth. The truth is I would have to clone myself many times to pull this off. I was just the senior testing instructor and merely oversaw the testings and oversaw the instructors administering the tests.

I guess you can say I spent three days jumping around. Sit/observe, walk to the next, sit/observe, walk to the next, repeat for three days. About every 15 minutes I went from one to the next but as stated previously I spent the majority of my time between the Shodan and Sandan tests.

Once the testing instructors tallied the results, I met with them to discuss their results and interjected my own observations then approved or denied the grading's. We did have one student fail miserably for Shodan. He barely held his own against the Ikkyu grades and did far worse against the Shodan grades. We did not even ask him to participate against the Nidan grades as we did not want to see him get hurt. I spoke with his instructor and was told that he probably choked under the pressure but assured me that he was more than ready prior to the test.
This is the very reason that Shodan is scrutinized so vehemently. We do not oversee Mudansha gradings but leave this directly up to the CI's. It's only when the CI sends their students up for Shodan that we get to see what their students level is at and in this we can gauge the instructors themselves. This is the first of this particular CI's students that has tested for Shodan. I will be visiting his Dojo to observe a few of his classes and, if needed, offer guidance and or assistance.

All in all it was a good Sunday when I got to announce the results. There were a good many proud instructors knowing their students passed and the students were pretty stoked as well.

I love this part of teaching.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nidan Melbourne wrote:
Well thats a huge achievement having that many people promoted to such grades!


They were all scheduled to test prior to the gobbly goop that went on within our previous organization. That all got put on hold for approximately 7 months for the average but when we decided, due to prodding from our student body, to form our own organization, grading's where at the forefront and was made a priority. Since I no longer have to deal with the politics or sit on the board it was easier for me to just set a date, organize enough instructors and make it happen. Since Shinshii was renting the Hombu to us (old organization) we were able to take it over when the previous president made Shinshii mad and decided to throw them out. This made it perfect for me to hold grading's as it has plenty of room and I was bale to get enough volunteer instructors to sit for testings.

Typically we only have one to two Yundansha testing but there is the odd occasion that we get more but those are typically Shodan grading's.

But to your point, yes it was quite an undertaking and my body still feels like I tested for a grading even though all I really did was observe. Sitting for three days should be easy but those stiff uncomfortable chairs really create havoc on my body.

I can say that I do not want to test a variety of grades like this again. To say the least it was very difficult to really observe enough of the students performance as I would have liked too and had to primarily rely on the other instructors opinions and observations. Lesson learned through trial and error.
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