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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14301
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 12:41 pm    Post subject: What Are The Unyielding Testing Cycles?!?! Reply with quote

Quite briefly...

Testing Cycles are just what they are meant to be...A TEST of proficiency held once every quarter at the Governing Bodies designated locations throughout the year. Some Testing Cycles are held only once per year, usually at that Governing Body's Hombu, in which all candidates from within said Governing Body's network, after having been approved by the Governing Body, are allowed to attend.

Some Testing Cycle locations are held at either a dojo or at the Governing Body's Headquarters or at some other venue to be determined by the Governing Body.

As the word "TEST" implies, candidates are examined from time to time to insure that their proficiency demonstrates an marked and noted improvement since that candidates most recent Testing Cycle; effectively, as determined by said Governing Body.

Strict adherence to applied, and therefore obeyed, requirements are enforced without any ambiguity whatsoever, and without violating the integrity of the Testing Cycle. Close scrutiny hovers over each and every segment of any, and all, Testing Cycles, from the tiniest to the largest, to therefore erase any, and all, impropriety in any shape, way, and/or form.

In short, the credibility of each and ever Testing Cycle must be stainless; pure to the most discerning eye, no matter who's eye it might be.

OK...

To the question...

What Are The Unyielding Testing Cycles that you might've seen, read, and/or heard about??

But, please, let's try not to speak about YOUR dojo or gym or dojang or whatever else because there's a possibility of not being biased.

So, I'll start...

8th Dan in Kendo is the highest attainable physical/written rank/dan level attainable from the Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei (All Japan Kendo Federation). Since the 8th dan test only has a pass rate of about 1%, it has a reputation of being the toughest Testing Cycle in Japan. It's held 2 times a year...In May in Kyoto and in November in Tokyo.

Hachidan Requirements:

*10 years or more after receipt of Nanadan, and age 46 or higher.
*Kata 1-7 and Kodachi Kata 1-3.
*Written examination & thesis.

Your turn, please...



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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14301
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No one has read, seen, and/or heard about any unyielding/very difficult/near impossible/etc. Testing Cycles??

OK, with the hope to start a conversation, then tell us about the unyielding/very difficult/near impossible/etc. Testing Cycles of YOUR DOJO/DOJANG/GOVERNING BODY/etc, please.

Thank you.



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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm. Pai Mei was pretty brutal in Kill Bill

In all seriousness, I haven't really looked into such things. Creating "near impossible" tests seems like it'd be a great way to chase away students.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
Hmmm. Pai Mei was pretty brutal in Kill Bill

In all seriousness, I haven't really looked into such things. Creating "near impossible" tests seems like it'd be a great way to chase away students.

Yes, I could see that as being a drawback!!

Don't want the Testing Cycle to be without challenges, just extremely difficult for the integrity of the Testing Cycle. If the Testing Cycle was super easy, what would that say for the Testing Cycle, and for the ranking system of that Governing Body or dojo/dojang??





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singularity6
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our tests for first geup, first dahn and second dahn are probably the toughest for our school, with first dahn being at the pinnacle. Those who test for our black belt end up physically exhausted that day, and quite sore for at least a few days after.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2350
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
singularity6 wrote:
Hmmm. Pai Mei was pretty brutal in Kill Bill

In all seriousness, I haven't really looked into such things. Creating "near impossible" tests seems like it'd be a great way to chase away students.

Yes, I could see that as being a drawback!!

Don't want the Testing Cycle to be without challenges, just extremely difficult for the integrity of the Testing Cycle. If the Testing Cycle was super easy, what would that say for the Testing Cycle, and for the ranking system of that Governing Body or dojo/dojang??





My former sensei told me about a former teacher of his and his interesting stuff...

The former teacher was the head of his own organization. Bare knuckle, full-contact karate. Late 70s. After the teacher built up a solid student and satellite dojo base, every 1st kyu testing for 1st dan failed the test the first time they tested. Everyone, regardless of how good they were and did. When the CIs of the satellite dojos caught onto it, the head guy said that was part of the test - to see how theyíd react after the setback.

Students didnít catch on for a while, as when you have to do 15 rounds of knockdown kumite against a fresh black belt every round, itís quite easy to justify saying the candidate couldíve done better. Especially starting the kumite portion after about 4-5 hours of nonstop kihon, kata and other drills.

Odd thing is the test cost $150 (in the late 70s), and everyone retaking it had to pay the full amount again. CIs started looking at the test as not only unfair but also as a cash-grab. Itís pretty hard to disagree with that assessment.

That organization went from about 1,500 students total at about a dozen satellite dojos and the honbu dojo to just the honbu dojo with about 30 students. And the head guy teaches one upper ranks black belts class every other week.

The head guy claims the numbers dwindled because students these days are too soft. I know several of his former CIs. Theyíll tell you many other reasons, with that test and the training being the smallest part. But the testing cycle was the start of it.

Edit: I donít disagree with the test and the rigor of it itself. My shodan test was similar. Then again, with the Apple not falling far from the tree, itís only natural that my former sensei was demanding. It was easily the most physically demanding thing Iíve ever done. But where my former sensei differed was the students who deserved to pass actually passed rather than playing his former senseiís game. And he charged a fair price for the test, which was a little less that what his former sensei was charging almost 20 years earlier.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unyielding is far from it being unreasonable because unyielding is strict and unreasonable is impossible.

"For your final part of your test, you'll stand directly in front of the dojo. I've placed a carton of milk behind the dojo. With your bow and 1 arrow, shoot that 1 arrow over the dojo's roof, and hit that carton of milk with your 1 arrow. If you are successful, you'll have passed the test. However, if you're not successful, then you'll have failed the test."



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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
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Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so not MY dojo...

1. So I know a school that has moderate tests (based on improvement) for Mudansha grades but once you test for Shodan and Sandan they are grueling and very much unforgiving tests.

The Shodan on average takes 3 days and less than 40% pass the first try. The first day is all tests of knowledge and Kata. One must know every Kata up to Shodan and their applications (and be able to effectively implement them against an uncooperative opponent.) The second day is a test of conditioning, understanding of body mechanics, and the first rounds of Kumite against all Nikyu to Ikkyu in the school and from the other dojo's. The third day is nothing but Kumite. You fight every Yudansha each for three rounds. You don't have to win every fight but you do have to be able to continue and show that you are able to hold your own.

Sandan is a bit different in that there is more emphasis on your knowledge of the art and it's history. Your ability to teach and again to fight. It lasts on average 2 weeks and less than 20% pass the first time. Not consecutively. The board might have you teach classes at your home dojo, then have you teach seniors at a different dojo and then finally teach at the Hombu to be judged directly by the board of senior instructors. You will be brought back to demonstrate your knowledge of the arts Kata and their applications. You then are brought back for the final test - 2 days of Kumite against every Yudansha in the organization. Again three rounds and again to be able to gut it out through the last opponent.

In finding out why, the answer was that the previous grades were to assess improvement over the last time they tested and to see if the student had learned that grades curriculum. It was felt that in order to reach the grade of Shodan the student must have become proficient in what they had been taught and be able to prove that they could use that to defend themselves. If they could get through the grueling test and come out the other side they were worthy of the grade.

In asking why Sandan was so drawn out I was given the answer that this is the grade in which students become eligible to teach. In order to maintain the quality and integrity of the art they had to proof the student before granting this grade. Once a student achieves this grade they are able to teach their own students and if they could not prove that they are able to teach they could would not be awarded this grade. They also had to be able to prove their skill in fighting. The thought was that if the teacher could not handle themselves in a fight they would not be able to teach others how to do so.


2. I heard about a teacher that only gave private lessons that would punish their students for every test they took. The guy that told me about this had a black eye and a few broken ribs. I asked what had happened and he told me about his test the night before. Apparently the instructor would beat the heck out of them and if they where able to with stand the torture they received their belt.

That's all I have as most schools do not subscribe to this train of thought these days and this happened in the 70's and 80's when I was a younger version of myself. Now days I doubt you would here about such things. If you did it would most likely be on the news claiming abuse or assault. A call to ban the school and throw the instructor in jail would be the head line.
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JR 137
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Unyielding is far from it being unreasonable because unyielding is strict and unreasonable is impossible.

"For your final part of your test, you'll stand directly in front of the dojo. I've placed a carton of milk behind the dojo. With your bow and 1 arrow, shoot that 1 arrow over the dojo's roof, and hit that carton of milk with your 1 arrow. If you are successful, you'll have passed the test. However, if you're not successful, then you'll have failed the test."




Thatís not unreasonable if theyíre taught how to do that and the test is testing what theyíve been taught

But yeah, I get your point and agree.
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