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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14819
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spodo Komodo wrote:
Some Wado Ryu clubs in the UK are extremely technical. Move a foot twice instead of once or fail to exit a technique properly and you start to rack up the faults. You can know a kata inside out but if you land unsteadily from a jump or are a bit slow to kiai you could well be on course to fail. I think part of it comes from a need to be better than the McDojos that undoubtedly still exist but all the very technical clubs I have trained with tend to have low or no grading fees so it really is just a matter of taking notes and trying harder next time. I have only trained with a couple of Shotokan clubs and they tended towards the position of only putting people forward for grading if they are well past the required standard. Nobody fails but some don't get to grade for a long time. In the end I suppose it depends whether failure or frustration feels worse.

Solid post!!

Many around the MA world would ask why someone would invite a student to a Testing Cycle, and then fail said student?! Why invite a student if there's a chance that a student might fail?!

The grade of pass or fail is up to the student, after all, it's a test. No test comes with a guaranteed pass or fail; just a guarantee that it's a test.

Just because I've invited a student to an upcoming Testing Cycle, that doesn't mean that that student will pass or fail; that's up to the student. One of the reasons I'd even invite a student to a Testing Cycle is because I believe that student has demonstrated a maturity that qualifies an opportunity.

Spodo Komodo wrote:
Quote:
I have only trained with a couple of Shotokan clubs and they tended towards the position of only putting people forward for grading if they are well past the required standard

That's why whenever I was a JBB, there were a handful of us had been a JBB for 5 years. Whenever we reached 18 years of age, we petitioned our Sensei for the next Testing Cycle for Shodan. We were invited, and we passed. Then the time came around for Nidan, we petitioned, and we passed. Then the time came once again for Sandan, we petitioned, and we passed. Our Sensei invited us because we've been training for 5 years as JBB, and Sensei had no doubts that we'd pass, but that was still dependent on US; we were more than ready for each of those Testing Cycles.

I'm famous of saying that the Testing Cycle will take care of itself. That's absolutely true. Don't worry about the test because if you worry about the test way too much, then you'll more than likely make too many costly mistakes. Being solid during training is totally different from being solid during a Testing Cycle, with all eyes glued on everything that you say or do. After all, the Testing Cycle can cause students to even forget their own name, don't know their right from their left, or to forget the most simplistic basics.



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Last edited by sensei8 on Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Seamas
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 13 May 2020
Posts: 10
Location: Northern Ireland
Styles: Wado-Ryu, Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Seamas wrote:
I think, in theory, only those who are ready will grade. However in reality, lots of people try to force progress and grade regardless of their instructors advice. When I got 4th kyu, I almost failed, and the other 2 who went for it did fail. Many people failed that day. We didn’t just get a pass or fail, we got a secondary mark that indicated whether we did well or just brushed through. I just made it and no more and really, I was lucky because my Karate was pretty much identical to the 2 that failed.

I enjoyed the harshness if that club. 4thkyu was hard, and at the competitions here our 4th-1st kyu competitors were often equal to 2-3rd Dan competitors from the other clubs that were there.


Would you say that you weren't properly prepared for the test then?


Yea. And while our Sensei didn’t tell you ‘yes you should’ or ‘no you shouldnt’ grade. He would suggest in other ways that you were racing a little. Which I was I think. If you wanted to grade, you go ahead. But don’t expect to pass just for taking part. People fail tests, there’s hardly a point in even having a test if there’s no possibility of failing.


Last edited by Seamas on Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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Seamas
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 13 May 2020
Posts: 10
Location: Northern Ireland
Styles: Wado-Ryu, Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spodo Komodo wrote:
Some Wado Ryu clubs in the UK are extremely technical. Move a foot twice instead of once or fail to exit a technique properly and you start to rack up the faults. You can know a kata inside out but if you land unsteadily from a jump or are a bit slow to kiai you could well be on course to fail. I think part of it comes from a need to be better than the McDojos that undoubtedly still exist but all the very technical clubs I have trained with tend to have low or no grading fees so it really is just a matter of taking notes and trying harder next time. I have only trained with a couple of Shotokan clubs and they tended towards the position of only putting people forward for grading if they are well past the required standard. Nobody fails but some don't get to grade for a long time. In the end I suppose it depends whether failure or frustration feels worse.


I think a test should be a test. Whether someone knows you are capable or not shouldn’t matter. If you turn up drunk to your test and give all the wrong answers, you should fail. Obviously I’ve never witnessed a drunkard take a Karate grading, but you know what I mean haha.

Also, there seems to be two systems being described there. Clubs the ‘put people forward’ when they are ready. And Clubs (like my old one) that hold gradings that you choose to take part in rather than being nominated. It’s up to you to make the judgement of whether you are ready or not. Not with no guidance at all, but with more emphasis on the student knowing the criteria and Knowing themselves when they have fulfilled it.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28085
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seamas wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
Seamas wrote:
I think, in theory, only those who are ready will grade. However in reality, lots of people try to force progress and grade regardless of their instructors advice. When I got 4th kyu, I almost failed, and the other 2 who went for it did fail. Many people failed that day. We didn’t just get a pass or fail, we got a secondary mark that indicated whether we did well or just brushed through. I just made it and no more and really, I was lucky because my Karate was pretty much identical to the 2 that failed.

I enjoyed the harshness if that club. 4thkyu was hard, and at the competitions here our 4th-1st kyu competitors were often equal to 2-3rd Dan competitors from the other clubs that were there.


Would you say that you weren't properly prepared for the test then?


Yea. And while our Sensei didn’t tell you ‘yes you should’ or ‘no you shouldnt’ grade. He would suggest in other ways that you were racing a little. Which I was I think. If you wanted to grade, you go ahead. But don’t expect to pass just for taking part. People fail tests, there’s hardly a point in even having a test if there’s no possibility of failing.


I think of it like taking a test for a class in school. You are presented with the material, and you spend the time to digest, understand, and practice using it, and then when you take the test, it's all on you and your preparation.

I don't think that gradings should be make so crazy difficult that it is unlike anything the student has ever done prior to the grading.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14819
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
I don't think that gradings should be make so crazy difficult that it is unlike anything the student has ever done prior to the grading.

The student seems to make the grading's difficult, and that's why I've always told my students before any Testing Cycle, that the Testing Cycle will take care of itself, one way or another; just do your best, and stop worrying about it or stop being overly cocky about it.



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28085
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
I don't think that gradings should be make so crazy difficult that it is unlike anything the student has ever done prior to the grading.

The student seems to make the grading's difficult, and that's why I've always told my students before any Testing Cycle, that the Testing Cycle will take care of itself, one way or another; just do your best, and stop worrying about it or stop being overly cocky about it.




I agree with that. For some people, the idea of "testing" or "grading" causes them to instantly put more pressure on themselves. Which is a good thing, because they learn to work under pressure, and a test should do that. But then there are others, who don't get overly bothered by the aspect of a test, and may not feel the same pressure. Everyone sees it a little differently. After all these years, I still get nervous for testings.
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