Tis the season!
No, not that season. It’s testing season in my Aikido Club.
There are lots of martial arts clubs where everyone tests every time there is a test and where, if you put in the years, you’re assured of a black belt. Aikido is not one of those martial arts.
Many people train for years at the same belt level and the size of the jump, that is the amount of training required, between each belt goes up with the belt levels. So it might make sense in terms of your commitment to Aikido to stop after say, your brown belt.
Everyone begins wearing a white belt and your first test is for 9th kyu–white. You can see the list of belt levels and what’s required here, http://www.aikido.on.ca/_docs/Yoshinkan_Aikido_Kyu_Test_Syllabus_2012.pdf.
December 22 is the next Aikido belt test. If I get to test, I’ll be testing for my green belt, 5th kyu. I say “if” because in our club, people are invited to test. We all train as if we are going to test and then those who are judged to be ready to test are invited to take part in testing.
The idea is the gentle one that no one tests who isn’t ready. If you’re invited to test it’s because people have judged you ready to do so. This makes the actual test day less nerve wracking but it also spreads out the anxiety over a period of weeks before the test as you know that the senior belts are watching you train.
On my next test, whenever that is, I’ll be examined on all the basic movements of Aikido (done with partner) and on six new (to me) techniques. Here are the techniques on my test:
Katate Mochi Nikajo Osae (1)
Katamochi Nikajo Osae (2)
Shomen Uchi Sankajo Osae (1)
Shomen Uchi Sankajo Osae (2)
Katate Mochi Sokumen Iriminage (1)
Yokomen Uchi Shomen Iriminage (2)
Wish me luck!
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