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Failed 2dan.

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Gessho View Post
    I tanked it on my nidan exam last Saturday. It stung because I failed the jigeiko part and I thought to myself, if I fail anything it will be the kata.
    That is a much more normal way to fail nidan. Most people can get their kata good enough to pass the exam in a short time - the pressure of the keiko exposes more fundamental problems with their kendo. When I took shodan, they gave marks out of 10 for each section of the exam, and we were all stressed about kata and focussing on that. I think I was 8/10 for kata and 5.5/10 for keiko or something like that.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by neanderthal View Post
      usually its 100% for shodan and almost 100% for nidan.
      88% is still pretty good! Don't worry, keep at it listen to your sensei and train hard and smart. Passing nidan is just being "shodan+"

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      • #48
        "my opponent who i informed of my plan (...) knew what i was doing"
        "i assured him it was what the judges were looking for - but he kind of looked at me with an eh!!! kind of expression"
        "i saw others doing just..."

        Why worry what other people do? My own very first shodan shinsa is still ahead of me, but from the kyu exams (and they are comparatively strict here, e.g. we have all 7 kata in 1kyu) I get some shinsa idea.

        Talking to your aite beforehand doesn't seem to make much sense. Jigeiko is about showing your best-style kendo, not about presenting some set-up scheme. If your idea is that you should strike big straight men only - just do it. The aite you should be expecting just anything, no matter if it is regular practice jigeiko, shinsa or shiai.

        A lot of people say, that using complicated waza will not raise your opinion in the shinpan eyes as much as having good kiai and zanshin. Regardless of the big subject of what is most important at which level of kendo - I have come up with an opinion that I ask to be corrected by those more experienced (onegai shimasu!):

        When it is 3 or 5 couples doing jigeiko at once, chances are high that even if you strike the best suriage men of your life, the judge will be looking in that second at the couple next to you. But if you have proper kiai and zanshin all the time, it is impossible to miss, even if they don't look at you directly. They are human after all, they are more bound to see things that are pretty loud and lasting.


        (Now I should fail my shodan shinsa for speaking this bold, as a punishment )

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Gessho View Post
          I've put together a training plan and I will be very mindful in the dojo when I am practicing. Oh by the way, you don't want to be the guy going against me in my next shinsa cause it will hurt...
          What kind of training plan involves hurting the opponent in your exam?

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Weronika View Post
            Talking to your aite beforehand doesn't seem to make much sense. Jigeiko is about showing your best-style kendo, not about presenting some set-up scheme. If your idea is that you should strike big straight men only - just do it. The aite you should be expecting just anything, no matter if it is regular practice jigeiko, shinsa or shiai.
            I'm not so sure if I believe that after my shinsa experiences, but I had a rather atypical situation. I eventually passed not when I showed what I would call my best kendo, but after failing 5 times, showing what they were looking for people to have at that level.

            Moral of the story, if you train but don't take exams, you probably have to show what they are looking for in cannidates at the level you are sitting for. A rather expensive financial lesson to learn, but thats what you get when you don't do things conventionally.
            Last edited by hl1978; 17th August 2012, 05:00 AM.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Gessho View Post
              Oh by the way, you don't want to be the guy going against me in my next shinsa cause it will hurt...
              I have to say, with that approach you will find it difficult to progress in Kendo at all. I'm assuming you're joking of course, but this kind of mindset is a type of poison.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by jjcruiser View Post
                What kind of training plan involves hurting the opponent in your exam?
                I meant "hurt" in the sense that my hard work would pay off and I would do very well, contrasting with my last effort.

                It's the whiskey talking, as they say (although no alcohol was used in the creation of that last post). Just trying to end with a flourish; a kind of zanshin in micro-blogging...

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                • #53
                  Yes, yes I am.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by hl1978 View Post
                    I'm not so sure if I believe that after my shinsa experiences, but I had a rather atypical situation. I eventually passed not when I showed what I would call my best kendo, but after failing 5 times, showing what they were looking for people to have at that level.

                    Moral of the story, if you train but don't take exams, you probably have to show what they are looking for in cannidates at the level you are sitting for. A rather expensive financial lesson to learn, but thats what you get when you don't do things conventionally.
                    Well, don't you think it's fair to say this changes as you proceed up the ranks? I mean, when you are testing for ikkyu they just want to see clean straight big men and good kiai and zanshin so it doesn't much matter what you say to your opponent or what they do. But as you proceed, I assume it makes a big difference. The fourth and fifth dan exams I've seen seem to be very impacted by the opponent, since part of what you're supposed to show is control.

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                    • #55
                      I have never coordinated anything with my opponent. You just go out and try to show your best kendo to the judges. If you are trying a higher grade and your opponent treats it like shiai it does make things difficult for both to pass. If he is unresponsive to seme, ie his kendo is not at the right level, and you are able to hit him at will, likewise it is bad for you because you are not able to demonstrate what the judges are looking for.

                      Conversely if you are at a lower dan exam and trying to look like a higher dan, that's no good either as hl1978 found. They are looking for basics and energy, not higher principles.
                      Last edited by Neil Gendzwill; 18th August 2012, 03:03 AM.

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                      • #56
                        As an update to this thread, I passed my nidan exam this last Saturday. The last six months were a real "back-to-basics" program for me and I am grateful for my sempai's guidance and time as well as that of my dojo mates and sensei. It was a great experience and it really re-invigorated my love for kendo because it made me go back and look at all of the things I needed to work on (and there were a lot, sadly!). I went into the shinsa with a mindset that I had done my best preparation and there was nothing else to worry about, now or after.

                        Thanks here to all the people who took the time to respond to my post, as well!

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                        • #57
                          congrats

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Gessho View Post
                            As an update to this thread, I passed my nidan exam this last Saturday. The last six months were a real "back-to-basics" program for me and I am grateful for my sempai's guidance and time as well as that of my dojo mates and sensei. It was a great experience and it really re-invigorated my love for kendo because it made me go back and look at all of the things I needed to work on (and there were a lot, sadly!). I went into the shinsa with a mindset that I had done my best preparation and there was nothing else to worry about, now or after.

                            Thanks here to all the people who took the time to respond to my post, as well!
                            Awesome, congrats! I was there testing with you, although I don't think I've ever met you in person. I was there for nidan, too I was surprised, and pleased, to see that most of the people testing for nidan actually passed this time.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by cr720 View Post
                              Awesome, congrats! I was there testing with you, although I don't think I've ever met you in person. I was there for nidan, too I was surprised, and pleased, to see that most of the people testing for nidan actually passed this time.
                              Hey there #63, yes you were! I believe we nodded enigmatically to each other as befitting the moment.

                              I felt that those testing for nidan all made a strong showing, focusing on big and strong moves. It was great to see and a good feeling.

                              Nice blog by the way!

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Gessho View Post
                                Hey there #63, yes you were! I believe we nodded enigmatically to each other as befitting the moment.

                                I felt that those testing for nidan all made a strong showing, focusing on big and strong moves. It was great to see and a good feeling.

                                Nice blog by the way!
                                Yes, 63, that was me! It looked like everyone that was testing had a really strong showing, not just in our group. And yes, I think I remember the enigmatic nodding! Well I wish you well in your new rank, good sir, and hopefully our paths will cross again, either for jigeiko or a good ol' shiai match

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