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  • Failed Kyu Grading

    This is a general random thought, but would appreciate the input
    after so many years our club finally decided to do Kyu, i have been doing Kendo for 2 years now, and they told me i had to grade for the 4th Kyu. Long Story short, i was paired with a a young boy, who is slightly more than half of my height and weight no more than q uarter of my weight, keeping in mind i am 184cm and 110KG in previous Keikos, i once almost ran him over and stepped on him, during men-uchi as his movement was slow compared to me.

    During Grading, I have taken it slow as not to hurt him, making me look sloppy, hitting men-uchi was between men and kote, more towards kote, and kote was quite low, and do-uchi that was a challenge, i know i should not make excuses, but some people i mentored have advanced higher than me now, and i am debating the below
    1. was it the correct decision to go easy?
    2. or am i really slow and sloppy, that I am a lost cause.

    I am now very demotivated.

    Thanks for any useful comments and guidance.

  • #2
    You are not a lost cause. Forget that kind of thinking.

    It sounds like you had an unfortunate pairing for Shinsa. This happens. I've seen kenshi fail a Shinsa due to problems with the partner.

    You probably made the best decision you could at the time. Failing 4th Kyu is rather curious, but we can't see a video or such to really know why.

    So, forget it. Put it behind you. Go to keiko and try again in six months.

    Comment


    • #3
      It is odd to fail 4th kyu. In my experience they'd normally just give you a lower rank (5 kyu) instead. Perhaps that's just our federation.

      You should be able to get feedback from the panel. They'll tell you what you were doing incorrectly.

      It was perhaps not the best decision to go easy. If your opponent requires special consideration then that's up to them and their sensei to have it noted before the test. It's not your decision to make, and you're wound up enough with the pressure of test to add that to your list.

      As Scott says, try again in six months. After several years, this setback won't matter at all.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Zeiddo View Post
        i mentored have advanced higher than me now, and i am debating the below
        Failing it means you stop doing the mentoring and concentrate on your own kendo.

        Even if the exam pairing was unfortunate for your, with enough self-control you should be able to perform correctly.
        Especially as it happened at your own club, then you and your kendo were known well to the board.
        So do do not look for excuses but work on yourself.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you for the feedback,
          it is somewhat comforting that the partner sometime affect the result of a Shinsa, but unfortunate for me.
          my thoughts after reading the above, should thereason be only because of my partner.

          1. I think even if it might be a wrong decision to take it easy, i feel at that time it was the correct path to take, as far as serious Kendo should be taken, in history they moved from Katana to Shinnai, to avoid injuries and i think on over all even if it did affect me, it was at that time the correct decision, as not to be selfish, and avoid possible injury to my fellow Kenshi.
          2. I think the panel know my Kendo, but did not take into consideration the size difference. but i will not talk to them, as what is done is done. and i should have been a little more selfish, by showing less fear or more confidence in myself knowing i can avoid hurting him.
          3. Maybe Panel thought i can handle him and that is why the paired me with him, and i failed the expectations, ( i do not know)
          4. I will continue keiko

          and Krys
          as much as i appreciate your input, 2 guys i mentored went 6th Kyu to 4th Kyu and one guy from 5th to 3rd. I do not let mentoring let me be conceited or arrogant if that is what you where referring to. but if i feel that if a fellow Kenshi can benefit from pointing out something or giving advice that is my duty to do so. but yes i agree i need to be more selfish. and i hope someone will return the favors to me.

          I should not say this about the panel when it comes to self control, but kirikaeshi should include sayumen and not swinging above the head in a circular motion, a hiki-men should not be performed into 3 obvious parts, a do-uchi should go down in a 45 degree angle not a 90 degree.so i am not sure if self control is what they where looking at.

          and hey yet again i might have thought i was precise hahahaha .

          it seems now that I did get the 4th Kyu, but no skipping grades.so better luck next time.
          Last edited by Zeiddo; 16th December 2014, 03:09 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Zeiddo View Post
            but i will not talk to them
            I should not say this about the panel when it comes to self control, but kirikaeshi should include sayumen and not swinging above the head in a circular motion, a hiki-men should not be performed into 3 obvious parts, a do-uchi should go down in a 45 degree angle not a 90 degree.so i am not sure if self control is what they where looking at.
            It seems to me that you should be the one sitting on that panel. How such a horrendous mistake could have happened!?

            as much as i appreciate your input, 2 guys i mentored went 6th Kyu to 4th Kyu and one guy from 5th to 3rd. I do not let mentoring let me be conceited or arrogant if that is what you where referring to. but if i feel that if a fellow Kenshi can benefit from pointing out something or giving advice that is my duty to do so. but yes i agree i need to be more selfish. and i hope someone will return the favors to me.
            That is usually a sensei or senpai's job.


            Comment


            • #7
              I will not talk to them means, i respect their decision and the outcome of my actions, it will be against my culture to debate their decision when i agree with the outcome, so accepting this does not translate into any other things, espcially when i already acknowledged i had my shortcomings

              horrendous mistake or not i am not the person to judge, nor is my place on the panel, i was referring to the instructions given in Keiko, to all Kenshi, giving out remarks like this does not mean a person is more qualified it is a mere observations, to what is emphasized during in Keiko, and what is done. so during keiko they say these points ar every important but if in Shinsa this is not very important, then i am confused.

              A person sometimes can not judge their mistakes, while they are in the moment, so a small feedback based on the Sensei's instruction does not harm, that is why feedback is good, it is called constructive criticism.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm with krys on this one. If one is not explicitly asked by the sensei to give advice or have reached some grade where that is expected (which will vary from one environment to another), then it is best to focus on one's own kendo and let other people focus on theirs. Read this for an idea of some of the reasons behind this and remember that your sensei's students are not your students. Even if you are asked to give advice, it is best to be very careful what you say.

                This particular aspect of kendo pedagogy is due to differences between Western and Confucian teaching methods and social structuring and it takes a lot of getting used to for most Westerners. Assuming you are in a good kendo environment where you can grow in the long term, you should eventually understand why it works like this.

                Congrats on passing.
                Last edited by dillon; 16th December 2014, 10:51 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Zeiddo, is mentoring newer students something you are asked to do by your sensei, or is this something you have taken upon yourself?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Zeiddo View Post
                    I will not talk to them means, i respect their decision and the outcome of my actions, it will be against my culture to debate their decision when i agree with the outcome, so accepting this does not translate into any other things, espcially when i already acknowledged i had my shortcomings
                    Talk not to debate any decisions but to humbly and politely ask for any hints on how to improve (your) kendo.

                    As for the feedback thing, I belive Neil Gendzwill will explain it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I see what you are all saying,
                      and thinking about it mentoring might then have been a wrong word, my remarks where mostly the same as what the sensei spoke,
                      example the sayumen in kirikashi lowering it to hit men not above, taitari to lower hands not keep them high,...etc so i never did go into details, just reinforcing the sensei's instructions. but from all the above i think i will keep my mouth shut.

                      Little background, the club, was originally started by Kendo enthusiast and grew from there, since 8 years there has been no proper hierarchy in the club, and the Sensei's come and go based on the company terms they have to serve in the UAE, so it remains to the volunteering Sensei to self commit to the training,as he is not obliged to show up, so we had some instances, when there was no Sensei or no Senpai, so in some cases who ever the most senior person, will need to take control of the keiko.

                      on a different but related note, i was told in Shinsa it is better to show proper waza than just speed alone with concentration on striking a point, like in a shiai, even if it was executing 1 single men uchi. would you agree with that, or will that be an example of wrong advise even if it cam from a sandan.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Concentrate on a good clean (big) strike (or two) I would say... with big noisy kiai. The spirit should be to score ippon so in that sense like shiai.
                        Last edited by dillon; 17th December 2014, 10:28 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm not sure what your sensei are looking for, to be testing for 4 kyu as an adult after 2 years is a different scale than most places I am aware of. After 2 years in Canada most would be testing for shodan. To me for any rank up to and including shodan, whether the candidate scores is not a pass/fail criteria. We are looking for proper basics and good spirit.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It is very difficult for us to know what is going on just from what you are describing. Without actually seeing your kendo, there is no way that we can tell you what you can improve. It also seems from what you are saying like grading where you live works differently than grading here. Here, an adult beginner would test for 3kyu-1kyu for their first test depending on what their sensei thinks they should go for. I have heard in some European federations they are strict about you testing for each kyu level no matter what age you are.

                            As everyone else has said, you need to ask the senseis who were on the grading panel. Only they are guaranteed to know the reason why you didn't pass. Other than that, I think it's fair to say that you should try to show your best kendo during a shinsa, since that is the point of a shinsa. It is true that you should avoid purposefully trying to make your partner look bad, but your primary concern during shinsa should be showing your own kendo.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              this was the first time they do Shinsa in the club in 8 years, and i am not sure what was the grading criteria or if they had previous grading experience.
                              yesterday one of the panelist came up to me and informed me
                              That my men is to strong and that i should lift up slowly and allow gravity do the rest. (would this not slow down your execution?)

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