December 18th, 2010
Refer to the 6th KYU Test Preperation notes if you care about the details of what was being tested.
Today Bennie and I took our 6th KYU tests. Before class started we went over the stances that each of the moves on the test would require. Luckily for us the test was structured in such a way that the first set of moves were all in Gyakuhanmi while the last set of moves were in Ai Hamni. That meant we only needed to remember which move (Morote Dori Kokyu Ho) was needed to switch stance types.
Also prior to the test Sensei tailored the class to allow us to get a bit more bokken/jo practice and to go over anything that we thought needed work.
Bennie graciously agreed to take his test first since Kay had not shown yet and I knew she was on her way to watch. (Kay showed up just before we took the mat for Bennies test.) Bennie and I had been partnered up as Nage/Uke several times before this, and it made me feel good about our test since we seem to work well together.
During his test Bennie had a slight issue with his roles but he pulled them off with style. He also drew a blank for names/words I am sure he would know any other day. He covered well with Kiai and Sensei helped prime the pump one other time. Bennie’s Shomen Uchi Ikkyo Omote/Ura Waza were excellent. One of his Ura pins felt exactly as if Sensei were performing it. (Which is funny because Sensei complemented me on my Ukemi. But I did not have a “choice” in the matter as Bennie easily directed me to the mat.)
On my turn I am sure I flubbed when to do the “formal” vs “informal” bows on the mat. Also during one of the Shomen throws I ended up almost putting Bennie in Senseis lap. (Not the most respectful thing to do during a test.)
My rolls were some of the best I have done to date. But they still felt horrid. On one of my back rolls I did not give myself enough inertia, but I bullied through it.
In the end Sensei asked me to work on making sure that during Omote/Ura Waza that I make sure to have my opponent down on the mat before going to my knees. Going to my knees too soon means that I am not ready for multiple attackers. (I need to talk to Sensei later about what “form” is acceptible to hold my opponent as I take them down, because my serious inflexibility is causing me to go to my knees early. I wish it were as simple as improper technique.)
As Sensei told us we would feel, I was sure there were moments during the test I could have done a LOT better. That being said I went in as preped as I could be, made sure to be confident in my approach, and worked hard to be in the moment for the full test duration.
Yay! 6th KYU for Bennie and I!