Kendo kyu exams in Almere

2013-01-26 16:51:00

Photo gallery of the morning.

This morning were the (semi-)annual kyu grade exams at Renshinjuku kendo dojo. I'm told that we're the only dojo in the Netherlands that actually do intermediate kyu exams, but personally I think they're a good thing. These exams help prepare our students for the actual exam, making the real thing a lot less scary.

Today, thirteen students were testing: five for 5th, one for 4h, two for 3rd and five for 2nd. The way we test 2nd kyu is actually identical to the official 1st kyu exam, meaning that we're getting a full prep for ikkyu

The good news is that everyone testing up to 3rd kyu passed their grade. So congratulations to Ainar, Lukas, Dennis, vincenzo, Herman, Ramon, Aaron and Hugo! Good work eveyrone!

The group testing for 2nd kyu wasn't as successful. Only Jeroen was deemed to be ready to take and pass the ikkyu exam, so many congrulations to him: you've worked hard for this Jeroen!

Bobby, Martijn, Tiamat and myself were all given valuable pointers on what we need to improve to be ready for the 1st kyu exam. Two pieces of advice were applicable to all of us:

  1. In jitsugi, you need to be hungry! You need to really want to make those ippon! Don't be passive and don't do shiai kendo. Instead, have at it!
  2. Stick to kihon. There's no need for über-special techniques, because if you -do- try those they'd better be done right!

At this level you're trying to prove that you fully understand and control the basics.

I had already set a number of goals for myself to work on, in order to attain ikkyu rank: get a decent hayai-men, control my breathing, and less cueing before a strike. Also: make for a neat and tidy kirikaeshi, because a few weeks ago I was still all over the place. Added to this comes the feedback from Kris and Hillen:

After the exams, Aaron said his farewells to me. I'm sad to see him go because he shows a lot of promise. Maybe he'll be back in a few years. 

All in all it was a very educational morning! I am confident that I showed my best kendo:

While my kendo was not up to par to pass our 2nd kyu exam, I am confident that I gave it my best. I simply need to keep on getting better! :)

EDIT: Woohoo! I've spoken to Ton-sensei and he indicates that I defaulted to 3rd kyu, meaning that I have at least improved my kendo since last year. So when it comes to the line-up in class, the only thing that changes is that I have now hopped at least six spots to the right :) tags: , ,

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