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 everyone!
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:
- 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!
- 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.