Across the martial arts world, discussions abound about the concept of rank, what it means, the level of rigor that should be required, and so on. In most respects the standard for promotions are not completely transparent. At Aikido Olympia, we have criteria for the number of classes everyone must complete to be eligible to participate in an examination, we also have a list of techniques that students are expected to demonstrate during promotional examinations. Finally, we have some expectations- “That you will become increasingly positive in your daily life.” We also observe the martial tradition of maintaining some level of mystery around promotions.
At Aikido Olympia, our practice focuses on the ongoing personal development and individual commitment to our practice. As each person’s journey is different, so is the manifestation of their Aikido.
While many of our training partners are preparing for the upcoming promotional examinations, some of us are asking ourselves, are we ready? This is a question that promotional examinations are intended to bring out. And there is an appropriate response: decide to do it, set your hara, train hard, and proceed with confidence that things will work out well (one way or another).
By Nate Weed