Training Test Requirements, What's the true purpose?

Patriotic Ribbon
Patriotic Ribbon

June 2002

Volume 4 Issue 6

Aibudo Kanji

If you don't test, what do you lose,

if anything?

It makes it all worthwhile!

     The second "con".  The upcoming test can affect your job performance where you work.  Your mind could be on that troubling test technique instead of the hydraulic press that you are working with.  Driving down the interstate, all you can think of is the test tomorrow night.

     With the pro's and con's aside, the instructors, if the training is efficient and appropriate, will know if and when the test should be given.  95% of the time, the test is necessary and will be given, but there are times when the individuals "job performance" goes beyond the testing requirements. Even if some of the requirement techniques seem to be elusive and proficiency seems years down the road, those technique proficiency's will improve over time and may eventually become some of your best void tools in the future.  A problem can occur however when the testing of certain requirements is not made and necessary "tools" are not developed for the next stage in your training.  This makes the next test much harder and may take a longer time to prepare for it.  This works on your mental state as you begin to feel as though you are not worthy of where you are.  This is where you need to trust your instructors and let them lead you in the proper direction toward success.  You can assist in this endeavor by realizing your immediate "weaknesses" and put a little more effort in their direction on your own time, in your own space.  The result will pay dividend's down the road.  The instructor(s) and active class time may not be enough for certain areas of your training.  Extra classes may be necessary in some instances.

     Irregardless, the test is here to stay and will continue to be a training tool in the advancement of the martial arts practitioners.  From 9th Kyu through the masters grades, it's going to happen, so prepare as well as you may for the next test night.  Get it over with and move on to the next.  Before long you will find that you will become more relaxed over a longer period of time and physically more capable with future demands.  You will be better for it, no matter how the test seems to be nothing more than the unraveling of the nervous system.

The Adrenal Rush

     A confrontation on the street can be very different for different individuals.  For the untrained, a verbal confrontation can lead to unnecessary jail time.  "Verbalities" are not going to physically hurt you.  They are not a reason to injure someone or something.  Only physical confrontation to you or someone else may call for a physical come back.  But here's the kicker.  If you have already had a "problem" a few minutes prior and developed an adrenal rush and now you have run into another situation, these two adrenal rushes are gong to become additive, making it harder to control your actions.  This is where you will have to dig back into your martial arts training to control yourself and the problem before you at the present.  Two adrenal rushes within 20 minutes of each other can become highly detrimental to your self-control.

     You may win in the street only to follow this up with trying to win in the courts.  The law says that you may defend yourself in a "manner reasonable to the perceived level of threat".  But when you are "nose to nose" with someone who appears to want only to "push your face in", reasonable can go out the window, as they say.  Beyond that the shaky knees, rapid breathing, tunnel vision, auditory renditions and the like make it even harder to make the best decision.  In a court of law, it doesn't care about any of the immediate above.  All it is concerned with, is whether or not you "behaved as you should" with the situation.  This picture of the situation, that the court wasn't there to witness, is being drawn by a "black and bruised" plaintiff that is out to get you, in a way that they couldn't on the street.  No matter the previous situation, you are now the bad guy, up on charges.  If there are no witnesses to what happened, it is your word against theirs and if they know that you are in the arts, then it may come even harder.  But, if there are witnesses and you performed as you should, it more than likely won't go past you "beating up" some low-life and possibly teaching them a well deserved lesson.  They may even become better for it.  Sensei Wissler had that exact situation occur.

The Test

     That dreaded test.  "All it does is make me nervous and my techniques fall apart".  Does that statement bring any memories?  If it makes you nervous and you're not able to perform as well as you would like, then why test at all?

     Let's look at the pro's and con's of the advancement test.  The major "pro", over time as I see it, is the gradual ability to perform under pressure and not fall apart as you did the first time.  The efficient functioning under stress could very well mean the difference between life or death someday, maybe yours.  Being able to realistically reason when an abnormal situation is thrown in your face, so that effective self-defense doesn't turn into a rage that could put you behind bars for the rest of your life.

     All right now that's number one on my list for pro's.  Now let me talk about the number one "con" as I see it.  If during your training regimen, all you work on are the requirements for the next belt grade, you are missing training necessary for the outside world that you have to face everyday.  The repetitious, one after the other, of techniques that don't seem to have a purpose (to you at the time).  These techniques are "crammed" into as small a time frame as possible, so as to become proficient enough to pass the next test.  That's not where the mindset should be, so maybe you can see the reason that we mix up the basic requirements, to develop coordination, dexterity, strength and strategy development, that is necessary for the martial arts life in general.  A good many of the techniques you may not even be able to perform well at all, but nevertheless, you are introduced to them anyway to show you, and hopefully reinforce, the need for the physical and mental development over the total time of your training.

     Now, the second "pro".  The test allows the instructor(s), to witness your physical and mental abilities beyond the testing techniques.  The test will demonstrate to the instructor(s), your strong and weak points beyond what you see yourself.  This allows the training to be adjusted accordingly so as to correct for possible problems down the road.