Rank Testing Bowing Reiho – Advanced

Rank Testing Bowing Reiho – Advanced

Andy Demko Shihan likes to say, “The little things don’t mean a lot, they mean everything”.  Everyone who has practiced in our dojo or visited has seen that we take Reiho (Etiquette) pretty seriously.  In all that we do, practice.  Bowing.  Addressing each other & more.  I learned a while ago that the WHY helps drive the REASON we do what we do.  Well, when you have superb reiho, it not only reflects extremely well on you but your dojo, your teacher, and your organization.  And I truly believe that while it take some skill, physicality and more to perform the aikido technique correctly, it takes far less to perform the reiho correctly.  I tell my students it’s OK to make a mistake in the technique, both as nage & uke, but you should never make a mistake with the reiho (after a certain point, anyway).  So why do some show more respect than others, basically another way of saying, this aikidoka’s reiho is good, his/hers is great & that person, not so much.  First, were they taught it and if so, were they taught it correctly?  Second, did they learn it?  Third, do they practice it?  Well, obviously, the person with all three typically has superb reiho.  Some are instilled with it, others have to consciously remember to execute it.  I do believe if you continue to get better at it, it becomes an unconscious effort.  Like breathing.  Today, I want to review bowing in for testing with some details.  For most Kyu Tests and Shodan, the testee (nage) will typically have one Uke.

Step 1:  When called out to test, both you & your Uke should arrive together, sit in seiza and wait for the Examination Committee to tell you to begin or hajime.

Step 2:  Together, make a zarei (kneeling bow) to the Kamiza with the Testee (Nage) initiating.  Uke should bow slightly after the testee and rise up slightly after the testee.

Step 3:  Both the Testee (Nage) & Uke should make a  pivot left (small turn off the right knee) together towards the Examination Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4: Together, make a zarei (kneeling bow) to the Examination Committee with the Testee (Nage) initiating.  Uke should bow slightly after the testee and rise up slightly after the testee.
(Both the Testee & Uke should not rise before the Examination Committee completes their bow)

 

Step 5: The Testee should make a pivot right (small turn off the left knee) to face their Uke.

Step 6: Make a zarei (kneeling bow) to each other with Testee (Nage) initiating.  Uke should bow slightly after the testee and rise up slightly after the testee.

Remember, take your time with each bow and each step.

 

Nidan, Sandan & Yondan Bowing Etiquette

Step 1:  When called out to test, both you & your Ukes should arrive together, sit in seiza and wait for the Examination Committee to tell you to begin or hajime.

Step 2:  Together, make a zarei (kneeling bow) to the Kamiza with the Testee (Nage) initiating.  Ukes should bow slightly after the testee and rise up slightly after the testee.

Step 3:  Both the Testee (Nage) & Ukes should make a pivot left (small turn off the right knee) together towards the Examination Committee

Step 4: Together, make a zarei (kneeling bow) to the Examination with the Testee (Nage) initiating.  Ukes should bow slightly after the testee and rise up slightly after the testee.
(Both the Testee & Ukes should not rise before the Examination Committee completes their bow)

Step 5: The Testee should make a pivot right (small turn off the left knee) to face their Ukes.  Ukes should make pivot left (small right turn off the left knee), try and get back to being even with each other.

Step 6: Make a zarei (kneeling bow) to each other with Testee (Nage) initiating.  Uke should bow slightly after the testee and rise up slightly after the testee.

Remember, take your time with each bow and each step.

 

So, to conclude, there are a lot of zarei (kneeling bows) and components to make this begining and end of your exam (test) look superior.  Watch the proper way to perform Zarei here.  Remember, don’t rush it.  Uke’s should be reacting to Nage’s speed.  Take your time.  Slow down.  Embrace it and Enjoy it.  It will add more meaning to it as well as set the tone and pace of your martial understanding.  Poor Reiho right at the start of the test puts a red X on that testee, and those watching that know the difference and can see it.

Jonathan Weiner
Jonathan Weiner

Weiner Sensei, Chief Instructor & Dojo Cho has been studying Aikido for over 20 years and currently holds the rank of Godan (5th Degree Black Belt) as recognized by the United States Aikido Federation and the Aikikai World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan). Weiner Sensei is also a Shidoin (certified senior instructor) appointed by the USAF and Aikikai World Headquarters. Weiner Sensei oversees rank promotion and testing at Aikido of Charlotte and has attended over 130 seminars in the past 20 years learning from many Shihan (Master Teachers). He also actively teaches Self Defense Workshops to corporations & organizations such as Newell, TIAA, Real Estate companies as well as various associations. His credentials also include NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, NRA Certified Range Safety Officer (RSO), and is a Certified Glock Armorer. Jonathan is the Owner of 360 Visuals, Inc. a Video Production Agency.

Sensei 先生 - Charlotte NC

Sensei

By Jonathan Weiner | November 30, 2023

Sensei 先生 The two characters that make up the term can be directly translated as “born before,” and imply one who teaches based on wisdom gained from age and experience.…

5 Questions with our Chief Instructor

5 Questions with our Chief Instructor

By Jack Freund | October 31, 2023

5 Questions with our Chief Instructor Jack Freund: Why is attending seminars so valuable? Weiner Sensei: Seminars are valuable because so many things can take place in that style of…

Get comfortable being uncomfortable - Charlotte NC

Get comfortable being uncomfortable

By Jack Freund | August 8, 2023

Get comfortable being uncomfortable. When working with new students, I’m always fascinated with how hard it is to verbalize what we’ve been doing for years. This is especially evident when…