I had a kyu test last week. I’ve said it elsewhere, but thank you again to all those who train with me, without whom my aikido journey would be literally impossible.
Several weeks ago, class time was allotted for test preparation. I was in a group of two or three students, taking turns as nage practicing test techniques for our upcoming kyu tests. Jim Hyde, who had recently been promoted to 2nd dan, was an uke for us, but he never got a turn to throw. I told him that I was sorry he didn’t get a chance to practice his test techniques, half in jest, as he would not be testing again for years. He laughed and said, “they’re all my techniques.”
Yesterday I had my first day of class as a 5th kyu. We focused on morotetori kokyunage, katatetori shihonage, and ended with kokyu dosa. Two 5th kyu test requirements and a 6th kyu test requirement.
No secret door opened. The five point palm exploding heart technique was not passed on.
But did I learn nothing, having already demonstrated these techniques for all to see? Well… not exactly. Hyde Sensei pointed out something to think about on my shihonage, seemingly another way entirely to perform the kokyunage, and some eye-widening insight on the bio-mechanics of kokyu dosa. Clearly my work in these areas is not done.
So while, yes, new techniques are afforded to advanced students, the “old” ones don’t go away, and your understanding of them will evolve. Take ownership of them. They’re all yours now.