- Don't forget to kiap! Seriously. You could do everything else perfectly, but if you forget this, you're going to fail. No one expects you to be perfect at this level, but as long as you can demonstrate your spirit and commitment, you'll be fine.
- Maintain Zanshin ("remaining mind" or focus). Even if you end up on the wrong foot or don't cut properly, don't let it show. Don't make faces or heave heavy sighs. Make any small adjustments you need to and just keep going. Try not to let anything break your focus.
- Tap into your chianshim (power). Make sure to engage your core. A good cut comes from speed and chianshim, not brute muscle.
- Relax and breathe! Easier said than done, I know, but try. Make sure to move slower than you think you need too. When you're nervous, you'll speed up and make mistakes you wouldn't ordinarily make. Practice going slower than you think you need to so that on the day of the test, you'll move at the proper pace.
Check in with the instructor if you're not sure what you need to do on the test. Remember that you need to have your own sword and a uniform before you can take your first test. It's best if you can practice in your uniform at least a few times first- hakama can take some getting used to! The cost of the test is $40 and is due before the beginning of the test, along with the testing application form.
The dojo is easily reached by New Jersey Transit, but we are also arranging a car pool from the city. Please let us know ASAP if you'd like to get in on the car pool.
If you can't make it to the test on the 24th, we will be offering an opportunity to take a video test on Monday, September 26th during regular class. Send us an e-mail if you'd like more information or have any other questions about the test.