How Do You Remember
The Classical Techniques & The Belts Each Technique is Associated With
By Jonathan Wilson
Yesterday evening, while reviewing applications with a student who will soon be testing for Green belt, I was once again struck by the simple truth that a portion of the test for rank is simply remembering the techniques you’re being tested on. It was clear this student knew all of them, but he struggled to name them quickly. We’ve all been there haven’t we?
How I Remember The 1st Set
As I think back to my salad days as a new aikido student getting ready to test for yellow belt, I remember thinking about how I initially struggled to find a method to “remember” my techniques. It was my sempai Tim, who suggested arranging the first letters in each technique to spell words.
Though Tim’s arrangement is slightly different than mine, my First set ~ goes like this :
How I Remember The 2nd Set
On the Second set, there is only one technique that begins with a vowel; so spelling words is difficult. On this set, I made a sentence instead.
Here is my yellow belt set sentence:
Please Letme Smooch a Read-headed Pharmacist Heartfelt Lovingly With Authenticity
Which translates ~
Peel off, Lift Up, Spin Around, Reverse Wrist, Pivot Take Down, Hold Down, High Bridge, Low Bridge, Wheel Throw, Arm Bar Throw
Nota Bena: For the record, my particular fascination with smooching pharmacists is limited to my soul mate ~ the beautiful red-headed pharmacist I’ve been married to for 24 wonderful years.
How I Remember The 3rd Set
If I ever struggle to remember techniques in a set, for some reason, it is typically the techniques that comprise the 3rd set.
On this set my order is arranged like this:
How I Remember The 4th Set
Now this set is the beginning of the home stretch.
(3 Kick Defenses)
(Another Scoop that is not a kick defense)
(Now attack uke starting at the head and work your way down. Don’t forget to throw him at the end.)
How I Remember The 5th Set
(Initially arranged by the letters they start with)
(The next three sort of rhyme)
(The last one sounds really exotic)
So those are my memory aids. I know that to be most effective, memory aids need to be personal. Just out of curiosity, what memory aids do you use?
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Great picture showing multiple layers or sub flooring system at
Aikido of Charlotte
Welcome to the Wide Open Spaces at Carter’s Academy of Self Defense in
Bond Street Dojo in NYC. You can see the raised floor in the backdrop. Plants grow in pots between the raised floor and the walls of the dojo ~ which gives it a very unique feel. This is the right side of the training floor, with the old canvas cover over the tatami.
Aikido Center of Atlanta, with its trademark rock walls and wooden sliding door. You can see the raised sub flooring in the foreground.
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