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  1. I am one from the group of people ’15 years in Aikido but still with white belt’ and obviously cant talk about personal experience after shodan exam. But I believe that it is the matter of personality how the exam would influence someone’s Aikido and what will be the trigger for the leaps.
    The great thing about the exam is that teacher is watching you and gives you the recognition that you are good or at list on the right track. That is crucial for the people that needs confirmation for their hard work.
    Another group of people have a lot of self-confidence and they need the exam only for their teacher to tell all the others that they are good. These people most often quits Aikido after the shodan.
    Another good thing about the exam is that during the preparations you think a lot about the technics, you visualize your Aikido and put attacks and tehnics in some order (meaning you train Aikido much more). Therefore there is no wonder if your Aikido changes after the exam.
    But, on the other hand, training Aikido is full of ups and downs. One ukemi, one sensation, one idea could change you upside down. Total stranger could come to you and give you the experience that could blast your Aikido. The right word at the right time could open your eyes for a whole new world in Aikido. After two day seminar you might become another person.
    Leaps are happening no matter if you want them or not. They will wait for you, on some seminar, on your exam, on someone’s else exam, you can find them in your own dojo with the beginners, with your own teacher… Sometimes we close our eyes, imagine, and jump!

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