Unlike many American dojos that view promotions as an achievement that you earn, Sensei Freeman’s view is that testing is a gift of responsibility from the Sensei to the student. Rank does not have its privileges here; rank really has its responsibilities. These responsibilities translate into the students’ skills that are being evaluated during testing to reflect the high quality and standards of Sensei Seagal’s curriculum.

Testing is an important aspect of training at TR dojo whether you are an instructor, a participant or a supporting member of the dojo. Every dojo instructor and member’s attendance is essential and should be viewed as an opportunity to support your dojo family. Therefore, from the newest student to the seasoned yudansha...please fully participate in the pre-testing, testing, and social training in these events.

  • Please make sure that you arrive early enough to stretch out, warm-up and to walk through the techniques on which you think you will be tested.
  • Make sure you have enough time to ask your sempai questions if you need to. 
  • Please make sure your sempai has signed off on your testing request sheet.
  •  Make sure all testing fees are collected by Three Rivers Aikido uchideshi or assigned senior student well in advance of Sensei's arrival (this could be pre-paid as far as several weeks in advance).
  • Please set a schedule to help clean the dojo prior to the testing hour as there have been three tests in the past fifteen years that have been cancelled due to the dojo not being properly cleaned.
  • Please do not be late and please clear your calendar if the test runs late as it is extremely impolite to leave the testing while others are still putting it all out on the mat, especially if they are the seniors that have helped you get where you are today.
  • Your uniform should be clean and ironed with no rips or holes.  Patches and your name should appear in the proper place on the left sleeve of your gi.
  • If you would like to invite friends and family with cameras, that is fine, however, please make sure they know the etiquette and boundaries of the dojo. 
  • If someone needs to use the restrooms, there will be several keys available. 
  • Please tell your guests not to be too obvious while walking on the green and to choose an appropriate moment, as not to interrupt.
  • Afterwards, it is traditional to have a toast for the instructors and sempai at the local restaurant &/or sushi bar.


These are some considerations for testing etiquette, be sure to ask your sempai to review proper dojo etiquette with you.