I really screwed up when I initially called the process of "checking" students in Sanchin a "test". The word "test" connotes "teacher against student", which, in my opinion, Sanchin was never meant to imply.
In the "old" days, the only "testing" was during demonstrations. . . for the public's benefit. One does not develop muscle through the process of being pounded on! Granted, one develops confidence, if he/she survives the encounter, but the negative effects outweighs the benefits. (IMHO)
I've been spending the past 20 years trying to right the wrongs of my early teachings. However, even some of the 2nd/3rd generation Okinawans are now practicing it as a regular part of their classes! (They saw how much we liked being pounded on and made sure we continued to get what we wanted/needed)
One should develop a "natural" strength, through the practice of Sanchin and other kata. Most important. . . your breath should not be "locked" or held during any part of your kata performance. When someone anticipates getting "hit", many students will hold his breath while tightening muscles in a rigid, paralyzing stance. . . just the opposite of what we are trying to develop in a student.
I've been teaching (for over 20 years) that a teacher's job is to always build confidence in a student. In this role, he/she should never "check" the student to disrupt posture or cause the student to hold breath or lock-up in preparation of the instructor's blows or proding.
Traditions die hard. . . even traditions I started! That's why I feel so bad about seeing students of students of students of mine, who are practicing something I stopped many, many years ago!
[This message has been edited by gmattson (edited 11-02-98).]