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Sean Britton
10-09-2006, 02:10 AM
i recently went to see another aikido dojo and realized that they had a completly different style of ranking as my dojo does. the dojo i go to starts at 10th kyu, from 10-7 its white belt, 6-4 is blue, 3-1 is brown. while the school i visited only starts at 6th. so my question is, which is the traditional ranking system? this caught myself and everyone at the dojo i was visiting off guard. I told them i was 6th kyu at my dojo and have been studying for around a year and they were totally perplexed :p

both of these schools are a part of the federation and both have very good senseis with history of who they where taught by.

Tony Wagstaffe
10-09-2006, 10:01 AM
If you are worried about rankings you are really missing the point!
Ranks given out from different organizations do not qualify from one oganization to the next so its a misnomer in all honesty!
The most important thing is/are the teacher/s welcoming, genuine and not aloof. Are their students welcoming, friendly, hard working and not brown nosing their teacher... Do they have a good workout with good strong basics and credible Aikido? That's really all you need to worry about! ;) :)

Ron Tisdale
10-09-2006, 10:36 AM
Yoshinkan dojo typically go from 9th to 1st kyu...different dojo in that organization may have different emphasis on colored belts (some use, some do not). You are most likely seeing a difference between yoshinkan and aikikai dojo...no big deal.

Best,
Ron (both are equally "traditional"...aikikai is closer to Ueshiba family today...but the Yoshinkan founder studied for a long time with M. Ueshiba)

Chris Li
10-09-2006, 11:03 AM
so my question is, which is the traditional ranking system?

There is no traditional ranking system. The kyu/dan ranking system is a modern creation of Jigoro Kano which was adopted and changed by other arts and groups as they saw fit. Ranks in Aikido didn't even start to be used until shortly before WWII.

Best,

Chris

Eric Webber
10-09-2006, 11:25 AM
Traditional ranking system: leader or follower; (commander or soldier).

Nafis Zahir
10-09-2006, 02:37 PM
Yoshinkan dojo typically go from 9th to 1st kyu...different dojo in that organization may have different emphasis on colored belts (some use, some do not). You are most likely seeing a difference between yoshinkan and aikikai dojo...no big deal.

Best,
Ron (both are equally "traditional"...aikikai is closer to Ueshiba family today...but the Yoshinkan founder studied for a long time with M. Ueshiba)


Hey Ron,

Can you tell me why in the Yoshinkan Style, you cannot wear the hakama until you are San Dan?

Ron Tisdale
10-09-2006, 02:53 PM
It's not so much that you can't...I got my hakama at shodan, as do most...there just aren't that many "formal" occasions where it is worn. At seminars, you train, and the hakama is considered to kind of get in the way of hard training. I know other traditions train hard in the hakama all the time...but that's just the way it's looked at in that style. During class times, it is extremely rare for me to wear mine, unless specifically asked, or unless I'm leading a class because a regular instructor couldn't make it.

Now, in the branch dojo that I came up in, we mixed with other groups more than usual, so our instructor there had us wear them all the time so that we would be used to them when training with other groups. When I visit an aikikai dojo, I wouldn't think of not wearing the hakama, as that is the tradition there.

But when we train with Ikeda Sensei and his students, we usually wear hakama, as that is what they do, and the spirit is one of trying to learn what they do...not forcing our own habits on them. So if you come to the seminar, bring your hakama, and dance circles around those of us who still trip on the hem! :)

Best,
Ron

Sean Britton
10-09-2006, 11:13 PM
Hey Ron,

Can you tell me why in the Yoshinkan Style, you cannot wear the hakama until you are San Dan?

my aikido dojo is 9-1kyu so if hes right then im in a Yoshinkan dojo. but we get our hakamas at 6th kyu.

Qatana
10-10-2006, 09:51 AM
Sean I was going to say, check your dojo's website but having looked at it I am more concerned that there is No information on affiliation of the dojo nor of the Sensei's background.

MM
10-10-2006, 11:17 AM
It's not so much that you can't...I got my hakama at shodan, as do most...there just aren't that many "formal" occasions where it is worn. At seminars, you train, and the hakama is considered to kind of get in the way of hard training. I know other traditions train hard in the hakama all the time...but that's just the way it's looked at in that style. During class times, it is extremely rare for me to wear mine, unless specifically asked, or unless I'm leading a class because a regular instructor couldn't make it.

Now, in the branch dojo that I came up in, we mixed with other groups more than usual, so our instructor there had us wear them all the time so that we would be used to them when training with other groups. When I visit an aikikai dojo, I wouldn't think of not wearing the hakama, as that is the tradition there.

But when we train with Ikeda Sensei and his students, we usually wear hakama, as that is what they do, and the spirit is one of trying to learn what they do...not forcing our own habits on them. So if you come to the seminar, bring your hakama, and dance circles around those of us who still trip on the hem! :)

Best,
Ron

Hi Ron,

Here I was hoping that you'd say at the Ikeda sensei seminar, we wouldn't have to wear a hakama. I've been wearing mine for a few years and I *still* trip over it. LOL. Oh well, one of these days I'll figure out the secret of wearing one and not tripping.

Mark

James Davis
10-10-2006, 11:30 AM
I was hoping that you'd say at the Ikeda sensei seminar, we wouldn't have to wear a hakama. I've been wearing mine for a few years and I *still* trip over it. LOL. Oh well, one of these days I'll figure out the secret of wearing one and not tripping.

Mark
It's more than just an article of clothing, it's a training tool! :D

ian
10-10-2006, 11:39 AM
Yeh, I've trained in all sorts of places with different rankings. The beauty of aikido is that you can tell how good someone is by training with them. Always best to have a club that seems a bit undergraded for their ability - looks good when your 2nd kyus are throwing other peoples blackbelts right across the dojo ;)

Sean Britton
10-10-2006, 04:31 PM
Sean I was going to say, check your dojo's website but having looked at it I am more concerned that there is No information on affiliation of the dojo nor of the Sensei's background.

that website is a little out of date so im not suprised. but i know as a fact that my sensei trained under Shihan Mitsugi Saotome, and we are all members of the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba so the the dojo is fine :)

Qatana
10-10-2006, 05:44 PM
Yeah, I would say so! Thanks for the info!
Anyway, being an ASU dojo means you do aikikai style aikido,ASU is a member organisation of the aikikai, just as the organisation my dojo belongs to, CAA,is a member organisation.But even within an organisation belt rankings van be different-my dojo starts testing at 5th kyu, after about ten months of training.

Adam Huss
10-11-2006, 08:14 AM
Hey Ron,

Can you tell me why in the Yoshinkan Style, you cannot wear the hakama until you are San Dan?

If I may add to what Tisdale Sensei replied with:

After the restrictions on open training of Budo in post WWII Japan, an All-Japan demonstration was held. Ueshiba Sensei was asked to give a demonstration. He declined but asked Shioda Gozo Sensei to do the demo instead. Shioda Sensei took first place at the demo and was granted a kind of govt sponsorship for his aikido (Yoshinkan). This resulted in him training govt. employees, in large quantities. His dojo was relatively small in numbers (of students/instructors) at the time, so they were a bit 'short staffed.' They got into the practice of having only the head instructor, standing on an elevated surface, wear hakama to make him more distinguishable from everyone else. So initially this Yoshinkan tradition stemmed from the practicality of teaching large quantities of govt employees with minimal tetsudai. My teacher (I'm pretty sure) also gives the option for his students, with the rank of yondan or higher, to wear hakama during class if they are not teaching.

cheers!

~Adam

Ron Tisdale
10-11-2006, 09:00 AM
Good bit of history Adam, Thanks! Oh, and I am not a Sensei...just Ron will do fine... ;)

Best,
Ron

CitoMaramba
10-11-2006, 09:14 AM
Wasn't the Aikikai Hombu represented at the demo by Koichi Tohei Sensei? That's according to "Samurai Aikijutsu" by Toshishiro Obata...

Adam Huss
10-11-2006, 05:54 PM
Possibly. I wasn't aware of another aikido demonstrator at that demo, however I don't know too much about it. Tohei Sensei would of about 25 years old and training in aikido for about 6 years or so at that time.

CitoMaramba
10-12-2006, 01:42 AM
From "Morihei Ueshiba and Gozo Shioda"
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=71
"A significant event proved to be a large aikido demonstration held in Tokyo in 1954 sponsored by the Life Extension Association which was attended by some 15,000 persons. Shioda's performance received the best reception from the huge audience and little by little the nascent Yoshinkan Aikido organization began to achieve prominence. Also, around this time Shioda's activities became known to various members of the business world. In particular, a Mr. Kudo who headed the Tomin Bank came to the aid of the Yoshinkan and backed the construction of a dojo. The Tsukudo Hachiman facility was opened to the general public in 1955. From that modest beginning, Yoshinkan Aikido gradually spread all over Japan and to foreign countries, mainly in the U.S. and Europe. It is presently the second largest aikido organization with hundreds of members dojos in its world-wide network."

Now, no mention is made of Koichi Tohei giving a demo, but as I reported earlier, Toshishiro Obata makes mention of it in "Samurai Aikijutsu". In 1954, Tohei Sensei would be 34 years old and already 8th Dan, having been promoted to 8th Dan by O-Sensei in 1952 (cf. Encyclopedia of Aikido).

I will try to research some more on the other participants of the demo in 1954.

CitoMaramba
10-12-2006, 01:53 AM
From http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=512
"In 1954, Shioda participated in a large aikido demonstration held in Tokyo sponsored by the Life Extension Association that was attended by some 15,000 persons. Morihei Ueshiba was scheduled to appear in this demonstration, but was unable to attend due to illness and instead Koichi Tohei represented the Aikikai."

Article by Stanley Pranin

ChrisMoses
10-12-2006, 09:44 AM
Hi Ron,

Here I was hoping that you'd say at the Ikeda sensei seminar, we wouldn't have to wear a hakama. I've been wearing mine for a few years and I *still* trip over it. LOL. Oh well, one of these days I'll figure out the secret of wearing one and not tripping.

Mark

One of the secrets is to buy one that is the right length, meaning that it only comes to the ankle. Most sword guys, who are often wearing more traditional clothing, have even shorter hakama. Floor sweepers are dangerous.

As for rankings, I've seen a lot of schools start kids at 10th kyu and adults at 5th or 6th. I don't have much experience with Yoshinkan dojos however, but I do like their take on wearing the hakama. It's good to know how to move in one, but they also hide a lot of information from the students.

Adam Huss
10-12-2006, 04:34 PM
Now, no mention is made of Koichi Tohei giving a demo, but as I reported earlier, Toshishiro Obata makes mention of it in "Samurai Aikijutsu". In 1954, Tohei Sensei would be 34 years old and already 8th Dan, having been promoted to 8th Dan by O-Sensei in 1952 (cf. Encyclopedia of Aikido).

I will try to research some more on the other participants of the demo in 1954.

Ah, I thought that the demo was in '45 not '55...my mistake.

RampantWolf
10-13-2006, 03:38 AM
<snip>I don't have much experience with Yoshinkan dojos however, but I do like their take on wearing the hakama. It's good to know how to move in one, but they also hide a lot of information from the students.

When I was training in Brisbane Yoshinkan the only time I saw Sensei Mori (6th Dan) wear a hakama was during demonstrations or when he was grading us. All the other times it was just a gi with pants that ended around his ankle. Was great because you could actually see the details of his footwork, not just that it moved in this direction but which way his foot was pointing and if you were close enough and watched carefully you could even see when the weight transfer happened.

They look great in demonstrations though with people just seeming to glide around the mat. :)