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Beard of Chuck Norris
06-05-2007, 11:54 AM
Just curious to see how long it would take the average student in your school or style to get their black belt.

So... how long does it take to reach shodan?

or....

How long did it take you to reach shodan? :p

I hope no one is so sensitive that they take offence from this... I know some people are very touchy when it comes to "rank".

Peace and love and preemptive apologies (just in case)

Jo

Aristeia
06-05-2007, 12:07 PM
longer than to first kyu but not as much time as it took to nidan.

Seriously it varies considerably with style I think. I've heard of some styles that get there in as little as 2 years, others as much as 6 years or more. Depending of course on how much your're training etc. For me personally it was around the 4 year mark I believe.

lifeafter2am
06-05-2007, 12:08 PM
Just curious to see how long it would take the average student in your school or style to get their black belt.

So... how long does it take to reach shodan?


Well under the USAF, if you practiced 7 days a week it would take you 3.12 years, because of their day requirements. I would probably say something realistic like 4-6 years. I am in no rush, just so I make progress in my training and continue to learn.

Don't focus on rank!! :D Just playing!!!:D

giriasis
06-05-2007, 01:13 PM
I'm in the USAF, training pretty consistently since January 2000. I'm testing November 2007 for shodan. I've had a few months off here and there.

I don't know of anyone in the USAF getting to shodan in 3 years. 5-7 years is more of the standard.

lifeafter2am
06-05-2007, 01:20 PM
I don't know of anyone in the USAF getting to shodan in 3 years. 5-7 years is more of the standard.

If that was in response to me, I was just adding up all the day requirements and then dividing by 365, it was by no means a "you can do it this fast" type of number. ;)

Chris Li
06-05-2007, 01:27 PM
I'm in the USAF, training pretty consistently since January 2000. I'm testing November 2007 for shodan. I've had a few months off here and there.

I don't know of anyone in the USAF getting to shodan in 3 years. 5-7 years is more of the standard.

Of course, at Aikikai Hombu you can get to nidan in around 2 years. And no, it's not because of a higher level of training.

Best,

Chris

Steven
06-05-2007, 03:13 PM
15 years and two attempts. I did have a year or two off (not consecutive years) due to non aikido related injuries and family.

2 years to the day between the first attempt and second. I was in no hurry and wanted to ensure I had it right and didn't make the same mistakes twice.

Mark Uttech
06-05-2007, 04:02 PM
It may take 5-6 years, provided that you train consistently three times a week for those years. Consistency is pretty rare. Even after shodan, consistency is pretty rare. It plays right up there with the "many are called, few are chosen" tenets of religion or marriage, or parenthood, that is how deep a commitment is required. There are also seminars and camps to attend. It is like a labyrinth that tests your resolve from the beginning.

In gassho,

Mark

Mark Gibbons
06-05-2007, 04:35 PM
There was a poll. http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=61

Aikiscott
06-05-2007, 06:29 PM
In 2 weeks time I will be sitting for Shodan for the 3rd time.
I have managed to not pass Shodan twice in 2 countries. I am in my 7th year of training.
I must say I am more nervious about this attempt the last two.

Patrick
06-05-2007, 08:45 PM
It took me 2 and a half years to reach shodan and about another 2 years till i demoed for my nidan

raul rodrigo
06-05-2007, 09:14 PM
Four to eight years is considered normal over here.

seank
06-05-2007, 09:51 PM
In 2 weeks time I will be sitting for Shodan for the 3rd time.
I have managed to not pass Shodan twice in 2 countries. I am in my 7th year of training.
I must say I am more nervious about this attempt the last two.

Good luck Scott. Are you grading at the winter school on the Gold Coast?

I'm looking to grade to 1st kyu in August and will likely look toward my shodan grading in twelve to eighteen months after that (all things going well), totalling five to five and half years of training.

One of our instructors graded to shodan last year after training for nearly eight years and I must admit there was a marked difference between his grading and others who only took three to four years. He'd had the opportunity beforehand but wanted to take his time. Its all relative to the person I think though.

Dieter Haffner
06-06-2007, 01:02 AM
It took me little over 5 years to get to shodan.
Although I must admit I skipped 1st kuy.
Or better said: my teacher's teacher let me skip it, because he said I was ready.

PhilMyKi
06-06-2007, 01:20 AM
In 2 weeks time I will be sitting for Shodan for the 3rd time.


Have you tried standing and not sitting!:D Only joking - good luck.

I am two years in and I don't see myself taking Shodan (if at all) for a very long time, possibly when I am old and grey.

Ecosamurai
06-06-2007, 01:30 AM
It took me 4 yrs to shodan, I was at university at the time and unable to train during summer and other holidays so only actually training for about 9 months of the year. With us, about 3 yrs is the usual if you train regularly.

Shodan to nidan for me was much more difficult mostly because I had moved away and had nobody to train with (why I started teaching). Took me another 4.5 years after shodan to get to nidan and many attempts at it too. So assuming I pass Sandan first time there will be a smaller gap between my Nidan to Sandan grades than there was between my shodan and nidan.

Time to shodan is an old question that often comes up. I tried searching for it here on the forums but no luck as the words are too common I expect.

Suffice to say that it's a bigger deal in the west than in Japan.

Mike

Nafis Zahir
06-06-2007, 01:31 AM
5 1/2 years for me.

xuzen
06-06-2007, 01:52 AM
10 years for me. But then, I took the scenic road to shodan... Tried a couple of style just to get the various flavour: i.e, Shodokan, Aikikai; but I stayed with Yoshinkan the longest.

Boon.

Jason Woolley
06-06-2007, 02:44 AM
Just curious to see how long it would take the average student in your school or style to get their black belt.

So... how long does it take to reach shodan?


There is one grading per year - assuming you were eligible for, and invited to, all of them - 6 years.

Beard of Chuck Norris
06-06-2007, 04:31 AM
Cheers for the responses aikipeeps!

Like I said before, i am just curious about the length of time it takes an average student from each organisation to reach shodan.

I'm not obsessed by rank or climbing the ladder quickly. I'd rather look a bit impatient and ask questions than keep shtum.

Already I find it interesting that some schools you could be nidan in "x" amount of time whereas in others you would only be approaching shodan.

It kind of shows you that rank doesn't really mean anything outside of the dojo... and probably little inside too. ;)

Are the terms "kyu" and "dan" translatable? "dan" is often replaced with "degree" or "level" but does it have an actual meaning other than being a rank for yudansha? (does the dan in yudansha come from dan or it is a happy coincidence?)

Many thanks for your responses, don't worry... i don't plan on running up the mountain; i'm not built for speed!

Peace and love

Jo

Don_Modesto
06-06-2007, 08:59 AM
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Don't accept less than $1000/seminar day if you get to JUDAN.

lifeafter2am
06-06-2007, 09:34 AM
(Allow) 5-7 (business) days

Buy it now price US $25.00

Shipping costs: US $4.55

One (1) Black Belt Certificate (Aikido). This cerificate will be customized with the winner's information, otherwise the certificate will be shipped blank. Customization options include name custom printed and rank (Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan, Rokudan, Shichidan, Hachidan, Kudan, Judan) as well as the certifying Sensei's seal (hanko).

http://cgi.ebay.com/Aikido-Black-Belt-Certificate_W0QQitemZ110111481840QQihZ001QQcategoryZ16044QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1V QQcmdZViewItem#ShippingPayment

Don't accept less than $1000/seminar day if you get to JUDAN.

:eek: I thought you were joking until I clicked on the link! :eek:

aikidoc
06-06-2007, 03:20 PM
Over 4 years seems ridiculous to me. 3.5-4.5 seems reasonable for most people.

aikidoc
06-06-2007, 04:44 PM
Geez. To think one has to train when you can just buy your certificate. Those lame dragon borders have been around for years. Not as bad as the guy that used to sell nidan and godan ranks by video.

Lyle Bogin
06-06-2007, 05:00 PM
6.5 for me.

I had been looking forward to it since all kids seem to want to know about martial arts is "do you have a black belt". When the day came a could finally say "yes" (I was SO looking forward to this simple explanation) a new student arrived. He is a martial artist (at 11) and VERY serious. He got around to popping the question, and I happily said "yes, I have a black belt". "Well, do you have a SECOND degree black belt?" he retorted.

And I looked from the top of the mountain and saw another mountain, taller still....haha

giriasis
06-07-2007, 03:17 PM
If that was in response to me, I was just adding up all the day requirements and then dividing by 365, it was by no means a "you can do it this fast" type of number. ;)

I figured that you just added up all the time in requirements and assumed you would test on the day that you obtained your "hours." I think 5 years is a little more realistic with everyday training. I've heard of people getting to shodan in 4 years, but usually these folks have previous martial arts experience.

As to Chris Li, I'm aware of that, but its my understanding that the requirements set by Hombu are the minimum expect among Aikikai schools. We did get a 3rd dan visitor from the Aikikai Hombu to our dojo a year or so ago and he was surprised that I was only 1st kyu after 6 years of training. Then we trained together and he acted very surprised as to my skill at 1st kyu. I think he assumed my aikido must have been bad because it took me six years to reach 1st kyu, but after one or two throws he pretty much let go of that assumption. He was great to train with and he seemed to have a lot of fun training with us.

I doesn't bother me one way or the other that some associations or Aikikai Hombu have different standards than my school. To me ranking is important to the organization that issues them. If some schools typcially attribute shodan to 2 years of training then they are a shodan after 2 years. If others attribute shodan to 5 to 7 years of training, then they are shodan. But if all these people met on the mat after 7 years and if they had put in same effort into their training with an equal level of instruction then they would still be at the same level regardless of what rank has been confirmed on them.

Beard of Chuck Norris
06-08-2007, 03:27 AM
(Allow) 5-7 (business) days

Buy it now price US $25.00

Shipping costs: US $4.55



Still cheaper than my kendo menjo!

JO
06-08-2007, 10:37 AM
It took me 8 years. Just tested this May, started in early 1999. This is about the norm at my dojo, which is in the USAF. I know at least one person that did it in significantly less (around 5 years) and quite a few that took longer, some more than 10 years.

Chris Li
06-08-2007, 11:24 AM
As to Chris Li, I'm aware of that, but its my understanding that the requirements set by Hombu are the minimum expect among Aikikai schools. We did get a 3rd dan visitor from the Aikikai Hombu to our dojo a year or so ago and he was surprised that I was only 1st kyu after 6 years of training. Then we trained together and he acted very surprised as to my skill at 1st kyu. I think he assumed my aikido must have been bad because it took me six years to reach 1st kyu, but after one or two throws he pretty much let go of that assumption. He was great to train with and he seemed to have a lot of fun training with us.

I doesn't bother me one way or the other that some associations or Aikikai Hombu have different standards than my school. To me ranking is important to the organization that issues them. If some schools typcially attribute shodan to 2 years of training then they are a shodan after 2 years. If others attribute shodan to 5 to 7 years of training, then they are shodan. But if all these people met on the mat after 7 years and if they had put in same effort into their training with an equal level of instruction then they would still be at the same level regardless of what rank has been confirmed on them.

Of course, ranks are only meaningful within the organization that issues them - but your organization is the Aikikai, and it's sort of odd, IMO, that certificates that are issued by the same organization and signed by the same person (since all Aikikai yudansha certificates come from hombu and are signed by Moriteru Ueshiba) have such a varying range.

My opinion? The time requirements in the US have become much too long. 8-10 years for shodan? In some of the old schools you could get a menkyo kaiden in that same length of time. It creates an over-emphasis on the value of the "black belt".

Best,

Chris

Basia Halliop
06-08-2007, 11:45 AM
It creates an over-emphasis on the value of the "black belt".

I wonder if it might not be the other way around, i.e., the black belt has a high value in most people's minds (and in the english language), so those deciding on ranking requirements decide to try to make sure the training and skill somewhat matches what people are asking for when they say 'black belt'.

I'm not sure it matters so much, though -- it's like celcius and farenheit... the actual temperature doesn't change depending on what you decide to call it, yet it's awefully handy to have a scale that the people around you understand.

Chris Li
06-08-2007, 12:05 PM
I wonder if it might not be the other way around, i.e., the black belt has a high value in most people's minds (and in the english language), so those deciding on ranking requirements decide to try to make sure the training and skill somewhat matches what people are asking for when they say 'black belt'.

Of course, that's the normal explanation (mostly true, I think) - but in the long run I think that this approach has turned out to be a mistake.

Best,

Chris

Jamie_Macc
06-21-2007, 04:05 AM
Just wandering if anyone knows, Me and my step- brother are both 2nd kyu and aproaching senior classes. When you change to the senior syllabus if you have to 're-grade' as such, or if you just start at 6th kyu again?

Jamie

Avery Jenkins
06-21-2007, 04:20 AM
Hah. You guys are a bunch of pikers. I passed 5th kyu in 1990, got my shodan in Dec., 2006.

Of course there was some time off in there to start a family, a practice, and to recover from various and sundry injuries. Other than that, I progressed just swimmingly, I think.

rachmass
06-21-2007, 10:27 AM
I started in 1982 and received my shodan in 1996 (had 2 years off and switched styles). In another month it will be my 25th anniversary of practice minus my 2 years (and admitedly not practicing as much these last 6 months as before, but am making it back in slowly). Hope to be practicing for the next 25!!!!

gdandscompserv
06-21-2007, 10:38 AM
Yeah Rachel, 25 more would be nice.:)

Carl Smith
06-21-2007, 02:37 PM
Well it took me 6 years to get my shodan, I just passed it at the end of last year in fact. It didn't seem like too long a time and in fact had it been offered earlier I would have probably refused as I really wouldn't have felt ready for it. We only practice twice a week though I rarely miss it. The new school I will likely be transferring to trains 3 times a week in the summer though I will likely not make one of them. Still it's a slightly different style and should prove to be an interesting challenge.

Mark Uttech
06-21-2007, 04:19 PM
I think it would be interesting for anyone/everyone to ask themself:
"What is a shodan? And what should happen to make one a shodan? How much, and what type of experiences does a shodan need to become a true shodan?"

In gassho,

Mark

giriasis
06-21-2007, 08:45 PM
Of course, ranks are only meaningful within the organization that issues them - but your organization is the Aikikai, and it's sort of odd, IMO, that certificates that are issued by the same organization and signed by the same person (since all Aikikai yudansha certificates come from hombu and are signed by Moriteru Ueshiba) have such a varying range.

My opinion? The time requirements in the US have become much too long. 8-10 years for shodan? In some of the old schools you could get a menkyo kaiden in that same length of time. It creates an over-emphasis on the value of the "black belt".

Best,

Chris

Actually, I don't find it odd in the least. The Aikikai Hombu doesn't set the standards for the USAF; the Technical Committe of the USAF does. Sure, it's Doshu signing the certificate at shodan and up, but it's the Shihan of the USAF who tests us. If Hombu dictated that our tests should be the same as theirs but then the time requirements were different, then I would find that odd. But, that is not the case, now is it? The USAF Technical Committe are looking for us to demonstrate a competent understanding and clear fluent skill of all the basics at shodan. Shodan isn't THE beginning of our Aikido training it is just ANOTHER beginning.

Emphasis on shodan, sure, why not? It's better than emphasizing it by de-emphasizing it. I find things more honest by acknowledging that it actually means something more than the $15 dollars that you could spend at the local martial arts supply store.

I agree shodan is not the end all be all to training. But, I find nothing wrong with giving a person a long-term goal which expects you to persevere and find a greater purpose to their aikido journey.

Chris Li
06-22-2007, 01:53 AM
Actually, I don't find it odd in the least. The Aikikai Hombu doesn't set the standards for the USAF; the Technical Committe of the USAF does. Sure, it's Doshu signing the certificate at shodan and up, but it's the Shihan of the USAF who tests us. If Hombu dictated that our tests should be the same as theirs but then the time requirements were different, then I would find that odd. But, that is not the case, now is it? The USAF Technical Committe are looking for us to demonstrate a competent understanding and clear fluent skill of all the basics at shodan. Shodan isn't THE beginning of our Aikido training it is just ANOTHER beginning.

Of course, you can define shodan any way they want, it doesn't really matter except that the USAF doesn't exist in a vacuum, it is a small part of a much larger organization. It's tempting to define your own standards, I suppose, but in the long run I think that it's damaging to the cohesion of the organization as a whole.

Emphasis on shodan, sure, why not? It's better than emphasizing it by de-emphasizing it. I find things more honest by acknowledging that it actually means something more than the $15 dollars that you could spend at the local martial arts supply store.

Are you saying that's what it means at Aikikai hombu? Anyway, there are a lot of very good arguments against ranking of any kind in the martial arts (let alone shodan) but that's not really what I was discussing - what I was talking about was the importance of at least a general parity across an organization. Of course, you'll never really get all that close, but you can get roughly equivalent.

I agree shodan is not the end all be all to training. But, I find nothing wrong with giving a person a long-term goal which expects you to persevere and find a greater purpose to their aikido journey.

Sure, but I would think that it's better for the cohesion of the organization as a whole if the long-term goals don't get too far out of whack.

Best,

Chris

G DiPierro
06-22-2007, 05:42 PM
The Aikikai Hombu doesn't set the standards for the USAF; the Technical Committe of the USAF does. Sure, it's Doshu signing the certificate at shodan and up, but it's the Shihan of the USAF who tests us.

So then what is the point of being affiliated with the aikikai? If you don't want to follow the standards that the doshu has set forth for the aikikai, then why would you want to be part of his organization and receive rank from him? Could you imagine a dojo that was a member of the USAF deciding that it wanted to establish its own standards for issuing rank because it thought that those standards were better than the ones that the leader of that organization created for everyone else to use? How do you think such an idea would be received? What if that dojo decided that it wanted to follow the doshu's guidelines for rank since he is one who issues their certificates?

giriasis
06-22-2007, 08:04 PM
It's simple, because as I said before the standards set by the Aikikai Hombu dojo are the minimum standards and not the required standards. Don't just point fingers here at the USAF, there are many organizations here affiliated with the Aikikai, ASU, included, that have set forth their own testing requirements outside and beyond the Aikikai Hombu dojo. I never took it as an affront to the Doshu that other organizations use different standards - standards based upon their definition of what shodan is.

I also like and appreciate the fact that the testing techniques are not directly dictated by the Aikikai Hombu dojo standards. I find wisdom in their approach in allowing organizations FREEDOM to decide how to test and rank their students. It's unity through diversity, not unity through everyone being exactly the same. Even within the USAF you will find great variation in technique and instruction methods. I obviously do not see this a threat to the well being of the USAF or the Aikikai. Instead, it is a sign of health.

And, no Chris, I don't think Hombu standards are "low." Don't take affront. They are different. I'd take a safe bet that an aikidoka with 13 years experience in Hombu is equivalent to a 13 years experience where I train. It doesn't matter to me that the Hombu person is sandan and ours would be nidan.

In my opinion, the differences in expectation of the "meaning of shodan" are cultural ones. I think it is misguided to expect every single person to be the same, every single rank to be exactly alike, each 5th kyu or 1st dan to be exactly alike. Is that what you're getting at Mr. Li? I'm sorry but I think you would be doing a disservice to the Aikikai as a whole to expect every single person to be the same.

(P.S. G DiPierro, in the USAF it is not unknown that some sensei test their students on techniques and skills beyond what is set forth by our organization. Some add weapons requirements, ukemi requirements, additional techniques, etc. I know my sensei expects us know a lot more for 1st kyu than the bare minimum set forth by our organization. Variation and freedom in testing your students is allowed as long as the minimum requirements are met. However, if someone puts up a student for shodan test and they are not ready, they will get failed.)

Chris Li
06-22-2007, 08:24 PM
In my opinion, the differences in expectation of the "meaning of shodan" are cultural ones. I think it is misguided to expect every single person to be the same, every single rank to be exactly alike, each 5th kyu or 1st dan to be exactly alike. Is that what you're getting at Mr. Li? I'm sorry but I think you would be doing a disservice to the Aikikai as a whole to expect every single person to be the same.

I don't think that you'd ever get every single person in any organization to be exactly the same, not matter what standards you establish. On the other hand, I think that the failure to establish a rough parity of standards will, in the long run, prove detrimental to the cohesion of the organization as a whole - and the Aikikai is plenty fragile as it is without adding in additional stresses.

Certainly, there will be always be some kind of a range of standards, but the difference between one year to shodan and eight or nine seems, to me, to be a little bit extreme. Diversity is great, and a strength of the Aikikai, but if you examine the dynamics of other organizations I think that you will find that too much diversity can prove problematic.

As to pointing fingers at the USAF - well, I looked back through the thread and you were the one that brought up the USAF as an example in response to one of my postings. I only spoke of the US in general terms.

Best,

Chris

G DiPierro
06-22-2007, 08:58 PM
It's simple, because as I said before the standards set by the Aikikai Hombu dojo are the minimum standards and not the required standards. Don't just point fingers here at the USAF, there are many organizations here affiliated with the Aikikai, ASU, included, that have set forth their own testing requirements outside and beyond the Aikikai Hombu dojo. I never took it as an affront to the Doshu that other organizations use different standards - standards based upon their definition of what shodan is.

The aikikai bylaws state that, outside of Japan, national organizations like the USAF may set their own guidelines for rank. I find this a rather curious rule given that the whole point of aikikai affiliation is to receive yudansha certificates from the doshu. It stands to reason that one of criteria for issuing such certificates would be adhering to the rank requirements that the aikikai has established. Although the USAF requirements technically do "meet" those requirements, they also exceed them by quite a bit. So again I'm not really sure what the point of aikikai affiliation is for them. Why would you want a certificate from the doshu when your own shihan have standards that greatly exceed his?

I also like and appreciate the fact that the testing techniques are not directly dictated by the Aikikai Hombu dojo standards. I find wisdom in their approach in allowing organizations FREEDOM to decide how to test and rank their students. It's unity through diversity, not unity through everyone being exactly the same. Even within the USAF you will find great variation in technique and instruction methods. I obviously do not see this a threat to the well being of the USAF or the Aikikai. Instead, it is a sign of health.

The whole point of rank is to rank people, which is why it's called rank. If you don't have a standardized means of doing this across an organization in which rank is issued, then it's not a very useful ranking system. What's the point of having it then? It has become just a political and marketing tool to keep loyal customers coming back to your organization: an incentive program for repeat buyers. I wouldn't have a problem with that if people were honest that this is what most "rank" in aikido actually is, nor would I have much of a problem with an organization-wide ranking system that actually measured something useful and then ranked people according to their achievement on a reasonably objective basis. But I find that most people in aikido believe that rank does measure something consistent, objective, and useful about one's development as a martial artist. Are they wrong to expect this, or are the organizations wrong not to give it to them?

ChrisHein
06-23-2007, 03:06 AM
One of my teachers used to always say:
"Competitive martial artists lie about how short of a time they have in (saying they've only been doing it for a couple years when it's more like 5), and non competitive martial artists lie about how long they've been doing it (saying they've been doing it for 20 when it's more like 10)."

dalen7
06-23-2007, 06:06 AM
Ill put my 2cents in after my 11 lessons. :)

My wife and I were watching a t.v. program (in Hungarian) the other day. (Think its a British show, but it could be from the other side of the pond.)

Anyway the show is similar to MTVs "I wanna be made" - but its for adults and instead of having someone work with them an hour or so a day, it seems to be more intense like plunging themselves into whatever task they want to undertake.

At the end a group of judges has to pick out the person who is the 'fake' - or the one that has only been doing such and such 'career' for only a month but trying to pose as longer.

They did a show with a guy wanting to do karate.
And at the end of the month he was pretty good. 2 out of 3 judges could not guess he was the nooby. (felt sorry for the ones that trained 8 years, etc. which the judges picked as then nooby over the guy who only did the sport for a month.)

But see this proves something very important.
"I have trained 8 years and got black belt"
And so...was that 2 times a week like at my dojo?
Then its no wonder it took you that long.

Was it 5-6 times a week like in Budapest dojos?

Or like this guy, he had an intensive, from what I understand, day in and day out training for a month.

Its about how much you put in. And with Aikido it doesnt hurt to have live practice people. (I believe the other arts would benefit from more full contact sparring on a regular basis to see what works or doesnt...from the beginning, so that they can better feel why and where to hold their hands.)

So give me a month of intensive tranining day in and day out, and watch where I would be.
In saying that, had I not took the effort to study and watch stuff on my own on the internet, then I would not even be where Im at now.

I will say that as of now I can do Shomenuchi Ikkyo (omote & ura)
pretty fluidly - vs my stumbling and lack of terminology comprehension from the beginning. The fact that I looked up the requirements, etc. helped me to flow with whats going on at the dojo. It appears the requirements arent given out until test time.
(This is not a complaint...Im trying to merely back up the whole point of its what you put into it.)

So the 8 years, 6 years is a long time.
If everyone had the benefit of being a live in it would go by faster.
But thats not the world we live in - at least most of us.
So then you will have the factor of those who can only train 2 vs. 4 times a week, and this will make the time go quite lengthy relatively quickly.

Anyway...the point is to enjoy what your doing. Its truly not about the belt..unless you want that. i know when I started that was a motivating factor...I want to show I "conquered something"

But as my other post have pointed out, its more about self-mastery, but even that is not a good 'word' pointer...more about self-discovery?

Any way - Peace to you all, and enjoy your sport!

Dalen

Michael Meister
06-23-2007, 06:41 AM
Just wandering if anyone knows, Me and my step- brother are both 2nd kyu and aproaching senior classes. When you change to the senior syllabus if you have to 're-grade' as such, or if you just start at 6th kyu again?

Jamie

As nobody has answered your question yet...
It depends on your organisation. My organisation just started junior classes, and you can only get to 4th kyu there. But the rank will be equivalent to the senior rank. Other organisation will treat it differently. Just ask your Sensei.

Michael Meister
06-23-2007, 06:49 AM
Ill put my 2cents in after my 11 lessons. :)

My wife and I were watching a t.v. program (in Hungarian) the other day. (Think its a British show, but it could be from the other side of the pond.)

Anyway the show is similar to MTVs "I wanna be made" - but its for adults and instead of having someone work with them an hour or so a day, it seems to be more intense like plunging themselves into whatever task they want to undertake.

At the end a group of judges has to pick out the person who is the 'fake' - or the one that has only been doing such and such 'career' for only a month but trying to pose as longer.

They did a show with a guy wanting to do karate.
And at the end of the month he was pretty good. 2 out of 3 judges could not guess he was the nooby. (felt sorry for the ones that trained 8 years, etc. which the judges picked as then nooby over the guy who only did the sport for a month.)

But see this proves something very important.
"I have trained 8 years and got black belt"
And so...was that 2 times a week like at my dojo?
Then its no wonder it took you that long.

Was it 5-6 times a week like in Budapest dojos?

Or like this guy, he had an intensive, from what I understand, day in and day out training for a month.

Its about how much you put in. And with Aikido it doesnt hurt to have live practice people. (I believe the other arts would benefit from more full contact sparring on a regular basis to see what works or doesnt...from the beginning, so that they can better feel why and where to hold their hands.)

So give me a month of intensive tranining day in and day out, and watch where I would be.
In saying that, had I not took the effort to study and watch stuff on my own on the internet, then I would not even be where Im at now.

I will say that as of now I can do Shomenuchi Ikkyo (omote & ura)
pretty fluidly - vs my stumbling and lack of terminology comprehension from the beginning. The fact that I looked up the requirements, etc. helped me to flow with whats going on at the dojo. It appears the requirements arent given out until test time.
(This is not a complaint...Im trying to merely back up the whole point of its what you put into it.)

So the 8 years, 6 years is a long time.
If everyone had the benefit of being a live in it would go by faster.
But thats not the world we live in - at least most of us.
So then you will have the factor of those who can only train 2 vs. 4 times a week, and this will make the time go quite lengthy relatively quickly.

Anyway...the point is to enjoy what your doing. Its truly not about the belt..unless you want that. i know when I started that was a motivating factor...I want to show I "conquered something"

But as my other post have pointed out, its more about self-mastery, but even that is not a good 'word' pointer...more about self-discovery?

Any way - Peace to you all, and enjoy your sport!

Dalen

You made a good point there. I've seen people training hard, and getting to shodan within probably less than 2 years, I've seen people train hard, and it took them years more. But one thing all had in common, however long it took them, they've all been hungry for it when the time came.
Anyway, i haven't got a black belt yet, so I can't say, how long it took me ;)

Jamie_Macc
06-24-2007, 10:14 AM
As nobody has answered your question yet...
It depends on your organisation. My organisation just started junior classes, and you can only get to 4th kyu there. But the rank will be equivalent to the senior rank. Other organisation will treat it differently. Just ask your Sensei.

OK thanks alot for answering. Just out of interest Where abouts is South Hetton?

Aikiscott
06-24-2007, 05:55 PM
Good luck Scott. Are you grading at the winter school on the Gold Coast?

I'm looking to grade to 1st kyu in August and will likely look toward my shodan grading in twelve to eighteen months after that (all things going well), totalling five to five and half years of training.

One of our instructors graded to shodan last year after training for nearly eight years and I must admit there was a marked difference between his grading and others who only took three to four years. He'd had the opportunity beforehand but wanted to take his time. Its all relative to the person I think though.

Hi Sean
Sorry for the late reply but thanks for the Luck as it has paid off this time around as I passed yesterday.
Sean I do not train with Aikikai Australia, I am with the Australasian Aikikai which is a smaller aikikai group primarily in NSW and 1 dojo in Adelaide.
I would love the oppotunity to train with Sugano Sensei & some of the sensei's in Aikikai Australia but unfortunately at this present time that would not be possible due to political factors which is just unfortunate for everyone .
I wish you the best of luck for your 1st kyu grading at the winter School, let us know how it goes.

Walter Martindale
06-24-2007, 10:36 PM
Just curious to see how long it would take the average student in your school or style to get their black belt.

So... how long does it take to reach shodan?

or....

How long did it take you to reach shodan? :p

I hope no one is so sensitive that they take offence from this... I know some people are very touchy when it comes to "rank".

Peace and love and preemptive apologies (just in case)

Jo
No offense here, but I do understand. You can get a black belt at a martial arts supply store, but that doesn't make you a "shodan". It took me 4.5 years to earn enough competitive points to grade for judo shodan, and another 3.5 years for the secretary of the provincial judo association in question to actually file the points and let me know I was eligible - so the judo shodan took 8 years.

The Aikido - Started in October 1993, graded Shodan 2007 January. I've never been a yonkyu in either judo or aikido, but between Sankyu and Nikyu, 6 years passed, as well as living in 2 different countries and visiting several different dojos, all with different ways of doing things.

One fellow in my second dojo started Aikido when I was a go-kyu and graded to shodan within 3 years. He was one of those rare people, who practiced sometimes 3/day for about a year, and who had/has a "natural" feel for the people...

So - it varies? how's that sound...
Walter

RoyK
06-25-2007, 12:58 AM
Over 4 years seems ridiculous to me. 3.5-4.5 seems reasonable for most people.

Over 4 years seems ridiculous? Oh my, I've been training consecutively for 2 years and I'm at 4th kyu, and that's the normal pace at my dojo.

ChrisHein
06-25-2007, 10:14 AM
I know several uchi deshi who got their shodan in 3 years, myself included. And I have never heard anything but praise from other teachers about my teachers students.

If you're athletic and dedicated (full time training, multiple classes a day) with a good teacher, there is no reason you shouldn't get a black belt in 2-3 years.

Normal people 4-5, and slow learners 8 or so. But a black belt is only a first step.

Patrick Cassidy told me Saito gave him a shodan in 10 months. I've heard other Iwama people who trained with Saito say the same. Black belt is only a first step, not a master. It means you know the whole system, and can perform it adequately.

Beard of Chuck Norris
06-25-2007, 11:10 AM
I am surprised I actually got some answers!

Of course an answer is that it varies! But I appreciate some of you who have actually given a number. Not that it really means anything, just finding it interesting.

My Kendo Sensei who is Japanese, when our Aikido Sensei (English) came up, was far more interested in the length of time he'd been doing it for rather than the fact that he's whateverdan.

Seems like different countries hold teh kyu/dan system in various levels of esteem. I can't speak for Europe but the UK certainly was polluted (probably just like the US... thanks to the 80's!) in their idea of a "black belt". Perhaps if there were different colours for dan grades the black belt would be of less significance (:p). I find that most people really don't know that the black belt signifies the real learning beginning and not the mastery.

So, who's going to go and give the old shihans their Gold belts with silver stripes and diamond studs? :D

Peace and love

Jo

ChrisHein
06-25-2007, 02:29 PM
So, who's going to go and give the old shihans their Gold belts with silver stripes and diamond studs? :D



It's comming Jo, it's comming...

Berney Fulcher
07-04-2007, 10:47 AM
Nice bell curve on that poll. I have to wonder if it would even out any more if the answers were in days of training instead of years?

Jonathan Punt
07-05-2007, 05:34 AM
Took me 12 years. But took 18month break after about 8 years due to re location.

I always think that I took the more scenic route to my Shodan rather than the more direct route.

batemanb
07-09-2007, 12:36 AM
Have you tried standing and not sitting!:D Only joking - good luck.

I am two years in and I don't see myself taking Shodan (if at all) for a very long time, possibly when I am old and grey.

What can I say :D :p :)

PhilMyKi
07-10-2007, 11:47 AM
What can I say :D :p :)

I think 'good luck with that one' would suffice! :D

But, the congratulations you offered me last night after my surprise grading were well received :D and I still think I will be old and grey.