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dalen7
07-23-2007, 03:42 AM
O.K. shihan in Aikido.

Is that a master or grandmaster?

Reason I ask, is it appears from what I have observed -
Dan ranks 1 - 3 tend to be unique in themselves compared to ranks 4-6 appearing to be 'masters' (which I guess would make 6 and above grandmasters...given they are given the title shihan?)

I have also seen the term master (appropriately, i.m.o.) applied to a 4th dan in aikido - so I was wondering. (again, its all a matter of perspective as titles are just that...words.) :)

Peace

Dalen

Dieter Haffner
07-23-2007, 04:05 AM
I think the following link will answer you question.
http://www.aikiweb.com/wiki/Shihan

dalen7
07-23-2007, 06:03 AM
I think the following link will answer you question.
http://www.aikiweb.com/wiki/Shihan

thanks for the link...similar to wiki -

I was under the impression having seen the title master for people who are not shihans that a shihan was more of a grandmaster.

But at the end, its all terms...it really comes down to the individual and what it (aikido) means to them.

Again, thanks for the post :)

Peace

Dalen

PeterR
07-23-2007, 06:08 AM
Trying to fit two systems into one - always astounded how many grandmasters there are in the world. I figure master is around 5th Dan, Shihan is minimum 6th Dan and then even then it is not guaranteed - more of a leadership role.

dalen7
07-23-2007, 06:23 AM
Trying to fit two systems into one - always astounded how many grandmasters there are in the world. I figure master is around 5th Dan, Shihan is minimum 6th Dan and then even then it is not guaranteed - more of a leadership role.

My problem is I get caught up in 'belts' 'names' & 'labels'...
I have to remind myself that its just my ego and that the name is not what makes a person. - all of ego is pretty much fear based anyway of not having enough of something, etc. ...but anyway. :)

I only bring up the last point as a reminder to myself, as I am trying to incorporate aikido into my spiritual practice...and a lot of my questions tend to get back into a non-spiritual aspect of things - or rather looking at Aikido in a way that wouldnt necessarily benefit my spiritual journey. - if this makes sense at all. ;)

Thanks for the post

Dalen

Ron Tisdale
07-23-2007, 07:59 AM
I'm still trying to remember the last "Master" that I met...

I know I never met a "Grand Master"...

I have met some Shihan though. Nice guys. :D

Best,
Ron (oh boy)

PeterR
07-23-2007, 08:24 AM
I have heard a number of times people refering to 5th Dans as having mastered aikido. All in context of course.

jennifer paige smith
07-23-2007, 08:35 AM
I have heard a number of times people refering to 5th Dans as having mastered aikido. All in context of course.

Thanks for the great jumping-off point!

There are also many accomlished and masterful aikidoka who do not carry rank. They do not carry it because of many reasons individually. Collectively there is an exodus from the ranking structure because of politics in the American Dojo's and politics in Japan. Shihan can be a very loaded distinction because of the explicit and implicit prejudices of an anachronistic structure like the Japanese Ranking process (Women? Non-Japanese? Non-Aikikai Sympathists?...et al.). It is a natural thing for structures like these to break down. It is natural for people to want to know who they are dealing with by a persons title. It is also natural to want to practice in full conviction without politics. Get to know 'good' aikido, and you will see for yourself who the real masters are. Often, they are sitting quietly next to you in line.

dalen7
07-23-2007, 08:47 AM
There are also many accomlished and masterful aikidoka who do not carry rank.
Get to know 'good' aikido, and you will see for yourself who the real masters are. Often, they are sitting quietly next to you in line.

True to the point -
We have a guy that is white belt only because he hasnt tested in 5 years, and doesnt want to test...and he is good.

And our 4th Dan...well, he's master (i.m.o.) - so your right, you will know when you see.

Peace

Dalen

odudog
07-23-2007, 09:22 AM
Hello Dalen, since you seem to be asking a lot of these type of questions lately I thought that I would just pre-empt your next question about the other titles. I was working on a list of terms that are used in Aikido and looked up the actual translations for each kanji in the word and had it double checked by a Japanese {my wife}. As you can see, the actual translation (placed immediatly after the kanji) for Shihan does not mean master but we translate it to this meaning in English.
And like Peter said previously, these titles are given and are not automatic by any nature. My teacher is 4th dan and is not Shidoin and his teacher is 6th dan (Japanese) and is not Shihan. Politics involved in there somewhere but I'm kept out of the loop.

fukushidoin 副指導員 assistant guidance member; (assistant instructor) the lowest of three honorary instructor levels instituted by the Aikikai Honbu Dojo and corresponds approximately to 2nd and 3rd degree black belt

shidoin 指導員 guidance member; (instructor) the middle of three honorary instructor levels instituted by the Aikikai Honbu Dojo and corresponds approximately to 4th and 5th degree black belt
shihan 師範 teacher model; (master instructor) the highest of three honorary instructor levels instituted by the Aikikai Honbu Dojo and corresponds approximately to 6th degree black belt and above

aikidoc
07-23-2007, 12:27 PM
Some 6th dans are not teachers but practitioners. I believe aikikai rules request affiliated organizations to identify shidoin, fuku-shidoin instructors and they award the shihan title. I guess organizations could have an organizational shihan without them being aikikai awarded. fuku-shidoin- 2nd-3rd dan, shidoin= 4th-6th but could be higher, shihan- 6th and up but not everyone awarded. Several American 6th dans were not awarded until they got to 7th.

dalen7
07-23-2007, 01:12 PM
John, Mike, thanks for both of your post.

And Mike I appreciate you taken the time to ask your wife the 'correct' meanings behind the terms.

Thanks

peace

Dalen

- wanted to add, seems like someone wrote somewhere here that europe is different than Japan and the U.s.
What I mean is that 1dan is like the beginning in the U.S. and Japan, and you wont find a 1st Kyu instructor, etc. Whereas in europe its not uncommon for people to start teaching at 1st Kyu, as there test requirements, and how they have their levels set up are more stringent.

I can actually see this from what I have observed thus far.

So at the end, kind of what has been alluded to here and other post...titles are more politics, and not necessarily reflective of skill -

And as John pointed out, for shihan you have to have taught - which I just read on this site today also, and it said you would have to have taught for a minimum of 6 years.

So in a sense, the titles truly dont reflect skill level, and is more about teaching/politics I suppose - a master, you will tell when you find them. :)

Peace

Dalen

odudog
07-23-2007, 02:07 PM
Dalen, anybody can teach the art. The thing is, do they know what they are doing. My Sensei originally was being taught by someone who was still kyu ranked, when that person left the area, my Sensei then took over as a kyu rank. He would drive up to another area on the weekend to learn from a real Sensei, then teach what he had learned back at his original dojo to the other students. When his current Sensei then moved into the area, he naturally handed over the dojo. My Sensei had me and some other students start to teach about 1 1/2 yrs. ago while we were kyu ranked. We just passed our blackbelt test this past Saturday and can now "officially" be part of the instructors staff.

dalen7
07-23-2007, 03:51 PM
We just passed our blackbelt test this past Saturday and can now "officially" be part of the instructors staff.

Congrats on Shodan! :)

- Dalen

Mark Uttech
07-24-2007, 01:38 AM
It seems that the word 'official' means something as well.

In gassho,

Mark

Charles Hill
07-24-2007, 04:31 AM
Hi,

John Stevens told me that he became a shihan of the northern Japan branch of Aikikai when he was 5th dan, Also he hadn't trained that long, less than 15 years if I remember correctly. Of course, from the stories I heard from others who were around then, he trained much harder than just about anyone else.

Charles

CitoMaramba
07-24-2007, 06:33 AM
Aikikai Hombu now has rules for awarding the title of Shihan. These rules came into effect in June 2001.
Aikido instructors may be recommended for the title of Shihan according to the following rules:
(1) An Aikido organization which has been given Official Recognition by the Hombu can recommend any of its instructors who meets the qualifications as a candidate for Shihan.
(2) To be qualified as a candidate for Shihan, he or she must fulfill the following conditions.
- In principle, have more than six years of experience teaching Aikido in his or her organization after obtaining 6th dan.
- Be proficient in the practice and instruction of Aikido.
- Be of good personal character.
(3) An individual person cannot recommend himself or herself. The recommendation should come from the person responsible for the relevant organization and be in written form. Recommendations can be submitted at any time of the year.

The full text of the rules may be read here (http://www.aikidoeast.com/aikidoeast/greetings/rules_for_appointment_of_shihan.html)

Erik Calderon
07-24-2007, 08:42 AM
In the six years that I was in Japan, I never heard anyone mention about titles.

To be honest I never even really knew people's ranks. But I could feel their techniques.

http://www.shinkikan.com