View Full Version : Grading Advancement - Special Scenerio

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Great Googly-Moogly
09-14-2007, 05:17 PM
I belong to a dojo where one of my sempai is coming up for promotion. This person has been with the dojo almost from the start, through thick and thin, and they take care of almost every day-to-day dojo issue. Without this person it is possible that the dojo might not exist today.

There have been whispering rumors that this sempai might be double promoted sometime in the next sixth months. The feeling of most of the dojo is that this person has the skills and sensei has indicated that this person has earned the rank for the additional effort and work they put into the dojo. A couple of us figured out that if the sempai in question had tested every time they were able to they would be at the rank in question.

So is it a big deal if the person in question gets double promoted? Does the answer change if they were being promoted from "4th kyu to 2nd kyu", or "2nd kyu to 1st dan", or "1st dan to 3rd dan"?

Chuck Clark
09-14-2007, 07:07 PM
It's nobody's business but the sensei and the student ... others within the organization will either approve and celebrate the promotion or they will not. It's human nature.

raul rodrigo
09-14-2007, 08:13 PM
We had a double promotion once. A member who was moving to London went from 3rd kyu to first kyu just before he left. But he was really good both technically and personally and so the dojo was very happy for him.

Karen Wolek
09-14-2007, 09:41 PM
It's nobody's business but the sensei and the student ... others within the organization will either approve and celebrate the promotion or they will not. It's human nature.

I agree with Clark Sensei. It's between Sensei and student.

Mark Uttech
09-15-2007, 06:54 AM
A double promotion is not a good idea. Each single step gets its life and its importance by being each single step.

In gassho,


Amir Krause
09-15-2007, 09:31 AM
Depends on lots of things

First off, one should remember grading is a matter of the teachers choice, according to his concept of the best means for the dojo and students.
For example, in our dojo, people only grade for 1st Kyu and then for 1st Dan. In the past, our sensei used to test people for 5th Kyu as well. Thus, grading policies may change over time. In our local organization, one of my Sensei’s students, who is a teacher himself is holding 5th Kyu grading, and my Sensei is presiding over them.
Those examples show different teachers may decide about gradings as they wish. (obviously, this also depends on the organizational policies).

Considering that the person in question, does has spent the time, has the skill and knowledge for the rank in question, and has shown lots of commitment to the art. Why should anyone care which steps did he take in the way?

The whole issue of others inquiring seems peculiar to me.


Mark Uttech
09-15-2007, 01:51 PM
Thjw whole issue of others inquiring shows the unity of the art. Just like favoritism doesn't work in families or organizations, favoritism doesn't work anywhere.

In gassho, Mark

Great Googly-Moogly
09-15-2007, 05:02 PM
I think I can safely say that it has nothing to do with favoritism, but I can follow the "importance of each step" line of thought.

I also understand that it is ultimately between sensei and the student... actually more to do with sensei... I asked more to hear what others thought because I often hear/read double "promotions are okay", or that "they shouldn't happen". However, there often isn't a logically stated reason behind the individual's stance.

09-17-2007, 06:19 AM
Not sure it really matters...what is 1st kyu at one place may be 3rd kyu somewhere else. Things vary widely from dojo to dojo and even more from country to country. (and even within the dojo itself.) ;)



09-17-2007, 05:04 PM
A lot depends on the situation. I was double promoted in a weird situation. I transferred within an organization. My previous instructor started people at 6th kyu. I moved to another dojo that started people at 5th kyu. I was training about 3 times a many hours with multiple dojos in the organization and one outside the organization as were my classmates (2 days a week vs my 6-7) plus attending shihan seminars monthly. My new sensei looked at my skills on the mat and asked my rank. When I told him I had just tested 6th kyu he could not believe it. So on the next test he moved me to a rank appropriate to my skill level and training hours as if I had been training with him all the time. The previous instructor did not count hours only time in months in grade. It was disconcerting to me to train others with more weeks but a lot less mat hours out in the parking lot so they could pass their tests ahead of me. It was a good move on my part. THere was no problem with my classmates as they had seen me around the organization and knew my dedication to training.

Playing favorites is a problem. This instructor recognized me for the quality of what I was doing and my hours of training which far exceeded everyone elses-plus I was double testing in another organization as well. There was no favoritism in my situation since I had not been there very long.

Great Googly-Moogly
09-18-2007, 09:00 AM
I do like John's mention, as well as others, about promotion on the basis of merit and the mention that expectations vary at different organizations for the various grade levels.

I guess where this leads me now is to ask has anyone had personal experiences with a negative outcome to a double promotion?

Mark Uttech
09-18-2007, 09:12 AM
I have only been witness to a double promotion once in all of my aikido years, but I never forgot it. The person who was double promoted suffered the most from it, but it did cause a lot of bad feeling in the dojo as a whole.

In gassho,


09-18-2007, 06:43 PM
I have been the subject of it and have done it one time. The one time I double promoted someone-they deserved it by the way-they ended up not returning to aikido. Perhaps they felt they had it all knowed up at that time. I'm not likely to double promote someone again-or if I do, I'll at least test them so hard they throw up :) .

09-26-2007, 12:09 PM
I've not seen a direct double promotion in aikido, but I do know a girl who was promoted rapidly from 6th to 4th kyu. She had previous training but no rank, the instructor saw no reason to hold her back when she was on par with the 4th kyu's in the club. So he promoted her, then a few months later, promoted her again (5th to 4th in that dojo usually takes 1 to 1.5 years). I think it was very justified.

I myself was double promoted in judo (almost triple promoted). I trained in judo for well over 3 years. I had not gotten rank because of personal issues with my instructor. After I switched instructors he watched me for a couple months and promoted me from 6th to 4th kyu. A few months later (and a couple competitions) I was again up for promotion and received my Sankyu. I'm not pretty much on par rank, time, and skill wise with other Sankyu and I feel it's going to be a lot longer until I see another promotion.

Personally, I don't see the problem in the kyu ranks. I look at them as a way to see what steps a person is on their way to being able to really dive into the art. However, once a person reaches black belt, I think this is unnecessary. There is usually a huge difference in skill between a 5th and 3rd kyu in judo and even in the aikido dojo I frequent. But the difference between the 1st and 3rd black is much smaller and really I can't see what the difference is if you are a 2nd or 3rd dan.

Of course what people do is their own business. I just think it's pointless to double promote after black belt.