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Rob Watson
06-25-2010, 04:45 PM
"what next, where do I go from here?" after shodan.

After all those recurring and annoying kyu tests there is a nice 2 year break until nidan. Now sensei calls me up more often to uke other wise more of the same. Of course there is that tripping on the hakama thingy ...

RED
06-25-2010, 05:32 PM
After all those recurring and annoying kyu tests there is a nice 2 year break until nidan. Now sensei calls me up more often to uke other wise more of the same. Of course there is that tripping on the hakama thingy ...

lol..i like when my knee gets caught on the leg of the hakama and I can't stand up:cool:

lbb
06-26-2010, 03:57 PM
After all those recurring and annoying kyu tests there is a nice 2 year break until nidan. .

Only two years, seriously? Based on the USAF hours requirements, going from shodan to nidan is 600 days minimum -- just barely doable if you train pretty much every day of those two years. More realistically, given the availability of classes and life requirements, I figure a fairly committed student might -- might do 200 days of training (averaging 4 days a week) in a year. Has anyone who wasn't an uchideshi gone from shodan to nidan in a two-year timeframe?

Carsten Möllering
06-26-2010, 04:22 PM
Really?

Hombu requires even for yondan "only" 400 days.
600 days of practice for nidan seems a lot to me.

Carsten

Pauliina Lievonen
06-27-2010, 05:22 AM
In our organization two years from shodan to nidan is pretty normal as well.

kvaak
Pauliina

lbb
06-27-2010, 07:16 AM
Really?

Hombu requires even for yondan "only" 400 days.
600 days of practice for nidan seems a lot to me.

Yeah, really. Here are the requirements (http://www.usaikifed.com/testreq.htm) from the USAF website. USAF requires 400 days for shodan, 700 days for sandan, and "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" for yondan. :freaky: Even the upper kyu ranks require enough hours that you're talking years, not months.

RED
06-27-2010, 01:51 PM
Only two years, seriously? Based on the USAF hours requirements, going from shodan to nidan is 600 days minimum -- just barely doable if you train pretty much every day of those two years. More realistically, given the availability of classes and life requirements, I figure a fairly committed student might -- might do 200 days of training (averaging 4 days a week) in a year. Has anyone who wasn't an uchideshi gone from shodan to nidan in a two-year timeframe?

I know the testing requirement sheet says 600 days, but I've met people who just went two years between Shodan and nidan, regardless of hours.
Also the testing hour requirements were just changed this year. The hours were shortened for some of the ranks. They also added the 6th kyu . However i think they purposely are pointing out that you NEED 600 days, not 2 years now. Because like i said a lot of people were going at the 2 year mark.

http://www.usaikifed.com/testreq.pdf

RED
06-27-2010, 02:05 PM
Yeah, really. Here are the requirements (http://www.usaikifed.com/testreq.htm) from the USAF website. USAF requires 400 days for shodan, 700 days for sandan, and "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" for yondan. :freaky: Even the upper kyu ranks require enough hours that you're talking years, not months.

That's the 1989 requirements. They shortened the requirements this year.
And are now requiring 1st kyu to attend seminars like shodan and nidan has too.
1st kyu is suppose to start showing the seriousness of a blackbelt anyways.
http://www.usaikifed.com/testreq.pdf

lbb
06-27-2010, 02:59 PM
I know the testing requirement sheet says 600 days, but I've met people who just went two years between Shodan and nidan, regardless of hours.

Huh. Wouldn't happen where I train.

Also the testing hour requirements were just changed this year. The hours were shortened for some of the ranks. They also added the 6th kyu .

What hours were the ranks shortened for? I know that 5th kyu used to be 60 hours instead of 40 (the only one that I know that changed), but then, it also used to be the first rank. Train for 20 hours and then test for sixth, train for 40 more and then test for fifth, OR train for 60 hours and then test for fifth, doesn't seem to make any difference in terms of the time it takes you to get there.

Edit: just read your second link. Yeah, that's a big difference at 1st kyu and shodan, all right. Who knows, I might make shodan in this lifetime!

Rob Watson
06-27-2010, 07:04 PM
Only two years, seriously? Based on the USAF hours requirements, going from shodan to nidan is 600 days minimum -- just barely doable if you train pretty much every day of those two years. More realistically, given the availability of classes and life requirements, I figure a fairly committed student might -- might do 200 days of training (averaging 4 days a week) in a year. Has anyone who wasn't an uchideshi gone from shodan to nidan in a two-year timeframe?

I'm going from memory (risky at my age) but minimum reqs (CAA) are 2 years and 540 training days. Lucky for us there are classes 6 days a week (Sunday is free practice) 13 hours + kids classes. Sensei knows when readiness has occurred.

I always figured 'committed' = uchideshi. I'm just a dilettant. I do know of a few folks that went to nidan in 2 years without a stint as uchideshi.

Michael Hackett
06-27-2010, 07:34 PM
AAA requirements from Shodan to Nidan are "Minimum 18 months and 50 hours as Assistant Instructor, attendance at one Instructor's Seminar or Camp since earning shodan." It is a rare student that progresses that fast though, and from what I've seen, most are at 2 and half to three years before being allowed to test.

Carsten Möllering
06-28-2010, 06:19 AM
Hi

Only two years, seriously? Based on the USAF hours requirements,
...
Has anyone who wasn't an uchideshi gone from shodan to nidan in a two-year timeframe?
Grading to nidan after 400 days of practice, which means two to three years after shodan, is quite "normal" here.
(Than at least three years to sandan.)
I think it's the usual timeframe because this is the time hombu requires and the grades of most aikido associations in my country are given directly by hombu.

Is there a certain reason, why it takes so long (compared to hombu) in the USAF? Do other organizations in the US use the same timframe?

Carsten

RED
06-28-2010, 08:15 AM
Edit: just read your second link. Yeah, that's a big difference at 1st kyu and shodan, all right. Who knows, I might make shodan in this lifetime!

I don't think you can get away with not having all 600 days unless your teacher is a Shihan. If you go to test at a Seminar where the Shihan has no personal relationship with you I don't think you can get away with shorting out on the days.

A lot of people were excited at first when they realized that shodan requirements were cut by 100 hours. However, they got upset when they realized that 1st kyu was now required to attend 2 seminars a year in order to test. I mean I'm in my early 20's, no kids with a double income, so I can hit seminars as much as I want. But a lot of people have kids, wives that don't do aikido, etc So if your Sensei doesn't host at least 2 major seminars a year they might not be able to go out of town for them to meet their requirements. (Heck even if Sensei has seminars and invites other schools, people still might not show up all the time...having young kids and working retail can be hard for that stuff.)

AsimHanif
06-28-2010, 09:09 AM
ASU
http://www.aikido-shobukan.org/?ref=19#Requirements For Yudansha Examination

CAA (last page)
http://www.ai-ki-do.org/Downloads/CAA_Guidelines_Feb2008.pdf

Capital Aikikai Federation
http://www.capitalaikikai.org/test.html

Each org has some flexibility based on Hombu's minimum requirements.

tim evans
06-28-2010, 12:12 PM
I don't think you can get away with not having all 600 days unless your teacher is a Shihan. If you go to test at a Seminar where the Shihan has no personal relationship with you I don't think you can get away with shorting out on the days.

A lot of people were excited at first when they realized that shodan requirements were cut by 100 hours. However, they got upset when they realized that 1st kyu was now required to attend 2 seminars a year in order to test. I mean I'm in my early 20's, no kids with a double income, so I can hit seminars as much as I want. But a lot of people have kids, wives that don't do aikido, etc So if your Sensei doesn't host at least 2 major seminars a year they might not be able to go out of town for them to meet their requirements. (Heck even if Sensei has seminars and invites other schools, people still might not show up all the time...having young kids and working retail can be hard for that stuff.)

At AOC the 1st kyu test rivals the shodan test :D

RED
06-28-2010, 02:46 PM
At AOC the 1st kyu test rivals the shodan test :D

Well the shodan test in USAF is really a reprise. You have to perform every test you've taken since 5th kyu, plus weapon's defense, and 4 man randori.
It is really a statement that you've learned all the basics. The basics are what you need to know in order to start training in Aikido.

Neal Earhart
06-28-2010, 03:24 PM
Aikido is a life-long journey. In the grand scheme of things, rank is un-important, unless you're obsessed with it...

...besides, Shodan is the "beginning dan"...so at this point in your training maybe your instructor thinks that you know your left foot from your right...;)

mickeygelum
06-28-2010, 03:57 PM
Hours + Days = DOLLAR$$$$..." Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, to the McDojo I go...."

Rank should be awarded upon skill, not minimum requirements.

Train as if you are going to die, not tumbling around in your pajamas at a slumber party!

Train well,

Mickey

RED
06-28-2010, 04:19 PM
Hours + Days = DOLLAR$$$$..." Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, to the McDojo I go...."

Rank should be awarded upon skill, not minimum requirements.

Train as if you are going to die, not tumbling around in your pajamas at a slumber party!

Train well,

Mickey

I agree with grading according to skill. I've seen people who have had the days fail because of skill. And I don't like the mentality that you should be given a belt just because your days are up. Frankly, it takes most people more than 600 days to be good enough to meet the standards of Nidan.
But I disagree that keeping track of how long you've done something is useless and just for money. I see where it has its place in correlation to a student's development. It is generally accurate. It does take about 60 days or more of training for most people to be able to pull off a 5th kyu exam.(according to the standards set by this particular federation.) And it does generally take 700 days or more after nidan for a person to be able to perform up to the high standards of a sandan exam.
Hombu dojo goes by days as well for this reason.

Adam Huss
06-28-2010, 05:07 PM
On the flip side...I will say I enjoy a teacher not afraid to fail someone.

lbb
06-29-2010, 08:13 AM
Train as if you are going to die, not tumbling around in your pajamas at a slumber party!

I prefer to both train and to live the rest of my life in a mindset other than either of those two extremes.

Rob Watson
06-29-2010, 12:39 PM
ASU
http://www.aikido-shobukan.org/?ref=19#Requirements For Yudansha Examination

CAA (last page)
http://www.ai-ki-do.org/Downloads/CAA_Guidelines_Feb2008.pdf

Capital Aikikai Federation
http://www.capitalaikikai.org/test.html

Each org has some flexibility based on Hombu's minimum requirements.

I'm going from memory (risky at my age)

Memory FAIL. I warned y'all. Thanks Asim Hanif. Also I should have clarified that I mean't minimum reqs regarding hours/years ... there are more requirements than training time to meet the minimums for consideration of advancement to the next level-these will vary across orgs, natually.

Rob Watson
06-29-2010, 12:43 PM
At AOC the 1st kyu test rivals the shodan test :D

I found this to true in my case as well (and for our org as well). I'm sure it didn't help that I failed 2 and 1 kyu tests along the way ... shodan was a breeze after all that mess.

Rob Watson
06-29-2010, 12:45 PM
Train as if you are going to die, not tumbling around in your pajamas at a slumber party!

Slumber party sounds way more fun!

RED
06-29-2010, 09:31 PM
Really?

Hombu requires even for yondan "only" 400 days.
600 days of practice for nidan seems a lot to me.

Carsten

A black belt at hombu means something different than it does in the states. At Hombu they receive shodan around the same time we receive 3rd kyu in the states. To the western world black belt has a connotation of "mastery" , thus the standards for many western federations are higher for black belt. In Hombu a black belt simply means you are a contributing member of the dojo. You are considered to be a committed member of the dojo there around the same training time it takes the western federations to hit 3rd or 2nd kyu.

mickeygelum
06-29-2010, 10:02 PM
I prefer to both train and to live the rest of my life in a mindset other than either of those two extremes.


Surely with that mindset, you have no desire to be a competent martial artist?

Without the desire to achieve the skills that you, as an individual, are capable of, lends that you settle for mediocre ability.

Not to be offensive, but given your other opinions, that statement appears to be hypocritical, at the least.

Mickey

Carl Thompson
06-29-2010, 10:51 PM
Why do folk reckon their own dojo or sometimes even their own nation has the highest standards in an art where there are so many different lineages and views on what is considered “good”. Why not some third-world country where people’s lives depend on the art for survival? As for training a bit longer than average before testing, it seems like a good idea to get in a bit more practice time but there is also a danger of simply ingraining bad technique over many years. When I once told a teacher I’d been training almost eight years and still hadn’t got shodan he was shocked and stated bluntly “Either you are very unskilful or your teacher wasn’t very good”. I had my excuses but I got the point when I got my arse handed to me by people who’d trained for half that time. The hombu is a meeting point for various standards and interpretations of aikido. For starters, you could meet me there and regardless of your opinion of the quality of my aikido, my background is nothing like the hombu-stereotype certain people are so fond of bandying around for their own edification.

ninjaqutie
06-30-2010, 01:08 PM
Different dojo have different standards. Done and done. It is neat to hear how things are in other places though. In our dojo, I hear that third kyu is a pretty big test. I believe our shodan test is easier then some of the previous tests, but most people test for shodan at the Birankai Summer Camp. Also, in our dojo, you have to be a first kyu for at least a year (ideally) to test for shodan. I imagine nidan would be at least double that.... but I'm not really sure.

Basia Halliop
06-30-2010, 01:14 PM
As for training a bit longer than average before testing, it seems like a good idea to get in a bit more practice time but there is also a danger of simply ingraining bad technique over many years

I'm not sure I follow... how is this different from training for the same total amount of time with a test in the middle? Are we to assume that the day of the test is the primary means of getting feedback to correct 'bad technique'?

When I once told a teacher I'd been training almost eight years and still hadn't got shodan he was shocked and stated bluntly "Either you are very unskilful or your teacher wasn't very good".

If he was a teacher from the same organization, who knew exactly what test you were expected to take, how often you trained, and what the standard for passing was, then OK.

But IMO a lot of the differences between expectations for how long it should take to reach a certain grade have to do with the fact that the grades are kind of arbitrary -- any organization can look at people of different skill levels and decide they'll call ____ a shodan so all the people less skilled are ikkyu, nikkyu, etc and all the people more skilled are nidan, sandan, etc. They could just as easily have picked some other level of skill and called it shodan and the names of the rest of the ranks would shift accordingly. Like using degrees to describe temperature... you can always say one thing is hotter than another, but anyone could make up their own scale for what numbers to assign... the 'standard' ones are Celcius, Farenheit, and Kelvin... but those were just invented by people to have a common language... I could take a thermometer and put numbers 1-10 wherever I wanted... it just aids in communication when more people share the same scale...

lbb
06-30-2010, 01:58 PM
Surely with that mindset, you have no desire to be a competent martial artist?

Without the desire to achieve the skills that you, as an individual, are capable of, lends that you settle for mediocre ability.

Not to be offensive, but given your other opinions, that statement appears to be hypocritical, at the least.222

Do you really think that you can slime your way out of an inherently offensive statement by tossing in a meaningless and insincere "not to be offensive" disclaimer?

Or maybe you believe that because you can only see two extreme scenarios -- imminent death, or a pajama party -- that that's all that exists in life?

I'd say you're wrong in both cases.

mickeygelum
06-30-2010, 03:48 PM
Well hello Mary!...:)

The statement was not offensive, the fact is you like to ridicule and demean. You are always adversarial.

You just posted a statement that contradicts your posts in other threads. But, since we have to be nice no matter what lie, stand or view another has expressed here..we just can not say it is so.

As for sliming my way out...I was sincere about not trying to be offensive. But as usual, you did not let me down.

Janet Rosen
06-30-2010, 04:19 PM
(ahem...stepping in, donning the voice of civility here, and asking BOTH Mickey and Mary to quit ad hominem attacks)
Mickey, you posited 2 extremes, then said "Without the desire to achieve the skills that you, as an individual, are capable of, lends that you settle for mediocre ability."
It appears that you equate treating every encounter on the training mat as potential death as the only way to acheive one's full potential.
I can say that I train seriously and w/ focus but my mindset never believes that my training partner is going to kill me; in fact, I purposely aim to cultivate other forms of feeling and intent within myself in order to manifest the best technique I'm capable of.
Definitely a case of YMMV.

Carl Thompson
06-30-2010, 07:20 PM
I'm not sure I follow... how is this different from training for the same total amount of time with a test in the middle? Are we to assume that the day of the test is the primary means of getting feedback to correct 'bad technique'?

Sorry but that's not what I meant. The point is that there are various stratagems for claiming one's dojo, organisation, nationality etc is better than another. If you have a different technical syllabus or way of doing things that requires more time to learn then we're not comparing like for like.

Heat is a consistent phenomenon that we can relatively easily agree upon in our measurements. Wherever you stick the marks on your thermometer, we could convert them over into Celsius and even account for things such as differing air pressure affecting the results. Not so the case with aikido gradings: the interpretation of what constitutes aikido and the ease with which it can be transmitted is variable. For example, my Seifukai grading booklet has sections for ten kyu grades in Aikido (all empty btw ;) ). How does that match up with say, Tada Shihan's take on the Hombu minimum requirements? Both scales are measuring different skills. The Aikikai's minimum requirements simply provide a small measure of common ground that balances the different viewpoints we get of the founder through his descendent students with the ability to come together and train as one family.

RED
06-30-2010, 09:49 PM
Surely with that mindset, you have no desire to be a competent martial artist?


I don't know Mary personally, and I don't know if she has a desire to be a competent martial artist or not. However if she didn't have that desire, would it really be anyone's concern but her own? How does her desires effect you, or not effect?
If she was lacking in some way martially well I'm sure she has a Sensei to correct her kata, mind-set or principle understanding.
We are all a bunch of yahoos on the internet to each other, and our judgment doesn't matter, and shouldn't matter. We are not each other's Sensei.

RED
06-30-2010, 10:01 PM
It appears that you equate treating every encounter on the training mat as potential death as the only way to acheive one's full potential.
I can say that I train seriously and w/ focus but my mindset never believes that my training partner is going to kill me; in fact, I purposely aim to cultivate other forms of feeling and intent within myself in order to manifest the best technique I'm capable of.
Definitely a case of YMMV.

I personally believe that Uke is as much of an Aikidoka as Nage is. They aren't hunks of meat that mindlessly attack and idiotically get thrown. There is a lot more dignity to the position than that in my opinion. A morotedori done effectively should control and take nage's ballance. Frankly, that's the type of energy that make techniques fun and challenge nage to study hard. Ukemi is an art form in my opinion. I was told once that there is not an Aikidoka alive that isn't, or once was, a better nage than uke. They told me that you will struggle with nage so long as your ukemi art is sub-par.

I don't necessarily take the mind-set that my uke is going to try and kill me, but I do view them as competent, and a challenge. I mean these are some of my closest friends LOL, it's hard to view them as murderous idiots. I view them as a challenge to my nage. and, I view my nage as a challenge to my ukemi. It is a bit incestuous.

RED
06-30-2010, 10:15 PM
Back on topic.

This is O'Sensei's opinion for how long you should be training before Shodan(lowest grade, first grade):

"In your training do not be in a hurry, for it takes a minimum of ten years to master the basics and advance to the first rung. Never think of yourself as an all-knowing, perfected master; you must continue to train daily with your friends and students and progress together in Aikido"- O'Sensei

Flintstone
07-01-2010, 04:14 AM
I don't know Mary personally, and I don't know if she has a desire to be a competent martial artist or not. However if she didn't have that desire, would it really be anyone's concern but her own? How does her desires effect you, or not effect?
If she was lacking in some way martially well I'm sure she has a Sensei to correct her kata, mind-set or principle understanding.
We are all a bunch of yahoos on the internet to each other, and our judgment doesn't matter, and shouldn't matter. We are not each other's Sensei.
Well, this is precisely what leads to dilution of the art.

Carsten Möllering
07-01-2010, 07:17 AM
Hi
A black belt at hombu means something different than it does in the states.Ah, ok. And thank you!
It seems a black belt or at least nidan/sandan also mean something different than over here in Germany.

At Hombu they receive shodan around the same time we receive 3rd kyu in the states. Aha. I reached 3rd kyu after three years. This is a typical time.
I became shodan after 10 years.I was a little slow. Most people here need 6 to 8 years.

To the western world black belt has a connotation of "mastery" , thus the standards for many western federations are higher for black belt. Well in our federation (Endo Sensei / Tissier Sensei) kyu grades are seen as maybe "preparation" and shodan to yondan are understood as "student-grades".

I'm sandan now after 16 years of practice. So I think sandan here is "nothing special".
In the US it is, right?

Carsten

Carl Thompson
07-01-2010, 08:32 AM
Back on topic.

This is O'Sensei's opinion for how long you should be training before Shodan(lowest grade, first grade):

"In your training do not be in a hurry, for it takes a minimum of ten years to master the basics and advance to the first rung. Never think of yourself as an all-knowing, perfected master; you must continue to train daily with your friends and students and progress together in Aikido"- O'Sensei
I don't get how that is Osensei's opinion on a grading system that was largely being built by his son at the time. He mentions mastering the basics and taking at least ten years to reach the "first rung" - not first dan (I wouldn't mind seeing the original Japanese that John Stevens translated). In any case, the founder handed out plenty of third dans within ten-year periods and shodans even sooner. Saito sensei also said that one doesn't master the basics until sandan. It seems to me the founder's warning was to the student focusing merely on rank rather than attaining the basic skills of the art.

MM
07-01-2010, 09:02 AM
Back on topic.

This is O'Sensei's opinion for how long you should be training before Shodan(lowest grade, first grade):

"In your training do not be in a hurry, for it takes a minimum of ten years to master the basics and advance to the first rung. Never think of yourself as an all-knowing, perfected master; you must continue to train daily with your friends and students and progress together in Aikido"- O'Sensei

I would strongly suggest doing research about Ueshiba.

For instance, Mochizuki started training with Ueshiba around April 1931. Mochizuki was awarded the second highest rank/scroll from Ueshiba in June 1932.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=67

Tomiki started training with Ueshiba around 1926-1927. He trained off and on until around 1934, when he moved to Tokyo. He trained until 1936 when he moved to Manchuria. Tomiki received 8th dan from Ueshiba in 1940. Start to 8th dan in 14 years. (And that's not even getting into the actual training time Tomiki spent with Ueshiba in those 14 years.)
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=60

There are other instances of Ueshiba just handing out rank when you dig into the research.

RED
07-01-2010, 10:28 AM
I don't get how that is Osensei's opinion on a grading system that was largely being built by his son at the time. He mentions mastering the basics and taking at least ten years to reach the "first rung" - not first dan (I wouldn't mind seeing the original Japanese that John Stevens translated). In any case, the founder handed out plenty of third dans within ten-year periods and shodans even sooner. Saito sensei also said that one doesn't master the basics until sandan. It seems to me the founder's warning was to the student focusing merely on rank rather than attaining the basic skills of the art.

I think it would be easier to interpret if I could find the quote in the original language. I think it was more of a warning for people who only care about rank.
I know in my federation it takes between 6-10 years to reach shodan.

A teacher told me that shodan meant that you learned enough of the basics to finally start learning aikido.

RED
07-01-2010, 10:44 AM
Well, this is precisely what leads to dilution of the art.

Well, yes it is a problem if some one trains and never cares what other's say about their training. Everyone needs a reasonable outside perspective of what they are doing.

My comment was to how emotional the poster's response was to what he deemed as a failure in miss Mary's training. You should care, but it shouldn't anger you. There are things worth being upset about and things that aren't. In the end how some girl in New England trains doesn't effect one's own training.

The President of my Federation once said "Some schools are so isolated they start to believe their own shit!" He seems to ignore the yahoos outright, not argue with them about how they are wrong.

I'm not in any way saying that miss Mary's school are yahoos however. I don't know her. I don't know which school she goes to, nor do I know if she is a reflection on their principles.

RED
07-01-2010, 10:47 AM
I would strongly suggest doing research about Ueshiba.

For instance, Mochizuki started training with Ueshiba around April 1931. Mochizuki was awarded the second highest rank/scroll from Ueshiba in June 1932.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=67

Tomiki started training with Ueshiba around 1926-1927. He trained off and on until around 1934, when he moved to Tokyo. He trained until 1936 when he moved to Manchuria. Tomiki received 8th dan from Ueshiba in 1940. Start to 8th dan in 14 years. (And that's not even getting into the actual training time Tomiki spent with Ueshiba in those 14 years.)
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=60

There are other instances of Ueshiba just handing out rank when you dig into the research.

I'm aware of what he did. And I'm aware of what he said.

The quote is a warning to people who care too much about rank.

lbb
07-01-2010, 11:11 AM
I'm not in any way saying that miss Mary's school are yahoos however. I don't know her. I don't know which school she goes to, nor do I know if she is a reflection on their principles.

...nor do you know anything about how I train, except that it's neither as if I'm about to die nor as if I'm at a pajama party. In that, I suspect I'm like the large majority of posters on aikiweb.

Still wondering how the hell this turned into an indictment of me as a diluter of aikido, by people who don't know anything about me,

RED
07-01-2010, 12:25 PM
...nor do you know anything about how I train, except that it's neither as if I'm about to die nor as if I'm at a pajama party. In that, I suspect I'm like the large majority of posters on aikiweb.

Still wondering how the hell this turned into an indictment of me as a diluter of aikido, by people who don't know anything about me,

I'm certainly not calling you a duluter. lol
I think the vast majority of the Aikido world aren't Aikiflowers, but they aren't diluted into believing that they are actually Samurai either.

My only point is that we can't assume anything about people on the internet. People might not be who they say they are, so "correcting your under class men" is pointless on the internet, especially when you don't know who it is you are criticizing in the first place.

Carl Thompson
07-01-2010, 03:46 PM
...I think it was more of a warning for people who only care about rank.
I know in my federation it takes between 6-10 years to reach shodan.

I'd agree with you there and thanks for your comments. Of course, it was never my intention to imply any particular federation or group have got it wrong for taking a particular amount of time to meet particular grades. My point was that we're all learning different interpretations of the art and that these minimum requirements in the Aikikai are merely a patch of common ground that we can work on together.

RED
07-01-2010, 05:37 PM
I'd agree with you there and thanks for your comments. Of course, it was never my intention to imply any particular federation or group have got it wrong for taking a particular amount of time to meet particular grades. My point was that we're all learning different interpretations of the art and that these minimum requirements in the Aikikai are merely a patch of common ground that we can work on together.

Across federations I've noticed that black belts frankly mean something different to them. I knew of this one school that gave a black belt in two years. The belt basically meant you were a member of the school.

Flintstone
07-01-2010, 05:58 PM
Still wondering how the hell this turned into an indictment of me as a diluter of aikido, by people who don't know anything about me,
Sorry, Mary. English is certainly not my mother tongue, so maybe I didn't make myself clear. I do not mean you are a diluter of the art. What I mean is that yes, we should care about how people train, because those people will be the teachers of tomorrow, if you get my point. If these future teachers / instructors / sensei / whatever train very lightly, never caring about martial effectiveness (whatever that means), they will certainly teach a diluted version of the art.

It goes the other way too. There's a group in my place of the world that's mixing Kyokushinkai Karate and Aikikai Aikido. Well, we call what they do Aikido Kyokushinkai, so go figure how big time they changed the art. Not diluted, but transformed in a different animal altogether. Not good to the art too...

Carl Thompson
07-01-2010, 06:47 PM
Across federations I've noticed that black belts frankly mean something different to them. I knew of this one school that gave a black belt in two years. The belt basically meant you were a member of the school.

There are Japanese arts in which the first grading you would take would be shodan. If their grading syllabus says "shodan requirements = membership of dojo" as the only criterion then nothing would be amiss (and it would be nothing like the minimum requirements being discussed here). It's going to take the average teacher roughly a certain amount of time to pass on certain skills. Even if we were all learning exactly the same thing, shorter timescales to learn that thing mean either training harder and more often under very good teachers or something is amiss and labels are being attached to things that don't reflect their content.

Moreover, we're discussing minimum requirements. One of the reasons why teachers take a bit longer is to be absolutely sure that they have met those requirements as well as doing whatever extra things their particular lineage regards as important (kata, weapons etc). Some of course are just being competitive, trying to make out that they are better teachers. Eventually it goes beyond merely insuring all the bases have been covered and ends up with teachers trying to fiddle the system to make themselves look good. It can go the other way too with teachers producing high level students in a short time that have not received the skills that are claimed to have been passed on.

mickeygelum
07-02-2010, 12:00 AM
Thanks for you input...Janet.

MMDV...:straightf

mickeygelum
07-02-2010, 12:05 AM
Thanks for the PM's, folks...:D

Train well,

Mickey

David Yap
07-02-2010, 12:06 AM
I would strongly suggest doing research about Ueshiba.

For instance, Mochizuki started training with Ueshiba around April 1931. Mochizuki was awarded the second highest rank/scroll from Ueshiba in June 1932.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=67

Tomiki started training with Ueshiba around 1926-1927. He trained off and on until around 1934, when he moved to Tokyo. He trained until 1936 when he moved to Manchuria. Tomiki received 8th dan from Ueshiba in 1940. Start to 8th dan in 14 years. (And that's not even getting into the actual training time Tomiki spent with Ueshiba in those 14 years.)
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=60

There are other instances of Ueshiba just handing out rank when you dig into the research.

Mark,

In the old days, Ueshiba did not accept anyone without any martial art background as students. If you look at the backgrounds of Mochizuki, Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, Tohei, Akazawa, you will find that these gentlemen are/were competent martial artists even before joining Ueshiba. I believe the ranks handed out to them were based on their skill set rather than the time they put into training with him. There may be some exceptions which I am not aware of. Basically, we are looking at different set of standards - then & now.

Regards

David Yap
07-02-2010, 12:48 AM
Sorry, Mary. English is certainly not my mother tongue, so maybe I didn't make myself clear...

AV,

I think so too particularly with your tack line:

"The goal is to protect your attacker, then yourself!" --MS
"Oh, really. Me says that's BS!" --AV

The way I read MS's statement is that the GOAL of training is to acquire the skillset whereby one could protect oneself without inflicting (serious) injury to the attacker. The GOAL has no time bar. If the GOAL is BS, then why bother stepping on the mats.

Happy training

David Y

Flintstone
07-02-2010, 02:27 AM
AV,

I think so too particularly with your tack line:

"The goal is to protect your attacker, then yourself!" --MS
"Oh, really. Me says that's BS!" --AV

The way I read MS's statement is that the GOAL of training is to acquire the skillset whereby one could protect oneself without inflicting (serious) injury to the attacker. The GOAL has no time bar. If the GOAL is BS, then why bother stepping on the mats.

Happy training

David Y

David, MS was certainly not meaning that when that was said. Anyway, there are more than one goal or milestones in that kind of situations: first goal, protect yourself; second goal, if possible, don't maim your attacker; last goal, if possible, don't kill him.

Carl Thompson
07-02-2010, 06:24 AM
In the old days, Ueshiba did not accept anyone without any martial art background as students. If you look at the backgrounds of Mochizuki, Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, Tohei, Akazawa, you will find that these gentlemen are/were competent martial artists even before joining Ueshiba. I believe the ranks handed out to them were based on their skill set rather than the time they put into training with him. There may be some exceptions which I am not aware of. Basically, we are looking at different set of standards - then & now.
Osensei didn't even name his art "Aikido" until he moved to Iwama, by which point plenty of local people started it with him as their first martial art. It was also around this time that the current minimum standards and the modern naming of techniques started getting developed. The Founder gave some people third dans within ten years with no martial arts background prior to Aikido. If only it was a just a matter of training for more time to get the same skills.

MM
07-02-2010, 07:12 AM
Mark,

In the old days, Ueshiba did not accept anyone without any martial art background as students. If you look at the backgrounds of Mochizuki, Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, Tohei, Akazawa, you will find that these gentlemen are/were competent martial artists even before joining Ueshiba. I believe the ranks handed out to them were based on their skill set rather than the time they put into training with him. There may be some exceptions which I am not aware of. Basically, we are looking at different set of standards - then & now.

Regards

Two quick examples of post war students. Many students, both prewar and postwar, had training in other various martial arts before studying aikido. As Carl Thompson noted, some did not and still were promoted quickly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuo_Chiba
Started 1958
Sandan 1960
Yondan 1962
6th dan 1970

4 years start to 4th dan.
12 years start to 6th dan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsunari_Kanai
Started 1958
Yondan 1966

8 years start to 4th dan.

David Yap
07-02-2010, 07:30 AM
David, MS was certainly not meaning that when that was said. Anyway, there are more than one goal or milestones in that kind of situations: first goal, protect yourself; second goal, if possible, don't maim your attacker; last goal, if possible, don't kill him.

Over to you, MS.

AV,

I was referring to your tack line, I have no clue as to how this conversation between you & MS came about.

Regards

David Y

David Yap
07-02-2010, 07:32 AM
Two quick examples of post war students. Many students, both prewar and postwar, had training in other various martial arts before studying aikido. As Carl Thompson noted, some did not and still were promoted quickly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuo_Chiba
Started 1958
Sandan 1960
Yondan 1962
6th dan 1970

4 years start to 4th dan.
12 years start to 6th dan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsunari_Kanai
Started 1958
Yondan 1966

8 years start to 4th dan.

These guys were uchideshi, they trained 7-eleven. Chiba trained 6 months in Iwama. The 6 months training is equivalent to our 3 years' training.

MM
07-02-2010, 08:06 AM
These guys were uchideshi, they trained 7-eleven. Chiba trained 6 months in Iwama. The 6 months training is equivalent to our 3 years' training.

Trained 7-eleven with whom? I think it's been established that it wasn't with the founder, at least not in Tokyo.

And is there any articles, evidence, etc to uphold that the training was all day, long days, etc with the founder?

In Iwama ... What exactly was the training schedule like?

According to this web site, things certainly were much different than many people have put forth:

http://www.iwama-aikido.com/Saito_Interview.html

Q: Who among the Senseis today have been uchi deshis?

A: Well, if you speak of Senseis like; Yamada, Tamura, Tohei, Saotome and Kanai they all are students of Kisshomaru Ueshiba. They never went to Iwama and practised for O-Sensei. Chiba Sensei once stayed in Iwama for 3 months.

I think all this "those guys trained 16 hour days for years and years" stuff is getting kind of old. At some point, it would be nice to have people actually research this. There are interviews that state portions of the training schedule, how long training with the founder actually was, etc.

Instead of perpetuating myths, it would be nice to know exact information. Or at least as close as possible ...

Budd
07-02-2010, 09:16 AM
Yes, but it's much easier and less taxing to repeat "My sensei said" or "I once heard" type stories with authority than to go do some research into the topic and compare views from multiple sources. It also probably helps to assimilate into dojos where it's expected that there's one correct viewpoint and method of practice.

RED
07-02-2010, 11:21 AM
There are Japanese arts in which the first grading you would take would be shodan. If their grading syllabus says "shodan requirements = membership of dojo" as the only criterion then nothing would be amiss (and it would be nothing like the minimum requirements being discussed here). It's going to take the average teacher roughly a certain amount of time to pass on certain skills. Even if we were all learning exactly the same thing, shorter timescales to learn that thing mean either training harder and more often under very good teachers or something is amiss and labels are being attached to things that don't reflect their content.

Moreover, we're discussing minimum requirements. One of the reasons why teachers take a bit longer is to be absolutely sure that they have met those requirements as well as doing whatever extra things their particular lineage regards as important (kata, weapons etc). Some of course are just being competitive, trying to make out that they are better teachers. Eventually it goes beyond merely insuring all the bases have been covered and ends up with teachers trying to fiddle the system to make themselves look good. It can go the other way too with teachers producing high level students in a short time that have not received the skills that are claimed to have been passed on.

In the end I think most would prefer to be a good looking kyu, than a crappy looking dan.:freaky:

Rob Watson
07-02-2010, 12:50 PM
Memory FAIL. I warned y'all. Thanks Asim Hanif. Also I should have clarified that I mean't minimum reqs regarding hours/years ... there are more requirements than training time to meet the minimums for consideration of advancement to the next level-these will vary across orgs, natually.

Well, not so bad after all. True the CAA minimum reqs are there. The dojo has more stringent reqs 520 (I thought 540) training days and 2 years for nidan. Safe to say that generally the hombu minimums are respected and an org/assoc may have different but probably attempt to at least meet hombu minimums and individual dojocho may decide another set of reqs that are again above the mins of either the org/assoc or hombu.

Not to mention there is the requirement that one perform the technique correctly which entails considerably more than just getting the form correct and this is a completely subjective assessment by the sensei and testing examiners.

Worry about the time and number/type of techniques is going about it from the wrong direction - this leads to the proliferation of McDojo and rank for cash. Train in the moment and do your best with sincerity and care for your partners and the ranks will come.

Mastery? Sixth dan is awarded upon demonstration of mastery in these parts. Seems like a good time to play with ri (as in shu-ha-ri) as well. I'm spoiled since there are a bunch of 5 and 4 dans at the dojo so sandan is really no big deal (we'll see what they have to say about it).

Carl Thompson
07-03-2010, 01:24 AM
In the end I think most would prefer to be a good looking kyu, than a crappy looking dan.:freaky:

Personally, I’d forget about looking good and go for the skills. If it takes three years to get them and they call it shodan, then that’s great. If it takes ten years to get exactly the same skills and they call it shodan, then that’s no problem either. If you get those exact same skills in three years but they call it “third kyu” or “level 2” or even “Albert”, the most important thing is getting the skills.

In any case, you are not learning and measuring the exact same thing. If you’re getting your certification from the Aikikai, you have a few minimum techniques and time limits on your technical syllabus that correspond and even they are just "guidelines".

David Yap
07-03-2010, 04:13 AM
Trained 7-eleven with whom? I think it's been established that it wasn't with the founder, at least not in Tokyo.

And is there any articles, evidence, etc to uphold that the training was all day, long days, etc with the founder?

In Iwama ... What exactly was the training schedule like?

According to this web site, things certainly were much different than many people have put forth:

http://www.iwama-aikido.com/Saito_Interview.html

Q: Who among the Senseis today have been uchi deshis?

A: Well, if you speak of Senseis like; Yamada, Tamura, Tohei, Saotome and Kanai they all are students of Kisshomaru Ueshiba. They never went to Iwama and practised for O-Sensei. Chiba Sensei once stayed in Iwama for 3 months.

I think all this "those guys trained 16 hour days for years and years" stuff is getting kind of old. At some point, it would be nice to have people actually research this. There are interviews that state portions of the training schedule, how long training with the founder actually was, etc.

Instead of perpetuating myths, it would be nice to know exact information. Or at least as close as possible ...

Mark,

K, you made your point. I was out by 3 months for Chiba sensei's internship at Iwama.

Your definition of uchideshi seems to indicate that those who studied with O Sensei at Iwama were the ones counted, anywhere else were not. Are you indicating that the materials loaded on the wikipedia regarding the USAF shihans are not accurate by your definition?

Bear in mind that lay guys like me have internet resources to our research. By your indication, these shihans moved up the ranks at a very short period compared to today's standard, would you not agree that the ranks they were given were appropriate to their skillset at that time?

You will save us much time searching for the answers since you have already done the research.

Regards

David Y

MM
07-03-2010, 08:00 AM
Mark,

K, you made your point. I was out by 3 months for Chiba sensei's internship at Iwama.

Your definition of uchideshi seems to indicate that those who studied with O Sensei at Iwama were the ones counted, anywhere else were not. Are you indicating that the materials loaded on the wikipedia regarding the USAF shihans are not accurate by your definition?

Bear in mind that lay guys like me have internet resources to our research. By your indication, these shihans moved up the ranks at a very short period compared to today's standard, would you not agree that the ranks they were given were appropriate to their skillset at that time?

You will save us much time searching for the answers since you have already done the research.

Regards

David Y

David,
I don't get too much into definitions of "uchideshi" and "deshi" in regards to Ueshiba Morihei. I think of them as students. Some were in Tokyo, some in Iwama, some both, some elsewhere. Uchideshi and deshi is a can of worms someone else can open.

As for the shihan, their ranks, and their appropriate skill sets, I have no clue. I'm just pointing out the facts regarding years training and rank given ... and questioning the much repeated phrase about the long hours and days of training that many students of Ueshiba put in.

I've done some small amount of research and found information on parts of the daily lives of students, both pre-war and post-war. It was never in the front of what I was searching for, so I never really put it all together.

Mark

Walter Martindale
08-31-2010, 11:39 AM
I agree with grading according to skill. I've seen people who have had the days fail because of skill. And I don't like the mentality that you should be given a belt just because your days are up. Frankly, it takes most people more than 600 days to be good enough to meet the standards of Nidan.
But I disagree that keeping track of how long you've done something is useless and just for money. I see where it has its place in correlation to a student's development. It is generally accurate. It does take about 60 days or more of training for most people to be able to pull off a 5th kyu exam.(according to the standards set by this particular federation.) And it does generally take 700 days or more after nidan for a person to be able to perform up to the high standards of a sandan exam.
Hombu dojo goes by days as well for this reason.

I've seen someone get shodan in less than 3 years - but he really was a "natural." I've also seen people sit at sankyu for 6 years - oh, right, that was me. (helps to have a dojo nearby, which has training sessions after, rather than during, work hours)
When I tested for Ikkyu, the two others and who also tested were told by the shihan that he wanted us to test Shodan within a year - I did mine in 13 months. Almost 3 years, a country and two dojo later, I went for nidan, but IIRC the requirement was minimum 200 hours and minimum 2 years.
It's still all a mystery - If I don't get confused at some point during an aikido practice, I don't feel as if I'm learning..
Walter