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rulemaker
01-14-2013, 11:22 AM
Any news on the promotions?

I saw on facebook that Ikuhiro Kubota was promoted to 8th Dan.

batemanb
01-16-2013, 05:36 AM
Alongside the Bill Gleason promotion that Chris mentions in another thread, Dennis Hooker has been promoted to 7th Dan, as has John Messores, Kevin Choate and Patricia Saotome.

My Teacher Nakao sensei was also promoted to 7th Dan.

The complete list is here http://www.aikikai.or.jp/jpn/info/2013/h25.pdf western names are easy to read :)

Krystal Locke
01-16-2013, 04:09 PM
Congrats Rich!

I am wondering what the kagami biraki promotions to ranks under 5th dan mean. Is it typical for hombu to reserve announcing any ranks given within the dojo itself until kagami biraki? I imagine an unfortunate number are posthumous. Are some strictly honorary?

Chris Li
01-16-2013, 04:18 PM
Congrats Rich!

I am wondering what the kagami biraki promotions to ranks under 5th dan mean. Is it typical for hombu to reserve announcing any ranks given within the dojo itself until kagami biraki? I imagine an unfortunate number are posthumous. Are some strictly honorary?

All of the ranks that they list at Kagami Biraki are by recommendation - those ranks only come on Kagami Biraki. That's why there are fewer ranks listed below 5th dan since most of those ranks come through testing - it's cheaper (about half the price).

As a mental exercise ;) try calculating the fees that come into hombu from the Kagami Biraki promotions alone - remember that 7th dan can go for as much as $5000. No guesses on 8th:) .

Best,

Chris

Conrad Gus
01-16-2013, 04:31 PM
As a mental exercise ;) try calculating the fees that come into hombu from the Kagami Biraki promotions alone - remember that 7th dan can go for as much as $5000. No guesses on 8th:) .


That's it. I'm starting my own organization. 7th dan is a bargain at $2500.

Come on Chris, I know you want one! :D

Krystal Locke
01-16-2013, 04:33 PM
Sneaky bastage. :-) Yes, I agree that promotion fees are high. No, I'm not going to get a lot into it here because I am trapped in that political mangle myself and have some vested interests. But that has never been my point....

I will say that I am glad that hombu backed down on charging for supporting foreign kyu ranks. Kinda piddly money for the amount of work all around and ill will that would foster.

Thanks for the quick reply. I'm just having a hard time seeing the need for a recommendation for shodan rather than a test. I am spoiled by the local aikido community.

hughrbeyer
01-16-2013, 11:35 PM
I've been wondering... given that ranks come more slowly as you go up in the organization, has anyone calculated what the cost for rank per year is as you go up through the ranks? So if the cost for a rank which you earn after 5 years is 5X the cost of a rank you earn after a year, isn't it pretty much a wash?

Chris Li
01-17-2013, 02:09 AM
I've been wondering... given that ranks come more slowly as you go up in the organization, has anyone calculated what the cost for rank per year is as you go up through the ranks? So if the cost for a rank which you earn after 5 years is 5X the cost of a rank you earn after a year, isn't it pretty much a wash?

That's true, if you break it down by year, then it probably works out to about what you'd pay in fees to a professional association. OTOH, most professional associations give you more in the way of real benefits and support, which may be part of the problem.

Best,

Chris

sakumeikan
01-17-2013, 03:27 AM
That's it. I'm starting my own organization. 7th dan is a bargain at $2500.

Come on Chris, I know you want one! :D

Dear Conrad,
I'll order a dozen[ can you give me a discount?] Just let me know the Swiss bank you use. Cheers, Joe.

George S. Ledyard
01-17-2013, 03:38 AM
Alongside the Bill Gleason promotion that Chris mentions in another thread, Dennis Hooker has been promoted to 7th Dan, as has John Messores, Kevin Choate and Patricia Saotome.

My Teacher Nakao sensei was also promoted to 7th Dan.

The complete list is here http://www.aikikai.or.jp/jpn/info/2013/h25.pdf western names are easy to read :)
Don't forget Tres Hofmeister, Ikeda Sensei's senior student.

phitruong
01-17-2013, 08:54 AM
That's it. I'm starting my own organization. 7th dan is a bargain at $2500.

Come on Chris, I know you want one! :D

do we get t-shirt and coffee mug with that? or even fries? discount with starbucks?

Krystal Locke
01-18-2013, 10:19 AM
I've been wondering... given that ranks come more slowly as you go up in the organization, has anyone calculated what the cost for rank per year is as you go up through the ranks? So if the cost for a rank which you earn after 5 years is 5X the cost of a rank you earn after a year, isn't it pretty much a wash?

So rank is an annual membership fee that we make lump advance payments on? What do we get for having the rank? What do we get for having the rank backed by the organization? What do we get from the organization other than the backing of the rank?

I can see that we do get some value out of the rank, we can wave a nifty number around in our advertising, we can use it to get a general idea of our positioning in a group of people, etc.

The organizational backing of the rank gives us some measure of quality control, and assurance for ourselves and our students.

The other stuff? I really like the nice certificate in a different language and aesthetic style than my other certificates. I like the little book that has a lot of names of people I admire. I like knowing that I can go to the hombu, show my card, and get admitted to a class with a nod if not a smile.

Carl Thompson
01-18-2013, 02:49 PM
"What's in it for me?" people ask, when it should be, "what's in it for aikido?"

At the very least... a donation to the founder's non-profit organisation for it's promotion.

Krystal Locke
01-18-2013, 03:49 PM
"What's in it for me?" people ask, when it should be, "what's in it for aikido?"

At the very least... a donation to the founder's non-profit organisation for it's promotion.

How much of a donation? And is it a donation if the amount is prescribed and the money is in exchange for something? What is keeping the organization for giving someone a rank at a different cost?

Ok, let's ask the question, then. What is in it for the art of aikido if my next rank costs such an amount paid to the org? What does the art of aikido get from my chunk of change? Is the organization the art of aikido itself? You are stating that my money is at least a contribution for the promotion of the art (I'll leave the non-profit claim alone a bit). Where is that promotion, and does the art in general benefit from it?

You seem to make it sound like I am being small and selfish. I can guarantee that there are a lot of dojo heads that ask themselves this question all over the world. If it is valid to think of my actions' effects on others, why not think about others' actions effects on me? Why not question and discuss the value of something that has a huge historical, political, and emotional load? I bet you sometimes wonder and discuss where your income taxes go, right? Is that an offense to your nation or an act of civic engagement?

Bottom line for me, and proof conclusive that I am indeed a shallow, selfish person. I like the pretty certificates in a language I can barely read, so I'll pretty much pay what is asked as long as it doesn't prevent me from meeting my real financial obligations.

Chris Li
01-18-2013, 03:51 PM
"What's in it for me?" people ask, when it should be, "what's in it for aikido?"

At the very least... a donation to the founder's non-profit organisation for it's promotion.

So far as I can tell, the Founder had no interest at all in organizations of any kind.

If it's a donation - then call it a donation and give up the myth of rank, IMO.

Then there's the question of whether or not that donation supports the best way to promote Aikido, or the best thing for Aikido. I'm not saying it isn't, but the questions should be asked.

Best,

Chris

Krystal Locke
01-18-2013, 05:35 PM
So far as I can tell, the Founder had no interest at all in organizations of any kind.

If it's a donation - then call it a donation and give up the myth of rank, IMO.

Then there's the question of whether or not that donation supports the best way to promote Aikido, or the best thing for Aikido. I'm not saying it isn't, but the questions should be asked.

Best,

Chris

Holy crap, we agree on something. (I think we actually agree on lots of stuff, in general....)

Now here is a simple question concerning a fact. I have done some small research ( a few minutes on the interwebs) on this fact, to no good result. I know there are people here who can answer this question easily and truthfully.

Is the Zaidan Houjin Aikikai non-profit?

Really, I just haven't found anything that states what the financial structure of the Aikikai is. Doesn't really matter to me, but I'd like to know. Good hing I'm not a cat, my simple curiosity would have killed me years ago.

Chris Li
01-18-2013, 06:00 PM
Holy crap, we agree on something. (I think we actually agree on lots of stuff, in general....)

Now here is a simple question concerning a fact. I have done some small research ( a few minutes on the interwebs) on this fact, to no good result. I know there are people here who can answer this question easily and truthfully.

Is the Zaidan Houjin Aikikai non-profit?

Really, I just haven't found anything that states what the financial structure of the Aikikai is. Doesn't really matter to me, but I'd like to know. Good hing I'm not a cat, my simple curiosity would have killed me years ago.

I guess that we'll have to agree to agree then....:D

Anyway, I believe that it is non-profit.

Best,

Chris

Basia Halliop
01-18-2013, 06:09 PM
If it's non-profit, does anyone know what they spend their income on? I'm sure more detailed information is available somewhere, just curious if someone has a general idea of what their major costs might be.

Chris Li
01-18-2013, 06:29 PM
If it's non-profit, does anyone know what they spend their income on? I'm sure more detailed information is available somewhere, just curious if someone has a general idea of what their major costs might be.

They have some summary financial statements on the Japanese side of their website, but they're fairly general.

I'd love to see a more detailed accounting, and one done in several languages. I'm not demanding anything, or asserting a "right", but these are the kinds of things (IMO) that they need to think about doing if they want people to stay and support them.

Best,

Chris

robin_jet_alt
01-18-2013, 09:19 PM
I image a fair bit gets spent on living expenses for Doshu and Waka Sensei.

hughrbeyer
01-18-2013, 10:08 PM
So far as I can tell, the Founder had no interest at all in organizations of any kind.

Are you sure? Howabout the single complement Kisshomaru ever got from his father (by lore)--on the founding of the Tokyo dojo? I think he wanted the organization to spread aikido, he just didn't want to have to run it.

In general, I do like having a parent organization. I like it that Hombu has decided to be an umbrella organization so I can walk into most dojos and even if they've never heard of my teacher or the ASU, they accept me because I'm affiliated with Hombu. I'd like to believe there's some quality control, so the more squirrely groups are easier to identify. It's hard to put a price tag on that.

robin_jet_alt
01-18-2013, 10:18 PM
I guess that we'll have to agree to agree then....:D

Anyway, I believe that it is non-profit.

Best,

Chris

財団法人 (zaidan houjin) actually means a non-profit foundation...

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B2%A1%E5%9B%A3%E6%B3%95%E4%BA%BA

Chris Li
01-18-2013, 11:16 PM
財団法人 (zaidan houjin) actually means a non-profit foundation...

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B2%A1%E5%9B%A3%E6%B3%95%E4%BA%BA

Well, it's actually a 公益財団法人 now, but yeah, same difference.

Best,

Chris

Krystal Locke
01-18-2013, 11:18 PM
財団法人 (zaidan houjin) actually means a non-profit foundation...

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B2%A1%E5%9B%A3%E6%B3%95%E4%BA%BA

Huh, my dictionary shows it as incorporated foundation, essentially, just a business. Now, I dont read kanji well, and my translation software just makes jibberish of the site you linked, so I will just bow to your greater knowledge.

robin_jet_alt
01-18-2013, 11:19 PM
I'm interested to read what it has become, but all I am getting is mojibake.

robin_jet_alt
01-18-2013, 11:24 PM
Huh, my dictionary shows it as incorporated foundation, essentially, just a business. Now, I dont read kanji well, and my translation software just makes jibberish of the site you linked, so I will just bow to your greater knowledge.

I got the same from my dictionary so I went to the Japanese wikipedia entry which said that profits are used for running the foundation. Then skip to the corresponding English wikipedia entry which says it is a non-profit foundation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_(non-profit)
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B2%A1%E5%9B%A3%E6%B3%95%E4%BA%BA

Krystal Locke
01-18-2013, 11:26 PM
Are you sure? Howabout the single complement Kisshomaru ever got from his father (by lore)--on the founding of the Tokyo dojo? I think he wanted the organization to spread aikido, he just didn't want to have to run it.

In general, I do like having a parent organization. I like it that Hombu has decided to be an umbrella organization so I can walk into most dojos and even if they've never heard of my teacher or the ASU, they accept me because I'm affiliated with Hombu. I'd like to believe there's some quality control, so the more squirrely groups are easier to identify. It's hard to put a price tag on that.

Yeah, the quality control is one of the benefits I appreciate. I dont travel much now, but when I did, the little book did save me a few minor headaches.

So, I am approaching nidan, do I send my book back in for a stamp (not like a hanko more like a postage stamp), do they just send the stamp to me, or do I get a new book? I dunno. I spose sensei will just tell me, but forewarned is forearmed.

Chris Li
01-18-2013, 11:28 PM
Are you sure? Howabout the single complement Kisshomaru ever got from his father (by lore)--on the founding of the Tokyo dojo? I think he wanted the organization to spread aikido, he just didn't want to have to run it.

In general, I do like having a parent organization. I like it that Hombu has decided to be an umbrella organization so I can walk into most dojos and even if they've never heard of my teacher or the ASU, they accept me because I'm affiliated with Hombu. I'd like to believe there's some quality control, so the more squirrely groups are easier to identify. It's hard to put a price tag on that.

I think that he liked the shiny new building. :D

He may or may not have appreciated the benefits of what Kisshomaru was doing (that story certainly suggests it), but that doesn't mean that he had any interest in the organization itself.

His massive lack of interest in organizations at any level has been mentioned by many of the uchi-deshi.

That's why I'm saying that calling it "the Founder's organization" is probably less accurate than calling it "Kisshomaru's organization".

Best,

Chris

Peter Goldsbury
01-19-2013, 01:59 AM
Huh, my dictionary shows it as incorporated foundation, essentially, just a business. Now, I dont read kanji well, and my translation software just makes jibberish of the site you linked, so I will just bow to your greater knowledge.

The change of Japanese law meant that the foundation that runs the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum had to undergo the same process as the Aikikai. It has the same legal status as a 'public interest foundation', but I would not quite agree that the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation is 'just a business.' There are no shareholders and the object is to break even and not to run at a loss. I suspect that its finances are subject to greater public scrutiny than those of the Aikikai.

Best wishes,

sakumeikan
01-19-2013, 05:04 AM
The change of Japanese law meant that the foundation that runs the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum had to undergo the same process as the Aikikai. It has the same legal status as a 'public interest foundation', but I would not quite agree that the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation is 'just a business.' There are no shareholders and the object is to break even and not to run at a loss. I suspect that its finances are subject to greater public scrutiny than those of the Aikikai.

Best wishes,
Dear Peter,
Congrats on the recent promotion.It would be interesting to see a copy of Aikikai accounts. Perhaps having a possible cultural status / charitable type setup [plus a good tax consultancy]might mean no taxes are paid?Almost like some of the millionaires in U.S.A/U.K.Here in the U.K the poor tighten their belts[benefits cut left and right ] and the Top Men get tax reductions giving them 100, 000 plus extra dosh.Its a cruel world dont you think?? Joe.

[

Peter Goldsbury
01-19-2013, 06:52 AM
Dear Peter,
Congrats on the recent promotion.It would be interesting to see a copy of Aikikai accounts. Perhaps having a possible cultural status / charitable type setup [plus a good tax consultancy]might mean no taxes are paid?Almost like some of the millionaires in U.S.A/U.K.Here in the U.K the poor tighten their belts[benefits cut left and right ] and the Top Men get tax reductions giving them 100, 000 plus extra dosh.Its a cruel world dont you think?? Joe.

[

Thank you. I believe that you have been elevated to Shihan status. Right? In Japan there are several types of legal foundation, other than the Aikikai's koeki zaidan hojin and these, too, have a favourable tax situation. As Christopher Li stated, the Aikikai publishes minimal accounts on the Japanese language section of the website, but these do not give much information, especially to the untrained eye.

Best wishes,

PAG

Krystal Locke
01-19-2013, 10:12 AM
The change of Japanese law meant that the foundation that runs the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum had to undergo the same process as the Aikikai. It has the same legal status as a 'public interest foundation', but I would not quite agree that the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation is 'just a business.' There are no shareholders and the object is to break even and not to run at a loss. I suspect that its finances are subject to greater public scrutiny than those of the Aikikai.

Best wishes,

I certainly didn't mean "just a business" as anything but a comment on the financial/legal structure. I dont know Japanese financial structures, I dont read Japanese very well,, the English Aikikai site does not sat either way, and I pay into the Aikikai, so I thought I'd ask. Thanks for the info.

sakumeikan
01-20-2013, 02:56 AM
Thank you. I believe that you have been elevated to Shihan status. Right? In Japan there are several types of legal foundation, other than the Aikikai's koeki zaidan hojin and these, too, have a favourable tax situation. As Christopher Li stated, the Aikikai publishes minimal accounts on the Japanese language section of the website, but these do not give much information, especially to the untrained eye.

Best wishes,

PAG

Dear Peter
i see that you are aware of my new status.On my part a most unexpected promotion.
Regarding tax structures in general, not just the Aikikai,I am sure that private individuals /companies [like Starbucks in the U.K]use various legally sound,but possible morally suspect methods of tax avoidance.Charitable status/relgious institutions all have tax advantages which are not available to the average worker .Philip Green, the multi millionaire of British Home Stores,recently negotiated with the inland revenue to come to an arrangement regarding his tax setlement.I cannot imagine the tax guys taking time out to negotiate my tax situation.I guess its not always a fair system.
Cheers, joe

Alex Megann
01-20-2013, 03:24 AM
Dear Peter
i see that you are aware of my new status.On my part a most unexpected promotion.

Cheers, joe

Congratulations, Joe!

Alex

rulemaker
01-20-2013, 11:34 AM
How much are the fees?

I know that 5th Dan is Y70,000
6th -
7th -
8th -

PhilMyKi
01-21-2013, 06:08 AM
How much are the fees?

I know that 5th Dan is Y70,000
6th -
7th -
8th -

Looking at something that was floating around last year (with the exclusion of 1st Dan as you pay registration at the same time) the fees fit quite nicely into Dan level x 100 i.e. Nidan 200, Sandan 300 ... Y70.000 is 500 give or take. Coincidence? Probably!

But hey, the upper echelons are a long way off for me. So no need for me to worry about the finances for a while. Still, I was talking to a colleague the other day that is coming up to her Shodan in some form of Karate and her grading fees (made up of various bits and bobs) come to about 500. She was quite shocked when I shared mine was <200.

If you personally see a value to having something you pay the sticker price don't you? If not, you walk away.

Dazzler
01-21-2013, 06:14 AM
Dear Peter
i see that you are aware of my new status.On my part a most unexpected promotion.
Regarding tax structures in general, not just the Aikikai,I am sure that private individuals /companies [like Starbucks in the U.K]use various legally sound,but possible morally suspect methods of tax avoidance.Charitable status/relgious institutions all have tax advantages which are not available to the average worker .Philip Green, the multi millionaire of British Home Stores,recently negotiated with the inland revenue to come to an arrangement regarding his tax setlement.I cannot imagine the tax guys taking time out to negotiate my tax situation.I guess its not always a fair system.
Cheers, joe

Congratulations !

D

Mary Eastland
01-21-2013, 07:04 AM
Congratulations, Joe!

Carl Thompson
01-21-2013, 07:13 AM
You seem to make it sound like I am being small and selfish.
Hello Krystal. Sorry for my late response.

I made a general comment, which I did not intend to aim specifically at you. I apologise if it made you feel bad. It was meant to make people think, that is all. Itfs very easy for people in general to just vent frustration but I think it is more productive to run things through to their logical conclusions...
How much of a donation? And is it a donation if the amount is prescribed and the money is in exchange for something? What is keeping the organization for giving someone a rank at a different cost?
Yudansha passports show gcontributionh stamps for each rank attained. You could call it gpaymenth but it is a payment involving more than just the money part. Or at least I think it was much more than money for the few people I know on that list. It really all boils down to whether you think the Aikikai are committing fraud or not. Have a look at what theyfre doing. How could they run the organisation better?

Carl

Carl Thompson
01-21-2013, 07:17 AM
I would also like to congratulate Joe Curran on his Shihan status!

Carl

Chris Li
01-21-2013, 09:12 AM
If you personally see a value to having something you pay the sticker price don't you? If not, you walk away.

That's the whole point, isn't it? I think that there is an increasing tendency to feel that there is little value relative to the sticker price. The Aikikai will recognize this at some point, or perhaps people will vote with their feet.

Best,

Chris

Basia Halliop
01-21-2013, 10:24 AM
It really all boils down to whether you think the Aikikai are committing fraud or not.


I don't really think that's it. I don't feel strongly in either direction, but the sense I get reading this thread is at most that some people just don't feel much of a tie to the organisation or feel like it's an expensive service they're not sure they really want or need all that much.

I.e., 'do I really need or want this or personally feel that this organisation is important enough to pay a significant amount of money for it?'

Which is quite quite far from suggesting fraud.

Chris Li
01-21-2013, 10:57 AM
It really all boils down to whether you think the Aikikai are committing fraud or not. Have a look at what they're doing. How could they run the organisation better?

Carl

I have a long list. :D

Anyway, it's not about fraud, but about value and relationships. In the past much of the value was in the relationship.

Shihan X trained at Aikikai Hombu and feels a personal obligation to support them. He pays up.

Bob, who trains with Shihan X, has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, but pays up because his teacher pays up.

Bill, who trains with Bob, has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, his teacher Bob has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, but pays up because his Shihan X pays up.

Bruce, who trains with Bill, has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, his teacher Bill has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, , Bill's teacher Bob has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, but Bruce pays up because...why?

This is the point that we're getting to now in the history of Aikido. Most people have never been to Hombu and have no personal relationships there. They send in money and get (by mail) a piece of paper from someone who has never met them and doesn't know who they are.

If you put all of the sixth dans in the world in a room, my bet would be that Doshu would only recognize a small fraction, let alone know their names.

When Bruce walks out because he has no personal relationship with the Aikikai and receives little value, it hurts him...very little. Most new students have no idea what the Aikikai and care less.

But it's a problem for the Aikikai, and one that's going to be harder to fix the longer things go on....

Best,

Chris

Carl Thompson
01-21-2013, 02:31 PM
Hi Chris

Thanks for the long answer.

The problem you're talking about is easy to solve: Don't join. Joining an organisation just because someone else did, or out of obligation are indeed poor reasons. I was referring specifically to the cost issue. When sensei registers you at shodan (and you are happy to be a member of the founder's organisation), where does the money go? For example, is it going towards sports cars and lavish lifestyles for certain people or is it paying for aikido to be promulgated?

Carl

Chris Li
01-21-2013, 02:52 PM
Hi Chris

Thanks for the long answer.

The problem you're talking about is easy to solve: Don't join. Joining an organisation just because someone else did, or out of obligation are indeed poor reasons. I was referring specifically to the cost issue. When sensei registers you at shodan (and you are happy to be a member of the founder's organisation), where does the money go? For example, is it going towards sports cars and lavish lifestyles for certain people or is it paying for aikido to be promulgated?

Carl

Nobody knows, there's not much transparancy, and a lot of things move in cash, kind of a recipe for problems to occur (I'm not saying that there are problems).

Anyway, I don't have a particular problem with belonging to the Aikikai right now, but of course that could always change. ;)

More to the point,"don't join" is likely to be an increasingly troublesome problem for the Aikikai as time goes on, and that ought to concern everybody who is a member of the Aikikai.

Best,

Chris

sakumeikan
01-21-2013, 06:08 PM
I guess that we'll have to agree to agree then....:D

Anyway, I believe that it is non-profit.

Best,

Chris

Hi Chris,
Some people believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and my own personal belief that the moon is made of green cheese.Cheers, Joe.
Ps Please do not spoil my childlike state by saying that the moon is anything other than above.PPS.I also believe the cow jumped over the said moon.

Chris Li
01-21-2013, 06:16 PM
Hi Chris,
Some people believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and my own personal belief that the moon is made of green cheese.Cheers, Joe.
Ps Please do not spoil my childlike state by saying that the moon is anything other than above.PPS.I also believe the cow jumped over the said moon.

Well, the corporate structure is non-profit - no guarantees of anything more than that, however! :D

I wonder if the rabbit in the moon likes cheese?

Best,

Chris

sakumeikan
01-21-2013, 06:33 PM
I have a long list. :D

Anyway, it's not about fraud, but about value and relationships. In the past much of the value was in the relationship.

Shihan X trained at Aikikai Hombu and feels a personal obligation to support them. He pays up.

Bob, who trains with Shihan X, has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, but pays up because his teacher pays up.

Bill, who trains with Bob, has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, his teacher Bob has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, but pays up because his Shihan X pays up.

Bruce, who trains with Bill, has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, his teacher Bill has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, , Bill's teacher Bob has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, but Bruce pays up because...why?

This is the point that we're getting to now in the history of Aikido. Most people have never been to Hombu and have no personal relationships there. They send in money and get (by mail) a piece of paper from someone who has never met them and doesn't know who they are.

If you put all of the sixth dans in the world in a room, my bet would be that Doshu would only recognize a small fraction, let alone know their names.

When Bruce walks out because he has no personal relationship with the Aikikai and receives little value, it hurts him...very little. Most new students have no idea what the Aikikai and care less.

But it's a problem for the Aikikai, and one that's going to be harder to fix the longer things go on....

Best,

Chris

Dear Chris,
Your article is imo almost spot on.The transmission of Aikido in my mind is one where there is a direct bond with Teacher and student.Its nigh impossible for most to have a real strong relationship with a person,a society or organisation or even a country when both parties rarely if ever get much of a chance to get to know one and other .Maybe its the same between the U.S. President /our Prime Minister and the people.We se these guys on T.V/Newspapers but can we really say we know them?
I suppose you can make a case for the Aikikai Foundation/Hombu inasmuch it is the mother dojo.It is a focal point .Nevertheless for the average guy in the street I do not think the Aikikai is foremost in his /her thoughts.Time will tell whether the Aikido community /Hombu adapts to the current situation,eg the multiplicity of new groups forming etc.
Cheers, Joe.

Dennis Hooker
01-22-2013, 11:13 AM
I agree!

Are you sure? Howabout the single complement Kisshomaru ever got from his father (by lore)--on the founding of the Tokyo dojo? I think he wanted the organization to spread aikido, he just didn't want to have to run it.

In general, I do like having a parent organization. I like it that Hombu has decided to be an umbrella organization so I can walk into most dojos and even if they've never heard of my teacher or the ASU, they accept me because I'm affiliated with Hombu. I'd like to believe there's some quality control, so the more squirrely groups are easier to identify. It's hard to put a price tag on that.

Dennis Hooker
01-22-2013, 11:16 AM
Chris, I think you are right on with this.

I think that he liked the shiny new building. :D

He may or may not have appreciated the benefits of what Kisshomaru was doing (that story certainly suggests it), but that doesn't mean that he had any interest in the organization itself.

His massive lack of interest in organizations at any level has been mentioned by many of the uchi-deshi.

That's why I'm saying that calling it "the Founder's organization" is probably less accurate than calling it "Kisshomaru's organization".

Best,

Chris

Peter Goldsbury
01-22-2013, 03:36 PM
His massive lack of interest in organizations at any level has been mentioned by many of the uchi-deshi.

That's why I'm saying that calling it "the Founder's organization" is probably less accurate than calling it "Kisshomaru's organization".

Best,

Chris

I think in the beginning neither Morihei Ueshiba nor Kisshomaru had much choice in the matter. The Kobukan was incorporated in 1940 and it would seem that the pressure to do so came from Ueshiba's backers like Fujita Kinya. Kisshomaru would hardly have been in a position to contribute much and so it would be inaccurate to call the Kobukai 'Kisshomaru's organization'. Seko Seiichi did most of the work at this time and I knew him quite well, for he was my predecessor in the IAF. He and Fujita certainly had very strong support from Morihei Ueshiba.

Kisshomaru seems to have been more closely involved in the decision to reactivate the Kobukai, and to change the name, in 1948, when his father was still keeping his head down in Iwama. The main supporters of the new Aikikai were Morihei Ueshiba's old wartime supporters like Tomita.

Best wishes,

PAG

hughrbeyer
01-22-2013, 10:36 PM
All very well, Professor, but then O-Sensei went around giving talks and radio interviews about how Aikido was the art of love and everybody should practice Aikido to usher in an era of world peace and mutual understanding. (Exaggerating only a little.) If he meant what he said at all, he surely recognized the need to spread the art, and of an organization that could do that. One of the most salient differences between him and Takeda Sokaku's other students was that he opened his art up, while the others kept theirs closed. And however little he may have been involved in the management of the Aikikai, he certainly supported it with his constant travels to different places to teach.

Peter Goldsbury
01-22-2013, 11:49 PM
All very well, Professor, but then O-Sensei went around giving talks and radio interviews about how Aikido was the art of love and everybody should practice Aikido to usher in an era of world peace and mutual understanding. (Exaggerating only a little.) If he meant what he said at all, he surely recognized the need to spread the art, and of an organization that could do that. One of the most salient differences between him and Takeda Sokaku's other students was that he opened his art up, while the others kept theirs closed. And however little he may have been involved in the management of the Aikikai, he certainly supported it with his constant travels to different places to teach.

Apologies, but could you point out more clearly where you disagree with me, if you do. My point is that to state that Morihei Ueshiba cared little for organizations, any organizations, is not quite accurate.

hughrbeyer
01-22-2013, 11:57 PM
Well, maybe I was really arguing with Chris. I'm sure I was arguing with somebody here.

Ethan Weisgard
01-15-2014, 07:18 AM
What would happen if we didn't have the Aikikai?

The way I see it, the Aikikai represents the iemoto system, as well as being the practical headquarters of Aikido. If the Aikikai wasn't there, or was not supported, then we would be represented by the different leaders of our individual groups. That might work for the first generation, but then who would take over the representation after that?

The Aikikai works as an umbrella organization, and generally doesn't lay down too strict guidelines regarding the technical aspects of our Aikido. The Hombu instructors receive salaries, and there are quite many of them on the payroll. They don't receive high salaries, but even if it is a standard level salary, this will still be quite a large amount to be paid every month. I believe that the Hombu Dojo is not making a financial killing at the moment regarding the various payments that are coming in. If you look at the once -a -year Kagami Biraki list, then of course it seems like a large sum, but this is just once a year. Try to think of Tokyo real-estate prices, and take a look at the size and the location of Hombu Dojo, and factor this in to what their annual expenses are.

I know it must be hard for the Aikikai, because many people must be thinking along the same lines as what Chris Li has stated. His statements are quite spot-on, when thinking pragmatically about the situation.

But I do think one needs to ask the question - what if Aikikai wasn't there? To me, it seems obvious: Chaos, power struggles all over the place - and most of all, a lack of awareness of, and respect for the lineage of O-Sensei. I think it is our responsibility to try to imbue our students with an understanding and feeling of respect towards the creator of Aikido and the family that represents him. They are able to be there because of the Aikikai. I think we need to accept the fact that it is necessary for the Aikikai / Hombu Dojo to try to run things as a business, to the extent that they can keep themselves afloat, and thereby enable the core of the Founder's aikido to continue.

In aiki,
Ethan Weisgard

SeiserL
01-15-2014, 08:15 AM
Sensei Dang Thong Phong - Tenshinkai Aikido - Westminster Aikikai - my original instructor for 12 years. - "No, again."

Sensei Frank McGouirck - Aikido-Ai - a source of early support and inspiration. - "Changes, Changes, Changes"

Compliments, congratulations, appreciation, and respect.

Chris Li
01-15-2014, 09:30 AM
What would happen if we didn't have the Aikikai?

The way I see it, the Aikikai represents the iemoto system, as well as being the practical headquarters of Aikido. If the Aikikai wasn't there, or was not supported, then we would be represented by the different leaders of our individual groups. That might work for the first generation, but then who would take over the representation after that?

The Aikikai works as an umbrella organization, and generally doesn't lay down too strict guidelines regarding the technical aspects of our Aikido. The Hombu instructors receive salaries, and there are quite many of them on the payroll. They don't receive high salaries, but even if it is a standard level salary, this will still be quite a large amount to be paid every month. I believe that the Hombu Dojo is not making a financial killing at the moment regarding the various payments that are coming in. If you look at the once -a -year Kagami Biraki list, then of course it seems like a large sum, but this is just once a year. Try to think of Tokyo real-estate prices, and take a look at the size and the location of Hombu Dojo, and factor this in to what their annual expenses are.

I know it must be hard for the Aikikai, because many people must be thinking along the same lines as what Chris Li has stated. His statements are quite spot-on, when thinking pragmatically about the situation.

But I do think one needs to ask the question - what if Aikikai wasn't there? To me, it seems obvious: Chaos, power struggles all over the place - and most of all, a lack of awareness of, and respect for the lineage of O-Sensei. I think it is our responsibility to try to imbue our students with an understanding and feeling of respect towards the creator of Aikido and the family that represents him. They are able to be there because of the Aikikai. I think we need to accept the fact that it is necessary for the Aikikai / Hombu Dojo to try to run things as a business, to the extent that they can keep themselves afloat, and thereby enable the core of the Founder's aikido to continue.

In aiki,
Ethan Weisgard

Hmm...thread return after a year...

I think that there is plenty of chaos and power struggles with the Aikikai just as there would be without - it's the human condition. I don't particularly see what an organization has to do with respect, and respecting a genetic lineage went out with Kings and thrones (except on HBO).

Respect ought to be earned on one's own, not based on some distant ancestral connection.

There's nothing wrong with running things as a business of course - but remember that businesses serve customers and provide value or they don't stay in business long.

That being said, I'm not anti-Aikikai, but I think that it will have to make some significant changes in order to survive.

Best,

Chris

odudog
01-16-2014, 05:21 AM
Sensei Dang Thong Phong - Tenshinkai Aikido - Westminster Aikikai - my original instructor for 12 years. - "No, again."

I heard that a lot when I visited a couple years ago. Said very softly. Thought I was hearing ghosts.

SeiserL
01-16-2014, 06:55 AM
I heard that a lot when I visited a couple years ago. Said very softly. Thought I was hearing ghosts.
I still hear him an my head and my heart, but now he says "Yes, again please."

Carl Thompson
01-16-2014, 08:02 AM
Happy New Year Chris (or even "Ake Ome")

I don't particularly see what an organization has to do with respect, and respecting a genetic lineage went out with Kings and thrones (except on HBO).

My home country, the one I'm living in and plenty others all seem to get by with symbolic monarchs.

Respect ought to be earned on one's own, not based on some distant ancestral connection.
I'm afraid I totally disagree with this. Respect should be a default position. Showing respect is something one should try to do all the time without any "earning" needing to be done in advance from the recipients, be they family members, strangers, hereditary symbolic leaders, religions, cultures, organisations, the environment or whatever. They can lose that respect through their actions, but you give them all an equal chance on contact and even when they lose it, the "showing respect" part isn't just for them, but for everyone else too. The innocent bystander does not deserve to be dragged into one's disrespect for someone who transgressed. It's all a delicate balance between oneself, other people and the rest of the world.

There's nothing wrong with running things as a business of course - but remember that businesses serve customers and provide value or they don't stay in business long.

I can't agree with this either. The Aikikai are better off sticking to their status as a legal foundation for propagating the art.

It's simply not true that you can't stay in business for long if you don't provide good service or value. You can and plenty do! Okay, we all have different ideas of what might be "good", but business is competition with winners and losers. Winning doesn't mean you did the best job. It might mean your virtual slave workforce is based in an "economic processing zone" making an ordinary product for a pittance that you mark up to ridiculous levels because your main outlay is on advertising and getting celebs to model it to impressionable youths. It might mean you run a Mcdojo that... well, you get the picture.

That being said, I'm not anti-Aikikai, but I think that it will have to make some significant changes in order to survive.
I agree that it has to change with the times. There are some complicated issues. Liking or disliking different cultural practices (including Iemoto) is one, but I don't think it is the main one. In many countries it's not that unusual to have a hereditary symbolic figure, even for organisations as big as national governments. Having it for martial arts, the tea ceremony etc in Japan culture isn't such a big deal.

You talked about Osensei's "massive lack" of interest in organisations, even though his actions clearly show someone who took an active role in them. From village councilman to head of the martial arts groups such as the Budo Senyokai, throughout his life the founder was a supportive member of numerous organisations. Throughout his life he also gave and accepted accreditation in the form of teaching licenses and dan ranks, including from the hereditary head of a whole country (the Japanese Emperor). What would the founder have wanted?

Regards

Carl

Chris Li
01-16-2014, 09:22 AM
Happy New Year Chris (or even "Ake Ome")
My home country, the one I'm living in and plenty others all seem to get by with symbolic monarchs.

True of course, but the functional point here is the "symbolic" part. Nobody (except some of the uyoku fringe groups) beleive them to be "actual" monarchs.


I'm afraid I totally disagree with this. Respect should be a default position. Showing respect is something one should try to do all the time without any "earning" needing to be done in advance from the recipients, be they family members, strangers, hereditary symbolic leaders, religions, cultures, organisations, the environment or whatever. They can lose that respect through their actions, but you give them all an equal chance on contact and even when they lose it, the "showing respect" part isn't just for them, but for everyone else too. The innocent bystander does not deserve to be dragged into one's disrespect for someone who transgressed. It's all a delicate balance between oneself, other people and the rest of the world.

In the abstract of showing respect for all people - sure, I can agree with that. However, my point stands - I don't believe in automatic entitlement due to genetic heritage. I have no problem with automatically respecting the descendents of whoever or whatever, but that changes when they start asking to be sent or paid large sums of money. In that case the bar gets higher.


I can't agree with this either. The Aikikai are better off sticking to their status as a legal foundation for propagating the art.

It's simply not true that you can't stay in business for long if you don't provide good service or value. You can and plenty do! Okay, we all have different ideas of what might be "good", but business is competition with winners and losers. Winning doesn't mean you did the best job. It might mean your virtual slave workforce is based in an "economic processing zone" making an ordinary product for a pittance that you mark up to ridiculous levels because your main outlay is on advertising and getting celebs to model it to impressionable youths. It might mean you run a Mcdojo that... well, you get the picture..

I never said that they shouldn't stick with their status as a legal foundation for propogating the art, I don't know where you got that. The rest of your comments don't seem relevant to my point, which was in response to a statement that the Aikikai should be run as a business. I was pointing out that businesses are subject to normal market forces, and need to recognize that fact.


I agree that it has to change with the times. There are some complicated issues. Liking or disliking different cultural practices (including Iemoto) is one, but I don't think it is the main one. In many countries it's not that unusual to have a hereditary symbolic figure, even for organisations as big as national governments. Having it for martial arts, the tea ceremony etc in Japan culture isn't such a big deal.

You talked about Osensei's "massive lack" of interest in organisations, even though his actions clearly show someone who took an active role in them. From village councilman to head of the martial arts groups such as the Budo Senyokai, throughout his life the founder was a supportive member of numerous organisations. Throughout his life he also gave and accepted accreditation in the form of teaching licenses and dan ranks, including from the hereditary head of a whole country (the Japanese Emperor). What would the founder have wanted?

Regards

Carl

Those were organizations he joined, but that's quite different from being active in forming your own organization for Aikido, which he never did. I think the historical record is clear that he showed a "massive lack" of interest in that respect (that's actually a direct quote from Shoji Nishio, by the way, who was so worried about the lack of interest that he went out and started organizing Aikikai groups on his own).

At best, he sat back and let Kisshomaru do the lifting.

Best,

Chris

Carl Thompson
01-16-2014, 03:56 PM
As usual, thanks for your response Chris

I have no problem with automatically respecting the descendents of whoever or whatever, but that changes when they start asking to be sent or paid large sums of money. In that case the bar gets higher.

Is payment a new thing for being a member of Osensei's organisation? I agree that many people find membership expensive, but that goes for all kinds of organisations, irrespective of whether they are traditionally run.

I never said that they shouldn't stick with their status as a legal foundation for propogating the art, I don't know where you got that.

Sorry, I couldn't quite see where you were coming from in the related paragraph I quoted. In any case, my main disagreement was meant for the part about businesses providing quality.

Those were organizations he joined, but that's quite different from being active in forming your own organization for Aikido, which he never did. I think the historical record is clear that he showed a "massive lack" of interest in that respect (that's actually a direct quote from Shoji Nishio, by the way, who was so worried about the lack of interest that he went out and started organizing Aikikai groups on his own).

At best, he sat back and let Kisshomaru do the lifting.

I'd agree that Osensei didn't take it too seriously and let the kohai do the lifting (although I heard that when it came to actual lifting, he had a rice-hod specially made so that he could carry much more than the average man).

Regards

Carl

Chris Li
01-16-2014, 04:14 PM
Is payment a new thing for being a member of Osensei's organisation? I agree that many people find membership expensive, but that goes for all kinds of organisations, irrespective of whether they are traditionally run.

I have nothing against payment, I'm just saying that it changes the relationship and the expectations.

I respect the Pope (especially the new one), but I'm not sending him any money. If I did, or if he expected me to, I'd think that our relationship and expectations of each other would be quite different.

This bit I posted further up the thread summarizes my thoughts on why the Aikikai should be thinking about changing how they handle their relationships:

In the past much of the value was in the relationship.

Shihan X trained at Aikikai Hombu and feels a personal obligation to support them. He pays up.

Bob, who trains with Shihan X, has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, but pays up because his teacher pays up.

Bill, who trains with Bob, has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, his teacher Bob has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, but pays up because his Shihan X pays up.

Bruce, who trains with Bill, has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, his teacher Bill has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, , Bill's teacher Bob has no particular personal relationship with Aikikai Hombu, but Bruce pays up because...why?

This is the point that we're getting to now in the history of Aikido. Most people have never been to Hombu and have no personal relationships there. They send in money and get (by mail) a piece of paper from someone who has never met them and doesn't know who they are.


The old relationships, which were the basis for the organization, are laregely gone for the average practitioner.

"Send money we're supporting world Aikido" doesn't seem (to me) to be an effective sales pitch to maintain the organization into the future (especially when there isn't really much in the way of actual support). Neither does "Send me money because my great-grandfather started this organization", or "You should send money to be in our club. What do you get? To be in the club". :)

They need to come up for a reason for people to want to be associated with the organization other than what is today, essentially, a mail-order certificate. There are many membership organizations worldwide that offer real benefits to their members (peer accrediting organization and professional organizations come to mind), it's not like re-inventing the wheel - but it will take a change of mindset.

Best,

Chris