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Chris Li
06-09-2013, 07:41 PM
New blog post!

"Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family- Aikido and the Aikikai, where does it go from here? (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2013-06-09/four-generations-of-the-ueshiba-family)"

Enjoy!

Chris

Carl Thompson
06-11-2013, 04:59 PM
Hi Chris,

Ifve already discussed rank (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21292&page=2)and organisation (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22182&page=2) with you a few times on this forum. I think you skew things way too much to make a point.

The Aikikai, however, is a horse of a different color. Sometimes it can be unclear, but (for the Aikikai) there is only one person in the entire world who can issue Dan (black belt) promotions - the current Doshu (now Moriteru Ueshiba). Everybody else, whether they be a local fourth-dan instructor or a world famous ninth-dan student of Morihei Ueshiba only issues a "recommendation" for promotion.
Doshu is the figurehead of aikido within the Aikikai and representative of its founder. You know that no one is saying he can inspect every person recommended for accreditation. In fact, I am not aware of Doshu ever overseeing an examination to recognise anyonefs skills in the art. I don't think that is Doshufs job. Aikido is the centre. Doshu represents aikido and its founder. Proper form, proper etiquette (Japanese reigi) are all recurring impressions left in the founderfs students. You know that the local fourth –dans and world famous 9th dan run the tests and make the call on recognising transmission. To do otherwise breaks lineages and potentially valuable views of the art leading back to the founder.
What would I change? I think that is something that would have to be led (but not dictated) by the Aikikai, and endorsed popularly by the membership.

For a second, I thought you were going to suggest solutions to the things you think are problems...rather than just effectively saying glook, a problem... and here... another problem.h However:

As points for consideration, there are a number of models for successful professional membership organizations that unite people of common goals and interests into a structure that provides real benefits to their members.

What models? You say ga numberh but what organisations? How do they provide real benefits?

There are also a number of models for successful peer review and accreditation organizations that maintain standards of quality and curriculum among educational organizations in a fair and impartial manner - again, providing a real benefit to the members of that organization - and perhaps, providing an object lesson in how to provide meaning for a real licensing system.

Again, what models of peer review? What do these models do to provide meaning for a grealh licensing system?

Regards

Carl

Chris Li
06-11-2013, 05:17 PM
Doshu is the figurehead of aikido within the Aikikai and representative of its founder. You know that no one is saying he can inspect every person recommended for accreditation. In fact, I am not aware of Doshu ever overseeing an examination to recognise anyone�fs skills in the art. I don't think that is Doshu�fs job. Aikido is the centre. Doshu represents aikido and its founder. Proper form, proper etiquette (Japanese reigi) are all recurring impressions left in the founder�fs students. You know that the local fourth –dans and world famous 9th dan run the tests and make the call on recognising transmission. To do otherwise breaks lineages and potentially valuable views of the art leading back to the founder.

Of course, he can't, that's the point. The problem with the lineage system on a large scale is that it breaks down and there are no checks, no oversight on it.

Imagine a system in which a doctor can license other doctors - who can then license other doctors on their own. Would you trust yourself to such a system?

That used to be the way things were done, but on a large scale it broke down for the very same reason that the ranking system has broken down.


For a second, I thought you were going to suggest solutions to the things you think are problems...rather than just effectively saying �glook, a problem... and here... another problem.�h However:

What models? You say �ga number�h but what organisations? How do they provide real benefits?

Again, what models of peer review? What do these models do to provide meaning for a �greal�h licensing system?

Regards

Carl

There are dozens of professional organizations and assiociations in the US that provide resources and professional development for their members. The American Medical Association, for example. These organizations can also provide legal aid and advice, insurance, discounted membership purchasing programs and much more. In other words, tangible benefits.

Models for peer review are also quite common - virtually all US institutions of higher education are accredited through non-profit organizations and associations that provide peer review for those institutions. It seems to work well enough for accrediting Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

It seems to me that those two models are two concrete suggestions for solutions, but maybe that's just me...

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-11-2013, 09:56 PM
I'd like to note that I have no problem with Doshu "representing" the Founder. But that doesn't mean that I think that people will kick up to the Ueshiba family indefinitely for something that happened three (or four) generations ago as an organization without more return than a mail order piece of paper. That's absent a value judgement as to whether or not I think that they should - in any case, I think that the days of that model are numbered.

As for breaking lineages and violating proper etiquette - it's not very hard to argue that this is what Morihei Ueshiba and the post-war Aikikai already did, isn't it?

Best,

Chris

Carl Thompson
06-12-2013, 10:11 AM
Thanks for taking the time to reply Chris.

Also thank you for giving some examples of benefits and how you think things should be run. You said the following regarding my comment that no one expects Doshu to inspect every person recommended for accreditation: Of course, he can't, that's the point. The problem with the lineage system on a large scale is that it breaks down and there are no checks, no oversight on it.
I think you missed my point. You still appear to refuse to accept that a dan ran rank examined and grecommendedh from that 9th dan is a rank earned from that 9th dan. I think it is his name that goes in the examiner field of the Yudansha booklet.

Since you mentioned academic accreditation, I have a couple of university degree certificates signed by someone I do not know and whom Ifm pretty sure never read my thesis or vetted any of my work in person (especially the parts I did on exchange at a university in another country).

And we are talking about a glineagesh (plural) system in my opinion. You have not shown how there are no checks or that there is no oversight on what I perceive as a system of lineages gathering around the iemoto-supplied figurehead.
Imagine a system in which a doctor can license other doctors - who can then license other doctors on their own. Would you trust yourself to such a system?
So who gives licenses to doctors if not others qualified to be doctors? As for gon their ownh are you saying that there is no discussion among the gdoctorsh before or after testing within the renmei or higher up? That no one is rejected by panels of other gdoctorsh within their gfieldsh of medicine?

There are dozens of professional organizations and assiociations in the US that provide resources and professional development for their members. The American Medical Association, for example. These organizations can also provide legal aid and advice, insurance, discounted membership purchasing programs and much more. In other words, tangible benefits.
I think the gwhatfs in it for meh reason for membership is not a good reason for membership.

Glancing at my degree certificates again, I don't think I get any of these benefits. All they do is show that I completed a couple of programmes. Whether I actually gained any skills in doing so is another matter, but compared to the guy who has nothing to show for his studies, I have an indication of the possibility of transmission.

The medical profession is a bit different in that if you donft have the skills, people donft get better, get worse, die etc so even to the layman it tends to be obvious early on in that glineageh if you arenft getting the basic gwazah.

Again, I wonder if you have contacted the Aikikai directly. Are you publishing your complaints internationally on the internet following the rejection of your ideas?

As for breaking lineages and violating proper etiquette - it's not very hard to argue that this is what Morihei Ueshiba and the post-war Aikikai already did, isn't it?
I donft know. Are you suggesting Aikido is a motoha of Daito-ryu? Even a motoha is a facet of Japanese organisation and etiquette.

Regards

Carl

Chris Li
06-12-2013, 10:50 AM
I think you missed my point. You still appear to refuse to accept that a dan ran rank examined and �grecommended�h from that 9th dan is a rank earned from that 9th dan. I think it is his name that goes in the examiner field of the Yudansha booklet.

Sure it does, but technically speaking, only Doshu can actually issue a certificate - even the paperwork submitted by the 9th dan says "recommendation for promotion" at the top.


Since you mentioned academic accreditation, I have a couple of university degree certificates signed by someone I do not know and whom I�fm pretty sure never read my thesis or vetted any of my work in person (especially the parts I did on exchange at a university in another country).

Sure, but in that case there is a system of checks and accreditation in place by impartial parties (or as impartial a system as can be devised). That's why most people won't accept a degree from an unaccredited institution.


And we are talking about a �glineages�h (plural) system in my opinion. You have not shown how there are no checks or that there is no oversight on what I perceive as a system of lineages gathering around the iemoto-supplied figurehead.

So who gives licenses to doctors if not others qualified to be doctors? As for �gon their own�h are you saying that there is no discussion among the �gdoctors�h before or after testing within the renmei or higher up? That no one is rejected by panels of other �gdoctors�h within their �gfields�h of medicine?

Where are the checks and where is the oversight in Aikido? I think it's self evident that there is no system in place in the Aikikai - it's entirely a system of delegation down the line. The doctors are subject to a system of checks and accreditation, the same as the universities above.


I think the �gwhat�fs in it for me�h reason for membership is not a good reason for membership.

There always has to be some reason for a person to be a member. What is the reason today? In the past it was personal connection - but those connections are very, very thin these days.


Glancing at my degree certificates again, I don't think I get any of these benefits. All they do is show that I completed a couple of programmes. Whether I actually gained any skills in doing so is another matter, but compared to the guy who has nothing to show for his studies, I have an indication of the possibility of transmission.

You get practical benefits from the accrediting system. Just try to get a job with a degree from an unaccredited institution.


Again, I wonder if you have contacted the Aikikai directly. Are you publishing your complaints internationally on the internet following the rejection of your ideas?

Have I spoken about these things to people at the Aikikai, sure. But that's not the point. As members of the Aikikai these discussions are important - and that's not just bitching about it to people at the headquarters office (who often agree with many of the points privately), but developing a public discussion and a consensus among the general population.

IMO, the top down approach won't work - the Aikikai no longer has the leverage or the prestige to impose new rules without the active consent and participation of the community and organizations worldwide.

It may look different in Japan, where there is more direct contact - but abroad many (most?) Aikido students today don't even have a clear activity of what the Aikikai is or how it's organized.


I don�ft know. Are you suggesting Aikido is a motoha of Daito-ryu? Even a motoha is a facet of Japanese organisation and etiquette.

My point was that Stan Pranin has very clearly demonstrated that the post-war Aikikai (and even Morihei Ueshiba) made some questionable actions if you're talking about strictly adhering to the rules of etiquette and lineage in their relationship with Sokaku Takeda and the historical place of Daito-ryu. It seems to me that this history weakens a demand for loyalty based upon "etiquette" and "lineage".

Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of a general umbrella organization like the Aikikai that connects people and groups with a common interest.

I do think, however, that the current model is unworkable over a large scale, and the sooner people realize that the better.

On the other hand, realistically, I think that it is unlikely that we'll see a major restructuring, and that the Aikikai is likely to slide into a condition of increasing irrelevance as an organization for most students of Aikido.

Best,

Chris

Dan Rubin
06-12-2013, 06:35 PM
Perhaps we should be talking less about a solution to the current system and more about a reaction to the current system. For example, dojos could react by offering their students a choice of receiving a dan promotion from Hombu (expensive) or from the head teacher of their dojo (inexpensive). Same test, same standards, same incentives to seek promotion, same bragging rights. The Hombu track versus the dojo track.

There might be a benefit to the Hombu promotion for a student who expects to move to a different part of the country (or world), or who hopes to someday establish a seminar practice. As for students on the dojo track, they would know that if they ever desire a Hombu promotion they will have to start all over again. Over time, the comparative value of each would be revealed.

I wonder if Hombu would allow such a system in a member dojo. Then again, maybe some dojos already do that.

As for the idea of some sort of independent accrediting organization, its first and perhaps impossible mission would be to define what is and is not aikido.

Chris Li
06-12-2013, 07:07 PM
Perhaps we should be talking less about a solution to the current system and more about a reaction to the current system. For example, dojos could react by offering their students a choice of receiving a dan promotion from Hombu (expensive) or from the head teacher of their dojo (inexpensive). Same test, same standards, same incentives to seek promotion, same bragging rights. The Hombu track versus the dojo track.

There might be a benefit to the Hombu promotion for a student who expects to move to a different part of the country (or world), or who hopes to someday establish a seminar practice. As for students on the dojo track, they would know that if they ever desire a Hombu promotion they will have to start all over again. Over time, the comparative value of each would be revealed.

I wonder if Hombu would allow such a system in a member dojo. Then again, maybe some dojos already do that.

As for the idea of some sort of independent accrediting organization, its first and perhaps impossible mission would be to define what is and is not aikido.

Hombu can get a little testy when this kind of thing happens ;) - here's Gaku Homma's experience with "Mr. T" (actually, it was Masaki Tani, from the International Department):

http://www.nippon-kan.org/senseis_articles/10/false-profiteers.html

Best,

Chris

RonRagusa
06-12-2013, 10:26 PM
As for the idea of some sort of independent accrediting organization, its first and perhaps impossible mission would be to define what is and is not aikido.

And its second and, unfortunately all too possible mission, would be to bury all the creativity and diversity of Aikido under a mountain of regulations and standards in order to make all Aikido "styles" as cookie cutter identical as possible. No thanks. We don't need to scrap the Aikikai in order to replace it with yet another useless bureaucracy.

Ron

Chris Li
06-12-2013, 10:41 PM
And its second and, unfortunately all too possible mission, would be to bury all the creativity and diversity of Aikido under a mountain of regulations and standards in order to make all Aikido "styles" as cookie cutter identical as possible. No thanks. We don't need to scrap the Aikikai in order to replace it with yet another useless bureaucracy.

Ron

I don't think that it's a given that accreditation = cookie cutter - after all look at the great variety of opinions and methods in higher education, all of which are accredited.

OTOH, I don't think it that likely a thing to actually happen.

Best,

Chris

allowedcloud
06-13-2013, 08:02 AM
Perhaps we should be talking less about a solution to the current system and more about a reaction to the current system. For example, dojos could react by offering their students a choice of receiving a dan promotion from Hombu (expensive) or from the head teacher of their dojo (inexpensive). Same test, same standards, same incentives to seek promotion, same bragging rights. The Hombu track versus the dojo track.

There might be a benefit to the Hombu promotion for a student who expects to move to a different part of the country (or world), or who hopes to someday establish a seminar practice. As for students on the dojo track, they would know that if they ever desire a Hombu promotion they will have to start all over again. Over time, the comparative value of each would be revealed.

I wonder if Hombu would allow such a system in a member dojo. Then again, maybe some dojos already do that.

As for the idea of some sort of independent accrediting organization, its first and perhaps impossible mission would be to define what is and is not aikido.

It's my understanding that Chiba sensei's organization operates under such a system. When he promotes people, he issues them a Birankai certificate for the rank, signed by Chiba. However, the student does have the *option* of paying the Aikikai promotional fee to get their rank 'certified' by the Aikikai. I have no idea how many of his students opt to do this. I personally don't think I'd bother. I mean, who's going to question a rank issued by Chiba sensei? :)

Dan Rubin
06-13-2013, 08:38 AM
- here's Gaku Homma's experience with "Mr. T"

An interesting article by an interesting guy.

And its second and, unfortunately all too possible mission, would be to bury all the creativity and diversity of Aikido under a mountain of regulations and standards....

That would happen if aikido became a sport. "Judo" is defined by it's rules and regulations. Without competitions, such a task would be a waste of time and effort.

I have no idea how many of his students opt to do this.

I would be curious to find out.

Cliff Judge
06-13-2013, 10:12 AM
I think the article critically underestimates the typical nth generation student's knowledge of and interest in the Hombu.

It is sort of taken as a given that the further you get away from Hombu the less the typical student knows or cares about the Aikikai. My assumption is that any Aikido school that is in a relationship with the Aikikai is going to have students put on Japanese martial arts clothes, bow and clap, use Japanese vocabulary, etc when training. It seems a little odd that people who would enjoy spending their time doing such things would be so diffident to the idea that there is a five-story dojo in Tokyo that is packed with 7th-9th dans.

Chris Li
06-13-2013, 10:40 AM
I think the article critically underestimates the typical nth generation student's knowledge of and interest in the Hombu.

It is sort of taken as a given that the further you get away from Hombu the less the typical student knows or cares about the Aikikai. My assumption is that any Aikido school that is in a relationship with the Aikikai is going to have students put on Japanese martial arts clothes, bow and clap, use Japanese vocabulary, etc when training. It seems a little odd that people who would enjoy spending their time doing such things would be so diffident to the idea that there is a five-story dojo in Tokyo that is packed with 7th-9th dans.

There's nothing wrong with the building, I enjoyed the years that I spent training there, but that doesn't mean that I (or the typical Aikido student) therefore wants to support them financially with no particular relationship and no particular return - that's my point.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
06-13-2013, 11:40 AM
There's nothing wrong with the building, I enjoyed the years that I spent training there, but that doesn't mean that I (or the typical Aikido student) therefore wants to support them financially with no particular relationship and no particular return - that's my point.

Best,

Chris

Right. My point is that I question the assumptions that lead you to believe the "typical Aikido student" shares your judgment of that there is "no particular return."

Chris Li
06-13-2013, 11:47 AM
Right. My point is that I question the assumptions that lead you to believe the "typical Aikido student" shares your judgment of that there is "no particular return."

Sure, but I think that many do - what exactly do you get in return?

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
06-13-2013, 12:08 PM
Sure, but I think that many do - what exactly do you get in return?

Best,

Chris

The sense that my training is part of all the Aikido training that is going on in the world, a sense of connectivity to the roots of Aikido, and the right to drop by the Hombu if I am in town without having to work connections to get an introduction, etc.

Janet Rosen
06-13-2013, 12:26 PM
The sense that my training is part of all the Aikido training that is going on in the world, a sense of connectivity to the roots of Aikido, and the right to drop by the Hombu if I am in town without having to work connections to get an introduction, etc.

I know I'm not going to be going to Japan to train...I'm a hobbyist, not aiming to be a professional instructor...for me, since I was a 5th kyu attending the first all-styles aikido-l seminar in 1998 I've felt deepy a part of a world-wide community, read about and feel very connected to the roots of aikido, and have felt welcomed at every dojo of any style I've ever visited in the USA.
I am not sure why paying money to an organization in Japan would lead to increased feeling of enhancement.
Definitely a matter of YMMV....

NagaBaba
06-13-2013, 12:37 PM
In France and in Belgium (among other countries) there is a system of double ranks Aikikai and National Dan, where the person (not aikidoka at all) representing the Ministry of Sport supervises tests and sign national dan diploma.
How about such solution? LOL It is really funny IMO.
Also, there are few dojos I know, that many years ago abandoned Aikikai ranks system, and in fact don’t deliver ranks at all. Then suddenly after many years of practice the students realized they have nothing to prove their involvement and commitment to the art.
For sure the best solution would be getting rank from own teacher – but such diploma will have the value proportional to the reputation of the teacher. So many would prefer to replace it with Aikikai reputation LOL

Cliff Judge
06-13-2013, 12:53 PM
One way to look at it is, the issues that come with large democratic bureaucracies setting standards and such....the Japanese style vertical hierarchy with a figurehead at the top is basically a solution to that.

Chris Li
06-13-2013, 01:34 PM
The sense that my training is part of all the Aikido training that is going on in the world, a sense of connectivity to the roots of Aikido, and the right to drop by the Hombu if I am in town without having to work connections to get an introduction, etc.

My hunch would be that dropping in at hombu isn't high on the list for the average person. If they do, it doesn't take connections or introductions, just pay your money and go upstairs. Worst case is they make you pay the Aikikai entrance fee - about $100, but still less than testing fees.

What if your instructors weren't affiliated with the Aikikai? Would that make any difference at all to a sense of "connectivity"? When I started with Saotome he wasn't with the Aikikai, and all of my early ranks came directly from him, not from the Aikikai. As I recall, nobody cared, really, or felt less "connected" to the roots of Aikido, or felt more "connected" once he reaffiliated with the Aikikai (test fees went up a lot, though).

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-13-2013, 01:35 PM
One way to look at it is, the issues that come with large democratic bureaucracies setting standards and such....the Japanese style vertical hierarchy with a figurehead at the top is basically a solution to that.

Not much of a solution, IMO....

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
06-13-2013, 02:24 PM
My hunch would be that dropping in at hombu isn't high on the list for the average person. If they do, it doesn't take connections or introductions, just pay your money and go upstairs.

Right you can pay your money and go upstairs because you are part of a worldwide organization.

Chris Li
06-13-2013, 02:40 PM
Right you can pay your money and go upstairs because you are part of a worldwide organization.

No, I meant that they let anybody pay the fee and go on in, membership in the worldwide organization or not.

I've never had a problem just walking in and paying the daily training fee, even when I wasn't with the Aikikai.

The only people I've heard about that had a problem had to pay the membership fee (about $100, far less than testing) and then they went up without a problem - without having to come from an affiliated organization.

Anyway, I don't see that as a major draw, especially considering what the training at hombu is like.

Best,

Chris

Dan Rubin
06-13-2013, 03:14 PM
Aside from the annual dues (now $75?) from every yudansha in the world, does hombu require affiliated dojos to sell a minimum amount of product, er, send in a minimum amount of testing fees annually?

JJF
06-13-2013, 03:29 PM
A lot of interesting responses above.

I enjoy being part of this organisation. Even though I study aikido inspired by Nishio sensei who was not teaching in a manner close to what they did/do at Hombu dojo. However he still kept a close relation to Hombu dojo, and so does all of his major students today.

I have been to Hombu dojo, and I will go again. And I enjoy looking at my diplomas that I have received from them. Not because they are 'signed' by Doshu, but because they represent hours and hours of training and dedication. En effort that has been recognized by my instructors and the national Danish Aikido Federation, which again has been approved by The international Aikikai.

I see no reason to break free from them. We would only get another organisation and the sensation of belonging to 'a whole' would go away. Look at what happens in Russia with 'Real Aikido'. I think that is the type of development that will come from breaking with the Aikikai. Strange new attires, dojo embroidery and basically putting somebody new on the pedestal.

It's not easy to walk the edge of the knife that Aikikai federation have to balance in order to keep tradition, maintain a system and develop in order to the ever changing conditions. I think they do a pretty good job, and I choose to embrace aikido as a Japanese martial art with the traditions and quirks that's part of the package.

A lot of what is being mentioned as being less than perfect is obviously things that should be addressed - but I think time and patience is needed in order to make the changes. Leaving on a 'what have you done for me lately' seems to me to be a sad development.

Frankly I don't believe somebody is making good business on the Aikikai. Yes - some people receive a salary but they also accept the responsibility of being head of an organisation and filling shoes that are virtually impossible to fill.

Most other organisation that have the right to hand out certificates or credentials also pay those that do the work, so frankly I don't see any difference except that this particular organisation is in Japan. To me Japan or the states is pretty much the same thing. A plane ticket there would be approximately the same and the time in the plane would also be just about the same.

Finally: Janet: even though you have no interest in making Aikido a career I hope you get a chance to go to Japan. It's an interesting experience, but of course not something everybody get a chance to do.

Great day to you all

JJ

Carl Thompson
06-13-2013, 03:57 PM
Perhaps we should be talking less about a solution to the current system and more about a reaction to the current system. For example, dojos could react by offering their students a choice of receiving a dan promotion from Hombu (expensive) or from the head teacher of their dojo (inexpensive). Same test, same standards, same incentives to seek promotion, same bragging rights. The Hombu track versus the dojo track.
This happens all the time. What Chris is saying is that this is going to happen more. That may be true, but I am questioning his assertions as to what the causes and solutions are. It all seems to be very much based upon the idea of a singular lineage headed by a Doshu who doesnft give people externally reviewed assessments (with perks) . I think this is a misunderstanding of the role of Doshu and the founder's organisation as well as peoplefs needs from it.
Aside from the annual dues (now $75?) from every yudansha in the world...(cut)
Annual dues from every Yudansha?

Regards
Carl

Carl Thompson
06-13-2013, 04:36 PM
Where are the checks and where is the oversight in Aikido? I think it's self evident that there is no system in place in the Aikikai - it's entirely a system of delegation down the line. The doctors are subject to a system of checks and accreditation, the same as the universities above.
What kind of system of oversight are you talking about? The Aikikai is certainly subject to legal and financial checks and regulations and even has to be careful about certain things to maintain its status as a non-religious organisation. I think you are suggesting is that people not of aikido, should assess all the different flavours of aikido.

http://www.nippon-kan.org/senseis_articles/10/false-profiteers.html

You picked a source that is riddled with mistakes and distortions but one thing the author complains about in the article you linked to is actually the einstructors and committeesf and even ginterferenceh by the Aikikai in collusion with other organisations such as JICA. Isnft that a (flawed) story of oversight, regulation and review of the multiple lineages I mentioned by the peers who gather around the iemoto lineage of the founderfs organisation?

It seems that cost and interference are most peoplefs gripes and more regulation, free insurance, perks for members etc isnft going to help that.

For the record, one of the many mistakes in your source is the description of the application process to teach aikido for JICA (the Japanese equivalent of the Peace Corps). The minimum level to apply is not black belt, it is nidan and even then it is a long hard process, not just the alleged short seminar at hombu. Your source also alleges that many donft bother to learn the local language of the country they go to. This ignores the application and ongoing training requirements. For example, a friend of mine went to teach aikido for JICA in Africa and needed English and French just to apply and he had to take courses in two local languages before commencing and during his assignment.

But I am very familiar with your sourcefs inaccuracies, having arrived in former-Iwama town in 2006, not long after taisai. ;)

My point was that Stan Pranin has very clearly demonstrated that the post-war Aikikai (and even Morihei Ueshiba) made some questionable actions if you're talking about strictly adhering to the rules of etiquette and lineage in their relationship with Sokaku Takeda and the historical place of Daito-ryu.
So theyfre not allowed to use a traditional model for the transmission of the art because of the tatemae playing down of Daito Ryu as main parent art?

Regards

Carl

Chris Li
06-13-2013, 04:53 PM
What kind of system of oversight are you talking about? The Aikikai is certainly subject to legal and financial checks and regulations and even has to be careful about certain things to maintain its status as a non-religious organisation. I think you are suggesting is that people not of aikido, should assess all the different flavours of aikido.

I didn't say that at all - I said that there are effective systems of peer review (a "peer" is someone who also does Aikido) in terms of accreditation.

Except at certain very high levels the Aikikai never checks on promotions, nobody does, unless it's implemented by the local organization - but there's no requirement to do so and it often (usually) doesn't happen.


You picked a source that is riddled with mistakes and distortions but one thing the author complains about in the article you linked to is actually the �einstructors and committees�f and even �ginterference�h by the Aikikai in collusion with other organisations such as JICA. Isn�ft that a (flawed) story of oversight, regulation and review of the multiple lineages I mentioned by the peers who gather around the iemoto lineage of the founder�fs organisation?

Umm, it's not a source, it's just a comment (to someone else's post) that mentioned someone else's experiences with a related issue.


It seems that cost and interference are most people�fs gripes and more regulation, free insurance, perks for members etc isn�ft going to help that.

Those were just some quick example, professional association in the US are quite common, and survive because they provide something of benefit to their members - or they don't survive. In Aikido that "something of benefit" was (in the past) largely a personal relationship with the leadership - what I'm saying is that with the international scale today that benefit has been thinned beyond viability.


So they�fre not allowed to use a traditional model for the transmission of the art because of the tatemae playing down of Daito Ryu as main parent art?


Well, there was quite a bit more lying that went on then just tatemae - why do you think that there is so much resentment from some people? I'm just saying that it makes it hard to claim the moral high ground.

In any case, Morihei Ueshiba broke all kinds of "traditions".

Is that really relevant to the point of whether a traditional model scales well for an international organization of the type that we have today?

Best,

Chris

Carl Thompson
06-13-2013, 05:02 PM
I didn't say that at all - I said that there are effective systems of peer review (a "peer" is someone who also does Aikido) in terms of accreditation.

Except at certain very high levels the Aikikai never checks on promotions, nobody does, unless it's implemented by the local organization - but there's no requirement to do so and it often (usually) doesn't happen.

All those committees and instructors doing the accreditation are peers are they not?

Regards

Carl

Chris Li
06-13-2013, 05:13 PM
All those committees and instructors doing the accreditation are peers are they not?

Regards

Carl

Yes, but there's no system or requirement to create a system or checks that a system has indeed been put in place.

Some places have a committee, some don't, in many places it's just up to an individual that never gets questioned.

The Aikikai has no idea how most people are getting promoted - and that leaves things wide open for abuse.

A higher educational institution patterned along the lines of the way that the Aikikai is organized would never receive accreditation from any reputable accrediting organization, and with good reason.

Now, I think that a good argument could be made for a very traditional system of organization where all ranks and licenses come solely from your instructor and their worth is only judged based upon that instructor.

But then...why would we ever want or need to send money anywhere else?

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
06-13-2013, 10:29 PM
No, I meant that they let anybody pay the fee and go on in, membership in the worldwide organization or not.

I've never had a problem just walking in and paying the daily training fee, even when I wasn't with the Aikikai.

The only people I've heard about that had a problem had to pay the membership fee (about $100, far less than testing) and then they went up without a problem - without having to come from an affiliated organization.

Anyway, I don't see that as a major draw, especially considering what the training at hombu is like.

Best,

Chris

Maybe not everybody is so cool that they can just walk into Hombu and train without a membership and then be like "this place is so dead." :p

Chris Li
06-13-2013, 11:25 PM
Maybe not everybody is so cool that they can just walk into Hombu and train without a membership and then be like "this place is so dead." :p

From the Aikikai hombu website:

In order to train at Hombu Dojo you must become a member of the Aikikai Foundation. At dojo located abroad, this is usually done upon joining the dojo, or else upon registration of shodan grading. Upon completing registration with the Aikikai, you will receive a membership card and a membership number. These do not expire and are good for life. Also, upon registering shodan you will also receive an International Yudansha Book. When wanting to train at Hombu Dojo, please bring something with your registration number with you. For those who are not yet Aikikai members, please complete the registration at the front desk upon arrival at Hombu Dojo.

Like I said - it costs about $100 and then anybody can go on up and train. So what's your point?

Best,

Chris

Dan Rubin
06-14-2013, 04:22 PM
Annual dues from every Yudansha?

Just dreaming the Aikikai dream. ;)

This happens all the time.

I didn't know that. If all dojos could do that (have a hombu track and a dojo track), the relevance of hombu would soon reveal itself. There are advantages and disadvantages to both tracks. If hombu found its appeal waning, it could change some things around (if it chose to) to make itself more attractive, such as reducing some fees. In other words, with that competition, let the marketplace decide.

As for quality control, the current system seems to be minimally workable: Let The Buyer Beware.:straightf

Carl Thompson
06-16-2013, 03:02 AM
Hi Dan (and Chris)
I didn't know that. If all dojos could do that (have a hombu track and a dojo track), the relevance of hombu would soon reveal itself. There are advantages and disadvantages to both tracks. If hombu found its appeal waning, it could change some things around (if it chose to) to make itself more attractive, such as reducing some fees. In other words, with that competition, let the marketplace decide.
There are all kinds of situations out there but I think the gist of the original article was that Doshu doesnft personally know the students getting their ranks from him, that feedback for how well one is progressing doesnft come with any perks for members and that distance from the iemoto lineage and loss of personal connection will cause people to leave. Ifd say that outside of immediate access to the iemoto lineage of aikido transmission (thatfs probably most of the Aikikai – and even in the Hombu people follow their favourite shihans), Doshufs role is more as a figurehead and his seal is kind of like having HRH Elizabeth Windsor on your pound sterling. It just shows that what your sensei says you learned is formally recognised elsewhere in the founderfs organisation. IMO, for most, their rank indicates a personal relationship with their teachers. I donft think people leave for lack of perks or connection to the iemoto anymore than people don't use pounds because they don't know the queen. You might get the odd teacher offering the Bristol Pound (http://bristolpound.org/) alongside the normal currency, but the main currency-related problem I've heard of is the one you mentioned: Some people find the one-off cost of membership (usually at shodan) and grading fees are a bit high.

To Chris, it looks to me more like an argument of degree whether or not the grades have enough oversight and peer review. I got the impression you were implying that there was none earlier on in the thread. Sorry if I am mistaken. In any case, more checks, enforcing the kind of system used by Havard or the medical profession across the board (i.e.: internationally, dealing with all kinds of national requirements) would just bump the price up and price seems to be most peoplefs gripe.

Maybe some official guidelines for a system of checks on procedure might help if it doesnft cause too much interference. Regarding the cost, people might also feel better if they got a clearer view of where the money is going.

The Aikikai has no idea how most people are getting promoted - and that leaves things wide open for abuse.
To an extent, I can imagine there are some lineages with very different methods who would say it isnft any of the Aikikaifs business (not that Ifm saying I agree with that). As for abuse, itfs not quite the same as the medical profession is it? But I agree it can happen through the delegation you mentioned (the 4th dan teacher choosing who can test under the visiting 6th dan at the next seminar for example).
Now, I think that a good argument could be made for a very traditional system of organization where all ranks and licenses come solely from your instructor and their worth is only judged based upon that instructor.
The situation that I just described could still happen in this case but there would be no one above to report it to. It certainly does happen in independent groups outside of the Aikikai. And I think most people do judge ranks on their instructor, not Doshu (unless Doshu is their main instructor). The first things I get asked about when I visit another dojo are where Ifve trained and who my teachers are.

Regards
Carl