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Lorien Lowe
01-07-2014, 01:50 PM
Just moved to an aikikai dojo from an unaffiliated dojo, and the local registrar asked me for my 'shodan book.' What is it, and how important is it? I have a very pretty dan certificate, but no book.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-07-2014, 01:57 PM
It's a passport looking booklet where your dan grades are written.

Like this: http://www.aikidoskolabratislava.sk/photo/romanhojo/yudansha_card_tokyo.jpg

Matt Fisher
01-07-2014, 06:40 PM
It also serves as a record of seminars that someone has attended as a yudansha; much of the book consists of pages formatted with columns for date, location, and the signature/seal of the seminar instructor.

Janet Rosen
01-07-2014, 09:42 PM
Dan book? Shouldn't this be in the non-aikido martial traditions section? (grinning, ducking and running!)

Millsy
01-07-2014, 09:59 PM
Hi, being from Yuishinkai myself I don't have a yudansha book either. But I've have had no problem training with an aikikai dojo and attending aikikai seminars in the US (including USAF summer camp) without one. I asked in the beginning if they wanted me to join the USAF but they didn't feel it necessary if I wasn't intending to test. It may be an issue however if you wish to grade further with the aikikai dojo you are with. Something to ask your new sensei whether they would want you to join their organisation.

I looked into it at the time and rule seemed to be you could join from an unaffiliated dojo as a shodan and then have to wait the required time between dan ranks for each level up to your own rank. ie. if your a sandan with another group, you'd join as a shodan wait 2 years to apply for nidan and then another 3 to apply for sandan. Not sure if tat was USAF or aikikai in general.

JJF
01-13-2014, 05:05 AM
Lorien: is your certificate from Hombu dojo / aikikai in Japan ? if so your book should be somewhere. If not then your grade is not 'as such' recognized with the official hombu dojo.

It should look somewhat like those you can find on this page: http://www.frederiksberg-aikido.dk/sensei-selene-thomas

If you wish to enter the Aikikai by joining a dojo affiliated with them, then any grade from some dojo outside the organisation must be 'transferred' - or more likely re-taken.

If you have never been told about these things in your 'old' dojo then I would venture the guess that it is not part of the aikikai organisation. I am under the impression that there is a growing tendency in the US to break away from hombu dojo, but that is a different discussion.

Read more about Hombu dojo / aikikai here: http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/

Lorien Lowe
01-17-2014, 02:43 AM
My original dojo was unaffiliated. Having trained with the new folks for a little while, now, I can say that it's going to be a looong time before I'm qualified to test under the aikikai paradigm; there are a lot of basic differences in philosophy and technique. I'm like some funky mix of gokyu and shodan.

It's not quite like starting a completely new art, but it's not far off.

Tom Verhoeven
01-18-2014, 08:13 AM
There are many different approaches to Aikido - even if a dojo is affiliated to Aikikai hombu dojo.

Lorien; Personally I find it a good thing to discover differences in technique and even philosophy. I like seeing variations and exceptions. Even prefer the spontaneous out of the ordinary technique that is not really a technique at all but a once in a decade incident.

Just out of interest; where would you say that the difference in philosophy between your original dojo and your Aikikai dojo lies ?

Adam Huss
01-18-2014, 11:04 AM
There are many different approaches to Aikido - even if a dojo is affiliated to Aikikai hombu dojo.

Lorien; Personally I find it a good thing to discover differences in technique and even philosophy. I like seeing variations and exceptions. Even prefer the spontaneous out of the ordinary technique that is not really a technique at all but a once in a decade incident.

Just out of interest; where would you say that the difference in philosophy between your original dojo and your Aikikai dojo lies ?

Tom,

My organization is interesting in that we have two styles of aikido taught in most schools. Anyway, a popular saying when we have our seminars (where we often invite teachers from other styles and orbs) is to "do what you see, not what you know." This isn't too difficult for a karate guy attempting aikido - but it can be easy for a Yoshinkan guy to do the version of a technique he is comfy with vice the ASU version being shown.

Thread relly - I haven't seen a book like that since my old karate organization, the GKK. I always thought they were neat, though. But when I interact with other dojo, I almost always wear a white belt and just tell them I am comfortable with any ukemi...I feel like a teacher at an unrelated dojo who would respect a rank book from another organization would be just as likely to take you on your word.

Rob Watson
01-20-2014, 11:01 AM
I'm like some funky mix of gokyu and shodan.

I thought it was just me! I feel like this everyday.

Tom Verhoeven
01-21-2014, 01:31 PM
Tom,

My organization is interesting in that we have two styles of aikido taught in most schools. Anyway, a popular saying when we have our seminars (where we often invite teachers from other styles and orbs) is to "do what you see, not what you know." This isn't too difficult for a karate guy attempting aikido - but it can be easy for a Yoshinkan guy to do the version of a technique he is comfy with vice the ASU version being shown.

Thread relly - I haven't seen a book like that since my old karate organization, the GKK. I always thought they were neat, though. But when I interact with other dojo, I almost always wear a white belt and just tell them I am comfortable with any ukemi...I feel like a teacher at an unrelated dojo who would respect a rank book from another organization would be just as likely to take you on your word.

Adam,

I have practiced several different styles of Aikido, Shorinji kempo, and a few kobudo and never had any problem adjusting. As you say, it is a matter of doing what you see and doing what you already know. Over the years I have invited many different Aikido shihan from different background. I find it interesting to see the many different approaches of Aikido. Aikido is a rich Art !

http://aikido-auvergne-kumano.blogspot.fr/2014/01/aikido-course-in-wales.html

Tom

TonyBlomert
01-23-2014, 03:41 PM
Lorien,

Your simple question of what is a dan book opens a rather complex topic regarding organization affiliations, aikido styles etc.., as is witnessed by the other comments posted. If you are part of the World Aikikai organization and wish to be recognized for rank within that group the "dan book" is very important. It is a passport that indicates you are not only part of the aikikai, but it is something you will likely need to support documentation when you wish to apply for promotion. Most affiliated organizations have specific requirements as to hours of training and with who you need to attend seminar with. For example in my organization there is a specific requirement that we train during the 12 months prior to a dan promotion at least twice with the head instructor (Shihan) of our organization at seminar. The yudansha passport, when signed by the instructor, provides proof of attendance. While this may seem like just a detail of paperwork, it is a necessary item to have.

So if you have no interest in moving up in recognized rank with your new affiliated dojo, there is no need to worry about getting a passport. If you are, then you'll need to check into your new organization's policy regarding transferring a "non-affiliated" rank. If you are ranked shodan, most likely you will be asked to train for a while before being allowed to "test" for your dan rank; or, if they are generous "re-test" for the rank immediately.

The Aikido community is very welcoming and I have personally never had to show the passport in order to participate at seminars or workshops sponsored by other organizations. The one exception to this occurred at a special event that was open only to members of that specific organization. The passport didn't even come into play. I had to provide a membership card/number to participate.

In my opinion, rank recognition can become an ego thing. Our movement and demonstrated ability should be the standard that we use for evaluation. Yes it is nice to be recognized by others, but it is one's own opinion (and that of your primary instructor) that should matter.

Train with Joy!

Edgecrusher
03-14-2014, 11:07 AM
I do not have one either. I have seen them at other Dojos when we go to seminars. When my Shihan gives me one I will gladly accept it.

PeterR
03-14-2014, 12:06 PM
Just an organization's way of keeping track of their members. Some use a book some don't.