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Chavo
12-03-2002, 07:53 PM
The Dojo where i train was founded for 4 partners....and by my actual Sensei. These 4 "associates" were at the beggining just students...and then they decide to open a Dojo. They have a day job(and a very profitable one i would say!)...the Dojo it's just an "extra" income (thatīs wath i think). Yesterday, one of the partners told me that they had a meeting with other students (but me of course....)and they agree to pay for our Senseis 5th Dan. I don't know how this works....but i understand that here in Mexico, if you want to get a "dan" you have to pay for it (for the test), i don't know if it works the same around the world....
anyway... they decided to split the cost among all the students and them.
My point is: If they want to make money with the Dojo...they have to invest!....itīs like any other business. If you want to offer a quality product to the final customer...you have to invest on it. What if i decide not to keep training in my actual Dojo??.....i mean....i like my sensei...he's a nice guy.....but is this situation fair for everybody??
Please don't take this wrong.....I don't think in aikido as a "business" ,but if this is how they see it....then i would give my opinion focus on that idea. Thanks.

JW
12-03-2002, 08:19 PM
Although I think it is weird for any person to not pay for his own test, I think it is really nice of students in a dojo to pay for the sensei's test (after all, having their sensei ranked higher does in some ways have some value for a lot of people).

On the other hand: my opinion applies to what I think is the regular situation, which is that there are no student partners-in-business; rather, the sensei runs the dojo, and he is not necessarily profiting from it.

If there are 4 or five people running the dojo AND GETTING MONEY FROM IT, then I agree with you that they should be the ones putting money back into it.

--JW

PeterR
12-03-2002, 08:59 PM
Consider it a wedding present.

I know that the cost of Dan grades increases exponentially and the students helping to cover it seems totally appropriate. Is it voluntary or obligatory?

There is benefit to the dojo.

wilmking
12-03-2002, 09:09 PM
Hi,

personally i disagree. ranking and especially ranking at those levels you talked about is a very personal subject (or at least in my OPINION should be one). and therefore i would expect the person in question to pay for this by him/herself.

it is between the teacher and student (which in this case is your teacher) and should be between them.

just my opinion

martin

PS: maybe the dojo profits from a higher ranking teacher, but regardless of rank, there are good and bad teachers and good and not so good aikidoka...

Edward
12-03-2002, 10:10 PM
I tend to agree with Martin here. I think that this initiative should come from the students themselves, if they really think that their teacher does not have the financial means to pay for his fifth dan. I don't like people to decide for me, no matter how junior I still am in aikido.

On the other hand, if I were to be the teacher, I would rather not get a 5th dan than have my students pay for it, but that's only me....

Nacho_mx
12-03-2002, 10:18 PM
Your sensei happens to be one of the top instructors in Mexico. I know, I trained with him when he was in Mexico City. Consider it an investment in your aikido education.

Andy
12-03-2002, 10:50 PM
If you don't want to pay for your teacher's promotion, then don't. It's not your promotion, after all. Paying for such a thing should be a voluntary gift, not forced down your throat. If they pull any kind of obligation crap to get you to pay, tell them to stuff it.

Chavo
12-03-2002, 11:47 PM
Well...thanks for the comments....they've been very usefull. To tell the truth, i don't have any problem paying for the 5th dan of my sensei.....what's really bothering me.....is the way that this matter has been handled. I see it more like an obligation than a voluntary thing (that's because my opinion was not required. ..."blessing democracy")

The Sensei is a good guy (and definitely one of the best)...but i think that he's not totally agree with this situation....but heīs not saying it either.

I could take this as an investment in my aikido education...thatīs for sure.....but like JW said: if some else is getting or could get a profit from it (and when i say profit i mean money....) then they should pay for it.

May be this is not such a big deal, and may be i should just pay.....but "this" it's not my idea of the aikido philosophy....and may be i should look somewhere else...

Nacho_mx
12-03-2002, 11:58 PM
The only one profiting from this is Hombu Dojo at Japan, not your sensei or the owners/partners of the school, as all dan ranks require a international fee for validation. Perhaps the matter should been handled differently, maybe only the senior students should make a (voluntary) contribution. By the way, for how long have youīve been practicing?

Erik
12-04-2002, 12:30 AM
The only one profiting from this is Hombu Dojo at Japan, not your sensei or the owners/partners of the school, as all dan ranks require a international fee for validation.
Well, the way I've heard it on the higher ranks is that it's a suggested donation or some such. :rolleyes: Seems like I heard the going contribution was $750 for a godan but that is not a fact I'm certain of.

My understanding is that the AANC when it existed as such paid for the 7th dans of Bob Nadeau, Frank Doran and Bill Witt. I believe the suggested donation was $2,000 for a 7th dan.

Edward
12-04-2002, 02:45 AM
The only one profiting from this is Hombu Dojo at Japan
Somehow the tone and the allusion here make me uncomfortable. Every dojo charges fees for grading exams and rank certificates. To say that Aikido World Headquarters is making profit from gradings is similar to saying that your university is making profit from your tuition fees. I really don't understand the comment. Unfortunately our world didn't reach yet the utopic stage of development where money is not necessary anymore.

Edward
12-04-2002, 02:56 AM
I feel that such subjects as the current one are better discussed in a generalized and discreet way without mentioning dojo names, affiliations and teachers' rank. Our aikido world is small and damage can easily be done.

erikmenzel
12-04-2002, 04:01 AM
For me it is not realy clear what the situation is. I think there are two possibilities, of which I think one is natural and the other kind of feels wrong.

At our club we offer our teacher often gifts as sign of extra appreciation of his lesons and teaching. This can be books, a hakama, money to visit a seminar of his choosing etc. These are our gifts, and we the students give them because we want to give them. This seems normal and healthy to me.

The other situation would be were the teacher tells you to pay for his hakama, grading etc. This somehow feels a bit wrong for me.

Ta Kung
12-04-2002, 05:00 AM
Hi!

If this was to happen in my dojo, I'd chip in. On the other hand, if anyone didn't want to, there shouldn't be any complaints. I see this as a nice gesture, but it shouldn't be forced upon anyone. (and it also depends on the amount of money involved)

If you feel that it's ok, then go for it. If not, then don't. If you are treated in any different way for this, I'd say leave.

Just my 2 cents.

/Patrik

Peter Goldsbury
12-04-2002, 05:34 AM
Well, the way I've heard it on the higher ranks is that it's a suggested donation or some such. :rolleyes: Seems like I heard the going contribution was $750 for a godan but that is not a fact I'm certain of.

My understanding is that the AANC when it existed as such paid for the 7th dans of Bob Nadeau, Frank Doran and Bill Witt. I believe the suggested donation was $2,000 for a 7th dan.
Hello Erik,

I think this is true only above 6th dan. If you have a Hombu yudansha card, you will notice on the second page that the listed ranks go up to 6th dan. The fees payable for grades up to 6th dan are quite clear and they certainly are not suggested donations.

Actually I have a scale of grading fees from the Hombu and the only difference in the fees lies in whether the grade is recommended or (from 1st dan to 4th dan) awarded as the result of a grading examination. There are no figures given for 7th 8th and 9th dan, so I would think that this would be more of a donation, given to Doshu directly. I can also tell you that $2,000 for 7th dan is a huge jump from the fee required for 6th dan.

Thus, I would not be surprised if students contributed in the case of these higher grades. It really is as much a sign of respect as a clear sign of improvement in technique, though one hopes this also is discernible.

As for members of the dojo contributing to the grading fees for a 5th dan, I agree with Mr Knoops. But with a slight difference. The instructor should NEVER require his students to finance his own gradings, unless this a dojo policy reflected in the dojo fees, i.e., the grading fees of ALL students are paid by the dojo (I suspect this is very rare).

However, I also have a very bad feeling about senior students strong-arming junior students to finance an instructor's grading because they (the senior students) feel it desirable. This would be unworkable in Japan and I suspect is possible in this case because the dojo has only one instructor who is currently 4th dan.

In my experience dojo harmony tends to be undermined, and sometimes destroyed, as a result of money, usually lack of transparency about how the money is spent. This is true also in Japan.

Best regards,

Ghost Fox
12-04-2002, 07:29 AM
...To say that Aikido World Headquarters is making profit from gradings is similar to saying that your university is making profit from your tuition fees. I really don't understand the comment.
:disgust:In America where private universtities charge between $12,000-$35,000 for tution, I say that they are profitting quite a bit from tuitions. :grr:

Sorry for the left-wing deviation from the topic.

Peace and Blessings.

:triangle: :circle: :square:

Nacho_mx
12-04-2002, 10:39 AM
Dan grading is a source of revenue for Hombu, no doubt about it. I just payed $350 U.S.D. for my 2nd. dan. Our national fee is about $75 U.S.D.

I know personally this 4th dan instructor, and it would be totally out of his character to order or request of his students to pay for his rank. I think it was the school owners/partners (who happen to be his senior students)who came up with the idea, and it was meant as a nice present. Unfortunately it seems they forgot to ask the junior students in a proper manner and the situation seems forced.

Ray Kissane
12-04-2002, 11:20 AM
That is alot of money just ot have your name recorded in a register and to send you a certificate.

It would be different if the person had to fly in a senor instructor for testing and that money was used to cover the cost of the instructor's expense. But to just send the money to headquarters so they can have a profit off of every certificate is wrong .

We in the Martial Arts complain about organizations that sell people rank. What is the difference here, not much?

Ray Kissane

Nacho_mx
12-04-2002, 11:26 AM
I have no complaints. We donīt need to fly an instructor from abroad because we train under the only 2 6th dans in our country. Everyday is a seminar...

Erik
12-04-2002, 11:48 AM
Hi Peter!

Thanks for the clarification. You got me to look at my card/book and I don't do that very often.

I reread my post and recognize that it came off as more sarcastic than I probably intended although I admit to intending some sarcasm.

The concept of paying for rank has always bothered me. This is strange in a way because I do believe that dojo-owners and instructors should be paid, and paid respectably, for their efforts. Mostly I suppose this comes from being involved in sports where a direct statement of rank didn't exist. You might face higher expenses as you got better but the idea of 'now you are X rank and must pay Y dollars' isn't something you ran into directly.

Oh well, probably not much purpose served in pounding on this machine as I'm certainly not going to be changing it.

MattRice
12-04-2002, 01:12 PM
the dojo members covered the 6th dan promotion of our two senior instructors. It was my pleasure to help.

Chavo
12-04-2002, 01:42 PM
The only one profiting from this is Hombu Dojo at Japan, not your sensei or the owners/partners of the school, as all dan ranks require a international fee for validation. Perhaps the matter should been handled differently, maybe only the senior students should make a (voluntary) contribution. By the way, for how long have youīve been practicing?
Sorry if i didn't make my self clear. I'm not saying that the international headquarter is the one who is making a profit......i'm saying that the owners (excluding the sensei) are the ones that want to make a profit for the dojo (which is totally valid....i don't disagree)but i'm not agree in the way they are doing it.

May be i'm just taking all this thing wrong, and may be they just one to help the sensei ( i want it too...he's a good person and i'm a 100% sure about his integrity) but i have the feeling that they(the partners) want him to get the 5th dan, just to get more students and get more money; and that's ok for me.....but if this is the case...i'd say that they should pay for it(and beleive me..they have the means). But again, may be i'm taking the whole thing wrong, and i'm making : like we said " a storm in a glass of water".

I just have a couple of weeks practicing aikido; and I want to keep doing it. I'm willing to pay the fee...and help my sensei to get his 5th dan....but also i'm willing to help him, by me to practicing hard and honestly, to make him proud of his teaching...; and may be "proud" is not the right word....i want to make him feel glad because he's sharing his knowledge....and i'm learning from him this wonderful art.

Edward
12-04-2002, 03:37 PM
That is alot of money just ot have your name recorded in a register and to send you a certificate.

It would be different if the person had to fly in a senor instructor for testing and that money was used to cover the cost of the instructor's expense. But to just send the money to headquarters so they can have a profit off of every certificate is wrong .

We in the Martial Arts complain about organizations that sell people rank. What is the difference here, not much?

Ray Kissane
Hehehehe, inflammatory comments about our headquarters coming from our brothers at the nihon goshin ""aikido"" (a mixture of karate, judo, daito ryu, kobudo and esoteric arts according to their official website). How much does your organization charge for dan ranks?

Nacho_mx
12-04-2002, 04:37 PM
His promotion was decided at the Mexican Aikido Federation headquarters in Mexico City, it was granted by the Shihan (headmaster) himself. The owners/partners of the school donīt have a saying on this. He earned it with his 20+ years of practice. On his becoming a 5th dan, itīll hardly make an impact on new enrollments and the dojo income.

mj
12-04-2002, 05:09 PM
Dan grading is a source of revenue for Hombu, no doubt about it. I just payed $350 U.S.D. for my 2nd. dan. Our national fee is about $75 U.S.D.
Is the National Fee the same as a license fee? ie insurance and inclusion in the relevant association?

In Judo, they set a date for examinations and everyone goes. From white to 4th dan. They all pay the same. About Ģ10/$15.

Upwards of 5th dan are awarded without examination. Gratis.

(With necessary requirements such as having been a national coach etc)

My own impression has been mainly all over 5th dan gradings in most arts are political.

Nacho_mx
12-04-2002, 05:45 PM
I think over 6th dan things get somewhat political.

Edward
12-04-2002, 11:40 PM
In Judo, they set a date for examinations and everyone goes. From white to 4th dan. They all pay the same. About Ģ10/$15.

Upwards of 5th dan are awarded without examination. Gratis.

(With necessary requirements such as having been a national coach etc)

My own impression has been mainly all over 5th dan gradings in most arts are political.
Judo is now an international sport governed by national federations and organizations and sponsored by companies same as any other sport. Dan gradings do not come from Kodokan dojo, but are issued locally by the local federations (up to a certain level, after which I believe it is the International Judo Federation which gives the grades). Not all judokas get paid, but most of them get free gis and other equipment, and their training is sponsored by their government. My information might be slightly out dated since I stopped Judo 8 years ago. I haven't seen sofar publicity stickers on the gis of the aikikai shihans during demonstrations. And when I will start to see hombu making so much profit from sponsorship and advertising, I will start a petition to make dan rankings free of charge ;)

On the other hand, I agree that the higher the rank, the more politics are involved, not only in martial arts, but in companies and corporations, schools and universities, you name it.

Edward
12-04-2002, 11:42 PM
This issue reminds me of Shioda Sensei's words about our age where students want to practice but do not want to pay their dues. Sad epoch!

mj
12-05-2002, 06:50 AM
True, I can't admit to liking the commercialism that has risen in the last 15/20 years in judo.

But 'open' gradings, where you just turn up, show your licence and do your thing is a far cry from, basically, the nepotism that is virulent in many other arts.

To stay on topic I still have to question the huge amounts of money being mentioned here. (The factual ones, not the estimates)

Ray Kissane
12-05-2002, 11:12 AM
Hehehehe, inflammatory comments about our headquarters coming from our brothers at the nihon goshin ""aikido"" (a mixture of karate, judo, daito ryu, kobudo and esoteric arts according to their official website). How much does your organization charge for dan ranks?
I am not trying to make inflammatory statements. In my style we have a one time fee of $45 that is paid on initial enrollment that is to cover the cost for all of your certificates for as long as you stay in the system. There are no testing fees.

I based my earlier statement on other styles of MA that I have done and what their requirements was at that time for Dan ranking. They were similar to what NGA does.

My point was that their are several people that sell rank with out regard to abilities in the MA. Is this similar? In a small way but hopefully the person has the compentance for the ranking they attain. We all know of people who do not and are still promoted while others have not been promoted.

All in all it still is alot of money.

henry brown
12-05-2002, 04:14 PM
I think if you just started at the dojo, it is hardly fair for the senior students to ask you to donate, unless it is on a pro-rated scale. You've been there for a couple of weeks? Then give them $5. The students who have been there the longest and had the most benefit from the sensei should pay the most.

JW
12-05-2002, 09:42 PM
This is kind of weird: a lot of people are debating whether students SHOULD pay for their shihan's test, or they are defending the idea that voluntary contributions are good, nice things..

But nobody seems to think that this particular situation is different. Check this out:

4 guys decide that they will be the owners of the dojo. (ASIDE from their big, profitable day jobs.) Every month they absorb the students' dues. THEY GET TO KEEP IT! After dojo expenses are paid, the money goes to.. well just to them. ..to spend on whatever it is they spend their big salaries on too.

AND THEN: an opportunity comes for THE DOJO (as in "the family") to help the sensei pay for his testing fee. Welllllll....... what about all the money everyone HAD been paying all this time? It was supposed to pay for the service of teaching the art, right, so maybe that would be a good source to take money from to help the sensei with his test. Oh but wait those dollars are all in someone's personal account already. So now, everybody contributes AGAIN.

I suppose you guys will say hey dues are dues and this is something else on top of that. Yes of course that is true, and I agree, PROVIDED THAT the dues all went to the upkeep of the dojo. I just think it is kind of bad that these owner guys thought, "hey, wouldn't it be nice for everyone to be generous for the sensei right now," although in fact they had NOT been generous for so long in the past.

But, this is a business, not a collective, and they're the owners so they have this right.
--JW

Nacho_mx
12-05-2002, 10:04 PM
Itīs so easy to assume things from afar, what makes you think they are making a profit? Aikido is not a very good business here in Mexico (unlike, say taekwondo schools, theyīre in the money!).

JW
12-05-2002, 10:34 PM
Well yes I can understand that. From my understanding of how expensive it is to run a dojo, it is really hard for me to imagine profit from a dojo, myself. Then again aikiweb forums are how I found out there are dojos that can afford a monthly fee of $0 per student.

The reason for my above post about profit:

the original post said that these 4 people are wealthy and that there is indeed profit from the dojo.

"They have a day job(and a very profitable one i would say!)...the Dojo it's just an "extra" income "

Although the post does say that this isn't for sure.

--JW

Chavo
12-08-2002, 01:51 AM
I think if you just started at the dojo, it is hardly fair for the senior students to ask you to donate, unless it is on a pro-rated scale. You've been there for a couple of weeks? Then give them $5. The students who have been there the longest and had the most benefit from the sensei should pay the most.
Sounds reasonable....and fair like you just said. I havenīt talked with any of the co-owners about this, but I'll do it....let's see what they think about it. Thanks for the idea.

fullerfury
12-09-2002, 11:11 AM
Why not hold a weekend seminar to raise the necessary funds for your instructor's promotion to 5th dan. This way the students can chip in and show their support by attending the seminar and get something in return.

gi_grrl
12-12-2002, 03:19 AM
Every dojo charges fees for grading exams and rank certificates.
For the record, My Sensei (6th dan) takes no payment for teaching or grading. As a result, his dan grades also teach without payment. Annual fees cover the hire of the hall in which we train. Personally, given my experience of learning aikido, unless someone were teaching fulltime, why would they want to earn money from it? It's the love of the art and ongoing enjoyment of teaching that should be the drivers.

I also think that (nice as it may be) having a certificate from the Hombu dojo would always mean less to me than acquiring the skills required for a higher ranking.

MattRice
12-12-2002, 09:57 AM
nobody get's paid at our dojo, and the profits, if any, go into the dojo account to pay the bills like rent,electric,heat,tubes for the flourescent lights, wood for the new mat frame etc etc.

Again, it's my pleasure to help however I can.