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Unregistered
01-29-2003, 02:41 AM
Hi guys,

Just wondered where people stand on the self-made, self-titled Shihan's of the world? Well, more specifically, the UK. We seem to have more than out fair share over here, at least one of whom only ever graded to nidan and now insists his grade is Shihan and that everyone calls him this on and off the mat (yes, I am aware that Shihan is a title not a grade). Problem is many of these self made Shihans are the heads of pretty large organisations over here...

A difficult question / request has been made to me with regard to this and so I need some information and advice / thoughts on how to say, no - we will not list you as Shihan. For starters it's a title not a grade and he insists his grade is Shihan... I'm sure this issue is going to some up with others over here and elsewhere at some stage.

Any thoughts?

Tim Griffiths
01-29-2003, 04:43 AM
There are shihans of many grades, there are 'Aikido Grandmasters", there are valid martial arts organisations that are not qualified to hand out 6th or 7th dans yet do so regularly. There are independent clubs where the students decided to give their sensei a higher grade, and large organisations where rank has little to do with ability. Eventually, we just shrug and let them get on with it.

If someone wishes to be called Shihan, fine. Some people will go along with it, and others will go somewhere else. If he claims its a grade, you could always ask him who 'graded' him to Shihan. If you like, ask him to give you a copy of his shihan certificate for your records. Or you could list his grade as 'Shihan (nidan)'. Or just as 'Shihan', as people who have a clue about gradings will know that it rubbish.

If you don't want to list him as shihan, then tell him "No - we will not list you as Shihan".

Tim

BBozkurt
01-29-2003, 07:23 AM
In Honbu Dojo..

Shihans are used for grades 5th dan or above

Shidoin's are used for 3rd and 4th dan

and Fuki-Shidoins are for shodans and nidans

Is shihan a title or is used for certain degree?

rachmass
01-29-2003, 07:35 AM
There was a thread about two months ago on the subject of the title shihan and what it meant and who used it.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2241

and

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2746

hope these links help

Tim Griffiths
01-29-2003, 08:00 AM
In Honbu Dojo..

Shihans are used for grades 5th dan or above

Shidoin's are used for 3rd and 4th dan

and Fuki-Shidoins are for shodans and nidans

Is shihan a title or is used for certain degree?
Its a title. In aikikai, only people teaching at aikikai hombu are shihan etc, with a couple of important exception.

Having a yondan grade from aikikai doesn't make you a shidoin unless you teach there. In that case it seems you get the title shidoin as well.

Tim

Unregistered
01-29-2003, 08:11 AM
There was an amusing little ditty (I think it was on Aikido FAQ?) about ‘Spontaneous Shihan’ springing up out of nowhere...

Jim ashby
01-29-2003, 01:18 PM
Just call him Ralph.

Unregistered
01-29-2003, 03:08 PM
There once was a 'wannabe' Nidan

Not content with the rank he should be on

He thumped on his chest

Said his budo was best

And insisted his title was 'Shihan'...

Paul Smith
01-29-2003, 03:29 PM
Along came a miscreant sandan

whose young heart was regularly peed on

growing up he did vow

he'd speak loud and then Pow!

he would walk with the title of 'Shihan'

Anyone? (bad poetry)

Unregistered
02-22-2003, 12:29 PM
We know of a shodan named Paul

He shows up and we have a ball

He’s full of good cheer

Cuz he drinks so much beer -

What a sterling example for all!

(ok, you're right, bad poetry....)

;)

siwilson
02-22-2003, 01:31 PM
I had something a little similar a little while ago. An Aikidoka contacted me saying his "Sensei" had stopped training and he was Shodan from this "Sensei", and was now running his "Sensei"'s dojo. He wanted to join our school.

No problem there, but I knew his "Sensei" and he was only ever graded to Shodan, so this guy was graded to Shodan by a Shodan!!??

I passed this up to the top of our school. I was not going to take that one on! I have always been shy of Aiki politics. My Master always said that it is the training that matters.

My advice would be to ask this guy for proof of rank and state that Shihan is not a grade, but a title, and usually 5th Dan and above. From reading what you said, I would not worry about upsetting him.

Good luck and all the best.

PRapoza
02-22-2003, 08:04 PM
Looks like at Hombu the Shihan title starts at 6 dan. I personally have never known any Shihan under the rank of 7 dan. I have never heard anyone refer to themselves as "Shihan".

__________

Paul

Philippe(Schpk)
02-23-2003, 11:04 AM
The officials shihans and why they are or not:

http://65.119.177.201/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=9&t=001544

PeterR
02-23-2003, 07:18 PM
Just to point out there are a number of Aikido Shihan not associated with Aikikai.

It really is not so clear cut - but the term really means Model Teacher. There are organizationally defined Shihan but also where a number of instructors look to someone for guidance. For this reason you see Chiba Shihan who for years was not an official Aikikai shihan (I think that's correct) or Tanaka Shihan of the JAA who is not officially a JAA Shihan. Both men have a number of Shishodin who look to them as Shihan. Perhaps what distinguishes these men from the Shihan waanabes is the level of the people they guide.
The officials shihans and why they are or not:

http://65.119.177.201/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=9&t=001544

Edward
02-24-2003, 02:39 AM
Even though the official list of Shihan as recognized by the Aikikai Hombu is quite limited, the current trend is to call any instructor holding 6th dan upwards a Shihan.

But I've never heard yet of a 5th dan downards Shihan :) but you never know...

Jim ashby
02-24-2003, 06:13 AM
Taking a serious note for once, this has to be a case of "show us your medals". Either this person CAN back up their claims with the appropriate paperwork and/or the backing of other high-ranking Aikidoka from outside this person's organisation, or they can't. Either way it is a person with a shockingly large ego that demands to be called Shihan off the mat.

Have fun

Unregistered
02-24-2003, 06:17 AM
Just ask for his grade for use in your dojo then list his shihan title as "additional info" on his style/club in any literature/website info if you wish. Say you want to avoid confusing students so you keep organisational differences/titles out of your dojo.

As for shihan "off the mat" - give me strength, do egos never end in aikido...

mike lee
02-24-2003, 08:02 AM
As for shihan "off the mat" - give me strength, do egos never end in aikido...

Death is the great leveller.

George S. Ledyard
03-23-2003, 01:58 PM
I had something a little similar a little while ago. An Aikidoka contacted me saying his "Sensei" had stopped training and he was Shodan from this "Sensei", and was now running his "Sensei"'s dojo. He wanted to join our school.

No problem there, but I knew his "Sensei" and he was only ever graded to Shodan, so this guy was graded to Shodan by a Shodan!!??

I passed this up to the top of our school. I was not going to take that one on! I have always been shy of Aiki politics. My Master always said that it is the training that matters.

My advice would be to ask this guy for proof of rank and state that Shihan is not a grade, but a title, and usually 5th Dan and above. From reading what you said, I would not worry about upsetting him.

Good luck and all the best.
I was always taught that one could reasonably expect to have ones gradings considered legitimate if one graded only up to within two grades from ones own. In other words, a Shodan running his own program would only grade up to 2nd kyu; anything above that would not tend to be accepted by other teachers as having legitimacy.

The USAF folks made this whole issue a lot clearer when they used the Shidoin and Fukushidoin system which spelled out what you were allowed to do and what others, at least from within the same organization, would accept.

siwilson
03-23-2003, 06:18 PM
Hi George,

This was exactly my dilema. Shodan from a Shodan!!?? Especially as in the school which I belong to and he (the "Sensei") was graded in, required a rank of 3rd Dan before being able to grade, which was up to 1st Kyu.

Like I said, I passed it on to those who rule!

Steven Tame
09-17-2003, 01:51 AM
Just wondering is is possible for a woman to be given the title Shihan?

sanosuke
09-17-2003, 02:36 AM
A difficult question / request has been made to me with regard to this and so I need some information and advice / thoughts on how to say, no - we will not list you as Shihan. For starters it's a title not a grade and he insists his grade is Shihan... I'm sure this issue is going to some up with others over here and elsewhere at some stage.

if you're not comfortable with it, and the shihan insist. just call theguy 'shihan' or 'sensei' like you addressed someone as 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.'
Just wondering is is possible for a woman to be given the title Shihan?

why not? but I haven't heard any 5th dan woman graded by Hombu Dojo.

PeterR
09-17-2003, 03:41 AM
Just wondering is is possible for a woman to be given the title Shihan?
Yes - in the Naginata world there are several. I think they outnumber the men.

shihonage
09-17-2003, 03:56 AM
Just wondering is is possible for a woman to be given the title Shihan?
The female version of the title is "She-han".

Unregistered
09-17-2003, 07:05 AM
There are a couple of 5th dan women just in my neighborhood. They did not grade *at* Hombu Dojo, but all our ranks (we're USAF) come from Hombu.

Aikilove
09-17-2003, 07:20 AM
why not? but I haven't heard any 5th dan woman graded by Hombu Dojo.Mutsuki Minegishi sensei 6th dan aikikai, currently head of aikido of Guam and Saipan. There's one for you. ooops off topic!

philipsmith
09-17-2003, 10:00 AM
I only know of two official british Aikikai Shihan in the UK (both of whom have a certificate of Shihan from Hombu Dojo)

They are:

Mr. Ken Cottier 6th Dan

and Mr. William Smith MBE 6th Dan

However I have met a lot of "Shihan" over the years.

Steven Tame
09-17-2003, 11:05 AM
I only know of two official british Aikikai Shihan in the UK (both of whom have a certificate of Shihan from Hombu Dojo)They are:

Mr. Ken Cottier 6th Dan

and Mr. William Smith MBE 6th Dan




Do you know which Dojo's they teach at by any chance?

Jim ashby
09-17-2003, 01:24 PM
You can look up both of these fine teachers on the British Aikido Board website. BTW Mr Smith also has an O.B.E. for his services to the martial arts. I have trained under him on seminars at our club and he is an awesome teacher with a mean line in atemi. Nice man too.

Have fun.

john.burn
09-18-2003, 07:37 AM
Hi Steven,

Mr. Smith (UK Aikikai) teaches in Cradley, the dojo website is here - http://www.renshinkan.co.uk/

Mr. Cottier is (or was) the chief instructor for the Hong Kong Aikido Association however I think he may now be linked to the British Aikido Federation although I can see no mention of him on their site - http://www.bafonline.org.uk/ perhaps he links with them whilst he is over here in the UK?

Jim, I think Mr. Smith was awarded with M.B.E not the O.B.E.

philipsmith
09-18-2003, 08:53 AM
Mr. Smith does indeed teach at Ren Shin Kan Old Hill West Midlands UK.

The dojo is open 7 days a week and all are welcome no matter what style.

If people want an extended stay contact the dojo beforehand and bring a sleeping bag.

P.S. Mr. Smith was awarded the MBE for his services to Aikido.

Jim ashby
09-18-2003, 09:36 AM
Sorry guys, I really should have checked. It was the MBE. Please accept my apologies.

Jim.