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Jorx
06-16-2004, 11:18 AM
oh yea btw im 13, 1st kyu, been training for 6 1/2 years.... :D

Let me troll a bit... what do you yourself think:

Are you worth the 1st kyu? What is the value of 1st kyu - highest student rank?
Are we witnessing an overall devaluation of belts/ranks?

What are your skills - are you able to defend yourself or is this something just in the context of Aikido? Are you able to fight?

akiy
06-16-2004, 11:33 AM
Thread split into new "1st kyu" thread.

-- Jun

DarkShodan
06-16-2004, 12:01 PM
That's a tough one. We had one kid in our dojo a few years back who got his 1st Kyu at age 16. He was very gifted and very talented, more than worthy of the 1st kyu rank. He had studied martial arts since he could walk. Our organization will not test for Shodan until you're 18 yrs old. He had to wait 2 more years but he was ready for it no doubt. On the other side we've had a few 16 year old students who may be close to a 1st kyu test, but we hold them back for a number of reasons...maturity, intensity, commitment, etc. Each person is different. I know I was not ready for a 1st kyu when I was 16.

Don_Modesto
06-16-2004, 03:09 PM
Tim Barford wrote:
oh yea btw im 13, 1st kyu, been training for 6 1/2 years....


Are you worth the 1st kyu? What is the value of 1st kyu - highest student rank?
Are we witnessing an overall devaluation of belts/ranks?

I don't have a problem with youth being ranked if they are adults on the mat. I've seen kids more serious and dedicated than many adults. Training a couple times a week for 6.5 years without break? Sounds like IKKYU to me.

Devaluation of ranks? They were conceived as a marketing gambit (student retention) and were given out quite freely by Kano and Ueshiba both. How many people today wouldn't scoff at a 32 year old 8 DAN? That's how old Tohei Koichi was when he got it. Some wag once posted about an individual whose MENKYO KAIDEN said something to the effect that, "He has duly earned this license through the hard work he has undertaken SINCE SPRING"--emphasis added. Sometimes I think we're being more Jpn than the Jpn when we get all on a high horse about rank. If ever there was a graven image to distract us, it's those stupide belts.

Jorx
06-16-2004, 03:23 PM
oh yea btw im 13, 1st kyu, been training for 6 1/2 years.... :D

Well, how do you feel about your abilities?

Do you think you are worth it or is it a "reward" for being so patient and practicing for so long ?

Would you be able to defend yourself or are your skills skills in pure aikido context?

Are you able to fight?

What does 1st kyu mean to you? The last "student" grade or rank?

Always good to see young ppl being into MA for so long... I have a 14 year old brother who's practiced for 3 years... I myself started at 16.

Jorx
06-16-2004, 03:35 PM
Sorry for repeating... I didn't get the point of splitting and thought browser just "ate" my post:D

But I would like the reply of the original threadstarter...

I personally think that yes it is possible to get really technically good within the context of Aikido at the age of 16 but there may (I say may be not is) be lacking a certain sense of criticism and reality to what he does.

I saw recently an ikkyu (in Real-Aikido) about the age of 16 going to Daido-Juku Full-Contact karate competiton. What he did under pressure looked like bad Taek-Won-Do and he got his ass kicked REALLY fast and smooth by an agressive Daido-Juku practioner. Looked really defeated after that. (I think he was choked on the ground with a really lousy choke after a throw but i may be wrong).

Hanna B
06-16-2004, 03:58 PM
Why ask that kind of question to a 13 year old? What's the point?

Should he have very much opinions on the grading system and who deserves what, do you think?

shihonage
06-16-2004, 04:07 PM
Why ask that kind of question to a 13 year old? What's the point?

Should he have very much opinions on the grading system and who deserves what, do you think?

Thats the first question that popped into my head upon seeing this thread.

Jorx
06-16-2004, 04:28 PM
Why ask that kind of question to a 13 year old? What's the point?

Should he have very much opinions on the grading system and who deserves what, do you think?

I want to know what a 13-year-old thinks. Don't underestimate him:).

And as far as HE has reached 1st kyu, so he's done at least 6 exams he SURE should have at least SOME kind of knowledge and opinion about gradings and MA and stuff...

Lyle Laizure
06-16-2004, 05:51 PM
While it is true, younger persons do not always possess the maturity as that an adult should I think each individual needs to be taken on his/her own merit. I think also that at the 1st kyu level there should be technical maturity as well, a seriousness in their practice.

Noel
06-16-2004, 09:13 PM
Has anyone asked the kid's instructor? Obviously at least one person thinks he's got the chops for it. I like to reserve judgment until my wrists get a chance to experience a person's take on nikkyo :)

Jorx
06-17-2004, 12:46 AM
It was mainly his opinion what I was interested in... no matter how mature/immature it would be it would be definately and intresting viewpoint (how many 13yr 1st kyus are out there? not much.)

Bronson
06-17-2004, 10:22 AM
What is the value of 1st kyu - highest student rank?

How can ikkyu be the highest student rank when it comes before shodan which is the lowest student rank ;)

Bronson

Hanna B
06-17-2004, 10:33 AM
I am a nidan. I do not think my "ability to fight" has anything to do with grades.

All over, there are first kyus who would not be a first kyu if graded in another system. I do not mean that some systems/dojos/teachers are stricter than others (although that is true), I mean that the opinion on what a kyu grade is or should be varies a lot inbetween schools. My views on gradings are obviously very very much different from Jorx's, and maybe we should sort that out before we demand 13-year-olds to explain how the system works in their places.

PeterR
06-17-2004, 09:45 PM
We distinguish Students from Adults with the highest student rank being Nidan. Once they shift to the Adult class they start over. The age they can shift over depends on the individual, the rank they obtained, and frankly the availability of a suitable club of their peers. The one uncomfortable fact is that once you reach student Nidan you don't get to keep it very long.

Ranks are just measures of progression in context - generally in Aikido since no one tests their fighting ability the question can the 13 year old Ikkyu fight is completely irrelevant. Can a 30 year old Ikkyu fight, or a Nidan or a Sandan? The question is can the 13 year old Ikkyu perform techniques in a convincing way.

Charles Hill
06-18-2004, 05:56 AM
Peter,

Is the separation of the two groups from your organization or just your dojo? Also what are the ages? I`m interested because I teach along with another guy at a high school club. The third years just tested for and passed shodan. I think that they are nowhere near a real shodan(whatever that is.) I think the idea of student grades is excellent and am thinking of bringing it up to my shihan.

Charles Hill

PeterR
06-18-2004, 06:38 AM
Hi Charles;

Cute as a 4 year old girl doing unsoku is I tend to stay clear of kids classes. Not quite true, half of my Judo training is playing man monster to the little ones.

As far as I know.

Kids under 12 have a special kids curriculum including a couple more colorful belts.

Kids over 12 have the same curriculum as an adult.

The usual age for adult classes is 17 but it is not a hard rule with respect to getting into adults class. I've seen some as young as 12 get in but these rare exceptions had been doing Aikido for quite some time.

A rough rule of thumb is that the student Shodan is equivelent to 5th kyu adult with respect to ability to move. That said there are many student Shodans that move pretty damm good and only rarely do they make student Nidan.

There is a whole network of Junior and Senior Highschool clubs and Kids classes at community centers. Honbu itself has kids and students classes.

I don't think Honbu or myself for that matter see Yudansha grades as anything more than an indicator of progress. The students know where their grades stand in relation to the adults and talent and dedication should be recognized.

akiy
06-18-2004, 10:39 AM
Hi Peter,
We distinguish Students from Adults with the highest student rank being Nidan. Once they shift to the Adult class they start over. The age they can shift over depends on the individual, the rank they obtained, and frankly the availability of a suitable club of their peers. The one uncomfortable fact is that once you reach student Nidan you don't get to keep it very long.
How often has a student "transferred" from being, say, a shodan or a nidan in the youth program to being non-ranked in the adult program and kept training regularly in the adult program?

-- Jun

PeterR
06-18-2004, 08:28 PM
How often has a student "transferred" from being, say, a shodan or a nidan in the youth program to being non-ranked in the adult program and kept training regularly in the adult program?
You know I have no idea since I don't pay much attention to the Student ranks.

However, there are two in our class right now that are still in school. Several of the university students did Aikido before. I know of several instances of stopping, trying something new and coming back to Aikido. A student Dan grade tends to move up the kyu ranks pretty fast so the lack of continuation is not because of demotion frustration. It's not a demotion.