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aiki-victim
02-25-2001, 03:59 PM
Who are/were the highest ranking aikidoka, and what was their rank!? (I presume O sensei was the highest rank - 10/12 dan?)

tedehara
02-25-2001, 08:59 PM
aiki-victim wrote:
Who are/were the highest ranking aikidoka, and what was their rank!? (I presume O sensei was the highest rank - 10/12 dan?)


See Aikido FAQ at:

http://www.aikidofaq.com/misc/10dan.html

for info on Aikido 10th Dans

O Sensei (Morihei Ueshiba) was the founder and was not considered within the ranking system, just like his son and grandson, who are/was head (Doshu) of the Aikikai organization.

andrew
02-26-2001, 03:44 AM
aiki-victim wrote:
10/12 dan?)

It only goes up to ten.
andrew

veloctTX
03-02-2001, 09:03 PM
I know here in Houston, Karl E. Geis is a 10th Dan.

jfearon
03-03-2001, 10:18 AM
O sensei did not have a rank, because he was not a student. He was above the ranking system.

Nick
03-03-2001, 01:05 PM
Of course he was a student-- the greatest black belt is first a great white belt...

Nick

Kami
03-04-2001, 03:15 PM
aiki-victim wrote:
Who are/were the highest ranking aikidoka, and what was their rank!? (I presume O sensei was the highest rank - 10/12 dan?)

KAMI : The highest ranking grade in Aikikai is 9th Dan (the one and only living 10th Dan was Koichi Tohei Sensei when he was still a member and Head Instructor of Aikikai Hombu Dojo).
I have done some research on ranking but restricted it to non-japanese Aikidoka. There it goes :
Karl Geis - Fugakukai, Texas (USA), 10th Dan
Thamby Rajah - Shudokan, Malaysia, 9th Dan
Shinichi Suzuki – Ki-Aikido, Hawaii(USA), 8th Dan
Takashi Nonaka – Ki-Aikido, Hawaii(USA), 8th Dan
Harry Eto - Ki-Aikido, Hawaii (USA), 8th Dan
Alain Floquet – Yoseikan, France, 8th Dan
Patrick Auge - Yoseikan, California(USA), 8th Dan
Henry Copeland - Fugakukai, Alabama(USA), 8th Dan
W.W. "Mac" McNease - Fugakukai, Texas(USA), 8th Dan
Georges Stobbaerts – Butokukai, Portugal, 8th Dan
Amos Parker – Yoshinkai, USA, 8th Dan
Michel Soulenq - Aikikai, France, 7th Dan
Christian Tissier – Aikikai, France, 7th Dan
Gerard Blaize – Aikikai, France, 7th Dan
Robert Kubo – Aikikai, Hawaii(USA), 7th Dan
Donald Moriyama - AiKiKai, Hawaii(USA), 7th Dan
Christopher Curtis – Ki-Aikido, Hawaii(USA), 7th Dan
Lee Ah Loi - Tomiki, England, 7th Dan
Erhard Altenbrandt, DAB, Germany, 7th Dan
Rolf Brand, DAB, Germany, 7th Dan
Gerhardt Walter, Aikikai, Germany, 7th Dan
Kevin Blok, World Kobudo Federation(Aikido Section), 7th Dan
Giam Pietro Savegango, Aikikai(?), Italy, 7th Dan
John Allen - Fugakukai, W. Virginia(USA), 7th Dan
Robert Aoyagi - Aikikai, Hawaii(USA), 7th Dan
Charles Caldwell - Fugakukai, Colorado(USA), 7th Dan
Stewart Chan - Seidokan, California(USA), 7th Dan
Chuck Clark - Jiyushinkai, Arizona(USA), 7th Dan
Frank Doran - Aikikai, California(USA), 7th Dan
Richard Hirao - Aikikai, Hawaii(USA), 7th Dan
Rianard Jackson - Fugakukai, Texas(USA), 7th Dan
Tim Joe - Fugakukai, Texas(USA), 7th Dan
Harvey Konigsberg – Aikikai, (USA), 7th Dan
Robert Nadeau - Aikikai, California(USA), 7th Dan
Clif Norgaard - Fugakukai, Arkansas(USA), 7th Dan
Steven Seagal - Aikikai, California(USA), 7th Dan
William Witt - Aikikai, California(USA), 7th dan
Harry Wright - Fugakukai, Alabama(USA), 7th Dan
#########################################

As you see, the list goes from 7th dan on up and does not include japanese aikidoka (there are quite a few...)
Best regards
Kami



[Edited by Kami on March 6, 2001 at 02:00pm]

Chris Li
03-04-2001, 04:27 PM
Kami wrote:
aiki-victim wrote:
Who are/were the highest ranking aikidoka, and what was their rank!? (I presume O sensei was the highest rank - 10/12 dan?)

KAMI : The highest ranking grade in Aikikai is 9th Dan (the one and only 10th Dan was Koichi Tohei Sensei when he was still a member and Head Instructor of Aikikai Hombu Dojo).


That's basically correct, with some qualifications (which is why it's such a messy issue).

1) *Currently* the highest ranking people in the Aikikai are 9th dan, I don't think that 10th dan has ever been officially ruled out (which is what the post above seems to imply).

2) Koichi Tohei is the only 10th dan to be officially processed through the Aikikai promotion system. Morihei Ueshiba promoted a couple of other people to 10th dan himself - whether those are "official" 10th dans or not depends on who you talk to. At least one of those people has "Aikido 10th dan" printed on his business cards. The Aikikai policy on this seems to be "don't confirm/don't deny", meaning that they won't officially recognize that promotion, but they won't officially deny that it exists either. This is a pretty Japanese solution to an awkward situation - ignore it and pretend that it doesn't exist. In the western legal system, of course, there would be an argument of "silence implies consent", so again, it depends who you talk to.

3) There were a couple of people that Morihei Ueshiba gave "menkyo kaiden" certificates. This is outside the kyu/dan ranking system, so I suppose that it depends on your point of view, but "menkyo kaiden" ("certificate of complete transmission") is usually the highest level certificate presented in an art, and implies that the person giving it has taught the person receiving it everything in the art, so some people may consider that equal to (or greater than) a 10th dan.

So far as I know, Morihei Ueshiba never held *any* dan rank himself, and he seemed to do OK :-). Off hand, the only verifiable certification that I recall is his Daito-ryu "kyoju dairi" certificate, which is an assistant instructor's license.

Best,

Chris

kFc
03-04-2001, 11:56 PM
You all seem to have forgotten one very important person.I belive this makes him the highest ranking aikidoka alive today.

Minoru Mochizuki who received the Menjya Kaiden (Certificate of mastery from Ueshiba) and was recognised in 1980 by Ueshiba O’Sensei’s son, Kisshomaru and the International Martial Arts Federation when he was nambed Judan, (tenth-degree black belt), and meijin (worlds highest technical representitive),in Aikido.

Read up on Mochizuki you will be impressed!

Thanks,

Nicki

Chris Li
03-05-2001, 01:10 AM
kFc wrote:
You all seem to have forgotten one very important person.I belive this makes him the highest ranking aikidoka alive today.

Minoru Mochizuki who received the Menjya Kaiden (Certificate of mastery from Ueshiba) and was recognised in 1980 by Ueshiba O’Sensei’s son, Kisshomaru and the International Martial Arts Federation when he was nambed Judan, (tenth-degree black belt), and meijin (worlds highest technical representitive),in Aikido.

Read up on Mochizuki you will be impressed!

Thanks,

Nicki

Not to quibble (because if anyone deserves a 10th dan it's probably Mochizuki), but his rank was not processed through the Aikikai, which means that the only *Aikikai* 10th dan promotion (officially) is still Koichi Tohei. The International Martial Arts Federation wanted to promote him, but he wouldn't take it without Doshu's (Kisshomaru) approval (which he got) - but the rank was never officially processed or certified by the Aikikai, it was granted by the International Martial Arts Federation.

Best,

Chris

andrew
03-05-2001, 07:20 AM
The menkyo kaiden is more likely to have been equated to 8th dan. The M-K gave a student a licence/obligation to teach off their own bat and possibly go forth and teach. 8th Dan was the rank given to the people sent out to spread aikido accross the world..

There's a longer list of "tenth dans" on aikidofaq..

andrew

BC
03-05-2001, 10:39 AM
According to numerous sources, including The Aiki News Encyclopedia of Aikido, Michio Hikitsuchi was verbally awarded 10th dan by O Sensei, and later received a certificate from the Aikikai. However, for some reason, it was never publicized.

tedehara
03-05-2001, 11:39 AM
Kami wrote:
KAMI : The highest ranking grade in Aikikai is 9th Dan (the one and only 10th Dan was Koichi Tohei Sensei when he was still a member and Head Instructor of Aikikai Hombu Dojo).... [/B]

According to AikidoFAQ (http://www.aikidofaq.com/misc/10dan.html) Osawa sensei was given 10th dan after his death in 26.05.91, given post mortem by the Aikikai. Rinjiro Shirata sensei was also given a post mortem 10th Dan. This surprised me. You tend to forget about post mortem promotions.:confused:

Minoru Mochizuki 10th dan - given by the International Martial Arts Federation (IMAF) in 1979. There were also several other people who received 10th Dan by IMAF.

I think you can safely say Koichi Tohei Sensei was the only one to receive a 10th Dan certificate from O Sensei.

Kami
03-05-2001, 01:48 PM
BC wrote:
According to numerous sources, including The Aiki News Encyclopedia of Aikido, Michio Hikitsuchi was verbally awarded 10th dan by O Sensei, and later received a certificate from the Aikikai. However, for some reason, it was never publicized.


KAMI : You're right on Hikitsuchi Sensei being verbally awarded by O-Sensei and wrong in assuming that he received a certificate from the Aikikai.
I participate in a discussion on another list about that :
http://www.aikidojournal.com/ubb/Forum9/HTML/000322.html
So, as you see, the Aikikai still does not OFFICIALLY recognize Hikitsuchi Sensei's ranking.
Best regards

Kami
03-05-2001, 01:51 PM
tedehara wrote:
can safely say [/i] Koichi Tohei Sensei was the only one to receive a 10th Dan certificate from O Sensei.

KAMI : If you look back, you'll see that my list is about NON-japanese yudansha. That's why japanese sensei aren't included.
Best

BC
03-05-2001, 04:22 PM
Ubaldo:

Thank you for pointing that out. I KNEW I had seen something about Hikitsuchi Sensei relating to this topic recently, and have been racking my brain all day to find it! I read Mr. Pranin's response in that thread to mean that Hikitsuchi Sensei did have a certificate signed by O Sensei, but that it wasn't processed through the normal channels at Aikikai Hombu. Did you read it that way also?

PS - You threw me with your new username, at first I thought someone was stealing your research! :)

Chris Li
03-05-2001, 04:29 PM
andrew wrote:
The menkyo kaiden is more likely to have been equated to 8th dan. The M-K gave a student a licence/obligation to teach off their own bat and possibly go forth and teach. 8th Dan was the rank given to the people sent out to spread aikido accross the world..

There's a longer list of "tenth dans" on aikidofaq..

andrew

It's hard to say, since they're completely different systems. Personally, I equate it to at least a 10th dan because it implies *final* certification - that everything in the tradition has been taught to and mastered by the student. That seems different to me than an 8th dan, after which there is the possibility of two more levels of promotion.

Best,

Chris

JJF
03-06-2001, 04:28 AM
What I have been told is, that 8. dan is the highest rank achievable as long as you are looking at ability within the art. 9th and 10th dan however are grades handed out very rarely as signs of gratitude for an extraordinary effort to develop and/or spread Aikido throughout the world - usaully as a life-long commitment. Actually I think it is possible to 'jump' grades from say seventh dan to 9th. dan if a person for example travels to a new country to try and start up Aikido there, but I could be wrong.

tedehara
03-06-2001, 05:00 AM
JJF wrote:
What I have been told is, that 8. dan is the highest rank achievable as long as you are looking at ability within the art. 9th and 10th dan however are grades handed out very rarely as signs of gratitude for an extraordinary effort to develop and/or spread Aikido throughout the world - usaully as a life-long commitment. Actually I think it is possible to 'jump' grades from say seventh dan to 9th. dan if a person for example travels to a new country to try and start up Aikido there, but I could be wrong.

In most Aikido organizations, the highest tested rank is around 4th or 5th Dan. After that, the ranks are given out according to how the Powers-That-Be think you've contributed to the art or their organization.

Almost all rank promotion above 5th Dan are totally political in nature. That's why Aikikai only has living 9th Dans. Its hard to get a bunch of 9th Dans together and decide who is going to be a 10th Dan. If you look at Judo's history, their last 10th Dan was Mifune Sensei, who was given his belt by Kano, Judo's founder.

A beginning student might look at two dojos and decide to attend the school who's head instructor is - say 6th dan because the other school's instructor is 3rd dan. However that could be a quick, shallow judgement of the situation.

That 6th dan might have other schools to take care of, so you'll really be instructed by some shodan or brown belt. That 6th dan could be able to do aikido perfectly, but be unable to transmit that knowledge because he/she is the world's worst teacher!

There is no quick and easy way to make judgements about people. You certainly can't sum up a person's life by a belt. Belt number worship is almost as dangerous as the belief that you need a higher belt, to prove you know aikido.

I thought I'd throw this stuff in, because it is all implied when you discuss high-ranking martial artists.

Rank inflation is not as bad in aikido than it is in some other martial arts. In some martial arts, you can only consider belt ranking as a marketing device. ;)

BC
03-06-2001, 08:24 AM
Hear hear Ted!

Kami
03-06-2001, 09:58 AM
BC wrote:
Ubaldo:
I read Mr. Pranin's response in that thread to mean that Hikitsuchi Sensei did have a certificate signed by O Sensei, but that it wasn't processed through the normal channels at Aikikai Hombu. Did you read it that way also?

KAMI : You're correct!

PS - You threw me with your new username, at first I thought someone was stealing your research! :)


KAMI : Well, if that was the case, I should've been proud, don't you think? After all, only valuable things are stolen...Unhappily, as you observed, that was not the case. :(
´Best regards

andrew
03-06-2001, 11:02 AM
tedehara wrote:
can safely say [/i] Koichi Tohei Sensei was the only one to receive a 10th Dan certificate from O Sensei.

You know, I was sure he recieved his 10th Dan in the early seventies. (After O Sensei died.)
andrew

tedehara
03-06-2001, 11:23 AM
andrew wrote:

You know, I was sure he (Koichi Tohei) received his 10th Dan in the early seventies. (After O Sensei died.)
andrew

You're right! I stand corrected.

[QUOTE]from the Encyclopedia of Aikido (http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia/encyclopedia.asp?Letter=T&offset=50) article "Koichi Tohei"

In 1970, the year after the death of Ueshiba, Tohei was officially awarded 10th dan by the AIKIKAI HOMBU DOJO.

aiki_what
03-06-2001, 11:27 AM
First let me say that this is in no/way/form meant to disparage/question someone's skill/ranking.

That being said, Is Mr.Geis's rank self-assigned?

lt-rentaroo
03-06-2001, 12:03 PM
Aiki_what,

It has been my understanding that Mr. Geis's rank is self appointed. Mr. Geis states that he is a 10th Dan in a particular style of Aikido (I don't remember which one). Located elsewhere in the webpage Mr. Geis states that he "founded" the style of Aikido that he holds a 10th Dan in. So, you can deduce from this information that Mr. Geis "founded" a style of Aikido and then appointed himself a 10th Dan in that style. I've seen this type of self-appointed ranking in other arts (Karate, Tae Kwon Do, etc.) but not in Aikido. I'm not trying to be disrespectful with these conclusions, I'm only stating what I've read.

Greg Jennings
03-06-2001, 12:37 PM
Kami wrote:
[B}
Donald Moriyama - Ki-Aikido, Hawaii(USA), 7th Dan
[/B]

Moriyama Sensei is Aikikai, not Ki Society.

Kami
03-06-2001, 01:51 PM
Well, Well...To each his own...
TO GREG : you're right and I gave a shot in my foot. Donald Moriyama Sensei is Aikikai, not Ki-Society. Correction accepted.

TO LOUIS AND AIKIWHAT : Karl Geis was promoted to 6th Dan by Tomiki Kenji Sensei. Later he created his own style - FUGAKUKAI - and was promoted sucessively (in a period of 20 years) until the 10 th Dan.
By the way, there was a gentleman named Kano Jigoro who created his own style of jujutsu(calling it judo) and an organization called KODOKAN which promoted him to 10th Dan and later to 12th Dan.
Fugakukai is a serious organization and has some excellent sensei and Geis Sensei is a respected master.

TO ANDREW AND TEDEHARA : Tohei Koichi Sensei was awarded 10 th Dan personally by Kaiso who died soon after. After a year of mourning, the Aikikai recognized that rank and issued the only certificate of judan from that organization.

TO EVERYBODY : The same observation might apply to other people on my list.
I tried to use only well recognized and respected organizations, with the only possible exception being the USMAA, but my main choosing method was the quality of the masters listed (in USMAA's case, Walther von Krenner Sensei and Lou Periello Sensei). But, of course, I'm open to criticism from anyone. Addenda, sugestions for exclusion or corrections, are welcome.
Best regards to you all

[Edited by Kami on March 6, 2001 at 02:08pm]

lt-rentaroo
03-06-2001, 03:30 PM
Kami,

I wasn't trying to belittle any of Mr. Geis's accomplishments or his present ranking. Yes, Jigoro Kano founded Kodokan Judo and in a similar fashion you could say the same about O'Sensei founding Aikido. Have a good day!

tedehara
03-06-2001, 08:02 PM
Kami wrote:

TO ANDREW AND TEDEHARA : Tohei Koichi Sensei was awarded 10 th Dan personally by Kaiso who died soon after. After a year of mourning, the Aikikai recognized that rank and issued the only certificate of judan from that organization.

What about those post mortem promotions to Osawa and Shirata? They both would have been processed by the Aikikai, just like Koichi Tohei's rank, wouldn't they?
:confused:

Kami
03-07-2001, 04:14 AM
TO LOUIS : No offense taken...
TO TEDEHARA : You're quite right. Besides Tohei Sensei, Aikikai has awarded judan to Shirata Rinjiro and to a few others.
Best regards

Chuck Clark
03-07-2001, 04:25 PM
To Mr. Ehara,

The last Kodokan Judo judan was not Kiyuzo Mifune. His name was Sumiyuki Kotani. Great judoka, human being, and teacher.

Regards,

andrew
03-07-2001, 04:32 PM
Chris Li wrote:


It's hard to say, since they're completely different systems. Personally, I equate it to at least a 10th dan because it implies *final* certification

Chris:
The Menkyo Kaiden was the certificate that gave a student the right to go off and teach in his own right and unsupervised. 8th Dan was the rank given to the first Shihans who were sent abroad to teach Aikido. There's a pretty convincing argument there that O Sensei felt they were about equivalent.

Andrew

Chris Li
03-07-2001, 05:02 PM
andrew wrote:
Chris Li wrote:


It's hard to say, since they're completely different systems. Personally, I equate it to at least a 10th dan because it implies *final* certification

Chris:
The Menkyo Kaiden was the certificate that gave a student the right to go off and teach in his own right and unsupervised. 8th Dan was the rank given to the first Shihans who were sent abroad to teach Aikido. There's a pretty convincing argument there that O Sensei felt they were about equivalent.

Andrew

Well, as I said, it's hard to compare because they're really two completely different systems. The menkyo kaiden (which is much older) is somewhat more than a teaching certificate, it implies complete transmission of the art (that's all there is, there ain't no more).

After 8th dan there are still two more levels of promotion (although you might argue that they are largely honorary).

Morihei Ueshiba sent plenty of teachers abroad without giving them eighth dans. In fact, his whole approach to dan rankings seems to have been less then rigorous. The whole kyu/dan system in Aikido (for general use) was less than 20 years old when he died, I think that the evidence seems to imply that the standards shifted and flexed over the years (as is probably normal for a new system).

Menkyo kaiden, on the other hand, seem to have been handed out much more rarely. He handed out a lot more 8th dans (and maybe even more 10th dans) then he did menkyo kaiden certificates. Now you might argue (with some validity) that this is because Aikido switched over to the kyu/dan system after the war (actually before, but it didn't become widespread until afterwords), but some of the menkyo kaiden at least were issued in the kyu/dan period.

Best,

Chris

tedehara
03-07-2001, 08:41 PM
Chuck Clark wrote:
To Mr. Ehara,

The last Kodokan Judo judan was not Kiyuzo Mifune. His name was Sumiyuki Kotani. Great judoka, human being, and teacher.
Regards,


:o
You're right! When Kyuzo Mifune died in 1965, he was the only Judo 10th Dan. Sumiyu Kotani (http://judoinfo.com/judan.htm) received his 10th Dan in April 1984, 19 years after Kano's death.

Does that mean Aikikai might come up with another living 10th Dan? Could (Fill-In-The-Blank) be the next 10th Dan?!?
:eek:

Kami
03-08-2001, 02:59 AM
tedehara wrote:
Does that mean Aikikai might come up with another living 10th Dan? Could (Fill-In-The-Blank) be the next 10th Dan?!?
:eek:

KAMI : Difficult to believe in that...As you see, there were more than a dozen 10th Dan in judo's history but the majority were indicated more than 50 years ago. My impression is that it gets more and more difficult each year.
Best

Dajo251
03-09-2001, 09:03 AM
I dont know if this has already been asked but if someone is a 9th dan and there are no 10th dans in his or hers prganization the how who he or she be promoted?

andrew
03-09-2001, 11:24 AM
Dajo251 wrote:
I dont know if this has already been asked but if someone is a 9th dan and there are no 10th dans in his or hers prganization the how who he or she be promoted?

It's not relevant at that level, as it's not based on a grading. The Doshu (Moriteru Ueshiba) is outside the ranking system, by the way.
I don't know who decides precisely or why though.
andrew

Kami
03-10-2001, 04:47 AM
andrew wrote:
Dajo251 wrote:
I dont know if this has already been asked but if someone is a 9th dan and there are no 10th dans in his or hers prganization the how who he or she be promoted?

It's not relevant at that level, as it's not based on a grading. The Doshu (Moriteru Ueshiba) is outside the ranking system, by the way.
I don't know who decides precisely or why though.
andrew

KAMI : The usual process is for the 9th dan group to meet and decide among themselves. It is the same process that happens for the election of a new pope in the Catholic Church. The Cardinals (below the pope in ranking) meet and decide, among themselves, who shall be the new pope. Not to say that it is an easy one... :eek:

Best regards