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Dennis Hooker
09-08-2004, 01:21 PM
Can anyone tell me what the Kokusai Budoin is and who in it confers rank to Aikido students and what the process is for obtaining that rank? Is it possible for a person go from a 1st dan in one organization in 1995 to a 6 dan in 2003 within this organization?

I am just curious because all the all the Rokudan from the Aikido Hombu Dojo I know took much longer. For me to go from Shodan to Rokudan took the better part of 25 years. I might be exceptionally slow, I don't know. I do know a good friend who just received his Rokudan last week took the better part of 30 years and I know he is not slow.

09-08-2004, 01:32 PM
Hi Dennis,

Looks like this is their page on aikido:


Here's their information on "Rank Promotions & Schedules":


And here's their information on "Membership":


I have no idea if it's possible to apply, say, for a 6th dan straight out...

-- Jun

09-08-2004, 01:46 PM
Interesting.. reading from http://www.imaf.com/aikido.html, it would almost look as if the IMAF had appointed Kisshomaru Ueshiba as Doshu:The position of IMAF Aikido Division Shihan (Division Director) has been held by the world's foremost Aikido authorities; beginning with Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, and late director of the Aikikai Hombu. He was succeeded by Dr. Kenji Tomiki (founder of Tomiki-ryu Aikido), Minoru Mochizuki (10th dan Aikido), and Gozo Shioda (10th dan Aikido, founder of Yoshinkan Aikido). The current Shihan are Takeji Tomita and Shinji Tsutsui.That's a little odd, but may just be a reflection of my ignorance!

09-08-2004, 04:12 PM
If I'm reading their list of required time in grade correctly it would take a minimum of 14/15 years to reach rokudan from shodan.


Ellis Amdur
09-09-2004, 10:04 AM
Hi Dennis -

I posted this over at Aikido Journal as well. Perhaps it's of enough general interest to warrant a cross-post.

The Kokusai Budoin, which was mentioned here, is, in my opinion, a rather odd organization. It is an "umbrella" organization of both classic and modern martial arts in Japan. It was organized and directed, for many years, by Prince Higashikuni (Hirohito's uncle), who lived over 100 years. Higashikuni was quite a remarkable figure - according to Bergamini's JAPAN'S IMPERIAL CONSPIRACY, he was the conduit between the imperial family and prewar fascist, terrorist and gangster organizations. In social gatherings, there was always even more of a right wing tinge than other Japanese martial arts organizations. Sasagawa, the war criminal/right wing godfather/mega-criminal/world philanthropist was a major financial sponsor.

I participated in demonstrations in their embu a number of times. They divided their membership in sections - kobudo, karate, etc. The demos were sometimes quite interesting, because they would have obscure ryu that presented nowhere else. I recall two old men (ryu forgotten) who "fought" each other in a no-protective-gear match with fukoro shinai, refereed by Mochizuchi sensei. On the other hand, they were also the repository for many who were the "black sheep" of their own claimed ryu - the guys who didn't get the post of shihan, etc., and still using the name of the ryu, were "also" shihan of a separate "faction."

Finally, they were a "diploma mill," because one could get Kokusai Budoin rank outside one's own ryu or organization. I do not know the entire criteria, because, unlike American organizations (the infamous "soke council"), one had to have some qualifications - but still, I don't know how these qualifications were presented. And it was well known that also presented were large amounts of money. Thus, were I so interested - I, a shihan of Toda-ha Buko-ryu would present myself in some manner to the Kokusai Budoin, and offering my credentials, perhaps some kind of demonstration (were I unknown) and paying the appropriate fee, might be made kyoshi rokudan, renshi hachidan, even meijin judan of the Kokusai Budoin. This would have no bearing, one way or the other, upon my licensure in Toda-ha Buko-ryu.

To use a similar situation with myself as example, I last tested as a member of the Aikikai in 1978, receiving nidan. I "informally" received sandan from Terry Dobson, sometime in the mid-eighties. "Well Ellis, I'm a godan, so according to Honbu, I can rank you sandan. Yah want it? I'd give you more, but that's all I got." I've been independent of any aikido organization since 1978, but have been teaching aikido on my own as a guest at other dojos for over a decade and a half. Were I so inclined, I could conceivably present myself to the Kokusai Budoin to "top off" my aikido rank. I've no idea what level I could get (away with). The salient point is that said rank would have no relevance to any rank I had in the Aikikai or any other organization.

Personally, I can't see it as much of an honor, but, again, it's rather complex, as some of the finest martial artists in Japan were active members. I sort of thought of it as the budo equivalent of the Lions club, or the Royal Order of Elks.


Ellis Amdur