PDA

View Full Version : Seiza by ranks?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Demetrio Cereijo
02-16-2005, 05:55 PM
When seated in seiza at the beginning or ending of the class for bowing, people is seated by rank order.

My question is, for proper etiquette, in what order people with the same rank has to be seated?

Date of testing/rank?
Date of joining the dojo?
Age?
Other?

Tanks and regards.

maikerus
02-16-2005, 06:37 PM
When seated in seiza at the beginning or ending of the class for bowing, people is seated by rank order.

My question is, for proper etiquette, in what order people with the same rank has to be seated?

Date of testing/rank?
Date of joining the dojo?
Age?
Other?

Tanks and regards.

The way it was explained to me is that it is officially by date of testing. If the test dates are the same then it would be by age. If the age is the same then by Birthday.

In the case of twins of the same rank then the one out first would be higher ranked ;)

I personally think it is a good practice to differentiate between ranks when sitting in seiza, but not so important within the same rank.

Usually I would suggest that you find a spot at the end of your rank when you come in the dojo or even at the end of the line if you are running late and arrive just before your instructor walks onto the mat.

cheers,

--Michael

Fred Little
02-16-2005, 06:43 PM
In the club here at NJIT, at the beginning and end of class we line up in straight seniority order, with no reference to rank.

In between, there's no standard protocol.

Best,

Fred Little

Demetrio Cereijo
02-16-2005, 06:49 PM
Tanks and regards.

Sorry,

Thanks and regards.

Where is the edit button?

Amassus
02-16-2005, 10:06 PM
This is a good question. At my club, we tend to line up with those who tested first higher up, but in saying that, the trend tends to be towards the person who attends more frequently. So a 2nd kyu who tested a year before another 2nd kyu, but has had a 2 month rest while the other aikidoka has been to every class, will most likely sit beneath the newer fella.

Its a kind of recognition for commitment to training I guess.

No hard and fast rule on that one though.

batemanb
02-17-2005, 02:01 AM
In our club we just line up in grade order, within the same grade it depends on who sits down first, sometimes it's me, sometimes not.

Interestingly (maybe) at the Aikikai Hombu people do not line up in grade order, just in lines of people, whatever grade. I guess that's possibly because it would be too difficult to determine who's who and who should sit where with all the visitors passing through. The dojo I train at in Kobe when I visit also works the same, you just find a space to sit. My old club in Tokyo does line up in grade order but seniors on the left, not the "usual" right.

It seems that there is no definite rule, just what each dojo prefers. Personally, I like the Hombu/ Kobe system.

rgds

Bryan

JJF
02-17-2005, 02:16 AM
In our dojo we just sit down in no particular order. Rank is considered of little importance since we all know each other and know what level we represent.

PeterR
02-17-2005, 02:25 AM
Will not tell story. Must not tell story.

batemanb
02-17-2005, 02:58 AM
Will not tell story. Must not tell story.

I'm waiting in the chat room with virtual beer :D

happysod
02-17-2005, 03:18 AM
Please tell us the story uncle Peter...

PeterR
02-17-2005, 03:56 AM
The way it was explained to me is that it is officially by date of testing. If the test dates are the same then it would be by age. If the age is the same then by Birthday.

In the case of twins of the same rank then the one out first would be higher ranked ;)

I personally think it is a good practice to differentiate between ranks when sitting in seiza, but not so important within the same rank.

Usually I would suggest that you find a spot at the end of your rank when you come in the dojo or even at the end of the line if you are running late and arrive just before your instructor walks onto the mat.
Shodokan Honbu might have a slight variation on that after the point where test dates are the same. Whatever it is, Shihan decides.

I also don't think there should be any great effort expended in getting the order right for the Nidans and Shodans unless the Nidan has been there forever. My usual practice is to sit roughly right and let the Japanese sort it out - I can't read the board (where its all laid out) anyway.

UnfortunatelyI had to go to war over this issue over the last two weeks. To be fair a godan helped me out initially and even Shihan physically manipulated the situation to where it was supposed to be at one point. I graded on the same day as one Japanese dojo member. On hindsight he has been ensuring that he is sitting ahead of me for quite a while but it started to get very aggressive both in line up and when we were paired. I am sure there is more to this than I figured out but he was getting very rude. Turns out by rights he should have been below me and last class that is where he ended up. Up or down - there is no way he should have been behaving as he was.

The idea of the rules I think is to prevent this sort of posturing from happening - even though it does. I doubt he would have tried it with a Japanese.

batemanb
02-17-2005, 03:57 AM
Please tell us the story uncle Peter...


I know, I know :p :D


ohh, Peter posted before me :(

Amir Krause
02-17-2005, 06:46 AM
Unfortunately I had to go to war over this issue over the last two weeks. To be fair a godan helped me out initially and even Shihan physically manipulated the situation to where it was supposed to be at one point. I graded on the same day as one Japanese dojo member. On hindsight he has been ensuring that he is sitting ahead of me for quite a while but it started to get very aggressive both in line up and when we were paired. I am sure there is more to this than I figured out but he was getting very rude. Turns out by rights he should have been below me and last class that is where he ended up. Up or down - there is no way he should have been behaving as he was.

The idea of the rules I think is to prevent this sort of posturing from happening - even though it does. I doubt he would have tried it with a Japanese.


We have the opposite type of fight in our dojo, among the Yundasha:


One of us is much older then the rest, and much more veteran. However, his rank is lower then some of us, others - He was a Shodan when I joined the Dojo and remained a Shodan today (about 15 years after) while I and a couple of others have gone from beginner to Nidan in this period. This is partially due to his making a break of a couple of years, being severely sick a few years after and only practicing once a week on most other times.

We (the higher ranked "youngsters") would prefer him to remain sitting on our Shomen side - "higher up" yet he refuses. And we often have funny siting position mini-fights (gentle pushing the other and trying to sit in "proper order").

Aside from that, most people in the Dojo seem to sit themselves according to rank and the order they have arrived. If someone wishes to sit himself "higher up" no-one is going to disturb him while sitting. Though one of us Sempai, or the Sensei, may comment on the proper order of sitting afterwards, to give a hint.


Amir

Dazzler
02-17-2005, 07:06 AM
In the club here at NJIT, at the beginning and end of class we line up in straight seniority order, with no reference to rank.

In between, there's no standard protocol.

Best,

Fred Little

How do you determine seniority? Is that implicitly by age?

For the record...our standard procedure is by rank, then age within rank.

We have had visitors who have insisted that the yudansha take the senior end, non yudansha (is that mu-dansha?) take the non senior end.

The biggest difference is that they ask for the most senior students to be in the centre and the most junior students to be placed to the outside.

I've also seen variations where the lowest ranks are placed nearest the door ...since they are most disposable should some marauding dojo stormers catch us by surprise and attack.

We tend to work on basis that kamiza is the logical east, so students to the right facing the kamiza are in the north (most senior)...juniors are in the south.

All very confusing...normally I go with whatever everyone is comfortable with. People shouldn't judge your ability by position on the mat anyway. If you are good it will be clear (unlike this ramble of a post... :D )

In most of the classes I teach everyone is either dan ranked on one night...or going for the same grade on another night this isnt much of an issue.

At least I know where to sit.... :D

Cheers

D

Tim Griffiths
02-17-2005, 07:48 AM
Maybe I'm tired and have had a bad day....

But I really don't see the purpose of lining up in any particular order.
Let me correct that - I do see a couple of reasons, but I don't want those reasons in my dojo.

I did grow up in aikido with sitting in ranks, but it was a Ki Soc (coloured belts) dojo so at least it was done more quickly and neatly. No seniority within the same grade.
For me, the priority is to get people sitting quietly with as little fuss and as much decorum as possible. Having a seating order just seems to get in the way of that, and raise up enough problems of its own.

Tim

Jim Simons
02-17-2005, 09:17 AM
Our dojo doesn't make a point of lining up in rank order, but I had the chance to train with a great group of folks in Reading, UK, and it was the custom in their dojo to sit in rank order. Being a guest, and being fairly junior in my home dojo anyway, I erred on the side of caution and sat below the guy in the sweat suit, and that seemed to suit folks there.

However, I did notice that in general, when pairing up to train, folks didn't mix up very much; they tended to train within their rank groupings more or less and this was easy to see because they used a colored-belt system. Is this the way it usually works in sit-by-rank dojos?

Cheers,
Jim

Fred Little
02-17-2005, 09:50 AM
How do you determine seniority? Is that implicitly by age?

D

Daren:

Seniority is determined solely by the date they joined the club.

Best,

Fred Little

Dazzler
02-17-2005, 09:56 AM
Our dojo doesn't make a point of lining up in rank order, but I had the chance to train with a great group of folks in Reading, UK, and it was the custom in their dojo to sit in rank order. Being a guest, and being fairly junior in my home dojo anyway, I erred on the side of caution and sat below the guy in the sweat suit, and that seemed to suit folks there.

However, I did notice that in general, when pairing up to train, folks didn't mix up very much; they tended to train within their rank groupings more or less and this was easy to see because they used a colored-belt system. Is this the way it usually works in sit-by-rank dojos?

Cheers,
Jim

I think its just human nature Jim.

I've travelled quite a bit and find there are some students that are intimidated by older strangers with hakama that may train differently...

and there are others that nearly knock you over in their desperation to tap into your experience.

I was encouraged to be part of the second group from my 1st day in the dojo...Was probably seen as very pushy as a result.

Luckily I've got very thick skin! :D

D

Ron Tisdale
02-17-2005, 10:31 AM
...when pairing up to train, folks didn't mix up very much... Is this the way it usually works in sit-by-rank dojos?

I think most yoshinkan dojo sit by rank (its considered orderly), and no, that's not the way we train, since the instructor usually calls kotite (sp) when they want the partners to change. Since we tend to train in lines, that usually means the jr. person moves to their left, and the jr. at the far end comes to the front of the line. This way, everyone trains with different people. After class training is a different animal; there, people tend to pair up based on preference more.

Ron

Amir Krause
02-17-2005, 11:18 AM
However, I did notice that in general, when pairing up to train, folks didn't mix up very much; they tended to train within their rank groupings more or less and this was easy to see because they used a colored-belt system. Is this the way it usually works in sit-by-rank dojos?

Sensei normally encourages the Yundasha to practice with the beginners at the beginning of each practice, and often starts with basic variations the beginners should learn. Then the Yundasha and other experienced students can assist the beginners to learn.

Sometimes, we later move on to more advanced techniques and split the group according to level, the same is done with Randori for people who are not yet experienced enough for it and for weapons practice (particularly weapons Randori and Kata).

The idea is to balance the contribution of the advanced student to the beginners and his own studies.

Amir

p00kiethebear
02-17-2005, 11:42 AM
In our dojo we line up first by rank, for people who haven't tested or are the same rank, it's by experience / skill level.

bcole23
02-17-2005, 02:11 PM
In our dojo, there is no order that we sit in. However, since I normally start out Ukeing for Sensei, I sit far right so as to not take a seat where the view is good if I'm not going to be using it anyways. When doing line techniques, it's normally the two highest ranking people first in line to demonstrate the proper uke and ukemi technique for the next people.

I can't image having 30+ people trying to figure out how to line up. We also tend to try to train with everyone. There's a LOT to be learned by experienced people training with beginners. Those people who attack you on the street are beginners, so if your Aikido does not work on the new people in the dojo, it wont work in the real world either.

Chris Li
02-17-2005, 03:48 PM
Will not tell story. Must not tell story.

Well, here's my "sitting by rank" story:

I used to train at a dojo in Japan which had a very mixed population - high ranking folks from the Aikikai, Iwama, Yoshinkan, even Daito-ryu.

This place never made much out of ranks - nobody even asked me my rank until I'd been there for almost two years, and that was just so that they could announce it at a local demonstration.

One day we were out in the countryside for a summer gasshuku, and before the first class the head instructor suddenly announces that everybody should line up according to rank. Now, I had no idea what rank most of the people were, so I just sat down at the bottom of the yudansha section and figured that would be OK. The head instructor spotted me and told me to move up in the rank order. I moved up a couple of spots, but he said "No, no, keep on going" - until I ended up at the very top of the yudansha section. I looked to my left, and the person directly below me in the rank order was one of the few people whose rank I actually knew - an Aikikai 5th dan who'd definitely been practicing a lot longer than me. He just smiled. I don't know why I got stuck there, but I appreciated the fact that, despite the one time line order, nobody really cared one way or the other.

Best,

Chris

Jack Simpson
02-17-2005, 04:19 PM
In my dojo and the main dojo, most folks know each others ranks and there's some attempt to line up that way, but it's not at all a big deal. When I travel, I always line up on the low end of the mat when visiting a new dojo. I just think that's the most polite thing to do. I also always carry a white belt in case its a different federation, style, etc.

My favorite thing to watch is the jostling for position that occurs at big seminars. In this case, the high mucky-mucks tend to wedge themselves into the the middle of the front line to be visible to the sensei to take ukemi. Sometimes folks will wait until things are quite quiet then wander in and plop themselves down in the middle, expecting folks to part like the Red Sea. It's an interesting vignette.

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

Eric Webber
02-17-2005, 06:10 PM
At my home dojo we don't line up by ranks; never have, probably never will. I do have my favorite spot, however: as I do not train with my glasses on I like to sit smack in the middle of the line so that when we warm up I can actually see (sort of) what's going on!

PeterR
02-17-2005, 06:46 PM
I must add that at Honbu there is no order for kyu ranks. Just the Dan grades.

In my little group I've extended it to Kyu grades - I find its a nice simple way to acknowledge effort put in.

Meggy Gurova
02-17-2005, 07:27 PM
In our dojo the rule is to line up according to the dress code.To the left we have the beginners dressed without gi, then the people with white belt ( 6,5 and 4 kyu), then the people with white belt and hakama ( 3, 2 and 1 kyu), then the black belts.
I have problem lining up when I go to seminars. How am I supposed to know were to sit? And it seems like everybody else knows where they should sit! I always try to sit to the left off the hakama people but there is always a fight for those places :)

Qatana
02-17-2005, 07:45 PM
We don't line up by rank, we just go get in line. Nevr had to do the rank thing for seminars,either.
When we line up tho, our highest ranking member, who is 75, usually sits closest to the door...

Pauliina Lievonen
02-17-2005, 08:42 PM
We do line up by rank, but not religiously, that is, it's more important that it happens without fuss than that everybody is exactly in their correct place. Dress code is usually observed at least, sweats left, hakamas right and everybody else in the middle. At our own seminars it's mostly just hakamas right and everybody else left.

During class people are free to line up whereever they want, but we have a heck of a time of convicing newbies to come out of their safe left corner sometimes. :)

kvaak
Pauliina

Natasha Bradley
02-18-2005, 05:37 AM
Our usual line-up is men on the right, women on the left. It's not about dividing the sexes, but the ladies changing-room is furthest away from the mat and we're usually too busy chatting and we have to come rushing in in time as everyone starts sitting in seiza. (that is, if the women come to class, it's been very lonely in the changing-room recently: girls, where are you?)

grondahl
02-18-2005, 06:08 AM
I have problem lining up when I go to seminars. How am I supposed to know were to sit? And it seems like everybody else knows where they should sit! I always try to sit to the left off the hakama people but there is always a fight for those places :)

But how could that be when you are one of the hakama people? ;)

At seminars I just try to sit somewhere in the middle.. not below the 6 kyus and not with to high ranking yudansha..

Meggy Gurova
02-18-2005, 06:26 AM
But how could that be when you are one of the hakama people? ;)

At seminars I just try to sit somewhere in the middle.. not below the 6 kyus and not with to high ranking yudansha..

I meant the place to the left off the people with hakama and to the right off the people without hakama, that's where we people with 3 kyu should be I suppose, but it feels like everybody else is 3 kyu, because when I try to sit next to the 4 kyu people (and try to get there) I usually end up siting next to the black belts anyway, for some reason... :confused:

Peter Goldsbury
02-18-2005, 08:08 AM
When seated in seiza at the beginning or ending of the class for bowing, people is seated by rank order.

My question is, for proper etiquette, in what order people with the same rank has to be seated?

Date of testing/rank?
Date of joining the dojo?
Age?
Other?

Tanks and regards.

I think there is no standard protocal anyway. In the Aikikai Hombu there is no lining up according to rank or seniority and I have never experienced this in all my 35 years of aikido training.

So, my question to you is: by what standards do you define "proper etiquette"? In the Aikikai, etiquette seems to depend on local practice and traditions, rather than any directive or example from Japan. The only 'proper etiquette' I am familar with is that the lines should be straight and people should not line up too closely together.

In Japanese university clubs the situation is quite different, with kanbu students at the front, 2nd year students behind, and freshers, with or without keikougi, depending on the tine of the year, in the 3rd row. Fourth year students and senior people line up in the last row. However, I have never encountered this practice outside Japanese universities.

Best regards,

Meggy Gurova
02-18-2005, 09:12 AM
The only 'proper etiquette' I am familiar with is that the lines should be straight and people should not line up too closely together.


Here in Sweden we sit very close to each other, and sometimes we are so close it's hard to breath properly :D
So once I went to visit a dojo in another country and when we line up (we were 3 that day, me and 2 guys) they were sitting the length off one bokken apart from each other, then I line up to the left off the guy in the middle and very close to him. I assumed the other guy to the right was going to move closer, but he didn't. Then the guy in the middle looked at me and started to feel uncomfortable :D :D :D
So thats the way I understood I has supposed to make a distance. I was so embarrassed! :blush:

Terry Donaghe
02-18-2005, 11:14 AM
At my dojo we line up in ranks with no regards to order in a particular rank. When we practice sensei likes for everyone to mix up usually senior people with less experienced people. The yudansha usually get the chance to beat up on each other when sensei splits the class into larger groups for some exercize.

MaryKaye
02-18-2005, 05:00 PM
We always have some experienced students at the beginners' classes. Last night we ended up with a first kyu, a fourth kyu, and two first-week newbies. By accident of arrival order that was the way we sat down, so we were sorted by rank.

I actually felt quite uncomfortable with this; the newcomers seemed to read it as "us" versus "them" and were noticably uneasy about approaching the seniors to train. Since the reason we have beginners' classes is to train the beginners, not to train the senior students, this is the last thing we want. The senior students made sure to break up the seating order after the first technique and not let it get like that again.

Ordinarily we never line up by rank for anything, even seminars; the only exception is group photos, which put hakama wearers in front. Even the kids, who wear colored belts, don't do it. I wouldn't object to the practice if I were a guest, but I wouldn't commend it to my own dojo.

I visited one dojo that had a tradition of training in gi and white belt, for everybody, in the summer. It was fun trying to guess ranks, especially across a style difference! I usually wasn't off by too much, it turned out.

Mary Kaye

batemanb
02-19-2005, 03:14 AM
We always have some experienced students at the beginners' classes. Last night we ended up with a first kyu, a fourth kyu, and two first-week newbies. By accident of arrival order that was the way we sat down, so we were sorted by rank.

I actually felt quite uncomfortable with this; the newcomers seemed to read it as "us" versus "them" and were noticably uneasy about approaching the seniors to train. Since the reason we have beginners' classes is to train the beginners, not to train the senior students, this is the last thing we want. The senior students made sure to break up the seating order after the first technique and not let it get like that again.


We only line up in grade order for the starting rei and the ending rei. During class you sit were you land when jumping back into line. We explain this to everyone when they start, helps get over any us vs. them issues.


rgds

Bryan

Kevin Kelly
02-20-2005, 03:09 PM
Here in Sweden we sit very close to each other,

So do we. Just about hip to hip.

So once I went to visit a dojo in another country and when we line up (we were 3 that day, me and 2 guys) they were sitting the length off one bokken apart from each other, then I line up to the left off the guy in the middle and very close to him. I assumed the other guy to the right was going to move closer, but he didn't. Then the guy in the middle looked at me and started to feel uncomfortable :D :D :D
So thats the way I understood I has supposed to make a distance. I was so embarrassed! :blush:

Our classes are usually pretty big, so we try to squeeze everyone into one line. Even when the classes aren't that full, we tend to sit right next to each other.

Our classes, we have Sensei up front, Black Belts just behind and to the far right of mat in their own line, everyone else behind them.

After we are done practicing whatever it is that Sensei showed us and he claps twice, everyone just moves to the sides of the mat, in no particular order and sit in seiza to watch the next technique.

stuartjvnorton
02-20-2005, 05:11 PM
I can't image having 30+ people trying to figure out how to line up.

That's the thing: you don't need to figure out 30+ people: you only need to work out about 5 or 6 people at the most (not all of whom will be there in the 1 class anyway). The rest are obviously above or below you.
To be honest: those 6 or so are pretty easy too, seeing as you most likely went through the ranks with them.
The only uncertainty is if you join a dojo that does it and you have some rank already.
In that case, I'd suggest sitting at the bottom of the belts of your colour until the others invite you to sit above them, which they will usually do when they are used to ordering themselves.

Lyle Laizure
02-26-2005, 06:52 PM
By testing date and if there are more than one person testing for the same rank during a given testing it is the eldest who would then be senior.

jimbaker
02-26-2005, 11:18 PM
A while ago back in Brooklyn, we were, as usual, spread out all over the place waiting for Hal to get on the mat.

Hal looked out at us and said, "Could you give me a straight line?"

Mike looked up at him and said, "Two jews walk into a bar...".

Maybe it helps to get it if you're from Brooklyn.

Jim Baker
Aikido of Norfolk

Charles Hill
02-27-2005, 01:25 AM
I can`t help thinking that lining up by rank is similar to the problem that Saotome Sensei saw in dojo where only yudansha wore hakama. He wrote in one of his books that at such dojo, the yudansha were often egotistical. I can see this being the same in the idea of lining up by rank.

Charles Hill

Bronson
02-27-2005, 09:22 AM
I can`t help thinking that lining up by rank is similar to the problem that Saotome Sensei saw in dojo where only yudansha wore hakama. He wrote in one of his books that at such dojo, the yudansha were often egotistical. I can see this being the same in the idea of lining up by rank.

I think that blaming things like hakama, lining up by ranks, or competition (in reference to a different thread) for egotistical behavior is like me blaming my fork because I'm fat. The egotistical behavior happens because the dojo culture somehow supports it. It's the Sensei's responsibility to guide the culture in the dojo so that these things don't happen. It is completely and realistically possible to have all of these things (and others) without encouraging egotistical behavior in the students. I'd say that changing these things in an attempt to curb egotistical behavior would be like putting a band-aid on a severed hand....it might stop the bleeding but it doesn't fix the problem.

Just my take.

Bronson

stuartjvnorton
02-27-2005, 05:16 PM
Couldn't agree more, Bronson.

Charles Hill
02-28-2005, 05:50 AM
I think that blaming things like hakama, lining up by ranks, or competition (in reference to a different thread) for egotistical behavior is like me blaming my fork because I'm fat.

I don`t think Saotome Sensei`s point was that due to hakama policy that people are egotistical, but I`ll have to read the book again to be sure. I guess it could also be taken as a symptom, not a cause.

In Japanese culture, it is important to know where one stands in relation to another. Maybe that is where the lining up by ranks comes from. But then again, as Prof. Goldsbury pointed out, it is not down at Aikikai Honbu. In a non-Japanese culture, I am not sure it is necessary.

Charles

Ron Tisdale
02-28-2005, 08:33 AM
Well, I guess it would depend on *which* hombu you were training at... :) since some hombu do use the practice of lining up by rank.

Its interesting though...I do know one school that had a tradition of lining up by rank...the instructor now simply wants an orderly line, irrespective of rank for the most part (the senior student still leads the opening and closing rei). There is even a class where only the instructor and his assistant typically wear their black belt...just about everyone else wears white. At first there was a mad scramble for everyone to get their 'real' obi for the next class...but now many people just continue wearing their white belt for all three sessions.

I'm of two minds about this...in a dojo where aikido is thought of as culture, it may be important to understand the traditions, their place in the original society, and the meaning/purpose behind them. On the other hand, you can only transplant so much of the original culture without warping it (and perhaps fostering some of the things Charles and Saotome Sensei are/were thinking of). I guess as with most things, its a thin line...

Ron