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Takuan
05-02-2005, 10:14 PM
Hello everyone! This is my first post here at the Aikeweb forum. I've been training Aikido for about 15 years on and off. Next July I will be doing my shodan exam and I'm curious to know if there is an estimate of how many Aikido black belts there are around the world. Or even if there is an estimate of how many people practice Aikido. I'm really happy to be here sharing information about Aikido related subjects. Best regards to all.

Dan Rubin
05-02-2005, 10:49 PM
This might give you some idea:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=643

RebeccaM
05-02-2005, 11:39 PM
Next July I will be doing my shodan exam and I'm curious to know if there is an estimate of how many Aikido black belts there are around the world.
I am under the impression that shodans are a dime a dozen.

When I make the mistake of telling someone not involved in the martial arts I have a black belt they start oohing and ahhing. Even after I've told them that my shodan is roughly the equivalent of a high school diploma. It's very silly. No one oohs and ahhs over high school diplomas.

Melissa Fischer
05-02-2005, 11:51 PM
What about the huge number of shodans who get the belt then quit having "been there, done that". Do they get counted?

It's my understanding that shodan stands for "serious student", kinda neat.

Hey Rebeccah, we miss you here in Seattle! Come on back an bring that nidan bro of yours!

Melissa

ChrisHein
05-03-2005, 01:56 AM
Rank is over rated.

JJF
05-03-2005, 05:54 AM
Interesting question. Let's assume only actively practicing shodans are valid - then we can make a head count. I'll start.

ONE!!

ruthmc
05-03-2005, 07:21 AM
Interesting question. Let's assume only actively practicing shodans are valid - then we can make a head count. I'll start.

ONE!!
LOL!

TWO!! :D

Ruth

Rupert Atkinson
05-03-2005, 08:46 AM
That's easy (at least if you are in the AIkikai). When you get your certificate just look at the number - they are issued in numerical order.

aikidoc
05-03-2005, 09:47 AM
One of my students got his back in October and his number (aikikai) was 101,926. I don't know what percentage are active but suffice it to say there are at least 100K aikikai shodans. I have no idea about other styles.

Takuan
05-03-2005, 10:49 PM
Thank you all for your replies. I am also glad that the black belts that wrote here are so modest. I almost feel like a fraud for doing my exam in a couple of months. To me at this current stage of training, it's almost as if all I have achieved is memorizing certain techniques. I truly feel my training has only just begun.

JJF
05-04-2005, 04:12 AM
Thank you all for your replies. I am also glad that the black belts that wrote here are so modest. I almost feel like a fraud for doing my exam in a couple of months. To me at this current stage of training, it's almost as if all I have achieved is memorizing certain techniques. I truly feel my training has only just begun.

Sounds like you are just about ready :D

I just took my shodan-exam this easter, and it left an empty blank space. Suddenly my aikido felt completely hollow and useless. It was very frustrating. Little by little I'm getting back though and by now I enjoy it again. See the other thread on this site named "´Now what" or something like that. There I try to describe my experience.

I guess my advice is to expect a feeling of a 'low' right after the grading instead of the 'high' that one could expect. Maybe it won't happen to you, but if you expect it as a possibility then you might through it easier. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel ;)

Good luck and remember to have fun!!!

Jeremy Young
05-04-2005, 10:37 AM
Dan Rubin:

Thanks for posting that link. I have always thought that this was interesting. My girlfriend is always finding this amusing that here in our little dojo in the united states we are so serious about the training and etiquette and yet when she has visited a dojo in japan it is not so much this way. Many times she has commented that americans (and i am sure this is true of other countries as well) seem to be more serious about the japanese martial arts than the japanese are! I also remember one time someone asking Obata sensei whether there was a higher quality of ma training in Japan and he replied something similar.
Jeremy

Takuan
05-04-2005, 10:43 PM
Thanks Jørgen for that post. I have heard about the Shodan blues and I guess I am preparing for it in a way. Of course first I have to pass the exam ; - )

Just as I thought there are very few black belts around the world compared to the amount of people that train or have trained Aikido. To persevere seems to be fundamental in Budo, so many people just quit somewhere along the line.