PDA

View Full Version : unfair belt rankings


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


aikigirl10
05-06-2005, 09:58 PM
hi, im a 2nd degree blue belt , i'm 14 yrs old and i have been taking aikido since i was 8 or 9. when i recieved my first belt it was yellow, i then got orange, then blue and then a 2nd degree blue. But what bothers me is... my sensei only did this type of belt ranking w/the childrens class for a short period of time. Now i see adults recieving 1st degree blue as their first belt and they dont seem nearly as experienced as i was when i got my first belt , because 2 belts have been skipped (didnt mean to sound conceited) . And there doesnt seem to be a longer time period b4 recieving it or anything. Just a week ago at our dojo a girl recieved her blue belt and she cant even take a hard fall or do techniques the correct way.

Sorry i dont want to sound like im complaining , but i see this as a real problem , i think everyone should have the oppurtunity to get as much experience as the next person. I think this will only create problems down the road for other aikidoka . My sensei is a great instructor , but i think this is his one big flaw.

Please write me , giving your opinion
much appreciation
-Paige

Jeanne Shepard
05-06-2005, 10:53 PM
Kids need more tests and colored belts to keep them motivated. Adults don't get hung up on that sort of thing, that's why most dojos don't even have colored belts until shodan (black)

Not being hung up on this sort of thing is a sign of maturity. (hint).

Jeanne :p

akiy
05-06-2005, 11:06 PM
I'd say stop worrying about your and other people's rankings and get back to training. "Experience" doesn't come from the color of your belt...

In ten years, what you're worrying about right now won't matter at all, one way or another.

-- Jun

MikeLogan
05-06-2005, 11:19 PM
Paige,
It's all good, for some there is merit without skill, and for others (such as yourself) there is skill without merit, I think this is what Jeanne was trying to say (hint).

First, consider the amount of schooling/life experience these older albeit newer people come into the dojo with. They have had those years to learn how to learn, and they may pick concepts up more readily, at first . She isn't a 2nd degree blue like yourself, and by time she is, you may be ready to rank yet again, if you haven't already.

On the other hand, A bit of patience has to happen as well, physiologically speaking. You've been doing aikido with equipment you're used to for the last 5 years, and that equipment is changing. Psychologically your concern is valid, for your point in life. We all have to experience that hastiness before we learn to chill out a bit.

And finally look on the bright side, you could be me, 27 and only one of those years spent in aikido. At least as far as aikido goes, I am tremendously envious of you. Think of where you'll be when you reach the age of this new gal, or even my age!

Have a good weekend, hope this helped

logan.

ChrisHein
05-07-2005, 12:14 AM
"I'd say stop worrying about your and other people's rankings and get back to training. "Experience" doesn't come from the color of your belt...

In ten years, what you're worrying about right now won't matter at all, one way or another."

You'll spend most of your life as a black belt if you keep training, so why worrie.

-Chris Hein

thomas_dixon
05-07-2005, 01:07 AM
Here:

http://www.blackbeltshop.com/deluxe_black_belts.htm

Problem solved.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and read the above posts.

samurai_kenshin
05-07-2005, 02:56 AM
don't be disheartened by this. Learn from it. Life won't always be fair, so you'll just have to live with it. 5th kyu. That's where I am. I had the same problem. A guy twice my age (if not more) got to take his first test within two weeks of joining the dojo. It took me nearly a month. I took all the same calsses, did all the same techniques. Yeah, I was a little pissed, but it didn't stop me. I actually take a little satisfaction because sensei corrects him more than she corrects me. You have the skill level, he has the belt. Put it this way...Which works better in a fight? Skill, or a colored belt? Think about it. (BTW, I'm only 13) One more thing that a very wise man told me once: "Less chat, more mat". That solves about anything.

eyrie
05-07-2005, 03:30 AM
Excellent post James. You're not really 13 are you? :confused:

:cool:

ChrisHein
05-07-2005, 03:34 AM
I also don't believe that post came from a 13 year old, Awesome!

-Chris Hein

eyrie
05-07-2005, 03:39 AM
BTW James, that should be "mettle" not "metal" in your sigblock ;)

Jorx
05-07-2005, 04:01 AM
That is why I do much love the BJJ perfomance-based belt system.

Chad Scott
05-07-2005, 08:52 AM
Don't focus on the belt. It's just something that keeps your uniform closed.

If it's any consolation, a few weeks ago while I was training in my beginner's class, I happened to catch a glimpse of Doshu (Ueshiba sensei) walking down the hall, and he was wearing a white belt with his keiko-gi (he had taken off his hakama and was holding it).

Aragorn
05-07-2005, 09:23 AM
What is a hakama? just curious.....
And about the thread,I agree with about everyone here.... (BTW, were did smilies go?)

SeiserL
05-07-2005, 10:10 AM
Got go with Jun, stop complaining and get back to training.

Unfair to who, according to who? Just because your instructor doesn't do it the way you want them to doesn't mean its unfair. It just means you would do it differently. And when you have your own school and classes you can.

Mary Eastland
05-07-2005, 10:47 AM
Paige. I agree with you. It does seem unfair. I think dedicated training should be acknowledged no matter what age you are. I have found in my training that some things don't seem the way I think they should be. I have noticed this and then decided whether or not I want to keep training. For me training is the most important thing so I just keep coming back.

I hope you find some resolution to this dilemma.
Mary

samurai_kenshin
05-07-2005, 12:50 PM
Excellent post James. You're not really 13 are you? :confused:

:cool:
No, I am. Born February 6, 1992, at kaizer permanente in Oakland, CA ;)

aikigirl10
05-07-2005, 01:22 PM
thanks everyone for all of your opinions , i think what i needed most was a little criticism. I hope to see more posts on here later . Thanks again! Paige

deepsoup
05-07-2005, 02:57 PM
I happened to catch a glimpse of Doshu (Ueshiba sensei) walking down the hall, and he was wearing a white belt with his keiko-gi

Well after all, he is the only guy teaching there who has no rank whatsoever. :)

Kevin Kelly
05-07-2005, 05:08 PM
What is a hakama? just curious.....
And about the thread,I agree with about everyone here.... (BTW, were did smilies go?)

hakama=black baggy pants

my smilies work... :)

samurai_kenshin
05-07-2005, 05:12 PM
darn you and your working smilies!

Lan Powers
05-07-2005, 06:20 PM
:) :) :).....mwaaahaaaaaahaaaaaaa!!

Mine too.
Lan :D

Jeanne Shepard
05-07-2005, 07:20 PM
Don't feel bad Paige.

Jeanne

Aragorn
05-07-2005, 08:46 PM
Oh....

:cool: :hypno: :sorry: mine to!!!!!
Lol
Regards,
:ai: :ki: :do:

RebeccaM
05-07-2005, 10:20 PM
You're the rank you're at, regardless of your belt color. It's really not that important. There's nothing unfair about your sensei shaking up the colors a bit. It's not as if you've been demoted.

The ever changing belt color drove me nuts when I was doing karate. Not only in terms of the ego that gets attached to belt color but also in terms of what it did to my wallet. I was a very poor college student so coming up with the money to both pay the exam fee and then buy a belt was a struggle, especially if I wanted to, you know, eat more than bread and peanut butter that week. Belt colors are pointless. You can tell more or less where someone is in their training just by the way they move.

samurai_kenshin
05-08-2005, 12:22 AM
well...at least my kanji work...:ai::ki::do:

Aragorn
05-08-2005, 09:54 PM
well...at least my kanji work...
Mine to :ai: :ki: :do: lol!

i sign my name with it! :) I like smilies! (do you mind if i go crazy?) :hypno: :freaky: :confused:
Regards,
:ai: :ki: :do:

samurai_kenshin
05-08-2005, 10:42 PM
well, now we're just going insane... :eek:

JohnWu
05-09-2005, 02:43 AM
1. Aikido is not about ranking. If you want the black belt quick and fast, you can always get one easily from the shop.

2. IMHO, not all balck belters are that good too. So long you know your strength and weaknesses, its good enough. Afterall, its a non-competitive sports so don't take the color belt that seriously.

Regards,

Sonja2012
05-09-2005, 03:32 AM
"Less chat, more mat".

Love that!!! :)

po_courcelles
10-05-2005, 11:12 PM
Paige, just wanted you to know that i sympathize with you.

I started Aikido 5 years or so ago and i had to stop after little less than 2 years of practice (moved out of town). I started back in January and, coincidence, I met back a fellow Aikidoka that began Aikido with me 5 years ago in our old hometown...

Guess what, i still don't have my 4th kyu yet and i witnessed his 1st kyu grading last spring. I also met a few others old comrades while attending a seminar and some that were fresh new begginers when I left are now all 2nd and 1st kyu. :disgust:

What a shame and a waste of time have I told myself at first...It was a hard but valuable ego lesson. Who cares if a guy I onced helped to learn Ukemis now beats the sh*t out of me? I know for sure that I'm doing Aikido because I love it and for my own training only, not in a race against some sempais.

IMHO, your issue about your grading speed and my little bring-the-ego-down-to-earth story and both a great exemple of one of O-Sensei's goal in Aikido: masakatsu agatsu -> Victory over yourself.

Try to use this experience in a constructive way, like someone said: there is merit without skill and skill without merit. I'd like to add my version: skill with merit -> the one you award yourself.

Last note: makes me think of a prof. i had in university that once told us in the class right before a final: "If it doesn't hurts, it's worth nothing doing it. See ya at the bar." :crazy:

I liked that one...

Keep on your practice,

P-O

aikigirl10
10-06-2005, 12:03 AM
Paige, just wanted you to know that i sympathize with you.

I started Aikido 5 years or so ago and i had to stop after little less than 2 years of practice (moved out of town). I started back in January and, coincidence, I met back a fellow Aikidoka that began Aikido with me 5 years ago in our old hometown...

Guess what, i still don't have my 4th kyu yet and i witnessed his 1st kyu grading last spring. I also met a few others old comrades while attending a seminar and some that were fresh new begginers when I left are now all 2nd and 1st kyu. :disgust:

What a shame and a waste of time have I told myself at first...It was a hard but valuable ego lesson. Who cares if a guy I onced helped to learn Ukemis now beats the sh*t out of me? I know for sure that I'm doing Aikido because I love it and for my own training only, not in a race against some sempais.

IMHO, your issue about your grading speed and my little bring-the-ego-down-to-earth story and both a great exemple of one of O-Sensei's goal in Aikido: masakatsu agatsu -> Victory over yourself.

Try to use this experience in a constructive way, like someone said: there is merit without skill and skill without merit. I'd like to add my version: skill with merit -> the one you award yourself.

Last note: makes me think of a prof. i had in university that once told us in the class right before a final: "If it doesn't hurts, it's worth nothing doing it. See ya at the bar." :crazy:

I liked that one...

Keep on your practice,

P-O

Thanks for your concern.

I started this thread a long time ago, and my views on belt rankings have changed somewhat since then. I still feel like there should be only one belt system for adults and kids no matter what... it would just be easier for everyone. But i guess its not my dojo.

I am still 4th kyu. It seems a bit degrading even now that i havent had a test or advanced in almost 3 years. I know im growing in aikido and i learn everytime i go to class. But it seems like im the only one who recognizes my progress...and that alone can be disappointing whether i have "skill without merit" or not. But i understand what everyone has told me. I have grown mentally because i started another MA in the past year and im really gaining confidence because im told all the time that im best in the class (not bragging but compliments feel good). And thats just in one year.

The whole "belt ranking" thing doesnt get to me as much as it used to. I guess thats something u gain with age and experience. Right now aikido is just kind of acting as a '' side-kick" to my other MA (shaolin , in case your wondering) I know thats kind of a wrong way to look at aikido but i cant help it... shaolin is moving so fast and im really more into it right now, i have a tourney in 17 days and honestly i havent been to aikido in about 3 weeks but i still remember everything like i was there yesterday. Oh well... i guess in the end it will all work out okay. I'll move at the pace that i want to and everyone else will have to deal with that whether they think im progressing or not... Showing up at aikido at an average of about twice a month is okay with me right now.

-Paige

bogglefreak20
10-06-2005, 05:52 AM
We don't use coloured belt system where I train. Only white and black.

Come to think of it, I can't recall a single person in our dojo that wears his/her black belt.

macmcluskie
10-06-2005, 06:34 AM
Just another prospective but I run a children’s program that I had to create from nothing. Our nationally recognized organization doesn't award black belts to kids. You must be 18. I had to create enough belts to motivate but not let them test to black belt. For example an 8 year old comes to my school, trains hard, attends class regularly but cannot be awarded a black belt in less then 10 years. No matter how good he is. I agree this may not be fair. It becomes even harder when other styles hand out children’s black belts like candy.
On a side note, children who do stay the path and continue to train into adulthood are awesome and it shows that the time was well spent.

aikigirl10
10-06-2005, 09:43 AM
We don't use coloured belt system where I train. Only white and black.

Come to think of it, I can't recall a single person in our dojo that wears his/her black belt.

I would actually almost prefer it this way. This way you avoid ego alot more. This also allows you to see who is really skilled and who isnt.

Sonja2012
10-06-2005, 09:55 AM
I would actually almost prefer it this way. This way you avoid ego alot more. This also allows you to see who is really skilled and who isnt.

Hmmm, I wish I could agree, but from what I have seen, everybody inside a dojo knows pretty much exactly what kyu rank the other deshi are anyway - coloured belts or not. It sounds like a good idea because it seems that having only white belts would get rid of the competition between people. But I think that (if I like it or not) competition is part of human nature and therefore it only covers the "problem". It is great at seminars though, where people do not know each other.

In our organisation we have dan ranks for teenagers up to 18 (errrr.... years old I should add, not 18 dan ranks :) ). They don´t have to do the theoretical part of the test, but have to do that as soon as they turn 18 or they loose the rank. Alternately they can do the three week´s course/certificate for teaching aikido when they turn 18.

aikigirl10
10-06-2005, 10:34 AM
Hmmm, I wish I could agree, but from what I have seen, everybody inside a dojo knows pretty much exactly what kyu rank the other deshi are anyway - coloured belts or not. It sounds like a good idea because it seems that having only white belts would get rid of the competition between people. But I think that (if I like it or not) competition is part of human nature and therefore it only covers the "problem". It is great at seminars though, where people do not know each other.

In our organisation we have dan ranks for teenagers up to 18 (errrr.... years old I should add, not 18 dan ranks :) ). They don´t have to do the theoretical part of the test, but have to do that as soon as they turn 18 or they loose the rank. Alternately they can do the three week´s course/certificate for teaching aikido when they turn 18.

I guess if they still tell you what kyu you are all the time and they still test you for every kyu then i guess it wouldnt be a whole lot better.

I thought she meant that there was no testing until black belt. My mistake.

John Boswell
10-06-2005, 11:00 AM
Paige,

I envy your study of Shaolin. By the time I got around to studying martial arts, I felt that my body was so worn out from life that every other MA out there would only injure me more. Aikido has been good to me, keeps me in shape and I enjoy it... so I'll stick with what I know.

I'm sorry to hear your not progressing in aikido though. Two classes a month isn't going to get you anywhere, whether rank matters or not. Had I been in your shoes when you first started this post, I would have approached the Sensei and told him/her my concerns and gotten feedback on it. Sure, kids are graded differently than adults, in various martial arts... and I've often wondered what a 12 year old "black belt" would think when they finally turned 16 or whatever age and were handed a kyu rank belt? I'd be a bit peeved to.

You mentioned a competition with your Shaolin MA, and if you enjoy tournaments, you might be in the right place. Personally, I like aikido because I do NOT want to compete. I'm not here for the rank, ego or anything else. I like learning a skill that will help me protect my family, loved ones and self. I know that going to class will get me and keep me in shape, develope balance and endurance I've not had for over ten years and give me a confidence so I can not worry about a lot of different things.

Aikido has given me something else I really enjoy: Wisdom. My mother had fallen a week ago and could not get herself around, couldn't stand hardly, go to the bathroom, none of that. Through my knowledge of Aikido, I found a way to lift her and safely move her from room to room without injury to myself or to her. I even got some "knee walking" in through the process. Anyone else would have had to call 911 and get medics to move her around, but she didn't want to make a "big fuss" over her situation... spared her some embaressment.

Do what is right for you. Learn all you can and enjoy and be sure you are where you are for the right reasons. I think if I were you, I'd shop around some other dojo's and try them out, talk to other instructors and see how they do things. If something at your aikido dojo upset you and caused you not only to vanish off the mat, but change arts altogether... perhaps it wasn't as great as you first thought??? Don't want to speak ill of your Sensei... but it might be something to consider.

Good luck to you! Let us know if you win your tournament! :D

aikigirl10
10-06-2005, 01:04 PM
Paige,

I envy your study of Shaolin. By the time I got around to studying martial arts, I felt that my body was so worn out from life that every other MA out there would only injure me more. Aikido has been good to me, keeps me in shape and I enjoy it... so I'll stick with what I know.

I'm sorry to hear your not progressing in aikido though. Two classes a month isn't going to get you anywhere, whether rank matters or not. Had I been in your shoes when you first started this post, I would have approached the Sensei and told him/her my concerns and gotten feedback on it. Sure, kids are graded differently than adults, in various martial arts... and I've often wondered what a 12 year old "black belt" would think when they finally turned 16 or whatever age and were handed a kyu rank belt? I'd be a bit peeved to.

You mentioned a competition with your Shaolin MA, and if you enjoy tournaments, you might be in the right place. Personally, I like aikido because I do NOT want to compete. I'm not here for the rank, ego or anything else. I like learning a skill that will help me protect my family, loved ones and self. I know that going to class will get me and keep me in shape, develope balance and endurance I've not had for over ten years and give me a confidence so I can not worry about a lot of different things.

Aikido has given me something else I really enjoy: Wisdom. My mother had fallen a week ago and could not get herself around, couldn't stand hardly, go to the bathroom, none of that. Through my knowledge of Aikido, I found a way to lift her and safely move her from room to room without injury to myself or to her. I even got some "knee walking" in through the process. Anyone else would have had to call 911 and get medics to move her around, but she didn't want to make a "big fuss" over her situation... spared her some embaressment.

Do what is right for you. Learn all you can and enjoy and be sure you are where you are for the right reasons. I think if I were you, I'd shop around some other dojo's and try them out, talk to other instructors and see how they do things. If something at your aikido dojo upset you and caused you not only to vanish off the mat, but change arts altogether... perhaps it wasn't as great as you first thought??? Don't want to speak ill of your Sensei... but it might be something to consider.

Good luck to you! Let us know if you win your tournament! :D

Good post! thanks for the encouragement. I enjoy all of those things about aikido too.. its just a little slow moving right now.. i'll get back into the groove of things eventually. I realize twice a month isnt enough by a long shot and i beat myself up for it alot, but its just something i cant help right now. Shaolin is where my focus is at the moment and my aikido classes are about 45 minutes away so its kinda hard to get down there every week anyway. After this tournament (which i do plan on winning ;) ) i'll do my best to get back to aikido and more often.

Thanks , and i'll let everyone know how everything goes.

-Paige

aikidojoe
10-06-2005, 03:18 PM
Paige,

Train in your own manner, but it's good to set goals. You've set a goal for Shaolin, try setting one for aikido. Maybe not so lofty a goal that you feel it would be hard to attain, but something you KNOW you can do, and that will help to further motivate you.

Anyway, hope your tournement goes well,

Gambate Kudasai!

-Joe

aikigirl10
10-07-2005, 12:47 PM
Paige,

Train in your own manner, but it's good to set goals. You've set a goal for Shaolin, try setting one for aikido. Maybe not so lofty a goal that you feel it would be hard to attain, but something you KNOW you can do, and that will help to further motivate you.

Anyway, hope your tournement goes well,

Gambate Kudasai!

-Joe

Im just not sure what my goal for aikido would be. Its not like shaolin... My goal for shaolin is to win this tournament. What is there to be won in aikido? I can see long term goals, yes. My long term goal for aikido would be to one day (not any time soon) have a school of my own. I realize aikido isnt about winning or about beating someone else... its about learning and discovering things about yourself. And believe me i have learned ALOT through aikido, which is why , goal or not, i will always continue train in the art of aikido whether it is slow-moving or not.

Nick P.
10-07-2005, 01:08 PM
Some say it's an endless journey, this study of Aikido.
The goal might just be to show up to pracice, and not much else.

giriasis
10-07-2005, 01:52 PM
Im just not sure what my goal for aikido would be. Its not like shaolin... My goal for shaolin is to win this tournament. What is there to be won in aikido? I can see long term goals, yes. My long term goal for aikido would be to one day (not any time soon) have a school of my own. I realize aikido isnt about winning or about beating someone else... its about learning and discovering things about yourself. And believe me i have learned ALOT through aikido, which is why , goal or not, i will always continue train in the art of aikido whether it is slow-moving or not.

You're goal doesn't have to be something to win. Pick a skill you might want to work on. Work on being more centered, learning to control uke, find more details to techniques. Work on learning from a resistant partner. Work on improving your ukemi whether it's better breakfalls, connection to nage, or taking only the necessary ukemi, etc. Work on variety of your techinques. Work on your movement and fluidity. Take some beginners under your wing to help them along and teach them what you already know. There's always room for improvement.

aikigirl10
10-07-2005, 02:26 PM
You're goal doesn't have to be something to win. Pick a skill you might want to work on. Work on being more centered, learning to control uke, find more details to techniques. Work on learning from a resistant partner. Work on improving your ukemi whether it's better breakfalls, connection to nage, or taking only the necessary ukemi, etc. Work on variety of your techinques. Work on your movement and fluidity. Take some beginners under your wing to help them along and teach them what you already know. There's always room for improvement.

sry, i wasnt trying to sound like i already knew everything. And i realize there is always room for improvement and every time i go to class i learn something new , usually more than one thing. I mean obviously everyones goal is to be better at aikido and improve themselves. I think most people could agree on that.

Bottom line, i can only do so much at once. Sometimes with crosstraining comes sacrifices. When there is something important going on in one art i try to take time off from the other art to focus on it. And i do this with both shaolin and aikido. When im getting ready for a test in aikido i only go to shaolin about twice a month. The thing is i never test in aikido, i dont think anyone recognizes me progressing at all. So , as long as its going this way i probably will be more into shaolin than aikido.

giriasis
10-07-2005, 03:30 PM
sry, i wasnt trying to sound like i already knew everything. And i realize there is always room for improvement and every time i go to class i learn something new , usually more than one thing. I mean obviously everyones goal is to be better at aikido and improve themselves. I think most people could agree on that.

I didn't mean to imply that you sounded like you were implying you knew everything.

I was replying your statement: Im just not sure what my goal for aikido would be. Its not like shaolin... My goal for shaolin is to win this tournament. What is there to be won in aikido?

It's just that you asked for what kind of goals you can set in aikido. I was just providing you examples of goals that are not as concrete as winning a tournament or obtaining a rank. Goals that are practical for your given situation.

Even if you can only make two classes a month in aikido because of your shaolin training, that doesn't mean you have no goals to focus on while in class, since when you are in aikido you focus should be aikido. You can still focus on accomplishing something even if it's learning that goal setting doesn't always include a tangible award. It could be the satisfaction of helping a newbie learn to roll or it could be the statisfaction of putting your 100% into aikido. These are all things you can do in class without it interfering with your shaolin training and without giving you extra tasks to do outside of class.

aikigirl10
10-07-2005, 03:59 PM
Some say it's an endless journey, this study of Aikido.
The goal might just be to show up to pracice, and not much else.

some how i looked over your post.

But i agree. All martial arts are endless journeys if you choose them to be that way.

And right now my goal for aikido would be to show up more often. You hit the nail on the head.

PeterKang
10-14-2005, 05:33 AM
Hi Paige,
I'm actually envious that you're only fourteen and you've started training aikido. I started much later... into my thirties..... and I am only going to hit a ceiling as to how well I can perform aikido and take ukemi. I simply cannot be as flexible and as agile compared to if I started learning aikido when I was a teenager. I still give my training everything I've got but my body can only move so much and bend so much.
If you keep training regularly, chances are that you're could be a much better shodan compared to me. I think that the general observation is that people who begin aikido at earlier age and who continue to train have greater potential to excel, as opposed to yours truly with the creaky joints and hardening tendons.

As mentioned in previous posts, don't worry about it and just keep enjoying your aikido practice.

Regards,

Peter

PeterR
10-14-2005, 05:51 AM
To a 14 year old one year is 1/14 of their life.

To a 43 year old it is 1/43rd.

My daughter reminded me about that when I told her she was being impatient and should wait.
Its all relative.

crbateman
10-14-2005, 07:29 PM
To a 14 year old one year is 1/14 of their life.

To a 43 year old it is 1/43rd.

My daughter reminded me about that when I told her she was being impatient and should wait.
Its all relative.
Your daughter makes an interesting point, Peter, but perhaps you could respond that being 14 means she has so much more time ahead of her in which to accomplish, than someone of 43, and that perhaps that gives you more reason to be impatient, but you are not so. If you can be patient, she should be able to, as well. Nothing that's really important lends itself to the instant gratification route.

Patrick Crane
10-15-2005, 01:17 AM
If you still have your old white belt, go back to wearing it. Wear it proudly but say nothing.
If anyone asks, tell them it's none of their business.
If your sensei asks, tell him it's simply the belt you prefer to wear until you rate a black one and leave it at that.

If your main focus is shaolin and the competitive aspects that come with it, let your aikido training goals center around developing your ma-ai and your "sixth sense" of feeling how your opponent is shifting his weight and when he's about to move.

PeterR
10-15-2005, 05:07 AM
Your daughter makes an interesting point, Peter, but perhaps you could respond that being 14 means she has so much more time ahead of her in which to accomplish, than someone of 43, and that perhaps that gives you more reason to be impatient, but you are not so. If you can be patient, she should be able to, as well. Nothing that's really important lends itself to the instant gratification route.
Patrick - it really depends on what you are talking about and what the window of opportunity is. I brought up the little quip only because it is very easy for us old guys to talk about time and forget how relative that can be. In my daughters case we were talking about 9 years of hard training and a very narrow window of opportunity she feels she may be missing - not instant gratification.

The above is not Aikido but the intensity of a young persons drive is easily forgotten. We may talk about Aikido being a major part of our life but to feel it to our very core - I don't know. What you and I would consider a minor setback is more keenly felt with this mindset.

PeterR
10-15-2005, 05:35 AM
As an aside there is an effort made at Shodokan Honbu dojo to make clear the relationship between what we call "student" grades and "adult" grades. When children are moved to the adult class they actually start right at the bottom but tend to move up quickly especially those that were quite advanced to begin with. The kids understand what to expect. From re-reading the first post perhaps Paige's sensei failed in this regard.

More than once I have seen the opposite effect. An adult at their first grading (and I am specifically thinking about a few of my students that had not been to Honbu prior to grading) totally depressed by the difference in their performance with a 12 year old. No no you don't understand - he's already been doing Aikido for 6 years.

mathewjgano
10-15-2005, 07:25 AM
Thanks for your concern.
I started this thread a long time ago, and my views on belt rankings have changed somewhat since then. I still feel like there should be only one belt system for adults and kids no matter what... it would just be easier for everyone. But i guess its not my dojo.
I am still 4th kyu. It seems a bit degrading even now that i havent had a test or advanced in almost 3 years. I know im growing in aikido and i learn everytime i go to class. But it seems like im the only one who recognizes my progress...and that alone can be disappointing whether i have "skill without merit" or not. But i understand what everyone has told me. I have grown mentally because i started another MA in the past year and im really gaining confidence because im told all the time that im best in the class (not bragging but compliments feel good). And thats just in one year.
The whole "belt ranking" thing doesnt get to me as much as it used to. I guess thats something u gain with age and experience. Right now aikido is just kind of acting as a '' side-kick" to my other MA (shaolin , in case your wondering) I know thats kind of a wrong way to look at aikido but i cant help it... shaolin is moving so fast and im really more into it right now, i have a tourney in 17 days and honestly i havent been to aikido in about 3 weeks but i still remember everything like i was there yesterday. Oh well... i guess in the end it will all work out okay. I'll move at the pace that i want to and everyone else will have to deal with that whether they think im progressing or not... Showing up at aikido at an average of about twice a month is okay with me right now.
-Paige
To repeat many others: rank ultimately means very little. Consider that in one dojo, a shodan is another's dojo's 1st kyu. It's all relative. At my home dojo we only use the colored belts for the children's classes because it's a motivational device. In the adult class, beyond 5th kyu (our first test) there is absolutely no way of telling what rank someone is unless you can feel the difference or ask them. In my opinion you should never compare yourself to others except as a way of learning something from them. One student who began around the time I did was very good at remembering techniques and making them work better than me. I, however, was better at ukemi and would often get called on by Sensei to demonstrate a technique. My good ukemi made me able to find the holes in his technique later on. Who's "better"? No one. While it's true we each progress in a somewhat linear way, each of us has different strengths and weaknesses. Personally i could care less if I remain a 5th kyu and everyone reaches shodan. That I am learning sincerely for the sake of learning is all that matters. Besides, i find i have learned more quickly with that attitude than worrying (even slightly) about when I'll get that next number to describe my "official" progress. There's a valid point to grading, but it's trivial compared to training itself.
Gambatte!
Matt

aikigirl10
10-15-2005, 09:12 AM
To repeat many others: rank ultimately means very little. Consider that in one dojo, a shodan is another's dojo's 1st kyu. It's all relative. At my home dojo we only use the colored belts for the children's classes because it's a motivational device. In the adult class, beyond 5th kyu (our first test) there is absolutely no way of telling what rank someone is unless you can feel the difference or ask them. In my opinion you should never compare yourself to others except as a way of learning something from them. One student who began around the time I did was very good at remembering techniques and making them work better than me. I, however, was better at ukemi and would often get called on by Sensei to demonstrate a technique. My good ukemi made me able to find the holes in his technique later on. Who's "better"? No one. While it's true we each progress in a somewhat linear way, each of us has different strengths and weaknesses. Personally i could care less if I remain a 5th kyu and everyone reaches shodan. That I am learning sincerely for the sake of learning is all that matters. Besides, i find i have learned more quickly with that attitude than worrying (even slightly) about when I'll get that next number to describe my "official" progress. There's a valid point to grading, but it's trivial compared to training itself.
Gambatte!
Matt

Like i've said before... the only reason i'm even worried about the rank is b/c it seems like no one recognizes my progress but me. And that makes me think that after 7 years maybe im really not progressing, and thats disappointing. It really has nothing to do with the other students.

When i set out to do something i always do my best, whether its guitar, the drums, softball, school , whatever. And for once it seems like my best isnt good enough. That kills me. I know it sounds like im a perfectionist.. but im far from it, i just have certain expectations of myself.

And then here lately there has been alot of distraction during class, which creates a negative atmosphere which keeps me from wanting to go back as often as i should. Theres that one guy who just started and thinks he can teach me everything. He'll actually make up stuff that i was doing wrong just so he can show the teacher how he corrected me. God i just want to side kick him in face. And then theres the fact the sensei has been absent alot due to work.. allowing the sempais to teach. This fricken sucks because the sempais treat me like a 5 yr old girl. They wont even let me take a hard fall, and they ask me every 5 seconds if im ok. I've been doing this since i was 8!! Sensei is the only person that has ever treated me how i should be treated. I want to be thrown as hard as the guys and i dont want to be held back in any way. And i have great respect for my sensei for this reason. But again... hes never there.

As u can see aikido for me right now is just a shithole and i think its better if i focus on shaolin for a while. Thanks for all your advice tho. Keep em coming if you want.

-Paige

aikigirl10
10-15-2005, 09:16 AM
If you still have your old white belt, go back to wearing it. Wear it proudly but say nothing.
If anyone asks, tell them it's none of their business.
If your sensei asks, tell him it's simply the belt you prefer to wear until you rate a black one and leave it at that.

If your main focus is shaolin and the competitive aspects that come with it, let your aikido training goals center around developing your ma-ai and your "sixth sense" of feeling how your opponent is shifting his weight and when he's about to move.

This is a good idea about the white belt i would do it if my white belt fit me ... i had it when i was 8. But if i can find my shaolin white belt then i may just start doing this.

thoss
10-15-2005, 09:58 AM
Why worry about belt rank ?

skill and knowlage are all thats important .
your still being taught ?

aikigirl10
10-15-2005, 10:31 AM
read some of my above posts

Patrick Crane
10-15-2005, 03:00 PM
"it seems like no one recognizes my progress but me."

Beautiful, keep it that way, for as long as you can.
A rattle snake will stay in that coiled up position til the last instant before striking, so it's prey can't judge how long of a striking range it may have.
"Never let them see you coming" - Al Pacino to Keanu Reeves in "Devil's Own"



"after 7 years maybe im really not progressing"

After 7 years you're progressing in ways that can't be identified, especially by some annoying newbie, as simply/objectively as knowing this or that technique.
At this point, there are no "secret" techniques your sensei knows that you don't know.
If he were attacked by some road-raging loony with a tire iron, you could watch and identify by name every technique he would apply.
So what is the difference between his Dan-ranked aikido and your Kyu-ranked aikido if you both know all the same techniques?
Ki.....ma-ai.....zenshin....etc.etc.
Those are the areas in which your progress will be measured from now on.
Ironically, those are also the things that will enable you to decisively dominate all your shaolin opponents.




"Theres that one guy who just started and thinks he can teach me everything. He'll actually make up stuff that i was doing wrong just so he can show the teacher how he corrected me. God i just want to side kick him in face."

Hmmmm, is he near your age?........he might have a crush on you, lol, lucky you.
Actually, this is an annoyance you will have to deal with more and more, especially once you're 18.
Maybe some of the women here can give some advice on how to deal with dudes who think the dojo is a matchmaking service.
If he' an older, adult guy, especially as a newbie, he may just be very intimidated in general. People act out in strange ways when they're intimidated.




"This fricken sucks because the sempais treat me like a 5 yr old girl. They wont even let me take a hard fall, and they ask me every 5 seconds if im ok."

Lol, it sounds like it.
In their defense, they're probably just trying not to get sued.
My sensei likes to say: "....this won't kill you; but if it does, you signed a waiver."



"aikido for me right now is just a shithole and i think its better if i focus on shaolin for a while."

Definitely discuss this with your sensei next time you can get ahold of him. After all, you're not just a student, you're a customer. No business wants a good customer to go away dissatisfied.

Patrick Crane
10-15-2005, 03:08 PM
"Never let them see you coming" - Al Pacino to Keanu Reeves in "Devil's Own"


Ooops, sorry, that should be Devil's Advocate.
Devil's Own had Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt.

aikigirl10
10-15-2005, 04:36 PM
Hmmmm, is he near your age?........he might have a crush on you, lol, lucky you.
Actually, this is an annoyance you will have to deal with more and more, especially once you're 18.
Maybe some of the women here can give some advice on how to deal with dudes who think the dojo is a matchmaking service.
If he' an older, adult guy, especially as a newbie, he may just be very intimidated in general. People act out in strange ways when they're intimidated.



Lol no hes not near my age. Hes probably in his mid 20's and hes married so i dont think its anything to do with a crush. I think hes the kind of person that would do anything to make himself look better than everyone else. He reminds me of some kind of rodent. Hes only like 5'4" and his heads to big for his body. He has that "small dog" attitude where he thinks hes bigger than he really is. Hell, he has to crane his neck just to look me in the eyes so i can definitely see how he would be intimidated.

He wouldnt bother me so much, if he didnt intentionally try to make me look bad, and correct things that i wasnt even doing wrong. He just makes coming to aikido something that i dread. If he keeps it up i probably will talk to my sensei, because hes not my teacher, hes far from it.

giriasis
10-15-2005, 05:05 PM
As far as someone new correcting you, it comes with the territory of being more advanced. There is always those one or two day-one or week-one newbies who always seem to want to correct your technique. It happens to me and I'm 35 and they're in their early 20s. I see them as young upstarts who think they know better than me. Just ignore those kind of things, and if ignoring them doesn't work go over to your sensei for "help" ;). After they get to know you their attitudes will change overtime. Also, double check yourself to make sure they might be right, as that happens sometimes. And if asking sensei doesn't help you can just let them flail on their own. ;) That usually gets the point across that they don't know what their doing or talking about. A little eeeeviiill, yes, but it works. ;) But becareful and don't allow things to turn into a contest of wills. Give them regular ukemi you always do, but just don't "help" them. Or you can tell them that you prefer to work on the technique on your own, but while they might make a valid point that is not what you are working on the moment. (which is a nice way to say "shut the Heck up.")

You're going through a plateau right now and that's not a bad thing. In someways when you don't think you're learning you actually are. I just tested for my 1st kyu and have been practicing aikido for almost 6.5 years now. You've already learned all those big hurdles you have to go through. That was my point a while back to start making other things your goals because to me it sounded like you have already learned THE basics. So what you need to work on are those things you "always work on," you know what I mean? It's about making those things BETTER. Take those things another level. It may not seem like it but if you keep at it they will improve. It's just not as obvious as, "Great! You figured out shihonage!" or "Great! You did a great breakfall!" Those things are probably already great in you sensei's eyes so he doesn't need to correct them anymore. Take the time you have to explore you techniques to find those minute details that really make your techniques work.

Regarding the assistant instructors not throwing you hard enough, tell them that they can throw you. But realize, normally most people when they don't know someone they start easy then once they get to know you they start throwing harder OR they just throw everyone hard or everyone soft. When they ask if you are alright take it is a compliment that they don't want to hurt you, but turn it around and tell them that they can throw you even harder. Tell them you like to be throw hard and that you like getting air time. We have few teens in our dojo and they are all very capable of being thrown hard. It's just that these adults who are not used to training with you need to get as comfortable throwing you into breakfalls as you sensei is.

aikigirl10
10-15-2005, 06:10 PM
As far as someone new correcting you, it comes with the territory of being more advanced. There is always those one or two day-one or week-one newbies who always seem to want to correct your technique. It happens to me and I'm 35 and they're in their early 20s. I see them as young upstarts who think they know better than me. Just ignore those kind of things, and if ignoring them doesn't work go over to your sensei for "help" ;). After they get to know you their attitudes will change overtime. Also, double check yourself to make sure they might be right, as that happens sometimes. And if asking sensei doesn't help you can just let them flail on their own. ;) That usually gets the point across that they don't know what their doing or talking about. A little eeeeviiill, yes, but it works. ;) But becareful and don't allow things to turn into a contest of wills. Give them regular ukemi you always do, but just don't "help" them. Or you can tell them that you prefer to work on the technique on your own, but while they might make a valid point that is not what you are working on the moment. (which is a nice way to say "shut the Heck up.")

You're going through a plateau right now and that's not a bad thing. In someways when you don't think you're learning you actually are. I just tested for my 1st kyu and have been practicing aikido for almost 6.5 years now. You've already learned all those big hurdles you have to go through. That was my point a while back to start making other things your goals because to me it sounded like you have already learned THE basics. So what you need to work on are those things you "always work on," you know what I mean? It's about making those things BETTER. Take those things another level. It may not seem like it but if you keep at it they will improve. It's just not as obvious as, "Great! You figured out shihonage!" or "Great! You did a great breakfall!" Those things are probably already great in you sensei's eyes so he doesn't need to correct them anymore. Take the time you have to explore you techniques to find those minute details that really make your techniques work.

Regarding the assistant instructors not throwing you hard enough, tell them that they can throw you. But realize, normally most people when they don't know someone they start easy then once they get to know you they start throwing harder OR they just throw everyone hard or everyone soft. When they ask if you are alright take it is a compliment that they don't want to hurt you, but turn it around and tell them that they can throw you even harder. Tell them you like to be throw hard and that you like getting air time. We have few teens in our dojo and they are all very capable of being thrown hard. It's just that these adults who are not used to training with you need to get as comfortable throwing you into breakfalls as you sensei is.

Nice post. It seems like everytime i read your posts i feel like getting back in there and training. You have a thing for motivation.

aikigirl10
10-15-2005, 06:13 PM
^^ and that wasnt meant to be sarcastic or anything i really meant it ^^

rob_liberti
10-15-2005, 08:10 PM
In my opinion, if it isn't painfully obvious that you are senior to someone the moment they touch you, then you probably aren't all that senior to them.

Belt ranking will never be fair. I was recently told that although my teacher recommended that I should be considered for promotion to yondan that this was rejected because I haven't been to any *special* seminars with the head of the organization. I can't even attempt to fix the problem any time soon. The special seminars started about two years ago, and I have a two year old boy - and my wife has been injured. Also my job became remarkably more demanding in the past two years. In a few years, I'll be better and I'll have a bit more time, and it will be resolved. For now, I'll save the hundreds of dollars it costs to get a new "number".

Rob

mathewjgano
10-15-2005, 10:35 PM
it seems like no one recognizes my progress but me. And that makes me think that after 7 years maybe im really not progressing, and thats disappointing.

I can imagine.

When i set out to do something i always do my best, ...And for once it seems like my best isnt good enough. That kills me. I know it sounds like im a perfectionist.. but im far from it, i just have certain expectations of myself.

Without knowing what those certain expectations are it's hard for me to remark with validity, but one thing I have had to overcome is my tendancy to expect great things from myself. Expectations in general are troublesome in that they are essentially presumptions.

Theres that one guy who just started and thinks he can teach me everything. He'll actually make up stuff that i was doing wrong just so he can show the teacher how he corrected me. God i just want to side kick him in face

You certainly don't paint a pretty picture of the guy. In this dojo are people allowed to counter technique to display an opening? Maybe you should illustrate via this method if possible. I remember a few times where well-intentioned beginners would try and tell me I was doing a technique wrong (I didn't train regularly, so not recognizing me, they thought I was new). In some of these times I remember being able to show them how this was not the case, whether they were changing their attack mid-action, or they were skipping a crucial step where I would simply regain my center and counter their movement. It can be a touchy subject for some, and you should make sure they know you're teaching something sincerely, but often the best way to show someone is to make them feel it first-hand.

This fricken sucks because the sempais treat me like a 5 yr old girl. They wont even let me take a hard fall, and they ask me every 5 seconds if im ok

It seems like this has reached a point where it's quite annoying to you. In my opinion it's always best to handle a situation like this right away so it doesn't eat at you and create that negative atmosphere you mentioned. Email or call your sensei and discuss your frustrations. These kinds of issues, in a way, are the real crux to Aikido. How does one take a situation that is even slightly negative (let alone very negative) and make it a win-win situation?

As u can see aikido for me right now is just a shithole and i think its better if i focus on shaolin for a while.

Perhaps so. Only you can answer that of course. It's hard to choose between two great methods of training and sometimes perhaps it's best to experience a different style to increase your over-all perspective. Still, if you find Aikido to be something you want to continue to study, you should make that a reality. I have often in the past drifted from training because one thing or another was unpleasant, but nothing ever got solved that way. In the end, what usually needed changing was me. I'm not trying to imply your situation is the same as mine in this regard. Just reflecting aloud with what has come to mind after thinking about some of the things we've discussed. Thanks for the opportunity to do so.
Take care,
Matt

giriasis
10-15-2005, 11:34 PM
Nice post. It seems like everytime i read your posts i feel like getting back in there and training. You have a thing for motivation.

I'm glad you appreciate it. I just can hear the frustration in your words. Just don't give up and keep going at it. And I agree with the previous poster have sit down talk with your sensei. Let him know how your feeling and the frustrations that you are going through. (He needs feedback from you, too.) I did, and it helped me, a lot, to get over it.

aikigirl10
10-16-2005, 08:33 AM
I think i eventually will have to have a talk with my sensei because i think thats the only way i'll feel better about coming to aikido again. Thanks everyone for the advice.

O-Ren
10-23-2005, 02:32 AM
I just wonted to say I truly enjoyed reading this thread. Every one did a great job in guiding this young lady in a positive direction. :cool: I guess thats aikiakins for you. :) Paige I do hope everything works out for you, I couldn't imagine not looking forward to doing to class. :( Also, I do hope you stay with Aikido as well.
Best of luck to you, and happy training. :D
O-ren :ai: :ki: :do:

3girls
10-23-2005, 09:45 AM
Paige as a fellow aikidoka and as a father I will give you the same advice as I give my own daughters (all 3). It is very difficult to see others receive,get,win,or be promoted in what we perceive to be unjustified; right or wrong this is our perception. This will only lead you to anger and resentment on your part, whether you admit it or not you are already expressing those emotions...This is a NORMAL reaction remember that. What you must learn to do is not worry about what others may win, receive or when they get promoted when you think they are not ready, do not concern your self these kinds of thoughts they will only cause you grief. Learn to be happy for others and more understanding you will be much happier you and those around you will benefit. I know it is easier said than done and these thought will always be there but it is your choice whether or not you give them life. One last thing the BELT does NOT make the AIKIDOKA. :)

Good luck
BK

aikigirl10
10-23-2005, 05:14 PM
Good luck to you! Let us know if you win your tournament!

Well everyone, i think it was this thread i said i was gonna keep you updated with shaolin. And good news, i won my tournament! It was awesome 1st in the intermediate womens sparring it was great and i look forward to competing more often now. Thanks for all of your posts, and advice.

Just a little news
-Paige

Melissa Fischer
10-23-2005, 08:33 PM
Congrats, Paige! I think you're awesome!

I am a small, lightweight woman and here's my anecdote. All through out my training career there have been people, usually guys, both my senior and junior in terms of ranking who like to correct and criticize. If I am throwing, they correct my throws, if I am taking Ukemi, they correct my Ukemi and this has been since day one of training for me. So, I said to myself back then through metaphorically gritted teeth " OK, I'm working on me and you're working on me...who stands to gain in this situation? Let's just wait and see." So, I patiently applied the corrections, except those which I recognized as wrong and which Sensei would fix as he walked by to my secret glee. My throws and falls got better. Now, I'm a black belt and they are still where they were. It's pretend humility on my part, but it's what I do with those obnoxious types.

As to them not throwing you hard enough, some schools just do not throw women like they throw men. But, try throwing them harder, much harder. Then be ready to fly!

Wish you were here!

Melissa

alcantur
10-23-2005, 09:31 PM
my 2 cents on this topic:
belt ranking is no big deal, I've met a sensei that allowed only 3 belt colors for adults (above 15yo): white, brown and black, and some students were still white after 4 years of practicing without complaining, cause they were sure they were growing, and their technique were improving. There was even a girl (around 19yo) that was quite good, but got so nervous everytime she took the tests, that never got a grade further than 4th kyu. I'm sure she was as good as a yudansha when not in a testing situation, but nerves always betrayed her.
That sensei also made kids start all over the grading system when reached 15yo, because the teachings to kids were not as detailed and exhaustive as for adult students, but kids always need to be encouraged in some way to progress, so they got kyu grades as kids, and new kyu grades onde they pass to adult classes.
So don't worry about belts and ranking, if you are growing and you notice it, it's Ok it's the aiki way.
greetings
Rodrigo

LostBoyJim
10-25-2005, 12:50 PM
Paige,

I started training back in the early 90s, and after 3 years of daily training I quit (injury+work+burnout). For 10 years. Finially I have started back, and while my new Sensei has graciously allowed me to assume my old rank (of ikkyu), I'm not there yet. I'm working on it, but not there yet. I just learned that a fellow deshi at my old dojo is now Sandan and run the dojo. Heh, I remember his 5th Kyu test And 4th. And 3rd. And 2nd. And 1st. Very humbling to learn what he has become. I'm hoping that I may start approaching Shodon by the time I reach 40, but it's just a hope right now.

I would definitely encourage you to talk to your Sensei directly about this. Trust me, being honest about "ego" stuff is hard...."Why haven't I been promoted lately?" is an ego question, and of course you don't want your Sensei to think you are just belt-grabbing. But it's bugging you, so it's time to face it head-on.

In my opinion, if it isn't painfully obvious that you are senior to someone the moment they touch you, then you probably aren't all that senior to them.

I'm going to disagree here. Remember that Paige is 14...there is nothing that young adult men like better than correcting women or those younger than themselves. When did actual knowledge play a part in the correction? Besides, often the only way to "prove" your technique on such a bull is to crush 'em. I'd rather just accept the criticism and wait for them to advance a couple kyu ranks and reach some self-realization. I'm at the point that my ego can take the ukime (um, sometimes, at least).

jim

aikigirl10
10-25-2005, 03:32 PM
Remember that Paige is 14..


Im actually 15 now... this thread was started a while back.
But thanks for the post i agree with the second part.

aikigirl10
10-26-2005, 08:48 PM
Ok everyone... tonight a big coincidence happened... or maybe it wasnt a coincidence....

We're driving down the road to go aikido tonight... im dreading it the whole way there (because of the annoying beginner... thinking the sempais might be teaching etc... if you read this thread u know the story)

But it turns out i get an absolute best-case scenario. I get there and theres nobody there. Im like "yes! maybe its canceled tonight" (yes thats how much i usually dread it for the above ^^ reasons) But no... Sensei pulls up!

This is good news now im thinking "well at least now i know sensei will be teaching" So this is even better. Then, he comes up to our car and says "Well i guess tonight it will be just me and paige. Everyone else has said they wont be here tonight.."

At this point im soooo happy. This has made my day.. some one-on-one tiem with my instructor.

So we get inside. We get on the mat after getting changed and everything... and he walks into the closet and he says "Paige... i know you havent really tested but you're one of my senior students, and i've really noticed you progressing lately so im gonna go ahead and advance you to 3rd kyu"

At this point im ecstatic! I could not believe how good aikido had turned out tonight. It was like someone read my mind! Or....
Did they read a website??

Hmmmm.... now im thinking about this all during class... the whole situation seemed a little too good to be true. I never confronted my sensei or asked him if he read the site. Sadly i also never talked to him about that beginner thats always "teaching" me or the sempais. In other words he still doesnt know the real reason that i've been missing aikido.

And i felt like since i didnt talk to him about those issues that if he has been reading the website ... he really will think i only care about the belt and thats not the case at all.

Im still very happy with the way tonight went, dont get me wrong it was better than i ever could've imagined... It just seems a little too good to be true and it makes me think that either my teacher has been readign this or someone in my dojo has... in which case i want to say this:

Tom, if you or someone in my dojo is reading this... i want to say i really do love aikido, and tonight made me realize that.

Its not about the belt, its about knowing that im progressing. Its about knowing that someone cares that i even show up, and Tom definitely expressed that to me tonight. I wanna say thank you Tom because you are an excellent sensei and i wouldnt pick anyone else over you.

If you or someone in my dojo is reading these forums... please let me know, it would make it sooo much easier on me. Thank you.

-Paige

Ron Tisdale
10-26-2005, 08:55 PM
:)

Best,
Ron

Sonja2012
10-27-2005, 01:41 AM
Nice post, Paige. And congrats! :)

Joshua Livingston
10-27-2005, 02:55 AM
Hey Paige,

This is Joshua. You should remember me from the Dojo, I left for Australia about a year and a half ago. The fairly tall guy with glasses and long hair....

I'm very glad to see that everything worked out right. I was thinking of so many different things to write as I was reading through the posts, luckily you had some great people responding in the meantime. Also today is the first time I've seen the thread, so I didn't tip anyone off.

I know you've gotten past the problems from the original post now, but I wanted to add my point of view anyway, being more of an insider to the situation.

Though I only practiced at the Dojo for around 3 years, I have been practicing martial arts since I was in the first grade, and counting the different styles I've taken would use more fingers than I have. As such I have experienced first hand the lower ranking for the children’s class any many different styles.

The reason they do this is because it simply isn't right to have a black belt when you can't even drive a car. Yes I know as a child training that long, you have heaps more experience and are indeed better at the art than some shmoe who comes off the street and only practices for 3 years and walks a way with a black belt (That is for other styles outside Aikido as it usually takes us 5-7). I can't count how many times I had that happen. You are lucky that it takes longer in Aikido than it does in other styles to get a black belt as I believe John is the only one you've seen who has come in as a white belt and got a black belt before you. I saw this happen to me heaps of times and it is Very discouraging.

The thing is being a black belt has come to signify that you have a certain grasp of the art and that you are able to use it effectively to a certain extent. Being as young as you are, you simply don't have the body mass to move someone effectively with Aikido who is a full grown adult. When I was your age I thought I could beat the hell out of an adult because of all my experience, unfortuantely I was proved wrong once. No matter how much I knew I didn't have the mass behind me to make the effective techniques I knew actually be effective. Nikkyo won't work if your full body weight is less than someone can resist simply using their strength. Irimi Nage won't work if your opponent can simply puff out their chest and break your hold. Thus many martial arts do not allow black belts befor 18 or 20. I believe it's 20 in our organization.

As someone also said before, there is the issue of maturity. And though I've met you and thus know that you are mature for your age, as I believe I was when I was your age, it's hard for a Sensei to make exceptions based on maturity because by default the others your age won't understand because they aren't mature enough, and thus will become discouraged because they aren't grading as fast. It's a lot easier to say to someone they aren't old enough than it is to tell them they aren't mature enough.

As such, most people need belt encouragement to get them to continue training, which is why some Sensei create colored belts for children that adults don't have. They know that a person who starts at 10 has 10 years before they are allowed to get a black belt, and in most cases, even though the techniques themselves come quickly to children, most people don't really start absorbing everything in the proper way until they are about 13, which is still 7 years away from getting a black belt, and on top of that children tend to need even more encouragement than adults, thus more belt colors. Unfortunately those who don't need the extra encouragement, simply get discouraged like you and me. But we are special cases.

Another thing to take into account is the fact that the children's class only ran once a week, where as the adult classes were three times a week and people like John, me, Hai, and Mark were also practicing once a week at Marshall. That makes a big difference in training.

When I came to the Dojo I realized immediately how good you were, I also knew that when I was at 4th Kyu that you were better than I was at 5th Kyu. And when you were 4th Kyu you were better at me than when I was 4th Kyu, and you are probably now better than me at 3rd Kyu. Of course I have the advantage of having practiced martial arts for a long time and thus can pick such things out. Beginners that are adults just coming in can't really tell stuff like that because they have nothing to compare it to. Being adults and thus (usually) automatically arrogant towards kids, simply assume they know better than you because they are an adult. As most people have said its only important that You realize that you are better (technique wise at least :P), and that Sensei knows, which believe me he does.

I can't count the number of times that Sensei and John have talked about how well you are progressing and of course that they wished that they were doing Aikido when they were your age. Sensei brags about you to every body all the time. He simply doesn't do it in front of you because it wouldn't be proper. ;)

You've seen first hand how many people come in get 5th-4th Kyu and you never see them again. They may get the belts faster, but all in all you will have worked harder than they have and you'll be around when no one else even remembers their name.

Believe me Sensei knows exactly how good you are and he knows how hard you have worked. When you reach the standard age for black belt I know he won't hesitate for a second to put your application in to test with Yamada Sensei.

Just keep at it strong!
Gambatte!

Joshua Livingston

Nick Simpson
10-27-2005, 07:56 AM
' Tom, if you or someone in my dojo is reading this... i want to say i really do love aikido, and tonight made me realize that.

Its not about the belt, its about knowing that im progressing. Its about knowing that someone cares that i even show up, and Tom definitely expressed that to me tonight. I wanna say thank you Tom because you are an excellent sensei and i wouldnt pick anyone else over you. '

Excellent words Paige! Congratulations on getting your third kyu, it sounds like you really deserve it! I've had similar thoughts in the past and Im just starting to get over them and really enjoy training for what it is, thanks for sharing this :)

Joshua Livingston
10-27-2005, 08:38 AM
Hey Paige,

This is Joshua. You should remember me from the Dojo, I left for Australia about a year and a half ago. The fairly tall guy with glasses and long hair....

Actually, scratch that as I just remember I wasn't wearing glasses back then, but since Rick cut his hair I'm pretty sure I was the only one going around with a pony tail... :hypno:

James Davis
10-27-2005, 11:59 AM
Well everyone, i think it was this thread i said i was gonna keep you updated with shaolin. And good news, i won my tournament! It was awesome 1st in the intermediate womens sparring it was great and i look forward to competing more often now. Thanks for all of your posts, and advice.

Just a little news
-Paige
Paige,

Kiggazz! :cool: I'm glad you're doing well at shaolin, and congrats on your new aikido ranking! :D

My personal opinion about your recent situation with aikido is that you just craved a little positive reinforcement. I think that the new belt rank that your sensei conferred didn't mean quite as much to you as his acknowledgement of your skill. I've never seen you practice, but when you post on this site you seem to know what you're writing about. I may outrank you on paper, but you have a couple years of experience on me and I take very seriously what you have to say. :)

Now, I'm gonna go off "old man style" on you. I'm not going to be mean, but I will say something to you that I wish someone had said to me when I was your age...

Quit looking so hard for stuff to be mad about!!! :grr:

What's wrong with senior students who ask you if you're okay?! :confused:

I have a student who's a former marine and is a helluva lot tougher than I am. He has a black belt in a hard style, and could probably wipe the floor with me in a minute. evileyes

But you know what?- I still ask him if he's alright after taking a high fall. I don't ask him because I think he's less skilled; I ask him because he's my friend. :D

Paige, I think you're a nice girl. Just pick your battles! There are worse things out there than people who ask if you're okay! ;)

aikigirl10
10-27-2005, 04:02 PM
Hey Paige,

This is Joshua. You should remember me from the Dojo, I left for Australia about a year and a half ago. The fairly tall guy with glasses and long hair....
Joshua!!! hahaha of course, i remember you!

I really looked up to you in those days. Wow, its good to know someone else from my dojo (or formerly from) understands. And you have some really good points.

I always kinda wondered what happened to u lol.

The reason they do this is because it simply isn't right to have a black belt when you can't even drive a car.....
I completely agree. In shaolin little kids can get black belts, and i've always thought that was wrong. I still think one belt system creates less confusion for the ones that stick with it, but i can definitely see why its good to have seperate ones for kids and adults.

As someone also said before, there is the issue of maturity. And though I've met you and thus know that you are mature for your age, as I believe I was when I was your age, it's hard for a Sensei to make exceptions based on maturity because by default the others your age won't understand because they aren't mature enough, and thus will become discouraged because they aren't grading as fast. It's a lot easier to say to someone they aren't old enough than it is to tell them they aren't mature enough.

I never thought about this, this is a very good point.

Another thing to take into account is the fact that the children's class only ran once a week, where as the adult classes were three times a week and people like John, me, Hai, and Mark were also practicing once a week at Marshall. That makes a big difference in training. .

This , plus i think adults take it a little more seriously than children.

When I came to the Dojo I realized immediately how good you were, I also knew that when I was at 4th Kyu that you were better than I was at 5th Kyu. And when you were 4th Kyu you were better at me than when I was 4th Kyu, and you are probably now better than me at 3rd Kyu. Of course I have the advantage of having practiced martial arts for a long time and thus can pick such things out. Beginners that are adults just coming in can't really tell stuff like that because they have nothing to compare it to. Being adults and thus (usually) automatically arrogant towards kids, simply assume they know better than you because they are an adult. As most people have said its only important that You realize that you are better (technique wise at least :P), and that Sensei knows, which believe me he does..

I can't count the number of times that Sensei and John have talked about how well you are progressing and of course that they wished that they were doing Aikido when they were your age. Sensei brags about you to every body all the time. He simply doesn't do it in front of you because it wouldn't be proper. ;) ..

Just keep at it strong!
Gambatte!


Wow. Thanks for the encouragement. PM me anytime you wanna talk. Good to hear from you!

-Paige :)

P.S. - I would still appreciate it if you dont mention this to Tom. I would never want him to think i have any thing at all against him. Hes an awesome teacher, and this post was started a long time ago, so my feelings have definitely changed. Thanks

aikigirl10
10-27-2005, 04:05 PM
Paige, I think you're a nice girl. Just pick your battles! There are worse things out there than people who ask if you're okay! ;)

Lol you have a point.

But you can see where im coming from right? I just dont want them to over-do it.

James Davis
10-27-2005, 04:56 PM
Lol you have a point.

But you can see where im coming from right? I just dont want them to over-do it.

Yeah, been there myself. :) Just try to be in control of your moods (a tall order, I know). When they're babying you because you're younger, tell them to stop being silly. If you allow yourself to become angry about it, then you're the silly one! ;)

Melissa Fischer
10-28-2005, 01:53 AM
That is absolutely the best ending ever!! Made my day for sure. Now I want to get in my car and drive down there to Ashland and get thrown around by you and this famous Tom Sensei.

BTW, its obvious you love Aikido.

best wishes,

Melissa

Qatana
10-28-2005, 09:46 AM
Congratulations,Paige!

If it makes you feel any better, my Sensei asks Everybody , after just about every throw, if they're OK.. Even the Nidans.

Joshua Livingston
10-28-2005, 11:27 AM
Joshua!!! hahaha of course, i remember you!

I really looked up to you in those days. Wow, its good to know someone else from my dojo (or formerly from) understands. And you have some really good points.

I always kinda wondered what happened to u lol.

:D Yeah I moved to Australia and got married. Currently I'm taking Jujutsu and Capoeira, but I'll be starting Aikido again in about 2 months when my driver's license gets finalized. It's about a 45 min drive...

I'm the one who gave Sensei the blue Aikido carving that last I heard was hanging on the Shomen.


Wow. Thanks for the encouragement. PM me anytime you wanna talk. Good to hear from you!

No problem, you deserve it, just keep training.


P.S. - I would still appreciate it if you dont mention this to Tom. I would never want him to think i have any thing at all against him. Hes an awesome teacher, and this post was started a long time ago, so my feelings have definitely changed. Thanks

The only way I would have blabbed is if the problem hadn't taken care of itself, as I would have rather told him than have you quit because you were discouraged or felt neglected. So he won't hear it from me. As far as I know, Sensei and John don't usually visit this board, and when they do I don't think they'd check the forums as they are simply too busy with other stuff. As for others in the Dojo, who can say, but I wouldn't worry about it, even if Sensei did see it, he would understand where you were coming from. He's been through quite a lot in the past few years, so if at times he seems aloof, it isn't through any lack of interest on his part, simply too much else going on in his mind, and as much as the higher ups like to proclaim that they can step on the mat and forget the rest of the world, when it comes to the big stuff, it simply isn't that easy.

So as I said just keep on training, some day you're going to make a kick ass black belt. :D

Joshua Livingston
10-28-2005, 11:34 AM
That is absolutely the best ending ever!! Made my day for sure. Now I want to get in my car and drive down there to Ashland and get thrown around by you and this famous Tom Sensei.

Melissa

Sensei is the best martial arts teacher I have had, and I've had more than a few. You're more than welcome to drive down any time. :D

aikigirl10
10-28-2005, 03:40 PM
That is absolutely the best ending ever!! Made my day for sure. Now I want to get in my car and drive down there to Ashland and get thrown around by you and this famous Tom Sensei.

BTW, its obvious you love Aikido.

best wishes,

Melissa

lol well im glad somebody appreciates my story

thats so strange (famous Tom Sensei lol)

:) and like joshua said you're welcome anytime... (but its kind of a long drive from Seattle Joshua... haha)

Al Williams
10-09-2006, 11:56 PM
Maybe your dojo can do away with wearing colored belts. We all wear white belts- then again we are a small dojo.
All your belt does is hold your dogi together.

Train hard and often.