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giriasis
05-23-2001, 05:52 PM
...who reached shodan in under three years?
There are 40 of you folks out there. Forgive my disbelief, but I just can not fathom someone reaching shodan withing a year or two.

I know on the List there is discussion that some folks in Aikikai Hombu, Japanese Universities and a couple of other styles can get to shodan rather quickly. However, the discussion on the List just seemed to talk about perhaps how and perhaps why it was done, and it did not seem to get into someone giving us their actual experience.

I would like to hear from the people who voted in the categories of "under 1 year"; "between 1-2"; and between "2-3". I'm stopping there since I will consider between 3-4 years more plausible.

Please quince my curiosity,
Anne Marie

[Censored]
05-23-2001, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by giriasis
...who reached shodan in under three years?
There are 40 of you folks out there. Forgive my disbelief, but I just can not fathom someone reaching shodan withing a year or two.


Someone remarked on rec.martial-arts today that 3 years @ 4 hours/week is the standard for shodan in Karl Geis' school.

akiy
05-23-2001, 06:53 PM
One of the guys here got his shodan in two years. He'd done some other martial arts and is otherwise very athletically gifted. He picked things up extremely quickly...

As an aside, as far as dan grades higher than shodan go, our senior student at the dojo where I currently train is a sixth dan after twenty years of practice.

I also know of a woman in the Bay Area who started aikido at, I believe, age 12 or so. She had to wait until she was 16 for her shodan but had her nidan by age 18. She's now in her thirties and is a fifth dan...

-- Jun

ahdumb
05-24-2001, 09:21 AM
HOLY COW sixth dan after 20 years of practice? That's very fast if you ask me.

Then again, there's a third dan in my dojo (my sensei's ukemi) and it took him 10 years to get there... well I guess it is definitely possible. :eek:

Chuck Clark
05-24-2001, 09:48 AM
Don't forget, folks, there's practice... and then there's PRACTICE.

Not only do you have to factor in the student's natural talents and previous experience, but also the teacher, the peer group they train with, and the total amount of quality time during each of those years.

Regards,

giriasis
05-24-2001, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by Chuck Clark
Don't forget, folks, there's practice... and then there's PRACTICE.

Not only do you have to factor in the student's natural talents and previous experience, but also the teacher, the peer group they train with, and the total amount of quality time during each of those years.


That is why I want to hear from these people. I want to hear from them to see what they did and what exactly what their experience was. I mean did the go to every feasible class possible and train their butts off. (several hours a day 6 days a week). Or was it just regular practice a few times a week (four times week). I would like to know what their schools approach is and view is of shodan and what it means to them. I would also like to know their martial arts background and other athletic background.

I am assuming the same thing you guys are but can at least one of those 40 people answer my question? I'm just curious. I'm not looking to flame any one or start a war over testing requirements.

It is just I have been training for almost two years (three days a week on average -- I do more when law school permits; I prefer to do 4-5 days a week) and I am just now getting ready for my 4th kyu test. I look at some of the shodans in my school and I just can't possibly acquire the skill and knowledge they have in less than three years. I also look at those in my dojo who have previous martial arts training (12 years karate). They went through the kyu ranks quickly but once they reached 1st kyu they waited until they were ready to become shodan in aikido. This person took 6-7 years to get to shodan and is now nidan after about 8-9 years.

I am just asking this question to understand where they are coming from before we get into a discussion on the value of being promoted so quickly.

Anne Marie

Chuck Clark
05-24-2001, 11:27 AM
I won't get into a discussion about the merits of various systems or philosophies of when a promotion is valid.

The best way you'll get some quality information to answer your question is to look into different organizations' requirements, different teachers' attitudes about promotion (what a "shodan" is, etc.), and then get your own gut-level feelings about the relative skill levels of individuals in these different groups. Make up your own mind.

First hand experience is the best.

Good luck in your search.

giriasis
05-24-2001, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by Chuck Clark

First hand experience is the best.

I am asking for those who voted the way they did because I want to hear their first hand experience.


Good luck in your search.


The search is understanding other people's point of view. I am only looking to compare and understand not to also contrast and judge. Also, so far I can only guess where these people train. Since I don't know where they are from then how can I research their organization? (If I was going to, I am not.) I am not going to base my understanding on assumptions.

Anne Marie

Chuck Clark
05-26-2001, 09:25 AM
My point is that anyone's after-the-fact memory and description of their training history is not the same thing as "first hand experience." It can be interesting and valuable information, but is really just another story as far as it being second hand to you.

What is extremely valuable is experience from being "one arm's distance" and taking part yourself. Get this kind of experience by meeting people of different ranks from different organizations and hear their stories and feel their waza. Now you have some "first hand experience" to make your own authoritative decisions about what is out there.

Stories on the web are just that... stories on the web.

Regards,

giriasis
05-26-2001, 01:30 PM
Chuck,

You are right that the best way to understand a point of view is to actually stand in the shoes of that person you wish to understand. But that is not always practical. Understanding still takes place when someone else explains your experience to them. That is not second hand information. It is second hand when I tell you what someone else has said. What allows a person to understand there is a process called empathy in the human emotions. Empathy allows someone to understand without having to have to go through that same experience. In the field of life the two are not anyless valuable.

Telling me to do this is like saying I can't understand someone else who lost a family member unless I in fact lose a family member. Telling me to do this is like saying I can't understand someone else who is an alcoholic because I'm not an alcoholic. What allows me to understand is all I have to do is imagine losing my mother and I can feel the pain of not having her there anymore. What allows me to understand an alcoholic I just have to look to some addictive behaviour (overeating and depression) that I go through. You are proposing that I can't possibly understand unless I do lose a family member or that I actually become an alcoholic.

Do these examples sound like they are different than what you are saying? No, they are not. They are not different because it is just as ridiculous for me to go out and find the schools that promote less than three years and do it myself. (Which by they way, I don't even know what these schools are because the people that attend them have yet to respond to me to verify assumptions people have made.)

Heck, the only time that second hand accounts come into play are in the court room where they are not allowed, but still in the process of developing one's case an attorney is allowed to get hearsay (second hand accounts) from people as long as it leads to admissible evidence. So I can talk to someone who says, "X said such and such." I then must find X. Then X is the person to testify to what they saw or did. But please note, the courts still even allow people to state their first hand accounts. The courts don't discount them because the judge and jury did not experience it themself. I am looking to get past the person who said "I heard that school such and such does this and than." I want to hear from people who go to school such and such.

What is wrong with what I am asking? Nothing.

I am only looking to hear from those people who were promoted in less than three years. Telling me to go out and get the experience myself is counter productive. I just think you are hanging on my words "...before there is any discussion as to the value of the promotion." Do I have a judgement? Sure I do, but I would like to know and understand someone first. Why? Because their explanation may very easily clear up my assumptions that my judgment is based. Once the assumption is cleared up then my "judgment" may disappear.

You see Chuck, I'm not looking to write a thesis or to do anthropological research. In anthropology, yes, people to research a culture by becoming a part of it. Did my statments imply this? I don't think so.

So, I'm asking you to stop deflecting my question and allow folks to answer this question if they choose. Do you have personal experience? Did you get you shodan in Aikido in less than three years? Did you promote people to shodan in less than three years?

Anne Marie Giri

PeterR
05-26-2001, 02:28 PM
Anne;

Chuck did not say you had to enter into these peoples shoes - just to train/meet with them and judge them on the level of their Aikido.

I don't think he is deflecting your question but instead giving you a basic truth. It is pretty clear from your posts that you wish to judge - he is saying (sorry Chuck if I I mis-paraphrase) is that there are so many variables that it is like comparing apples to oranges. Stories on the web have no relevance - training on the mat does.

I have only slightly more experience on this earth than Chuck has in Aikido - I always read what he says carefully. Don't have to agree with it(most times I do) but playing lawyer is not the way to go.

In the East a 16 year old asks a 60 year old what life is all about.

In the West a 16 year old tells the 60 year old what like is all about.

By the way I entered Honbu with no kyu rank, I left just under three years with Shodan. People with 20 years of Aikido have asked me to teach classes - not from what's on paper but because of the little I know.

Jim23
05-26-2001, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by PeterR

... playing lawyer is not the way to go.

You beat me to it. Anne Marie's a law student, but we really shouldn't hold that against her. ;)

Belts are pretty silly things anyway.

In the East a 16 year old asks a 60 year old what life is all about.

In the West a 16 year old tells the 60 year old what like is all about.

How very true.

Jim23

giriasis
05-26-2001, 05:51 PM
Peter,

Thank you for your statement regarding you experience in receiving shodan. That is all I am looking for nothing more. I have so far only heard rumors that the Aikikai Hombu promotes quickly. You are the first person to actually have experience there and say so.


It is pretty clear from your posts that you wish to judge -


No, it is not clear. What is clear to me that my words are being interpreted that I am intending to judge. I apologize if my words have come across that way.

I really wish you guys would re-read my posts. I was asking for the information so I would not have to judge. I type what I mean on the internet because it is easy to misunderstand someone when you don't hear their voice inflection or see their body language. Please stop reading between the lines and assuming that there is judgment or intent to judge when there is none.

But this IS what I was thinking as I posted my initial post. I can make all the assumptions in the world. I can assume they have low standards and promote to make people feel good. I can also assume that they came from a school with exceptional training and experience and because of the exceptional teaching staff you learn more quickly and therefore were promoted more quickly. I can also assume that in some schools the meaning to shodan means little so the time to shodan is quicker, but that is not necessarily true. I can assume that in some schools shodan means a lot and therefore time to shodan is long, but that is not necessarily true. I can assume that some schools focus on techniques first and once a person knows the techniques then gets shodan, but that is not necessarily true. I can assume that some schools focuses on principles but it may be harder to learn principles so promotion time takes longer, but that is not necessarily true. I could assume that short time equals poor quality and long time equals good quality, but that is not necessarily true.

But we all know what assume means right? Well, I was just wondering what is right or wrong. Too many variables exist that prevent people on the net from obtaining understanding of our differences? I don't necessarily agree. There are enough people on this site with experience of enough years to at least convey a basic understanding of the differences.


Stories on the web have no relevance -


No relevance to what? To understanding the differences between styles? I guess this is our point of contention. I do believe there can be a basic understanding. (this is what I'm seeking) However, I will agree that a deeper and more thourough understanding would require contact with another human being on the mat. (I'm smart enough to know that I can't get that answer on the internet.)


...training on the mat does.


Well, guys I haved trained in a school (Juko-Kai Dai Yoshin Ryu) that promotes to shodan in 3 years. The basis of their shodan is knowing a series of techniques. The basis is not on priciples. Their theory of shodan is just a beginning. They figure after more practice that an understanding of the principles will come about naturally. This is my old school.

But does that mean that the folks in my old dojo any less the shodan than that they are? No. They are shodan according to their school's standards not my current school's standards.


Chuck did not say you had to enter into these peoples shoes - just to train/meet with them and judge them on the level of their Aikido.

I don't think he is deflecting your question but instead giving you a basic truth.


Well I see it as a deflection because I am being told that "you just have to train" and "that you can't understand unless you meet the people". Basic truth? That is arguable truth is relative to the facts you base it upon. Understanding still is possible. Actually, I thought that is the purpose of the internet and forums like these so we can get contact with people in other styles and other approaches. I thought the point was to understand one another. Now, I am being told it is not possible.


In the East a 16 year old asks a 60 year old what life is all about.

In the West a 16 year old tells the 60 year old what like is all about.


Yeah, this 31 year old woman with a B.A. in International Studies and rising 3rd year J.D. candidate, doesn't like it when a 16 year old tries to tell her about life either. What we are debating here is assumptions and the ability to understand one another over the internet in the context of aikido. (We could be having the exact same conversation but any other subject). I respect both of your aikido backgrounds, but I believe we are equals when it comes to a general understanding of human experience.

But sometimes youth does possess incredible wisdom. Have you ever heard the saying: "Out of the mouth of babes" ?

Take Care,
Anne Marie Giri

PeterR
05-26-2001, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by Jim23

You beat me to it. Anne Marie's a law student, but we really shouldn't hold that against her. ;)

I think she mentioned in other posts and quick check, she mentions it on her profile. Good luck to her - it's a lot of hard work - but time and place.

Belts are pretty silly things anyway.

They have their uses but I've said before Dan grades are only relevant within an organization and kyu grades within a dojo. When dealing with someone outside of my organization I ignore rank and just ask how long have you been training and with whom. Then, on the mat, we proceed to discover each others limitations.

In the East a 16 year old asks a 60 year old what life is all about.

In the West a 16 year old tells the 60 year old what like is all about.

How very true.


I tossed that in because I know Chuck likes it. Anne isn't 16 and Chuck isn't 60 but I felt it was a good hint that one should try and understand what's written and who wrote it before arguing a point. That's true for all of us.

In just over a week -I'n dying of heat frustration in the back alley's of Showacho, Osaka. If I'm really lucky I get accomodation right beside the dojo and train morning and night.

PeterR
05-26-2001, 06:38 PM
Hi Anne;

Quick clarification - its Shodokan Honbu not Aikikai. You can follow the links on my signature for more information - the kyu and dan syllabus is on the Honbu site.

The reason I post on these lists is that it is not a dojo. Someone like myself with little experince can argue and debate with someone like Chuck, for instance. Wouldn't dream of being so verbose if I visited his dojo. Life experience is a major asset and no one ignores it - just that I felt you were missing his point.

Budo is a funny thing - our life experience's don't necessarily apply. The more educated we are the more used to having our opinions listened to we become and the more we expect argument to overcome. Personally it was very hard for me to get past this and I must say, out of all the benefits I recieved from budo training, that lesson was one of the more important. One of my goals during the next three months in Japan is not to use the word but.

Nothing personal Anne - this thread is just conveinient to air a few thoughts.

giriasis
05-26-2001, 06:38 PM
I'll let it go. :) This wordsmith in training just can't help it sometimes. :p

Going back to her scientific evidence and florida constitutional law homework...

I will write 100 times...
"no more hairsplitting and word twisting on aiki web."
"no more hairsplitting and word twisting on aiki web."

Anne Marie

Jim23
05-26-2001, 07:01 PM
Pete(rH),

You're in Japan right now? Way too darn cool (or hot), I went running by the lake today, nice and cool (nice girls out too).

Make sure you have some tempura for me and don't let them overcook the sushi -- not good.

Jim23

TheProdigy
05-26-2001, 11:34 PM
Hey,

I'm just seeing this thread for the 1st time, and well I haven't trained long enough to have any definite knowledge about learning this art.

One thing I have learnt about learning though, is that to continue improving quickly and effectively you must continue to go into every class as if though you are seeing it for the first time, with the same enthusiasm. Keep your mind open, and be wary of all habits, as they can narrow your view.

But like I said, I haven't been aikidoka for even a single year yet. Although, this thread reminded me of a story I read somewhere on the web awhile back...
(it may not apply entirely, but you may like it)...
---
A young boy traveled across Japan to the school of a famous martial artist. When he arrived at the dojo he was given an audience by the sensei.

"What do you wish of me?" the master asked.

"I wish to be your student and become the finest hareteka in the land," the boy replied. "How long must I study?"

"Ten years at least," the master answered.

"Ten years in a long time," said the boy. "What if I study twice as hard as all your other students?"

"Twenty years," replied the master.

"Twenty years! What if I practice day and night with all my effort?"

"Thirty years," was the master's reply.

"How is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?" the boy asked.

"The answer is clear. When one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the Way."
---

Take care,
-Jase

Lisa Tomoleoni
05-27-2001, 01:53 AM
These are the time requirements for testing at Aikikai Hombu Dojo:
5th kyu- 30 days of training
4th kyu- 40 days of training after receiveing 5th kyu
3rd kyu- 50 days of training after receiving 4th kyu
2nd kyu- 50 days of training after receiving 3rd kyu
1st kyu- 60 days of training after receiving 2nd kyu
Shodan- 70 days of training after receiving 1st kyu
Nidan- 200 days of training after receiving shodan, minimum of 1 year
San dan- 300 days of training after receiving nidan, minimum of 2 years
Yondan- 300 days of training after receiving sandan, minimum of 2 years
A day of training means any day you train, no matter how many hours. So if you train for one hour or for 5, you get one "credit" towards testing.

Lisa Tomoleoni

PeterR
05-27-2001, 11:13 AM
No Jim not yet - I fly over June 2.
Originally posted by Jim23
Pete(rH),

You're in Japan right now? Way too darn cool (or hot), I went running by the lake today, nice and cool (nice girls out too).

Make sure you have some tempura for me and don't let them overcook the sushi -- not good.

Jim23

Erik
05-27-2001, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by Lisa Tomoleoni
These are the time requirements for testing at Aikikai Hombu Dojo:
5th kyu- 30 days of training
4th kyu- 40 days of training after receiveing 5th kyu
3rd kyu- 50 days of training after receiving 4th kyu
2nd kyu- 50 days of training after receiving 3rd kyu
1st kyu- 60 days of training after receiving 2nd kyu
Shodan- 70 days of training after receiving 1st kyu
Nidan- 200 days of training after receiving shodan, minimum of 1 year
San dan- 300 days of training after receiving nidan, minimum of 2 years
Yondan- 300 days of training after receiving sandan, minimum of 2 years
A day of training means any day you train, no matter how many hours. So if you train for one hour or for 5, you get one "credit" towards testing.

Lisa Tomoleoni

Hi Lisa!

Is there a link you could point me to which details the Hombu reqirements? I've never been able to find one. My curiousity stems from the fact that I was under the impression that the AANC requirements stem directly from Aikikai Hombu, yet, they are roughly double what you posted. They are as follows (assuming I have a current set of reqs):

5th kyu = 50 days
4th kyu = 60 days
3rd kyu = 80 days
2nk kyu = 100 days
1st kyu = 150 days
shodan = 200 days
nidan = 2 years and 400 days
sandan = 3 years and 600 days
yondan = I dunno.

Thanks for any help.

Aikilove
05-27-2001, 07:04 PM
Erik! Same here. Your timerequirements fits ours very well

akiy
05-27-2001, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by Erik
Is there a link you could point me to which details the Hombu reqirements?
I'm not Lisa, but I'll attach below what I have about Aikikai Hombu dojo's testing requirements.

-- Jun

darin
05-27-2001, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by Jim23
Pete(rH),

You're in Japan right now? Way too darn cool (or hot), I went running by the lake today, nice and cool (nice girls out too).

Make sure you have some tempura for me and don't let them overcook the sushi -- not good.

Jim23

Hey I live in Japan too! Where are you located Jim? I am in Tokyo. No aikido schools in my area... Too busy to train but I am hoping to join in with the local police club.

Hope you didn't wet running on the weekend.

darin
05-27-2001, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by darin



Hope you didn't wet running on the weekend.




Sorry bad grammer. Should be Hope you didn't get wet running on the weekend.

darin
05-27-2001, 10:36 PM
I think it took me 3 and a half years or four years to get my shodan. In our school we start from 10th kyu. 3 months between grades up to 3rd kyu then 6 months.

I failed once on 4th or 5th kyu, I don't remember, but jumped from 3rd kyu to 1st kyu. Now I am sandan, a few years down the track. Still feel like a beginner though.

George S. Ledyard
05-28-2001, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by giriasis
...who reached shodan in under three years?
There are 40 of you folks out there. Forgive my disbelief, but I just can not fathom someone reaching shodan withing a year or two.

Anne Marie

I received my shodan in just about 1 1/2 years. I was fortunate enough to join Saotome sensei's dojo in Washington,DC when it was brand new. There were eight of us in the original group of beginners and five yudansha who had moved there to help Sensei open his dojo. We had class six days a week and I usually trained on my own on Sundays. It was very intense as Sensei was quite openly interested in training future instructors.

I had a chance to train with people from other places that had gotten their shodans in the usual time of four or five years and it was apparent that having that daily exposure to someone of Saotome Sensei's calibre made a big difference in how much we were learning. We weren't all that great but we generally held our own with our peers from other places.

We were just lucky. Having a very small group getting daily attention from Saotome Sensei, who initially taught the majority of classes, was an unbeatable start for us. It was a once in a lifetime deal. The normal time today for ASU students, including those at my own school is somewhere around 4 years depending on how often one is training.

Jim23
05-28-2001, 08:53 AM
Darin,

No, I'm actually not in Japan. I was just asking Peter if he was there, as his post suggested it (on second reading, I realized that he wasn't).

Funny you should mention it, I did get drenched while running yesterday (Sunday) -- refreshing.

Don't worry about the grammar (or spelling). ;)

Jim23

Nick
05-28-2001, 06:41 PM
"I wish to be your student and become the finest hareteka in the land," the boy replied. "How long must I study?"
[/B][/QUOTE]

Sorry to drag this off topic, but what in the world is a hareteka?

Nick

Brian Vickery
05-29-2001, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by giriasis
...who reached shodan in under three years?

I would like to hear from the people who voted in the categories of "under 1 year"; "between 1-2"; and between "2-3". I'm stopping there since I will consider between 3-4 years more plausible.

Please quince my curiosity,
Anne Marie

...I'm one of those who voted '2-3 years.' I tested shodan one month short of 3 years in my training. The average time to get to shodan in our dojo is about 4 years, but that depends on many factors: how many classes attended, physical ability, positive attitude, self-confidence, etc.

At that time my dojo held 7 classes a week, I was in a minimum of 5 of them. During test month I was all 7.

The classes were also relatively small, somewhere between 6 to 12 students per class, so each student received much hands on attention from sensei. In my opinion, this was the major factor in advancing relatively quickly. I have noticed when student numbers grow, the rate of student progress begins to slow down as a whole.

Shodans are considered 'beginners' in the dojo. They have a solid understanding of the basics, can take ukemi, but by no means are they considered 'experts'. Truely, my training JUST began when I got to shodan! Up to that point, I sometimes 'felt' as if my sensei's techniques were a bit on the soft side, but what I didn't realize was that he was just taking it easy on me until I was ready to handle the harder stuff! I became 'painfully' aware of that point VERY quickly! ;^)

I had taken Tae Kwon Do for a short time prior to starting aikido, but that didn't have any impact on my advancement in aikido. All that did was make me a better uke, knowing how to punch & kick. (Of course learning ukemi is a totally different story!!!)

I hope this helps!

Best regards,

jimbaker
05-29-2001, 11:21 PM
I would still be interested in hearing from those who got shodan in a year or less.

JIM and the wolves in DC

Erik
05-30-2001, 12:03 AM
Funny how stories show up. Took me 5+ years but I just heard of a story taking well under a year.

Seems there was a fellow who went to Japan and made it a policy to resist everyone's technique unless they really threw him. After a few months, the sensei (a most famous fellow indeed) gave him a black belt because very few could throw him. He came back to the states and started teaching, even though he didn't know any technique. Apparently, he was one damn tough uke.

You might think this guy was the story, but, not really. You see, the guy I heard the story from was awarded his black belt in 5 mos from this rather resistant fellow. Pretty funny stuff.

In the end, he decided 5 mos wasn't enough and started over. He's now a sandan 15+ years later.

giriasis
05-30-2001, 02:41 PM
Thanks all who replied to my question.

Anne Marie

Kenn
05-31-2001, 06:42 AM
Being relatively new to Aikido...I've been studying about a year....I asked my Sensei about this. He said that three years is about right if a person practices every day. The people that replied under a year..well...lol..NOT. I relayed the previous post referring to the guy who made it in 5 months and he got a good laugh. Also our senior Shodan made a good point about nobody being able to throw the guy...resisting being thrown, on purpose, in Aikido...good way to dislocate a shoulder.

Just thought I'd share that with you all

Peace, Kenn

Erik
05-31-2001, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by Kenn
I relayed the previous post referring to the guy who made it in 5 months and he got a good laugh.

Actually, the really funny thing is who promoted his teacher to shodan. Those high Japanese standards.

Or, perhaps it was "I'll promote this guy and get him out of here in one piece."

PeterR
05-31-2001, 12:28 PM
Kenn;

Both you and your sensei are missing the point, although maybe the latter was not asked the right question. Different organizations have different standards. Shodan means beginning level and some feel that it should be given soon rather than later. You can not compare black belts from different organizations, you can compare years practiced. Even if the years practiced is the same, the next question is what techniques were required for Shodan. It's like comparing apples and oranges - they are both fruit but that's about it.


As an exmaple - if an Aikikai Shodan came into my dojo I would not expect him or her to take what I deliver to my own kyu ranked students. I would expect him to pick up on it rather quickly but assumptions tend to get people hurt.


Originally posted by Kenn
Being relatively new to Aikido...I've been studying about a year....I asked my Sensei about this. He said that three years is about right if a person practices every day. The people that replied under a year..well...lol..NOT. I relayed the previous post referring to the guy who made it in 5 months and he got a good laugh. Also our senior Shodan made a good point about nobody being able to throw the guy...resisting being thrown, on purpose, in Aikido...good way to dislocate a shoulder.

Just thought I'd share that with you all

Peace, Kenn

Kenn
05-31-2001, 04:05 PM
Peter, perhaps I miss the point, perhaps not. My point is this; I believe that although, yes, shodan may mean literally "beginning level", in most martial arts, and any style of Aikido I have been exposed to (I train in Aikikai from a Sensei two generations removed from O Sensei) a shodan tends to be one who has put in some time, and is at least competent in the basics of their art. I do not believe one can become competent in Aikido, any style, within 5 months.

Using your reasoning, yes, requirements are different depending on style. However, I could very easily open up the Kenn Aikido Association, and become a 10th degree black belt super master of all time in my style, and give out Shodan's as if they were candy.

I think you will find very few Shodans of any skill that have been awarded their ranks from any of the major Aikido orginizations.

As to your comment regarding a Shodan from Aikikai not being able to handle what you give to your kyu ranks...I'm sorry, that just sounds arrogant sir. I would not hesitate to say that I believe any shodan from my Dojo could handle your classes quite well. (I am assuming you do not abuse your students...lol)

Peace

Kenn

mj
05-31-2001, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by Kenn

Using your reasoning, yes, requirements are different depending on style. However, I could very easily open up the Kenn Aikido Association, and become a 10th degree black belt super master of all time in my style, and give out Shodan's as if they were candy.

Kenn

:D Lot of money there Kenn...

PeterR
05-31-2001, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by Kenn
Peter, perhaps I miss the point, perhaps not. My point is this; I believe that although, yes, shodan may mean literally "beginning level", in most martial arts, and any style of Aikido I have been exposed to (I train in Aikikai from a Sensei two generations removed from O Sensei) a shodan tends to be one who has put in some time, and is at least competent in the basics of their art. I do not believe one can become competent in Aikido, any style, within 5 months.

Well the 5 months was a bit tight but I do know first hand one person who took Shodan in a year and a whole slew who took Shodan at the end of their second year at University. All of these were in Japan but the one American that I know of who apparently does so (based on his web site), Karl Geis, bases his decision on what is done in Japan. My point is that within the organization it was appropriate and it had meaning only within that organization.

Using your reasoning, yes, requirements are different depending on style. However, I could very easily open up the Kenn Aikido Association, and become a 10th degree black belt super master of all time in my style, and give out Shodan's as if they were candy.

Sure you could but you are not Aikikai Honbu, or one of the senior students of Ueshiba that set up their own style. In all these cases Shodan is handed out under different cricumstances but I've noticed things even out around 3rd or 4th Dan.

I think you will find very few Shodans of any skill that have been awarded their ranks from any of the major Aikido orginizations.

I have no idea what you mean here. Do you mean that no Shodan is any good.???? Personally I think that learning begins after Shodan so perhaps that's correct.

As to your comment regarding a Shodan from Aikikai not being able to handle what you give to your kyu ranks...I'm sorry, that just sounds arrogant sir. I would not hesitate to say that I believe any shodan from my Dojo could handle your classes quite well. (I am assuming you do not abuse your students...lol)

Boy you must be looking for arrogance real hard - how long have you been studying?

Let me try again

As an exmaple - if a Shodokan Shodan came into my friend's Aikikai dojo I would not expect him or her to take what he delivers to his own kyu ranked students. I would expect him (the Shodokan Shodan) to pick it up it rather quickly but assumptions tend to get people hurt.

When I entered the above dojo that is exactly what happened. When the above sensei entered my dojo that is exactly how I treated him.

Answer quick - I return to my home dojo in less than 24 horus and depending on circumstance may not be able to connect for three months or at least a week. Osaka here I come.

Kenn
05-31-2001, 06:02 PM
quote:
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I think you will find very few Shodans of any skill that have been awarded their ranks from any of the major Aikido orginizations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I have no idea what you mean here. Do you mean that no Shodan is any good.???? Personally I think that learning begins after Shodan so perhaps that's correct.

lol, sorry, typo, Imeant that you will find very few shodans of little skill...etc..

as to your arrogance, I apologize, I misunderstood your meaning.....

jimbaker
05-31-2001, 10:23 PM
But Peter (I like starting things with, "But Peter), but Peter, two guys walk into my dojo, both with brand new Aikikai Yudansha dipolmas, both signed by the new Doshu. They both met the minimum requirements of their respective associations. One has 320 hours of training and the other has 1100 days of training.

That is the main problem; crossing association lines. I had one student who moved to CA. With me, he was first kyu. The first dojo he went to made him a nidan. He moved again (in CA) and his new dojo made him a shodan. In one Aikido group, the number of hours I have just teaching, not training, would qualify me for 6th dan!

There have been many splits among the Aikido associations in the US, and a lot of it had to do with rankings. The gap is such that now Shodan means anywhere from 6 months to 7 years of training under a sensei who has between 2 and 50 years of experience.

I think that people would just like to see a little more order among the chaos.

JIM, the wolves always know who is the Alpha, beneath my window in DC

PeterR
06-01-2001, 08:05 AM
Originally posted by jimbaker
But Peter (I like starting things with, "But Peter),
I think that people would just like to see a little more order among the chaos.


But Jim (hey this is fun)


The order from chaos is something few people would disagree with, in fact with Shodokan there is a strong movement to standardize curriculum and miniimum training times. Well actually it is standardized and it is being spread through JAA affiliated dojos as we speak.

Still, there is a difference in teaching standard exists and there was a move to have only Shihan (remember we have only two) be given the right to grade yondan and up. That apparently annoyed some nanadans - I don't know what the situation has deveolped into.

I personally have annoyed some people when I have expressed more interest in how long they trained and who with, rather than the color of the belt. Even within my organization.

Perfect world no problems - the only solution I can think of is to approach the probelm as I stated above and in previous posts.

Six more hours and I begin my travels. Yehaaaa!!!!!

Chuck Clark
06-01-2001, 04:33 PM
Ability is much more important than time or grade. Latch onto someone and train with them for awhile and then you know.

I know students who've trained for years and still haven't "got it" in my opinion. I also know a few who have "gotten it" fairly quickly.

Who your teacher is; the relationship you have with your teacher; the amount of quality time you spend with that teacher and a peer group which pushes you is important.

Regards,