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daniel loughlin
10-26-2005, 03:09 AM
Whoo! :D :D :D i just past my 1st kyu test very happy with it and its the first gradin that i actually enjoyed.But i am now using every bit of spare practice time to do shodan moves. i was wonderin how long did you have wait between doin 1st kyu and takin your shodan? :confused: cheers ;) :p

Yann Golanski
10-26-2005, 03:31 AM
A black belt cost 3 pounds, a hakama 25. They'll take 4/5 days to be delivered to your door if you order them online. Congratulation, you are then a shodan.

Dude, keep training. Shodan means nothing. It's just a grade within one organisation that no one else will ever recognise. Your skill is what matters and that depends on the time and effort you put into Aikido.

jss
10-26-2005, 05:10 AM
Shodan means nothing. It's just a grade within one organisation that no one else will ever recognise. Your skill is what matters and that depends on the time and effort you put into Aikido.
Sure, but you need to have a shodan to be able to say that. As a firstt kyu shodan should be important to you.

Mark Uttech
10-26-2005, 05:25 AM
Sometimes shodan is just finding out that you are going to die.

MaryKaye
10-26-2005, 12:00 PM
The time between ikkyu and shodan should be long enough to go through several complete cycles of "I know the material cold, I'm so ready to test" being replaced by "Oh my gosh, I'm totally incompetent" and then struggling back to the starting point. I think it was two or three full cycles for the three recent shodan I know. This is a difficult procedure to rush, no matter how hard you study....

You might try enjoying ikkyu. It's actually a very nice rank, at least at our school: you get plenty of respect, you get to take ukemi for sensei a lot, you don't have to wear a hakama on our slippery new mats, and you don't get constantly hassled the way the new shodan do. And because you are known to be studying for shodan, you have license to work on all sorts of cool techniques, but aren't expected to actually do them all correctly....

Mary Kaye
(fourth kyu, so take all this with a grain of salt)

Keith R Lee
10-26-2005, 12:19 PM
Hi Daniel,

As I stepped through the mist of shrouded knowledge, I soon learned that shodan was only a step, leading me unto an unending spiral of learning and light that lead me to....

Crap, sorry I couldn't keep it up. :p

It took me right around a year to go from 1st kyu to shodan. Sure it's just "the begining" or a stepping stone or whatever, but a pretty big and important one to alot of people. It was great, I loved it. There wasn't any real noticable change. But about 3-6 months afterwards by technique really jumped through the roof. Maybe just cause the pressure was gone. Train hard for it. Having set goals and achieving them can be a big motivation to train and challenge yourself.

pezalinski
10-26-2005, 02:38 PM
USAF has a minimum requirement of 400 days after your Ikkyu before you can test for Shodan... it used to be 400 hours, but that was changed -- since there is no requirement to log your attendance in classes, it is necessary to consult a calendar to verify that you've been an Ikkyu long enough....

HOWEVER... ask your sensei if he/she thinks you are ready to test. 400 days may not be enough... :blush:

akiy
10-26-2005, 03:13 PM
USAF has a minimum requirement of 400 days after your Ikkyu before you can test for Shodan...
Interesting. That's more than five times the amount set forth by Aikikai hombu dojo's grading system (http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/gradingsystem.htm).

Then, again, it looks like it's possible to start as a beginner (no experiece) and get to shodan in a year -- maybe even 2nd dan in a year and a half -- at Aikikai Hombu dojo through their Aikido Academy (http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/hombu/academy.htm)...

-- Jun

George S. Ledyard
10-26-2005, 06:04 PM
USAF has a minimum requirement of 400 days after your Ikkyu before you can test for Shodan... it used to be 400 hours, but that was changed -- since there is no requirement to log your attendance in classes, it is necessary to consult a calendar to verify that you've been an Ikkyu long enough....

HOWEVER... ask your sensei if he/she thinks you are ready to test. 400 days may not be enough... :blush:

For a student training 3 x's per week consistently throughout the year, 400 days is 2 1/2 years to get from 1st kyu to shodan. I think there must be some misunderstanding here.

In the ASU there is a 12 month and 120 training days minimum last I checked. It may have been extended to 1 1/2 years but I couldn't find my manual. 400 days simply seems like a very long time between promotions at that level.

David Yap
10-26-2005, 10:44 PM
Hi Daniel,

I agree with Yan. Getting shodan should not be your primary training goal.

See my aikiblog (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/blog.php?do=showjournal&j=7036)

Nonetheless, congrats and happy training.

David Y

markwalsh
10-26-2005, 10:44 PM
Its just a stage I'm going through...

I just made ikkyu after 8 years - unfortunatley this means I am now required to be aggressive and will be become arrogant at my next grading :) Time left to being a pleasant human nidan...who knows!

Nick Simpson
10-27-2005, 06:30 AM
It seems to generally be one year minimum at many clubs/orgs, but as Jun said, at hombu and many dojo in japan it is possible to get to shodan in one year, so dont get worked up over it. I think the level of shodan has perhaps a little too much weight placed on it in the west, it means black belt to a lot of folks, which makes them think expert, rather than a beginner who can now train and learn correctly. Or something.

jimbaker
10-27-2005, 08:48 AM
It should be noted that the USAF 400 day requirement only counts days you've actually practiced and it is the minimum number. It's expected that the you should go substantially above the minimum.

Jim Baker

ian
10-27-2005, 10:00 AM
I used to be with a club that required you to be shodan before getting a hakama, whereas now my affiliation lets anyone wear one. However I only let people in the club wear one when they get beyond the desire to want to wear one! - ironic and a bit zen I know, but it stops them wearing it just to look good, and by the time they do wear it they are good enough to set a good example to others and to be thinking about aikido rather than status.

Don't count the time before shodan. At your level it is not about the number of techniques you know, but about grasping the essence of aikido more fully. To do that you have to have break throughs in your understanding - this can take 1 year maybe, or maybe it will never happen; you just have to keep training, and keep reflecting on your training! (incidently I'd heard about a shodan grading where the only technique they did was ikkyo - they must have been pretty good to pull that off).

P.S. took me 13 years to reach shodan

(but that was due to moving around alot in different clubs - I agree with previous post about setting goals and trying to achieve them - ignoring grades completely can produce a very slow or no learning curve!)

daniel loughlin
10-28-2005, 10:48 AM
thankx 4 all the replies i am not entirely focused on my shodan test although i can understand what is being said and i think nick has got it spot on cheers

giriasis
11-03-2005, 11:24 AM
Regarding the USAF 400 hours requirements and as far as I know, they haven't dropped the hours requirements for shodan, but the standard rules after shodan seem like two years to nidan, three to sandan, despite their hour requirements of 500, 600, and 700 respectively. (Up to shodan the hours requirements are: 60 for 5th, 80 for 4th, 100 for 3rd, 200 for 2nd, and 300 for 1st. We have no 6th kyu.) Although, sometimes special consideration is given to certain people depending on their circumstances, and some folks can fly through the first three ranks pretty quickly. Even with that, it's still a long time. 3rd kyu seems to be the point where people ask themselves if they really want to do this and they either drop off or continue on to at least shodan or nidan.

The earliest people can get shodan in the USAF might be 5 years. But those are folks like Karen training 6-7 days a week. Others it's more like 6-8 years, and lets not forget those who just plain don't want to test. We have one guy who has been a 1st kyu since 2001. He just plain does not want to test.

The differences between associations and with Hombu dojo really don't bother me at all. Remember as everyone here likes to say that it's the time you put in and not the rank after all. But for fairness sakes, let's reverse the comparison of hours between associations. As you know the ASU time requirements if folks train regularly and train at least 3-5 days a week people can get to shodan in 3 - 4 years. Heck, you all even start out with a 6th kyu test. (Yes, I've read your time requirements. ;) ) With our requirements if you train regularly, um, like Karen Wolek regularly (6-7 days a week), you can get to 2nd kyu in 3 years. I got to 2nd kyu in 4 years. I only missed about 6-9 months of regular practice while I was studying for the Florida Bar between my 3rd kyu and 2nd kyu. So our folks with regular and consistent practice of 3-4 years are 2nd kyu and your folks with regular and consisitent practice of 3-4 years are shodan. Is it really that important that the USAF folks should be shodan? Is it really that important that ASU folks should be 2nd kyu? Nope, it's not. What matters is what matters to the organization. I know you two (Jun and Ledyard Sensei) know that.

I just tested for 1st kyu this past September, which was a little less than a year and half between 2nd and 1st. And I trained about 5-6 days a week getting in 20-24 days of training a month. I got to 1st kyu in 5.5 years. (I have 6 months of Juko-kai aikido before that.) If I go at the same rate I would have my hours in a little less than two years for my shodan. So, I will be getting my shodan in 7.5 years within the USAF. I would be testing at Winter Camp 2007 for my shodan, as long another hurricane doesn't blow us away. ;)

dj_swim
11-17-2005, 03:04 PM
For a student training 3 x's per week consistently throughout the year, 400 days is 2 1/2 years to get from 1st kyu to shodan. I think there must be some misunderstanding here.

In the ASU there is a 12 month and 120 training days minimum last I checked. It may have been extended to 1 1/2 years but I couldn't find my manual. 400 days simply seems like a very long time between promotions at that level.


You are correct, 12 months and 120 training days (doesn't matter how many hours/day, 1 day = 1 hour). I personally don't forsee myself only doing 10 days of training/ month, so it's the time constraint as opposed to the hours constraint that would hold me back (well... that and not knowing the techniques :) )

I just got my manual... so I haven't lost it yet... I'm busy stressing about the 6th kyu test :)

BTW, on the subject of testing, are there any organizations that start out with 10th kyu? I could have sworn I saw that listed somewhere in my reading...

-Doug

Nick Simpson
11-18-2005, 08:48 AM
I cant name them but Im sure some places do start with 10th kyu. Aikikai Hombu starts at 5th kyu. 6th kyu seems to be the middle ground.

Ron Tisdale
11-18-2005, 12:22 PM
Yoshinkan starts out no kyu, but you have to test for 9th. Does that count? :)

Best,
Ron

BC
11-18-2005, 12:39 PM
In the ASU there is a 12 month and 120 training days minimum last I checked. It may have been extended to 1 1/2 years but I couldn't find my manual. 400 days simply seems like a very long time between promotions at that level.

Actually, that is the requirement.

James Kelly
11-18-2005, 04:36 PM
As you know the ASU time requirements if folks train regularly and train at least 3-5 days a week people can get to shodan in 3 - 4 years.

Donít know about the requirements in the book but in practice, at the asu dojos Iíve trained Iíve never heard of a sho-dan in under 6 years. Even the already experienced in other martial arts/really talented athletes take at least 6. 6-9 is the standard. And then, again only in my limited experience, itís another 6 or so for ni-dan. After that, who knows...

akiy
11-18-2005, 04:44 PM
Don't know about the requirements in the book but in practice, at the asu dojos I've trained I've never heard of a sho-dan in under 6 years.
I sure have. A friend of mine even got his shodan in two years at an ASU dojo (rightly so, in my thoughts and experience).

Of course, grading depends on organization to organization (even from dojo to dojo), but I still find it a bit odd that an organization under the Aikikai umbrella uses a time guideline that's over five times as long as that used at Aikikai hombu dojo.

-- Jun

David Yap
11-18-2005, 11:06 PM
I sure have. A friend of mine even got his shodan in two years at an ASU dojo (rightly so, in my thoughts and experience).

Of course, grading depends on organization to organization (even from dojo to dojo), but I still find it a bit odd that an organization under the Aikikai umbrella uses a time guideline that's over five times as long as that used at Aikikai hombu dojo.

-- Jun

Hi Jun & others,

Well the real reason(s) can only come from Y Yamada and other shihan from USAF. But there is no harm being speculative, right? :D

Every style even individual shihan and dojo-cho has its/his/her own way (of either own creation or themselves have been taught
that way) of passing on the art. Some shihan/instructors choose to instruct only and some choose both to teach and to instruct. In other words, the teachings are either reveal or conceal.

Then we look at the students. Everyone of us trains for different intent and purpose. It is like having a meal, Some will go about to anywhere to eat not bother with the taste & presentation of the food. Some are particular about the taste and the presentation of the food and even the ambient of the place where the food is served. Being the students we are also means being the teachers we. Using this metaphor, we will have organizations/dojo producing shodan of the following categories in term of technical ability:

1. Good ability with the shortest period of training (say two years)
2. Poor ability with the shortest period of training (say two years)
3. Good ability with the longest period of training (say 5 years)

Then we have the common of students dropping out of aikido upon receiving the shodan certificates. Aikido like any other martial art is a skill art. Without practice, the skill/ability goes away. For such students dropping out, being category1 and being category 2 make little difference. Students who persevere 5 years and more for shodan will normally not stop training.

The great risk is producing shodan of Category 2. Some organizations have instructor training program and certification, for example, Yoshinkan. Some don't, Without constant supervision from senior teachers and shihan, some Category 2 shodan do open dojo in remote areas. IMO, the dropping out of Category 2 students is a blessing for aikido.

In the minds of USAF shihan, perhaps these were their concerns.

That's my two sen worth of speculation. My apologizes for any unintended offend,

David Y

Terry Lane
11-21-2005, 12:03 PM
If one looks over the variation in time to next grade expressed in the messages in this thread, isn't it apparent that 'grading' in aikido is a measure essentially of time put in(seniority) much more than anything else? This won't be a popular view and I don't mean to denigrate anyone's achievements. (I've seen some wonderful examples of athleticism and other facets of aikido during many 'tests' at all levels during many seminars). On the other hand, how does one discuss a meta-system that purports to award the same grade for anywhere from one or two to more than ten years of practice?
Use alpine (recreational -not racing) skiing as a comparison. At some point,as a skier, you aren't going to get much better no matter how many times you show up on the hill or how many lessons you take. This 'top out' will vary widely among individuals and may take years to get to but will occur for everyone. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy skiing anymore or should stop. Most don't and take great pleasure in the variations that present themselves anytime a ski slides down a hill. So why this fiction (albeit polite) that it's ever upward and onward in aikido?