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Jorge Garcia
01-12-2006, 10:46 AM
Yamada Sensei recently reported in his Aikido East Newsletter the following, "Tamura Sensei was recently promoted to 9th dan but he humbly refused it."
Any comments or thoughts about this? Mine are that there are so few people ever to reach this level in Aikido, I personally wish he would have accepted because in doing so, it opens the door for other worthy people to be offered the same in the future. To accept that degree with Tamura not having it could also cause others to do the same because of their respect for him.
Koichi Tohei once said that he had been offered the 10th dan many times but was pressed into it by O Sensei. It seems from my reading of his description that the organization had a "need" to promote Tohei at that time. I gathered that there were others they wanted to promote but politically, it would have caused trouble unless Tohei, the Chief Instructor at Aikido World headquarters, went first. The Aikikai is running short of 9th Dan's and these kinds of promotions always have political implications. Some interesting points are
1) The openness on the part of the Aikikai to continue the 9th Dan. 2) Was there a need to honor Tamura Sensei (who surely deserved it) so as to also elevate others such as Yamada Sensei who is junior to Tamura Sensei?

I also thought Yamada Sensei's discussion about promotions was very interesting.
Best,

Mark Uttech
01-12-2006, 10:56 AM
I think it is apparent to many of us that after 3rd dan, it is all politics whether there is testing or not.

Jorge Garcia
01-12-2006, 04:24 PM
I hear the phrase "all politics" used frequently. If that is the case, what specifically is "politics". That is such a general term and in fact, is used with a negative connotation. I understand that there is a general standard of time served and service to the particular
organization and to the art. I also understand that there are decisions where some are given the "honor" where better practitioners are not. It may well be that there is abuse of the system by rewarding friends and ignoring those who aren't. I must ask though if we are to doubt everyone with a rank above 3rd? Do we give more respect and honor to high ranking practitioners? If so why? If it's all negative politics, why should have Yamada, Tamura, Saito, Sunadomari, Nishio or anyone even accept any rank above 3rd? Why isn't everyone calling for the abolition of all ranks above 3rd? Are we saying that anyone with a rank above 3rd is just a politician?

Mark Uttech
01-12-2006, 04:31 PM
Jorge, read over your first post

Edwin Neal
01-12-2006, 04:47 PM
as there is no overall authority between all organizations and schools the ranking system in aikido is a little inconsistent in another thread on Seagal people are hoo haa ing about him being a 7th dan but rank above 6th is a little bit tough to imagine for MOST people who have studied less than 25-30 years

aikidoc
01-12-2006, 09:52 PM
Formal testing is done through 4th dan in the aikikai. Everything above that is by recommendation and I believe done once a year.