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Matt Wong 08-23-2008 07:24 PM

a couple ranking questions
 
Hi, I am going to be a senior in high school this upcoming year, and I consider aikido a very important factor in my future. My dojo is linked to the hombu dojo because we are affiliated with Aikido of Hawaii International (Aikikai).

So does that mean if I go to another aikikai dojo abroad once I graduate I'll be able to continue progressing from my current rank? I'm trying to take that sort of thing in consideration early.

Thanks!

-matt

edit: i guess it was only one question lol. the other one I'll just ask one of my instructors.

Tinyboy344 08-24-2008 02:44 AM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Personally I don't think ranks really matter. It's the skill that speaks for you when you train. You might be a 1st kyu but your techniques blow or you might be a seasoned aikidoka and the last time you took a test was a 6th kyu test 5 years ago. If your goal is to aim for shodan then i'd talk to the chief instructor of the dojo you'll be training at, do your best on the mat then whatever rank he/she puts you in then it'll be your rank there.

Stefan Stenudd 08-24-2008 04:30 AM

Aikikai dan
 
Quote:

Matt Wong wrote: (Post 214292)
So does that mean if I go to another aikikai dojo abroad once I graduate I'll be able to continue progressing from my current rank?

Yes, it does. That's the point of Aikikai dan grades - they are internationally valid among Aikikai dojos.
Still, your new dojo will demand of you to learn their way of doing aikido, before they allow you to progress in grades.

Matt Wong 08-24-2008 05:52 AM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
hmm but I am not a dan.. I will probably be 2nd kyu by the time I graduate.

Is it true that kyu ranks also carry over in aikikai though?

I ask because the requirements and regulations around kyu ranking seems to vary more between schools..for example, my dojo has people start at 7th kyu where as hombu starts at gokyu, and time requirements vary, etc. even within aikikai.

thanks,

-matt

Stefan Stenudd 08-24-2008 06:55 AM

Kyu
 
True, Aikikai Hombu dojo doesn't regulate kyu grades. So, aikido organizations and dojos can do pretty much as they please with them. Some dojos might even decide that you have to take the kyu grades all over again, when you transfer from another dojo.
My guess, though, is that most Aikikai dojos respect kyu grades given by other Aikikai dojos.

Peter Goldsbury 08-24-2008 08:08 AM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Hello, Mr Wong,

Stefan's answer is true as far as overseas organizations are concerned, but needs to be nuanced somewhat with respect to some dojos in Japan.

In my own dojo, for example, students become members of the Aikikai right from the first kyu rank (5th kyu, as Stefan stated), and receive a diploma signed by the Doshu. We use the Aikikai grading syllabus as a rough skeleton, but we have changed it considerably (as you could imagine with instructors who have been taught by Hombu teachers as diverse as Yamaguchi, Tada, Nishio and Asai, as well as my own teacher Kitahira). Of course, the Aikikai can be said to 'regulate' the kyu grades, but only in the same sense that they 'regulate' dan ranks, which means giving permission to people like me to hold kyu and dan examinations in accordance with my own rank.

Occasionally, I am asked by overseas instructors to look after their students during the years they are in Japan (usually US marines from the base at Iwakuni). I always accept, not least because Marines are usually very good to train (with). However, if they hold kyu grades, this means that they become members of the Aikikai much earlier than is usual overseas and so return home with one or more kyu diplomas signed by the Doshu. (Perhaps these have some rarity value :) .) However, I would be surprised if these students were ever asked to take the same kyu grades again. After all, the grade was awarded by the Man Himself in the Hombu.

Of course, when these visitors come here, I generally accept their existing kyu grades, not least because they have been introduced to me by their instructor.

So, if you come to my dojo before you have have achieved dan rank, you can be sure that whatever kyu grades you receive will be Hombu kyu grades.

Best wishes,

Chris Li 08-24-2008 10:56 AM

Re: Kyu
 
Quote:

Stefan Stenudd wrote: (Post 214318)
True, Aikikai Hombu dojo doesn't regulate kyu grades. So, aikido organizations and dojos can do pretty much as they please with them. Some dojos might even decide that you have to take the kyu grades all over again, when you transfer from another dojo.
My guess, though, is that most Aikikai dojos respect kyu grades given by other Aikikai dojos.

In most cases, overseas organizations issue kyu ranks locally, so other organizations may or may not accept them - I also know of organizations in Japan that do the same thing.

Some organizations in the United States (even some in Hawaii) have their ranks issued by Aikikai Hombu starting with the kyu ranks. In that case I would expect that most other Aikikai organizations ought to accept those ranks - although I know of cases where that has not happened.

Basically, my experience has been that Aikikai dan ranks are accepted at other Aikikai dojo, but with kyu ranks (whether issued through Aikikai hombu or locally) it depends on the new organization.

Best,

Chris

Matt Wong 08-24-2008 03:33 PM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Thank you all for your replies; I'll be sure to take it all into consideration.

Quote:

Duy Trinh wrote: (Post 214309)
Personally I don't think ranks really matter. It's the skill that speaks for you when you train. You might be a 1st kyu but your techniques blow or you might be a seasoned aikidoka and the last time you took a test was a 6th kyu test 5 years ago. If your goal is to aim for shodan then i'd talk to the chief instructor of the dojo you'll be training at, do your best on the mat then whatever rank he/she puts you in then it'll be your rank there.

I completely agree with you; learning aikido and following the aikido way is much more important than just a number/title, especially considering there are no competitions in aikido-it's more like a lifestyle. However, it would be nice to be able to progress from a rank anyway, sort of as a marker of progress.

Whatever I end up doing I'll just try my best at training, put in the time and effort, and talk to the person in charge and it should work out, though I guess the details depend on the specific dojo. That being said I'm highly considering a college that's very close to my current dojo anyway, so that would be convenient.

If anyone else has any input, thanks in advance

-matt

Matt Wong 08-24-2008 04:06 PM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
hmm i guess i should mention rank does mean something to me; it took me 3 and a half years just to get to here now. (almost 3rd kyu) despite the fact that learning, and the aikido lifestyle are much more important.

Tinyboy344 08-24-2008 04:43 PM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
... well train harder if you're gonna stay local. You're with a good dojo that offers classes everyday. Take advantage of it. hopefully we'll meet on the mat someday if we haven't met already... i'm a semi-frequent visitor at OC Aikikai.

Thirza Schraa 08-24-2008 04:47 PM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
being a 4 kyu for 2,5 years now (injury that turned into operation after an Aikido Stage) I miss the point of counting ahead for reaching any grades in the future.
between now and your graduation is some years (assumption), I would just train and see where you are the moment.

And I would thrust any teacher having earned his dan grades for the combination of 'performing' Aikido and teaching it.
He did some years to get there,
Thirza Schraa.

Matt Wong 08-24-2008 04:53 PM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Well I'm a senior this year, which is why I'm asking...1 more year left of high school and I have to make college decisions soon...while career is first in college decision, aikido for me is a piece in the puzzle as its very important to me. annyway I do agree with you...I trust the instructor's decisions-thanks

-matt

Will Prusner 08-24-2008 06:11 PM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Possibly you could ask your Sensei to write you a letter of introduction to whichever dojo you plan on attending. If he/she explained your proficiency level regarding techniques, ukemi and overall grasp of the material, your new instructor might have an easier time either accepting your current rank or deciding what you need to learn to hold that rank in his/her dojo. Who knows, they might even decide you are ready to test for higher rank.

I would rather be over-qualified rather than under qualified for whatever rank i held (which is none), if i held a rank (which i don't). The last thing I would want would be to give the impression I had a mastery of something that in actuality i knew little to nothing about. Could be potentially dangerous to be overestimated.

"Give them nothing!"

W.

Matt Wong 08-24-2008 06:39 PM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Quote:

Duy Trinh wrote: (Post 214356)
... well train harder if you're gonna stay local. You're with a good dojo that offers classes everyday. Take advantage of it. hopefully we'll meet on the mat someday if we haven't met already... i'm a semi-frequent visitor at OC Aikikai.

Yeah I really love our dojo, the people are really kind and the instruction is great..definitely something that makes me wanna stick around. I go quite often though AP classes kind of limited my time in the past year, but I plan to go tues. weds. thurs. and sat. every week for my remaining time in high school at least, so hope to see you around!

Quote:

William Prusner wrote: (Post 214365)
Possibly you could ask your Sensei to write you a letter of introduction to whichever dojo you plan on attending. If he/she explained your proficiency level regarding techniques, ukemi and overall grasp of the material, your new instructor might have an easier time either accepting your current rank or deciding what you need to learn to hold that rank in his/her dojo. Who knows, they might even decide you are ready to test for higher rank.

I would rather be over-qualified rather than under qualified for whatever rank i held (which is none), if i held a rank (which i don't). The last thing I would want would be to give the impression I had a mastery of something that in actuality i knew little to nothing about. Could be potentially dangerous to be overestimated.

"Give them nothing!"

W.

Yeah, if I did go to another place I think that's a good idea, thanks. I think that's probably the best idea in fact if I had to move.

hmm and I definitely agree with you about being underqualified! That would be the worst situation...and I do try my best to make sure I'm proficient for my current rank to avoid it.

Young-In Park 08-26-2008 01:40 AM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Quote:

Matt Wong wrote: (Post 214359)
Well I'm a senior this year, which is why I'm asking...1 more year left of high school and I have to make college decisions soon...while career is first in college decision, aikido for me is a piece in the puzzle as its very important to me. annyway I do agree with you...I trust the instructor's decisions-thanks

You should go to the best school you can get into. And if you're able to do so, you should go to graduate school. You can always come back to aikido; you can never go back to your youth.

YoungIn Park

PS If you pass up an opportunity for an Ivy League education to stay near your dojo, I swear I'll kill you myself.

Matt Wong 08-26-2008 10:27 AM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
hahaha well at this point i can get into UCI, and possibly USC.

sooo...seeing as theres nothing wrong with UCI I don't have any qualms about going there.
But i dunno.. if I do get accepted at USC then I'll have a little dilemma.
see you soon!

Keith Larman 08-26-2008 10:43 AM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Dude, don't worry about it so much. You're young. You have time. Regardless of where you go you'll have the chance to train. And if you stick with this for any length of time you'll eventually realize that the handful of years pre-yudansha were just a blink of an eye in the larger scheme of things.

Rank isn't a goal. It is just a signpost. And if you take a few detours along the way and repeat a few stretches of road, no big deal. You've got time. Enjoy the scenery. If you really do find it to be a permanent part of your adult life, well, cool, you'll get there.

Train. Learn. Enjoy. Rinse and repeat... ;)

Keith Larman 08-26-2008 10:45 AM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Oh, and I'll add an "amen" to Mr. Park's comment about going to the best school possible. I would volunteer to drive out to Orange County to help him beat you and I don't even know you guys...

Matt Wong 08-26-2008 02:24 PM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
I think you guys are misreading my question, or i worded it wrong...I wouldn't go to an academically inferior school in favor of a better aikido dojo.

In this case, I'm deciding whether to go to school in LA or stay in OC. Both schools are very prestigious and lead into the career I'm planning to pursue. So then factors come into play like the composition of the student body on the campus, the location, the connections I already have in OC, etc. And aikido is a SMALL piece of the "location" factor. I'm just trying to take everything into account.

That being said I have like 60+ years to do aikido so its no rush lol.

And young in could kill me with his eyes closed so no need to help him haha

uhmm i think this thread is pretty much done..thanks for your insight everyone.

Dathan Camacho 08-26-2008 08:42 PM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
rank is a label, not a skill

your skill will transfer wherever you go, but your label may or may not transfer

if you put ferrari emblems on a rusted out chevy cavalier, it's still a rusted out chevy cavalier, and if you remove all the emblems from a ferrari, it's still a ferrari

you may find the best school available where you move is not aikikai, but even if you start out unranked at a shodokan or yoshinkan dojo, you will still have your skills learned from your current dojo

focus on the label that matters - college graduate! :D

Young-In Park 08-27-2008 12:16 AM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Quote:

Matt Wong wrote: (Post 214541)
hahaha well at this point i can get into UCI, and possibly USC.

sooo...seeing as theres nothing wrong with UCI I don't have any qualms about going there.
But i dunno.. if I do get accepted at USC then I'll have a little dilemma.
see you soon!

"a little dilemma"? At UCI, you should be concerned about two rival study groups throwing down in a local coffee shop. Off campus near USC, you may actually get to use your aikido in self defense.

Your only "dilemma" should be whether to continue aikido or start BJJ with a USC cheerleader...

wondering if true aikido is love,
YoungIn Park

Dieter Haffner 08-27-2008 02:18 AM

Re: a couple ranking questions
 
Quote:

Young-In Park wrote: (Post 214604)
Your only "dilemma" should be whether to continue aikido or start BJJ with a USC cheerleader...

And don't forget. Alive training is much more important than only doing static drills.


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