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Demetrio Cereijo 02-16-2005 04:55 PM

Seiza by ranks?
 
When seated in seiza at the beginning or ending of the class for bowing, people is seated by rank order.

My question is, for proper etiquette, in what order people with the same rank has to be seated?

Date of testing/rank?
Date of joining the dojo?
Age?
Other?

Tanks and regards.

maikerus 02-16-2005 05:37 PM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
When seated in seiza at the beginning or ending of the class for bowing, people is seated by rank order.

My question is, for proper etiquette, in what order people with the same rank has to be seated?

Date of testing/rank?
Date of joining the dojo?
Age?
Other?

Tanks and regards.

The way it was explained to me is that it is officially by date of testing. If the test dates are the same then it would be by age. If the age is the same then by Birthday.

In the case of twins of the same rank then the one out first would be higher ranked ;)

I personally think it is a good practice to differentiate between ranks when sitting in seiza, but not so important within the same rank.

Usually I would suggest that you find a spot at the end of your rank when you come in the dojo or even at the end of the line if you are running late and arrive just before your instructor walks onto the mat.

cheers,

--Michael

Fred Little 02-16-2005 05:43 PM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
In the club here at NJIT, at the beginning and end of class we line up in straight seniority order, with no reference to rank.

In between, there's no standard protocol.

Best,

Fred Little

Demetrio Cereijo 02-16-2005 05:49 PM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
Tanks and regards.

Sorry,

Thanks and regards.

Where is the edit button?

Amassus 02-16-2005 09:06 PM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
This is a good question. At my club, we tend to line up with those who tested first higher up, but in saying that, the trend tends to be towards the person who attends more frequently. So a 2nd kyu who tested a year before another 2nd kyu, but has had a 2 month rest while the other aikidoka has been to every class, will most likely sit beneath the newer fella.

Its a kind of recognition for commitment to training I guess.

No hard and fast rule on that one though.

batemanb 02-17-2005 01:01 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
In our club we just line up in grade order, within the same grade it depends on who sits down first, sometimes it's me, sometimes not.

Interestingly (maybe) at the Aikikai Hombu people do not line up in grade order, just in lines of people, whatever grade. I guess that's possibly because it would be too difficult to determine who's who and who should sit where with all the visitors passing through. The dojo I train at in Kobe when I visit also works the same, you just find a space to sit. My old club in Tokyo does line up in grade order but seniors on the left, not the "usual" right.

It seems that there is no definite rule, just what each dojo prefers. Personally, I like the Hombu/ Kobe system.

rgds

Bryan

JJF 02-17-2005 01:16 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
In our dojo we just sit down in no particular order. Rank is considered of little importance since we all know each other and know what level we represent.

PeterR 02-17-2005 01:25 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Will not tell story. Must not tell story.

batemanb 02-17-2005 01:58 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote:
Will not tell story. Must not tell story.

I'm waiting in the chat room with virtual beer :D

happysod 02-17-2005 02:18 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Please tell us the story uncle Peter...

PeterR 02-17-2005 02:56 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Michael Stuempel wrote:
The way it was explained to me is that it is officially by date of testing. If the test dates are the same then it would be by age. If the age is the same then by Birthday.

In the case of twins of the same rank then the one out first would be higher ranked ;)

I personally think it is a good practice to differentiate between ranks when sitting in seiza, but not so important within the same rank.

Usually I would suggest that you find a spot at the end of your rank when you come in the dojo or even at the end of the line if you are running late and arrive just before your instructor walks onto the mat.

Shodokan Honbu might have a slight variation on that after the point where test dates are the same. Whatever it is, Shihan decides.

I also don't think there should be any great effort expended in getting the order right for the Nidans and Shodans unless the Nidan has been there forever. My usual practice is to sit roughly right and let the Japanese sort it out - I can't read the board (where its all laid out) anyway.

UnfortunatelyI had to go to war over this issue over the last two weeks. To be fair a godan helped me out initially and even Shihan physically manipulated the situation to where it was supposed to be at one point. I graded on the same day as one Japanese dojo member. On hindsight he has been ensuring that he is sitting ahead of me for quite a while but it started to get very aggressive both in line up and when we were paired. I am sure there is more to this than I figured out but he was getting very rude. Turns out by rights he should have been below me and last class that is where he ended up. Up or down - there is no way he should have been behaving as he was.

The idea of the rules I think is to prevent this sort of posturing from happening - even though it does. I doubt he would have tried it with a Japanese.

batemanb 02-17-2005 02:57 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Ian Hurst wrote:
Please tell us the story uncle Peter...


I know, I know :p :D


ohh, Peter posted before me :(

Amir Krause 02-17-2005 05:46 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Unfortunately I had to go to war over this issue over the last two weeks. To be fair a godan helped me out initially and even Shihan physically manipulated the situation to where it was supposed to be at one point. I graded on the same day as one Japanese dojo member. On hindsight he has been ensuring that he is sitting ahead of me for quite a while but it started to get very aggressive both in line up and when we were paired. I am sure there is more to this than I figured out but he was getting very rude. Turns out by rights he should have been below me and last class that is where he ended up. Up or down - there is no way he should have been behaving as he was.

The idea of the rules I think is to prevent this sort of posturing from happening - even though it does. I doubt he would have tried it with a Japanese.
We have the opposite type of fight in our dojo, among the Yundasha:


One of us is much older then the rest, and much more veteran. However, his rank is lower then some of us, others - He was a Shodan when I joined the Dojo and remained a Shodan today (about 15 years after) while I and a couple of others have gone from beginner to Nidan in this period. This is partially due to his making a break of a couple of years, being severely sick a few years after and only practicing once a week on most other times.

We (the higher ranked "youngsters") would prefer him to remain sitting on our Shomen side - "higher up" yet he refuses. And we often have funny siting position mini-fights (gentle pushing the other and trying to sit in "proper order").

Aside from that, most people in the Dojo seem to sit themselves according to rank and the order they have arrived. If someone wishes to sit himself "higher up" no-one is going to disturb him while sitting. Though one of us Sempai, or the Sensei, may comment on the proper order of sitting afterwards, to give a hint.


Amir

Dazzler 02-17-2005 06:06 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Fred Little wrote:
In the club here at NJIT, at the beginning and end of class we line up in straight seniority order, with no reference to rank.

In between, there's no standard protocol.

Best,

Fred Little

How do you determine seniority? Is that implicitly by age?

For the record...our standard procedure is by rank, then age within rank.

We have had visitors who have insisted that the yudansha take the senior end, non yudansha (is that mu-dansha?) take the non senior end.

The biggest difference is that they ask for the most senior students to be in the centre and the most junior students to be placed to the outside.

I've also seen variations where the lowest ranks are placed nearest the door ...since they are most disposable should some marauding dojo stormers catch us by surprise and attack.

We tend to work on basis that kamiza is the logical east, so students to the right facing the kamiza are in the north (most senior)...juniors are in the south.

All very confusing...normally I go with whatever everyone is comfortable with. People shouldn't judge your ability by position on the mat anyway. If you are good it will be clear (unlike this ramble of a post... :D )

In most of the classes I teach everyone is either dan ranked on one night...or going for the same grade on another night this isnt much of an issue.

At least I know where to sit.... :D

Cheers

D

Tim Griffiths 02-17-2005 06:48 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Maybe I'm tired and have had a bad day....

But I really don't see the purpose of lining up in any particular order.
Let me correct that - I do see a couple of reasons, but I don't want those reasons in my dojo.

I did grow up in aikido with sitting in ranks, but it was a Ki Soc (coloured belts) dojo so at least it was done more quickly and neatly. No seniority within the same grade.
For me, the priority is to get people sitting quietly with as little fuss and as much decorum as possible. Having a seating order just seems to get in the way of that, and raise up enough problems of its own.

Tim

Jim Simons 02-17-2005 08:17 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Our dojo doesn't make a point of lining up in rank order, but I had the chance to train with a great group of folks in Reading, UK, and it was the custom in their dojo to sit in rank order. Being a guest, and being fairly junior in my home dojo anyway, I erred on the side of caution and sat below the guy in the sweat suit, and that seemed to suit folks there.

However, I did notice that in general, when pairing up to train, folks didn't mix up very much; they tended to train within their rank groupings more or less and this was easy to see because they used a colored-belt system. Is this the way it usually works in sit-by-rank dojos?

Cheers,
Jim

Fred Little 02-17-2005 08:50 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Daren Sims wrote:
How do you determine seniority? Is that implicitly by age?

D

Daren:

Seniority is determined solely by the date they joined the club.

Best,

Fred Little

Dazzler 02-17-2005 08:56 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Jim Simons wrote:
Our dojo doesn't make a point of lining up in rank order, but I had the chance to train with a great group of folks in Reading, UK, and it was the custom in their dojo to sit in rank order. Being a guest, and being fairly junior in my home dojo anyway, I erred on the side of caution and sat below the guy in the sweat suit, and that seemed to suit folks there.

However, I did notice that in general, when pairing up to train, folks didn't mix up very much; they tended to train within their rank groupings more or less and this was easy to see because they used a colored-belt system. Is this the way it usually works in sit-by-rank dojos?

Cheers,
Jim

I think its just human nature Jim.

I've travelled quite a bit and find there are some students that are intimidated by older strangers with hakama that may train differently...

and there are others that nearly knock you over in their desperation to tap into your experience.

I was encouraged to be part of the second group from my 1st day in the dojo...Was probably seen as very pushy as a result.

Luckily I've got very thick skin! :D

D

Ron Tisdale 02-17-2005 09:31 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

...when pairing up to train, folks didn't mix up very much... Is this the way it usually works in sit-by-rank dojos?
I think most yoshinkan dojo sit by rank (its considered orderly), and no, that's not the way we train, since the instructor usually calls kotite (sp) when they want the partners to change. Since we tend to train in lines, that usually means the jr. person moves to their left, and the jr. at the far end comes to the front of the line. This way, everyone trains with different people. After class training is a different animal; there, people tend to pair up based on preference more.

Ron

Amir Krause 02-17-2005 10:18 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

However, I did notice that in general, when pairing up to train, folks didn't mix up very much; they tended to train within their rank groupings more or less and this was easy to see because they used a colored-belt system. Is this the way it usually works in sit-by-rank dojos?
Sensei normally encourages the Yundasha to practice with the beginners at the beginning of each practice, and often starts with basic variations the beginners should learn. Then the Yundasha and other experienced students can assist the beginners to learn.

Sometimes, we later move on to more advanced techniques and split the group according to level, the same is done with Randori for people who are not yet experienced enough for it and for weapons practice (particularly weapons Randori and Kata).

The idea is to balance the contribution of the advanced student to the beginners and his own studies.

Amir

p00kiethebear 02-17-2005 10:42 AM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
In our dojo we line up first by rank, for people who haven't tested or are the same rank, it's by experience / skill level.

bcole23 02-17-2005 01:11 PM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
In our dojo, there is no order that we sit in. However, since I normally start out Ukeing for Sensei, I sit far right so as to not take a seat where the view is good if I'm not going to be using it anyways. When doing line techniques, it's normally the two highest ranking people first in line to demonstrate the proper uke and ukemi technique for the next people.

I can't image having 30+ people trying to figure out how to line up. We also tend to try to train with everyone. There's a LOT to be learned by experienced people training with beginners. Those people who attack you on the street are beginners, so if your Aikido does not work on the new people in the dojo, it wont work in the real world either.

Chris Li 02-17-2005 02:48 PM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote:
Will not tell story. Must not tell story.

Well, here's my "sitting by rank" story:

I used to train at a dojo in Japan which had a very mixed population - high ranking folks from the Aikikai, Iwama, Yoshinkan, even Daito-ryu.

This place never made much out of ranks - nobody even asked me my rank until I'd been there for almost two years, and that was just so that they could announce it at a local demonstration.

One day we were out in the countryside for a summer gasshuku, and before the first class the head instructor suddenly announces that everybody should line up according to rank. Now, I had no idea what rank most of the people were, so I just sat down at the bottom of the yudansha section and figured that would be OK. The head instructor spotted me and told me to move up in the rank order. I moved up a couple of spots, but he said "No, no, keep on going" - until I ended up at the very top of the yudansha section. I looked to my left, and the person directly below me in the rank order was one of the few people whose rank I actually knew - an Aikikai 5th dan who'd definitely been practicing a lot longer than me. He just smiled. I don't know why I got stuck there, but I appreciated the fact that, despite the one time line order, nobody really cared one way or the other.

Best,

Chris

Jack Simpson 02-17-2005 03:19 PM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
In my dojo and the main dojo, most folks know each others ranks and there's some attempt to line up that way, but it's not at all a big deal. When I travel, I always line up on the low end of the mat when visiting a new dojo. I just think that's the most polite thing to do. I also always carry a white belt in case its a different federation, style, etc.

My favorite thing to watch is the jostling for position that occurs at big seminars. In this case, the high mucky-mucks tend to wedge themselves into the the middle of the front line to be visible to the sensei to take ukemi. Sometimes folks will wait until things are quite quiet then wander in and plop themselves down in the middle, expecting folks to part like the Red Sea. It's an interesting vignette.

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

Eric Webber 02-17-2005 05:10 PM

Re: Seiza by ranks?
 
At my home dojo we don't line up by ranks; never have, probably never will. I do have my favorite spot, however: as I do not train with my glasses on I like to sit smack in the middle of the line so that when we warm up I can actually see (sort of) what's going on!


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