Dave Whiteland wrote:
Actually I don't bellieve that's quite right -- it's not to do with the fees or waiting for the certificate. At the gradings at Renukan (the Thai aikikai HQ dojo), shodan-ho is a separate test from shodan. It's just another rank before shodan, and is (as Rupert says) signified by a black belt with no hakama.
Thanks for the info, Dave.
Look at this way: What is the intent of this rank/test? Why can't a student directly grade for shodan after the 1st kyu?
At a seminar in Bangkok a couple of years ago, a friend of mine observed that there were quite a number of Thai black belts without hakama. A senior instructor did mention the fees factor. I am not surprised that in developing countries (Malaysia included) quite a number experienced aikido practitioners choose not to grade after shodan or nidan unless they are professionally motivated to do so. In some international martial bodies (karate in particular), yudansha grading & registration fees are tabulated by developed countries, developing countries and 3rd world countries based on UN criteria.
It would be great if someone can provide some information regarding yudansha grading fees of the respective international Aikido bodies for comparison.