Originally posted by Jem8472
From what I have read about Aikido, it was orginally a martial art without any competition or grading. When it was introduced into the west, that is when grading came about because in the west we are more "material" driven so we like to have something to show for our efforts.
Hi Jeremy and mj.
I don't know about this. Rank has been around a long time in Japan (certificates with kyu/dan a more recent innovation) so to say that it is a Western thing seems unlikely to me. We may have embraced it, but it wasn't created specifically for us in the West.
Anyways, formalized testing in Aikido may have been a Western thing and that would make some sense because it would have been a way to maintain standards for a group that the home office only saw rarely. I dunno, but I'm curious.