I'm preparing for my shodan. I have had my Ikkyu since August 23rd 2004 (Which isn't a big deal, that's about normal time, besides it's the journey that counts). I would have went late this year ( Septemberish by our dojo's requirements), but me and my instructor had differing views on the direction of the dojo.
Me and him were pretty close like family almost, my grandfather was his first Instructor in the MA's, so we talked more freely to each other then what should be in a dojo. I was his "personal" uke for the time the dojo had been open, and he always used to talk to whoever my partner was and say "well..your a lucky one tonight!" He always wanted the opinions of his senior ranks on big decisions for the dojo, and as soon as the opinions where opposite of his he kinda crossed them of the list, or as he put it, they ended up "Out of the loop".
The dojo was being converted from a full time Aikido Dojo to a full time Karate Dojo, and the karate was leaking in. A system offered there was cut out and replaced by more karate, Aikido's time on the mats was cut in two. Really just a turn in the opposite direction then we all expected. However, this time it was a mutual decision for me to leave the dojo, it was hard, but I am still practicing Aikido. I wasn't even angry until I received a harsh letter in the mail about me no longer being a member(which I knew so it didn't bug me), if I show up the police will be contacted (kinda harsh), all signed and witnessed by a professional witness, in the states, when I am in Canada mind you, saying I can't use him as a reference point of my training (which he is remaining anonymous, but what am I supposed to say I was struck by lightning and here we are?) and finally here's the kicker , removing any rank I hold. I think a simple get out and maybe "good luck in the future", would have been more then enough. One of my other instructors said rank can be earned, not given or taken, no one can remove the time and hard work you put in.
Well this whole thing is no big deal but kinda harsh for difference of opinions wouldn't ya say? If I were doing Drugs in the back or something, it's completely reasonable (Which I'm Drug free, so no worries there), But difference in opinion, it's just that an opinion, listen or don't, no one will see the same way 100% of the time, and we seen the same way about 99% of that time. . .
There are some from my dojo who still train with me on the weekends, one who was told if they have connections with me they are "Out of the Loop." Anyhow getting past all this, one of my other instructors is arranging for me to get tested by Kevin Blok Sensei and my former instructor got wind of this and told my Jujutsu instructor that he was getting in touch with Kevin Blok to more less recommend against my testing. The reason this bugs me is, before all this me and my instructor had the idea for me to open a Dojo in Saint John N.B., and I would like to pass on what I have been taught (Why else do we train so hard, but to pass it on, we can't just let it die with us.), and actually was going to try and teach full time, and well I'll just come out and say it what better way to live my life then flopping people around on the mat (come on who wouldn't enjoy that
). Aikido for me is much like it is for most of you I'm guessing, It's become more than an obsession, it's part of who we are. Well I guess what it boils down to is asking if anyone here has had a similar confrontation? I am not worried about being tested, it just kinda bugs me that even though I am no longer a member my former Sensei seems to want to see me fail. I know Blok Sensei is a Philosopher, so he Will see through whatever me or my instructor says and formulate his own opinion. I in no way have harsh feelings towards my former instructor, because it was a decision to benefit his martial arts. It's just odd that he talked to everyone and all I heard from him was written in a harsh letter, what a way to find out. This all happened maybe a month ago...can't really keep track of time with nowhere to be in the evenings. Well if ya have anything to contribute, I'm all ears....