Re: Standards of testing???
Elizabeth thank you... very good post...
I may have been a little less than clear... I believe that we as a community Do have a responsibility to actively ensure that Mc dojo's don't show up... i too love the variety but we can keep that without allowing those kind of inconsistencies...
a quick anecdote: I moved back to my home town and as a result have been in a break in my formal training. I practice the things I have learned and took the opportunity to meet some of the other MA's in my hometown. I met some great people, a great Kung Fu teacher, Arnis instructors, BJJ and even one ronin aikidoka that became my training partner, but I meet one guy who had a dojo where he advertised TKD, Karate, and then later in smaller letters cardio karate, aikido and jujutsu... I visited this place before the later additions... My first visit was what I expected TKD. Kicks and some such was the curriculum. He was cordial and i polite, i enjoyed my workout, i followed and did the kicks and punch drills, had some small talk after class, and that was it. Some time later after the addition I went back with my friend the aikidoka(kyu rank). As before the class before was working kicking and punching techniques, but when we came in the sensei announced that he would show some aikido-like techniques. He proceeds to get an uke and demonstrate tapping on hands and bending (slightly) wrist, and even pointing at uke, and the uke's being "thrown" here and yonder or pinned. I said nothing but we joined the class. We did the "waza" as demonstrated and as we practiced it my partner and I added our aiki to it ie if he did something like kotegaeshi we slowly did a kote gaeshi. the sensei upon seeing this announced to the class that we were "doing advanced versions of the techniques. Okay I have no problem with that, but as we are going along he begins to say things like "you dont have to do that" and "you use chi instead of physical force (yes "chi"), and as Im showing one of the white belts the grip for kote gaeshi (which we had practiced as a warmup exercise ie kotegaeshi undo) he raises his voice and asks "why do you have to do it that way?" I reply the proper grip gives you control seigyo of your attacker. He goes off with "I had complete control... are you saying I didn't have control... and that "this is my dojo!" Well I didn't argue I just said yes sensei and my friend and I started to leave (it was time to go anyway). I discussed it with my freind and he feels like I do that for this guy who had no training in aikido (yes i am sure), yet was claiming to teach aikido to be able to just set up shop and peddle crap to unsuspecting students was irresponsible, as he made claims of effectiveness and self-defense and such.
shouldn't we have some kind of authority as Aikidoka to make sure if you say you teach aikido that you do? That people who, say, have a shodan and thus a certain level of training, have a certain minimum standard. I'm not saying make every school or organization test the same... But could we just use a base line standard for shodan? say we all use one set of minimum requirements that could be added to but not abridged? or should we have some umbrella authority that recognized "authorized" instructors?