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Old 02-08-2006, 11:27 AM   #21
Josh Reyer
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Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Re: Definition of "Dan"?

Mark Freeman wrote:
There can't be many things in life where you have to practice for so long just to get to the bottom of the cliff!
Well, compared to the States, at least, it seems like people are expected to fly through the kyuu ranks, here. Perhaps it's because they view it as the "beginning level", it's not given the same weight as it is in the U.S., where "black belt" is synomous with "expert".

To provide some examples:
The Twin Cities Aikido Dojo says on their website:

A black belt indicates not an expert, but a senior student.
But then they say:

On average, students practicing at least 3 hours per week and applying themselves seriously take about 6 years to achieve the rank of shodan.
Contrast this with my instructor, who seems to believe (and expect) that coming once or twice every week (the dojo is only open Sat-Sun), and testing at the regular 4 month intervals, students should be able to make shodan in less than 2 years.

Or the belt requirements:

5-kyuu, USAF (from TCAC's website)
1. Shomenuchi Ikkyo (omote and ura)
2. Shomenuchi Iriminage
3. Katatetori Shihonage (omote & ura)
4. Ryotetori Tenchinage
5. Tsuki Kotegaeshi
6. Ushiro Tekubitori Kotegaeshi
7. Morotetori Kokyuho

Compared to Hombu Dojo's:
1. Shomenuchi Ikkyo (omote and ura)
2. Katatetori Shihonage (omote and ura)
3. Shomenuchi Iriminage
4. Suwariwaza Ryotetori Kokyuhou

My own dojo's requirements (which apparently are taken from the Aikikai's Ibaraki Dojo):
1. Shomenuchi Ikkyo (omote and ura)
2. Katatetori Ikkyo (omote and ura)
3. Katatetori Shihonage (omote and ura)
4. Suwariwaza Ryotetori Kokyuhou

Shodan tests seem to be universally comprehensive, though:

1. Katatori Menuchi-5 techniques
2. Yokemenuchi-5 techniques
3. Morotetori-5 techniques
4. Shomenuchi-5 techniques
5. Ryotetori-5 techniques
6. Koshinage-5 techniques
7. Tantotori
8. Hanmi-Handachi (Ushiro Waza)- 5 techniques
10. Tachitori
11. Jotori
12. Henkawaza
13. Freestyle-4 persons

Unarmed techniques (sitting, sitting vs. standing, standing techniques for strikes, thrusts, all forms of grasping: shoulders, elbows, collar, wrists and hands; all techniques from the rear)

My dojo:
Yokomenuchi ikkyou through gokyou (standing and sitting)
3 hanmi-handachi techniques
3 shihonage techniques
3 kotegaeshi techniques
3 kokyuu-nage techniques
3 iriminage techniques
3 koshinage techniques
3 ushiro techniques
3 kaiten-nage techniques
3-person freestyle
3 tantodori techniques
3 jotori techniques
3 tachidori techniques

I imagine there are a fair number of ikkyuu and nikyuu in the U.S. who are as good as shodans here in Japan.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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