Justin MacEachern wrote:
Aikido is only as good as the person who is training....What is it that makes a person go through the training to shodan and not develop the passion and commitment. Better yet how do they even get tested. This is a question that i have not stoped thinking about.
1st Q - In fact, any martial art is as good as the person who is training.
2nd Q - IMO, this is a very common question in the aikido community, more so with persons practising aikido without other prior MA training. They pick aikido because they got this perception that aikido is a "passive" and a "safer" MA without competitions . Most times the dojo environment and the instructor's attitude creates that kind of spirit - the "dance" kind of dojo where choreography and "charity falls" are norms.
3rd Q - The fact that they got tested is due to the time they put in and/or age. Persons who lack the passion and commitment to improve - what motivates them to come to class? Ego, the opportunity to put on the hakama? From my observations, I find that such personalities tend to shy away from fellow yudansha in training unless they know the yudansha are lower in rank/skill than them. They tend to pick the fairer sex or the lower kyu as training partners and they also have the "bully" traits in them.
In a dojo where I train, we have a couple of these characters and one stands out in particular. So far, two ladies have ceased training at the dojo due to his attics - one (a beginner) due to an arm injury from his favorite sankyo lock and another with back injury after being slammed heavily by him on the mats. One day, my sempai (a 3rd dan and an instructor at the dojo) and I decided to have some fun with him knowing that he was always avoiding us in training. When the chief instructor took class, we sat ourselves at the two ends of the line hoping to meet up with him at one point of the class. Indeed, we did and he had a choice of either picking me or my sempai. He did neither, the joke was that he bowed off the mats and hid himself in the toilet until the next technique was practised. The whole class had a good laugh after he left.
I am sure most of you would cross these characters at the dojo where you train.