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Old 04-14-2006, 08:09 PM   #37
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
Re: Watch Out for Aikido 'Shihans'..........

That is my point. Dan only did a Seminar or two with Akira Tohei. Dan only wore a white belt in our dojo before he left for the Athletic Club dojo (which was independent). That was what prompted me to ask our teacher why that was because I knew he was ahead of me. That's when I was told he had never tested because he didn't believe in it (We wore colored belts in our dojo). That means that from 1995 when I arrived, he wasn't a member of any Federation.
In the article, he mentions Shihankai at the beginning and Shihankai at the end conveniently saying,"...was promoted to San dan (3rd degree black belt) upon receiving his teacher's license in 1999, shortly after the passing of Shihankai Akira Tohei 8th Dan."
1) No one ever called Tohei Sensei Shihankai. That was the designation of the group of Shihans in the USAF. Skihankai is an organization in Japanese, not a title for a person.
2) The passing of Tohei sensei had nothing to do with Dan Vela's 3rd degree "promotion". Dan was in Corpus and Tohei was in Chicago and to my knowledge, Dan was not a member of Midwest (not Midwestern) Federation.
3) He couldn't have been promoted by Tohei because the only person in Corpus Christi, Texas to ever receive a black belt in Corpus from Tohei sensei was Eddie Martinez, one of the teachers. There were students there that were 2nd kyu when Dan was unranked who never received the black belt because the dojo eventually closed. The only students from there to ever receive an Aikikai black belt were Jorge Garcia, John Stephen Garcia, Joel Molina and Gilbert Fuentes (in that order) and none of those were from Tohei Shihan because he had died by then.
4) at one time ,Glenn Permru had been in Corpus and had run a few events there but got in trouble for not paying the bills for those events so he moved on but apparently, Dan kept in touch with him.

The worst sentence there is the opening one,
"Shihan Dan Vela began his formal Aikido training in his early 40's with Shihankai Akira Tohei, founder of the Midwestern Aikido Federation and head of the USAF and MAF, at Corpus Christi, Texas Aiki Kai. After receiving his Shodan (1st degree black belt) at the age of 47..." I am certain that Tohei Sensei never even noticed Dan. He didn't begin any training with Tohei- he attended a seminar. That is an intentional misuse of words. If the day I start Aikido, I attend a seminar with Yamada Sensei but I never see him again, I can't say I started my training under Yamada who probably didn't know I was alive!
It's bad. I'll calm down now.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."