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Old 04-15-2006, 05:21 PM   #43
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Re: Watch Out for Aikido 'Shihans'..........

Wow. What a journey. The posting on the Sanban Kaigen Aikido stuff is very misleading and vague. As Jorge pointed out, he carefully words it so he never really comes out and says he was promoted by Tohei yet makes it vague enough to infer he was. It would be like me saying I studied under Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, Ki Society founder because I studied in his organization. I have been to seminars for over 40 different instructors and have been in ASU, AAA and am now with Kato Sensei. To be perfectly honest, even though I was directly under Toyoda in AAA, I really can't say I was ever a "student". I attended his seminars and was promoted by him and his organization but I never really directly studied under him. Kato sensei is the first sensei where I feel I'm actually a student and learning from him. While in AAA, I trained myself for all my tests.

The journey this young man took really stresses the importance of checking out your school and instructor. The criteria I developed as a result of my fraud thread on this site is a good place to start. ( Go to the instructor page and scroll down to the link on chosing a school). It was developed with the input of a lot of people. With overly inflated grades starting to pop up in the art, trace your lineage and save yourself some money and embarassment by going with someone legitimate. As most people who stick with the art realize, if not in the beginning, is that their curiosity starts them looking at other sites, information, etc. If they are doing something not legitimate, they will realize it as they explore the art. One of my students experienced the same thing, trained to the equivalent of a 4th kyu and found out it was not legitimate at least as far as we are able to tell. I came along and he's now a good aikidoka with legitimate credentials and still a little pissed he wasted a year plus. He sincerely felt conned and was getting ready to quit before I started teaching in the area.