Jorge Garcia wrote:
The experience level between a 300 day Shodan and the thousands of hours a 9 year practitioner has is enormous. That is what we call the watering down of the art. Unfortunately, in the case I am describing, I fear the reason was for economic ones which I highly suspect is the same reason for doing that anywhere in the world it may occur, no matter where that is.
I agree. This has happened in a lot of the punching kicking arts where black belts are awarded after 2 years of training. Aikido is an experiential art-you can't learn it without being on the mat. Even after hundreds of hours of training people are just touching the surface. The "do" element means that initial rank is just the start-you now have enough skills to start figuring out what you don't know-assuming you had good instruction in the first place to give you the skills.
The watering down aspect is a key issue for dojos going independent. I know of a "6th dan" situation where the skills are simply not there. Anyone around the art long enough can watch and pick it up. Even my wife who has only trained a little but has seen enough aikido, commented on the situation when she saw him do technique. The level of skill will get you by in a market where there is no one of legitimate skills to challenge you or where there are a lot of beginners. The sokey dokey organizations are a big nemesis in my mind. Then tend to have people issuing ranks for arts they have never studied. And what do I say about the mail order nidan? He did have a 5th dan program until I got in his face on the internet and he back peddled saying it was put up without his authorization. He apparently pulled the 5th dan from the market but not the nidan in spite of my protests that this was b.s. earning a nidan off a tape.