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Old 11-20-2007, 11:19 AM   #66
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
Re: significance to testing/belt rank?

William Prusner wrote: View Post
GD, If you're upset about not holding rank, and it is as easy to obtain as you say, then by all means, join up and put in the work.
If I were upset about not having rank, then by all means I would have taken steps to get it. If anything, I've tended more towards to the opposite, though I never tried to specifically avoid rank either. And where did I say that it was easy to obtain? The typical requirements are that you spend a lot of time training in one organization to meet the practice days requirement, although I suppose that having my own dojo I might have been able to join a group in exchange for a quick promotion. Not really interested in doing that, though. I don't care about having the rank and I'm not willing to make the kind of compromises that a group would require in return for an arrangement like that.

Otherwise, just take it easy, don't worry so much about what other people are doing and thinking. Just do your own thing and be comfortable with not fitting in to the mainstream. But also be aware that some of those people in the mainstream may talk down to you, underestimate you, even attempt to repress, silence and discredit your opinions. That's good, anticipate it, expect it, grow from it, consider that they are the hammers beating the impurities from your matrix, helping you to become stronger and sharper than before. And after all, don't their actions and statements say more about them than they do about you? But why put so much energy into discrediting the ranking system of an organization that you supposedly don't care for in the first place? It just don't jive. If you don't care about rank, then act like it.
It's actually a lot more complicated than that. I don't care about having rank myself. However, I do care about aikido and even people in aikido organizations (believe it or not, I don't hate everybody that belongs an organization), and for many of those people rank is a very big deal. I write about the things I learned through my experiences with these people and organizations. Maybe it will help others understand their own group better. Maybe not. But it's been an issue that has colored many of interactions I have had with people in aikido since when I first started.

I suppose I could go off and be a hermit and keep to myself, but to interact with people in the greater aikido community is to experience the issue of rank affecting those interactions in one form or another. And I've experienced it in a number of forms that many people probably haven't. I assume that you've seen for yourself how even when I have posted on an issue having nothing to do with rank whatsoever other people have turned the interaction into one focusing on rank. So I can't really get away from it. I prefer to embrace it and shine the light of inquiry on it so that people can see it for what it really is.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 11-20-2007 at 11:22 AM.