However, the requirements for each rank is not as extensive as other dojos in foreign countries. So a blackbelt or any kyu rank in a foreign country could actually know a lot more than his/her Japanese counterpart.
Are we equating extensiveness with the number of minimum
techniques tested? A black belt could have only a superficial knowledge of a vast array of techniques, while completely failing to meet the requirements for the ones outlined in the minimum standards of the founder's organisation. You could make the Aikikai shodan
syllabus the 10th kyu
requirements for your local dojo in order to claim you have "more extensive requirements" than the Japanese. However, if you expect that 10th kyu
to be able to do those techniques at the same standard as the shodan
, that person is probably going to have to put in the same amount of mat time and effort (you might also want to introduce a few kyu
s prior to 10th in this case and don't go complaining if you never have any shihan
I've only trained at the Hombu a few times, but every time, without fail, I have met talented foreigners funnily enough. The counterparts you refer to are not only Japanese. Those that are Japanese get to train with foreigners regularly, under some of Osensei's direct students, several times a day. I'd say the teachers are more important than the tools they use to measure progress. The ranks are just way-markers and every teacher will have different ways of applying and extending their testing criteria.
What do you think the minimum requirements should be for the many nationalities and thousands of teachers that train under the Aikikai umbrella?
If he asks you for your PIN number or something I'd say no, but if he thought you were ready to grade, it probably means a lot. I remember going to a seminar once and getting a grading sprung on me out of the blue. I'm sure they accounted for any confusion, both in my case and yours, since you don't have as much time to prepare when you don't think you're going to test. Well done!