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Old 07-22-2009, 07:21 AM   #66
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
So who's in charge of Daito-ryu?
Interesting question. Not because of DR but rather to examine other modes of transmission in the more traditional Japanese arts as well.
In Koryu what you teach and even who you are allowed to teach is usually tightly controlled.
Once someone reaches the level of Menkyo kaiden (different titles for different arts) they are allowed to teach who they want and or to change the art any way they see fit- as if it is now a separate art. Let the chips fall where they may.
In any given art in any generation you might have several branches-with teachers adding a flavor to the central expression. It was not uncommon for some of those" flavors" to actually be BETTER than the central branch of any given art. That said there was no way to regain or rest control of the art back from those licensed to teach.
Since there is no Menkyo system in modern arts-to include Aikido; there is no completion or graduation set up in those arts. Therefore at any point the Aikikai could pull the rank of anyone. I am not making a judgment of whether or not a Shihan would care if the Hombu did that; just that it remains that they could. It seems aikido is interested in regaining more control of the art. The question remains whether it ever lost control to begin with.

I think folks have missed some central issues and have yet to ask some very clear administrative questions of their official representatives.

I think in all the emotion on the thread the central question remains unanswered. The original question was not about what happened in the past, (Tissier and others) but rather about Peters post about the new model and where the Aikikai is headed.
1. Will there be any issuance of shihan rank to anyone of any race in any branch that will be recognized by hombu...OTHER than Japanese people trained at the hombu.
In other words
2. Is the future...again future- going to see ONLY Japanese teachers from hombu as recognized shihan by the aikikai? Will western teachers trained at the aikikai to 6th dan in Japan be recognized as shihan? In other words clearing up issues of race over affiliation.
Those are narrow and specific parameters.

If that is so, can the IAF address the issue in a more formal way? Isn't part of it's mandate to explain and interpret the Japanese honne for us unaware westerners in a clear manner?
3. Will the current 6th dans see their 7th dan rank and possible 8th dan recognized by the aikikai but never be recognized as a shihan by the aikikai? They get one- but never the other?
4. Do you think their teachers lets say Saotome should just promote them to Shihan anyway even though it will be virtually meaningless outside of the ASU?
5. If the Aikikai removes its support from various Japanese Shihan abroad, thus limit their teaching creds, then isn't the aikikai inviting students to leave those teachers and re-align with aikikai approved super teachers.
6. Under what conditions did does a Japanese teacher training under a Japanese teacher -like Ikeda under Saotome -get to be recognized as a Shihan but not Gleason, or Ledyard?

Other than translating and interpreting for us, does the IAF have the capacity to interject in decisions? Lacking that, can it clear up a rather ambiguous state of affairs and answer pointed questions?

In the "No more Mr. nice guy" thread here, Peter stated many were less than satisfied with the IAF role in their response to the Aikikai. Has any action, input, opinion, or stance been taken since that time (aprox. 2007) to respond to those Western practitioners unhappy with the decisions of the Aikikai? Or is it a case that the opinions are not necessarily "unrepresented," but rather that they are just "meaningless" in the long run?

Last edited by DH : 07-22-2009 at 07:30 AM.
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