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Old 09-10-2000, 12:39 AM   #12
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
RONIN wrote:
Ranks are very much an american thing we as americans need 2 c that we are progressing a student in japan would never think of such things.
Where do you think the idea for ranks came from? A Japanese student would never think of progress? Don't think so. A Japanese student would never think of rank? Don't think so. I guarantee it's an issue there as well as here although I do agree that in theory there is a different approach.

Aikidoka in japan are happy 2 train on the same technique for months on end which explains why the japanese have such excellent technique.
Some Japanese do have excellent technique and no doubt do exactly what you say, just as other countries also have individuals with damn excellent technique. You've obviously never met a hack shodan/nidan/whatever rolled out in a year or two from Japan whose technique might be called excellent by only the loosest of loose standards.

I would suggest that if your experience of Aikido is such that you need to get out more. There are an awful lot of good American (or other countries) teachers (named in numerous other threads) as well as students with absolutely exceptional technique. Exceptional technique is not the sole purvey of the Japanese, at least in my experience.

I have seen yonkyus who were much more adept at aikido than some shodans.
This is pretty rare in my experience. While I'm sure it happens, in my experience it's been because the student had a background in something that meshed really well with Aikido. This background usually means years of experience in some other art and that she/he was a kyu rank solely because he/she was new to Aikido.

As a general rule, I think ranking is actually taken reasonably seriously at least in the dojos I've been around(although it's definitely been abused, here and in Japan). It's not perfect, by any means, but I meet very few yudansha where I think "somebody was smoking way too much crack when they put this one through."

So just keep up your training and the day will come when your Sensei tells u it is your time
Maybe, maybe not. In some dojos, the sensei just arbitrarily ranks you when the mood strikes. In some dojos, students are actively encouraged to get rank and thoroughly supported by the dojo in doing so (some of these are damn fine dojos with very good students and teachers). Other dojos just put out a sign up sheet and those that sign up, test (assuming they have the hours). There is great variability in this process. These just happen to be 3 that I have personal knowledge of.

I think ca hit it on the head in asking the senior students. I'm willing to bet that the dojo probably has a pretty clear policy on rank.

And I'm not sorry for ranting on this one.
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