Thread: Dan Exams
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Old 09-11-2000, 02:25 AM   #12
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Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
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RONIN wrote:
I personally feel that astudent up for shodan or higher should be in good physical shape and able to defend themselves.
How would you define 'good physical shape' and 'able to defend themselves'? I don't believe you can quantify such abilities and I actually don't think that is what everybody should focus upon in Aikido. If you choose that view - fine by me, but it is a very small part of Aikido in my book. As far as shape goes, I think it's a misunderstanding to demand that all Yudansha's should be top-tuned athletes. Of course you should have the stamina to endure a couple of hours of relatively intense practice with lots and lots of ukemi's but by the time you reach the dan-grades, this should have come from your regular practice. I don't think my instructor care about how much anybody in the dojo can benchpress or how fast they can run a marathon, and to be quite honest I can't see that is has anything to do with Aikido.
RONIN wrote:
At my dojo we try to cover all areas of defense standing,knife defenses, multiple attack against 3 or more opponents,ground fighting and at shodan and above handgun and long weapons disarms i.e.shotguns and rifles.
Mind you this is just my opinion, but I don't practice Aikido to enhance my skills in brawling and fighting. I practice because it has a great effect on my personality and helps create balance in my life. Maybe it's because I live in a country where it's a rare sight to see somebody pull a gun or a shotgun from the coat (actually happened last weekend about 4 miles from where I live - one life taken away - but anyway..). I cannot and I will not focus upon those aspect in my practice.
RONIN wrote:
I feel that a person getting ready for shodan should take it upon themselves to get in shape in and outside of the dojo.I believe that there should be no favorites in the dojo as there will be none in the street and in life.To quote Steven Seagal Sensei:The world doesnt change for any one whether you are a baby or an old person.
In the dojo I practice in it has been said, that you should never change either yourself or the other person (attacker, uke, partner) as that will only result in a brawl and thereby a conflict arising. Instead the 'incident' should be resolved without destroying the harmony. Maybe that sounds unpractical and not realistic to those who chooce to practice Aikido as a self-defence system, but I believe that given time and effort I will get this ability but I don't expect to be able to defend myself against anything or anybody within quite a long time from now - not even if my instructor one day decides to grade me Shodan on the account of some of my other Aikido-abilities.
RONIN wrote:
Any one have any comments on this please reply?
Well … apparently I did - hope I haven't offended anybody. I certainly didn't intend to. I think we can once more establish that it is true that there is many paths at the foot of the mountain. Maybe we can one day meet each other on a more elevated path .

All the best to all Aikidoka out there

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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