Jørgen Jakob Friis
Anywho... I'm preparing my 2. dan grading which will hopefully happen in late november, and comming from a fairly rich country it's not that big a deal to find the money. However once we get to 4th and 5. dan it's gonna cost a small fortune. This however is not something I spend a lot of time thinking about now that I realize that I am in a far better position that a lot of other aikido-ka' out there. I feel really sorry for those who have a lower income than what we have her in DK. It must take effort and a lot of hard work to find the money for practice and gradings, so my hat's of to you guys out there.
Good luck with the grading exam - don't forget that nidan is the cheapest one to pass, as you have already paid for your Aikikai resgistration...
I guess the higher fees for higher grades might be justified by the supposition that by the time you get to 4th and 5th Dan you might have a sizeable handful of students whose mat fees will contribute to their teacher's grading costs. Alternatively you might (if you are lucky) be a senior grade in a large dojo run by a shihan, in which case the same may apply.
On a different note: How about kyu gradings... should they come at a price? in my dojo they are free. I'm not running a money machine here... however I am thinking about charging a small amount to pay for the diplomas. Any thoughts?
In the BAF there is a small fee for each Kyu grading (between £4 and £10, if I remember correctly), and the successful candidate pays an extra £2 for the stamp in their membership book, although there is no certificate awarded. This provides a small (but not insignificant) source of income for the federation.