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Old 10-30-2011, 12:18 PM   #10
Carsten Möllering
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Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 931
Re: Get Over It Already!

I know some dojo where there is no grading. Doesn't work well: The students mostly don't like it. They stay because the teachers seem to be brilliant. But they would prefer a grading system. At least a distinction between something like mudansha and kyudansha.
I never practiced in one of these dojo. Just know about it from sitting together and talking during seminars.

I often experience that students quit or at least don't practice with the same power after reaching shodan. Seems like they got, what they were looking for and stop searching.

In our aikido we wear hakama from nikyo on. So a lot of students are "in black or blue". This is what you see. But if it is important to you whether someone wears black or white belt you have to go near and look carefully. Most of the time you don't think about it because it doesn't matter: hakama can be kyu or dan. Be it this or that: At least it's an advanced student.

I sometimes train in surroundings where there are only black belts. I think that is the scenario OP is looking for: No signal in clothing who is advanced or who is not. No signs in clothing what to expect. No distinction of students grades (1.-4. dan in our understanding) or teacher grades (from 5. dan on in our understanding). You just have to practice wiht someone to feel how it works.

So there is a setting where there are no distinctions in clothing and gradings are years apart and dont really matter. Mostly one doesn't know the grading of the other person.
But, until you get there, there are gradings and there are signs.
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