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Old 10-30-2011, 01:03 PM   #13
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 345
England
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Re: Get Over It Already!

Of course it's nice for the ego to have passed grading examinations, and you could also put forward a reasonably convincing argument that it can standardise quality, that the stress of performing in public is some sort of validation of your ability, and so on.

After teaching for quite a few years, though, I feel more and more strongly that proceeding up the grades is most of all a process of taking on responsibility: the senior grade in a dojo (as a rule) automatically leads the class when the dojo-cho is absent, and the middle grades help bear the load of looking after beginners.

I can also imagine that not having a grading system is much more open to abuse through favouritism, although of course this is true to some extent of any system.

Alex
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