Young-In Park wrote:
Why do people have to wait until shodan to "really learn aikido"? How come kyu-ranked people can't "really learn" it right now?
Really, all this fuss over an orange belt? What's the real difference between an orange or a blue or a pink belt?
The literal translation of Shodan is beginner level. Kyu grades are just a lead-in. The whole concept of becoming a "black belt" as a goal is pretty strange in Japan, where you'd be disappointed to learn it's generally quite easy to get to shodan in many martial arts. (I've seen people do it in a year or two.) All it means is they have a grounding in the basics, don't fall over too much, and are ready to begin learning.
Just my 2JPY worth