Giancarlo DiPierro (G DiPierro) wrote:
As to the subject of rank being such a big deal, I personally believe that this is precisely the reason why it takes so long to receive shodan in this country compared to Japan. I have read the theories about the Japanese prefering that they have higher ranks than Westerners, and there may be some truth to them, but I can't help thinking that if Americans did not generally think that wearing a black belt means so much that it would not take so long to receive the rank usually required to wear one in Aikido.
I had it related to me that the quality of an American shodan is usually better than that of hir Japanese counterpart. The theory being that a Shodan ranking is so much more a BIG DEAL
to the American that they equate it with excellence par none, where the Japanese see the aquisition of a dan rank as a routine starting point. After all, you can get a dan ranking in sake drinking, so what's the big deal? As the legend was told to me, I guess that however the Japanese Nidan, Sandan, Yondan ... is considered better quality than thier American counterparts.
All things being relative, YMMV.