Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
There are a lot of ways that rank is both interesting and useful, as a phenomenon within the aikido world. There are a lot of ways that it gets in the way and can even be problematic.
Yes, I'd agree. I started out in another dojo (in a galaxy far away, etc) in which I attained 2nd kyu rank. Last year I started Aikido again. The first dojo had been independent, this dojo is Aikikai affiliated, so after some discussion, I agreed to start over. [Practically speaking, since none of my ranks had been registered (?) at hombu, it would have been difficult for him to recognize any ranks for me.] It was quickly apparent to me that what had been 2nd kyu work at my old dojo was more equivalent to 5th or 4th kyu at this one anyway.
So...I've learned to drop rank itself from consideration and look at the actual ability of my ukes when working with them. I adjust this way, not to their actual rank (though of course for purposes of who starts when we pair off, etc I have to keep it in mind). It's helped by everyone just wearing white belts until shodan (took me some time to get used to, we had different colored belts at my old dojo). I find I prefer this now.
Anyway, back to the OP's initial post, it may be that if this orange belt guy's rank is registered somewhere, the sensei is respecting that. Although I've found it interesting some of the other commetns on having "transfer" students retest at their claimed level. What happens if they don't pass? Wait and try that test again later?