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Old 03-09-2012, 03:26 PM   #12
Zoe S Toth
Dojo: Seidokan Aikido of South Carolina
Location: Columbia, SC
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 38
United_States
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Re: The Limiting Factor in a Student's Training

George Sensei,

This blog post really struck a chord with me. At the USC college (the SC not CA one) we have two Aikido clubs. A year ago ours, a Seidokan Aikido club was being taught by a 7th dan and his senior students that ranged from 4th dan to 2nd dan. The new club, a Wadokai club, was being taught by an ikkyu. I eventually met him and asked why he started his club. He said he tried ours and it 'was giving him bad habits'. Really? I still find it hard to believe a brown belt would say he could learn nothing from our teacher. Actually, he was saying learning from our teacher who has around 35 years of experience was actually detrimental.

I was amazed by the arrogance. We are not a small club and we travel to seminars all the time, inviting outside instructors in to teach us as much as financially possible. Personally, I thought he wanted to perpetuate the new style.

Secondly, the thing about testing that is insanely infuriating for new people is that it feels like a time thing. I trained a year so I get to test, rather than I am ready to test. Especially since our instructor was testing in a more 'Japanese' fashion- ie a black belt took 3 years rather than the 5-10 that is average in our dojo right now. I would like to see the rank system resolved, even though I speak from the bottom where as you are speaking from towards the top. Its disheartening to wonder if the rank you have is meaningless. After all, why waste the time doing 'tests' when they are really demonstrations?

Of course that could be me talking out of bitterness. It's really hard to think you are the same rank as someone who over the same year, trained less than half as much as you.

Anyway, thank you for the post. It was wonderful.
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