No one is in competition with anyone else.The question that is being asked by some is this . namely Is everybody starting from a position of a level playing field.As far as wanting titles are concerned personally I never sought office or grades within the three organizations that I have been involved in over the last 41 years.I just trained and tried to work for the benefit of the members of our group and as a diligent servant to my teacher.Of course everyone I would suggest would like to
aspire to higher things.This is in my book a pretty natural thing.Nothing to be ashamed of.For example , you might like to be considered by your workforce as being a competent person you line of business and you may have aspirations to develop your talents and secure some managerial position.Should you or anybody in that scenario feel guilty about having such aspirations?I think not, especially if you have served your time and you know your subject.
However in this world you do not always get what you wish for.Thats life I suppose.
All I think is this , more transparency and openness is required by the Aikido community and by Hombu dojo to resolve issues like this subject and any other subject that causes concern .
I am however p;eased that you and a few others have responded to the initial blog.I do hope this mail finds you well, Cheers, Joe.
Why do you need a level playing field? Only if you are playing something competitive that requires even starting conditions (which is where the expression comes from). Is the North American (or European, or African, etc.) teacher competing for students? Seminar invitations? Youtube hits?
I just don't see why it is so important that the process inside Japan and the process outside Japan have to be exactly the same (and "fair").
If we apply the same principles, then it shouldn't take so long to get a black belt outside of Japan. It took me 6 years to get to shodan in North America. In Japan, I've heard that it can be done in two! It doesn't matter to me, it's just different, that's all. In fact, internationally, a North American rank might be more highly respected than a Japanese person's because people know that the standards are applied differently. Same title, different application, different meaning. Thank Yamada Sensei I suppose!
I think we agree that the intrinsic benefits of training, testing, teaching, or running a dojo are more valuable than the external recognition that may or may not be bestowed. Still, I see your point that if you have an ambition to receive the title and deserve it, but are unfairly denied, it would be frustrating and perhaps discriminatory. I just don't see evidence that this is what is going on.