I notice, however, that you've only mentioned 4th dan and above. Is the format the same for shodan? For nidan?
IMHO, the type of test you describe might be better suited for the senior-level folks you've mentioned. However, at shodan/nidan/sandan, it seems to me that maybe one should be still learning the basics, rather than doing their own thing.
Just another point of view -- I'm not disparaging the way anyone runs their dojo.
I simply want to keep the discussion going...
Actually, I may have communicated confusingly. The dan listings were the board. The reason I included them and their rankings is to point out that some relatively senior people witnessed the demos from slightly different affiliations and appear to have found them acceptable. We're part of the AANC which ostensibly is shihan free and as such the board is often a collection of people.
The demos were 4 shodan, 2 nidan and 2 sandan.
Disparage away. I put this out there because I'm curious how it's received and I too come from a more conventional background so this is new to me as well. I know we run directly counter to some (probably almost all) dojos out there. I recently saw Saotome's (ASU) expectations on testing and he was quite explicit that yudansha exams are not demos.
[Edited by Erik on October 31, 2000 at 03:49pm]
Aaaahh. I misread your post. My apologies.
Well, my point is still
not to disparage. However...
In my personal and humble opinion, it seems to me that sho-dan ("beginning level") tests shouldn't focus on each individual's personal interpretation of what aikido should be.
I think it's fine that people think about these issues -- what is aikido to me, how do I want to incorporate it in my life, how do I approach it, etc... Absolutely legitimate concerns.
However, IMHO, people should have a lot more experience before their entire testing and evaluation should be based on their personal interpretations.
Basics first. Without a strong foundation, how can you expect to build a great structure?
Just some morning ramblings...