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Old 05-09-2003, 12:26 PM   #38
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Too Direct! Sorry!

paul watt (paw) wrote:

That would have been me.
Thanks. See if you can find a crueler way of saying it
cough *** Tomiki *** cough

Aikido's put on the line everytime we step on the mat. Everything we do is a reflection of our ability. For example, a shodan is judged by their ability with every action they do by everyone present (based on people's notion of what a shodan should be). More specifically, if a shodan bows out of warm up, for no apparent reason ... falls when they should be throwing (and uke is of a lower rank and skill) ... cannot perform a technique with a cooperative uke ... these actions all add up and suggest maybe the shodan shouldn't be a shodan.

For me, personally, stepping up and testing wasn't that big a deal. Sure, I would be nervous. Sure, I wanted to do well. And yeah, I've seen people who had honest to goodness panic attacks while testing, but not me. Put in shiai, though, and I get an adrenaline dump every time.

Be honest, haven't you seen people pass exams that you personally wouldn't have passed if the decision was yours? I bet we all have.

I feel that current exams are waaaay to subjective for my preferrence. Hence, I would prefer no rank be assigned to anyone. I've gone into detail about this on the other forum, so I'm sure you're familiar with why I feel the way I do. But for those who don't know me, I have tested many times, hold rank and (this is key) I haven't returned my rank in aikido to Hombu, so I freely confess I'm being a hypocrite. (Gotta tell the truth).

As always, George, I appreciate your posts more than I can express and I appreciate your honesty and integrity.

Warm Regards,

Sorry if I was too direct. I get carried away by making the argument. Too much time spent arguing politics with my right wing grandfather growing up. Didn't mean to be a hardass.

You notice that I didn't actually talk much about rank. The rank part of it is secondary and not that important. It's the test itself and the preparation for and doing of it.

My apologies of course to the Tomiki folks. The fact that they have competition develops certain strngths that the general Aikido population doesn't tend to have. Since there isn't all that much Tomiki style here in the US, I forget about them sometimes when refer to issues that effect Aikido in general.

As for passing people who didn't deserve to pass... That is a whole can of worms that has been opened here before and I won't get into it. The subjective nature of grading has made Dan rank irrelevant from the standpoint of indicating any particular standard of ability. It doesn't however usually indicate some level of commitment and that can be an important recognition as well.

Anyway, please accept my apologies for any offense given. It wasn't intentional in any personal way. Just too agressive a communications style. I like to debate (in case you couldn't tell).

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 05-09-2003 at 12:29 PM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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