Rank is rank (smelley) as Mr.Boylan said in his article (good read Jun).
As much as I agree with a sensei charging for instruction (unless he's a millionaire he needs to work, and if he has to perform a job outside of Aikido as well…he will be available less for me to train), rank has very little value to me the serious practitioner but high value for a club that wants more dues.
The very fact that Aikido rank testing is based on a set period of time (considering every individual on the planet learns at different rates), for example 30 hours for a kyu rank, and that set period of time must be concurrent (i.e. you can't take a year off and then continue where you left off) - what other purpose is there than to garnish regular dojo fees?
Furthermore, most Aikido dojos don't even "credit" (take note of this word) you for the individual hours you train. It is usually 1-hour credit per class attended regardless of whether that class was 1 hour or 3 hours. Reminds me of how mechanics make their money by charging you the full hour even if they only spend 20 minutes fixing your car.
That's just the money stink.
While goal setting is certainly helpful, rank craving and status abusing becomes the norm when someone is ranked (think of the caste system) due to greed, envy and all of the other cool factors usually associated with rank attaining (usually, not always).
The best sensei I ever had was a shodan, and his Aikido was more fluid than most sandan (almost all I have encountered to be truthful, but I am trying not to seem impertinent), his instruction was better than most godan I have trained with, and the principles I learned from him have stayed with me for over 10 years.
Also why is that someone cannot determine your rank without asking you? Is it that rank doesn't really identify anything in particular and just serves as a milestone? I personally have difficulty determining rank when watching Aikidoka if they all wear white belts. That tells me that ranks are simply an arbitrary point in the "I know all the Aikido techniques catalogue".
I haven't seen rank benefit me, just the clubs I am in. They get more money and they can identify my level within their organization (making their job easier?).
Last edited by BKimpel : 11-13-2003 at 02:09 PM.