Re: The black belt Issue (thoughts)
When a person gets the black belt and what criteria organizations use to give it is another matter altogether because that involves human judgment and some measure of politics. I don't think wearing the black belt or whether you even have one is a measure of my comments in the previous post. Those comments are based in a ideal situation. The human factor messes up the theory somewhat. The fact is that you will be competent in the basic techniques after a certain amount of time and that will be different from person to person. It will depend on the learning ability of the individual, the quality of instruction, the opportunity and the benevolence and attitude of the governing organization. Only God and you (in your heart) will know when you were really a shodan. The world will find out when they see your arts or when you wear that belt. Some people have a black belt that don't fit the profile and for them, shodan is a "legalized fiction". It should be our goal to truly be the rank we possess but even more than that, we should strive to be the "lessons of aikido". If we are that, it will be good enough. I have many memories of sempai senior students who never made shodan but were my superiors in every respect. In my mind and heart, they will always be true shodans.