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Old 07-06-2004, 05:56 AM   #24
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
Re: The black belt Issue (thoughts)

Tiyler Durden wrote:
Or does it mean that i will never truly learn Aikido if i never get a black belt?
I'll take another stab at this because, much as I want to for the reasons given, the question is actually a good one.

I think it is possible to train and progress without having to worry about ranks but in dojos where testing is part of the process it is self defeating. The kyu grades are as much an ever increasing bar as a series of techniques and generally you see a strong improvement prior to the test and a growing into the grade afterward. If that mechanism is in place and you choose to stay outside of it - you will not reap the benefits and your Aikido will lag.

Dojos which don't use the kyu/dan system have other mechanisms. For example a student will train only in one set of techniques until it is decided by the teacher that he is skilled enough to progress to the next set. A kyu or dan rank is not awarded but the effect is the same. No mechanism - well the student and perhaps the dojo itself can only coast. There will be progress in the beginning but how long can it be maintained.

Low kyu ranks are not political they are measures of progress. If you don't wish to be measured fine but you have no basis to say your Aikido is better or worse than one who has. To do so is the height of self absorbed arrogance.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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