Re: Poll: Do you think people should receive ranking in aikido for reasons outside of their technical ability?
This is an interesting question. In the organization I belong to (as I am sure with other organizations) the testing requirements are very well laid out. When I grade a test I look at the physical technique and I grade the physical technique.
Not much more one can do unless they are involved to some degree with the students life outside the dojo, which in my case I try to get to know my students as much as possible. But how well can you really get to know your students?
Well, I joined an organization once and they required a background check before allowing me to join. I was surprised but very happy as I thought to myself how possibly could you go wrong. You weed out some of the bad elements from the beginning.
No different than a company dismissing employees because they they bring a negative light to the company simply by being affiliated with it. I mean do you really want a convicted sex offender working for your company? Most folks will say no, I think. On the same token do you want someone of bad character representing your dojo, your sensei? I think again the answer is no.
So back to the question; "Do you think people should receive ranking in aikido for reasons outside of their technical ability?" NO!
A persons character as well as his/her technical ability is taken into consideration for promotion. A person that cannot perform basic standards for the rank being promoted to does not get a promotion, even if the person is at the dojo everyday cleaning and doing extra tasks.
A person who is of "bad character" that demonstrates great technical ability would not be promoted either. Again I agree judging the character of a person is very subjective. Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. Who are we to say that someone can't be promoted because they are an adulterer or a bully? Who are we? Well in my case, I am the sensei, so that is at my discretion. In your dojo, if you are not the one that handles promotions, it is at your sensei's discretion.
Aikido is far more than the physical technique we practice on the mat. There is a spiritual side, not religious but spiritual.
Inevitably we may all have a different opinion. It doesn't mean anyone is wrong, just of a different mind.