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Old 08-06-2004, 07:13 AM   #44
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Re: Poll: Do you think people should receive ranking in aikido for reasons outside of their technical ability?

Ian Hurst wrote:
Perhaps you're correct. I've obviously been in a totally different martial art that has cruelly misinformed me that it is aikido. In fact it's possibly a UK conspiracy as in all the associations I've trained with, the higher the rank, the better they technically were (caveat: as long as the comparison was within a single organisation).
At first, I thought you were being sarcastic. Then I realised I had been unclear: Roppokai, that has the grading system based only on amount of training, is not an aikido org but a Daito Ryu organisation.

Ian Hurst wrote:
Hanna, I used that example for one simple reason, the higher grades would become the teachers of the next generation of little ukes. If they can't execute the technique, what benefit is it to the newbie to learn from them?
You make the assumption that the highest ranks will become the teachers, then. Well, that is one possibility of building something - but not the only one. This is not the case in most of the places I've been - in a dojo where the average level is low, yes, but not when you have plenty of yudansha around.

You also assume that I say people should be given grades if they can not execute technique, but I never said that. To get the grade, one should learn the techniques required for the grade - but the performace, the quality could vary. Sometimes, the best performers are not the best teachers.

Ian Hurst wrote:
But going off the replies so far, I'm mistaken. Aikido doesn't need to maintain a certain degree technical competence as instead of technique, we're to be judged on more nebulous concepts of personal integrity and honour. Well bugger it, I'm off to train in whatever the hell I'm doing, hope you have as much fun as I'm planning to...
Well, most of the votes say you should not judge anything else than technical competence. I do not like the idea of teachers giving me grades judging if I'm a good person either... I am actually quite appalled by the idea.

I'd say that technical competence in aikido is quite difficult to judge. In previous similar discussions, paw always jumped up to say that aikido gradings were useless because they did not mean anything while as in judo, a blue belt meant that one could compete at blue belt level. In aikido we judge technique on how it looks, and quite often we think a technique looks horrible when it simply is done according to another ideal. There is an interview with Christian Tissier on the web, where he tells about goint to Japan to train as a young man, saw the late Doshu doing iriminage and thought "that guy is not very good".

How do we know that we are judging skill, when we think we are? If you ask me, most of the time we are not. We are judging if something looks close to the ideal that we have learned.

Last edited by Hanna B : 08-06-2004 at 07:22 AM.
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