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Old 04-20-2001, 05:04 AM   #19
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Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 795
Time for shodan ?

I guess we're back to the old 'how long to become shodan' discussion here. After what I have heard it is a general trend that westeners think somewhat more of Shodan than what is usual in Japan. Keeping in mind that Shodan is 'first step' it is just an indication that the student has proven an interest and can be accepted as a serious student of the art. In the west on the other hand, Shodan is often associate with some sort of 'masterlevel'. Therefore in Japan it is not uncommon to reach shodan in a couple of years. In Europe as much as seven years can be a common timeframe. Perhaps we should lower the demands for a shodan a bit - however it is better to be a good mudansha than a bad yudansha.
BTW: Erik! it's hard to compare such an art as kyudo or iaido with Aikido or Karate. I can not explain in detail what the difference is but i believe they have a more introvert nature and a different focus which again implies a difference in the qualities upon which gradings are based. One more thing: It might be, that kyudo gradings can be 'speeded up' a bit for westernes practicing for a while in Japan in order to inspire the students to continue practicing when they come home, and to give them a sign of 'quality' making it easier for them to start teaching in theire home country.
Sorry about the length of this post. Hope somebody finds it interesting .

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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