Thread: Aikido Frauds
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:47 AM   #61
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Re: Aikido Frauds

Interesting idea Rob but getting different organizations to agree on a standard is a problem. The instructor quality issue should be left in my opinion to the organization. If there is a bad or abusive instructor as David suggests, the organization has a repsonsibility to fix that problem. People are people.

So, here are some thoughts as I ponder this:
1. We could come up with a list of what generally identifies a legitimate aikido background/instructor and publicize it in our respective areas.
2. Re-implement dojo raids or challenges-too many legal issues here.
3. Hope the frauds get found out and just go away. Some get caught in their lies when their egos run away and get publically exposed. Unfortunately, not enough of them.
4. See if their is a way to get the Ueshiba family to copyright the term "Aikido" and then sue everyone who is not authorized to use it.
5. Encourage these frauds to rename their art excluding the word Aikido (I could go with this one).

Regarding number 1. Here are some thoughts on screening criteria for a legitimate aikidoka/instructor.
1. Must be certified/ranked at all levels by a recognized aikido organization that split off from the Ueshiba family and can trace a lineage: Ki Society, Yoshinkan, Tomiki, etc.
2. Ranks are in line with these organizations and not self awarded or awarded by groups with no one qualified to do so: soke organizations, karate organizations, etc.
3. Legitimate instructors should accurately document credentials on public media such as websites. This is not to be an ego thing but rather to establish credentials and accurately reflect what you have "earned". I know some don't like to do this especially at high ranks (opposite of what the fraudulent high ranks do) but not only should the rank be documented but when it was awarded and by whom or what organization. The rank should be verifiable through the organization. No excuses for certificates getting burned up in fires or awarded by someone nobody can find or some defunct organization. If you have legitimate credentials from a legitimate organization and it gets burned in a fire you can get it replaced. They should have a record of you anyway and it can be verified if you can't afford to replace it.
4. Senseis in legitimate dojos should be willing to display their rank certificates on a wall in the dojo if possible unless working in a YMCA or something like that. They should be willing to show and prove to students their rank and source without getting offended that someone asks. Usually, people with legitimate credentials do not have any problem with being asked to provide proof of their rank and its source-probably because they can.
5. Legitimate instructors should attempt to keep in contact and or at least know where their instructors are and actually should be able to name them. A good red flag is the instructor cannot remember who they studied with. If I earn a black belt with someone I should be able to remember their name-besides sensei. Their instructors should actually be people that are living or who have lived in the past and that this is verifiable. In other words, given the ease of finding people with today's technology, I should be able to locate and if desired contact these people.
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