Thread: Aikido Frauds
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:48 AM   #220
mriehle's Avatar
Dojo: New School Aikido
Location: Stockton, CA
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 320
Re: Aikido Frauds

Okay, in general I agree with your points. But there are some pitfalls in a couple of them. It's not that they're wrong, but they could be misleading in some cases.

John Riggs wrote:
(many apply to other arts as well)

1. RANK-generally instructors of fraudulent Aikido schools will be in the 30-50 range with ranks normally in the 8th to 10th degree black belt areas and some in the 5th to 7th degree range as well. Rank RED FLAGS:
b. RANK SOURCE: Many of the frauds cannot or will not identify the source of their rank. Those that do often receive rank from organizations that have no connection to Aikido whatsoever. For example, soke and karate organizations. Research into these organizations often shows they did the same thing-started their own organization and awarded themselves high ranks.
This one is not necessarily a problem. I think the issue here, really, is to be sure that they have the lineage to back it up. Moreover, it's important to recognize that after a certain point, rank is as much about politics, experience and seniority as anything. You can argue where that point is (but I'd put it at 3rd dan, minimum) but at some point the teacher is a good teacher, period.

I'm not advocating discarding this from consideration, but a little caution when considering it is worthwhile.

John Riggs wrote:
c. STYLE: Often such frauds found their own "style". Generally, this is done at a young age and with little legitimate rank (rarely above 3rd or 4th dan) prior to doing so. Careful research into their background usually shows a very fuzzy connection to any legitimate Aikido style.
Another one where more information may be required. Is it a new style, or simply a new organization? If it's a new organization, make sure they respect their lineage and find out why they made the split.

John Riggs wrote:
2. CLAIMS: Here is where it gets real interesting. Fraudulent instructors generally make many non-verifiable claims. Here are some examples:
This one is, IMO, the most critical point. But...

John Riggs wrote:
d. HUMILITY: Or the lack of humility. Bragging about things that are not verifiable or seem outlandish or odd. Most martial artists are humble.
Be careful here. Remember that any time there is competition between schools - and there will be - some marketing will happen. Separate the marketing from the ego. It's actually not that hard, really. Look at the other points under "CLAIMS", they pretty much say it all.

John Riggs wrote:
The above are red flags for potential frauds. Keep in mind that the quality of instruction, the chemistry between you and your instructor and the atmosophere of the school all play an important role in your decision.
I really like this statement, though.

When it comes right down to it, I think my feeling is this is all good, but you can go wrong by being too skeptical just as easily as you can by being too gullible and that needs to be addressed in any comments to potential beginners.

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