Re: Poll: How meaningful are other people's aikido rank to you?
As with the poll last week, rank is relative. My rank in the organization that I belong to is important to me, but only to a degree. It is secondary to my practice, but serves a purpose. Other peoples rank in Aikido is ultimately unimportant because my Aikido practice is more of a personal journey. However, someone else's rank may impact decisions that I make. For example, if I were to attend a huge seminar that offered multiple instructors teaching simultaneously. If I don't know anything but the rank of the instructors teaching, I would probably be more inclined to attend the higher of the two instructors. This would be assuming (quite possibly erroneously) that the higher rank denotes greater skill. Obviously, people attend seminars based on the information available to them about the instructor, their reputation and personal affirmations by a credible source of their ability. But, if you don't have that information, then you can only fall back on the rank. Someone somewhere deem the instructor worthy of the rank. So, they should (that's a big Should) have the requisite skills to entice you to join the seminar. There are obviously exceptions. I know firsthand of an instructor who is only a Nidan, but in my opinion has a great deal to offer anyone when he instructs, and I would highly recommend anyone to train with him. Rank doesn't tell all but lacking other information, it is a place to start.