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Old 03-01-2005, 03:53 AM   #8
Dario Rosati
Dojo: Zanshin - Milan
Location: Milan
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 71
Re: Grading Issues and Questions :MAD:

Tiyler Durden wrote:
Hey All,
My question is Why? why do I have to pay into a federation when I get nothing in return for this! I still pay My sensei for the training yet I have to pay for my grading as well as into a "Federation"?
All MA federations are like multilevel marketing companies, more or less, with the difference that no one can be laid off... degrading is not an option.
What changes is the percentage of money that goes reinvested in MA activities and student-related stuff (such as seminars and insurances) compared to the part that enters the pockets of the directors/instructors group.
You decide if the two percentages are reasonable for you, and act accordingly. Unfortunately, these datas are rarely clear
Personally, for example, I avoid people who stacks an outrageous number of people in a tiny mat, publicizing it as "the ultimate seminar" and telling bullshit like "many people in tiny spaces helps your training". It only helps their revenue; I don't care if their aikido is good or if they are te only local shihans, it's a matter of principle and respect, IMHO. When one earns 3000 for a two day "seminar" with 100 people in a 6x12 mat of his property underground, something stinks, compared to who earns the same sum for an entire week in a full featured sport center with a 50x30 mat. The first one will never see me again, no matter his name/rank/skill.

This kind of leaves me with a nasty taste in my mouth and also makes me think "WHY SHOULD I GRADE"? as I cannot afford this every 2 - 3 months....
Sounds strange, unless you stay 8-10 hours a week on the mat.
I'm near the end of my second year of training (3h/week plus many seminars), and will grade for 5th kyu in may.
We only grade once a year in a fixed slot at the end of the course, which seems slooooow, but I understand the logic of the choice and I like it:

1) Passing by students with less commitment (who usually quits in half or one year) don't grade and don't waste a single euro in exams or Aikikai fees in the first year; they simply pay the gym/course fee, which is extremely low.
2) It is better to be a good 5th kyu, than a so-so 3rd. Moreover, being 6th kyu doesn't mean we don't train in koshi nage or juji-garame, or high falls.
3) You can capitalize the slowness in the first kyus later, for 2nd and 1st kyu since you 'll for sure meet at least the training time requirements and (after 6-7 year) have a solid kihon.
4) Since almost everyone says "rank doesn't matter", why the rush in some federations and why the slowness in others? Two words: marketing strategies, applied by sensei, dojos, fed or a combination of the three.


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