Eric Webber wrote:
I like to know rank when I'm at a seminar: I look for the oldest, nastiest, beat up, worn out, washed out was-black-is-now-frayed-grey belt I can find and track him down like cat on the prowl. Figure they're the safest people to train with because they've "been there and done that" and don't need to prove anything to my dinky little rank, other than show how kind they can be to cohai.
You obviously don't practice Yoshinkan! With the guys you are describing (old tatty belt), they will batter you! Some of them have required numerous Uke at demonstrations as they have broken the ones they started with!!! I mean broken bones, knocked unconcious, etc.
A world away from soft styles!
On the poll, I said some-what. I have been Nidan for years, but my next grading may very well be to Shodan (or it may be Nidan, I don't know)! I have moved over to a different school and what I will say is that the grade is not who you are or your ability. You train, teach and your Aikido speaks for you! Everything else (eg. grade) is administrative.
I have friends who are in horror, that I may regrade lower than I am, but if I didn't trust the instructor running the grading, I would not be training there or grading with them.
Hey, just train and enjoy it!
The worst thing I have ever seen in Aikido is a guy walking up the line of Dan grades at a seminat asking each his grade, to make sure he sat at the correct place!!!! "What grade are you?" "Shodan!" "Well I'm Nidan!" Then he went up the line!!!
Get over it!