Re: Grading Issues and Questions :MAD:
I train at an Aikikai school and it took me about 8 months to reach 5th kyu, 8 to 4th, then 10 to 3rd. It took me two years to get to second but I had to take 9 months off to study for the Florida Bar (attorney certification exam for those that don't know). It's been a little over a year (13 months) since my 2nd kyu exam and I will probably test for 1st at the end of this year some time. So for us you test about once a year for the lower ranks then almost a year and half to two for upper kyu grades.
We have dues and registrations fees as well, and I don't have a problem with paying them. We pay a fee to test along with dues, dojo registration (initial sign up), an annual dojo registration fee to cover the dojo's dues to the national organization plus to cover things like insurance. We also have seminar fees, which are optional for the most part. For kyu exams you pay about 35-40 U.S. Dollars to test. This is to register your rank with the national organization (not Aikikai Hombu, though) and you receive a nice certificate in return. Essentially you are paying the registrations dues so you can affliate yourself with the USAF-ER (or whichever organization you school belongs), and have your rank recognized by other USAF dojos (or whichever organization you belong).
For the most part, the great majority of people test at our dojo. There are a minor two or three people who don't. But for my sensei testing is about bringing your aikido to another level rather than just pursuing rank just for the sake of just having that rank.
(P.S. We had a visitor from the Aikikai Hombu dojo, a sandan, and he was surprised that after 5 years at my present dojo that I'm still a kyu rank. He had been training for 13 -15 years if I remember correctly, and his aikido was excellent.)
Last edited by giriasis : 03-17-2005 at 10:48 PM.