Christopher Li wrote:
Don't you think that kind of comment is uncalled for? At the Aikikai Hombu (with which your dojo is affiliated) it's possible to get to ni-dan in around 2 years. It's possible to get to ni-dan in four years at most Aikikai university clubs in Japan. Nary a polka-dotted belts or hello kitty dangle in site...
I didn't mean it in a mean-spirited way, I was actually hoping for a bit of levity. It sounded as if it was a case of being made to grade every 2-3 months, which unless you're training a lot, is much too fast for the majority of people in my opinion. I've seen this in many McDojo's (tm), not Aikido mind you, and they grade more for the dues than anything else it seems. Please accept my humble apologies if I offended anyone, no harm was meant.
In my opinion, testing dues, dojo fees, and the like are well warranted, though they can be abused. In my dojo, it's actually the other way around. Our fees are next to nothing, comparitively, and for that I'm immeasurably grateful because it allows me to learn Aikido without having to hurt my family's finances. If I had to pay as much as the original poster a year, I couldn't take Aikido classes without resorting to bank robbery and the like, which is definitely not an aiki type of thing to do.
I also have great respect for soku Hello Kittie 「はろきちー」 /me bows low and slowly backs away....