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Old 07-20-2009, 08:31 AM   #46
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
I'm not sure why people are surprised and annoyed that the headquarters tries to maintain some level of control. Isn't that the role of a headquarters? Maybe the question should be, why are there no non-Japanese instructors on the Hombu staff given it's international role?

Is it racism? Is it an expectation that a sufficiently proficient foreigner should go back to his homeland to spread the word?

It would also be interesting to know how the non-Japanese "people in charge" of Aikikai organisations feel they are being treated. I don't know of any major defections by such organisations, so maybe it isn't so bad. I'm sure there are some gripes as no organisation the size of the Aikikai could possibly keep everybody happy all the time.
I don't think surprise or annoyed is, perhaps, the right descriptors. If I recall correctly, there was a time when there were no non-Japanese 6th dans. After some amount of ... I guess your words aren't so bad after all ... surprise and annoyance, Aikikai Honbu changed things.

But, that created another problem -- shihan status. 6th dans thought that they would have automatic shihan status (at some point while being a 6th dan), but then, that, too, didn't really pan out. Surprise and annoyance and Aikikai are issuing shihan certificates. Which still didn't solve the initial shihan problem for the Aikikai.

Until now, we're at another moment of surprise and annoyance. That, seemingly, there are two shihan variations. One for those outside the Aikikai teaching staff and one for the Aikikai teaching staff. It would appear that the definition of shihan has changed. Now, it will be interesting to see if there is enough surprise and annoyance to get things changed ... again.

I wonder how long it will take before shihan is redefined such that those outside of Japan with shihan status can be recognized as shihan in all Aikikai Organizations outside of Japan, while shihan remains the same inside of Japan and at Aikikai Honbu. Or if considered, why it was not implemented?

And how in the world does Aikikai Honbu view a 7th dan shihan from outside of Japan that will likely have to defer (or rather entirely drop their shihan status and just be a 7th dan) to a newly appointed Aikikai Honbu training staff 6th dan shihan?
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