Bronson Diffin wrote:
I don't train under the Aikikai umbrella but as I understand it even though there may be a list of "standard" arts each instructor injects his own personality and method into them. So even if you practiced the technique as it appeared in a book the testing instructor may want it done a different way.
The variation is much wider than that. I'll just use my situation.
My dojo is a member of the Aikikai through the Takemusu Aikido Association. The TAA, as an organization, practices Iwama-style aikido and thus technically driven by the late Morihiro Saito via the "top tier" of instructors who all trained directly with Saito Sensei.
The next nearest dojo is a member of the Aikikai through the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU). Their aikido is heavily influenced by Mitsugi Saotome Sensei.
The very best shodan candidate student from my dojo would utterly fail the test at their dojo. Likewise, the very best shodan candidate student from their dojo would utterly fail at my dojo.
Despite striving toward the same end goal, the pedagogical methods are just that different.