Michael Young wrote:
Thank you for the info Mr. Goldsbury. If my understanding is correct then, the Shihan title is mostly ceremonial, and as with most rank related issues, is only as important as each organization (and/or individual) makes it. Hombu doesn't impart special permission for anything new, it is just an adjunct title to a particular rank indicating a somewhat special or recognized teacher in Hombu's eyes (or maybe not so special since they don't seem to give it much exposure...typical Japanese layers of etiquette and meaning
Thanks for sharing your knowledge agian,
The Aikikai is in process of tying the shihan rank much more closely to the organization. The organization can award ranks in accordance with the ranking of the most senior member of the organization's teaching/examination committee. For example, if the senior member has 7th dan rank, then the organization can promote directly up to 5th dan and request for a promotion up to 6th dan. It does not matter whether the 7th dan has the title of shihan or not. If he/she does, it is simply icing on the cake.