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Old 10-19-2004, 08:51 PM   #18
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Re: Group versus Individual

A definition of "group oriented" would be nice. Does anyone have one to offer?

Ron Tisdale wrote:
Well, if someone needs a separate syllibus because they refuse to do buki waza?
Separate syllabus, well I guess the weapons were just left out no other changes made and nothing written about it. The examiner can always make the exceptions he see as fit, I guess. Whether or not he compensated for this in one way or another, I have no clue. I do know that he taught loads of children's classes, and was a huge resource for the dojo.

a) are they really learning the instructor's aikido?
a) Well, Kobayashi sensei (Yasuo Kobayashi) seemed to think so... As long as both him and the chief instructor of the dojo thought it was OK, nobody had a problem with it. There are many ways to define what is important... at this time, the chief instructor of the dojo always said "Kobayashi dojo is not a specific way of performing technique. Kobayashi dojo is an attitude" and I don't think for a minute that someone felt this specific yudansha was detracting from that attitude.

b) aren't they really lowering the standards of the group?
b) If many people took this route, probably. Then maybe it would not be allowed. But as long as it is one individual in a dojo with plenty of yudansha - no, I do not think it caused any kind of problem.

c) isn't there at least the chance that some members of the group will think 'why doesn't this person of x rank NOT know the material...why when I ask them to help me during test preparation do they send me elsewhere...why do they have x rank and not know the material when all the others of x rank do know the material?
c) Maybe they could think so... but is that something to consider? There is no problem in asking one individual for help with one set of the requirement, and others about other parts. Really, where I have trained it has always been the case that some folks have been better choices for grading help than others, regarding their background from other dojos etc. It never was a problem. If you join this dojo as a sandan from an Aikikai lineage without weapons training, hey you would still be an Aikikai sandan - but not the first choice to ask for grading training help. Maybe not for leading a branch dojo, either.

Of course, the main point here is that no one saw it as a threat to the group. In an Iwama aikido setting, for instance, I do not think it would be possible to take dan grades without weapons. Here it was OK. If the chief instructor felt it had been damaging to the dojo to let this person have rank without weapons training, I think it would have been very wise not to let him do it. Also, I suppose this person did not just walk in the door saying "I want it like this". Talking about it before making a decision, taking the individual's motivation in consideration is a good thing. Remember that this individual was a resource to the dojo in other ways - I do not know if it played a part or not but I can imagine that it might.

To a certain extent it is up to the main instructor to decide what is a threat of the group, and what is not. As I previously said: wide definition of the group, more deviations accepted... and the other way around. Just make a choice! but be aware that there is one. (Depending on your organisation/teacher there might be less of a choice - but that is because someone else already had made it.)

Last edited by Hanna B : 10-19-2004 at 08:54 PM.
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