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Old 01-11-2011, 03:47 PM   #26
Dojo: Aikido Institute - Oakland
Location: Oakland
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 80
Re: What Is Your Responsibility in Training?

hi George,
definitely appreciate your post.
in my view, at least one factor in this phenomena seems to be the way in which rank is obtained in many MA organizations (making it more general here so as to point to a larger phenomena). setting the 'newbies' aside as a separate group that deserves some slack based on their time training, i wonder what the ranks were/are of many of those who attended the seminar(s) and never seem to 'get it.'?
i have always had some reservations about ranking systems where people are tested simply based on the number of classes they've attended and not based on ability. I saw this to an extreme as a teenager when i trained in TKD: folks who consider themselves "paying customers" of an MA studio instead of members of a 'place of a way' usually expect to be promoted based purely on the math of their attendance, and engage in American-style consumer-rights rhetoric when they want to advance, arguing that they pay every month and attend X number of classes, etc.

unfortunately i have seen some of this in Aikido as well.
i suspect that this issue is certainly at play in the scenario you describe.

thus, (and i guess this goes back to the other point about teachers and dojocho during their job) i think that at least one solution is for organizations to make rank promotion more based on ability and less on simply attendance. with this in place, perhaps people who attend over and over and never get promoted will finally one day 'get' what they are supposed to get to move on, or decide finally that the art is not for them and move on.

how to implement this, though, when comraderie and friendships are on the line--not sure.

does anyone train in an organization that promotes based on ability only?
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