View Single Post
Old 04-09-2008, 04:44 AM   #12
Peter Goldsbury
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,240
Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Mr Johnson,

Thank you. However, your post requires a few more comments.

Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Amazing and very insightful indeed.

So if I understand you correctly, Tamura Sensei is connected to Hombu and can give ranks virtually anywhere.
However any ranks received by him in the organization here in Hungary are not recognized by Hombu?
No. Joseph Bowen is correct. Unless Tamura Sensei has delivered his own dan ranks, which the Aikikai would not know about anyway, or the organization in Hungary has forbidden him to conduct dan examination (which is unlikely), any grades he has awarded in Hungary would be recognized by the Hombu, with a numbered certificate signed by the Doshu.

Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
I suppose I was under the impression that if there was a ranking connecting official to the Hombu that it automatically created recognition...I suppose its two different things and just a matter of this organization obtaining recognition.
No. The situation is more complicated. If you take the case of Korea, for example, there was an organization recognized by the Aikikai and a member of the IAF, but they actually did hapkido, which, despite being written in the same characters as aikido, is a completely different art. The situation was made more confusing because the senior hapkido instructor regularly visited the Aikikai and said he was practising the same art as the Aikikai was. This organization was expelled from the IAF. Yasuo Kobayashi is an old Hombu deshi and his organization is 100% Aikikai. So the IAF will soon have a new member for Korea. I was approached by Kobayashi Sensei's son a few years ago, who asked how Korea could join the IAF. My reply was that the organization had to have Recognition first. They received this shortly afterwards. I think that a number of Japanese instructors visit Hungary, but this is not enough to create an aikido organization.

Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Again, I truly am not aware of the ins/outs of the politics of Aikido here in Hungary - Im happy I can learn Aikido despite that Im learning in a language I dont really understand. - Hungarian and Japanese...
Actually, Eastern Europe, as well as Hungary, is rather complicated. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who first had the dream of spreading aikido outside Japan and this was a direct consequence of Japan's defeat in World War II. However, he sent Japanese instructors to places like the UK and the US, Germany, Italy, France: countries that were directly involved in the war. Eastern Europe was hardly touched. In any case it was difficult to obtain visas.

Then shihans like Masatake Fujita began to visit Eastern Europe and aikido organizations were created. Thus, I myself visited Hungary and Bulgaria a few years ago and taught a course in Budapest to members of an organization created by Michel Gollo, who worked for an airline. Gollo was trying to create an organization, obtain Hombu Recognition and join the IAF, but local politics prevented this. There were too many local quarrels and splits.

I am British by nationality and began aikido in the UK, nearly 40 years ago. There was a resident Japanese shihan, sent by the Hombu, so the connection was already clear. But the number of shihans like Tamura Sensei, who were direct deshi of the Founder and Kisshomaru, is dwindling and soon there will be none left. No one teaching aikido will have had direct knowledge of the Founder and the Aikikai is already planning for this situation (the planning is not without controversy). It will no longer be possible for Japanese instructors to reside outside Japan and teach aikido professionally. Any Japanese who do live outside Japan will be there because of their jobs, not because of aikido. So the focus will move to the organization, not on the individual shihan. The organization has to be stable and have a history of good training, teaching and examining (as these are understood by the Aikikai). As I stated in my previous post, I do not know why no organization in Hungary has yet been given Aikikai Recognition.

Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
However I will try to look into this further and take your advise in contacting Hombu to try to get clarification on this matter. It would be nice to know...especially after all of the time and effort that goes into learning. (i.e., my sensei just received his 1st dan...after 10+ years I believe it took him, and he is truly good.)


Can I ask who awarded your teacher his first dan?

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-09-2008 at 04:46 AM.

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
  Reply With Quote