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Old 05-02-2006, 05:39 AM   #1
Chikai Aikidoka
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Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Hi y'all,

The only available Aikido dojo in my town is not officially affiliated with any major organization bodies (IAF, Intr. Yoshinkan Fed., Iwama etc.)

So is it possible that I keep training where I am and somehow get tested for my kyus and Dan (I hope one day i get there though) somewhere else? Like at a major Aikikai seminar or maybe traveling to get tested in a neighbouring country that has an affiliated dojo?

Have you ever heard of such a practice or possibility? Please advise. Thanks.

Cheers.
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:44 AM   #2
Chikai Aikidoka
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Ooops ! I meant to post this thread under testing. Sorry!

MC
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:09 AM   #3
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

1. While it should be theoretically possible given that all Aikido should be the same, in practicallity it is not. There is a greater difference between instructors within one style than between different styles or ryu, just like there are greater differences between individuals of one ethnic group than there is between the different ethnic groups of humans. Aikido, it seems, tries to develop that differentiation to maximise the individualisation of Aikido to the practitioners.
2. It is a great amount of disrespect to train at one place and try to take the test at another place or ryu. Your instructor has spent time and effort on instructing you so why would you not show him/her the same respect and test under that instructor? I've kicked people out of my dojos for less. On the other hand, if you have discussed this with your instructor and he/she has suggested that you test elsewhere, then it really doesn't matter.
3. The testing is not necessarily to show your proficiency in Aikido but to show that you understand what the instructor has been trying to teach you. For instance, if you instructor teaches by principle instead of technique. Being able to carry out the technique may not matter so much as your demonstration of understanding of the principles being demonstrated by the technique.
4. Why wouldn't you want to test under that instructor? Just because they are unaffiliated does not mean that they are not a worthy instructor. By taking your testing elsewhere, that is what you are implying.
5. Testing is not meant to be for your benefit but for the benefit of the dojo at which you practice. If you look to testing for your self-promotion or self-gratification, you are testing for the wrong reasons. If you are testing so that you will maintain your ranking in the group with which you are normally associated, you are testing for the wrong reasons. (I have demoted people who have come to my dojo with a rank that does not fit with my ranking system, even though they may have received that rank in a Hombu-associated dojo. I might promote someone for the same reason. Usually I do this by not allowing them to test until they catch up in ability and understanding to the others in the dojo. Sometimes, if the disparity is too great, I do demote them.)
6. Your rank doesn't really matter as much as what you do and how you do it. Rankings, especially at Mudansha level is rather arbitrary and a modern invention to attempt to make Aikido more standardised and more "user friendly." It has recently become extremely political in Aikido in general and I don't see it as very useful outside the dojo as inside.
7. If someone comes to my dojo and feels that they outrank me. Let them fight me and we will see who outranks who. If their Aikido is better than mine and I can learn from them, then they outrank me. If their Aikido is shit compared to mine or if they cannot make me submit or knock me out or kill me, then they have to take a lower rank no matter who gave them their rank since the dojo is my dojo and I am fully responsible for it. I am responsible to my students to see that no shit instructor takes over the dojo and starts teaching crap. Not even Doshu has authority WITHIN my dojo. Neither does my Shihan. They have authority over me but not over my dojo. When my Shihan comes to instruct at my dojo, he or she is my guest. The Shihan becomes the dojo's Shihan-dai, but he or she is not the dojo's Hancho. I remember asking two Shihan who had come to one of my dojos' grand opening seminar. I asked them how they would like to structure the seminar and they both looked at me strangely and said: "You're the boss (Hancho), we're just guests. It's your responsiblity, don't ask us." However, outside the dojo, things are different. Between dojos, Doshu has authority over me. My Shihan has authority over me. If he decides someone has authority over me outside the dojo, then I will gladly accept that decision. Sometimes there is conflict between the Shihan and the dojo's Sensei over some policy issue, then it is the responsibility of the Shihan's Shidoin to fix the problem, possibly with a good thumping of the dojo's Sensei during a private practice and lesson.
8. My recommendation: Suck it up and test where you are. You can always retest somewhere else when you change dojos.

Rock
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:59 AM   #4
Chikai Aikidoka
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Thank u Rocky for a quite lengthy and thoughtfull answer.

Quote:
2. It is a great amount of disrespect to train at one place and try to take the test at another place or ryu. Your instructor has spent time and effort on instructing you so why would you not show him/her the same respect and test under that instructor?
I never said I wouldn't get tested where I'm getting trainined. If I don't respect my sensei, then I wouldn't train under him.

Quote:
3. The testing is not necessarily to show your proficiency in Aikido but to show that you understand what the instructor has been trying to teach you. For instance, if you instructor teaches by principle instead of technique. Being able to carry out the technique may not matter so much as your demonstration of understanding of the principles being demonstrated by the technique.
I both agree and disgree w/ u on this point. I agree that part of testing is showing my instructor that I understood what he/she has been teaching me. But I disgree about ur point on techniques & principles. I beleive They're both important during testing.

Quote:
Just because they are unaffiliated does not mean that they are not a worthy instructor.
I don't know y u seem to be taking it way too peronnal and in a negative way. Again, If I don't respect my sensei, then I wouldn't train under him. And that goes to his worthyness. BTW, he is very and his curriculum seems to cover more extensive range than any other curriculum I've ever seen on the internet so far.

Quote:
5. Testing is not meant to be for your benefit but for the benefit of the dojo at which you practice.
Could u please elaborate on this point? I don't quite get u there.

I understant ur 7th point. Ur dojo ur way! Am I sensing some un-aiki feelings here challenging people to fight u if they out rank you?!!

Quote:
7. If someone comes to my dojo and feels that they outrank me. Let them fight me and we will see who outranks who. If their Aikido is better than mine and I can learn from them, then they outrank me. If their Aikido is shit compared to mine or if they cannot make me submit or knock me out or kill me, then they have to take a lower rank no matter who gave them their rank since the dojo is my dojo and I am fully responsible for it
Thank u Rocky again for ur insight again. My point from the original question is:

For example, say u attend a college in ur home town that is very nice, very educational, great curriculum and it's what's available in the town where u earn ur living. Wouldn't u be concerned that if u transfer to another town and then the new college wouldn't credit any of ur credit hours u've earned spending long nights, efforts and money on? Or u would just suck it up and start all over again?
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:03 AM   #5
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Rocky, check your PM. I need to come and train with you! Now how can I get to Barbados???? mmmm
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:40 PM   #6
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Quote:
Maumote Chami wrote:
I both agree and disgree w/ u on this point. I agree that part of testing is showing my instructor that I understood what he/she has been teaching me. But I disgree about ur point on techniques & principles. I beleive They're both important during testing
I am using the techniques versus principles as an example. Which way the instructor and tester goes depends on the individual doing the testing or the instruction. The operative word in the phrase was the "may." It might be that the instructor is technique oriented and couldn't care about the demonstration of the principles but the testee should be able to show that they can make the technique work one way or another.

Quote:
I don't know y u seem to be taking it way too peronnal and in a negative way. Again, If I don't respect my sensei, then I wouldn't train under him. And that goes to his worthyness. BTW, he is very and his curriculum seems to cover more extensive range than any other curriculum I've ever seen on the internet so far.
Couldn't care about how you feel since it is your right to feel any way you like. For that reason, I can't take your comments or behaviour in any personal way. Just making a general point. Don't worry about offending me. It takes a huge effort to offend me. On the other hand, I seem to offend a lot of people rather easily. Guess I have a very abrasive manner in the way I write. Sorry if you were offended. Didn't mean to infer that you didn't respect your teacher but just commenting on your possible proposed behaviour re: studying at one dojo and testing at another. Your attitude may not be disprectful but your behaviour would be.

Quote:
Could u please elaborate on this point? I don't quite get u there.
I think there is posting here under the "Aikido Articles" where I expounded on this a long time ago. You can look there and if you can't find it, I will see if I can dig it up for you again.

Quote:
I understant ur 7th point. Ur dojo ur way! Am I sensing some un-aiki feelings here challenging people to fight u if they out rank you?!!
It is not about "my dojo, my way." It is about my responsibilty to my students. Un-aiki? If a person comes and wants to take over the dojo, they are issuing a challenge. It is only harmonious to accept. Ai is about achieving harmony. As one of my Shihans once said many years ago: "It is much more harmonious to pull out a .45 when faced with a .38 than to try and fight with a knife or your hands." The sense of what is harmonious all depends on the environment in which your dojo exists. In another location, I may feel that ignoring the person is more harmonious. In another, more litigious location, phoning the cops may be more harmonious. It all depends on your individual situation and location. It also depends on the environment that you create within your dojo. If you happen to be a gentle person who creates a gentle dojo, then inviting the person in for tea to discuss the situation may be the only harmonious thing to do. If you have a hard-as-nails dojo, the only harmonious thing to do would be to accept the challenge. If you are the head instructor because there is no one else, then you welcome the person who will be willing to take the mantle of responsibility off your shoulders. If you are a professional police or military instructor, and your reputation and livelihood depend on maintaining your dojo, your only option is to take the challenge and win convincingly. In other words, "it all depends." Me, if they are good enough to learn from or if my students can learn from them, then I am happy to turn it over to the new instructor as much as possible as long as they the students accept the person as instructor. However, if they are shit instructors, you have to send them away convincingly. That is your responsibility as Hancho of a dojo. BTW, you can be Hancho of a dojo and not the Shihan-dai if you happen to appoint someone else as Shihan-dai. I can be Hancho of the dojo but if my Shihan comes to visit, my Shihan would naturally become the Shihan-dai. If I am away overseas, than the person I leave in charge of instruction becomes Shihan-dai (head instructor). Yet, whether my Shihan is here or one of my students is instructing in my place, the dojo is still my responsibility. It is like creating a child. No matter who becomes the parents, as a biological parent, you still have responsibilities to that child until someone decides they will take up your responsibilities for you.

Quote:
Thank u Rocky again for ur insight again. My point from the original question is:

For example, say u attend a college in ur home town that is very nice, very educational, great curriculum and it's what's available in the town where u earn ur living. Wouldn't u be concerned that if u transfer to another town and then the new college wouldn't credit any of ur credit hours u've earned spending long nights, efforts and money on? Or u would just suck it up and start all over again?
Suck it up and start again. I did my MBA twice, once in Canada and once in the States while I did my Ph.D. Took one and a half extra years to do my Piled Higher and Deeper. Learned a lot doing it a second time. I've made a number of students from other places redo their last test with me when they came over. They didn't have to pay for the tests unless they failed. If they failed, they were demoted. The ranking is only about how people recognize who to go for help inside the dojo or it allows visitors to know how hard they can practice with someone. You don't be a guest at some dojo and go around slamming their gokkyu. With the ikkyu and yudansha, they are fair game.

Rock
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:42 PM   #7
Adam Alexander
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

I'm with Kevin. That post was like a shot of electricity through the veins.

Rocky, would you please give a little more on the following

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
3. The testing is not necessarily to show your proficiency in Aikido but to show that you understand what the instructor has been trying to teach you. For instance, if you instructor teaches by principle instead of technique. Being able to carry out the technique may not matter so much as your demonstration of understanding of the principles being demonstrated by the technique.
I've heard it before that testing is for the dojo. However, I've never understood why and your explanation leaves me with questions.

It seems that we demonstrate our understanding every class. Why is testing different?

Are there any other ways that testing helps the dojo?

I'd really appreciate your advice on this.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:51 PM   #8
Chikai Aikidoka
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Thank you Rock. Point taken

BR,
MC
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:59 PM   #9
Adam Alexander
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...dojo+test+Rock

LOL. Hell yes! That's what I'm talking about.

I just rambled about this in the Anonymous thread under testing.

Good stuff. Thank you Rocky.

Sincerely,
Jean

BTW: Here's the other
http://www.aikiweb.com/testing/rock5.html

Last edited by Adam Alexander : 05-02-2006 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:05 PM   #10
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Rocky's comments remind me of about 10 years ago when I was having coffee with Saotome Sensei and the dojo guys one morning. The Dojo Caretaker was briefing to be careful while home in DC as the crackheads in the neighborhood know that no one is usually there at night since he lives in FL, and he might suprise them when they use the secluded front porch to get high.

Saotome Sensei shaking his head in understanding thought for a second and then responded. "should have brought shotgun back with me from Florida". Chuckled and went about his business.

Food for thought and perspective on reality and "aiki"
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:11 PM   #11
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
It seems that we demonstrate our understanding every class. Why is testing different?
Pressure and exhaustion. Like the old Yondan tests where the Sensei would get the Sandan drunk before the test. If you can continue to show good technique of good application of the principles when you are totally exhausted and in complete pain after 30 minutes of continuous nagewaza and ukemiwaza, then you probably do know your stuff pretty well.

And, yes, the test, when I am doing a seminar and testing somewhere, is not just during the formal testing period. It is also before the test. You can pass or fail your test before the formal test. Even afterwards.

During class, though, people are often inconsistent and sloppy since they are trying to learn something new or practice and experiment with something old. It doesn't necessarily show whether the person is capable of performing or not. The testing is also an affirmation for the others in the dojo or ryu or federation that you actually deserve the rank you have. If people can't see why you received your rank, there will always be questions as to its validity. It is kind of like the witnessing of a marriage and the marriage ceremony itself. It is partly an affirmation.

See the other reasons in the article.

Rock
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:34 PM   #12
Adam Alexander
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Already read the original.

Thank you. And, thanks for the last post also. You've got me thinking again...which I've been in need of for a long time.
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Old 05-02-2006, 02:00 PM   #13
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

I distinctly remember one of my Kyu test about 7 years ago. Bob Galeone was our instructor at the time. We bowed in and he proceeded to make us to push ups and swariwaza and paced us so fast into anarobic oxygen debt that I was leaving the mat to puke. He then proceed to test us.
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:42 PM   #14
Michael O'Brien
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
Pressure and exhaustion. Like the old Yondan tests where the Sensei would get the Sandan drunk before the test. If you can continue to show good technique of good application of the principles when you are totally exhausted and in complete pain after 30 minutes of continuous nagewaza and ukemiwaza, then you probably do know your stuff pretty well.
Well we didn't have anyone get drunk, but we did have 2 students from our dojo test for Shodan this weekend during our seminar with Ikeda Sensei. I felt for for them. A 2 hour class on Friday night, 2 hour class Saturday morning, 2 hour class Saturday afternoon, and then immediately after class they were called onto the mat to test.

I was tired just watching.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:44 PM   #15
pezalinski
 
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Re: Training 1 place, testing somewhere else!

Quote:
Maumote Chami wrote:
For example, say u attend a college in ur home town that is very nice, very educational, great curriculum and it's what's available in the town where u earn ur living. Wouldn't u be concerned that if u transfer to another town and then the new college wouldn't credit any of ur credit hours u've earned spending long nights, efforts and money on? Or u would just suck it up and start all over again?
In my personal experience, "suck it up" -- It is up to the new instructor, and the new organization you are joining, to determine your palce within the ranks. Move to the bottom of the line; until you are recognized and told otherwise, accept that everone there is your sempai.

If your certificate comes through a major organiation, it will most likely be recognized at the new school... Any hours accumulated since your last test are just experience, and are likely forfeit when you leave one organization and go to the other. And the instructor may want to formally or informally test you, to prove that you are of the rank that you claim. And the requirements for your next rank are dependent on the organization you joined, not the one you came from -- so there may be a different set of standards than you are used to.

Other than that, you're here to do aikido, right? The rank is just the pecking order telling us how to line up... If you are having fun, stay -- if not, go find something you LIKE to do, and do that instead.



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Old 05-08-2006, 02:00 PM   #16
Hanna B
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Re: Training 1 place, testin somewhere else!

Quote:
Maumote Chami wrote:
For example, say u attend a college in ur home town that is very nice, very educational, great curriculum and it's what's available in the town where u earn ur living. Wouldn't u be concerned that if u transfer to another town and then the new college wouldn't credit any of ur credit hours u've earned spending long nights, efforts and money on? Or u would just suck it up and start all over again?
Answer 1:
If you would have to re-take you exam in, say biology, the second time around will be much much easier and faster as you already pretty much know the stuff. Sure you will have to study, since some things you have forgotten and others are simply differences in the curriculum, but not as long as the first time. When you come out form college number 2, you will be a very proficient biologist since you have learned things in two ways. In many ways, different lines of aikido are exactly this: different sets of pedagogics.

Answer 2: That kind of things really is important when it comes to university exams and ways of making a living. In aikido.. .what the ****, I could wear a white belt again. I have done it, started as a newbie in other arts (not in other aikido styles that did not recognise my rank, though). It is no biggie. If you have learned anything in your first aikido school, people will see that and in the end you will have recognition for it - although maybe not tomorrow.
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