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Old 01-02-2010, 03:47 AM   #101
Mannix Moya
 
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

my head ached catching up on this thread.


i guess titles matter because there is an organizational structure behind it. but why does it have to be complicated?

Last edited by Mannix Moya : 01-02-2010 at 03:53 AM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:16 AM   #102
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

IMHO let them earn the high ranks 6th kyu is ranking private in the Arm Forces and 10th dan is 5 star in AF.

its just protocols as long as your in the Mission and vision of AIKIDO your an AIKIDOKA.

You can be better at your white belt than the one who is in the rank of 10th dan, just be respectful co`z its our Camaraderie.

gumagalang.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:13 AM   #103
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
OK, now I'm really lost...

Anyway, Saotome (for example) has been calling his folks "shihan" for years without any approval (or interference) from hombu. I suppose that it's an internal title, but does it matter?

Best,

Chris
When I started Aikido back in the 70's, Saotome Sensei told us that 6th Dan was the same as Shihan. In the sense that he has used the term, it was interchangeable with "master instructor". He has, upon occasion, referred to me as a Shihan. But we have no certificates and it is not any type of "official" title. We do not use the Fukushidoin, Shidoin, Shihan teaching certificate system used by the Federation. I have a Shidoin certificate from the days when I ran a dojo that was under Chiba Sensei back in the 80's but has never had any meaning within our organization.

The whole point of teaching certificates is to recognize that people will get Dan Ranking as a result of time in grade. If you look at Judo they have Hanshi, Renshi, and Kyoshi certifications for teaching which are a separate issue from Dan Rank.

I can tell folks that the titles do matter. Most dojos are affiliated with an organization of some type. The members within such an organization naturally give priority to attending seminars with whomever is the head of that organization. After that, they tend to flock towards the teachers who are perceived to be the closest in relationship to that teacher. It can have little to do with actual teaching ability. There can be highly skilled teachers who exist on the periphery because they have not been "anointed" by the "big guy". Titles and ranks are a sign that a certain teacher is "in favor" with the powers that be and the members of that organization consequently invest in that teacher far more than they do any other teachers.

I believe that the entire structure of American Aikido will change when the current generation of uchi deshi passes away. That process has already started. When they are no longer presiding over the art here, it will be the senior American students who will take the reins. It will matter greatly what their ranks and titles are when they begin to assume central leadership roles. I do not think, however, that it will matter one iota whether those ranks and titles are recognized in Japan as long as they were conferred by someone with recognized authority here.

Ranks and titles just give one "access". Folks are impressed by them whether it makes sense or not. So it can get you in the door so to speak. But once someone invites you to teach or attends one of your classes, you better be able to deliver the goods. That is true now and it will be more true when the current leadership passes on and my generation is left on its own. But the ranks and titles are what gives you your shot at reaching the students in the first place.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:27 PM   #104
aikishihan
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

First of all, Kudos to all who willingly and generously contribute to the Aiki Web Forums. Your participation is invaluable and uplifting!

I unconditionally consider George Ledyard as a true Shihan. His amazing insights, his proven skills and production, and his unabashed support for both the Founder and his mentor, are guideposts for all of us to admire and to learn from.

I am privileged and honored to call him brother, friend and mentor.

He, like most of those with 6th dan or higher, may never be given the status of "Aikikai Shihan", an arbitrary decision at best by Aikikai.

Does it matter? Only if you believe that it does.

I do not. Titles or numbers do not define anyone. Only consistent behavior and faithful adherence to Aiki Principles can come close.

I too, was told by Senseis Kobayashi Yasuo, Kanai Mitsunari, Fujita Masatake, and others, that the traditional understanding was similar to what Leyard Shihan alluded to. Anyone who was in good standing with Aikikai, was actively teaching the Founder's Aikido, and was awarded 6th dan, were automatically considered "Shihan".

There were no separate certificates, no special announcements, and there was no need to maintain a formal hierachical classification that gave favored status to one individual or nationality over another.

The current position of the Aikikai's Foreign Department is what it is, and one can be bothered by it, or simply focus on the real reasons why one trains in Ueshiba Aiki to begin with. After all, we have always been free to develop our own appreciation for the Founder's gift, in our own way, with our own standards, and our own discoveries.

Just give me serious and focused students of Ueshiba Aiki to train with, and I am a happy man! Yup, I am a happy man!

In Oneness,

Last edited by aikishihan : 01-03-2010 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:37 PM   #105
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
When I started Aikido back in the 70's, Saotome Sensei told us that 6th Dan was the same as Shihan. In the sense that he has used the term, it was interchangeable with "master instructor". He has, upon occasion, referred to me as a Shihan. But we have no certificates and it is not any type of "official" title. We do not use the Fukushidoin, Shidoin, Shihan teaching certificate system used by the Federation. I have a Shidoin certificate from the days when I ran a dojo that was under Chiba Sensei back in the 80's but has never had any meaning within our organization.

The whole point of teaching certificates is to recognize that people will get Dan Ranking as a result of time in grade. If you look at Judo they have Hanshi, Renshi, and Kyoshi certifications for teaching which are a separate issue from Dan Rank.

I can tell folks that the titles do matter. Most dojos are affiliated with an organization of some type. The members within such an organization naturally give priority to attending seminars with whomever is the head of that organization. After that, they tend to flock towards the teachers who are perceived to be the closest in relationship to that teacher. It can have little to do with actual teaching ability. There can be highly skilled teachers who exist on the periphery because they have not been "anointed" by the "big guy". Titles and ranks are a sign that a certain teacher is "in favor" with the powers that be and the members of that organization consequently invest in that teacher far more than they do any other teachers.

I believe that the entire structure of American Aikido will change when the current generation of uchi deshi passes away. That process has already started. When they are no longer presiding over the art here, it will be the senior American students who will take the reins. It will matter greatly what their ranks and titles are when they begin to assume central leadership roles. I do not think, however, that it will matter one iota whether those ranks and titles are recognized in Japan as long as they were conferred by someone with recognized authority here.

Ranks and titles just give one "access". Folks are impressed by them whether it makes sense or not. So it can get you in the door so to speak. But once someone invites you to teach or attends one of your classes, you better be able to deliver the goods. That is true now and it will be more true when the current leadership passes on and my generation is left on its own. But the ranks and titles are what gives you your shot at reaching the students in the first place.
Hello George,

Happy New Year, or, as the Japanese say, おめでとうございます.

I think that Francis Takahashi summed up matters precisely.

Someone complained that things were complicated. Well, I can assure the poster that we did not make things complicated. The complications arose when the Aikikai had to consider the question whether and how to make foreign aikidoka who had received 6th Shihan.

I think it would have been straightforward for the Aikikai to declare that anyone, anywhere, with 6th dan and above awarded by Doshu through the Aikikai was automatically Shihan, but this is not what was decided.

What was decided was four categories of Shihan: Super-Shihan, Ordinary Shihan, Shihan who are instructors in the Hombu Dojo, and Foreign Shihan, who have to be recommended by their organizations to receive the title.

Saotome Sensei has bypassed all this and made a direct relationship with the Hombu. So the ASU is not on the list of organizations in the US that are recognized by the Aikikai (which is a condition for giving shihan ranks to 6th dan holders in these organizations). Similarly, my own dojos here are not members of the recognized organizations listed on the Aikikai's website.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:55 PM   #106
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello George,

Happy New Year, or, as the Japanese say, おめでとうございます.

I think that Francis Takahashi summed up matters precisely.

Someone complained that things were complicated. Well, I can assure the poster that we did not make things complicated. The complications arose when the Aikikai had to consider the question whether and how to make foreign aikidoka who had received 6th Shihan.

I think it would have been straightforward for the Aikikai to declare that anyone, anywhere, with 6th dan and above awarded by Doshu through the Aikikai was automatically Shihan, but this is not what was decided.

What was decided was four categories of Shihan: Super-Shihan, Ordinary Shihan, Shihan who are instructors in the Hombu Dojo, and Foreign Shihan, who have to be recommended by their organizations to receive the title.

Saotome Sensei has bypassed all this and made a direct relationship with the Hombu. So the ASU is not on the list of organizations in the US that are recognized by the Aikikai (which is a condition for giving shihan ranks to 6th dan holders in these organizations). Similarly, my own dojos here are not members of the recognized organizations listed on the Aikikai's website.

Best wishes,

PAG
Hi Peter,
Happy New Year! It has been far too long since I've been able to sit and chat with you...

I think I should simply start a new organization... let's call it the World Shihanship Council. Anyone feeling he or she has been unfairly neglected by existing organizations may, accompanied by a hefty fee, apply for a Shihan Certification. Black tie dinners will be held at various venues around the country (usually near an airport) so that the illustrious recipients can get together and assure each other of their special importance. If successful, I could probably make enough money to come visit you in Japan (at least as long as I got there before Sensei killed me).

Thanks for all your time explaining the arcana of ranks, titles, and certifications to all of us. I hope we'll cross paths again before too many years have past...

- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:42 PM   #107
Chris Li
 
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
What was decided was four categories of Shihan: Super-Shihan, Ordinary Shihan, Shihan who are instructors in the Hombu Dojo, and Foreign Shihan, who have to be recommended by their organizations to receive the title.
It's not that I dislike the back of the bus, it's just that it would be nice not to be required to sit there.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-04-2010, 02:07 AM   #108
iron horse
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Time to go back to the old ways perhaps. Next time you see a Japanese Shihan, challenge him, see if he is worth it. And if you land him on his arse, well, what will you make of Shihan then? (I'm not good enough to do it yet, but it could be a worthwhile aim).
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:50 AM   #109
Melchizedek
 
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Ian Holm wrote: View Post
Time to go back to the old ways perhaps. Next time you see a Japanese Shihan, challenge him, see if he is worth it. And if you land him on his arse, well, what will you make of Shihan then? (I'm not good enough to do it yet, but it could be a worthwhile aim).
Interesting!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:09 AM   #110
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Araneta Melchizedek wrote: View Post
Ryukerin was not given a Shihan Certificate from Aikikai Hombu Dojo. As a matter of fact, he is not even an Aikido practitioner.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:06 AM   #111
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Araneta Melchizedek wrote: View Post
Why?

And what has this to do with aikido?

Carsten
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:48 PM   #112
Mannix Moya
 
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
It's not that I dislike the back of the bus, it's just that it would be nice not to be required to sit there.

Best,

Chris
+1 , where is the harmony in that?
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:50 PM   #113
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

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Just give me serious and focused students of Ueshiba Aiki to train with, and I am a happy man! Yup, I am a happy man!
Me too Sensei.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:25 PM   #114
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Am I right in thinking that the conclusion of this thread is that non-Japanese can in fact become shihan (supported by the recent promotions of Wagnar Bull Sensei etc), but that there are different classes of shihan which are limited by nationality? If so, could we have more details on that alleged limitation? For example, is this just a common opinion or is it official policy?

Thanks

Carl
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:39 AM   #115
Michael Fitzgerald
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Am I right in thinking that the conclusion of this thread is that non-Japanese can in fact become shihan (supported by the recent promotions of Wagnar Bull Sensei etc), but that there are different classes of shihan which are limited by nationality? If so, could we have more details on that alleged limitation? For example, is this just a common opinion or is it official policy?

Thanks

Carl
Hey Carl,
from Prof. Goldsbury's post I would say itseems like it is policy.
I am thinking he would probably know.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:09 AM   #116
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Am I right in thinking that the conclusion of this thread is that non-Japanese can in fact become shihan (supported by the recent promotions of Wagnar Bull Sensei etc), but that there are different classes of shihan which are limited by nationality? If so, could we have more details on that alleged limitation? For example, is this just a common opinion or is it official policy?

Thanks

Carl
Hello Carl,

Conclusion? I thought the thread had been concluded several pages back, but it keeps coming back to life.

The only body that can specify the Hombu's official policy is the Hombu, certainly not me. However, I am pretty sure that the Hombu would strongly deny that it has ever had a policy of limiting classes of shihans by nationality and that it had such a policy now.

Critics could argue that the Hombu's actions actually consitute a de facto policy, but I think this would be very difficult to prove.

Best eishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:22 AM   #117
Michael Fitzgerald
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

I guess I read too much into that. Not to worry! much to learn.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:26 AM   #118
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Re: non-Westerners cannot become MMA or IS masters anymore?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Conclusion? I thought the thread had been concluded several pages back, but it keeps coming back to life.
I also thought the issue got resolved a while ago, but the thread has a provocative title. I hope my question (and your considerate answer) helped clarify things.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:46 PM   #119
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Cool Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Well,

Ledyard Sensei is accurate. Titles do matter, even if we don't want them to, it's a fact of life. At the very least they get one in the door. Are they an accurate barometer of skill and ability? No..experience is closer to that..but it is what it is.

This comes from someone who is a third kyu and I had to stay on my sensei for that. My ability is there, but he hemmed and hawed for months before acknowledging my former experience. For six months I had to deal with students who couldn't make their own technique work, tell me how to perform technique. but enough complaining LOL...

I would have found it strange if Hombu Dojo did not confer the Shihan title to Saotome Sensei, particularly given that he is an Uchi-deshi of O-Sensei..I don't think I would be alone in that type of surprise.

I suspect that there are quite a bit of politics and maybe an old fashioned Samari (LOL) fight going on within the upper ranks of Aikido, for international recognition and the "right" to claim authenticity in Aikido. So many styles, so many senior practitioners, so many non-japanese, etc...

I further suspect that many of the "traditional" techniques of the Japanese have not been taught to westerners.

One can never prove a negative, so it may not be proven that there is an unspoken policy of who gets Shihan ranking and who doesn't. If I really wanted to start some stuff, I'd ask why there aren't any female Shihan and why are the women still relegated to the lower levels of Aikido? BUT, I won't do that LMAO...

But such is life and human nature. Just let me train seriously and exchange/interact with someone who wants to train and interact as well. The rest will come...
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:08 PM   #120
Dan Rubin
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Antonia Williams wrote: View Post
If I really wanted to start some stuff, I'd ask why there aren't any female Shihan and why are the women still relegated to the lower levels of Aikido? BUT, I won't do that LMAO
This thread lists several female shihan and many more highly ranked female aikidoka.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14139
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:35 PM   #121
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Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
This thread lists several female shihan and many more highly ranked female aikidoka.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14139
Thanks for the info. I've read that thread before.

I guess I should be more specific, within the USAF (I don't believe Micheline Tissier is confered as Shihan within the Aikikai) and I suspect Hombu dojo....The organizations listed here - are they recognized by hombu dojo?

But i guess we could discuss that on another thread....

Again, thanks for the info...
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