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Old 10-26-2010, 02:36 AM   #26
amoeba
Dojo: Aikido Netzwerk
Location: Düsseldorf, NRW
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 80
Germany
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

In Germany, there is no national aikido federation as such. There is one federation that's called "Deutscher Aikido-Bund", which means something like "German Aikido Federation", but they only represent one style of Aikido (not Aikikai). Then there's the AFD, which is french-oriented and maybe some others...
A lot of dojos are not affiliated with any organisation at all, except for Aikikai Tokyo. I don't see any problem with that, I've never seen the need to be in any national organisation...
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:36 AM   #27
Randall Lim
Dojo: Tendoryu Aikido Singapore
Location: Singapore
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 94
Singapore
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Quote:
Chris Farnham wrote: View Post
I see that this group is aligned with Fukakusa Shihan in Thailand. Is Fukakusa Shihan the official Hombu Shihan in charge of Aikikai in Singapore? Are they the IAF delegation for Singapore? If not this group could just be for those dojos with affiliation to Fukakusa Shihan.
This Aikido Federation (Singapore) is indeed affiliated to Fukakusa Shihan from Thailand. However, Fukakusa Shihan is not affiliated to Aikikai Singapore. Koichi Fujii Shihan is the one in charge of Aikikai Singapore.

Aikikai Singapore is affiliated to the following organisations:

(1) Aikikai Foundation.
(2) Aikido World Headquarters, Japan.
(3) The International Aikido Federation (I.A.F)
(4) Asian Aikido Federation (A.A.F)
(5) Hombu Dojo, Japan.

But NOT to the Aikido Federation (Singapore).
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:19 AM   #28
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Quote:
Ryan Szesny wrote: View Post
I do agree that there are many private reasons for an organization operating a certain way that is differant than their public reason that they state, but I think you are oversimplifying it by saying it is an issue of money entirely. Although that does have something to do with it (man cannot live by bread alone, but he can't live at all without bread).

Another reason for different federations is an issue of control of transmission and standards. Some teachers are very prideful of their students and demand longer training time due to their higher standards than others. I have heard some shihan even say that no one should teach Aikido if they don't at least have a godan. That would cut the amount of viable dojos in a lot of federations if that was the accepted norm, would it not?
I think that there are a lot of sub reasons - yes, I agree- but what's the real reason? To me, it's jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the range of your authority. Standards are an expression of your authority. Once you have jurisdiction, then you express your authority in all sorts of ways. You make the internal rules once it is determined that you're the boss over a certain territory. Organizationally, then you protect your organizational "life" by guarding the perimeters of your territory. There is seeping incursions into your territory but you identify those and either "regularize" them into your group or you segregate them.

Organizations sell themselves by advertising higher standards, a better truer style, masters that were closer to the founder or understood his Aikido better, etc. Haven't you ever noticed how many "last" uchi deshi's there are or how the organizations say that their shihan was a favorite of the Founder. These are advertising methods that are intended to convince the followers that they are in the best group and that their group is superior. This is an ego enhancing method. Organizations must distinguish themselves from the others somehow. They drive toward distinctions. Distinctions keep them apart. They want to be apart because if they are all together, then jurisdiction disappears. Distinctions like "better standards" are an advertisement used to convince the followers to stay within the jurisdiction.

Best wishes,
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:24 PM   #29
Ryan Seznee
Dojo: Does it matter?
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote: View Post
I think that there are a lot of sub reasons - yes, I agree- but what's the real reason? To me, it's jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the range of your authority. Standards are an expression of your authority. Once you have jurisdiction, then you express your authority in all sorts of ways. You make the internal rules once it is determined that you're the boss over a certain territory. Organizationally, then you protect your organizational "life" by guarding the perimeters of your territory. There is seeping incursions into your territory but you identify those and either "regularize" them into your group or you segregate them.

Organizations sell themselves by advertising higher standards, a better truer style, masters that were closer to the founder or understood his Aikido better, etc. Haven't you ever noticed how many "last" uchi deshi's there are or how the organizations say that their shihan was a favorite of the Founder. These are advertising methods that are intended to convince the followers that they are in the best group and that their group is superior. This is an ego enhancing method. Organizations must distinguish themselves from the others somehow. They drive toward distinctions. Distinctions keep them apart. They want to be apart because if they are all together, then jurisdiction disappears. Distinctions like "better standards" are an advertisement used to convince the followers to stay within the jurisdiction.

Best wishes,
Jorge
I don't think there is just "one true" reason, though. An organization is made up of individuals, so it tends to be a balancing act to make everyone happy. I just was trying to point out that the people who make a living teaching aikido are few and far between. There exists no federation or aikido organization that is "for profit" to my knowledge.

As for your higher standards tangent, I would think that is a little off topic as this thread is about the purpose of a federation, not the application of marketing to accomplish that purpose. I will answer you in another thread, though.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:05 AM   #30
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Quote:
Ryan Szesny wrote: View Post
I don't think there is just "one true" reason, though. An organization is made up of individuals, so it tends to be a balancing act to make everyone happy. I just was trying to point out that the people who make a living teaching aikido are few and far between. There exists no federation or aikido organization that is "for profit" to my knowledge.

As for your higher standards tangent, I would think that is a little off topic as this thread is about the purpose of a federation, not the application of marketing to accomplish that purpose. I will answer you in another thread, though.
For the record, I am posting my reply here as well.

When I originally answered , I was making reference to this sentence.

"I was wondering what the role of any National Aikido Federation should play. Should they aim to unite all Ryus of Aikido together??

In my country, the Aikido Federation does not seem to do that. It seems like an exclusive club by itself, recognizing only those dojos that it set up. It has its on Chief Instructor, Instructors & Assistant Instructors. It operates like an exclusive club. It does not take care of any other Aikido Ryus which is not their own."

My answer to that question was jurisdiction. My answer is still the same for what you have just said but it's now different in the aspect that you introduced. To me, you are now describing a smaller group breaking away from the larger group for more freedom. The larger group may have rules that inhibit personal choices and creativity so they break away. If a Shihan wants a certain "take" on his Aikido, and the larger group prohibits that - then he has the motivation to break away and form a new group so he can have the freedom to fulfill his goals and to explore his own Aikido to it's greatest potential. Yes, this is true but think about this - after he has done that, what does he need to operate? It's money or better put finances. Initially in fact, this is the one thing he doesn't have and that he needs the most so the initial drive will be to raise funds for the new organization so that it can stabilize. After things are stabilized, he will need even more funds so that he can accomplish his larger goals and expand his organization. This smaller organization is now headed up the road of the larger one that he came from. Soon , he will need to clearly establish his own jurisdiction and defend it's borders and then process begins again. All organizations strive for standardization and the life of organizations are the finances without which they cannot exist.

Things though do not not universally have to be that way. The ways to go around this merry go round are several. An organization can stay small and work with a small budget. They can also decentralize and separate the finances into regions to keep ambition and ego under control. They can try to use general standards instead of universal ones. They can decentralize authority by disconnecting the power people from the rule making committees within the organization (a highly unusual move).

While it is true that most Aikido groups are non profits, that is a complicated issue because that refers to the profit motive vs business model but it doesn't change the underlying needs of every organization. It just occurs on a smaller and more controlled scale.

Going back to this post you made though, please understand that when I mentioned having better shihan's and the "truest Aikido", I am referencing weaknesses and ego based arguments that people succumb to over time. I don't want to denigrate all organizations nor the many good people that lead Aikido groups worldwide. There are good, mature people that inspire others and lead them ethically and are in fact egoless (in as much as anyone can be that) and humble. It is usually the followers that attach themselves to people and groups that make them feel better about themselves. I guess I am referencing the trail that an organization can go down if they don't intentionally try to avoid it.

I do know this , that anywhere there are people, there will be ego, ambition and pride and we as humans need to resist the road that leads to authoritarianism. We need to emphasize gifting, freedom and creativity and encourage that organizationally so that our energies are funneled in positive and productive ways.

Best wishes,
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:55 PM   #31
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

"The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation."

I think that if you read the Aikikai Rules and Regulations you will find this is no longer accurate. The USAF, for example, under the old rule was the US representative. There were still other Aikikai affiliated shihans and organizations but they were not representatives. The USAF has since split into 3 separate entities.

Organizations are complex. Territorial behaviors, personalities and other issues interfere with the normal functioning of organizations. People leave for various reasons and set up their own organizations-much like what has happened over the years in the Aikikai. Issues such as: ethics, personal integrity, personality conflicts, leadership style, perceived slights or wrongs, static promotional opportunities, internal politics and Machiavellian behaviors, money issues, getting lost in large organizations, travel requirements, and a multitude of other issues can all play a role in why people leave or why organizations fracture.

Unfortunately, fractured organizations often lead to additional fracturing. The dilemma here involves maintaining technical quality the farther the organization becomes removed from the source. Larger organizations tend to display a stronger variety of technical skills and quality given their more varied experience and exposure. Futher erosion occurs when a splintering occurs at lower levels and these instructors become elevated in rank from below instead of above.

The individualist mindset of the participants often is at odds with the collective mindset of the organization. Sort of the "if you don't play my way, I'm going to take my ball and go home" mentality. Splinter groups can trace their lineage to the founder most of the time. However, most have long left any connection to the founding organization or Aikikai. Therefore, lots of federations, associations, etc.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:14 PM   #32
Ryan Seznee
Dojo: Does it matter?
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
"The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation."

I think that if you read the Aikikai Rules and Regulations you will find this is no longer accurate. The USAF, for example, under the old rule was the US representative. There were still other Aikikai affiliated shihans and organizations but they were not representatives. The USAF has since split into 3 separate entities.
The IAF and the Aikikai Foundation are differant entities. You are confusing them. The IAF has only one member in the US, the USAF, and that has always been the case. There are other Aikikai affiliates (like ASU or Steven Segal's and Chiba's federations...). The Aikikai is NOT the IAF.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:59 PM   #33
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
"The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation."

I think that if you read the Aikikai Rules and Regulations you will find this is no longer accurate. The USAF, for example, under the old rule was the US representative. There were still other Aikikai affiliated shihans and organizations but they were not representatives. The USAF has since split into 3 separate entities.

Organizations are complex. Territorial behaviors, personalities and other issues interfere with the normal functioning of organizations. People leave for various reasons and set up their own organizations-much like what has happened over the years in the Aikikai. Issues such as: ethics, personal integrity, personality conflicts, leadership style, perceived slights or wrongs, static promotional opportunities, internal politics and Machiavellian behaviors, money issues, getting lost in large organizations, travel requirements, and a multitude of other issues can all play a role in why people leave or why organizations fracture.

Unfortunately, fractured organizations often lead to additional fracturing. The dilemma here involves maintaining technical quality the farther the organization becomes removed from the source. Larger organizations tend to display a stronger variety of technical skills and quality given their more varied experience and exposure. Futher erosion occurs when a splintering occurs at lower levels and these instructors become elevated in rank from below instead of above.

The individualist mindset of the participants often is at odds with the collective mindset of the organization. Sort of the "if you don't play my way, I'm going to take my ball and go home" mentality. Splinter groups can trace their lineage to the founder most of the time. However, most have long left any connection to the founding organization or Aikikai. Therefore, lots of federations, associations, etc.
I agree with you completely John.
Best wishes,
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:10 PM   #34
Chris Farnham
Dojo: Aikido of Champlain Valley/Hamamatsu Aikidokai/Aikido Shidokai
Location: Hamamatsu, Japan
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Quote:
Ryan Szesny wrote: View Post
The IAF has only one member in the US, the USAF, and that has always been the case.
I thought that the IAF changed that rule a couple of years ago. I remember something that Yamada Sensei said about how he had been pushing for the change and they were finally making it.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:03 AM   #35
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
"The IAF presently has a rule that only one federation from each nation will be recognized by the IAF to represent Hombu in that nation."

I think that if you read the Aikikai Rules and Regulations you will find this is no longer accurate. The USAF, for example, under the old rule was the US representative. There were still other Aikikai affiliated shihans and organizations but they were not representatives. The USAF has since split into 3 separate entities.
Hello John,

It is not quite correct to state that the IAF member in a country represents the Aikikai Hombu. I do not know much about the internal workings of the USAF, but it is the IAF member for the USA. However, I do not think any Aikikai-recognized organization represents the Aikikai Hombu in that country. The Aikikai made this clear when they last changed their regulations.

Despite the fact of Hombu multiple-recognition, the IAF has not changed its rule of one member per country. The IAF has a UN-type structure mainly because it is not a private organization, like the Aikikai, but a democratically-structured federation, which maintains relations with national governments, sports councils and Olympic committees and international sports bodies. The US does not regulate sports or martial arts organizations within its borders, but many countries do and in this case it is essential for an aikido organization to be affiliated to an international federation like the IAF.

The relations between the IAF member in a country and other Aikikai-recognized organizations is a burning issue that is being debated. It was discussed at the recent meeting in Moscow and the IAF is planning to issue a statement on its website. In some countries, such as the Netherlands, the IAF member is actually an amalgam of different Aikikai organizations, all with their respective shihans and with their own grading practices. Thus, a member of one organization can freely train with another organization and even move from one to another without leaving the Aikikai. In other countries there is no communication whatever between the IAF member and other groups, and in yet other countries, there seems to be some hostility. This is unfortunate, but undeniable, and is not something that can be changed overnight.

Best wishes,

PAG

NB. I am posting here as a private individual, not as an IAF official.

P A Goldsbury
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Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:02 AM   #36
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Sorry, I misspoke by using the IAF terminology. I meant to refer to the change the hombu made in its rules. My error. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:49 PM   #37
jitsumania
Dojo: Integrity Defensive Arts
Location: Victoria / Texas
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

This thread has been quite an interesting read. I have been a practicing martial artist in multiple arts for over 4 decades and have had my share of exposure to federations, associations, etc not just Aikido related . I have found that some of them are very legitimate with good leadership and a set of driving principles that are geared toward individual and group improvement, growth and support. I have also been exposed to those that are driven mostly by economic motives and my obsevations over the years lead me to these conclusions:
1. When money is the driving factor compromises are made that affect the integrity of the organization and sometimes that of the practitioner. Standards are lowered (sometimes to dangerous low levels) all in the interest of keeping the paying participant hooked by promises of rank, fame or possible fortune.
Leadership tends to loose its way due to greed, egocentric drives and needs, etc. Unity is expoused but behind closed doors there is backbiting, rumor mongoring, dissent and a host of other cancerous symptomology. The ultimate result is always death from within and the ultimate demise of the association, federation, etc.. Then there are a host of practitioners left behind trying to understand what happened while trying to pick up the pieces of the wreckage left behind. Many are left with worthless rank because it will not be recognized by another organization as legitimate. This happens in spite of the practitioners abilities within the same martial art/style and they are left to start from ground zero or go rouge because they were on the wrong side of the political arena.
2. Healthy organizations will have leadership that promotes growth on an individual as well as a group level. The practitioners needs will be addressed and supported by the leadership and all voices will be heard and respected, even in the face of disagreement. Truth will be the guiding light and individual as well as collective honesty will be the driving force for success and growth. Lines of communication remain open and questioning decisions is allowed and encouraged (obviously in proper decorum). This is done because accountability maintains the ability for the organization to have checks and balances that prevent abuse of power or fiscal inpropriety by those in power. Transparency and accountability is the order of the day.
I know that Federations and Associations are needed but one must never throw a victim of fraudulent or mismanaged organizations out to the curb. They should be allowed to demonstrate their ability and let the Tatami sort out the truth of that individuals character and skill level (or lack of). There are many who believe that power in the hand of one fuels monopoly and hinders the growth of others and others belive that unified, single minded direction is the cure for too much diversity that waters down what was attempted to be passed down.
I tell my students all the time that the Tatami reveals all secrets of those that dare to walk upon it. Your character will be revealed as well as your technical expertise or lack of. Are you a hokey dokey soke with the Master waddle walk or are you a dedicated practitioner helping others to grow while at the same time sharing your art with the rest of humankind, not hoarding it like a child hiding his candy. Unity in federations and associations is great but nothing beats the blood sweat and tears shed on the tatami shared with like minded individuals, association/ federations or not.
Peace, unity and growth should be the driving forces.
Domo

Last edited by jitsumania : 10-28-2010 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:21 AM   #38
kokyu
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 283
Hong Kong
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Re: The role of Aikido Federation in your country.

Quote:
Randall Lim wrote: View Post
Hi all!

I was wondering what the role of any National Aikido Federation should play. Should they aim to unite all Ryus of Aikido together??

In my country, the Aikido Federation does not seem to do that. It seems like an exclusive club by itself, recognising only those dojos that it set up. It has its on Chief Instructor, Instructors & Assistant Instructors. It operates like an exclusive club. It does not take care of any other Aikido Ryus which is not their own.

There are currently about 10 different Ryus/Clubs of Aikido in my country. And this "Federation" is just one of them. Shouldn't it be aiming to unite all Aikido Ryus together?? Shouldn't all the other 9 Ryus be under its umbrella?? Shouldn't it be concern with the overall development of Aikido in the entire country??

I am puzzled why it is called the "Aikido Federation" of my country when it does not even have any affiliation to all other Aikido clubs other than its own.
I'm not sure why you have brought up this sensitive issue in this forum, but for the benefit of international readers, perhaps some background would be helpful

I am also not sure why you have called this Federation a National Federation... IMHO, a National Federation is usually government sponsored, like the National Museum and runs under government auspices... in your case however, I interpret the name of your organization to be the Singapore branch of an Aikido Federation

Regarding your multiple points about uniting the various 'ryu', you may have read the following article about Aikido in your country Aikido in Singapore... if you read the history carefully, you will realize the bigger Aikido organizations in Singapore were started by the original team of Aikido practitioners who initially belonged to one group... and then decided to go their separate ways... so it may be a bit difficult to come together again after enjoying independence and success on their own

I also don't think you can draw similarities between dojos in your country returning to a single umbrella, with that of organizations in America coming back to the Aikikai... the membership of the Aikikai includes various senior Shihan, some of whom were the *original* students of O-Sensei, and membership of the global Aikikai organization probably outnumbers a single Aikido organization in any country. Hence there is a big difference in scale between the parent organization and the group returning to this organization

always
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