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Old 05-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #26
sakumeikan
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
BTW, by "The title doesn't really mean much in Japan" I meant that, as in the US, it conveys no extra powers or responsibilities, no extra privileges over a plain dan ranking. Mainly it's just bragging rights - a more important way of saying "teacher".

Best,

Chris
Dear Chris,
It may well be the case that in the U.S.A the title of Shihan conveys no extra powers or responsibilities and no extra privileges.In the U.K .this is not the case.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #27
Chris Li
 
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Chris,
It may well be the case that in the U.S.A the title of Shihan conveys no extra powers or responsibilities and no extra privileges.In the U.K .this is not the case.Cheers, Joe.
Must be a U.K. thing - around here people just want to be a "Master of the Universe".

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-09-2012, 04:01 AM   #28
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Must be a U.K. thing - around here people just want to be a "Master of the Universe".

Best,

Chris
Hi Chris,

Don't forget we suffer quite a bit from Shihan Syndrome in the UK... Generally it's a self inflicted / self inflated condition

Best Regards,
John

www.chishindojo.co.uk
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:26 AM   #29
Eva Antonia
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Dear all,

here in Belgium we have two shihans (in the francophone foundation; we maybe don't have shihan politics, but then we have language politics...), I don't know how it is in the Dutch speaking foundation. Both were awarded their rank by Tissier shihan; I was present at the seminar when Louis van Tieghem got his shihan certificate , and the certificates came from the Japanese aikikai.

Now we have some seventh dans who are NOT shihan, we have a sixth dan shihan and lots of sixth dans who are not, but to us footfolk this does not matter very much. We go to their seminars because they teach well, not because they have this title. I never thought people would be entitled to the shihan title, I always thought it was awarded for special merits in further developing and teaching aikido. No matter if you are Japanese, European, male, female, etc.

All the best,

Eva
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:50 AM   #30
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
If you look at the Japanese page they have a link for the International Regulations with a link for the Domestic Regulations below that.
Yes, but the link to the internal regulations page doesn't actually go to an "internal regulations" page. It goes to an "Aikikai Activities" page which has a load of yearly plans, subsidiary aid reports and information on registering dojos and even forms on how to fill in the forms etc. It isn't a section that explains rules for obtaining any rank or instructor qualification.
Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The title doesn't really mean much in Japan - but it doesn't mean much abroad with the special certificate either, so why create this convoluted double standard?
I don't think the absence of an internal rules page at the end of the link and interviews/statements from 10-20 years ago (during which the system has changed) prove that there is a double standard now. Note that dan and kyu grades are in the same situation as the instructor qualifications: there are no internal regulations listed for them either, because the link just goes to "activities". Does this mean that there are double standards for kyu grades and yudansha too then?

How about asking Mr Tani what the situation is now and if the only rules shown (the international ones) apply to everyone? Regarding the value of the rank, as with Aikikai recognition for dojos, the official position is pretty clear:

Quote:
Hombu Recognition does not have any political implication. It is a vertical relation between Hombu and each Aikido organization for the purpose of instruction and grading of Aikido.
Obviously simple recognition for these purposes will mean different things to different people but is it necessary that the labels come with special privileges or powers?

Carl
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:28 AM   #31
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Yes, but the link to the internal regulations page doesn't actually go to an "internal regulations" page. It goes to an "Aikikai Activities" page which has a load of yearly plans, subsidiary aid reports and information on registering dojos and even forms on how to fill in the forms etc. It isn't a section that explains rules for obtaining any rank or instructor qualification.
That's right, and you're seeing the difference between the Japanese conception of what "regulations" should include (which are usually, relatively speaking, extremely non-specific) and the non-Japanese conception. Of course, this is part of the problem.

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
I don't think the absence of an internal rules page at the end of the link and interviews/statements from 10-20 years ago (during which the system has changed) prove that there is a double standard now. Note that dan and kyu grades are in the same situation as the instructor qualifications: there are no internal regulations listed for them either, because the link just goes to "activities". Does this mean that there are double standards for kyu grades and yudansha too then?
The Tani statement is somewhat more recent than that (although I can't remember what year) - but this is also based on more recent discussions that are not open to public posting.

There are actually...no standards for kyu and yudansha grades, anywhere (this is probably another discussion). Even the time requirements are guidelines and not hard requirements.

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Obviously simple recognition for these purposes will mean different things to different people but is it necessary that the labels come with special privileges or powers?

Carl
No - but if it doesn't mean anything, then why give it out? And if it's handed out without restriction to one class of people, why would you restrict it for another?

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-09-2012, 11:21 AM   #32
sakumeikan
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
OK my experience.

My principal instructor asked Hombu what the procedure was and from my end it went something like this.

I had to send my Aikido CV to the Hombu dojo. During the next year a Hombu Shihan observed me teach (at Summer School) and sit on a grading panel (up to Sandan). I then got a nice certificate and letter following the next Kigami Biraki ceremony.

So I guess there is some kind of quality control. As I see it if you join the club (Hombu) then you play by the rules.
Dear Philip,
You and I share a common background.You will remember the days when you could have been a Ist kyu for a million years[or so it seemed]..Even when you went for testing in the case of a certain shihan , you could be asked to show more waza than even O Sensei could do.The long 40 mins test.
Now I think we both agree that certain standards should be maintained.It would also suggest to me that the mindset of the group you are in does have some bearing here.It would appear that your Principal,used common sense , influence and in due course you and the other guys received
your Shihan title.Obviously , your principal felt you merited the award.You had the opportunity, you gave your cv, you tested,You were deemed competent, and you received the Certification,
Just goes to show your Principal is more forward thinking than some. I do hope you and your family are well,Please let them know we [Jenny/myself ] send our best regards, Cheers, Joe.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:55 PM   #33
Alex Megann
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Chris,
It may well be the case that in the U.S.A the title of Shihan conveys no extra powers or responsibilities and no extra privileges.In the U.K .this is not the case.Cheers, Joe.
Hi Joe,

I'm not sure what extra privileges shihan have over here - they definitely don't tell us commoners about them...

Alex
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #34
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Yes, but the link to the internal regulations page doesn't actually go to an "internal regulations" page. It goes to an "Aikikai Activities" page which has a load of yearly plans, subsidiary aid reports and information on registering dojos and even forms on how to fill in the forms etc. It isn't a section that explains rules for obtaining any rank or instructor qualification.

I don't think the absence of an internal rules page at the end of the link and interviews/statements from 10-20 years ago (during which the system has changed) prove that there is a double standard now. Note that dan and kyu grades are in the same situation as the instructor qualifications: there are no internal regulations listed for them either, because the link just goes to "activities". Does this mean that there are double standards for kyu grades and yudansha too then?

How about asking Mr Tani what the situation is now and if the only rules shown (the international ones) apply to everyone? Regarding the value of the rank, as with Aikikai recognition for dojos, the official position is pretty clear:

Obviously simple recognition for these purposes will mean different things to different people but is it necessary that the labels come with special privileges or powers?

Carl
Hello Carl,

Much of what appears on the Aikikai's Japanese web page in the bottom group under the heading 「合気会とその活動」 is in response to recent change in Japanese law concerning tax free foundations. There are no longer any branch dojos (支部) of the Aikikai (except the Iwama Dojo, which is the Ibaraki shibu) and each dojo/group has to apply for 登録 and or 公認. If the dojo is on the list appearing on the Aikikai's Japanese website, it already has 登録. Kounin 公認 is supposed to be an 'added value' title and can be part of the dojo name, rather like Japanese driving schools.

Apart from the requirements of the change of law, I think all this represents an attempt to tidy up a chaotic organization in Japan and give some flesh to the phantom existence of the All-Japan Aikido Federation. My understanding is that in all of the 47 prefectures a prefectural federation (県合気道連盟) is established and all the 公認 dojos in a prefecture belong to this organization. All the prefectural federations will be members of the All-Japan Aikido Federation.

As you are aware, nothing at all is mentioned on the Aikikai's Japanese website about teaching ranks. Only the minimum dan ranks are specified. However, if you have a large organization like the All-Japan Aikido Federation, with branches all over Japan, then you can establish proper teaching titles, like shihan and shidoin, and also criteria for the award of such teaching titles. At present, the ranks of 6th dan and 8th dan in aikido appear to correspond to the ranks of mokuroku and menkyou-kaiden in traditional Japanese arts. So all my Japanese neighbours know that if you have 6th dan, you are a shihan. This is a situation that the Aikikai would love to regulate.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:31 PM   #35
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
This is a situation that the Aikikai would love to regulate.
But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-09-2012, 09:42 PM   #36
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

If you haven't seen it - Stan added it as a recommended link on Aikido Journal:

http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/0...hristopher-li/

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-10-2012, 02:47 AM   #37
sakumeikan
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Why do you need a level playing field? Only if you are playing something competitive that requires even starting conditions (which is where the expression comes from). Is the North American (or European, or African, etc.) teacher competing for students? Seminar invitations? Youtube hits?

I just don't see why it is so important that the process inside Japan and the process outside Japan have to be exactly the same (and "fair").

If we apply the same principles, then it shouldn't take so long to get a black belt outside of Japan. It took me 6 years to get to shodan in North America. In Japan, I've heard that it can be done in two! It doesn't matter to me, it's just different, that's all. In fact, internationally, a North American rank might be more highly respected than a Japanese person's because people know that the standards are applied differently. Same title, different application, different meaning. Thank Yamada Sensei I suppose!

I think we agree that the intrinsic benefits of training, testing, teaching, or running a dojo are more valuable than the external recognition that may or may not be bestowed. Still, I see your point that if you have an ambition to receive the title and deserve it, but are unfairly denied, it would be frustrating and perhaps discriminatory. I just don't see evidence that this is what is going on.
Dear Conrad,
Do you think that there should be one set of rules for the Japanese and another set of rules for others?I believe in a system which has equal rights for all.Regarding a Japanese student getting a shodan in two years,while you took six, does this imply the Japanese person is somehow superior to you and other non Japanese?This is a nonsense.In my time I have seen people with grades of 1st , right up to 5th Dan holding their respective grades for years [not just one or two ].I have also seen guys being fast tracked, where somebody is promoted very quickly.I think politics, the friends in high places syndrome etc comes into this situation.Aikido i.m.o.mirrors real life.
What I would like to see is a system based on merit , whereby all Aikikai 6th Dans or &th Dans who are not currently Shihan are given the same opportunity to be considered for Shihan perhaps using the method of Shihan application and the testing as laid out by and written on this Forum by Philip Smith? Mr Smith painted a picture which was simple to implement and was clear and concise.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:07 AM   #38
sakumeikan
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Dear all.
Having read my good friend Prof.Petr Goldsbury's comments regarding Shihan title,wherein he states that all his neighbours consider any person who holds 6th Dan or over is called a Shihan.
Seems to me that this is a less complicated and a more efficient way to distinguish who can use the title of Shihan and who cannot.Any one with 6th Dan and above Yes, anyone below 6th Dan No. Simple!!!Joe.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:38 AM   #39
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
You're right, I should have said "any sixth dan teaching in Japan". That doesn't remove the basic problem, though.
well.. just looking at the list of teachers at the hombu dojo I can see two 6th dans that are not titled shihan (http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/hombu/instructor.htm).. so it's not AUTOMATICALLY given to anyone who reaches 6th dan. I know of a few other examples as well.

The main influence in Denmark right now is our annual visit from Arisou sensei. He's a 7th dan and - at least to my knowledge - he has never been given the title of Shihan. In my book it dosen't matter. He's a great guy and I can certainly learn a lot from him.

So.. I don't see it as so much of a problem - maybe because I'm not in any imminent danger of becomming a 6th dan any time soon anyway. I guess if I had friends being 'held back' for no other reason than being non-japanese I would also be annoyed, but I know of no such cases. In my book being 6th dan and being sour for not getting Shihan is a puzzle. At that level I would expect an aikidoist to be less driven by the titles and grades than by the pleasure of doing aikido.

In my point of view it's more of a shame when people start their own styles and liniage in order to hand out titles and dan-levels to themselves. It seems so vain and full-of-yourself-ish, and cutting corners is just not very 'aiki' if you ask me.

If you want to start you own thing then by all means - but why then adopt the japanese system of kyu/dan and certifications and titles anyway?

So.. I guess we just have to agree to disagree. I see it of far less of a problem, and I don't perceive the relationship between aikidoists around the world and aikikai as a business relation. It's just how the world is. Sure there are probably misunderstandings and favourism some places in our world-organisation. This happens everywhere. The good thing is that I believe it is being less of a problem with each generation.

Peace

Jørgen Jakob

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Old 05-10-2012, 09:21 AM   #40
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
well.. just looking at the list of teachers at the hombu dojo I can see two 6th dans that are not titled shihan (http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/hombu/instructor.htm).. so it's not AUTOMATICALLY given to anyone who reaches 6th dan. I know of a few other examples as well.
You can see in Tani's note that he makes a distinction between the title as used internally in hombu and outside of hombu.

This is the problem - the discriminatory effect occurs, in large part, because the Aikikai does not implement clear system wide policies.

Quote:
J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
The main influence in Denmark right now is our annual visit from Arisou sensei. He's a 7th dan and - at least to my knowledge - he has never been given the title of Shihan. In my book it dosen't matter. He's a great guy and I can certainly learn a lot from him.
Since he's teaching in Japan he's considered to be a shihan automatically - he doesn't need to be given anything, which is just the point.

Quote:
J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post

In my point of view it's more of a shame when people start their own styles and liniage in order to hand out titles and dan-levels to themselves. It seems so vain and full-of-yourself-ish, and cutting corners is just not very 'aiki' if you ask me.

If you want to start you own thing then by all means - but why then adopt the japanese system of kyu/dan and certifications and titles anyway?
Nobody said anything about handing anything out on their own....but I'd point out that the above is just exactly what Morihei Ueshiba did.

Quote:
J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
So.. I guess we just have to agree to disagree. I see it of far less of a problem, and I don't perceive the relationship between aikidoists around the world and aikikai as a business relation. It's just how the world is. Sure there are probably misunderstandings and favourism some places in our world-organisation. This happens everywhere. The good thing is that I believe it is being less of a problem with each generation.
It's not about business, it's about fairness - which ought to apply in most relationships.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-10-2012, 09:57 AM   #41
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Slightly off topic but possibly related...

Hombu dojo seems on the whole to be there to make (or take) a lot of money for not very much. Unless I'm mistaken, in my own position, if I were to suddenly join Hombu dojo I'd have to pay for all of my dan grades again... Erm, why? My last 2 are ratified by a direct student of the founder. Ka Ching me thinks.

Do the Shihan certs cost money from Hombu like the dan certs? Ouch if so...

Best Regards,
John

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Old 05-10-2012, 10:26 AM   #42
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

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John Burn wrote: View Post
Slightly off topic but possibly related...

Hombu dojo seems on the whole to be there to make (or take) a lot of money for not very much. Unless I'm mistaken, in my own position, if I were to suddenly join Hombu dojo I'd have to pay for all of my dan grades again... Erm, why? My last 2 are ratified by a direct student of the founder. Ka Ching me thinks.

Do the Shihan certs cost money from Hombu like the dan certs? Ouch if so...
No charge, AFAIK.

If you break down promotion fees and average them out over years of practice you tend to get something similar to the membership fees in a professional organization. The question becomes, though, whether or not that organization is returning anything tangible in the way of benefits or resources.

IMO, for the Aikikai to be relevant in the coming years, these are issues that they will have to consider.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-10-2012, 10:40 AM   #43
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

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No charge, AFAIK.

If you break down promotion fees and average them out over years of practice you tend to get something similar to the membership fees in a professional organization. The question becomes, though, whether or not that organization is returning anything tangible in the way of benefits or resources.

IMO, for the Aikikai to be relevant in the coming years, these are issues that they will have to consider.

Best,

Chris
At least they're not charging for the Shihan certificate. However if I subscribe to National Geographic for 10 years and then want to change to subscribe to Nature Magazine then don't usually ask me to backdate my subscription by 10 years .

The costs for the certificates are what they are - they all charge a similar amount. It's the backdating thing that gets me. Probably should be in another topic / thread tho.

Sorry for taking it off topic

Best Regards,
John

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Old 05-10-2012, 12:29 PM   #44
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
well.. just looking at the list of teachers at the hombu dojo I can see two 6th dans that are not titled shihan (http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/hombu/instructor.htm).. so it's not AUTOMATICALLY given to anyone who reaches 6th dan. I know of a few other examples as well.

The main influence in Denmark right now is our annual visit from Arisou sensei. He's a 7th dan and - at least to my knowledge - he has never been given the title of Shihan. In my book it dosen't matter. He's a great guy and I can certainly learn a lot from him.

So.. I don't see it as so much of a problem - maybe because I'm not in any imminent danger of becomming a 6th dan any time soon anyway. I guess if I had friends being 'held back' for no other reason than being non-japanese I would also be annoyed, but I know of no such cases. In my book being 6th dan and being sour for not getting Shihan is a puzzle. At that level I would expect an aikidoist to be less driven by the titles and grades than by the pleasure of doing aikido.

In my point of view it's more of a shame when people start their own styles and liniage in order to hand out titles and dan-levels to themselves. It seems so vain and full-of-yourself-ish, and cutting corners is just not very 'aiki' if you ask me.

If you want to start you own thing then by all means - but why then adopt the japanese system of kyu/dan and certifications and titles anyway?

So.. I guess we just have to agree to disagree. I see it of far less of a problem, and I don't perceive the relationship between aikidoists around the world and aikikai as a business relation. It's just how the world is. Sure there are probably misunderstandings and favourism some places in our world-organisation. This happens everywhere. The good thing is that I believe it is being less of a problem with each generation.

Peace

Jørgen Jakob
This is kind of what I was trying to say as well. In Japan, where the aikikai people know everybody at least indirectly or by reputation, the title is awarded by means of an informal process. Outside of Japan, the aikikai decided that they needed to formalize the process.

Of course they could change the meaning to be synonymous with "6 dan", but then it devalues it for the people who are already using it legitimately, which is insulting to them. Even in Japan, 6 dan does not equal shihan - you have to be a professional teacher running your own dojo according to the article referenced by OP, and, as with any informal process, there are probably other subtle criteria which apply as well. From my understanding of Japanese culture, there are usually a lot of unwritten rules for how things are done - rules which would not make sense or apply taken out of context.

Agree to disagree indeed, but I would add that looking for fairness in all situations usually leads to disappointment.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:43 PM   #45
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

Quote:
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From my understanding of Japanese culture, there are usually a lot of unwritten rules for how things are done - rules which would not make sense or apply taken out of context.
That's fine, as long as you are only in Japan. It's when you go international that the problems start.

The vast majority of Aikido students and instructors are not in Japan, are not Japanese, and will probably never go anywhere near Aikikai hombu.

Of course, the Aikikai is free to do as they wish - but so is everybody else. As a matter of practicality, it behooves them to consider these issues if they wish to remain relevant.

It used to be that people were tied to the Aikikai through their instructors. Now, even most senior instructors have little or no time training at hombu, and very few ties there. For most people, their sole contact with hombu now comes in the form of a very expensive piece of paper that's filled out by a secretary in the hombu office.

These are things that the Aikikai really should consider for the future.

Note that I'm not calling for people to walk out - I like the idea of the Aikikai or an Aikikai-like organization that acts as a general umbrella. But every relationship is a two way street that needs to be maintained.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #46
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
That's fine, as long as you are only in Japan. It's when you go international that the problems start.
Chris
I would argue that this was the reason they needed to formalize the process for the international community. I don't believe that having two different processes is necessarily a problem.

I agree, however, that the existing process internationally is not transparent or clearly defined, which has the potential to create problems, abuse, and situations that appear discriminatory.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:12 PM   #47
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

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That's right, and you're seeing the difference between the Japanese conception of what "regulations" should include (which are usually, relatively speaking, extremely non-specific) and the non-Japanese conception. Of course, this is part of the problem.
Chris, I realise this is probably not your intended meaning...

How is an inherent factor such as being Japanese a problem here?

That's a losing hand if you're playing a race card that has the hypocrisy of a particular ethnicity/nationality being somehow less able to conceive something as its value.

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The Tani statement is somewhat more recent than that (although I can't remember what year) - but this is also based on more recent discussions that are not open to public posting.
You can't remember what year, but you wrote "2000" (twelve years ago) in your blog?

You actually seem to refer to two statements by Mr Tani, although it is the same one used twice for two different times.

First reference:

"this statement by Masaki Tani of the Aikikai Hombu International department appeared in an interview with Aikido Journal in 2000:"

Second reference:

"Apparently, there was still some confusion, and this was addressed in a statement which appeared on the Aikido Journal website some years ago, again from Masaki Tani. If you read through the statement you'll find some interesting omissions (Mitsugi Saotome doesn't appear on Tani's list, for example), but I don't think that it was meant to be an exhaustive, formal statement, just an informal clarification."

That second link goes to the same article again as if it is more recent and viewed as such, I suppose it was at least edited in 2002 (10 years ago).

In any case, the article refers to procedures that existed in Japan for awarding titles from "20 years ago" among its content. So a decade ago they were trying to figure out how to formalise a system that included verbal awards and an informal tradition for equivalency of ranks that didn't exist overseas.

You'll understand if this doesn't look very strong as evidence of a current policy of discrimination a decade or so later in 2012. Even back then, it just looks like an ongoing process of fixing the problem of regulation.

As I said before, why not contact Mr Tani for the current policy? If there is something amiss, you could be doing us all a favour.

Carl
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:23 PM   #48
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Chris, I realise this is probably not your intended meaning...

How is an inherent factor such as being Japanese a problem here?

That's a losing hand if you're playing a race card that has the hypocrisy of a particular ethnicity/nationality being somehow less able to conceive something as its value.
I didn't say "being a Japanese", I said the "Japanese conception" which is somewhat different. Meaning, that Japanese cultural practices don't always translate outside of Japan, and since the Aikikai is an international organization this becomes a source of certain problems.

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
You actually seem to refer to two statements by Mr Tani, although it is the same one used twice for two different times.
Yes, the first one was an interview (as stated) and the second one was a separate email (that should be evident if you read the text of the email).

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
You'll understand if this doesn't look very strong as evidence of a current policy of discrimination a decade or so later in 2012. Even back then, it just looks like an ongoing process of fixing the problem of regulation.
As I said - that the issue continues is based on other discussions that are not postable. There are also other issues that are related, but that I won't get into - the root, I think is a lack of transparency and clarity.

The fact that there is still so much confusion over what should be such a simple thing after 10 years is just symptomatic of the problem.

Best,

Chris

Last edited by Chris Li : 05-10-2012 at 04:27 PM.

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Old 05-11-2012, 09:45 AM   #49
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

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I didn't say "being a Japanese", I said the "Japanese conception" which is somewhat different. Meaning, that Japanese cultural practices don't always translate outside of Japan, and since the Aikikai is an international organization this becomes a source of certain problems.
Pardon the JK Rowling use of upper case to indicate LOUD WORDS but...

I did NOT quote you as saying "being a Japanese". I did not quote you AT ALL, but you are attributing a miss-quote to me which is of your own devising.

LOOK:
Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
That's right, and you're seeing the difference between the Japanese conception of what "regulations" should include (which are usually, relatively speaking, extremely non-specific) and the non-Japanese conception. Of course, this is part of the problem.
Chris, I realise this is probably not your intended meaning...

How are inherent factors such as ethnicity or nationality a problem here?

That's a losing hand if you're playing a race card that has the hypocrisy of a particular race being somehow less able to conceive something as its value.
You used "Japanese conception" as a correction of my alleged misquote of you saying "being a Japanese" (where?) when all I did was respond to your specific use of "the Japanese conception" in reference to a problem which I put in a conditional sentence using "if". I didn't even use the adjective "Japanese" but rather went for the broader concept of what words like "Japanese" represent (their connection to an ethnicity or nation). I was also careful to point out to you that I understood your intended meaning was probably different. I'd consider it nitpicking if it weren't for your putting "regulations" in inverted commas and this context of a discussion about a blog that features a Jim Crow Law picture and talk of sitting at the back of the bus etc.

I do wonder if you would cite the Japanese conception of "regulations" as a problem so freely in your own country or elsewhere internationally. Or is this use of the Japanese conception of "regulations" in connection with problems only for Japan?

Like I said, I don't believe this is your intended meaning. I'm pointing out how it can read, not what I think you think.
Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The fact that there is still so much confusion over what should be such a simple thing after 10 years is just symptomatic of the problem.
How is it a simple thing?

You are complaining about lack of clarity, but you are not even able to prove that there is a problem or explain your lack of evidence clearly yourself. You have an interview and email exchange from a decade or more ago in one pdf document which is referenced twice for two different points in time, neither of which is within a decade of the present day situation you are alleging. You now seem to be saying your main evidence is actually based upon interviews that you do not seem to mention in the blog and which you cannot post. For someone demanding clarity, you sure make muddy waters.

Pictures of children's macho toy characters may make it look like some kind of joke, but if there is a problem of an actual policy of racial discrimination it is a serious thing. Being made to sit at the back of the bus or pass literary tests to vote due to race are serious situations, but you appear to be drawing grossly disproportionate comparisons to them with no current evidence that is available to the public. You may have good reasons not to publish any evidence, but why not say so from the start? Who is being convoluted here?

If something is going on and you care about it, you could help us. No need for He-Man. Have you contacted Mr Tani for something that could be published about the present day situation?

Carl
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:31 AM   #50
Chris Li
 
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Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification

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I do wonder if you would cite the Japanese conception of "regulations" as a problem so freely in your own country or elsewhere internationally. Or is this use of the Japanese conception of "regulations" in connection with problems only for Japan?
What I was saying was that the conception of these kind of guidelines can be different in Japan than it can be abroad. If you're dealing on an international rather than a domestic scale - things change. Ishihara Shintaro wrote some interesting things about these kinds of problems - the difficulty of the Japanese mindset in its application to international relations, maybe twenty years ago.

Like I said, I don't believe this is your intended meaning. I'm pointing out how it can read, not what I think you think.

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
How is it a simple thing?
Because a clear set of regulations applied across the board (which is what you would normally expect) would solve the problem

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Pictures of children's macho toy characters may make it look like some kind of joke, but if there is a problem of an actual policy of racial discrimination it is a serious thing.
Well...the first graphic was meant to jab a little at the folks scrambling for the rank.

As I said - whatever the intention - the effect is what matters here. I never said it was a policy of racial discrimination. But I did say that was the effect.

You know - nothing in the blog post is new (although some people seem to think it is). The original post by Tani was made because of similar discussions here and on Aikido Journal, and the topic has resurfaced periodically in both those forums. At those times I've said - pretty much the same thing. Unfortunately, no further public comment has been forthcoming.

Best,

Chris

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