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Old 05-16-2012, 02:00 AM   #76
oisin bourke
 
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Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
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Re: Benefits of the Aikikai

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
And that's exactly how they were used in Japan - for children, until they got adopted by Jigoro Kano and caught fire. For children, I think that they're great!

Best,

Chris
My view is that the whole dan ranking thing really developed in response to the needs of Japanese post -war industrial society. You had a large section of the working population, ensconced in lifetime employment with the same company/State department. Spending decades with the same dojo practicing a few times a week (as opposed to an intensive apprenticeship) suited most of these people down to the ground.

On top of that, they recieved twice yearly bonus payments that increased with their years of service. The whole economy was geared to producing goods to coincide with the payments of these bonuses. I bet you could work out a formula corresponding the increase in expense for each Dan grade with the increase in the recipient's bonus.

Still, in fairness, Aikikai grades costs are chickenfeed compared to what you're expected to pay in other arts, such as tea ceremony, ikebana etc.It's a widespread problem.

I've never been a member of the Aikikai. BTW.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:24 AM   #77
aikishihan
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
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Re: Benefits of the Aikikai

Hello Peter,

Again, your insider's knowledge and experience proves so invaluable. You do realize that both the East and the West remain in desperate need of your brand of diplomacy, now, and into the future for traditional Aikido identity and structure. Not sure about what to save, but thanks for being there.

No, I did not have the opportunity to meet Seko san, although I was aware of his presence. I was way too junior in my minionship to have any contact with such leadership, content only to interact with Kisshomaru Doshu, Masatake Fujita, and the American Shihans.

It is my sincere hope that the underpinings of support from the Japanese government for Aikikai Foundation will continue as strongly as ever, but realize that the players have changed. All the more reason for Hombu to take much better care of their cash cow, the international yudansha registration system. This too, however, appears to be in great jeopardy for Hombu, although a historically great opportunity for others.

Yoroshiku onegaeshimasu!!!!

francis
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:57 PM   #78
Dan Richards
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Re: Benefits of the Aikikai

Aikikai didn't invent aiki-based arts, anymore than McDonald's invented hamburgers. What Aikikai and Aikido did - like McDonald's - was create a production standard, and a corporate hierarchy, along with the marketing reach. I entered Aikido through Aikikai in NYC, and am happy I did so. I've been out of Aikikai for many years.

I've simply moved on to higher-quality hamburgers. But, as with Aikikai, I do enjoy popping into a McDonald's every now and then.

I do have respect for good teachers, and I have respect for lineage. I don't need to have respect for organizations. I trained for many years within Nishio Aikido, and received direct instruction from Sensei Shoji Nishio. Nishio's direct teachers read like a who's who of modern Japanese martial arts.

I enjoy that there are Aikikai's and McDonald's in the world. But I don't need - or even want - Aikikai's approval and/or rank to train aiki arts anymore than I need McDonald's approval and/or rank to make hamburgers.

So, who was talking about Aikikai coffee discounts? I'm lovin' it. : )
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:42 PM   #79
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Benefits of the Aikikai

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
Aikikai didn't invent aiki-based arts, anymore than McDonald's invented hamburgers. What Aikikai and Aikido did - like McDonald's - was create a production standard, and a corporate hierarchy, along with the marketing reach. I entered Aikido through Aikikai in NYC, and am happy I did so. I've been out of Aikikai for many years.

I've simply moved on to higher-quality hamburgers. But, as with Aikikai, I do enjoy popping into a McDonald's every now and then.

I do have respect for good teachers, and I have respect for lineage. I don't need to have respect for organizations. I trained for many years within Nishio Aikido, and received direct instruction from Sensei Shoji Nishio. Nishio's direct teachers read like a who's who of modern Japanese martial arts.

I enjoy that there are Aikikai's and McDonald's in the world. But I don't need - or even want - Aikikai's approval and/or rank to train aiki arts anymore than I need McDonald's approval and/or rank to make hamburgers.

So, who was talking about Aikikai coffee discounts? I'm lovin' it. : )
I was taught that it is not very polite to publicly compare or criticize senior instructors (Yamada Sensei vs. Nishio Sensei, for example). You have every right to your opinion, but it is a bit presumptuous to think that you have the experience to really understand aikido deeply enough to judge them (like calling one person's teaching legacy the McDonald's of aikido).

I know you are not 8 dan because in 2007 you were shodan according to this blog post.

Do what you like, but I'm just pointing out that it's not classy and some people might get offended.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:47 PM   #80
Chris Li
 
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Re: Benefits of the Aikikai

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
I was taught that it is not very polite to publicly compare or criticize senior instructors (Yamada Sensei vs. Nishio Sensei, for example). You have every right to your opinion, but it is a bit presumptuous to think that you have the experience to really understand aikido deeply enough to judge them (like calling one person's teaching legacy the McDonald's of aikido).

I know you are not 8 dan because in 2007 you were shodan according to this blog post.

Do what you like, but I'm just pointing out that it's not classy and some people might get offended.
Just curious - what does being 8th dan (or any dan) have to do with anything?

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-17-2012, 07:27 AM   #81
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: Benefits of the Aikikai

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Just curious - what does being 8th dan (or any dan) have to do with anything?

Chris
of course it does. there is the black rope, not to moldy. then there might be a nicer, crisper looking skirt, that might have an inscription of Joe-Bob on it. there might even be an aiki glow about your person (possibly dues to background/foreground radiation). then as you go higher, you have the privilege to pay more for your cert.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:26 AM   #82
Cliff Judge
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Re: Benefits of the Aikikai

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Then the concern becomes - should we be trying to make rent, or should we be trying to do Aikido?
Here's a theory. There are significant issues with how it translates to reality, obviously, but here is the theory nontheless:

If we focus on the Aikido, nobody is making any money and no matter how enthusiastic, everyone is a hobbyist, even the shihan. The training will be more intimate, there will be a higher average level of quality because the instructors will be more deeply invested in their students, and also more selective about choosing students. But - the instructors will only be as good as a talented person can get training a couple hours a week, because you need to eat.

If we make rent we can afford a nice dojo space and we can allow our teachers to work a little less at the day job so they can train more and get better and hopefully figure out how to make us better. If we keep all the groups' rents connected, then there should be opportunities for some people to TRAIN professionally - as in, spending 40 or more hours a week training, for years, before becoming professional teachers.

The latter model requires that Aikido be inclusive and welcoming of people who are just in it to be a part of a community, for some exercise, or for some other, lighter purpose. People who never stay for the second class.

Maybe there are two core issues that mainstream Aikido grapples with here. I don't have answers for either of them.

1) The normal folks need to be given something that is honestly worthwhile. Most of us on this board don't want to be a "normal" trainee and many senior folks sound rather disdainful of these people quite often. I think it is actually a problem for Aikido if the twice a week trainees can't get something substantial out of their training if they persist at that level for a couple of years. We don't need Aikido to be more "pure".

2) Maybe one of the reasons why the Aikikai is often derided around here is that it is a pyramid that provides opportunities for individuals to become professional teachers and also professional students - but those people only seem to come up through certain blood ties and other connections in Japan. A young man from Mexico came through Shobukan a couple years ago, he was 19 and had been doing Aikido since he was 12. I guess we are saying, hey, if the Aikikai wants to be an international organization, why can't this kid or someone like him find his way to Hombu on a trajectory to eventually become a shihan?

I guess, to wit, the Aikikai is a pyramid, and the perception is that there is very restricted mobility between the levels of the pyramid, and those at the top seldom seem to be sufficiently appreciative of the contributions of those at the lower levels to holding the whole thing up.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 05-17-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:20 AM   #83
Chris Li
 
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Re: Benefits of the Aikikai

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Here's a theory. There are significant issues with how it translates to reality, obviously, but here is the theory nontheless:

If we focus on the Aikido, nobody is making any money and no matter how enthusiastic, everyone is a hobbyist, even the shihan. The training will be more intimate, there will be a higher average level of quality because the instructors will be more deeply invested in their students, and also more selective about choosing students. But - the instructors will only be as good as a talented person can get training a couple hours a week, because you need to eat.
I know some very good instructors who were never professional, so I'm not sure that really holds up. There is also the assumption that professional teachers are spending a lot of time training - and I'm not sure that holds up either.

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post

1) The normal folks need to be given something that is honestly worthwhile. Most of us on this board don't want to be a "normal" trainee and many senior folks sound rather disdainful of these people quite often. I think it is actually a problem for Aikido if the twice a week trainees can't get something substantial out of their training if they persist at that level for a couple of years. We don't need Aikido to be more "pure".
Training in non-professional dojo is better for those people, it's cheaper.

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
2) Maybe one of the reasons why the Aikikai is often derided around here is that it is a pyramid that provides opportunities for individuals to become professional teachers and also professional students - but those people only seem to come up through certain blood ties and other connections in Japan. A young man from Mexico came through Shobukan a couple years ago, he was 19 and had been doing Aikido since he was 12. I guess we are saying, hey, if the Aikikai wants to be an international organization, why can't this kid or someone like him find his way to Hombu on a trajectory to eventually become a shihan?

I guess, to wit, the Aikikai is a pyramid, and the perception is that there is very restricted mobility between the levels of the pyramid, and those at the top seldom seem to be sufficiently appreciative of the contributions of those at the lower levels to holding the whole thing up.
It's not unique to the Aikikai, it's a general problem. That is, absent the personal connection, why belong to an organization that gives you nothing in the way of any real benefits?

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-17-2012, 02:49 PM   #84
Autrelle Holland
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 45
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Re: Benefits of the Aikikai

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
Aikikai didn't invent aiki-based arts, anymore than McDonald's invented hamburgers. What Aikikai and Aikido did - like McDonald's - was create a production standard, and a corporate hierarchy, along with the marketing reach. I entered Aikido through Aikikai in NYC, and am happy I did so. I've been out of Aikikai for many years.

I've simply moved on to higher-quality hamburgers. But, as with Aikikai, I do enjoy popping into a McDonald's every now and then.

I do have respect for good teachers, and I have respect for lineage. I don't need to have respect for organizations. I trained for many years within Nishio Aikido, and received direct instruction from Sensei Shoji Nishio. Nishio's direct teachers read like a who's who of modern Japanese martial arts.

I enjoy that there are Aikikai's and McDonald's in the world. But I don't need - or even want - Aikikai's approval and/or rank to train aiki arts anymore than I need McDonald's approval and/or rank to make hamburgers.

So, who was talking about Aikikai coffee discounts? I'm lovin' it. : )
Same here! You ever come out down to FL?
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