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Old 06-14-2012, 05:07 AM   #26
JJF
 
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well, I'm not a child and Doshu ain't my Dad .

(cut)

If the Aikikai, on the other hand, wants to keep things together, then they have to create a model that gives people some reason to stay and send them money.

Best,

Chris
Sorry if my lack of English skills makes my point come across in the wrong way - but please don't reduce the line of thought in my statements to nothing by joking about it. I had a point - it dosen't go away due to a slick remark.

Regarding getting something out of the Aikikai... well.. as far as I see it there is plenty to be gained if you ask for it. So it is not a business that needs to pamper their customers. It is an organisation. Getting something from it requires participating and putting something in.

Had it not been for the Aikikai dispatching senseis to other places in the world in the first place... how much would Aikido have spread today?

Great day to you all
JJ

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:20 AM   #27
Chris Li
 
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Quote:
J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
Sorry if my lack of English skills makes my point come across in the wrong way - but please don't reduce the line of thought in my statements to nothing by joking about it. I had a point - it dosen't go away due to a slick remark.

Regarding getting something out of the Aikikai... well.. as far as I see it there is plenty to be gained if you ask for it. So it is not a business that needs to pamper their customers. It is an organisation. Getting something from it requires participating and putting something in.
For example? What kinds of things are to be gained?

An organization needs to provide some benefits to its members, or it ceases to become relevant to them, the same as a business.

This is not a problem for me, personally, but I think that it is a big potential problem for the Aikikai - if they want to continue to be relevant.

Quote:
J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
Had it not been for the Aikikai dispatching senseis to other places in the world in the first place... how much would Aikido have spread today?

Great day to you all
JJ
That's true (although I have a few quibbles) - but I could say the same about the Catholic Church, does that mean everybody forever after ought to be Catholic?

Time moves on...

Note that - I'm not anti Aikikai, in fact, I support the idea of a general umbrella organization like the Aikikai. However, I think that realistically if the Aikikai wants to remain relevant for the next 50 years they have to make some serious changes to their model.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:23 AM   #28
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

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Carsten M�llering wrote: View Post
Actually his "function" is his strong connection to the aikikai/hombu. As shihan he is the link - or maybe one strong link beside others. And his loyalty to hombu/aikikai is kind of paradigmatic. And he is like a door opener for Europeans at hombu. Or at least used to be for a lot of teacher I know who got their letter of recommendation from him. And, kind of other way round, as far as I know he was the one who invited Endo seishiro for the first time in Europe?
This is part of the problem - as people like this pass away the links and the personal relationships with hombu are disappearing. Since the Aikikai model has always depended heavily on these relationships, this is a serious problem for them.

Now you have organizations run by people with no personal ties to hombu. What is their motivation to remain affiliated?

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-14-2012, 11:37 AM   #29
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

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T... What is their motivation to remain affiliated?
Can't say.

My teacher and other teachers around me do have personel ties to hombu or to certain shihan. I am used to teachers who lived in Japan, be it for some months, be it for some years. When having a meals during seminar, it sometimes happens they start to talk Japanese while remembering stories. And not only the teachers, but my sempai also started to go to Japan on a regular base.
And I am used to teachers coming over from Japan to give seminars here.

In my context I myself (sandan) am a member of the first generation that is not directly connected to hombu or Japan through our own biography but only through our teachers or sempai. So me / we will have to find our way of being connected - or letting go.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 06-14-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:52 AM   #30
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

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Carsten M�llering wrote: View Post
In my context I myself (sandan) am a member of the first generation that is not directly connected to hombu or Japan through our own biography but only through our teachers or sempai. So me / we will have to find our way of being connected - or letting go.
Just so - it's an important time for the Aikikai.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-14-2012, 01:07 PM   #31
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Gaku Homma sensei has written some articles on his opinions of large Aikido organizations. http://www.nippon-kan.org/senseis_ar...rofiteers.html

One little candle can light 10,000 candles- Koichi Tohei Sensei
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:35 PM   #32
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

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For example? What kinds of things are to be gained?
Well for starters they maintain the only place in the world where you can meet and train with a very wide array of great senseis under the same roof. Also whenever a new national organisation is being formed they provide a framework and good advice for those doing the work. They also do work nationally and internationally in order to promote Aikido, and I have hear several stories from our national organisation about how they have had fruitful interaction with the Aikikai.

They do also to a certain extend lend a seal of approval to anybody starting a recognized dojo. Action speaks louder than affiliation for us who are already in the art, but for the rank beginner who gathers his or her information from the internet and books, it's comforting to know that the Aikikai has at least some supervision (through national organisations) over the dojos around the world.

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That's true (although I have a few quibbles) - but I could say the same about the Catholic Church, does that mean everybody forever after ought to be Catholic?
well.. no... but if you want to continue practicing the catholic rituals and call yourself a catholic, then you would be expected to stay in contact with Rome. Should you choose to break that relation then I hardly think you would call yourself a catholic anymore. In the same manner breaking away from the Aikikai should result in choosing a different name for what you do. I know 'Aikido' is not 'one thing' and therefore can be expressed in an endless number of shapes and forms, but it would at least not be 'Aikikai Aikido' anymore.

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Note that - I'm not anti Aikikai, in fact, I support the idea of a general umbrella organization like the Aikikai. However, I think that realistically if the Aikikai wants to remain relevant for the next 50 years they have to make some serious changes to their model.
well - I agree that change may very well be needed in some areas. But I still think we all have as much of a responsibility to create this change. How should the people at the Aikikai be able to create the organization that best aid the growth of Aikido if we do not tell them about how we fell, and what we think should be changed? They can't ask everybody, so those who go there will have more of a saying, and those who meet with Aikikai teachers at seminars around the world also have some influence. It's not perfect.. but you have - at least in theory - a chance to be heard.

See ya

JJ

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Old 06-14-2012, 03:56 PM   #33
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

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J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
Well for starters they maintain the only place in the world where you can meet and train with a very wide array of great senseis under the same roof. Also whenever a new national organisation is being formed they provide a framework and good advice for those doing the work. They also do work nationally and internationally in order to promote Aikido, and I have hear several stories from our national organisation about how they have had fruitful interaction with the Aikikai.
I'm still not sure what "fruitful" means - nor have I seen much in the way of concrete organizational help, except general encouragement. And yes, I've seen some of those meetings where this stuff is discussed - hombu's attitude is extremely hands off.

Most of the actual nitty gritty of setting up a legal organization where-ever you are - they're not qualified or prepared to help you with.

I suppose your opinion of training at hombu may be different than mine, but I think that there's more, and better, training elsewhere for a number of reasons. Even if that weren't the case, most people never get there.

Quote:
J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
They do also to a certain extend lend a seal of approval to anybody starting a recognized dojo. Action speaks louder than affiliation for us who are already in the art, but for the rank beginner who gathers his or her information from the internet and books, it's comforting to know that the Aikikai has at least some supervision (through national organisations) over the dojos around the world.
When actually talking to most beginners I find that very few of them even know what the Aikikai is - for that matter, it's the same with a lot of regular Aikido students. Honestly, for me that's a zero benefit, and frankly - there's zero supervision and no over-riding national organization in the US.

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J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
well.. no... but if you want to continue practicing the catholic rituals and call yourself a catholic, then you would be expected to stay in contact with Rome. Should you choose to break that relation then I hardly think you would call yourself a catholic anymore. In the same manner breaking away from the Aikikai should result in choosing a different name for what you do. I know 'Aikido' is not 'one thing' and therefore can be expressed in an endless number of shapes and forms, but it would at least not be 'Aikikai Aikido' anymore.
Well, no, it might by Yoshinkan Aikido, for example .

Interestingly, the word "Aikido" is not trademarked in Japan.

Quote:
J�rgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
well - I agree that change may very well be needed in some areas. But I still think we all have as much of a responsibility to create this change. How should the people at the Aikikai be able to create the organization that best aid the growth of Aikido if we do not tell them about how we fell, and what we think should be changed? They can't ask everybody, so those who go there will have more of a saying, and those who meet with Aikikai teachers at seminars around the world also have some influence. It's not perfect.. but you have - at least in theory - a chance to be heard.
In modern cooperative member-based organizations - you do ask everybody. Welcome to democracy.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-15-2012, 05:38 AM   #34
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
An organization needs to provide some benefits to its members, or it ceases to become relevant to them....

Note that - I'm not anti Aikikai, in fact, I support the idea of a general umbrella organization like the Aikikai. However, I think that realistically if the Aikikai wants to remain relevant for the next 50 years they have to make some serious changes to their model.
Chris,

What benefits do you think the Aikikai should provide to its members that it currently does not? What serious changes do you think they have to make to remain relevant?

Joe
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:21 AM   #35
Chris Li
 
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

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Chris,

What benefits do you think the Aikikai should provide to its members that it currently does not? What serious changes do you think they have to make to remain relevant?

Joe
Well, that's something they're going to have figure out.

I've brought up the idea of a more member oriented professional organization more than once on a couple of threads, and I think that there are some advantages to the idea - but I'm not sure that I see the Aikikai ever going that way.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-15-2012, 02:04 PM   #36
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well, that's something they're going to have figure out.

Chris
didn't i mention that i would like some sort of aikikai discount on coffee and donuts? discount on gi and weapons would be nice too. dojo insurance discount would be a plus. grants to organize seminars. some small nasty women that can bring a man lo, that we can call upon as enforcers for the occasional dojo challenges. discount on clean underwear (koshinage and extra beans just aren't go well together). discount on ibuprofen and tiger balm.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:57 AM   #37
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Quote:
Joseph Bowen wrote: View Post
Chris,

What benefits do you think the Aikikai should provide to its members that it currently does not? What serious changes do you think they have to make to remain relevant?

Joe
Dear Joe,
How about variable rates for Dan grade registration in relation to the average income ofa person living in different countries?People wishing register their Dan grades who live in third world counties may well pay a greater %age of their income for registraiton of grade than a member living in a high waged community. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:19 AM   #38
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Joe,
How about variable rates for Dan grade registration in relation to the average income ofa person living in different countries?People wishing register their Dan grades who live in third world counties may well pay a greater %age of their income for registraiton of grade than a member living in a high waged community. Cheers, Joe.
Dear Joe,

That sounds pretty reasonable. Are you sure there is no consideration right now? Given we don't live in a 3rd world country, and that this type of consideration would not necessarily be broadcast worldwide. It may be occurring and we don't know. Either way that is a program I would definitely endorse. Good idea.

Joe
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:18 AM   #39
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Speaking as a person who lives in a country that is about as far from 3rd world as you can get I must admit I think Joe's idea is very good.

Also we should all chip in through the Aikikai for senseis to be send to those places in the world, where they can't afford to host a seminar. Either becuase they are not people enough yet - or because it is too expensive for them given their income level.

The whole discount circus.. don't bother.. In my experience it usually takes more effort to administer than the benefit in the end will justify.

On the other hand a 'startup fund' where you can apply for a loan to buy mats, weapons etc would be a great way to support the spreading of Aikido.

JJ

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:29 PM   #40
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

I've trained in Aikikai as well as most of the other main organisations - currently I am not Aikikai and have no intention to return.

My observation here is about my region/area .... "... don't like Aikikai" is probably too strong/emotional.

What's coming across to me is that the local Aikikai does not interact with other aikido groups. End of story.

My impression is that they do not like their students to interact with students in other clubs or organisations, or attend other clubs' seminars ... which to me is contrary to the spirit of aiki. I don't know if this is an/the issue in other countries.

My observation is NOT about clubs that have their roots in Aikikai but the main Aikikai organisation locally.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:35 PM   #41
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

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Tom Seeto wrote: View Post
I've trained in Aikikai as well as most of the other main organisations - currently I am not Aikikai and have no intention to return.

My observation here is about my region/area .... "... don't like Aikikai" is probably too strong/emotional.

What's coming across to me is that the local Aikikai does not interact with other aikido groups. End of story.

My impression is that they do not like their students to interact with students in other clubs or organisations, or attend other clubs' seminars ... which to me is contrary to the spirit of aiki. I don't know if this is an/the issue in other countries.

My observation is NOT about clubs that have their roots in Aikikai but the main Aikikai organisation locally.
You'll love this then - one Aikikai organization run by a Japanese shihan not recognizing a dan rank issued by another (the certificate came from hombu, just like all of them) and requiring a student to re-test.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-21-2012, 02:12 AM   #42
Stephen Nichol
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
You'll love this then - one Aikikai organization run by a Japanese shihan not recognizing a dan rank issued by another (the certificate came from hombu, just like all of them) and requiring a student to re-test.

Best,

Chris
There may be a lot of underlying reasons for that, petty as they may be.

For example, if a student studied since the beginning with Shihan 'A' and before reaching Shodan, moved (city, town or even country) because of an opportunity (work, marraige partner interest etc..) and while there for an extended time trained and tested for Shodan there with Shihan 'B' - Both Shihans belonging to Aikikai... then returns 'home' and presents the certificate to the original Shihan for recognition... there is a chance that this original Shihan make take offense that the student simply took his Shodan exam with a different Shihan for a number of reasons. Maybe the two Shihan dislike each other... who knows. It may simply be a hard pill to swallow. I can see this from so many bad movie plots "I invested years into your training and then you go and do your Shodan with someone else?"

If I was the student in that situation I would contact my first Shihan and sought permission / blessing to grade for Shodan where I was currently living before simply doing so.

Firstly, I know that if I simply show up to another dojo within our organization without a letter of introduction from our association head (not my local Sensei), our Shihan, stating my rank and to please recogonize it and allow me to further my studies etc.. then I do not get to carry my rank with me. (Nor do I care as I 'know what I know' and I know there is always much to learn so... rank hardly matters...)

I suppose even at the point where I would return to my first Shihan in the example above and he told me he would only accept it if I did my exam again with him, I would do it. No big deal, passed it once already right? Just do not expect me to pay for it again. I understand he may want to see my ability for himself, see me take the test so he can be confident in backing up that certificate himself as well as my own ability to back it up representing him in his dojo.

None of what I have suggested above 'should' matter. I was just commenting on your specific mention of that situation and how 'there may be other circumstances'.

As for the whole 'Aikikai' issue (if there is one)

Within the Aikikai (or any organization) a rank issued by them 'should' apply throughout anyone associated with the orginization. This is why they issue the passports as a means of convenience for those that wish to intermix with other dojo inside the Aikikai (and in some cases out of it) as a means of common recognition of their rank via the issuing source.

That being said, the rank does not reflect the 'skill' per se. As it has been said, that is always down to the individual and their ability, not some distant organization. This is why I understand some Dojo cho's / Shihans / Sensei's will respectfully ask you to put on that white belt and train for a few months while they guage your ability and see if you are up to their measure of Shodan.

I do not 'dislike' the Aikikai. I have no reason to. Our organization is 'affliated' I believe. Our ranks are recognized with the Aikikai and dan certificates are issued from there.

Our association organizes its Seminars, invites Shihans from Japan when the opportunity arrises. Makes trips to Japan to go and see what it like to train around there... being part of the Aikikai allows for some of the political red tape to be kept to a minimum from what I understand HOWEVER (yes, it is that big) there is still more than enough politics within the Aikikai and around it to make training 'anywhere you want' even though you are part of the Aikikai, not even remotely possible.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:54 AM   #43
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

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Stephen Nichol wrote: View Post
There may be a lot of underlying reasons for that, petty as they may be.

For example, if a student studied since the beginning with Shihan 'A' and before reaching Shodan, moved (city, town or even country) because of an opportunity (work, marraige partner interest etc..) and while there for an extended time trained and tested for Shodan there with Shihan 'B' - Both Shihans belonging to Aikikai... then returns 'home' and presents the certificate to the original Shihan for recognition... there is a chance that this original Shihan make take offense that the student simply took his Shodan exam with a different Shihan for a number of reasons. Maybe the two Shihan dislike each other... who knows. It may simply be a hard pill to swallow. I can see this from so many bad movie plots "I invested years into your training and then you go and do your Shodan with someone else?"
Not the case here, they were shodan before they ever left, all in one place. After they moved to the new city and the new dojo the retest was required.

Anyway, it's just and example of how things fall through the cracks since there's no real regulation.

Quote:
Stephen Nichol wrote: View Post
Within the Aikikai (or any organization) a rank issued by them 'should' apply throughout anyone associated with the orginization. This is why they issue the passports as a means of convenience for those that wish to intermix with other dojo inside the Aikikai (and in some cases out of it) as a means of common recognition of their rank via the issuing source.
Actually, recognition of Aikikai rank issued by another dojo or organization is required by the international regulations. The problem being, if someone (especially someone of substance) chooses to ignore them there is no real avenue for appeal.

Petty, I know, but...fair is fair.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-21-2012, 03:01 AM   #44
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Dear All,
While I accept that the Aikikai may not be perfect and fails to address some issues I think the problem nowadays [at least in my experiences] is that there is too much political stuff going on between different groups.I have always believed in keeping an open door to anyone be they Aikikai /non Aikikai related. Recently I had occasion to make an enquiry about another non Aikikai groups Summer School.I received a message saying sorry we are sorry my presence would not be acceptable at the groups event.I wish to state that both the organizations Principal and one Senior member had on numerous occasions been guests at our events.The same applies at local level. There is little cross training /meeting with Aikikai /non Aikikai dojo in my area.I think some instructors want or need to be viewed as big fish in little pools. As far as Aikido unifying people is concerned I think this is a myth.Aikido is not to blame, its the petty , small minded, egocentric guys who perpetuate this situation.Rather than spend time and effort regarding the Hombu failings ,maybe we should try and attend to business closer to home.?Cheers, Joe
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:44 PM   #45
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Quote:
Stephen Nichol wrote: View Post
There may be a lot of underlying reasons for that, petty as they may be.

For example, if a student studied since the beginning with Shihan 'A' and before reaching Shodan, moved (city, town or even country) because of an opportunity (work, marraige partner interest etc..) and while there for an extended time trained and tested for Shodan there with Shihan 'B' - Both Shihans belonging to Aikikai... then returns 'home' and presents the certificate to the original Shihan for recognition... there is a chance that this original Shihan make take offense that the student simply took his Shodan exam with a different Shihan for a number of reasons. Maybe the two Shihan dislike each other... who knows. It may simply be a hard pill to swallow. I can see this from so many bad movie plots "I invested years into your training and then you go and do your Shodan with someone else?"

If I was the student in that situation I would contact my first Shihan and sought permission / blessing to grade for Shodan where I was currently living before simply doing so.

Firstly, I know that if I simply show up to another dojo within our organization without a letter of introduction from our association head (not my local Sensei), our Shihan, stating my rank and to please recogonize it and allow me to further my studies etc.. then I do not get to carry my rank with me. (Nor do I care as I 'know what I know' and I know there is always much to learn so... rank hardly matters...)

I suppose even at the point where I would return to my first Shihan in the example above and he told me he would only accept it if I did my exam again with him, I would do it. No big deal, passed it once already right? Just do not expect me to pay for it again. I understand he may want to see my ability for himself, see me take the test so he can be confident in backing up that certificate himself as well as my own ability to back it up representing him in his dojo.

None of what I have suggested above 'should' matter. I was just commenting on your specific mention of that situation and how 'there may be other circumstances'.

As for the whole 'Aikikai' issue (if there is one)

Within the Aikikai (or any organization) a rank issued by them 'should' apply throughout anyone associated with the orginization. This is why they issue the passports as a means of convenience for those that wish to intermix with other dojo inside the Aikikai (and in some cases out of it) as a means of common recognition of their rank via the issuing source.

That being said, the rank does not reflect the 'skill' per se. As it has been said, that is always down to the individual and their ability, not some distant organization. This is why I understand some Dojo cho's / Shihans / Sensei's will respectfully ask you to put on that white belt and train for a few months while they guage your ability and see if you are up to their measure of Shodan.

I do not 'dislike' the Aikikai. I have no reason to. Our organization is 'affliated' I believe. Our ranks are recognized with the Aikikai and dan certificates are issued from there.

Our association organizes its Seminars, invites Shihans from Japan when the opportunity arrises. Makes trips to Japan to go and see what it like to train around there... being part of the Aikikai allows for some of the political red tape to be kept to a minimum from what I understand HOWEVER (yes, it is that big) there is still more than enough politics within the Aikikai and around it to make training 'anywhere you want' even though you are part of the Aikikai, not even remotely possible.
Hi Stephen

I'm a little surprised that Takemusu is 'affiliated' with Aikikai - you group certainly has a history with Aikikai noting Iwama/Saito Sensei (deceased). But I stand corrected. Please give my regards to Ann Sensei, Drew etc.

Tom
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:44 AM   #46
Stephen Nichol
Dojo: Aikilife, Canberra
Location: Canberra, ACT
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 90
Australia
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Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

Quote:
Tom Seeto wrote: View Post
Hi Stephen

I'm a little surprised that Takemusu is 'affiliated' with Aikikai - you group certainly has a history with Aikikai noting Iwama/Saito Sensei (deceased). But I stand corrected. Please give my regards to Ann Sensei, Drew etc.

Tom
Will do Tom.

Indeed our association shows that you do not have to burn all your bridges.

Still, some people choose to for whatever reasons are/were important to them at the time.

Personally I think everyone should train with as many people from as many lineages as they can and not compete while they compare the similarities and differences. There is to much to be gained from the sharing and more to be lost from not doing so.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:11 PM   #47
TCSSEC
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 17
Offline
Re: Why people don't like Aikikai?

"Why ..." This sensei's experience/observation may be relevant (but again 'don't like' is too strong/emotional?)

Look up this webpage for related issue:
http://www.nippon-kan.org/senseis_ar...rofiteers.html
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