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Old 06-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #26
JJF
 
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

A lot of interesting responses above.

I enjoy being part of this organisation. Even though I study aikido inspired by Nishio sensei who was not teaching in a manner close to what they did/do at Hombu dojo. However he still kept a close relation to Hombu dojo, and so does all of his major students today.

I have been to Hombu dojo, and I will go again. And I enjoy looking at my diplomas that I have received from them. Not because they are 'signed' by Doshu, but because they represent hours and hours of training and dedication. En effort that has been recognized by my instructors and the national Danish Aikido Federation, which again has been approved by The international Aikikai.

I see no reason to break free from them. We would only get another organisation and the sensation of belonging to 'a whole' would go away. Look at what happens in Russia with 'Real Aikido'. I think that is the type of development that will come from breaking with the Aikikai. Strange new attires, dojo embroidery and basically putting somebody new on the pedestal.

It's not easy to walk the edge of the knife that Aikikai federation have to balance in order to keep tradition, maintain a system and develop in order to the ever changing conditions. I think they do a pretty good job, and I choose to embrace aikido as a Japanese martial art with the traditions and quirks that's part of the package.

A lot of what is being mentioned as being less than perfect is obviously things that should be addressed - but I think time and patience is needed in order to make the changes. Leaving on a 'what have you done for me lately' seems to me to be a sad development.

Frankly I don't believe somebody is making good business on the Aikikai. Yes - some people receive a salary but they also accept the responsibility of being head of an organisation and filling shoes that are virtually impossible to fill.

Most other organisation that have the right to hand out certificates or credentials also pay those that do the work, so frankly I don't see any difference except that this particular organisation is in Japan. To me Japan or the states is pretty much the same thing. A plane ticket there would be approximately the same and the time in the plane would also be just about the same.

Finally: Janet: even though you have no interest in making Aikido a career I hope you get a chance to go to Japan. It's an interesting experience, but of course not something everybody get a chance to do.

Great day to you all

JJ

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:57 PM   #27
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
Perhaps we should be talking less about a solution to the current system and more about a reaction to the current system. For example, dojos could react by offering their students a choice of receiving a dan promotion from Hombu (expensive) or from the head teacher of their dojo (inexpensive). Same test, same standards, same incentives to seek promotion, same bragging rights. The Hombu track versus the dojo track.
This happens all the time. What Chris is saying is that this is going to happen more. That may be true, but I am questioning his assertions as to what the causes and solutions are. It all seems to be very much based upon the idea of a singular lineage headed by a Doshu who doesnft give people externally reviewed assessments (with perks) . I think this is a misunderstanding of the role of Doshu and the founder's organisation as well as peoplefs needs from it.
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Aside from the annual dues (now $75?) from every yudansha in the world...(cut)
Annual dues from every Yudansha?

Regards
Carl
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:36 PM   #28
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

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Where are the checks and where is the oversight in Aikido? I think it's self evident that there is no system in place in the Aikikai - it's entirely a system of delegation down the line. The doctors are subject to a system of checks and accreditation, the same as the universities above.
What kind of system of oversight are you talking about? The Aikikai is certainly subject to legal and financial checks and regulations and even has to be careful about certain things to maintain its status as a non-religious organisation. I think you are suggesting is that people not of aikido, should assess all the different flavours of aikido.
You picked a source that is riddled with mistakes and distortions but one thing the author complains about in the article you linked to is actually the einstructors and committeesf and even ginterferenceh by the Aikikai in collusion with other organisations such as JICA. Isnft that a (flawed) story of oversight, regulation and review of the multiple lineages I mentioned by the peers who gather around the iemoto lineage of the founderfs organisation?

It seems that cost and interference are most peoplefs gripes and more regulation, free insurance, perks for members etc isnft going to help that.

For the record, one of the many mistakes in your source is the description of the application process to teach aikido for JICA (the Japanese equivalent of the Peace Corps). The minimum level to apply is not black belt, it is nidan and even then it is a long hard process, not just the alleged short seminar at hombu. Your source also alleges that many donft bother to learn the local language of the country they go to. This ignores the application and ongoing training requirements. For example, a friend of mine went to teach aikido for JICA in Africa and needed English and French just to apply and he had to take courses in two local languages before commencing and during his assignment.

But I am very familiar with your sourcefs inaccuracies, having arrived in former-Iwama town in 2006, not long after taisai.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
My point was that Stan Pranin has very clearly demonstrated that the post-war Aikikai (and even Morihei Ueshiba) made some questionable actions if you're talking about strictly adhering to the rules of etiquette and lineage in their relationship with Sokaku Takeda and the historical place of Daito-ryu.
So theyfre not allowed to use a traditional model for the transmission of the art because of the tatemae playing down of Daito Ryu as main parent art?

Regards

Carl
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:53 PM   #29
Chris Li
 
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
What kind of system of oversight are you talking about? The Aikikai is certainly subject to legal and financial checks and regulations and even has to be careful about certain things to maintain its status as a non-religious organisation. I think you are suggesting is that people not of aikido, should assess all the different flavours of aikido.
I didn't say that at all - I said that there are effective systems of peer review (a "peer" is someone who also does Aikido) in terms of accreditation.

Except at certain very high levels the Aikikai never checks on promotions, nobody does, unless it's implemented by the local organization - but there's no requirement to do so and it often (usually) doesn't happen.

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
You picked a source that is riddled with mistakes and distortions but one thing the author complains about in the article you linked to is actually the �einstructors and committees�f and even �ginterference�h by the Aikikai in collusion with other organisations such as JICA. Isn�ft that a (flawed) story of oversight, regulation and review of the multiple lineages I mentioned by the peers who gather around the iemoto lineage of the founder�fs organisation?
Umm, it's not a source, it's just a comment (to someone else's post) that mentioned someone else's experiences with a related issue.

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
It seems that cost and interference are most people�fs gripes and more regulation, free insurance, perks for members etc isn�ft going to help that.
Those were just some quick example, professional association in the US are quite common, and survive because they provide something of benefit to their members - or they don't survive. In Aikido that "something of benefit" was (in the past) largely a personal relationship with the leadership - what I'm saying is that with the international scale today that benefit has been thinned beyond viability.

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
So they�fre not allowed to use a traditional model for the transmission of the art because of the tatemae playing down of Daito Ryu as main parent art?
Well, there was quite a bit more lying that went on then just tatemae - why do you think that there is so much resentment from some people? I'm just saying that it makes it hard to claim the moral high ground.

In any case, Morihei Ueshiba broke all kinds of "traditions".

Is that really relevant to the point of whether a traditional model scales well for an international organization of the type that we have today?

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-13-2013, 04:02 PM   #30
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I didn't say that at all - I said that there are effective systems of peer review (a "peer" is someone who also does Aikido) in terms of accreditation.

Except at certain very high levels the Aikikai never checks on promotions, nobody does, unless it's implemented by the local organization - but there's no requirement to do so and it often (usually) doesn't happen.
All those committees and instructors doing the accreditation are peers are they not?

Regards

Carl
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #31
Chris Li
 
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
All those committees and instructors doing the accreditation are peers are they not?

Regards

Carl
Yes, but there's no system or requirement to create a system or checks that a system has indeed been put in place.

Some places have a committee, some don't, in many places it's just up to an individual that never gets questioned.

The Aikikai has no idea how most people are getting promoted - and that leaves things wide open for abuse.

A higher educational institution patterned along the lines of the way that the Aikikai is organized would never receive accreditation from any reputable accrediting organization, and with good reason.

Now, I think that a good argument could be made for a very traditional system of organization where all ranks and licenses come solely from your instructor and their worth is only judged based upon that instructor.

But then...why would we ever want or need to send money anywhere else?

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-13-2013, 09:29 PM   #32
Cliff Judge
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

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No, I meant that they let anybody pay the fee and go on in, membership in the worldwide organization or not.

I've never had a problem just walking in and paying the daily training fee, even when I wasn't with the Aikikai.

The only people I've heard about that had a problem had to pay the membership fee (about $100, far less than testing) and then they went up without a problem - without having to come from an affiliated organization.

Anyway, I don't see that as a major draw, especially considering what the training at hombu is like.

Best,

Chris
Maybe not everybody is so cool that they can just walk into Hombu and train without a membership and then be like "this place is so dead."
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:25 PM   #33
Chris Li
 
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

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Maybe not everybody is so cool that they can just walk into Hombu and train without a membership and then be like "this place is so dead."
From the Aikikai hombu website:

Quote:
In order to train at Hombu Dojo you must become a member of the Aikikai Foundation. At dojo located abroad, this is usually done upon joining the dojo, or else upon registration of shodan grading. Upon completing registration with the Aikikai, you will receive a membership card and a membership number. These do not expire and are good for life. Also, upon registering shodan you will also receive an International Yudansha Book. When wanting to train at Hombu Dojo, please bring something with your registration number with you. For those who are not yet Aikikai members, please complete the registration at the front desk upon arrival at Hombu Dojo.
Like I said - it costs about $100 and then anybody can go on up and train. So what's your point?

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-14-2013, 03:22 PM   #34
Dan Rubin
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Annual dues from every Yudansha?
Just dreaming the Aikikai dream.

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
This happens all the time.
I didn't know that. If all dojos could do that (have a hombu track and a dojo track), the relevance of hombu would soon reveal itself. There are advantages and disadvantages to both tracks. If hombu found its appeal waning, it could change some things around (if it chose to) to make itself more attractive, such as reducing some fees. In other words, with that competition, let the marketplace decide.

As for quality control, the current system seems to be minimally workable: Let The Buyer Beware.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:02 AM   #35
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Four Generations of the Ueshiba Family

Hi Dan (and Chris)
Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
I didn't know that. If all dojos could do that (have a hombu track and a dojo track), the relevance of hombu would soon reveal itself. There are advantages and disadvantages to both tracks. If hombu found its appeal waning, it could change some things around (if it chose to) to make itself more attractive, such as reducing some fees. In other words, with that competition, let the marketplace decide.
There are all kinds of situations out there but I think the gist of the original article was that Doshu doesnft personally know the students getting their ranks from him, that feedback for how well one is progressing doesnft come with any perks for members and that distance from the iemoto lineage and loss of personal connection will cause people to leave. Ifd say that outside of immediate access to the iemoto lineage of aikido transmission (thatfs probably most of the Aikikai – and even in the Hombu people follow their favourite shihans), Doshufs role is more as a figurehead and his seal is kind of like having HRH Elizabeth Windsor on your pound sterling. It just shows that what your sensei says you learned is formally recognised elsewhere in the founderfs organisation. IMO, for most, their rank indicates a personal relationship with their teachers. I donft think people leave for lack of perks or connection to the iemoto anymore than people don't use pounds because they don't know the queen. You might get the odd teacher offering the Bristol Pound alongside the normal currency, but the main currency-related problem I've heard of is the one you mentioned: Some people find the one-off cost of membership (usually at shodan) and grading fees are a bit high.

To Chris, it looks to me more like an argument of degree whether or not the grades have enough oversight and peer review. I got the impression you were implying that there was none earlier on in the thread. Sorry if I am mistaken. In any case, more checks, enforcing the kind of system used by Havard or the medical profession across the board (i.e.: internationally, dealing with all kinds of national requirements) would just bump the price up and price seems to be most peoplefs gripe.

Maybe some official guidelines for a system of checks on procedure might help if it doesnft cause too much interference. Regarding the cost, people might also feel better if they got a clearer view of where the money is going.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The Aikikai has no idea how most people are getting promoted - and that leaves things wide open for abuse.
To an extent, I can imagine there are some lineages with very different methods who would say it isnft any of the Aikikaifs business (not that Ifm saying I agree with that). As for abuse, itfs not quite the same as the medical profession is it? But I agree it can happen through the delegation you mentioned (the 4th dan teacher choosing who can test under the visiting 6th dan at the next seminar for example).
Quote:
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Now, I think that a good argument could be made for a very traditional system of organization where all ranks and licenses come solely from your instructor and their worth is only judged based upon that instructor.
The situation that I just described could still happen in this case but there would be no one above to report it to. It certainly does happen in independent groups outside of the Aikikai. And I think most people do judge ranks on their instructor, not Doshu (unless Doshu is their main instructor). The first things I get asked about when I visit another dojo are where Ifve trained and who my teachers are.

Regards
Carl
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