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Old 12-21-2004, 12:15 PM   #26
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote:
Aikikai Hombu system allows you to obtain Shodan after about 350 days of practise; providing you acheive all kyu grades on time. So two classes per week its 2-3 years (allowing for holiday breaks).
Actually, at Aikikai hombu you can get to nidan in two years without being excessive in your training - seen it done more than once.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-21-2004, 12:50 PM   #27
aikidoc
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

So what do they call the top and bottom med school graduates? Doctor. What do they call the 2 year and 10 year shodan. Shodan. I realize different people train and learn at different speeds and different organizations require different things. If the test sets the standard then it is meaningless how long it takes-it's still shodan. However, I think higher levels tend to be taken more seriously. I do think 6 plus years for a basic level of skill such as shodan is way too long if the person is training 2-3 times a week consistently.
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Old 12-21-2004, 01:09 PM   #28
Charles Hill
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

I bristle at the suggestion that the fastest way to get rank is to go to Japan. I received nidan after about 5 - 6 years. I trained 5 times a week and then a period of just over a year fulltime. When I visited the States after that, I was often told that deal about going to Japan, usually by nidans that had been training about twenty years.

Also, at Honbu, Ichihashi Shihan would often fail students at dan level. I knew a Spanish guy who tested for sandan four times. These people would often fail by not showing a solid command of basics and for being too flashy. From what I saw, they were always non-Japanese.

Just an opinion, but the Shihan in the States preside over large organizations. It is hard for them to take responsibility for quality control. Making shodan difficult to get may be a response to that.

My iaido group, Muso Shinden Ryu, allows for shodan in a year, if you join at the right time. You can get a dan rank each year up to sandan, if I remember correctly. This is though the ZNKR and refers to the seitei iai kata.

Charles
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Old 12-21-2004, 01:38 PM   #29
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
Someone doing a shodan in 10 months by training twice a week is a pretty meaningless black belt in my book.
And how meaningful should the first rank, called "beginning level," be?

Kentokuseisei
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Old 12-21-2004, 01:42 PM   #30
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
My iaido group, Muso Shinden Ryu, allows for shodan in a year, if you join at the right time. You can get a dan rank each year up to sandan, if I remember correctly. This is though the ZNKR and refers to the seitei iai kata.
ZNKR requires you to wait your rank in years before moving up a dan: nidan one year after shodan, sandan two years after nidan, yondan three years after sandan, etc. Except hachidan is ten years after nanadan. These arn't taking into account the reduced requirements for the combination of advanced age and high skill, which I'm not sure any organization outside of Japan uses.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 12-21-2004, 01:53 PM   #31
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Point of note, this is the text from the Hombu web site

Graduates of each course will be given CERTIFICATES, and upon successful execution of grading examinations, Aikido kyu or dan ranks will be conferred. Promotions are possible as follows: Beginners Course - up to 3rd kyu; Intermediate Course - SHO DAN; Advanced Course - up to 2nd DAN.

The words are "Promotions are possible as follows", that doesn`t mean that the grades are guaranteed.

When I went to Japan, I was a 1st kyu with 9 years of training behind me. As I said earlier, I got tossed to the bottom and started again. In the 2 years that I was there, I graded twice and left Japan 1st Kyu. I`m now a Shodan having graded back here at my old dojo.

Despite training at Hombu occasionally, I didn`t know about the Aikikai Academy, but if I had known about it, I think I would have gone for it. Wouldn`t have made my Aikido any different to what it is now as I still trained those 2 years in an Aikikai dojo with an excellent Sensei, the only difference may have been my grade and who authorised it.

For me it`s still about my Aikido, my training and my teaching. It really doesn`t make an difference to me, nor does it concern me whether you get Shodan in 2 years or 10. I`m happy doing what I`m doing and am enjoying practice and teaching more than ever.


regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 12-21-2004, 02:18 PM   #32
Don
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

This is a really interesting thread. I have read the Aikikai Hombu website before and was as surprised as many in this thread were. I think someone probably indicated the real reason for the discrepencies between Hombu "Aikido Academy" promotions and "the rest of the world".

I think that the length of time indicated by most in "the rest of the world", myslef included at 7 years, is a percieved difference in what Shodan means. Shodan in much of the rest of the world, at least the U.S., is that you are a pretty good master of the art. That is strikingly different than the traditional Japanese definition of Shodan. I think that part of the length of time issue has to do with, as someone has said, the desire to not proliferate a bunch of more or less incompetent instructors and dilute the art, and the recognition that Shodan in many countries other than Japan is different than in Japan. We have had several Japanese train at our dojo who had been training awhile and were less than pleased with how they happened to compare with U.S. students who were the same rank, but had been training much longer.

But in the end, its what you want in the long run. If you want good aikido, it won't ultimately matter how long or what rank you are. If you want to get into the organization and the politics, then different things matter. Me, I just want to train. IMHO
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Old 12-21-2004, 02:21 PM   #33
tedehara
 
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

This is for anyone knowledgeable about dan ranks in Japanese universities and colleges. I heard you could get a shodan while attending school. That means a Japanese student could start as a white belt and by the time they graduate, they would have a shodan. That should be about 2 years part-time training.

Given what was discussed, you could also get a nidan rank within your undergraduate years. Is this really possible? Is it common?

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 12-21-2004, 03:40 PM   #34
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

What I have seen in the section of Japan I regularly visit is that the people training in the main dojo of the shihan do tend to advance in rank much more quickly than the people training in satellite dojos. Also, many people quickly get shodan and nidan, but few go beyond that unless they are very talented. (I understand that this in not everywhere in Japan.)

-Rob
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Old 12-21-2004, 03:49 PM   #35
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
This is for anyone knowledgeable about dan ranks in Japanese universities and colleges. I heard you could get a shodan while attending school. That means a Japanese student could start as a white belt and by the time they graduate, they would have a shodan. That should be about 2 years part-time training.

Given what was discussed, you could also get a nidan rank within your undergraduate years. Is this really possible? Is it common?
The usual course is to graduate with a ni-dan after four years in a university club.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-21-2004, 05:35 PM   #36
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
My iaido group, Muso Shinden Ryu, allows for shodan in a year, if you join at the right time. You can get a dan rank each year up to sandan, if I remember correctly. This is through the ZNKR and refers to the seitei iai kata.
Charles
interesting, you perform the seitei iai for dan rank advancement ?
Muso Shinden Ryu is what I do also but we perform the Omori Ryu kata set for initial dan rank advancement. We are expected to know the seitei iai but it's not considered part of the core curriculum of shoden, chuden, and okuden kata.


as for going to Japan, based on what you said why do you bristle if it's true ? I don't hold it against you. I have seen a number of examples of it. It is what it is. and I am not just talking about the aikikai only.

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Old 12-21-2004, 05:44 PM   #37
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Quote:
Kent Enfield wrote:
And how meaningful should the first rank, called "beginning level," be?
Well it is usually the first rank in iaido, so a literal translation might be enough. Most aikido schools have 5 to 7 ranks below shodan that students have to train for and pass. Perhaps a literal translation isn't quite appropriate in that situation.

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Old 12-21-2004, 06:32 PM   #38
Charles Hill
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Hi Craig,

I was told that MSR doesn't have it's own dan ranks, everything is through the ZNKR. The test is based on seitei, and I believe that one may substitute a koryu kata for one seitei. I have only been practicing for about a half year, so I'm not sure, but definately the test is seitei.

My bristling experiences have been to get a wink and a grin, "oh yeah, you're ### dan." Then I end up throwing a bit too hard and things degenerate. Of course my immaturity is a big part of it.

As for the posts about shodan equalling beginner, only Japanese involved in the martial arts are aware of it. To the average Japanese, black belt means the person is highly skilled.

Charles
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:49 PM   #39
PeterR
 
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

I tend to ask how long someones been practicing.

I've also noticed that by Sandan things start to even out across styles but again rank only has meaning within an organization and in the long run not that much even there.

Sorry Craig - of course you should have a feeling of personal accomplishment but I meant that by that point you should be well past Shodan (beginning level) stage.

I also bristle at the "well you know in Japan dan grades are easy" comments. All my grades are from here and we've been practicing about the same time and our ranks are the same - yes? University students have a program but ask yourself how many stay at Nidan for extended periods of time after that. Familiar with Judo and Shodokan Aikido and know several 15 year Aikikai people still at Nidan.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-24-2004, 03:17 PM   #40
tedehara
 
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
The usual course is to graduate with a ni-dan after four years in a university club.

Best,

Chris
Thanks Chris,

That's food for thought.

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Old 12-28-2004, 09:02 PM   #41
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

It has been my experience that in Japan you have two types of Aikido students: those that practice in order to eventually teach and those that don't. Those that just practice Aikido without any ambition to teach and make their living teaching Aikido are graded fairly quickly to Shodan and maybe even Nidan, but it take a while for them to progress from there. Those that want to teach and make their living teaching Aikido are held to a little higher standard. Additionally, you are not considered teacher material unless you've spent some time as Uchideshi to someone.
In my many brief trips to Japan, it became apparent to me that most Japanese don't consider you a serious student of Aikido unless you are a shodan. You would be hard pressed to find a shodan teaching any type of class in Japan, even to children. Contrast that with the US where you have nidan and even in some cases shodan running their own satellite dojos and you can get a pretty good idea that there is a considerable difference in the expectations of the rank.

joe

Last edited by Joe Bowen : 12-28-2004 at 09:04 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:49 PM   #42
alparis
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

I am no expert but the page does say that:
"Graduates of each course will be given CERTIFICATES, and upon successful execution of grading examinations, Aikido kyu or dan ranks will be conferred. Promotions are possible as follows: Beginners Course - up to 3rd kyu; Intermediate Course - SHO DAN; Advanced Course - up to 2nd DAN."

Specifically the statements "upon successful execution" and "up to ...".

AP
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:38 AM   #43
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Re: Aikikai Aikido Academy

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
It took me 11 years including a 2 year "sabatical" in Japan where I also got tossed to the bottom of the pile and started again .
Hah. I got all you wimps beat. I'm on year 15--I passed my fifth kyu in 1990--with a 3-year time out to have a kid and start a practice, and I'm taking my first kyu test in a few weeks.

It will likely be several more years to shodan, and that's only if I pass the upcoming test.

I figure I'm going to be an insanely good shodan or I'm just plain crappy at aikido. It's a toss-up.

Avery
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