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Old 08-18-2017, 06:45 AM   #26
john.burn
 
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
TYour teacher is Japanese, why don't you ask him if he left the Aikikai would he still consider himself 7th dan?

The most ridiculous thing about it is that by making that false accusation you've opened up the same bloody point being made about the guys you came here to defend! They too were promoted around the time they hosted a seminar!

This is pointless.
I have asked that very question - you are whever rank someone awards you was his response.

And I am aware this happened too, that a promotion seems to be granted in line with seminars being organised. I refused rank from the same group for what it's worth.

Best Regards,
John

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Old 08-18-2017, 07:18 AM   #27
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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I refused rank from the same group for what it's worth.
I'm sure your mother is very proud of you.

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Old 08-18-2017, 08:01 AM   #28
Janet Rosen
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

Yes you are
No I'm not
A very enlightening exchange
Not

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Old 08-18-2017, 08:08 AM   #29
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Does it matter? If you're x dan you are x dan, doesnt matter who gave it to you.
This is where we differ. I think it only matters because of who gave it to you. If you don't respect the person that gave it to you, then it's meaningless.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:11 AM   #30
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
This is where we differ. I think it only matters because of who gave it to you. If you don't respect the person that gave it to you, then it's meaningless.
I totally agree (assuming it's an organisation not a person that awarded it to you), however, what if you left on good terms but perhaps had a difference of opinion on the organisation direction? Is that any reson to give up on your awarded ranks?

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John

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Old 08-18-2017, 08:28 AM   #31
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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I totally agree (assuming it's an organisation not a person that awarded it to you), however, what if you left on good terms but perhaps had a difference of opinion on the organisation direction? Is that any reson to give up on your awarded ranks?
Let me paint you a picture. You're a former student of the founder of aikido with decades of experience, but you're an old man and you feel that it is your duty to pass on what you have learned before you die. You go around the world teaching what you were taught by O Sensei, you award people ranks commensurate with their experience because they have said they want to join your new organisation and learn the aikido passed to you by O Sensei himself. But when you go to the seminars they organise it's obvious they aren't paying attention, so you patiently explain the same thing you did last time, you come back the next year, same thing happens, they keep saying they're interested in what you are trying to teach but they keep acting differently. Essentially they are ignoring you and just doing what they've always done, only now they've got your name and the name of your organisation to back them up and confer the benefit of your reputation as a former deshi of O Sensei on them and what they do - but they aren't doing what you've been teaching. Now they may be doing this quite unintentionally, they may be good people who mean well but they don't realise what they're doing - or at least how it looks to you.

Would you be a bit irritated by that? Might you not say words to the effect that, well you gave them a rank but that rank doesn't mean anything really because they never tried to do what I have been teaching?

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Old 08-18-2017, 08:34 AM   #32
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

Robyn,

I wasnt clear and can't edit my last message. So, for clarification...

If you strongly disagree with an individual I think there *might* be a case for you to not continue to use any rank issued by them to you, but, if we're talking about an organisation, I think its completely acceptable.

My other points remain - if you left on good terms, and wished the group well, what's the issue?

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John

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Old 08-18-2017, 08:42 AM   #33
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Let me paint you a picture. You're a former student of the founder of aikido with decades of experience, but you're an old man and you feel that it is your duty to pass on what you have learned before you die. You go around the world teaching what you were taught by O Sensei, you award people ranks commensurate with their experience because they have said they want to join your new organisation and learn the aikido passed to you by O Sensei himself. But when you go to the seminars they organise it's obvious they aren't paying attention, so you patiently explain the same thing you did last time, you come back the next year, same thing happens, they keep saying they're interested in what you are trying to teach but they keep acting differently. Essentially they are ignoring you and just doing what they've always done, only now they've got your name and the name of your organisation to back them up and confer the benefit of your reputation as a former deshi of O Sensei on them and what they do - but they aren't doing what you've been teaching. Now they may be doing this quite unintentionally, they may be good people who mean well but they don't realise what they're doing - or at least how it looks to you.

Would you be a bit irritated by that? Might you not say words to the effect that, well you gave them a rank but that rank doesn't mean anything really because they never tried to do what I have been teaching?
Well, now you've painted me this picture you may very well be surprised that I wholeheartedly get the point and to an extent agree, I still don’t think it's acceptable to remove rank - I personally would ask someone to leave my dojo who wasn't on board with what I do, I'd also ask them to not refer to themselves as my student. I wouldn't think about taking their rank off them even if I'd issued it personally.

The group we're talking about seemed to be open to people to join and not be constrained to practice a specific style and that changed (I believe). At that stage I'd have left too, but I still don’t think I'd expect someone to hand their rank back.

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John

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Old 08-18-2017, 08:53 AM   #34
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Well, now you've painted me this picture you may very well be surprised that I wholeheartedly get the point and to an extent agree, I still don’t think it's acceptable to remove rank - I personally would ask someone to leave my dojo who wasn't on board with what I do, I'd also ask them to not refer to themselves as my student. I wouldn't think about taking their rank off them even if I'd issued it personally.

The group we're talking about seemed to be open to people to join and not be constrained to practice a specific style and that changed (I believe). At that stage I'd have left too, but I still don’t think I'd expect someone to hand their rank back.
Nobody removed rank. In fact you were the first person to suggest it be officially rescinded. Now, it's probably my fault because elsewhere I said something like "they're technically not 7th dans" well they are and they aren't. From where I'm sitting, they aren't because they haven't been doing sensei's aikido, and I think they themselves would agree with that, yet it's sensei's name on their 7th dan certificates. Does that mean they aren't experienced and worthwhile teachers? It does not. Does that mean they shouldn't advertise themselves as 7th dans, maybe. Which is why I started this thread because I wanted to see what the consensus of opinion on the subject was. I was also trying to pose it in the abstract to avoid specific reference to the people in question because that didn't seem fair.

Last edited by Ecosamurai : 08-18-2017 at 08:56 AM.

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Old 08-18-2017, 09:01 AM   #35
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Nobody removed rank. In fact you were the first person to suggest it be officially rescinded. Now, it's probably my fault because elsewhere I said something like "they're technically not 7th dans" well they are and they aren't. From where I'm sitting, they aren't because they haven't been doing sensei's aikido, and I think they themselves would agree with that, yet it's sensei's name on their 7th dan certificates. Does that mean they aren't experienced and worthwhile teachers? It does not. Does that mean they shouldn't advertise themselves as 7th dans, maybe. Which is why I started this thread because I wanted to see what the consensus of opinion on the subject was.
But wasn't the group an open 'multi-style' group at the time they were ranked? I'm pretty sure the blurb stated something about being open and inclusive of all styles of aikido way back when.

I have no issue with them using the rank the group gave them, particularly when they were issued with it.

It seems more like that direction changed or was clarified to not be open to other interpretations. But at one time, they were considered acceptable of that rank and if they never changed before or after, he must have considered them worthy at that time.

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John

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Old 08-18-2017, 09:18 AM   #36
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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But wasn't the group an open 'multi-style' group at the time they were ranked? I'm pretty sure the blurb stated something about being open and inclusive of all styles of aikido way back when.

I have no issue with them using the rank the group gave them, particularly when they were issued with it.

It seems more like that direction changed or was clarified to not be open to other interpretations. But at one time, they were considered acceptable of that rank and if they never changed before or after, he must have considered them worthy at that time.
It was never sensei's desire for it to be an open multistyle group, that was the direction it was taken in by others to his increasing dissatisfaction. The ranks were honestly given in expectation they'd be trying to learn what he was teaching. The reality is many people were given a different expectation than that by people other than sensei, not their fault, not sensei's fault either. So here we are, down to fewer dojos than before, but with people honestly trying to practice what sensei is teaching suits us just fine. Those who left don't represent us, they never really have, they've always followed their own path, and that suits us just fine too, good luck to them, may they have every success. But if they stick posters up saying X sensei 7th dan, it is meaningless really, which is what I was trying to talk about.

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Old 08-18-2017, 10:43 AM   #37
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

Why is it meaningless? If they put in their time, training and testing and paid the money. Why take that away?

I think that sounds petty and mean.

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Old 08-18-2017, 11:45 AM   #38
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Why is it meaningless? If they put in their time, training and testing and paid the money. Why take that away?

I think that sounds petty and mean.
I appreciate it could sound petty and mean, and nobody is taking anything away from anybody. I'm saying it doesn't appear to have any value outside its original context. In much the same way that were I to owe you Ł100 but wrote you a cheque from the bank of Lalaland you might question the value of the cheque.

So, was Tohei Sensei a 10th dan when he left the aikikai? Yes, and also no. His rank was never cancelled but it had no currency once he left and formed the Ki Society. Same for Tomiki, same for Shioda. The ranks they went on to award were based solely on their reputation and abilities and are nothing to do with those they were given by the Aikikai. That's all I'm saying really. I know it might sound like someone is trying to strip someone of their rank, that's not it at all. Merely pointing out that they had a poster that said they held the rank of 7th dan on it and I asked what their 7th dan was in, because it wasn't with the organisation who gave it to them any more.

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Old 08-18-2017, 12:22 PM   #39
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

Hi Mike:
So are you saying they never achieved the rank of 7th dan while they were with the first organization?

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Old 08-18-2017, 01:02 PM   #40
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Hi Mike:
So are you saying they never achieved the rank of 7th dan while they were with the first organization?
Absolutely not. They were awarded that rank. I'm saying that the only rank of importance to them now is founder of their organisation.
Put it this way, I've known people who hold ranks in seperate organisations, for example 2nd dan Aikikai, 4th dan yoshinkan. Nobody questions this, but it's supremely odd, because either the yoshinkan recognises the 2nd dan or it doesn't. If it does then they become nidan in yoshinkan and proceed from there. Unless of course they maintain their membership of the Aikikai then they would indeed have two ranks, so let's assume that rather than leave the Aikikai and join yoshinkan they leave and create their own organisation what is their rank then? It's nothing it's just founder of their own organisation, you can say former x dan of the Aikikai of course. But really so what?

Basically I see no reason why the gentlemen in question cannot issue someone with a 10th dan certificate in aikido. It would be legitimate for them to do so, so if anything I suppose my query has the effect of promoting them rather than stripping them of their rank. But to say they are 7th dan in the organisation they left means that the legitimacy of any rank they issue ultimately stems from a rank they no longer have any need to hold.

Does that make sense?

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Old 08-18-2017, 01:46 PM   #41
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

So to continue from my previous post, here's a hypothetical situation: Jane Doe trains with the Aikikai and achieves the rank of nidan, she then decides that the yoshinkan is better and jumps ship, the yoshinkan are feeling welcoming today so they recognise her rank of nidan and she trains hard with them until reaching the rank of yondan. However she now feels like she's made a mistake, she asks to rejoin the Aikikai and they say ok but you're a nidan not yondan says so on the certificate we issued you a few years back. Jane doesn't wish to throw away the recognition for all her hard work so she decides not to rejoin the Aikikai and instead strikes out on her own and creates the Jane Doe Kai school of aikido.

Is she still a 4th dan? Well, yes, she's got the certificate after all, nobody can deny that, but also no because what possible use is it to her in the Jane Doe Kai? If she's 4th dan then what happens when one of her students gets to 3rd dan? could she then promote them to the rank she holds? How about if they merited a 5th dan? Or is 4th dan the highest grade available in the Jane Doe Kai? The only solution is for her to be outside of the grading system and hold no rank herself.

To top it all off, what she's teaching bears no resemblance to yoshinkan aikido anyway, so the yoshinkan can quite legitimately say 'what you are doing is not yoshinkan aikido', that's not the same as saying we're taking away your 4th dan is it?

The people who have left the organisation to which I belong have never used the syllabus given by our organisation's founder (to the best of my knowledge), and I know for a fact that what they teach is technically different from what he teaches, more than that, they have differing philosophies from the man who issued their rank certificates. It is therefore perfectly reasonable for him, and for me as one of his senior students in this country to say, what you're doing is not our aikido, it is not representative of us.
Nobody is denying the rank they were awarded in good faith, nor am I questioning the validity of what they do, their ability, or their experience, in fact I would recommend people train with them because I always had a positive experience when I did so, I merely queried what it meant for them to use the rank they were issued in an advert for a seminar. Because to my mind it makes little sense to do so.

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Old 08-18-2017, 02:14 PM   #42
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

As a 7th dan who was promoted by my teacher and husband who was a 4th dan when we left Kokikai, I can tell you that my rank is legitimate to me. I really don't care what anyone thinks. I know how much I am on the mat and I know what aikido means to Ron and to me.

If people want to know our pedigree we are very open about it. Certificates don't make a person a good teacher or a good student. An open welcoming dojo where students can learn how to defend themselves and become more aware is our goal. And of course, being able to train till we are dead.

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Old 08-18-2017, 02:29 PM   #43
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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As a 7th dan who was promoted by my teacher and husband who was a 4th dan when we left Kokikai, I can tell you that my rank is legitimate to me. I really don't care what anyone thinks. I know how much I am on the mat and I know what aikido means to Ron and to me.

If people want to know our pedigree we are very open about it. Certificates don't make a person a good teacher or a good student. An open welcoming dojo where students can learn how to defend themselves and become more aware is our goal. And of course, being able to train till we are dead.
I'd say we're in agreement then. So I'm guessing he's not been advertising seminars by listing his rank as 4th dan for a while, because it would serve no purpose. If someone from the previous association says 'you're not really a 4th dan any more are you?' The only real answer is 'of course not'.

My interest in starting this thread was to try to discuss whether an aikido rank is analogous to a position in a company which expires if you leave, or more like a qualification such as a degree issued from a university, which you carry with you no matter where you go. I believe it's more like the former than the latter myself.

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Old 08-18-2017, 04:02 PM   #44
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

Lessee, the head of an aikido organization in the UK trained and promoted some students to the rank of 7th Dan. But, according to Mr. Haft, they didn't really perform aikido as taught by the sensei in charge of the organization, but he promoted them anyway.

For some reason some of these people have left the organization and are continuing to teach aikido even in seminars.

As part of their seminar marketing they list that they are 7th Dan without making a claim to the organization or sensei who awarded the rank and Mr. Haft doesn't believe they should do that and doesn't believe that they still hold the rank even though he knows that it has not been revoked.

Since Mr. Haft wanted to know how others felt about the issue, my view is opposite his. I feel that these individuals remain 7th Dan and are entitled to call themselves that. If asked, I would expect them to state what organization awarded the rank. I certainly don't believe that they should claim their seminars are "My Former Organization Seminars" since they are no longer members of that group, but just aikido seminars taught by these individuals. An awful lot of people would not attend a seminar conducted by someone with no rank (assuming they don't know him by name and reputation), but would consider attending the teaching of a 7th Dan. That is just advertising based on something they apparently earned and paid for.

This whole debate makes me wonder about who and what group teaches passive-aggressive behavior as part of aikido training......

Michael
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:44 PM   #45
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

I don't think it is wise to post something on a forum such as Akiweb if you don't expect to hear something you don't wish to hear or agree with.
I have been involved in British Aikido from its inception in the 1950s, during those 62 years I have never rejected a grade from another teacher, neither have I rescinded a grade of a student.
In my opinion once you are graded, that is your grade. I have graded a couple of students over the past 62 years that I now regret, but I graded them, and it stands.

I agree with much of what has been posted by highly respected Aikidoka such as Prof: P A Goldsbury and Sensei P Burns along with Sensei M Hackett . Once you are graded, that is what you are.
I believe that It is disgraceful to ask a student of many years to be regraded to join another organisation.

I remember in 1960 (?) Sensei Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei on the instructions of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei regraded all the dan grades at the once famous Hut Dojo, all our grades were accepted except one, his name was Eric Dollimore, Eric was the first UK second dan, he was demoted to first dan, Nakazono stated " necessary sell your gi while prices are high " - I am sure it was meant in humour, it did in fact destroy one of the best Aikidoka ever in the UK. Sadly Eric never recovered from that humiliation.
Eric Dollimore was about 5ft 3in tall, he is one of the very few that ever took me apart in the old days when we tested Aikido for real.

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Last edited by Hellis : 08-18-2017 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:51 PM   #46
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

I don't think it is wise to post something on a forum such as Akiweb if you don't expect to hear something you don't wish to hear or agree with.
I have been involved in British Aikido from its inception in the 1950s, during those 62 years I have never rejected a grade from another teacher, neither have I rescinded a grade of a student.
In my opinion once you are graded, that is your grade. I have graded a couple of students over the past 62 years that I now regret, but I graded them, and it stands.

I agree with much of what has been posted by highly respected Aikidoka such as Prof: P A Goldsbury and Sensei P Burns along with Sensei M Hackett . Once you are graded, that is what you are.
I believe that It is disgraceful to ask a student of many years to be regraded to join another organisation.

I remember in 1960 (?) Sensei Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei on the instructions of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei regraded all the dan grades at the once famous Hut Dojo, all our grades were accepted except one, his name was Eric Dollimore, Eris was the first UK second dan, he was demoted to first dan, Nakazono stated " necessary sell your gi while prices are high " - I am sure it was meant in humour, it did in fact destroy one of the best Aikidoka ever in the UK. Sadly Eric never recovered from that humiliation.

Henry Ellis Co-author of `Positive Aikido`.
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-19-2017, 03:43 AM   #47
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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This whole debate makes me wonder about who and what group teaches passive-aggressive behavior as part of aikido training......
If you think they earned it and are entitled to it that's fair, I only really wanted to see what people thought after all.
I do however object to your suggestion that this is passive aggressive behaviour. Passive aggressive has a particular meaning and definition, none of which apply to what's going on here. It appears you've only added it to the end of your post out of a desire to say something negative about someone you disagree with.

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Old 08-19-2017, 04:12 AM   #48
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
I don't think it is wise to post something on a forum such as Akiweb if you don't expect to hear something you don't wish to hear or agree with.
Indeed, the nature of debate requires opposing points of view. I came here with the express intention of having a well mannered discussion, hoping people would disagree with me and explain why. So far, all that's happened is that people who have disagreed with my point have't really come up with a solid reason to justify it other than it's their personal opinion. Fair enough, but if that's all it is I'll ask again how it's meant to work? If I leave and get to keep my 5th dan, do all my students then get 4th dan as their highest possible rank? If they do then sure I'm a 5th dan after I leave, if they don't, well then, I'm not am I? At no point have I suggested the rank wasn't awarded or earned, nor have I denied they have it at all. Just saying what does it mean? Unfortunately there's not really a way to talk about this without it potentially being construed as a negative comment on those who've left, not my intention but, well...

It's all nonsense at the end of the day anyway, one of my sempai likes to talk about a sea kayaker who has a high level proficiency certificate in sea kayaking. As he's being overwhelmed by a huge wave he holds out his certificate and says "but look, I've got this certificate!" The certificate is only as good as you are at the end of the day.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 08-19-2017, 04:55 AM   #49
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
My interest in starting this thread was to try to discuss whether an aikido rank is analogous to a position in a company which expires if you leave, or more like a qualification such as a degree issued from a university, which you carry with you no matter where you go.
A position in company corresponds the different functions you can have in a ryű I think. I.e. shihan or shidoin, dôjô chô and so on. Titles like that name your function or position within a certain ryű. And if you leave the ryű you also leave the function and it's title behind.

dan is no title and you are not addressing someone with it. It is "Endô shihan" for instance, but never ever Endô hachidan. dan is a certificate that states your qualification in regard to the requirements of a certain ryű. (In my federation these requirements are actually written down. You can look them up and measure me by them.) The dan certificate corresponds the mokuroku or other certificates given out in koryű. So it just says, that you have acquired certain qualities. Just like a degree from a university.

Point may be that these qualities you reached don't match the requirements of a different ryű. So maybe you will want to start anew, alltough having reached a certain graduation in another ryű ...
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:37 AM   #50
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Leaving and organisation and leaving your rank behind.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
A position in company corresponds the different functions you can have in a ryű I think. I.e. shihan or shidoin, dôjô chô and so on. Titles like that name your function or position within a certain ryű. And if you leave the ryű you also leave the function and it's title behind.

dan is no title and you are not addressing someone with it. It is "Endô shihan" for instance, but never ever Endô hachidan. dan is a certificate that states your qualification in regard to the requirements of a certain ryű. (In my federation these requirements are actually written down. You can look them up and measure me by them.) The dan certificate corresponds the mokuroku or other certificates given out in koryű. So it just says, that you have acquired certain qualities. Just like a degree from a university.

Point may be that these qualities you reached don't match the requirements of a different ryű. So maybe you will want to start anew, alltough having reached a certain graduation in another ryű ...
Thanks!

I think I pretty much agree, but one more question I'd have would be. What if a dan grade was given with the intention of reflecting a position within a school? Rather than as a measure of having acquired certain qualities? In our specific example, ranks were given in good faith based on the level of experience of the people in question, they were given to help facilitate the creation of an organisation, with the expectation that those receiving them would then seek to acquire the qualities they were meant to represent, by doing things like adopting the founder's syllabus, attending his seminars, and generally trying to practice and work on what he teaches. In many cases that didn't happen - for reasons I shan't go into, but those reasons aren't the fault of either party, it just worked out that way - and those people have now left, which is quite understandable. Under these circumstances I'd say the rank they held doesn't reflect their abilities in the school at all, something I think they themselves would agree with. At best it could act as a rough guide to their length of time practising and teaching aikido, so it might well be fair for them to use it to promote themselves in that regard but I'm not sure what it really means.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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