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Old 07-29-2005, 06:20 AM   #51
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
Re: Grading too fast???????

Absolutely Daren

It is quality that counts and that requires plenty of training with a good teacher. Though some have looked for the "quick" way and as said, a cross style regrading after only 5 or 6 lessons is a, errr, surprise.

Like Homer Simpson said - "Do you want the job don't right or do you want it done fast?"


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Old 07-29-2005, 06:50 AM   #52
Avery Jenkins
Avery Jenkins's Avatar
Dojo: Litchfield Hills Aikikai
Location: Litchfield, CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 158
Re: Grading too fast???????

Matthew Jones wrote:
So about 6.5 to 7 years for Shodan.

I'll admit that this was a sour point for me when I first started... product of my culture I guess... but as I began to train more and began to look at martial training as a lifelong learning experience I began to care less. Now I'm thinking "When I'm seventy-five years old will I care how many years it took me to get a black-belt?" Hell no! In fact I'm not going to care if I ever get a black belt, just that I am always improving and having fun.
As the thus-far undisputed King of the Slow Mudansha, I have to throw in my own two cents. I passed 5th kyu on Jan. 12, 1991. I passed my 1st kyu about 6 months ago. Figuring that it will take me another 2-3 years to test for shodan, minus about 3 years off in the middle, that makes me about 15 years to shodan.

It's not so much that I am an Aikido Idiot, though that does no doubt play a factor. Because of family and career, I only get to the dojo a couple of times per week, and have lost some time due to various injuries.

I honestly sometimes get irritated with myself at the slow speed at which I have progressed. On the other hand, what's a belt, anyway? I train because I train, and aikido gives me something I have gotten nowhere else. If I were doing suwariwaza for the belt, I would have bailed years ago.

Right now, my only goal is that I would like to reach shodan before I turn 50 y.o., but it looks like it's going to be touch-and-go. Ah, well. Maybe I should just make sure that I make shodan before my hearing is so shot I can't hear Sensei busting my chops...
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Old 07-29-2005, 09:21 AM   #53
Sonja2012's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Verein Esslingen
Location: Duisburg
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 193
Re: Grading too fast???????

Si Wilson wrote:
To turn this around a little, what do think is a good time to regrade to a Dan grade in a new school or style?
Our organisation accepts shodan up to sandan from most other organisations (at least the "big" ones such as aikikai, etc.) without them having to re-test/re-grade. So you had to re-test for shodan, then? Is that what is done in the majority of organisations?
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Old 07-29-2005, 01:48 PM   #54
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 916
United Kingdom
Re: Grading too fast???????

What seems to happen here is that current grade is recognised but it takes some time to be tested, for two reasons i spose: To make sure the new member is committed to the club as well as up to scratch. If they arent upto scratch then it takes longer to test for the next grade, obviously.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 07-29-2005, 02:34 PM   #55
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 395
Re: Grading too fast???????

you guys are putting me to shame , i've been doing aikido for 7 years and i'm still 4th kyu
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Old 07-30-2005, 11:28 AM   #56
Location: Visalia, California
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 105
Re: Grading too fast???????

When I first started aikido, I trained six days a week. Three days a week I went to both classes offered at night. If my sensei had offered a Sunday class, I would have gone to that as well. After three months in America, I traveled to Japan for three months as uchi deshi.

About the fifth week of my training in Japan, on a night of low energy when I would have rather crawled into my futon and gone to sleep, I was partnered with a fairly high ranked student who was known for his painful technique. (He was actually a very kind man.) He also always trained at the very front of the mat, directly under the watchful eye of Sensei. Knowing I was most likely going to be closely watched, I dredged up every ounce of energy and focus I could find to put into my training that night. (Strangely enough, given my earlier low state of energy, that night I went above and beyond anything I had ever done before.)

After about the third or fourth technique, Sensei called my American sensei over and asked about my rank. Patrick explained how long I had been training and informed him that I had never tested. Sensei commented that he liked to see women who were "strong" in aikido. (I think that was a reference to the intensity of my training that night.) Sensei watched me for a few more techniques and then called both Patrick and I over to speak with him. He informed me that I would be testing sometime in the future, but not what kyu level.

After talking it over with some of the other sempai, we decided that I would study as if for 1st kyu just in case Sensei called out certain techniques. So for three or four weeks I trained with my fellow deshi as often as they were able, going over every technique they could conceive. One morning, Sensei announced that instead of class, I would be tested. He then proceeded to call out various techniques which I then attempted to execute. I shook through the whole thing and thought I did miserably. In randori, it seemed that I could remember only one technique. :-) A few days later, he presented me with my second kyu certificate. I was both proud and humbled.

My situation was probably fairly unique. Sensei was able to observe me in formal classes two to three times a day, at seminars, and off the mat. I guess my point is that while time in the art and time on the mat are relevant factors, (IMHO) only your sensei can truly know whether you are ready to test and for what rank.

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