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Old 09-17-2001, 12:45 AM   #26
shihonage
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You crack me up, Erik... because you're right.
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Old 09-17-2001, 03:23 AM   #27
JJF
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury ...I usually send a fairly objective letter to the next sensei, indicating major strengths and weakneses. I wonder if this is common practice.
I am afraid this is not common practice however I think it should be. Actually what I would love was for the senseis to take a little more interest in their students. In our modern world with its high paced living and very few Aikido-instructors making a living from teaching it is hard to find the time to devote one self to the development of one's students. In my opinion the ideal situation is when the sensei can become a mentor for the student - helping him or her to grow both as an aikido-ka and as a person - but hey! I have often been accused of being a traditionalist .

For the record I believe that a grading-system should be used as well. Both the kyu/dan system or the menkyo-system would do in my opinion. What is essential is that when someone is given a new grade, it should be a deliberate event and an important part of the sensei's involvement in the students progression.

One thing that puzzles me in the current system is the fact that often gradings are only done up to fourth dan. After this it is partially possible to achieve new grades just by surviving.... okay I know that was a bit rough and that further development of ones aikido is expected to achieve new ranks, but I would never the less like to hear what you think is the reason that the 'grading by recommendation' is used from fifth dan and up. Anyone ?

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-17-2001, 04:16 AM   #28
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
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Unhappy Re: Re: HEAVY WEIGHT x FEATHERWEIGHT!?!?

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
Ubaldo,
I was rather stunned by the tone of your response to my post. This is an open forum where anyone can give an opinion, regardless of 'weight'. I am well aware of your opinions regarding the 'politics' of aikido organisations and I do not happen to share them.

KAMI : Please, Goldsbury Sama! You know very well how much I do respect you and your writings and I'm one who ever defended the liberty in the fora I'm a part of. For as long as we have known each other, there's been respect among us. We have agreed in some things, disagreed in others, but we have never lacked in respect. I think everybody understood that I was KIDDING with my comentary on "heavyweight and featherweights". I was also paying you an hommage (even if misunderstood...) concerning your obvious superior knowledge. There was not, and never will be, any form of disrespect on my part.

PG. As an objective indication of one's proficiency in the art, a dan and a menkyo are the same. I am aware of the relation between dan ranks and competition in judo. There is a similar relationship in sumo, where the ranking system (yokozuna, ozeki, sekiwake) exists. There are also problems with the application of this system but no one has ever questioned the need for a ranking in sumo. The point I am making is that, unlike judo, sumo is not regarded in Japan as a 'modern' sport. Thus to identify a ranking system with competition is a mistake, in my opinion. The Founder never made such an equation.

KAMI : I think, with all due respect, that there is a big difference. The Menkyo system involved a more complete evaluation of the student, whereas the dan system in Aikido evaluates only the technical proficiency. I think that's one reason you choose to write your colleagues about strengths and weaknesses in your students, when they move to other places.

PG. The problem is less with the dan system itself than with a misunderstanding of the concept of progress in aikido. As I implied, progress, if it occurs, usually occurs at several levels of proficiency: basic technical ability, what I would call 'practical prudence', and some insight into the spiritual values involved.

KAMI : I agree but unhappily I do think that this misunderstanding is quite common.

PG. (on the importance of coloured belts) You might think it is, but this is not what I am stressing at all. Neither the children nor their parents give much attention to the actual organisation as such, as opposed to the progress of their children. It is more of an interaction between the parents and their teachers. I believe you think in this way because you have already decided that organisations and dan ranking play no useful purpose.

KAMI : Now perhaps you are touching on another problem, the one of teachers teaching many students. I think it's very difficult to do that without compromising somehow the level of teaching. But I'm afraid it's another problem.

PG. I asked the last question of the forum members as a whole. Are you really answering for everybody? In my experience it is common practice if a students leaves a dojo for the sensei to send a letter of introduction to the sensei in charge of the student's next dojo. This is the practice I follow and is only marginally connected with the grade the student has. It certainly does not show at all that the rank a student has is "meaningless".

KAMI : Two problems : I never did say that "I was speaking for everybody". Your declaration also stunned me. I only refered to my opinion, my impression, it was never an absolute statement. Also, I never did say a rank is "meaningless". I don't think they are useful, IN MY OPINION, UP TO NOW. I said before that, if one belongs to an organization, one must obey that organization's rules (among them, ranking). You yourself has stated that you didn't know if that process (sending a letter about your student to another teacher) was common.

[QUOTE - KAMI : Well, the featherweight gave his small punch. Now, let's run away before the heavyweight throws his counter attack!!!
PG. I think this sentiment is quite unworthy of you.[END OF QUOTE]

KAMI : Dear Goldsbury Sama,

Read again my previous e-mails for you on our many lists. Have I ever been disrespectful to you? Did I ever act aggressively? Did I ever was one to offend others?
As I told you before, I was kidding and I'm afraid I was severely misunderstood and by one for whom I have the utmost respect and good will.
Anyway, if by any mistake on my part, I have offended you, please accept my heartfelt excuses. It was never my intention. For me, it was just an exchange of opinions, with no emotional content.
I repeat, if I have offended you, I ask for your forgiveness, with all sincerity.

Best regards,
Peter Goldsbury
Always,

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 09-17-2001, 09:04 AM   #29
nikonl
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Ai symbol

well...i think gradings and rankings are juz for 'labeling' sake. I mean,if there wasn't any ranks,you wouldn't know how long that person has been training rite? eg.if i had partnered wif a beginner but doesnt know it cos he doesnt have any thing to show it. He will likely to be injured or hurt.

About the ego, once a person is not ego-istic, he isn't, if he is, he is. These rankings has got nothing to do with it, its all in the person and his willingness to change if he is ego-istic.
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Old 09-17-2001, 04:06 PM   #30
Peter Goldsbury
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Dear Ubaldo,

Clearly the 'contact' failed somewhere along the line. If it was my fault, many apologies.

Best regards,

Peter Goldsbury

P A Goldsbury
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Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 09-17-2001, 05:12 PM   #31
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
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Talking RELIEF

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
Dear Ubaldo,
Clearly the 'contact' failed somewhere along the line. If it was my fault, many apologies.
Best regards,
Peter Goldsbury
KAMI : Dear friend,

You can't imagine how happy I am. Nothing could hurt me more, than to lose your friendship because of a misunderstanding.
As I said before, the fault could very well be mine. Anyway, I'm glad all is over.
My very best regards

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 09-17-2001, 05:34 PM   #32
Bill D
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Erik,

Amusing, yes, but I don't think you're exactly correct. Let me point out that colored belts do not equal rankings. I'm more interested in the implications of the ranking system in terms of kyu and dan than the colored belt system. I agree that anyone for whom the actual colored belt itself is a great priority is probably lacking a little in understanding. In my dojo in Tokyo, there were only colored belts (other than white and black) for the childrens' class because it would not be considered mature for adults to be worrying about colored belts.

And by the way, if you want to see materialistic people, I suggest you go check out Tokyo.

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Old 09-17-2001, 07:51 PM   #33
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill D
Snipped!
Hi Bill!

I was referring to the very common tendency towards what I would call the "Poor Westerner Syndrome". It's often found amongst Western Aikidoists who are convinced that Western Civilization is worthless, socially corrupt and morally bankrupt. Whereas, the Japanese culture is pure, noble, whole and incapable of wrongness because of the purity of all things Eastern.

I fully understand the point.
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Old 09-18-2001, 07:31 AM   #34
Steve Speicher
Dojo: Aikido of Central Ohio
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It would seem to me that as a whole civilization is worthless, socially corrupt, and morally bankrupt. That would be cynical though.

However, O-Sensei's retreat to Iwama during war-time (withdrawing from civilization), seems like an important factor in his spiritual development.

-----------------------------
Steve Speicher
May I ask what is meant by the strong, moving power (hao jan chih chi)? "It
is difficult to describe," Mencius replied. -- Mencius IIA2

403-256 BCE
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Old 09-18-2001, 01:36 PM   #35
Bill D
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Erik,

Then do you find it scary like I do that somebody agreed with you? Anyway I've met a lot of people who think that way too, and I find it silly too.

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