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Old 10-30-2006, 03:23 PM   #1
Amassus's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Musubi Ryu/ Yoshin Wadokan
Location: Hamilton
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 306
New Zealand
Shodan - onwards and upwards

Hello all. It is a long time since I have said anything in here.

I just wanted to say that I recently received my shodan at my club.
During the earlier years of training I read this forum fanatically and many of my questions were answered. Of course the cliche "Keep training and you will find the answers" is also true to some extent. So thanks forum-mates for the advice and guidance along the way.

Since the grading I have felt that I have sort of stumbled along trying to get my head around the new responsiblities that go with this black piece of material.
I have always said that belt colour is simply a side product of training however, the social responsibilties of gaining shodan has taken me a bit by surprise. People outside the club now think I'm some sort of 'master' while those in the kyu grades look up to me with expectation. I don't even want to start talking about that crazy black skirt I have to learn to wear!
I have to admit, finding my center at training is difficult, I have to learn how to compose myself all over again. I guess this is why the art is so addictive, there is always more to learn.

I hope this message finds you all well.


"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 10-30-2006, 03:51 PM   #2
kironin's Avatar
Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
Location: Houston,TX
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,034
Re: Shodan - onwards and upwards


keep training,

don't accept what people wish to project on you.

after while the novelty effect wears off.
and you are just you.

you forget about the color, but it's good to wear a white one evey once in a while and note how you feel so you don't unconsciously get too attached to the uniform. It's okay if you just feel kind of naked and indecent without the skirt. after a longer time, even that novelty wears off.

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Old 10-30-2006, 04:22 PM   #3
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,803
Re: Shodan - onwards and upwards

Now your education can really begin.
Relax, breath, and enjoy yourself.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:10 AM   #4
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: Shodan - onwards and upwards

Yep - unfortunately only the people of the same grade or higher will realise your fallability! That's why I delay hakama wearing until I feel the student is a suitable role model for beginners (because they can't help looking up to you when you've got a different uniform on!)

Congratulations Dean - if you're still questioning you're still learning!

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-02-2006, 02:55 AM   #5
Mike Hamer
Mike Hamer's Avatar
Dojo: Shinki Rengo, Mt. Pleasant MI
Location: Alma, MI
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 244
Re: Shodan - onwards and upwards

Congrats Dean.

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:44 AM   #6
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 608
Re: Shodan - onwards and upwards

Congratulations Dean!
I tell my students, when you are Kyu level, you are learning the basic techniques of the art ( and some other stuff). When you make black belt, that is a declaration from the group that you have learned the basic techniques and that you can perform them competently and can possibly teach them to beginners. Now as a black belt, you can begin to practice and study Aikido. To me a black belt is a person who has passed one phase of training to a different phase of training. That's the way I look at it.
Incidentally, to me, the training is both physical and spiritual and doesn't have much to do with fighting but rather it's a training that helps me have a certain kind of mastery over myself.

Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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