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Old 06-05-2007, 12:54 PM   #1
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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How long to shodan?

Just curious to see how long it would take the average student in your school or style to get their black belt.

So... how long does it take to reach shodan?

or....

How long did it take you to reach shodan?

I hope no one is so sensitive that they take offence from this... I know some people are very touchy when it comes to "rank".

Peace and love and preemptive apologies (just in case)

Jo
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
Aristeia
Location: Auckland
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Re: How long to shodan?

longer than to first kyu but not as much time as it took to nidan.

Seriously it varies considerably with style I think. I've heard of some styles that get there in as little as 2 years, others as much as 6 years or more. Depending of course on how much your're training etc. For me personally it was around the 4 year mark I believe.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:08 PM   #3
lifeafter2am
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Re: How long to shodan?

Quote:
Jo Duncan wrote: View Post
Just curious to see how long it would take the average student in your school or style to get their black belt.

So... how long does it take to reach shodan?
Well under the USAF, if you practiced 7 days a week it would take you 3.12 years, because of their day requirements. I would probably say something realistic like 4-6 years. I am in no rush, just so I make progress in my training and continue to learn.

Don't focus on rank!! Just playing!!!

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:13 PM   #4
giriasis
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Re: How long to shodan?

I'm in the USAF, training pretty consistently since January 2000. I'm testing November 2007 for shodan. I've had a few months off here and there.

I don't know of anyone in the USAF getting to shodan in 3 years. 5-7 years is more of the standard.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:20 PM   #5
lifeafter2am
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Re: How long to shodan?

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote: View Post
I don't know of anyone in the USAF getting to shodan in 3 years. 5-7 years is more of the standard.
If that was in response to me, I was just adding up all the day requirements and then dividing by 365, it was by no means a "you can do it this fast" type of number.

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:27 PM   #6
Chris Li
 
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Re: How long to shodan?

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote: View Post
I'm in the USAF, training pretty consistently since January 2000. I'm testing November 2007 for shodan. I've had a few months off here and there.

I don't know of anyone in the USAF getting to shodan in 3 years. 5-7 years is more of the standard.
Of course, at Aikikai Hombu you can get to nidan in around 2 years. And no, it's not because of a higher level of training.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-05-2007, 04:13 PM   #7
Steven
 
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Re: How long to shodan?

15 years and two attempts. I did have a year or two off (not consecutive years) due to non aikido related injuries and family.

2 years to the day between the first attempt and second. I was in no hurry and wanted to ensure I had it right and didn't make the same mistakes twice.
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:02 PM   #8
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: How long to shodan?

It may take 5-6 years, provided that you train consistently three times a week for those years. Consistency is pretty rare. Even after shodan, consistency is pretty rare. It plays right up there with the "many are called, few are chosen" tenets of religion or marriage, or parenthood, that is how deep a commitment is required. There are also seminars and camps to attend. It is like a labyrinth that tests your resolve from the beginning.

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:35 PM   #9
Mark Gibbons
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Re: How long to shodan?

There was a poll. http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=61
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:29 PM   #10
Aikiscott
Dojo: Central Coast Aikikai
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Re: How long to shodan?

In 2 weeks time I will be sitting for Shodan for the 3rd time.
I have managed to not pass Shodan twice in 2 countries. I am in my 7th year of training.
I must say I am more nervious about this attempt the last two.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:45 PM   #11
Patrick
Dojo: Mississippi State Universty Aikido
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Re: How long to shodan?

It took me 2 and a half years to reach shodan and about another 2 years till i demoed for my nidan

Kendo is like star wars and everyone gets to be Darth Vader.
"Luke, I am your sensei"
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:14 PM   #12
raul rodrigo
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Re: How long to shodan?

Four to eight years is considered normal over here.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:51 PM   #13
seank
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Re: How long to shodan?

Quote:
Scott Gledden wrote: View Post
In 2 weeks time I will be sitting for Shodan for the 3rd time.
I have managed to not pass Shodan twice in 2 countries. I am in my 7th year of training.
I must say I am more nervious about this attempt the last two.
Good luck Scott. Are you grading at the winter school on the Gold Coast?

I'm looking to grade to 1st kyu in August and will likely look toward my shodan grading in twelve to eighteen months after that (all things going well), totalling five to five and half years of training.

One of our instructors graded to shodan last year after training for nearly eight years and I must admit there was a marked difference between his grading and others who only took three to four years. He'd had the opportunity beforehand but wanted to take his time. Its all relative to the person I think though.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:02 AM   #14
Dieter Haffner
 
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Re: How long to shodan?

It took me little over 5 years to get to shodan.
Although I must admit I skipped 1st kuy.
Or better said: my teacher's teacher let me skip it, because he said I was ready.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:20 AM   #15
PhilMyKi
Dojo: Seibukan, Milton Keynes
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Re: How long to shodan?

Quote:
Scott Gledden wrote: View Post
In 2 weeks time I will be sitting for Shodan for the 3rd time.
Have you tried standing and not sitting! Only joking - good luck.

I am two years in and I don't see myself taking Shodan (if at all) for a very long time, possibly when I am old and grey.

Vorsprung durch Aikido!
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:30 AM   #16
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: How long to shodan?

It took me 4 yrs to shodan, I was at university at the time and unable to train during summer and other holidays so only actually training for about 9 months of the year. With us, about 3 yrs is the usual if you train regularly.

Shodan to nidan for me was much more difficult mostly because I had moved away and had nobody to train with (why I started teaching). Took me another 4.5 years after shodan to get to nidan and many attempts at it too. So assuming I pass Sandan first time there will be a smaller gap between my Nidan to Sandan grades than there was between my shodan and nidan.

Time to shodan is an old question that often comes up. I tried searching for it here on the forums but no luck as the words are too common I expect.

Suffice to say that it's a bigger deal in the west than in Japan.

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:31 AM   #17
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: How long to shodan?

5 1/2 years for me.

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Old 06-06-2007, 02:52 AM   #18
xuzen
 
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Re: How long to shodan?

10 years for me. But then, I took the scenic road to shodan... Tried a couple of style just to get the various flavour: i.e, Shodokan, Aikikai; but I stayed with Yoshinkan the longest.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:44 AM   #19
Jason Woolley
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Re: How long to shodan?

Quote:
Jo Duncan wrote: View Post
Just curious to see how long it would take the average student in your school or style to get their black belt.

So... how long does it take to reach shodan?
There is one grading per year - assuming you were eligible for, and invited to, all of them - 6 years.

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Old 06-06-2007, 05:31 AM   #20
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: How long to shodan?

Cheers for the responses aikipeeps!

Like I said before, i am just curious about the length of time it takes an average student from each organisation to reach shodan.

I'm not obsessed by rank or climbing the ladder quickly. I'd rather look a bit impatient and ask questions than keep shtum.

Already I find it interesting that some schools you could be nidan in "x" amount of time whereas in others you would only be approaching shodan.

It kind of shows you that rank doesn't really mean anything outside of the dojo... and probably little inside too.

Are the terms "kyu" and "dan" translatable? "dan" is often replaced with "degree" or "level" but does it have an actual meaning other than being a rank for yudansha? (does the dan in yudansha come from dan or it is a happy coincidence?)

Many thanks for your responses, don't worry... i don't plan on running up the mountain; i'm not built for speed!

Peace and love

Jo
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:59 AM   #21
Don_Modesto
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5-7 days

(Allow) 5-7 (business) days

Buy it now price US $25.00

Shipping costs: US $4.55

One (1) Black Belt Certificate (Aikido). This cerificate will be customized with the winner's information, otherwise the certificate will be shipped blank. Customization options include name custom printed and rank (Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan, Rokudan, Shichidan, Hachidan, Kudan, Judan) as well as the certifying Sensei's seal (hanko).

http://cgi.ebay.com/Aikido-Black-Bel...hippingPayment

Don't accept less than $1000/seminar day if you get to JUDAN.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:34 AM   #22
lifeafter2am
Dojo: Shindai Aikikai
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Re: 5-7 days

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
(Allow) 5-7 (business) days

Buy it now price US $25.00

Shipping costs: US $4.55

One (1) Black Belt Certificate (Aikido). This cerificate will be customized with the winner's information, otherwise the certificate will be shipped blank. Customization options include name custom printed and rank (Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan, Rokudan, Shichidan, Hachidan, Kudan, Judan) as well as the certifying Sensei's seal (hanko).

http://cgi.ebay.com/Aikido-Black-Bel...hippingPayment

Don't accept less than $1000/seminar day if you get to JUDAN.
I thought you were joking until I clicked on the link!

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:20 PM   #23
aikidoc
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Re: How long to shodan?

Over 4 years seems ridiculous to me. 3.5-4.5 seems reasonable for most people.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:44 PM   #24
aikidoc
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Re: How long to shodan?

Geez. To think one has to train when you can just buy your certificate. Those lame dragon borders have been around for years. Not as bad as the guy that used to sell nidan and godan ranks by video.
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:00 PM   #25
Lyle Bogin
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Re: How long to shodan?

6.5 for me.

I had been looking forward to it since all kids seem to want to know about martial arts is "do you have a black belt". When the day came a could finally say "yes" (I was SO looking forward to this simple explanation) a new student arrived. He is a martial artist (at 11) and VERY serious. He got around to popping the question, and I happily said "yes, I have a black belt". "Well, do you have a SECOND degree black belt?" he retorted.

And I looked from the top of the mountain and saw another mountain, taller still....haha
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