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Old 07-01-2007, 01:30 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
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Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would like to study to become an aikido shihan, how encouraging would you be?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of July 1, 2007:

If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would like to study to become an aikido shihan, how encouraging would you be?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Very encouraging
  • Somewhat encouraging
  • Not very encouraging
  • Not at all encouraging
Here are the current results.
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Old 07-01-2007, 02:29 AM   #2
Aristeia
Location: Auckland
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

I'd ask them why they have decided they want to be a shihan.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:44 AM   #3
Jill N
Dojo: K-W Ki Aikido (Kitchener, Ont)
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Hi all:

I would definitely be encouraging.

One of my mentors started doing aikido when he was 50 and became an inspiring sensei. Rev. Bill Bickford Sensei started Ki Society dojos in Ontario. If it hadn't been for him, our style would not likely be in Ontario now.

e ya later
Jill
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:08 AM   #4
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Well I'll be honest here,
The very very few that have come along I've always asked to stay and watch a few classes before deciding to join in.
Those that have joined in and who have been gently looked after soon realise that maybe it is a little more demanding than at first thought and go off to do taichi or something as an alternative.
The ones that have tried sticking and who are a little more tenacious go on to about 3rd kyu and then fade.....
Anyone older than 40 years unless in really good physical shape will definately find it more difficult.... unless one practises in a very very soft way.....

Last edited by Tony Wagstaffe : 07-01-2007 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:26 AM   #5
Jerry Miller
 
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

There are several on these boards over fifty. People leave and stay at all ages.

Jerry Miller
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:56 AM   #6
Aristeia
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

The age isn't problem. But a newb of any age telling me they want to "train to be a shihan" would likely warrant further discussion.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:14 AM   #7
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

I would not be encouraging at all, because the idea of studying Aikido is to always be a student and never stop learning. That is an on going goal. To state the one wants to attain a certain rank or status, misses the whole point of studying budo in the first place.

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Old 07-01-2007, 12:42 PM   #8
Qatana
 
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

As I have a 76 year old teacher who began training at 40 and is now 4th dan, I don't see why not. They may not reach Shihan but it is possible to reach high rank, even when you begin at the advanced age of 46, which is when I started.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:36 PM   #9
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Same thing I would say to a 20 year old who came in and said he wanted to train to be a shihan; one step at a time, one step at a time.

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Old 07-01-2007, 02:20 PM   #10
Don
Dojo: aikido of charlotte
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Age per se is certainly a detriement if one wants to attain an arbitrarily high level. Same reason as investing. The more time you have theoretically the more you can gain. It is UNLIKELY but not impossible that a person who starts at 50 will attain the same ultimate level as a person who starts at 20. Of course there are all sorts of things that could influence that. However, I would like to comment on a different previous comment, namely that anyone over 40 will have to practice in a soft way. I started when I was 38 (ok so I took two years of Tomiki in high school....), and was in good shape but no world class athlete. We practiced on thin mats over concrete, so the only way to continue was to learn the right ukemi. I went hard and took big falls just like everyone else. Only serious injuries in 14 years have been a first degree shoulder separation and a dislocated finger during a seminar. I'm now 52 and still can go hard with the youngsters. Of course my ukemi is more informed and I no longer go home and sit down and count the places that aren't sore.....! It's all about stretching and ukemi.
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:04 PM   #11
JAMJTX
Dojo: Aikibudo Seishinkan
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Last year I had a 55 year old student with an artificial leg show up to start class, When he asked if he can take class, the word NO was in my mouth ready to come out. But instead I said, "if you're willing to try it, then so am I".

In this case, I may ask them what they think Shihan is and try to give them realistic expectations. But I would probably not discourage them from taking class.

Jim Mc Coy
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:05 PM   #12
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Ageism is not something O Sensei practiced. I learned from Mary Heiny Sensei that encouragement is a better practice. I voted 'very encouraging' because the world is so wide there is plenty of room for all kinds of people to try, try, try.

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:55 PM   #13
SteveTrinkle
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

I started training aikido when I was 40 years old. I was the oldest by far in our dojo. That Summer, we went to gasshuku at Gleason Sensei's dojo in Boston. It was a hard gasshuku for me and I had a difficult time keeping up. I saw one old guy (looked about 60 or 70) on the mat wearing hakama and I found myself training a lot with him. I was amazed by his soft power and I trained with him as much as I could. I mentioned to him that I was worried about starting aikido so late in my life. He told me that he started when he was about 40 also, and suggested I have fun and not worry. Later, people told me how fortunate I had been to have gotten to train with Sekiya Sensei. I had no idea then who he was. His amazing aikido and kind encouragement made a deep impression on me.

That was more than 10 years ago. Of course I'm nowhere near becoming shihan, nor will I ever be, but I keep training and love it more all the time.

Last edited by SteveTrinkle : 07-01-2007 at 07:57 PM. Reason: bad spelling

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Old 07-01-2007, 08:05 PM   #14
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

I might encourage them to train, but my sense is that in our organization it takes something like 30-40 years for those who train most intensely (uchideshi, etc.) to be promoted to shihan, if politics are in their favor. It's not a realistic goal for a 50 year old. Sensei? Maybe. Shihan? Probably not.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:58 PM   #15
Nikopol
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Much is being made of the fact that the beginner has stated he wants to aim for becoming a Shihan.
If one was not yet a Shihan himself it would be somewhat precocious to suggest it impossible. If one were very close to Shihan rank he could explain what is involved.
If one were already a Shihan he could give a good belly laugh, and then say, by all means, but one step at a time.

And then you go to shake the newcomer's hand and he drops to one knee and throws you across the dojo with a Shihokuzushi... Muhahahaha! I am actually Yoda Zatoichi Shihan, and I was just testing you!!! Your advice was good but you are not a Shihan yet...
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:23 AM   #16
barron
Dojo: Calgary Aikikai
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Question Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

What would you do if a 50 year old Shihan came into you dojo and wanted to take part in a beginners class?

Andrew Barron
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Old 07-02-2007, 09:12 AM   #17
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

First I would ask them to teach it.

In gassdho,

Mark
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:18 AM   #18
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

I would be really surprised 'cause I don't know what a shihan means....but I would be really welcoming.
Mary
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:34 AM   #19
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Does anybody know what age the founder of the Roppokai was when he started training?

Best,
Ron (I remember telling my instructor that I hoped to be an instructor one day. Makes me blush just thinking about it... )

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:36 AM   #20
CatSienna
 
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Quote:
Stephen Trinkle wrote: View Post
. I saw one old guy (looked about 60 or 70) on the mat wearing hakama and I found myself training a lot with him. I was amazed by his soft power . Later, people told me how fortunate I had been to have gotten to train with Sekiya Sensei. .
I like this story...thanks for telling it. It's an encouraging one and I think it'll only get more encouraging as I get older.
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Old 07-02-2007, 12:06 PM   #21
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

If the person in who came in would like to become a Shihan appointed by the Aikikai, I would inform him/her of the following regulations: (http://www.aikidoeast.com/aikidoeast...of_shihan.html)
"Rules for Appointment of Shihan

1. Rules for Appointment of Shihan

These Rules for Appointment of Shihan have been developed based on the provisions of Paragraph 15 and 16 of the Aikido World Headquarters' International Regulations, and are intended to supplement the said International Regulations.

2. Shihan

Shihan is the title of Aikido instructor defined in Paragraph 15 and 16 of the International Regulations.

3. Appointment of Shihan

The Hombu appoints Shihan at its discretion pursuant to Paragraph 16 of the International Regulations.

4. Recommendation for Title Shihan

(1) An Aikido organization which has been given Official Recognition by the Hombu can recommend any of its instructors who meets the qualifications as a candidate for Shihan.
(2) To be qualified as a candidate for Shihan, he or she must fulfill the following conditions.
- In principle, have more than six years of experience teaching Aikido in his or her organization after obtaining 6th dan.
- Be proficient in the practice and instruction of Aikido.
- Be of good personal character.
(3) An individual person cannot recommend himself or herself. The recommendation should come from the person responsible for the relevant organization and be in written form. Recommendations can be submitted at any time of the year.
(4) For recommendation of a candidate, the form attached to these Rules must be used.
(5) The Hombu shall notify the relevant organization upon receipt of the recommendation, and inform the organization of the schedule for the examination of the document submitted. Upon immediate review of the submitted documents, the Hombu may judge a candidate as not qualified at this time for being considered for the title of Shihan, and in this case will notify the relevant organization accordingly.

5. Examination and Examination Committee for Appointment of the Title of Shihan.

(1) The examination of candidates based on the document submitted shall be conducted once every year at the Hombu. The date of the examination will be determined by the Hombu. The examination shall be comprised of a review of the submitted documents and a personal interview, if necessary.
(2) The Examination Committee for Appointment of Shihan shall be established by the Hombu.

6. Notification and Certificate of Appointment

After the examination, the Hombu shall notify, in written form, the relevant organization of the result of the examination. To the person appointed as Shihan, the Hombu will send a Certificate of Appointment.


Now if that person meets all of the requirements stated above, I would be very encouraging.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 07-02-2007, 02:39 PM   #22
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

I would say good luck.
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Old 07-02-2007, 04:00 PM   #23
JAMJTX
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

Quote:
Andrew Barron wrote: View Post
What would you do if a 50 year old Shihan came into you dojo and wanted to take part in a beginners class?
Doing things like this would have a lot to do with how he got to be Shihan. I probably would ask him to teach it also.

Jim Mc Coy
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:53 AM   #24
RoyK
Dojo: Nishin Kan
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

I don't see why saying s/he wants to be a Shihan is an issue? After all, people start Aikido for many reasons, and usually stay for completely different ones.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:23 AM   #25
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: Poll: If a 50 year old person came into your aikido dojo and said that they would

I would say good luck too.

People are so keen to knock anyone else dreams...why is that?

If someone aims high and falls a little short then so what? They'll still achieve an awful lot.

I'd also be very flattered that they thought we were the people that could take them to this level !

Last edited by Dazzler : 07-03-2007 at 07:27 AM.
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