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Old 04-08-2008, 01:31 PM   #1
dalen7
 
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Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

My club is a part of the Hungarian Aikido-Culture Association.
This is under N. Tamura Sensei 8th Dan.
I suppose our "technical leader" (suppose that is country leader?) is Varszegi Rudolf 5th Dan. (I have never seen or heard of him until now.)

As I believe I have mentioned elsewhere here, the regional leader is Imre Martin 4th Dan, followed by the sensei of our city, Tamas Toth 1st Dan. (Both of them are pretty impressive.)

Anyway, I suppose this post is to see how this association fits into the whole scheme of things in the Aikido world.

We have 6 kyus which follow quite a different testing system than what I see posted on the net.

Was curious if there are any 'relatives' out there, so to speak, that follow a similar testing path and perhaps are connected to Tamura Sensei?

I know there are Hungarians lurking on the boards that may be able to shed some light onto this.
{And again, Im curious of any other connections to this system throughout the aikdio world...so you dont have to be from Hungary to respond.}

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 04-08-2008 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:39 PM   #2
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

One good place to start is to do a search on Aikido Jounal website about N. Tamura Sensei. Another is to search online for other specific dojo associated with him, and to see if they have a testing structure posted.

I might also question your local, regional, and national instructors to see if they spent any significant time under other instructors. And / or ask them directly...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:49 PM   #3
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
One good place to start is to do a search on Aikido Jounal website about N. Tamura Sensei. Another is to search online for other specific dojo associated with him, and to see if they have a testing structure posted.

I might also question your local, regional, and national instructors to see if they spent any significant time under other instructors. And / or ask them directly...

Best,
Ron
This is the first I have heard of either of the 2.
(Well I believe I have heard Sensei Tamura's name mentioned last year around the time that we had the seminar, but with the language barrier some of the info gets crossed in how I understand it. (japanese names, then hungarian to english...hehe)

Your right, a search is a good place to start...though it would be interesting to see if any members here are connected.

I wonder how all of this would be translated over if I ever move back stateside...seeing the testing is really totally different. Dont suppose I would have to start again, but maybe have to re-test to establish where Im at in that given system? (I have compiled a list of requirements for each kyu so that I can see what is expected from the 2 systems.)

Anyway...again thanks for the reply.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:24 PM   #4
Karen Wolek
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Tamura Sensei is quite well-known in USAF circles. He teaches at our seminars all the time. I think that when you return to the states, if you join a USAF dojo, you shouldn't have too much trouble.

Karen
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:42 PM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
I wonder how all of this would be translated over if I ever move back stateside...seeing the testing is really totally different. Dont suppose I would have to start again, but maybe have to re-test to establish where Im at in that given system? (I have compiled a list of requirements for each kyu so that I can see what is expected from the 2 systems.)

Anyway...again thanks for the reply.

Peace

dAlen
Mr Johnson,

I have experienced this problem with members of the US military who are stationed in Japan. Kyuu grades were never a problem, but if the members were yudansha, the crucial point was who signed their dan application forms. For the Aikikai Hombu, there has to be a lineage link here. For example, if I myself came to Hungary, held a grading examination and awarded you 3rd dan, the Hombu would want to know my own connection with the person who gave you 2nd dan. In the case of Tamura Shihan, however, this would not matter, since Tamura Sensei is one of the very few shihans attached to the Hombu who can award Hombu dan ranks anywhere.

As for your organization, I suspect that there is no one posting on these boards who can give you authoritative information. You would need to contact the Hombu directly (Mr M Tani, aikikai.or.jp). I see that your association has not received Hombu Recognition, but I do not know why. Mr Varszegi once came to an IAF Congress seeking membership. We would not give it to him because his organization did not have Hombu Recognition. Tamura Sensei was at the Congress and might well have discussed the matter with the Hombu. However, Recognition has still not been given. Other organizations have come to us with the same purpose and the answer has always been the same.

As for you own personal situation, I suppose it depends on how much you value membership of an aikido organization. Many posting here are independent and there are very good reasons for this. However, if you intend to return to the USA and continue your training in an organization like the USAF, then your dan lineage will become very important.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:52 AM   #6
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Karen Wolek wrote: View Post
Tamura Sensei is quite well-known in USAF circles. He teaches at our seminars all the time. I think that when you return to the states, if you join a USAF dojo, you shouldn't have too much trouble.
Thanks Karen...

peace

dAlen
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:03 AM   #7
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
In the case of Tamura Shihan, however, this would not matter, since Tamura Sensei is one of the very few shihans attached to the Hombu who can award Hombu dan ranks anywhere.

You would need to contact the Hombu directly (Mr M Tani, aikikai.or.jp). I see that your association has not received Hombu Recognition, but I do not know why. Mr Varszegi once came to an IAF Congress seeking membership. We would not give it to him because his organization did not have Hombu Recognition. Tamura Sensei was at the Congress and might well have discussed the matter with the Hombu. However, Recognition has still not been given. Other organizations have come to us with the same purpose and the answer has always been the same.

However, if you intend to return to the USA and continue your training in an organization like the USAF, then your dan lineage will become very important.
Amazing and very insightful indeed.

So if I understand you correctly, Tamura Sensei is connected to Hombu and can give ranks virtually anywhere.
However any ranks received by him in the organization here in Hungary are not recognized by Hombu?

I suppose I was under the impression that if there was a ranking connecting official to the Hombu that it automatically created recognition...I suppose its two different things and just a matter of this organization obtaining recognition.

Again, I truly am not aware of the ins/outs of the politics of Aikido here in Hungary - Im happy I can learn Aikido despite that Im learning in a language I dont really understand. - Hungarian and Japanese...

However I will try to look into this further and take your advise in contacting Hombu to try to get clarification on this matter. It would be nice to know...especially after all of the time and effort that goes into learning. (i.e., my sensei just received his 1st dan...after 10+ years I believe it took him, and he is truly good.)

Peace

dAlen
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:02 AM   #8
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

I suppose I will add that if they ever do get recognition that the testing requirements are going to have to change quite a bit.

Looking at Hombus grading system its the typical 5 kyu ranks vs. the 6 we have.

One thing that I would love to know is where we got the current system. I suppose I will find out soon enough, I have tried to contact the top of the organization here in Hungary. (They need to update their website as one of the contact emails was no good.)

But seeing that there are a lot of dojos listed for Hungary in the search here at aikiweb there has to be a Hungarian on these boards that can give insight into where the totally different grading requirements came about. (Once you reach dan its all the same...well I suppose the main difference is that the our dan test appear to last quite a bit longer as the system we use includes quite a bit that really isnt found in the 5 level system...as far as testing goes.)

Anyway,

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 04-09-2008 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:20 AM   #9
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
So if I understand you correctly, Tamura Sensei is connected to Hombu and can give ranks virtually anywhere. However any ranks received by him in the organization here in Hungary are not recognized by Hombu? Peace dAlen
Dalen,

This is not necessarily the case. If Tamura Sensei is the grading Shihan for the group in Hungary for the Aikikai, he submits his testing results to the Aikikai Hombu dojo and the Hombu dojo creates the dan certificates. All Dan grades issued under the auspices of the Aikikai umbrella are created and issued by the Hombu dojo and they maintain records of the specific certificates issued. I believe, and Mr. Goldsbury can correct me if I'm wrong, that all the dan ranks issued by the Aikikai bear the seal and mark of the Doshu. Your organization may not have an independent affiliation with Hombu dojo but may well be considered part of Tamura Sensei's organization.
During the many years I spent in Korea, our organization (the KAF) was affiliated with Kobayashi Dojos in Japan. Kobayashi Yasuo Shihan has always supported the Aikikai Hombu and before the KAF received independent recognition from the Aikikai, we received Dan grade certificates issued by the Aikikai through Kobayashi Dojos. We were tested by Kobayashi Sensei or one of his Shihan in his organization, the results were posted to the Aikikai and they issued the certificates.
If you ever travel to Japan and the Aikikai Hombu dojo, bring a photo copy of the certificate and they will verify it as one of theirs. They keep some very meticulous records....
The Aikikai issued certificates are easy to recognize as they bear a distinctive water mark that is visable when you hold the certificate in front of a light source.
So, don't jump to any conclusions about the Hungarian teachers certificates or lineages just because their organization doesn't appear as independently affiliated with the Aikikai. They may well just be one layer underneath Tamura Sensei.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:33 AM   #10
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
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Dalen,
So, don't jump to any conclusions about the Hungarian teachers certificates or lineages just because their organization doesn't appear as independently affiliated with the Aikikai. They may well just be one layer underneath Tamura Sensei.
Thanks for the post.
The only thing that lingers is the strange testing system we have which is not the standard 5 grading system presented on Hombus website...none the less I feel a lot closer to the answer than just a couple of days ago.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:42 AM   #11
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Dalen, kyu grade testing varies a lot from country to country and organisation to organisation even between Hombu recognised organisations. There isn't a standard. A lot of Aikikai orgs have six kyu grades.

kvaak
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:44 AM   #12
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Mr Johnson,

Thank you. However, your post requires a few more comments.

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Amazing and very insightful indeed.

So if I understand you correctly, Tamura Sensei is connected to Hombu and can give ranks virtually anywhere.
However any ranks received by him in the organization here in Hungary are not recognized by Hombu?
No. Joseph Bowen is correct. Unless Tamura Sensei has delivered his own dan ranks, which the Aikikai would not know about anyway, or the organization in Hungary has forbidden him to conduct dan examination (which is unlikely), any grades he has awarded in Hungary would be recognized by the Hombu, with a numbered certificate signed by the Doshu.

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
I suppose I was under the impression that if there was a ranking connecting official to the Hombu that it automatically created recognition...I suppose its two different things and just a matter of this organization obtaining recognition.
No. The situation is more complicated. If you take the case of Korea, for example, there was an organization recognized by the Aikikai and a member of the IAF, but they actually did hapkido, which, despite being written in the same characters as aikido, is a completely different art. The situation was made more confusing because the senior hapkido instructor regularly visited the Aikikai and said he was practising the same art as the Aikikai was. This organization was expelled from the IAF. Yasuo Kobayashi is an old Hombu deshi and his organization is 100% Aikikai. So the IAF will soon have a new member for Korea. I was approached by Kobayashi Sensei's son a few years ago, who asked how Korea could join the IAF. My reply was that the organization had to have Recognition first. They received this shortly afterwards. I think that a number of Japanese instructors visit Hungary, but this is not enough to create an aikido organization.

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Again, I truly am not aware of the ins/outs of the politics of Aikido here in Hungary - Im happy I can learn Aikido despite that Im learning in a language I dont really understand. - Hungarian and Japanese...
Actually, Eastern Europe, as well as Hungary, is rather complicated. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who first had the dream of spreading aikido outside Japan and this was a direct consequence of Japan's defeat in World War II. However, he sent Japanese instructors to places like the UK and the US, Germany, Italy, France: countries that were directly involved in the war. Eastern Europe was hardly touched. In any case it was difficult to obtain visas.

Then shihans like Masatake Fujita began to visit Eastern Europe and aikido organizations were created. Thus, I myself visited Hungary and Bulgaria a few years ago and taught a course in Budapest to members of an organization created by Michel Gollo, who worked for an airline. Gollo was trying to create an organization, obtain Hombu Recognition and join the IAF, but local politics prevented this. There were too many local quarrels and splits.

I am British by nationality and began aikido in the UK, nearly 40 years ago. There was a resident Japanese shihan, sent by the Hombu, so the connection was already clear. But the number of shihans like Tamura Sensei, who were direct deshi of the Founder and Kisshomaru, is dwindling and soon there will be none left. No one teaching aikido will have had direct knowledge of the Founder and the Aikikai is already planning for this situation (the planning is not without controversy). It will no longer be possible for Japanese instructors to reside outside Japan and teach aikido professionally. Any Japanese who do live outside Japan will be there because of their jobs, not because of aikido. So the focus will move to the organization, not on the individual shihan. The organization has to be stable and have a history of good training, teaching and examining (as these are understood by the Aikikai). As I stated in my previous post, I do not know why no organization in Hungary has yet been given Aikikai Recognition.

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
However I will try to look into this further and take your advise in contacting Hombu to try to get clarification on this matter. It would be nice to know...especially after all of the time and effort that goes into learning. (i.e., my sensei just received his 1st dan...after 10+ years I believe it took him, and he is truly good.)

Peace

dAlen
Can I ask who awarded your teacher his first dan?

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-09-2008 at 03:46 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:38 AM   #13
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote: View Post
Dalen, kyu grade testing varies a lot from country to country and organisation to organisation even between Hombu recognised organisations. There isn't a standard. A lot of Aikikai orgs have six kyu grades.

kvaak
Pauliina
Ah...didnt realize that. Thanks for the clarification.
(I would have thought there would have been a strict(er) guide for those under Hombu.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:53 AM   #14
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
1) Gollo was trying to create an organization, obtain Hombu Recognition and join the IAF, but local politics prevented this. There were too many local quarrels and splits.

2) It will no longer be possible for Japanese instructors to reside outside Japan and teach aikido professionally....
So the focus will move to the organization, not on the individual shihan.

3) Can I ask who awarded your teacher his first dan?

Best wishes,
1) The first bit, unfortunately, sounds like what you could expect here. {But I suppose that is human nature and can be found anywhere.}

2) The second part, above, may clarify why there are so many different kyu grading systems - or no standardized system under Hombu.
2a) So from my understanding the grading systems depend more on who the Shihan is vs. a set standard between the Shihans and Hombu.
2b) If the above is the case, it seems that this is what Hombu will try to accomplish after the last Japanese Shihan - who knew the founder - passes away. - But why japanese instructors have to stay in Japan...well, suppose that is the controversial part obviously.

3) My sensei just tested this past Sunday and received his 1st Dan rank. I honestly do not know who administered the test - but my bet is he was in Budapest, and it may have well been Imre Marton, 4th dan regional director who tested him.
3a) As for dan ranks Im pretty sure that Tamura Sensei only comes for seminar purposes...and is not at all testing ceremonies.
I say this because he was supposed to come last year but could not make it, so its more of a special occasion thing.

So I suppose the remaining question would be:
Did Tamura Sensei give the rank of black belt to the sensei that gave my instructor his? Would this not be official? Or would Tamura sensei have to actually be there to award the black belt.
(Even though the person awarding it received his black belt from Tamura Sensei?)

If he has to be present for all black belt testings then it may very well be that no one here is 'valid' or could become valid. In that case Hungary may stay outside of Hombu.

Mind you, this is all still new to me the political aspects of it, and ranking really. Your post went a long way in clearing quite a bit up though.

Thanks for your time.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:04 PM   #15
MM
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
No one teaching aikido will have had direct knowledge of the Founder and the Aikikai is already planning for this situation (the planning is not without controversy). It will no longer be possible for Japanese instructors to reside outside Japan and teach aikido professionally. Any Japanese who do live outside Japan will be there because of their jobs, not because of aikido. So the focus will move to the organization, not on the individual shihan.
Sensei,
Hope you are doing well. Have you retired yet? What are you planning on doing with all that "free" time once you do?

And you've posted some news. There are quite a few ripples that could come of that. How are they going to handle the current Japanese instructors already abroad? How are they going to handle the aikido organizations once the current Japanese instructors are gone? There are tons of questions ... this is a major step for the Aikikai. Can you elaborate more on this?

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 04-11-2008, 06:41 AM   #16
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Hello Mark,

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Sensei,
Hope you are doing well. Have you retired yet? What are you planning on doing with all that "free" time once you do?
I am fine, thank you. I retired at midnight on March 31. A few days beforehand, the President gave me a piece of paper looking rather like a dan diploma, which stated that I was a Meiyo Kyouju (Emeritus Professor). I do not know what this means in the US, but in Japan it means that you have retired as a 'normal' prof.

What will I do? Well, I have loads of books on Japanese culture and other subjects which I still need to read, but I intend to write at least one. I would like to write an aikido novel, a thriller with an intense and convoluted plot and lots of mysterious murders done by a serial killer (who clearly seems to be an expert in 'internal' skills), probably set in some intensive summer training seminar. Something like The Name of the Rose or the Cadfael thrillers, with an honest but 'dumb' hero, who is constantly aided by 'experts'.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
And you've posted some news. There are quite a few ripples that could come of that. How are they going to handle the current Japanese instructors already abroad? How are they going to handle the aikido organizations once the current Japanese instructors are gone? There are tons of questions ... this is a major step for the Aikikai. Can you elaborate more on this?

Thanks,
Mark
I think the writing has been on the wall for some time, only it has not been very legible. If you look at how the Aikikai's international regulations have changed over the years, you will see that there has been a subtle shift from individual shihans to aikido organizations. Thus, in any recognized organization there is a 'person in charge' (Japanese: sekininsha), who may (or, NOTE, who may not) be in charge of teaching & examining.

Aikikai recognition is always tied to the power to conduct dan examinations and this has recently been coupled with a classification of shihan ranks. The classification was a response to requests from Japanese shihans residing in the US, that non-Japanese of 6th and 7th dan should also be shihans.

Thus, there are 'super' shihan, like (in the US) Yamada, Chiba and Sugano, who were direct students of O Sensei, and who can award dan grades anywhere. 'Lesser' shihan (which includes all non-Japanese shihan) can award grades only within their 'sphere of influence', which might be an organization or only a dojo. Eventually, there will be no more 'super shihan' and so the shihan title will be very closely tied to the organization.

At present the USAF 'shihan-kai' does not include any non-Japanese shihan, so there will need to be a change at some point, otherwise it will cease to exist. (Actually, the shihankai was created before the USAF existed and was simply a friendship and mutual support group of the Japanese shihans residing in the US: Yamada, Kanai, Tohei Akira, later, Chiba, Shibata, Kawahara from Canada, and Kurita from Mexico.)

I suspect that those instructors abroad who are 'super-shihan' are quite upset about the changes. In the past few months I have had serious conversations with two 8th dan shihans, who are worried about the possibility that all they have tried to do while living abroad and teaching aikido as they learned from the Founder will go for nothing.

One part of the problem is a generation shift. If you have trained with the Founder, then things are never quite the same afterwards. Another part of the problem is a change in attitudes. The Aikikai is no longer an organization of individual 'uchi-deshi', living a semi-monastic existence and undergoing daily shugyou for hours at a time. This might have been true in the Golden Age of the Kobukan (though I doubt this ever existed), but it is not true now. Why this is so, I am trying to explore in the AikiWeb columns I am writing.

I hope you can see the dilemma facing the Hombu. (It faces the IAF as well.) It is a bit like Neo taking the red pill, but the consequences are reversed. The blue pill will send you back to the early days (which I suspect the shihans would like very much). The red pill will open up vistas unimagined for aikido. It will be the 'real world', but there will also be unexpected consequences (which Aikido Neo has to find out for himself). In my opinion, the present Doshu is not really equipped to take the red pill, but has no other choice.

You state that that there are 'tons of questions'. Well, ask a few.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:30 AM   #17
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
...The classification was a response to requests from Japanese shihans residing in the US, that non-Japanese of 6th and 7th dan should also be shihans.

...I suspect that those instructors abroad who are 'super-shihan' are quite upset about the changes. In the past few months I have had serious conversations with two 8th dan shihans, who are worried about the possibility that all they have tried to do while living abroad and teaching aikido as they learned from the Founder will go for nothing.
I got lost between the 2 points.

So the super shihans that can give test anywhere because they tested with the founder are upset that a change happened?
And that change is that non japanese can now be shihans and part of the group they originally started long ago?

Hombu has to face the fact it has to change?

People can only give test within their sphere of influence?
What defines that sphere? If someone sets up a dojo is that their sphere? If they pick up and move to another country is that a new sphere - what is the limitation?

Still a bit unclear as to the exact issue and how all this is structured as well as changing. Guess it doesnt help that my own organization isnt even recognized by the Hombu. This goes to show that there are more issues than even the basic ones they think they have. (as far as organization goes.)

Anyway, thanks for the info...

Peace

dAlen
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:16 PM   #18
Dan Rubin
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Dalen

I think that you'll find the following thread helpful in understanding these issues. Start with George Ledyard's post, #59, on page 3.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=12674&page=3
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:46 AM   #19
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
Dalen

I think that you'll find the following thread helpful in understanding these issues. Start with George Ledyard's post, #59, on page 3.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=12674&page=3
Thanks...Im about to have a look at it now.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:17 AM   #20
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
Dalen

I think that you'll find the following thread helpful in understanding these issues. Start with George Ledyard's post, #59, on page 3.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=12674&page=3
Simply amazing...
I get it now, and this is totally unbelievable. Im almost beside myself.

The question now is, when stated that Hombu will be making changes, what does this mean exactly?

As it now stands you have 3 levels of Shihans.
1) Super - who can give dan anywhere
2) normal - who give dan in a given country assigned to.
3) below normal - your organization.
What I dont get is #3.

If you move to a different organization, your belt, dan rank goes with you. So would the title not go as well? Doesnt the rank give you the title? (i.e., 6th dan, 7th dan?)

It would also make sense if you could make this progressive.
i.e. - assistant master, master, grandmaster, etc.

As it is, it would appear that once the supers die out that you will pretty much have #3s, which dont make sense.

It could be even understood having just #2 where you are assigned a country.

But it appears that now they will require all japanese Shihan to return home...not that I see what race has to do with anything or help the spread of Aikido by going back home...

I dont seem to get it at all.
Its almost like grasping at straws at keeping an idea alive that just isnt. The fact is the founder has passed on, and soon his students.

The aikido world will be changed in the sense that the original people are no longer here to guide.

It would seem this is the time when they could make the most of the situation.

Get the super shihans together to ensure proper, equal transmission to their shihans, and develop a consistent training path in the organization so that people can go from dojo to dojo seamlessly.

Otherwise it will get more fragmented than what it already is.
Those connected with Hombu are already not coherent amongst each others, let along the organizations operating outside of hombu.

Instead of bringing a coherency to the art, it may be in a state of true change...up to each persons interpretation.

The point about recognition is to know a standard.
If I get one shihan, or shodan, doesnt matter...5th kyu...there is an expectation that they know a base something.

But with titles going around loosely and being withheld, I dont know, just seems backwards.

Again, at the end of the day, it is as it is...but I truly had no idea that it was this disorganized. I asked for the picture and I got it.

Well its good to know.

Now on a practical aspect, I enjoy the art itself...whether its official or not.

Peace

dAlen

p.s.
Its basically about speaking the same language.
Are you a shihan...really...then you should have the right to give a black belt on the moon.
You either know it or you dont. To move forward there needs to be unity, so that we can go dojo to dojo and expect more of the same quality and knowledge being evenly shared.

p.s.s.
sorry, its the producer in me, I like to see reason and connection and clarity...

Last edited by dalen7 : 04-12-2008 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 04-12-2008, 05:15 AM   #21
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Mr Johnson,

I don't think you should worry about the complications too much.

In the old days when everything was simple, in whatever art you practised where there were dan ranks, if you were 6th dan, you were shihan and that is how the term is still understood here in Japan. There are no certificates, no paper, just established usage.

With the expansion of aikido overseas after the war, for a long time the only shihans were Japanese: there were no non-Japanese good enough. With the expansion there also came organizations and rules. The rules established three ranks of teaching: fukushidoin, shidoin and shihan. Organizations were left to appoint the first two by themselves and if you look at the USAF's website, you will see a list.

The appointment of shihans was reserved by the Aikikai and for a long time there were no non-Japanese shihans, even when some people like Christian Tissier received 6th dan. So the Aikikai drew up rules for the appointment of shihan in overseas aikido organizations. So the USAF now has several. They are shihan, but they may not conduct dan examinations outside their own organizations. For the Aikikai it is means of keeping tight control over dan ranks.

For most aikido practitioners, all this does not obtrude on daily training. If you are independent, it does not matter anyway. If you train in a long-established dojo with a resident shihan, the link with the Aikikai is already established. The Aikikai has a large database, with the dan history of every single member.

Problems occur only when people move from one organization to another, or are members of organizations which are not recognized, like yours.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:12 AM   #22
MM
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Hello sensei,
I've been focused on answering Budd's questions on another thread. But I will post some of those questions soon.

Mark
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:08 AM   #23
dalen7
 
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Mr Johnson,

I don't think you should worry about the complications too much.

Best wishes,
I appreciate the response, yet again it unravels more of how things operate with Aikikai...thanks

peace

dAlen
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:00 PM   #24
JO
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Hello Peter,
While I understand why the Aikikai is moving away from sending Japanese instructors abroad, I wonder why they would go with a blanket rule against Japanese instructors moving overseas to teach. What if they move for non aikido reasons (other job, marrying a foreigner, etc)? I also wonder about all the areas in the world where there are no high ranked instructors, if others are not allowed to come in from the outside, aikido may not make it into areas where it might be well received.

I also have questions about moving from one organisation to another. This must happen very regularly, as it is not particularly exceptional for someone to change cities or countries for work or studies and most organisations have a fairly limited geographical coverage. So what happens if you move to an area and join a dojo in another organisations where the last common point in the lineage goes all the way to O-sensei, where the head person may not even be on speaking terms with the head of you last organisation. I can't imagine that the Aikikai would require you to retest a rank they have already issued you. Doesn't one of the International Regulations of the Aikikai state that a Hombu recognised organisation must honor all dan ranks issued under the authority of the Doshu?

Of course, your right that for most people, these things just don't come up much. I was personally lucky (in my opinion) to have only moved once and stayed not only in the same organisation, but moved to a dojo that regularly invites my initial teacher for seminars and where I already knew several people.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:01 PM   #25
Shannon Frye
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Re: Making sense of aikido lineage/associations

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
...If you are independent, it does not matter anyway....,
BINGO! I think this quote is so worthy of standing out.
In short - get into Aikido, get out of politics.

Shannon

"In the end there can be only one"

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