Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

aikido articles


dojo search
image gallery
links directory

book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews


rss feeds

Follow us on

Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Language

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Thread Tools
Old 07-25-2000, 01:49 AM   #1
adriangan's Avatar
Dojo: Jitsuyo Bugei
Location: Manila
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 61
meaning of "Shihan"

Hi all,

To my knowledge the term "Shihan" is synonymous with "expert". But unfortunately that's all I know, could you guys add to this? How does one get to be called a "Shihan"?

I'd like to get your views on this.

- Adrian

[Edited by adriangan on July 25, 2000 at 12:52am]

"Masakatsu Agatsu"
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2000, 06:39 AM   #2
Dojo: Iyasaka Aikido Dojo
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 7
Ai symbol Re:Shihan

Hi Adrian!
The term "Shihan" means "teacher of teachers" or "master instructor". It is automatically used when someone has achieved 6th dan or more.

  Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2000, 07:46 AM   #3
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
This is a question without set answers from what I've seen in other discussion forums. One answer I've seen is that the term (at least in the aikikai) is given to certain senior instructors at hombu and these are the only official aikikai shihan. In our federation (USAF-east) the term seems to be reserved to Yamada Sensei and Kanai Sensei. For the record, there are two sixth dans in our dojo (including our chief instructor of course) and I have never heard anybody refer to them as shihan
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2000, 08:28 AM   #4
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,049
The "shi" in "shihan" basically means "teacher, master; exemplary person." "Han" in this case means "example, model, pattern."

In Aikikai at least, the term is not used automatically when people reach 6th dan. There are plenty of people out there who are 6th dan who are not called "shihan" at that rank, especially outside of Japan. It seems that for those teachers teaching at Aikikai hombu dojo, though, they are given the title of "shihan" when they reach 6th dan, though; I do not think this is the case outside of there, though.

As I have read elsewhere in magazines and such, Aikikai Hombu Dojo has refused to acknowledge anyone who is not Japanese to be a shihan. Even recently on Aikido Journal, Stan Pranin reported that at least one representative of Aikikai Hombu Dojo has said that even those instructors who are here in the United States who studied with the founder (ie Yamada sensei, Kanai sensei, Saotome sensei, et al) are not recognized as shihan by Aikikai Hombu Dojo.

I will say, however, that I have heard of at least one instructor being conferred the title by his 8th dan teacher when he reached 6th dan. There are also those like Christian Tissier sensei who is 7th dan and is referred to as shihan. Also, other organizations outside of Aikikai like Yoshinkan have given the title of "shihan" to some of their non-Japanese, senior instructors.

With all of that said, it's a sticky issue. However, there are a handful of people with whom I have personally trained whom I would personally call "shihan" who have not been given the title by their organization. That's just my own opinion, of course...

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
  Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fujita Shihan 8th Dan in the Philippines CitoMaramba Seminars 13 12-04-2009 08:54 AM
Tamura shihan friendship seminar PeterKang Seminars 1 12-08-2006 08:31 AM
Tamura Shihan and Yamada Shihan in Buenos Aires, 11/10-11/11/07 AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 1 11-17-2006 07:10 AM
Fujita Shihan 8th Dan Aikikai in Israel, 8/12-8/13 AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 2 08-02-2005 10:42 AM
Robert Kubo Shihan at Orange County Aikikai AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 09-28-2004 11:54 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:50 PM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2023 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2023 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate