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Old 02-17-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
"Baffled"
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Anonymous User
Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

Recently I found out that it's been suggested my Sensei should test for Yondan. This is a person well known around the Aikido community with over 40 years of practice. My personal opinion is that Yondan is long overdue and it should have been awarded to him. However, he will have a formal test. I don't want to voice this opinion of mine in the dojo because I think it is disrespectful, so I thought the anonymous forum here is the perfect place
Please share opinion on dan promotion. What are the criteria for being awarded instead of having a formal test? I would think it is subjective and it should… Please share your personal experience.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:04 AM   #2
Fred Little
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Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Recently I found out that it's been suggested my Sensei should test for Yondan. This is a person well known around the Aikido community with over 40 years of practice. My personal opinion is that Yondan is long overdue and it should have been awarded to him. However, he will have a formal test. I don't want to voice this opinion of mine in the dojo because I think it is disrespectful, so I thought the anonymous forum here is the perfect place
Please share opinion on dan promotion. What are the criteria for being awarded instead of having a formal test? I would think it is subjective and it should… Please share your personal experience.
My guess is that it wouldn't have been suggested that he have a public test unless those doing the suggesting felt that he would put on an exemplary demonstration that would be of benefit to all concerned.

Best,

FL
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:13 PM   #3
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

Hi
Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
This is a person well known around the Aikido community with over 40 years of practice. My personal opinion is that Yondan is long overdue and it should have been awarded to him.
How comes that he has over 40 years of practice and is "only" sandan?
Sounds strange.

Well, talking about aikikai the regular way is to be tested for yondan and to be awarded godan ...

So perhaps to be awarded yondan could be understood as "he is too old, he is too ... whatever to do the test. So we award it to him."
Perhaps he himself wanted the test?

Carsten
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:13 PM   #4
"baffled 2"
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Anonymous User
Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

hate to say, but its up to your organization head to decide whether he tests, or should be awarded the rank. you would think 40 years of loyalty and hard practice would mean something...

also, carsten, yes, 40 years and only sandan is strange. but some organizations are notorious for de-emphasizing rank, and then are haphazard when it comes to testing for or awarding it. i know of an instance where someone at least 15 years his junior was awarded a higher rank. people have their favorites.

you're right, 'baffled,' its long over due

by the way, fred, great way to put a positive spin on it! :P
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:33 PM   #5
Chris Li
 
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Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
My guess is that it wouldn't have been suggested that he have a public test unless those doing the suggesting felt that he would put on an exemplary demonstration that would be of benefit to all concerned.

Best,

FL
Promotion by test is also about half the price of promotion by recommendation

Best,

Chris

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Old 02-17-2009, 02:55 PM   #6
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

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hate to say, but its up to your organization head to decide whether he tests, or should be awarded the rank.
No.
As far ast it ist aikikai It's a decision of your shihan. Not a decision of your organization.
Who is your shihan?

Quote:
also, carsten, yes, 40 years and only sandan is strange. but some organizations are notorious for de-emphasizing rank, and then are haphazard when it comes to testing for or awarding it.
I can't believe it. I can't believe that there isn't a reason.

Quote:
i know of an instance where someone at least 15 years his junior was awarded a higher rank. people have their favorites.
Yes, 15 years is sandan or yondan normally.
Something is wrong?

I don't know.
Carsten
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:14 PM   #7
"Baffled"
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Ki Symbol Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

Thanks everyone for replying!
Christopher, I don't think the problem is of that nature. But good to know for future reference
Carsten, I do believe him being only Sandan has a lot to do with the fact that he sort of belongs to two organizations. I won't get into explaining why and how it happened, its rather long and I don't even know the whole story. But he sure doesn't lack dedication to Aikido. I too was surprised to find out that he holds the rank of Sandan when I first switched dojos.
Baffled 2 seems to know a lot.. But I suppose playing favorites fits rather nice for what is happening.
As far as him having an exemplary demonstration' type of test - you can bet your paycheck on it But I hope I somehow misunderstood and he wouldn't have to go through a formal test. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just believe he deserves more.
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:56 AM   #8
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

Hi
Quote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Carsten, I do believe him being only Sandan has a lot to do with the fact that he sort of belongs to two organizations.
Ok things seem to be more complicatedt in your organization. Being in two organisations isn't a problem of grading someone over here.

Quote:
but its up to your organization head to decide whether he tests, or should be awarded the rank. you would think 40 years of loyalty and hard practice would mean something...
That's another difference: In the aikikai the shodan to yondan are simply technical test. Normally nothing about Loyalty or qualities like that.
So everybody who can can walk the path to yondan. There are no obstacles. Godan is the first grad which you can't get be doing it yourself.
I'm sorry, that's why I thought about some reason for not being yondan after 40 years.

Quote:
Anonymous User2 wrote:
. but some organizations are notorious for de-emphasizing rank, and then are haphazard when it comes to testing for or awarding it.
In my experience ranks become much more complicated in dojo or organisations which don't grade their students or de-emphasize ranking.
And ranks get more importance than they have in organizations which grade their students on a regular base.

Quote:
But I hope I somehow misunderstood and he wouldn't have to go through a formal test.
If he's doing Aikido for 40 Years now, that's approximately the time our shihan do Aikido.
So: Who is going to test him?

Carsten
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:30 AM   #9
"Baff"
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Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

'So: Who is going to test him?' - technical committee you know those a little younger, a little less experienced that hold a higher rank... used to be his kohai long time ago. He has a lot of respect for those people, however the head of the oganization should not have let this happen - am I mistaken?!? And I would stop answering questions, pretty soon it will be evident what organization am I talking about, and I dont want to be the one making this a public matter, or more public that it already is.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:52 AM   #10
Garth Jones
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Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

Even within the 'aikikai' there isn't a firm rule. In my experience in the ASU, shodan and nidan are technical ranks with straightforward tests (in front of Saotome or Ikeda Senseis). Sandan has a few more requirements in terms of camps/seminars attended, etc., but is still a test. After that promotion is by recommendation of Saotome Sensei. I did hear of some 4th dan tests a few years ago but they were requested by the candidates due to the cost issue.

I do know of one long time aikidoist who was sandan for many years longer than normal. He started in one organization, then was out on his own for awhile, and now is another. Over the last few years he has been promoted twice and is now 5th dan, which is really correct for his many years of training and fine abilities.

I have another friend who has been training about 40 years who is only shodan. For the first 33 years he never tested (was never interested and nobody forced him to do it). He joined another dojo and the sensei said he had to start testing, and now he's worked his way up to shodan. He's a pretty darned good shodan!

Anyway, all kinds of things can happen so the rank seems 'off.' Ah well, it's really more about the training anyway....

Cheers,
Garth
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #11
Basia Halliop
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Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

Quote:
But I hope I somehow misunderstood and he wouldn't have to go through a formal test. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just believe he deserves more.
Interesting way of looking at it... On the one hand I can understand why there can be tests by 'awarding it' (e.g. at the highest levels teaching ability and 'contribution' through teaching are, from what I understand, meant to be a really major factor, and how would one test that? And I'm not sure what the best way to handle people 'between organizations' for many decades would be), but it's also kind of weird in another way, and also kind of weird that, as your words show, such a rank (when the same rank is also given by direct testing) is actually considered by some to be _superior_ to a rank acheived by more direct means (testing). If someone gets an honorary doctorate or other university degree, I think most people consider it, although in many cases a real honour, especially if the university does not abuse the power, in at least some ways a somewhat lesser thing than what we'd often call a 'real' degree, for example (done by completing examinations, or by presenting a thesis and being examined on it).

E.g., for me, it actually bothers me a bit that rank could be awarded on the basis of 'loyalty'. If only there was some other way of more directly recognizing and honouring loyalty?
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:31 PM   #12
"baffled 2"
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Anonymous User
Re: Formal Dan Test vs. Dan Promotion without Testing

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post

E.g., for me, it actually bothers me a bit that rank could be awarded on the basis of 'loyalty'. If only there was some other way of more directly recognizing and honouring loyalty?
good point, but this is not just based soley on loyalty... its based on 40 years of contribution to aikido. proficiency, practice, teaching...
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