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Old 05-27-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
Ruairidh
Location: Huddersfield
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What Grade Are You?

Hi im ruri (ruairidh) and im 8th kyu yellow belt. im just interested to know what grades you are all at. i have recently started aikido again since i was 12 or 13 as i am now 14. and have my yellow belt. what about you?
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:25 PM   #2
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Hey Ruri-- welcome to aikido and to the forums.

I started aikido when I was 13, in 1999. My first test was in August of 2000, for yonkyu. Our organization only started kyu ranks at 5th kyu (gokyu), so something to remember is that every dojo and every organization rank differently.

My favorite quote about rank comes from one of my favorite movies:

Daniel: Hey, what kind of belt do you have?
Miyagi: Canvas. JC Penney, $3.98. You like?
Daniel: [laughs] No, I meant...
Miyagi: In Okinawa, belt mean no need rope to hold up pants.
[laughs; then, seriously]
Miyagi: Daniel-san...
[taps his head]
Miyagi: Karate here.
[taps his heart]
Miyagi: Karate here.
[points to his belt]
Miyagi: Karate never here. Understand?

The same goes for aikido. Enjoy the ride, don't worry about the destination.

But, so that you don't think I'm dodging your question: my last test was for shodan, in 2004. I stopped doing aikido full time through college and focused on other arts, namely boxing and kung fu, but the great thing about aikido is that you can always come back to it.

Good luck with your training,
Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:54 PM   #3
Eva Antonia
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Hi Ruri,

I'm 4th kyu (orange belt; we start at 6th kyu = white belt), so still at a level where every change of colour is a reason for bliss and happiness during several days...just until your eyes get used to the beauty of the new colour and you start thinking that the next one would look even better. But only black is really beautiful :-)

Wish you much success and much fun in aikido!

Eva
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:55 PM   #4
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

I think asking about time training might be more accurate. Just because the place I train at starts at 6th kyu. So it could be a bit confusing. You may be higher ranking in terms of time and technique then another person here, but they just started at a higher rank then you.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:56 PM   #5
Ruairidh
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Re: What Grade Are You?

thanks every one for your generous posts and good comments keep 'em coming hehe
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:25 PM   #6
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
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Re: What Grade Are You?

I started aikido in 1999. I'm currently shodan.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:36 PM   #7
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

I started Aikido in 1994. My rank is Student.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:58 PM   #8
Chicko Xerri
Dojo: Aikido Kenkyukai International Fudoshin dojo Australia.
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Re: What Grade Are You?

I am 5th Dan with 35yrs uninterrupted training. 58yrs old. Many thousands of times I have been thrown and I have thrown many others thousands of times, a lot of pain and tears, euphoria, enlightenments and amazing disappointments, gratitude and love. Knowing what I know if I lost it all yesterday I would immediately start again today. You have wonderful discoveries ahead. Take it all on.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:00 AM   #9
Linda Eskin
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

I feel like I am looking up from the bottom of a deep sea... Started this month. No rank at all. My first test, someday, will be for 6 Kyu. I hope to be able to study Aikido for many years.

I love Nick's quotation - thank you for sharing that.

Linda Eskin - Facebook | My AikiBlog

"Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:37 AM   #10
Arashi Kumomura
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Re: What Grade Are You?

That's an excellent quote, Nick. I'll need to learn from that and take it to heart.

Coincidentally, I actually just asked my sensei what he thinks I could rank to, since I've been training for a few years and I haven't yet tested. Our school starts at 5th kyu (gokyu) and he told me that I have enough curriculum to skip a couple of levels and I would probably be around 3rd kyu (after memorizing a bit more of the terminology :P)

Rank has never meant that much to me, but I am curious sometimes about what I could truly test to.

Good luck on the many tests of Aikido before you (and hopefully you'll love and gain from them all).
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:43 AM   #11
eyrie
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Quote:
Ruairidh Percival wrote: View Post
Hi im ruri (ruairidh) and im 8th kyu yellow belt. im just interested to know what grades you are all at. i have recently started aikido again since i was 12 or 13 as i am now 14. and have my yellow belt. what about you?
Hmmm... I dunno. I haven't graded in 13 years.... BUT what my grade is, or what yours is, is not really that important.

What's more important is that you keep training at it, and that you continue to love doing it. Along the way, there will be the occasional disappointments, lack of motivation and no perceivable progress. Do not be discouraged because it will pass.

Just keep doing, keep thinking and keep learning... you never ever stop doing, thinking or learning, just because you've reach a certain grade. If you stop, you're dead or you'll die. Seriously. That's what I tell my kids anyway (they're not far behind you in age)...

Ignatius
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:10 AM   #12
dalen7
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Quote:
Eva Röben wrote: View Post
Hi Ruri,

I'm 4th kyu (orange belt; we start at 6th kyu = white belt), so still at a level where every change of colour is a reason for bliss and happiness during several days...just until your eyes get used to the beauty of the new colour and you start thinking that the next one would look even better. But only black is really beautiful :-)

Wish you much success and much fun in aikido!

Eva
Eva: yeah, I totally dig my orange belt as well.
Gonna miss its bright look as I go to green this July...but dont get me wrong, Ill be happy for the rank. lol

Ruri:
As for myself Ill be testing for 3rd kyu [we have 6] in July, and I have been at this two years, as of this month actually. [or the end of.]

The one thing that will become clear is that Aikido is not systemized in the sense that what my rank is translates to any other dojo but that which is under our Technical leader [who is 5th Dan] and who is under Tamura Sensei.

While this may seem to be discouraging, its not...the point is to take away what you learn at your place, and if/when you move on, Im sure you will adapt just as well where you go. - there are similarities after all, though with anything each place has its own unique vibe.

As for age...lol - my oldest daughter is almost as old as you. [actually she will be 12 this year.] - which puts me into old man category I suppose. lol

Peace

dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:31 AM   #13
Ruairidh
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Re: What Grade Are You?

so (based on reading your comments) lets say if a dojo started at 8th kyu and a dojo started and 5th or 6th kyu will the dojo at 5 kyu be faster to get to blackbelt shodan level?

i have always been curious to ask that but always forgot to ask my sensei.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:45 AM   #14
dalen7
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Quote:
Ruairidh Percival wrote: View Post
so (based on reading your comments) lets say if a dojo started at 8th kyu and a dojo started and 5th or 6th kyu will the dojo at 5 kyu be faster to get to blackbelt shodan level?

i have always been curious to ask that but always forgot to ask my sensei.
depends yet again.
You will find the emphasis and training curriculum of central/eastern Europe, as an example, [at least where Im at] to be a bit different than stateside and perhaps even from Britain where your from. Here getting a brown belt is a big deal...and getting your black belt can take a lot longer. - from what I can tell, and I could be off, a brown belt is not to dissimilar to a shodan in many other dojos outside of Hungary. [black belt is seen as more of an important milestone here, and even people at 2nd kyu can teach...though its rare - guy in the city next to us is a good example.]

Typically 8 kyus, etc. are for the kids, I would say universally, though some have more and less.

What you will find is that adults have either 6 or 5...the ones with the 5 tend to have a basic test they have to go through, though I suppose they know all the rest, whereas with the 6 kyus, at least where Im at, we have the full curriculum and more to go through. [though this may sound a bit to the contrary to what I say in the paragraph below...which goes to point out that its all relative and why so many people here discourage too much focus on rank alone.

Does it mean its any better...doubt it, just a different focus...even within dojos a given rank does not guarantee a certain knowledge, though it is a good guide. - for an example, our lack of specific training in ukemi may be frowned upon...though in the neighboring city its a point of focus and the guy teaching is from our dojo.

I think the most important thing is to set up your own goals...what does the rank signify to you is what is important. [thats what I have done, set up my own goals and expectations for each rank...if I move I will then readjust and see how it lines up where Im at...if Im needing to hold off on testing to catch up, or be moved up a grade...up to sensei.

Either way, have fun...and try not to get hurt - [I have done way to much of that.] lol

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 05-28-2009 at 02:58 AM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
dum spiro spero - {While I have breathe - I have hope}

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Old 05-28-2009, 03:08 AM   #15
dalen7
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Quote:
Ruairidh Percival wrote: View Post
so (based on reading your comments) lets say if a dojo started at 8th kyu and a dojo started and 5th or 6th kyu will the dojo at 5 kyu be faster to get to blackbelt shodan level?

i have always been curious to ask that but always forgot to ask my sensei.
oh, whats gonna really get you is that some dojos have extremely different terminologies for things such as henko henko [guys dont be rough on me, just remembered it had the word henko in there somewhere... i think].

I suppose this is similar to something I know, from what I remember reading, but indeed relearning terminology may be a thing in and of itself.

Peace

dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
dum spiro spero - {While I have breathe - I have hope}

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Old 05-28-2009, 05:58 AM   #16
rulemaker
Dojo: Aikido Philippines
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Re: What Grade Are You?

I started in 1994 and after spending a lot of money on aikido I am now 3rd dan aikikai.

Mel
www.aikido-philippines.com
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:48 AM   #17
crbateman
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Grades? We don't need no stinking grades...
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:03 AM   #18
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Just to confuse you more, Yoshinkan has 9th through 1st kyu. Time varies by student, where they train, how much they train, etc.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:13 AM   #19
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Hi Ruri,

I'm 34 and wish I started Aikido when I was your age. I hope you enjoy it and decide to stay with it. If you do, you'll be a great aikidoka by the time you reach my age with many wonderful skills, stories, and friends to show for it.

To answer your original question, just take a look at my avatar. I plan to test for 9th kyu at the end of June which would give me the yellow belt.

...rab
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:02 AM   #20
Ruairidh
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
Hi Ruri,

I'm 34 and wish I started Aikido when I was your age. I hope you enjoy it and decide to stay with it. If you do, you'll be a great aikidoka by the time you reach my age with many wonderful skills, stories, and friends to show for it.

To answer your original question, just take a look at my avatar. I plan to test for 9th kyu at the end of June which would give me the yellow belt.

...rab
cool rab, good luck with your grading.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:06 AM   #21
Linda Eskin
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Hi again Ruri,

Because "how long does it take to get a black belt" is a question every new student has, the dojo where I train has a page to answer that question: http://www.aikidosd.com/blackbelt.htm Mind you, those are minimum requirements in our organization, and the training days are the minimum between each belt, with a lot of "it depends on the person" thrown in there. So, for instance, To get to 4 Kyu one could expect to train a minimum of 20 + 40 + 60 days.

That said, I consider this a journey. If you were to set off to walk across the continent, you would want to see and fully experience each footpath and village on your way. You'd make friends, have setbacks, change course, develop blisters, learn about yourself... Be in the place where you are, and do the things there are to do in that place. Don't miss out on your time in this charming little village (8 Kyu) by focusing too much on how to get to another place, later. You'll get there soon enough.

Happy travels, and see you on the road.

Linda

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"Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:18 AM   #22
Ruairidh
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Quote:
Linda Eskin wrote: View Post
Hi again Ruri,

Because "how long does it take to get a black belt" is a question every new student has, the dojo where I train has a page to answer that question: http://www.aikidosd.com/blackbelt.htm Mind you, those are minimum requirements in our organization, and the training days are the minimum between each belt, with a lot of "it depends on the person" thrown in there. So, for instance, To get to 4 Kyu one could expect to train a minimum of 20 + 40 + 60 days.

That said, I consider this a journey. If you were to set off to walk across the continent, you would want to see and fully experience each footpath and village on your way. You'd make friends, have setbacks, change course, develop blisters, learn about yourself... Be in the place where you are, and do the things there are to do in that place. Don't miss out on your time in this charming little village (8 Kyu) by focusing too much on how to get to another place, later. You'll get there soon enough.

Happy travels, and see you on the road.

Linda
Hi linda, thank you for your post it gave me alot to think about. and its a great way of explaining it to a student like me :P. ill try and not forget that thankyou
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:58 AM   #23
lbb
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Quote:
Linda Eskin wrote: View Post
That said, I consider this a journey. If you were to set off to walk across the continent, you would want to see and fully experience each footpath and village on your way. You'd make friends, have setbacks, change course, develop blisters, learn about yourself... Be in the place where you are, and do the things there are to do in that place. Don't miss out on your time in this charming little village (8 Kyu) by focusing too much on how to get to another place, later. You'll get there soon enough.
Nice metaphor, Linda...I like it a lot. USAF has similar requirements (number of hours between rankings), slightly different numbers: 60 hours before you test for 5th kyu (the first rank), then 80 more to test for 4th, then 100 for 3rd, 150 for 2nd, 200 for 1st, etc. Easy to see why the time between tests fairly soon comes to be measured in years rather than in weeks or months.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:55 PM   #24
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Linda, Mary, and anyone else who's organization requires minimum training time between ranks -

What do you think about that policy? I understand that it strives to establish standards across dojos but on the other hand it seems to be a somewhat artificial limiter for talented martial artists able to fulfill the requirements sooner. (I am definitely not one of those but something about it still seems to bother me).

Thoughts?
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:19 PM   #25
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: What Grade Are You?

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
Linda, Mary, and anyone else who's organization requires minimum training time between ranks -

What do you think about that policy?
My sensei actually dropped the minimum training time requirements, not because it held talented people back but because people started to assume that you'd automatically be able to grade after fulfilling the time in grade and whining to him about it. So now we only grade once sensei says people are ready.

kvaak
Pauliina
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