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Old 05-05-2002, 12:01 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,318
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AikiWeb Poll for the week of May 5, 2002:

What percentage of people starting at your aikido dojo reach shodan (black belt) in aikido?
  • I don't do aikido
  • 0%
  • 5%
  • 10%
  • 15%
  • 20%
  • 25%
  • 30%
  • 35%
  • 40%
  • 45%
  • 50%
  • 55%
  • 60%+
Here are the current results.
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Old 05-05-2002, 06:39 AM   #2
Greg Jennings
Dojo: None at the moment.
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,083
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I'd estimate that our dojo is currently running closer to 1%.

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 05-05-2002, 07:11 AM   #3
Johan Tibell
Dojo: Aikido Dojo Gamlestaden
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Jennings
I'd estimate that our dojo is currently running closer to 1%.
Here too. I'm really curious about those who answered <60%, lit all my McDojo warning signs. We don't get <60% of our beginners to stay a year!

Best Regards,

Johan Tibell

Pour your spirit and heart
Into daily technical training
To approach the many through a single principle
This is "The Way of the Fighting Man"
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Old 05-05-2002, 07:47 AM   #4
Randy Pertiet
Dojo: Tohkon Judo Club
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Jennings
I'd estimate that our dojo is currently running closer to 1%.

Best Regards,
I was looking for 1% as well. In our dojo, you do Kote Gaeshi on the newbies once, and most are gone. It's a good filter technique.
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Old 05-05-2002, 08:45 AM   #5
Edward
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Jun has probably forgot to add a zero to 100. Then votes start to make sense.

At our dojo, 1% would be very pretentious. Definitely less than 1%.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 05-05-2002, 10:30 AM   #6
Johan Tibell
Dojo: Aikido Dojo Gamlestaden
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Jun has probably forgot to add a zero to 100. Then votes start to make sense.

At our dojo, 1% would be very pretentious. Definitely less than 1%.

Cheers,
Edward
Yeah, it's probably less than 1%. We have "produced" 8 or so yudansha at our dojo during our 15-20 (when did we start??) years. 60 beginners per year equals 900-1200 people. 8 out of that is a bit under 1%.

Best Regards,

Johan Tibell

Pour your spirit and heart
Into daily technical training
To approach the many through a single principle
This is "The Way of the Fighting Man"
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Old 05-05-2002, 10:33 AM   #7
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Randy. Kote Gaeshi on newbies to weed them out? If our Sensei saw a full Kote Gaeshi on a newbie the tori would be up a certain creek with inadequate means of propulsion. As to "weeding out" newbies with pain... words fail me.
Have fun

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 05-05-2002, 05:23 PM   #8
Chocolateuke
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
Location: Middle of nowhere in California 14 miles from Buellton
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 238
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Tongue

The only person with a Dan rank in our dojo is the Sensei. so, i voted o%

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 05-05-2002, 06:24 PM   #9
Amendes
Join Date: Jan 2002
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I was looking for 1% but pikced 0% because 1 is closer to 0 then 5..

Just like they would do at the bank.
Muhuhahahahaaha
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Old 05-05-2002, 09:59 PM   #10
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,021
Japan
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Maybe (I'm sure) he was joking.

If you include all of those who train at our dojo it is 60% (I voted 55%). A lot of university students train here and it is pretty much a given that they will be Shodan at the end of their university studies. Regular members take longer and don't have the cohesion of the university club so maybe it drops down 20%. What I find more astounding is the drop once people get their Shodan - its when everything begins.

The joining fee is steep, I think people want to train for at least three months to get their money's worth and then - Bawahahahahah they are ours. We are not a cult

Quote:
Originally posted by Jim ashby
Randy. Kote Gaeshi on newbies to weed them out? If our Sensei saw a full Kote Gaeshi on a newbie the tori would be up a certain creek with inadequate means of propulsion. As to "weeding out" newbies with pain... words fail me.
Have fun

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-06-2002, 12:20 AM   #11
Edward
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 803
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I assume Peter is talking about Shodokan Hombu. Certainly people who go to practice at the hombu dojo of any style should be serious enough about aikido to practice intensively and usually with the purpose of getting their shodan asap, especially with the high cost of training and also living in Japan.

But of course at local dojos, ordinary people looking for some exercice, or having seen Seagal sensei movies... come to try aikido for a while, but drop out later for whatever reason (many actually, like not getting shodan in 1 year, discovering that aikido is not as soft as advertised, or too soft, or difficult to master...etc.etc.).

I have read statistics somewhere that only about 1% do make it to shodan generally.

As those who work so hard to get their shodan, and feel that they have finally achieved what they were looking for, and quit thereafter, probably have never understood what aikido is all about, so, "bon debarras"!

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 05-06-2002, 12:44 AM   #12
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
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Hi Edward;

First I have sent an e-mail to Bob with your name - hope its the correct address but it should be ok.

Shodokan Honbu, and I believe the same is true for Aikikai Honbu, also function as neighborhood dojos. Sure both have people who come from abroad, have university students and members from other dojos but many are housewives or working people that are there for health and hobby. In fact I would go so far as to say that these people form the core of the dojo. I think a lot has to do with the fact that many Japanese play as hard as they work. Just take a look at tennis clubs and music training. Budo training is very cheap compared to these endeavors by the way.

That said I believe the drop out rate after Shodan has to do with the removal of goal orrientated training. In the Shodokan system especially at the low kyu levels there is a grading every three months, Ikkyu to Shodan might be a year or more, after Shodan it could be years. Many Japanese start out with a goal in mind without understanding the deaper implications of Budo - once they achieve that goal they stick with their original plan like dogma. Still many continue and these are our future - and as for the ones that leave. Well until their departure they usually made good training partners.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-06-2002, 01:11 AM   #13
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Yeah I think this 5% is way too overrated. Of course from who do you take this percentage? Some may not count beginners as students and count that percentage from ppl who reach sempai status (3rd kyu at least). From all students who have ever been in our dojo the count would be zero 200 ppl over 5 years and only sensei has black belt. Although it may be predicted that by the time the count reaches 300 and a couple of years from now on, it'll be somewhere between 3 and 6 shodan. So 1-2%. 10+%???? You must be kidding...

Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub
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Old 05-06-2002, 02:44 AM   #14
Edward
Location: Bangkok
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Hi Peter,

Thanks a lot for the email. I appreciate it.

I will let you know the details.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 05-06-2002, 06:21 AM   #15
Randy Pertiet
Dojo: Tohkon Judo Club
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim ashby
Randy. Kote Gaeshi on newbies to weed them out? If our Sensei saw a full Kote Gaeshi on a newbie the tori would be up a certain creek with inadequate means of propulsion. As to "weeding out" newbies with pain... words fail me.
Have fun
We cycle through all the techniques over time. We don't give you a lot of "pain" at once, only a little over a long period of time.
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Old 05-06-2002, 06:49 AM   #16
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 208
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Straight Face

Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Jennings
I'd estimate that our dojo is currently running closer to 1%.
Yup! ...We're a 1% dojo also!

...when I tell newbies that at least 100 other students will come & go before they reach shodan, they just think I'm joking! ...it's no joke!

Making it to shodan is quite a significant accomplishment!

Now, out of that 1% that make it to shodan, how many of those make it to nidan?!?! Some students covet that 'Black Belt' so much, that once they get it, they soon quit! I'd say about 10% (1 in 10) of shodan make it to nidan in our dojo.

Regards,

Last edited by Brian Vickery : 05-06-2002 at 06:56 AM.

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 05-06-2002, 09:14 AM   #17
bcole23
Dojo: Eagle Rock Aikido, Ammon, ID
Location: Ammon, ID
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I'll reach shodan but it's not my goal. Therefore, I'm quite sure I wont be dropping out after reaching it. Besides, once you make Aikido a part of your life, how can you drop out? (well, I guess you could die)

So my goal is not to train for my next belt, but to practice each and every class with an open mind, open heart, and with full intention.

So how about this question that I'm sure is easily answered by y'all...

What percentage of the people in your dojo, yudansha or not, are making Aikido a part of themselves rather than just being serious 'students'?

This is open to interpretation of course.

Brando
sakurano hana ga saku
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Old 05-06-2002, 02:59 PM   #18
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Why is it that having a 1% shodan rate is something to be proud of? Shouldn't we try to achieve an enviroment with a much higher success rate, like any other form of education? After all, isn't the mark of a great martial artist great students? Or is aikido (and MA in general) a different animal?
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Old 05-06-2002, 03:27 PM   #19
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 208
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lyle Bogin
Why is it that having a 1% shodan rate is something to be proud of? Shouldn't we try to achieve an enviroment with a much higher success rate, like any other form of education? After all, isn't the mark of a great martial artist great students? Or is aikido (and MA in general) a different animal?
Hello Lyle,

...I don't think the 1% figure is a matter of pride, it's just the way it is. As Bill Murray said in 'Stripes': "That's the fact Jack!"

...I WISH I had the power to change this number ...any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

Regards,

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 05-06-2002, 04:38 PM   #20
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lyle Bogin
Why is it that having a 1% shodan rate is something to be proud of? Shouldn't we try to achieve an enviroment with a much higher success rate, like any other form of education? After all, isn't the mark of a great martial artist great students? Or is aikido (and MA in general) a different animal?
I think the working turnover rate for most MA schools is something like 7%---per month, at least according to the trade rags. In other words, you turn 84% of your students each year. Kind of explains the percentage when looked at in that light.

The other thing this question made me think about is what if we eased the time requirements such that 10% of all students make it to shodan. Suppose then that the average retention time of a student doubled. In other words, after 5 years you have a nidan instead of shodan but your retention rate is such that the average student stayed around 2-years instead of 1-year or whatever the actual number is. Please note that the skill level at 5-years is still the same only the rank is different. Would that be a bad thing?
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Old 05-07-2002, 07:46 AM   #21
henry brown
 
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Dojo: Soseikan, Worth IL
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If I can remember an old saying correctly:

The hardest test to take is the second one (because most people drop out after their first test)

I agree that that probably around 90% (+/- 5%) of students never get past the first 6 to 12 months. Then they usually stick around until shodan, even if it takes a long time. After this, there seems to be another 90% drop off. That would put nidan at around 1% of entering students.
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