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Old 07-11-2002, 04:14 AM   #1
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Testing Fees

A comment on another thread prompted this question, how much do you get charged for testing? Also, are there "compulsory" seminars included in the requirements for tests which you have to pay for?
Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 07-11-2002, 04:26 AM   #2
George S. Ledyard
 
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Re: Testing Fees

Quote:
Originally posted by Jim ashby
A comment on another thread prompted this question, how much do you get charged for testing? Also, are there "compulsory" seminars included in the requirements for tests which you have to pay for?
Have fun.
We're part of the ASU so our test fees are quite small. The kyu tests are $25 / test in addition to the yearly dues of $25 as an ASU member. Since tests aren't that frequent the financial impact is about zero until the yudansha ranks which are determined by the Hombu Dojo in Japan. The ASU does not keep any of that money.

We host three major seminars each year with guest instructors. In order to assure that I had enough money to pay the guests appropriately I raised our dues by ten dollars a month for each student and I put that ten dollars aside so that when the seminar takes place I have the money for the instructor in hand before it even takes place. So you could say that the seminars are mandatory but since most of the people training don't even remember when the dues were less they feel like the seminars are free because they don't have to pay when they happen. In theory attendance at these events is mandatory for those who want to test but I have to say that I have not been strict about enforcing that rule.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 07-12-2002, 03:45 PM   #3
tedehara
 
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
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Re: Re: Testing Fees

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
...So you could say that the seminars are mandatory but since most of the people training don't even remember when the dues were less they feel like the seminars are free because they don't have to pay when they happen. In theory attendance at these events is mandatory for those who want to test but I have to say that I have not been strict about enforcing that rule.
I think what he means is that in some organizations, there is a mandatory number of seminars you have to attend in order to qualify for a rank test.

Correct me if I'm wrong George, but I don't think they have that requirement in ASU.

They don't have compulsory seminar requirements in the Ki Society either. As far as rank testing fees, that would probably vary according to what organization within the Ki Society USA, that you were a part of.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 07-12-2002, 05:10 PM   #4
Greg Jennings
Dojo: None at the moment.
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
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I know everyone gets tired of me bringing this up but...

At our dojo everything is free.

No tuition, no kyu testing fees, nothing added to the Aikikai's fee for yudansha ranks.

I _have_ recently relaxed my rule about not getting supplies for members. I pool the orders so that we get a discount and share the shipping costs. People asked and asked; I finally relented.

I just don't want anyone to have any cause to say they were cheated.

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 07-12-2002, 05:11 PM   #5
Erik
Location: Bay Area
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Re: Re: Re: Testing Fees

Quote:
tedehara wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong George, but I don't think they have that requirement in ASU.
I'd be interested in verifying this as well. My understanding is that ASU does or did have this requirement although it may not be rigidly enforced.
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Old 07-12-2002, 11:00 PM   #6
Choku Tsuki
 
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To mandate a minimum of 2 seminars a year sounds like a great idea. But can they be outside your federation? I know why the answer's no, not if they're counting for your next dan rank. Or am I wrong, And stupid?Or both? Or not. Pick one.
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Old 07-13-2002, 07:34 AM   #7
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
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Hi. Thanks for all the replies. BTW what does the Akikai charge for a Dan grade?
Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 07-13-2002, 09:13 AM   #8
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Testing Fees

Quote:
Erik wrote:
I'd be interested in verifying this as well. My understanding is that ASU does or did have this requirement although it may not be rigidly enforced.
Yes, I mispoke. I was only referring to Kyu ranks. For ranks above Nidan you have to attend a camp; for Shodan you have to have attended two seminars with Saotome Sensei and / or Ikeda Sensei. That has never been an issue for my students since we host our own seminars.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 07-13-2002, 09:18 AM   #9
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Quote:
Jim ashby wrote:
Hi. Thanks for all the replies. BTW what does the Akikai charge for a Dan grade?
Have fun.
The aikikai hombu charges about $200 for a dan grade. Instructors from hombu do not charge above this, but instructors not from hombu but affiliated to it (just to throw in a name, say in Suganuma sensei's position) will charge something around $100 on top of that.
In perspective, that's about an extra 25 cents per class.

The seminar requirement (you must attend all the days of the seminar at which you are graded) is suggested but not enforced here in Israel. I know that the UK Ki Fed. used to have this requirement (about 20 UKP for 5th kyu 10 years ago).

Others in the UK don't charge for gradings at all, though, and here in Israel we, like Greg, don't charge for kyu grades or add to the dan grade fees. Our tuition isn't free though - we have to pay the dojo rental. The instructors get a little money that doesn't cover expenses (you'd need about 500 students to live on it).

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 07-13-2002, 08:22 PM   #10
Erik
Location: Bay Area
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Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
That has never been an issue for my students since we host our own seminars.
That was the distinction I was wondering about. The first ASU book I saw was very explicit that you had to go to Summer (Colorado) or Winter (Washington, maybe Florida now?) camp. Then I noticed a fair amount of people getting promoted in these parts and I figured that wasn't exactly the case. I was happy to hear that. It's not a trivial thing to have to go half way across the country for a week to be promoted to shodan.
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Old 07-14-2002, 02:16 AM   #11
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
Location: London, UK
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I thought aikikai hombu charged something like:

10,000 yen for shodan (plus 10,000 yen for membership)
20,000 yen for nidan
30,000 yen for sandan

That order of magnitude. Don't know grades above but I know they continue going up...

Robert
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Old 07-14-2002, 09:20 AM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Camp

Quote:
Erik wrote:
That was the distinction I was wondering about. The first ASU book I saw was very explicit that you had to go to Summer (Colorado) or Winter (Washington, maybe Florida now?) camp. Then I noticed a fair amount of people getting promoted in these parts and I figured that wasn't exactly the case. I was happy to hear that. It's not a trivial thing to have to go half way across the country for a week to be promoted to shodan.
Well, that still begs the question because it is required at Nidan. In my experience the camps are required in order to do a couple of things. Give the Senseis a chance to see the next generation of up and coming students, and to forge some unity between the instructors of the organization. I believe that these are important goals.

There is a tendency to be a big fish in a small pond. You get your Black Belt in your dojo and become someone important. In many dojos you will be teaching classes at times. For folks for whom the status is really more important than the training itself there is little incentive to get out of the dojo and see what's out there.

I have been attending camps for a good twenty years or so. I've gotten a bit blase about going although it's always fun. Butthis year a couple of my junior students went to DC Summer Camp. It was great to hear about the experience from their point of view, how much there was to learn, how many really good people there were to train with. It was a transforming experience for them.

Doing a camp simply requires planning. If you set aside around $80 / month for one year you could gp to just about any camp. When most people say that they can't afford camp they simply mean that it isn't as important to them as the other things they are spending their money on.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 07-14-2002, 04:28 PM   #13
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Well, that still begs the question because it is required at Nidan. In my experience the camps are required in order to do a couple of things. Give the Senseis a chance to see the next generation of up and coming students, and to forge some unity between the instructors of the organization. I believe that these are important goals.

There is a tendency to be a big fish in a small pond. You get your Black Belt in your dojo and become someone important. In many dojos you will be teaching classes at times. For folks for whom the status is really more important than the training itself there is little incentive to get out of the dojo and see what's out there.

I have been attending camps for a good twenty years or so. I've gotten a bit blase about going although it's always fun. Butthis year a couple of my junior students went to DC Summer Camp. It was great to hear about the experience from their point of view, how much there was to learn, how many really good people there were to train with. It was a transforming experience for them.

Doing a camp simply requires planning. If you set aside around $80 / month for one year you could gp to just about any camp. When most people say that they can't afford camp they simply mean that it isn't as important to them as the other things they are spending their money on.
Can't say that I disagree much with this, although being who I am, I could do it.

Thinking more on it, it's probably a non-issue for Bay Area ASU types. Ikeda is here at least 3 times a year (maybe 4 times this year), Saotome at least once and 2 of the Ikeda trips are for camps. One of those is sponsored by an ASU dojo. I think there are also around 6 to 8 ASU affiliated dojos in these parts so it probably all works out in the end.

Thanks for the information.
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Old 07-16-2002, 09:45 AM   #14
jdsingleton
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Arlington, VA
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Re: Camp

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I have been attending camps for a good twenty years or so. I've gotten a bit blase about going although it's always fun. Butthis year a couple of my junior students went to DC Summer Camp. It was great to hear about the experience from their point of view, how much there was to learn, how many really good people there were to train with. It was a transforming experience for them.
I'm glad to hear they had a good time. I believe I had the chance to train with both of them. I know I trained with one of them, because he came up to my instructor (Jim Sorrentino) when he and I were talking, so I knew who he was.

Getting back on topic, I'm wondering how strictly the ASU seminar requirement is being enforced. For example, although the intent is for nidan candidates to attend all of Summer/Winter Camp, I know someone who never attended more than a couple of days at either camp before he tested for nidan. We've had at least one 1st kyu at Summer Camp the past two years and I don't think either was observed more than anyone else by Saotome Sensei or Ikeda Sensei.

I do know of an ASU dojo that requires attendance at seminars for the upper kyu ranks, but that's the exception and is not an ASU requirement. (I think for 2dn and 1st kyu it cannot be a seminar at their own dojo, too.)

Jim Singleton
Aikido of Northern Virginia
Arlington, VA
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