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Old 03-05-2013, 06:58 AM   #1
jpena
Dojo: Aikido of Olympia
Location: Tumwater
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Transfering Ranks Between Schools

Hi all,

I'm currently studying Aikido Yuishinkai. My problem is, i will probably be at my current location for another six months, to about a year. I'm interested in continuing my aikido training wherever i may be assigned next, but i'm not quite sure if i would have to start over again, if the school is not affiliated with Yuishinkai. Does anyone on the forums here have any expierience witht his same situation? If so, i would like to hear your thoughts.

Thank you.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:31 AM   #2
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
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England
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

Jairo
This can be a bit of a minefield - If you find a dojo that is of your style, obviously no problem .
There are many dojos that will insist no matter your grade, you will need to go back to white belt (beginner).
A firiend of mine with 25 yrs experience recently joined another organisation - they insisted that he and all of his students go back to white belt.

Personally I accept all grades - I have never ever demoted a student - I have had several students after a a couple of practice sessions ``ask`` to be demoted.
Just take a good look around before you commit yourself to another dojo. play it by earole.

Henry Ellis
Co-author of "Positive Aikido"
Aikido Controversy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMuDqKOjnls
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:00 AM   #3
Larry Feldman
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

I always let the different style 'carry' their old rank. But testing going forward would have to meet our requirements. It can make for a long time before moving forward in rank.

At shodan I changed teachers within the same organization. The new teacher and his students were so far ahead of what I knew, I felt a little embarrissed with my new rank, and suggested I just put a white belt on again (there were no colored belts). He insisted I keep it - I had earned it. For my Nidan test I tested under his requirements and went forward from there.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:03 AM   #4
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

If you know (or have an idea) where you'll be going, you can contact schools in that area and find out what their policies are on transferring rank. If you don't know, you can only assume that you may have to train initially as an unranked student. I think the more important questions are, first, whether being unranked equals "starting over again" in your mind, and next, if you had to train as an unranked student, would you still want to train?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:16 AM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

Six months to a year is very little in terms of a lifetime of training so I wouldn't worry too much about "starting over." Many folks have done it after three, five or ten years whether due to geography, finding the right teacher, or redefining what they want from the art...if the goal is lifelong learning, the color of your belt or which knee goes down first when you roll isn't very important.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:19 AM   #6
Rob Watson
Location: CA
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
I always let the different style 'carry' their old rank. But testing going forward would have to meet our requirements. It can make for a long time before moving forward in rank.

At shodan I changed teachers within the same organization. The new teacher and his students were so far ahead of what I knew, I felt a little embarrissed with my new rank, and suggested I just put a white belt on again (there were no colored belts). He insisted I keep it - I had earned it. For my Nidan test I tested under his requirements and went forward from there.
This is the way things look to be handled in the CAA division 1 (I don't have experience in the other divisions). Bring your rank but leave everything else behind and start anew.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

In my opinion if I were to move and start attending classes at a dojo within my own organization I would expect that any rank achieved at one school would be honored by another school in the same organization. The trouble with this is that each instructor has their own expectations of what a student at a certain rank should be able to do. This scenario, IMO, is more difficult than going to a new organization. Going to a new organization I say put on a white belt and start over. If asked about previous experience certainly inform the instructor but don't go into detail until such time. In the end the rank one has doesn't dictate what one knows or how one performs.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
I always let the different style 'carry' their old rank. But testing going forward would have to meet our requirements. It can make for a long time before moving forward in rank.
This is what I've mostly seen, too. E.g., if someone comes in with a black belt, they normally keep wearing it, and if they were, e.g., 3rd kyu then normally next test will be 2nd, etc. But any future tests are to the new teacher's requirements, so if those are significantly different it can mean a big time lag before the next test.

But I think those kinds of things are kind of up to the discretion of the teacher and not always a standardised official policy of an organisation.
It might also depend if the new dojo is part of a completely different organisation or just a different branch/style/etc.

I'd probably try to mentally prepare myself to start from the beginning just in case, in actual training as well as 'officially' - you can always be pleasantly surprised if that's not the case. I expect the actual training part may be more difficult than the official rank, though. There may be things you've learned that you'll need to tuck away as they're not what's needed here (you will eventually decide for yourself if you actually want to unlearn them or just let them be dormant for a while or incorporate them), things that the new dojo considers basic that you've never learned, etc.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:56 PM   #9
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
Location: London, UK
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

Have recently gone through this with Aikikai for one of my students - he got shodan 10 years ago but it wasn't Aikikai registered. In order to promote him to nidan had to give him shodan (again) and then wait to be able to give him nidan.

So depends on the organisation!
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:08 PM   #10
Dan Rubin
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Denver, Colorado
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

I agree with Janet. You don't say how long you've been studying aikido, but in your other post you say you will test for 5th kyu this month (your first test). In Japanese arts you are not considered to be even a beginner until you attain your shodan.

If you stay with aikido there will be many times when you feel like you're "starting over."

Last edited by Dan Rubin : 03-05-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:44 PM   #11
robin_jet_alt
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

I have done this several times, and it was different each time. The first time, my rank was not recognised. I was 1st kyu at the time, and I moved from a coloured belt system into a system where you wear a white belt until shodan. Anyway, I wore a white belt, just as I would have if my rank had been recognised and the people were very understanding, so it didn't really make a difference. They didn't make me go through all the gradings again though. They just waited until they thought I was ready for shodan, and then I moved up to that. (it took 4 years.) Then I moved to a place that had very different techniques, but recognised my rank. They just took me aside for a while to show me how they did things, and I was planning to grade to 2dan about a year and a half later if I hadn't had to move again. Then I moved to Yuishinkai, where they would have recognised my rank if I'd sent in the paperwork, but my teacher basically decided I was ready to move up to 2 dan anyway, so I just graded into the new system. In the mean time, I still wore my black belt and hakama as a guest.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, everywhere will approach it differently, but it won't really matter whether they recognise it or not. Just enjoy your training, and it will all sort itself out in the end.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:17 PM   #12
Millsy
Dojo: AikiCenter(Aus)/SOMD Aikido(US)
Location: Maryland
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

I wouldn't be too fussed if you're a 5th kyu as was mentioned (though at 5th kyu everything always seems like a rush). Different places/teachers have different ideas how to deal with it and a lot of the time, in my experience, its been the sensei who's determined were you fit in the system. At 5th kyu its likely you'll start again, though if I could find my Yuishinkai handbook someplace I think it says they recognize rank from other styles (you just have to move forward with their requirements), if that's the case you'll at least transfer back with any rank you earn at another dojo.
When I moved to Yuishinkai, my teach spent a while evaluating me and after a while decided to have me grade to the rank I left the old organisation at (1st kyu), I was just planning to start again as it had been a while between drinks for me.

At the moment I'm training at an Aikikai dojo in the US, in this case I haven't joined the federation as I intend to return to my dojo in Australia in a couple of years, a period I wouldn't have graded in anyway. I offered to join but was told it wasn't necessary if I wasn't going to want to grade with them. This might be another option if its only to be 6 months or so, and returning to you current dojo. You wont grade but your Aikido will still grow.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:04 PM   #13
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

Hi Jairo, I'd look at this as an opportunity to train in another location. And even if Yuishinkai is available, there also might be other aikido dojos that aren't in that organization worth looking into. Ideally, I'd recommend you chose the place that you feel has the best teachers and students, and a place where you just feel right and want to invest your time - regardless of the organization, and whether or not it's even Yuishinkai. Just train. Everything else works itself out.

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Old 03-09-2013, 01:40 AM   #14
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Transfering Ranks Between Schools

Up to Shodan rank is important -- the main problem is that standards differ greatly between schools. After Shodan, rank just gets silly, almost childish. It's nothing more than boy scout badges, but most boy scouts grow up. Just my 2c.

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