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Old 04-26-2014, 01:42 PM   #1
ahincelin
 
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Shihan list

Hello,

As a webmaster (www.cercle-aikido-pau-lons.net in french with google so-named translation available...) I started a new page with videos of aikido shihan. I did not find yet a worldwide (?) list of shihan and need a hand (your hand !) for this...
Thank you for your help.
Andre

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Old 04-27-2014, 08:17 AM   #2
jimbaker
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Re: Shihan list

I do not know of any public list of Shihans recognized by the Aikikai Foundation (Hombu Dojo). You can make a good sized list from the URLs below.

For organizations recognized by the Aikikai Foundation. http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/about/organization.html (Each organization should have at least one Shihan; many have several.)

United States Aikido Federation Shihans: http://usafaikidonews.com/usaf-shihan/

Hombu Dojo Shihan and Shidoin Instructors: http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/information/leader.html

Jim Baker
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:17 AM   #3
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Andre Hincelin wrote: View Post
... a .. list of shihan ...
I don't think that such thing exists.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:21 AM   #4
Chris Li
 
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Andre Hincelin wrote: View Post
Hello,

As a webmaster (www.cercle-aikido-pau-lons.net in french with google so-named translation available...) I started a new page with videos of aikido shihan. I did not find yet a worldwide (?) list of shihan and need a hand (your hand !) for this...
Thank you for your help.
Andre
You may wish to rething that standard, the title "shihan" has very little meaning in and of itself - in Hawaii, for example, there are eight Aikikai 7th dans....and no shihans.

Here are some of my thoughts on the matter, which I have recently updated - the original article (essentially the same but without some of the later additions) also appeared on the Aikido Journal website with this introduction from Stan Pranin:
One of our readers kindly sent a link to a very interesting article written by Christoper Li of the Aikido Sangenkai. It has to do with the title of “Shihan” and the differing standards for referring to oneself as Shihan within the Aikikai system. I highly recommend that you read this piece.
Best,

Chris

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Old 04-28-2014, 03:29 AM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
You may wish to rething that standard, the title "shihan" has very little meaning in and of itself - in Hawaii, for example, there are eight Aikikai 7th dans....and no shihans.

Best,

Chris
Hello Chris,

I am curious. The Aikikai has published a list of organizations in the USA, but no organization in Hawaii seems to be on the list. The ASU is not on the list either. When I asked the present Doshu why the ASU was not on the list, he answered that all the dan promotions were processed through Mitsugi Saotome personally.

I see that both Mitsugi Saotome and Hiroshi Ikeda are referred to as shihans -- but only these two in the ASU. I can understand this in Mr Saotome's case (perhaps Mr Tani unintentionally omitted his name from one of his lists), but I am curious about Mr Ikeda. Similarly, for the organization(s) in Hawaii. I assume that dan ranks are processed through individual dojos or sub-groups. Is this correct? Similarly, no dojo or sub-group in Hawaii has ever asked the Aikikai to award shihan titles. Would this be correct also?

I should add that here in Hiroshima, there is also a similar number of Aikikai 7th dans, but no one has ever received any shihan titles from the Aikikai. Of course, aikido in Japan is far more disorganized than is usually believed.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-28-2014 at 03:33 AM.

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Old 04-28-2014, 09:11 AM   #6
Chris Li
 
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Chris,

I am curious. The Aikikai has published a list of organizations in the USA, but no organization in Hawaii seems to be on the list. The ASU is not on the list either. When I asked the present Doshu why the ASU was not on the list, he answered that all the dan promotions were processed through Mitsugi Saotome personally.

I see that both Mitsugi Saotome and Hiroshi Ikeda are referred to as shihans -- but only these two in the ASU. I can understand this in Mr Saotome's case (perhaps Mr Tani unintentionally omitted his name from one of his lists), but I am curious about Mr Ikeda. Similarly, for the organization(s) in Hawaii. I assume that dan ranks are processed through individual dojos or sub-groups. Is this correct? Similarly, no dojo or sub-group in Hawaii has ever asked the Aikikai to award shihan titles. Would this be correct also?

I should add that here in Hiroshima, there is also a similar number of Aikikai 7th dans, but no one has ever received any shihan titles from the Aikikai. Of course, aikido in Japan is far more disorganized than is usually believed.

Best wishes,

PAG
There is no organization in Hawaii, everything pretty much goes directly to the Aikikai from the individual groups. There are periodic discussions about forming an organization - but that hasn't gone well so far. I know that there are some people in Hawaii who would like to receive a shihan title, but the last time that they asked the Aikikai the reply was that there could be no shihan titles without some kind of officially recognized organization.

Hawaii may seem large, but it's actually pretty much a small town, with small town politics.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-28-2014, 06:37 PM   #7
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
There is no organization in Hawaii, everything pretty much goes directly to the Aikikai from the individual groups. There are periodic discussions about forming an organization - but that hasn't gone well so far. I know that there are some people in Hawaii who would like to receive a shihan title, but the last time that they asked the Aikikai the reply was that there could be no shihan titles without some kind of officially recognized organization.

Hawaii may seem large, but it's actually pretty much a small town, with small town politics.

Best,

Chris
Hello Chris,

Thank you. That is more or less what I thought. When I became involved with the IAF, I learned that the 2nd Congress had been held in Hawaii and that one of the IAF officials was Don Shimazu, who I believe was a US Army veteran with direct experience of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. I was briefly acquainted with Mr Shimazu, but he ceased to be involved with the IAF and the connection with Hawaii gradually disappeared.

Which is somewhat ironic, really, since the one person who did most to persuade the Aikikai to create an international shihan system was Yoshimitsu Yamada, who heads the USAF. Not surprisingly, there are loads of American shihans in the USAF. It was the USAF that organized the IAF Congress in Hawaii, but any connection with Hawaii seems to have disappeared and it seems from your post that the good folks in Hawaii have no desire to be part of the USAF.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:54 PM   #8
Chris Li
 
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Chris,

Thank you. That is more or less what I thought. When I became involved with the IAF, I learned that the 2nd Congress had been held in Hawaii and that one of the IAF officials was Don Shimazu, who I believe was a US Army veteran with direct experience of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. I was briefly acquainted with Mr Shimazu, but he ceased to be involved with the IAF and the connection with Hawaii gradually disappeared.
Don was an old 442 guy - here he is on the liberation of Dachau.

He passed away a few years ago from an accident while he was fishing. We taught a morning class together for a couple of years, he had me throw him koshi-nage back then - at the age of 83, but he took the ukemi.

There was a break with the USAF a number of years ago, which was also tied up with local politics.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-28-2014, 07:49 PM   #9
Millsy
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post

I see that both Mitsugi Saotome and Hiroshi Ikeda are referred to as shihans -- but only these two in the ASU.

PAG
Peter,

I believe William Gleason was also recently given the title Shihan in the ASU.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:57 PM   #10
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Tony Mills wrote: View Post
Peter,

I believe William Gleason was also recently given the title Shihan in the ASU.
Hello,

Well, if that is the case, he has my congratulations.

However, I have just looked at the ASU main website and it is certainly not at all clear. Perhaps the website has not been updated, but the title of shihan is used with some instructors (John Messores, Patty Saotome), but not with others, including William Gleason, who have the title of Sensei. The calendar for 2014 is clearly up to date, but I wonder about the titles.

I think the case of Hawaii and the ASU illustrates the point made by Christopher Li in the article referred to in his post (#4).

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Old 04-28-2014, 09:10 PM   #11
Millsy
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Re: Shihan list

Peter,

I was going by his web site and some recent seminar flyers I've seen, I'm not part of ASU myself so not sure how it works there, just have been looking to attend one of his seminars. As you say these things illustrate Chris' points.

FYI William Gleason Sensei dojo's site http://www.shobu.org/
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:32 PM   #12
Matt Fisher
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Re: Shihan list

Peter,

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post

However, I have just looked at the ASU main website and it is certainly not at all clear. Perhaps the website has not been updated, but the title of shihan is used with some instructors (John Messores, Patty Saotome), but not with others, including William Gleason, who have the title of Sensei. The calendar for 2014 is clearly up to date, but I wonder about the titles.

I think the case of Hawaii and the ASU illustrates the point made by Christopher Li in the article referred to in his post (#4).
I can offer the perspective of someone who has been a member of ASU dojos for about 30 years...which doesn't guarantee that I have "the right answer"...

"Shihan" as a title seems to be used within ASU when an individual is promoted to 7th dan. So individuals like John Messores, Patty Saotome, and Dennis Hooker have been referred to as "shihans" since their recent promotions to 7th dan. Ikeda Sensei was promoted to 7th dan a number of years ago, and I think the same pattern was followed there...if I remember correctly, seminar notices started to refer to him as "Ikeda Shihan" after that promotion.

At least that's how it seems to be working to me...

Matt
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:37 PM   #13
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Matt Fisher wrote: View Post
Peter,

I can offer the perspective of someone who has been a member of ASU dojos for about 30 years...which doesn't guarantee that I have "the right answer"...

"Shihan" as a title seems to be used within ASU when an individual is promoted to 7th dan. So individuals like John Messores, Patty Saotome, and Dennis Hooker have been referred to as "shihans" since their recent promotions to 7th dan. Ikeda Sensei was promoted to 7th dan a number of years ago, and I think the same pattern was followed there...if I remember correctly, seminar notices started to refer to him as "Ikeda Shihan" after that promotion.

At least that's how it seems to be working to me...

Matt
Thank you for your clear explanation. I wonder if it is regarded as an accepted practice within the ASU, or whether the recipients of the title have received any formal notification of the fact. If not, the ASU practice seems to be similar to the commonly accepted practice here in Japan, except that the bar is raised considerably higher, with 7th dan required rather than 6th dan.

So, given that the ASU is in some sense recognized by the Aikikai and that the ASU dan ranks presented are Aikikai dan ranks, we would need to add a fifth category to the four given by Mr Tani.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:51 AM   #14
jimbaker
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Re: Shihan list

Is “Shihan” a permanent title?

If a teacher is given a Shihan certificate from the AIkikai Foundation and then leaves their local organization, are they still a Shihan?

If one holds a certificate as a Shidoin or Fukushidoin, say from the USAF, you are the Shidoin of a specific dojo. If you leave that dojo, you lose the certification.

The term “Shihan” seems to be used in three different ways. To some, it is an honorific applied to anyone who is 6th dan or higher. To others, it is an organizational title, given by the head of that group to specific teachers. The third is that it is a certificate awarded by the Aikikai Foundation.

Jim Baker
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:32 AM   #15
Dan Rubin
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Re: Shihan list

To add to the mystery and confusion, refer to the 2009-2010 thread, "non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?" at http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16479.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:33 AM   #16
Fred Little
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Re: Shihan list

Saotome Sensei has expressed his frustration with the uneven usage of the "Shihan" designation on many occasions in the last decade, referencing his own historical understanding of the term as applicable to instructors rokudan and higher.

Whether as a simple workaround, or for other reasons of his own, or both, he has instituted the new practice within ASU of directing senior instructors in whom he has a significant measure of confidence to have their keikogi embroidered with his calligraphy of kanji reading "Ueshiba Juku."

This practice also has the advantage of making clear his views as head of the organization without creating any direct conflict with Aikikai Hombu Dojo over additional variations in award of the shihan title like those outlined in points two and three made by Jim Baker above.

FL

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Old 04-29-2014, 10:22 AM   #17
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Re: Shihan list

I can't speak for Saotome Sensei, of course, but I've previously gotten the impression that, as one of O Sensei's surviving uchi deshi, he feels free to do pretty much as he pleases. In order to get Aikikai Hombu to issue rank certificates, he has to comply with their bureaucracy, but there isn't always an exact match between Aikikai-issued rank and his impression of individual students.

As noted above, the Ueshiba Juku designation is one example of this, and I believe is reserved for people he considers to be his direct students.

On the shihan question specifically, I think it's customary within the ASU to refer to all 7th dans as "shihan." I have no idea whether this is Aikikai-approved usage. (Nor, honestly, do I care.)

Katherine
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:09 PM   #18
Phil Van Treese
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Re: Shihan list

My class doesn't call me shihan nor do I care-----they call me God.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:44 PM   #19
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Re: Shihan list

Isn't that the truth.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:29 PM   #20
SteveTrinkle
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Re: Shihan list

think it's beyond silly to care about this stuff

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Old 05-02-2014, 02:47 PM   #21
kewms
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Stephen Trinkle wrote: View Post
think it's beyond silly to care about this stuff
Maybe, except that being able to write "Shihan" after your name means being able to book more seminars (and charge more for them), being able to sell more books and videos, being able to attract more students. For people who are or would like to be full time professional instructors, it's a pretty big deal.

Katherine
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:35 PM   #22
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shihan list

Quote:
Stephen Trinkle wrote: View Post
think it's beyond silly to care about this stuff
You might well think this, but the organization to which you are affiliated certainly does not. If you look at the organizations / dojo affiliated to the AKI, there is a distribution of titles which is analogous to that of the ASU. The chief instructor, Takeda Yoshinobu, has the title of shihan, but all the other instructors have the title of sensei, regardless of their rank.

Actually, the Aikikai never uses the term in its list of affiliated dojos in Japan (which can be accessed from their Japanese home page). There is a standard format and the head of the dojo is called Dojo Sekininsha: person responsible for the dojo. However, there is usually a link to the dojo home page and there are many cases where the shihan title is used, even though the 'shihan' does not have any authorization for the title beyond accepted Japanese practice.

My own dojo appears on the Aikikai list and I am listed as the 'dojo sekininsha', but we never use any titles. In my own experience here, Japanese enquiring about the dojo usually ask about my dan rank; they never ask whether I am a shihan or not.

To go back to the question raised by the opening poster, there are no lists of shihan that I am aware of and to my mind, the only point in even raising the question is to point to the perceived differences between Japan and the rest of the world. Just there is a specific context for the use of 'sempai' and 'kohai' here (which does not reflect US practice), so also there is a context (less specific, but still a definite context) for the term shihan. But this is a tatemae, like all the other tatemae here, about which no one worries very much.

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Old 05-09-2014, 09:58 AM   #23
ahincelin
 
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Re: Shihan list

Hello,

Thank you for your answers, they did gave me tracks to follow...

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