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Old 12-03-2002, 06:53 PM   #1
Chavo
Dojo: Aikido Mty
Location: Monterrey, N.L.
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Question Paying for my Sensei 5th Dan..?

The Dojo where i train was founded for 4 partners....and by my actual Sensei. These 4 "associates" were at the beggining just students...and then they decide to open a Dojo. They have a day job(and a very profitable one i would say!)...the Dojo it's just an "extra" income (that´s wath i think). Yesterday, one of the partners told me that they had a meeting with other students (but me of course....)and they agree to pay for our Senseis 5th Dan. I don't know how this works....but i understand that here in Mexico, if you want to get a "dan" you have to pay for it (for the test), i don't know if it works the same around the world....
anyway... they decided to split the cost among all the students and them.
My point is: If they want to make money with the Dojo...they have to invest!....it´s like any other business. If you want to offer a quality product to the final customer...you have to invest on it. What if i decide not to keep training in my actual Dojo??.....i mean....i like my sensei...he's a nice guy.....but is this situation fair for everybody??
Please don't take this wrong.....I don't think in aikido as a "business" ,but if this is how they see it....then i would give my opinion focus on that idea. Thanks.

Chavo R.
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Old 12-03-2002, 07:19 PM   #2
JW
 
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Although I think it is weird for any person to not pay for his own test, I think it is really nice of students in a dojo to pay for the sensei's test (after all, having their sensei ranked higher does in some ways have some value for a lot of people).

On the other hand: my opinion applies to what I think is the regular situation, which is that there are no student partners-in-business; rather, the sensei runs the dojo, and he is not necessarily profiting from it.

If there are 4 or five people running the dojo AND GETTING MONEY FROM IT, then I agree with you that they should be the ones putting money back into it.

--JW
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Old 12-03-2002, 07:59 PM   #3
PeterR
 
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Consider it a wedding present.

I know that the cost of Dan grades increases exponentially and the students helping to cover it seems totally appropriate. Is it voluntary or obligatory?

There is benefit to the dojo.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-03-2002, 08:09 PM   #4
wilmking
Dojo: Yoshinkan (IKA), Sei Shin Kai, University of Alaska Fairbanks
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Hi,

personally i disagree. ranking and especially ranking at those levels you talked about is a very personal subject (or at least in my OPINION should be one). and therefore i would expect the person in question to pay for this by him/herself.

it is between the teacher and student (which in this case is your teacher) and should be between them.

just my opinion

martin

PS: maybe the dojo profits from a higher ranking teacher, but regardless of rank, there are good and bad teachers and good and not so good aikidoka...
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Old 12-03-2002, 09:10 PM   #5
Edward
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I tend to agree with Martin here. I think that this initiative should come from the students themselves, if they really think that their teacher does not have the financial means to pay for his fifth dan. I don't like people to decide for me, no matter how junior I still am in aikido.

On the other hand, if I were to be the teacher, I would rather not get a 5th dan than have my students pay for it, but that's only me....

Last edited by Edward : 12-03-2002 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 12-03-2002, 09:18 PM   #6
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
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Your sensei happens to be one of the top instructors in Mexico. I know, I trained with him when he was in Mexico City. Consider it an investment in your aikido education.
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Old 12-03-2002, 09:50 PM   #7
Andy
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If you don't want to pay for your teacher's promotion, then don't. It's not your promotion, after all. Paying for such a thing should be a voluntary gift, not forced down your throat. If they pull any kind of obligation crap to get you to pay, tell them to stuff it.
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Old 12-03-2002, 10:47 PM   #8
Chavo
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Well...thanks for the comments....they've been very usefull. To tell the truth, i don't have any problem paying for the 5th dan of my sensei.....what's really bothering me.....is the way that this matter has been handled. I see it more like an obligation than a voluntary thing (that's because my opinion was not required. ..."blessing democracy")

The Sensei is a good guy (and definitely one of the best)...but i think that he's not totally agree with this situation....but he´s not saying it either.

I could take this as an investment in my aikido education...that´s for sure.....but like JW said: if some else is getting or could get a profit from it (and when i say profit i mean money....) then they should pay for it.

May be this is not such a big deal, and may be i should just pay.....but "this" it's not my idea of the aikido philosophy....and may be i should look somewhere else...

Chavo R.
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Old 12-03-2002, 10:58 PM   #9
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
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The only one profiting from this is Hombu Dojo at Japan, not your sensei or the owners/partners of the school, as all dan ranks require a international fee for validation. Perhaps the matter should been handled differently, maybe only the senior students should make a (voluntary) contribution. By the way, for how long have you´ve been practicing?
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Old 12-03-2002, 11:30 PM   #10
Erik
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Quote:
Ignacio Jaramillo (Nacho_mx) wrote:
The only one profiting from this is Hombu Dojo at Japan, not your sensei or the owners/partners of the school, as all dan ranks require a international fee for validation.
Well, the way I've heard it on the higher ranks is that it's a suggested donation or some such. Seems like I heard the going contribution was $750 for a godan but that is not a fact I'm certain of.

My understanding is that the AANC when it existed as such paid for the 7th dans of Bob Nadeau, Frank Doran and Bill Witt. I believe the suggested donation was $2,000 for a 7th dan.
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Old 12-04-2002, 01:45 AM   #11
Edward
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Quote:
Ignacio Jaramillo (Nacho_mx) wrote:
The only one profiting from this is Hombu Dojo at Japan
Somehow the tone and the allusion here make me uncomfortable. Every dojo charges fees for grading exams and rank certificates. To say that Aikido World Headquarters is making profit from gradings is similar to saying that your university is making profit from your tuition fees. I really don't understand the comment. Unfortunately our world didn't reach yet the utopic stage of development where money is not necessary anymore.

Last edited by Edward : 12-04-2002 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 12-04-2002, 01:56 AM   #12
Edward
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I feel that such subjects as the current one are better discussed in a generalized and discreet way without mentioning dojo names, affiliations and teachers' rank. Our aikido world is small and damage can easily be done.
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Old 12-04-2002, 03:01 AM   #13
erikmenzel
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For me it is not realy clear what the situation is. I think there are two possibilities, of which I think one is natural and the other kind of feels wrong.

At our club we offer our teacher often gifts as sign of extra appreciation of his lesons and teaching. This can be books, a hakama, money to visit a seminar of his choosing etc. These are our gifts, and we the students give them because we want to give them. This seems normal and healthy to me.

The other situation would be were the teacher tells you to pay for his hakama, grading etc. This somehow feels a bit wrong for me.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 12-04-2002, 04:00 AM   #14
Ta Kung
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Hi!

If this was to happen in my dojo, I'd chip in. On the other hand, if anyone didn't want to, there shouldn't be any complaints. I see this as a nice gesture, but it shouldn't be forced upon anyone. (and it also depends on the amount of money involved)

If you feel that it's ok, then go for it. If not, then don't. If you are treated in any different way for this, I'd say leave.

Just my 2 cents.

/Patrik
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Old 12-04-2002, 04:34 AM   #15
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Erik Haselhofer (Erik) wrote:
Well, the way I've heard it on the higher ranks is that it's a suggested donation or some such. Seems like I heard the going contribution was $750 for a godan but that is not a fact I'm certain of.

My understanding is that the AANC when it existed as such paid for the 7th dans of Bob Nadeau, Frank Doran and Bill Witt. I believe the suggested donation was $2,000 for a 7th dan.
Hello Erik,

I think this is true only above 6th dan. If you have a Hombu yudansha card, you will notice on the second page that the listed ranks go up to 6th dan. The fees payable for grades up to 6th dan are quite clear and they certainly are not suggested donations.

Actually I have a scale of grading fees from the Hombu and the only difference in the fees lies in whether the grade is recommended or (from 1st dan to 4th dan) awarded as the result of a grading examination. There are no figures given for 7th 8th and 9th dan, so I would think that this would be more of a donation, given to Doshu directly. I can also tell you that $2,000 for 7th dan is a huge jump from the fee required for 6th dan.

Thus, I would not be surprised if students contributed in the case of these higher grades. It really is as much a sign of respect as a clear sign of improvement in technique, though one hopes this also is discernible.

As for members of the dojo contributing to the grading fees for a 5th dan, I agree with Mr Knoops. But with a slight difference. The instructor should NEVER require his students to finance his own gradings, unless this a dojo policy reflected in the dojo fees, i.e., the grading fees of ALL students are paid by the dojo (I suspect this is very rare).

However, I also have a very bad feeling about senior students strong-arming junior students to finance an instructor's grading because they (the senior students) feel it desirable. This would be unworkable in Japan and I suspect is possible in this case because the dojo has only one instructor who is currently 4th dan.

In my experience dojo harmony tends to be undermined, and sometimes destroyed, as a result of money, usually lack of transparency about how the money is spent. This is true also in Japan.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 12-04-2002, 06:29 AM   #16
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
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Quote:
Edward Karaa (Edward) wrote:
...To say that Aikido World Headquarters is making profit from gradings is similar to saying that your university is making profit from your tuition fees. I really don't understand the comment.
In America where private universtities charge between $12,000-$35,000 for tution, I say that they are profitting quite a bit from tuitions.

Sorry for the left-wing deviation from the topic.

Peace and Blessings.

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Old 12-04-2002, 09:39 AM   #17
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
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Dan grading is a source of revenue for Hombu, no doubt about it. I just payed $350 U.S.D. for my 2nd. dan. Our national fee is about $75 U.S.D.

I know personally this 4th dan instructor, and it would be totally out of his character to order or request of his students to pay for his rank. I think it was the school owners/partners (who happen to be his senior students)who came up with the idea, and it was meant as a nice present. Unfortunately it seems they forgot to ask the junior students in a proper manner and the situation seems forced.
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Old 12-04-2002, 10:20 AM   #18
Ray Kissane
Dojo: Nihon Goshin Aikido
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That is alot of money just ot have your name recorded in a register and to send you a certificate.

It would be different if the person had to fly in a senor instructor for testing and that money was used to cover the cost of the instructor's expense. But to just send the money to headquarters so they can have a profit off of every certificate is wrong .

We in the Martial Arts complain about organizations that sell people rank. What is the difference here, not much?

Ray Kissane

Ray Kissane
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Old 12-04-2002, 10:26 AM   #19
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
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I have no complaints. We don´t need to fly an instructor from abroad because we train under the only 2 6th dans in our country. Everyday is a seminar...
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Old 12-04-2002, 10:48 AM   #20
Erik
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Hi Peter!

Thanks for the clarification. You got me to look at my card/book and I don't do that very often.

I reread my post and recognize that it came off as more sarcastic than I probably intended although I admit to intending some sarcasm.

The concept of paying for rank has always bothered me. This is strange in a way because I do believe that dojo-owners and instructors should be paid, and paid respectably, for their efforts. Mostly I suppose this comes from being involved in sports where a direct statement of rank didn't exist. You might face higher expenses as you got better but the idea of 'now you are X rank and must pay Y dollars' isn't something you ran into directly.

Oh well, probably not much purpose served in pounding on this machine as I'm certainly not going to be changing it.
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Old 12-04-2002, 12:12 PM   #21
MattRice
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the dojo members covered the 6th dan promotion of our two senior instructors. It was my pleasure to help.
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Old 12-04-2002, 12:42 PM   #22
Chavo
Dojo: Aikido Mty
Location: Monterrey, N.L.
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Quote:
Ignacio Jaramillo (Nacho_mx) wrote:
The only one profiting from this is Hombu Dojo at Japan, not your sensei or the owners/partners of the school, as all dan ranks require a international fee for validation. Perhaps the matter should been handled differently, maybe only the senior students should make a (voluntary) contribution. By the way, for how long have you´ve been practicing?
Sorry if i didn't make my self clear. I'm not saying that the international headquarter is the one who is making a profit......i'm saying that the owners (excluding the sensei) are the ones that want to make a profit for the dojo (which is totally valid....i don't disagree)but i'm not agree in the way they are doing it.

May be i'm just taking all this thing wrong, and may be they just one to help the sensei ( i want it too...he's a good person and i'm a 100% sure about his integrity) but i have the feeling that they(the partners) want him to get the 5th dan, just to get more students and get more money; and that's ok for me.....but if this is the case...i'd say that they should pay for it(and beleive me..they have the means). But again, may be i'm taking the whole thing wrong, and i'm making : like we said " a storm in a glass of water".

I just have a couple of weeks practicing aikido; and I want to keep doing it. I'm willing to pay the fee...and help my sensei to get his 5th dan....but also i'm willing to help him, by me to practicing hard and honestly, to make him proud of his teaching...; and may be "proud" is not the right word....i want to make him feel glad because he's sharing his knowledge....and i'm learning from him this wonderful art.

Chavo R.
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Old 12-04-2002, 02:37 PM   #23
Edward
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Quote:
Ray Kissane wrote:
That is alot of money just ot have your name recorded in a register and to send you a certificate.

It would be different if the person had to fly in a senor instructor for testing and that money was used to cover the cost of the instructor's expense. But to just send the money to headquarters so they can have a profit off of every certificate is wrong .

We in the Martial Arts complain about organizations that sell people rank. What is the difference here, not much?

Ray Kissane
Hehehehe, inflammatory comments about our headquarters coming from our brothers at the nihon goshin ""aikido"" (a mixture of karate, judo, daito ryu, kobudo and esoteric arts according to their official website). How much does your organization charge for dan ranks?
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Old 12-04-2002, 03:37 PM   #24
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
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His promotion was decided at the Mexican Aikido Federation headquarters in Mexico City, it was granted by the Shihan (headmaster) himself. The owners/partners of the school don´t have a saying on this. He earned it with his 20+ years of practice. On his becoming a 5th dan, it´ll hardly make an impact on new enrollments and the dojo income.
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Old 12-04-2002, 04:09 PM   #25
mj
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Quote:
Ignacio Jaramillo (Nacho_mx) wrote:
Dan grading is a source of revenue for Hombu, no doubt about it. I just payed $350 U.S.D. for my 2nd. dan. Our national fee is about $75 U.S.D.
Is the National Fee the same as a license fee? ie insurance and inclusion in the relevant association?

In Judo, they set a date for examinations and everyone goes. From white to 4th dan. They all pay the same. About £10/$15.

Upwards of 5th dan are awarded without examination. Gratis.

(With necessary requirements such as having been a national coach etc)

My own impression has been mainly all over 5th dan gradings in most arts are political.

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