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Old 01-29-2003, 02:41 AM   #1
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Shihan Syndrome.. (UK Related)

Hi guys,

Just wondered where people stand on the self-made, self-titled Shihan's of the world? Well, more specifically, the UK. We seem to have more than out fair share over here, at least one of whom only ever graded to nidan and now insists his grade is Shihan and that everyone calls him this on and off the mat (yes, I am aware that Shihan is a title not a grade). Problem is many of these self made Shihans are the heads of pretty large organisations over here...

A difficult question / request has been made to me with regard to this and so I need some information and advice / thoughts on how to say, no - we will not list you as Shihan. For starters it's a title not a grade and he insists his grade is Shihan... I'm sure this issue is going to some up with others over here and elsewhere at some stage.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-29-2003, 04:43 AM   #2
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
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There are shihans of many grades, there are 'Aikido Grandmasters", there are valid martial arts organisations that are not qualified to hand out 6th or 7th dans yet do so regularly. There are independent clubs where the students decided to give their sensei a higher grade, and large organisations where rank has little to do with ability. Eventually, we just shrug and let them get on with it.

If someone wishes to be called Shihan, fine. Some people will go along with it, and others will go somewhere else. If he claims its a grade, you could always ask him who 'graded' him to Shihan. If you like, ask him to give you a copy of his shihan certificate for your records. Or you could list his grade as 'Shihan (nidan)'. Or just as 'Shihan', as people who have a clue about gradings will know that it rubbish.

If you don't want to list him as shihan, then tell him "No - we will not list you as Shihan".

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 01-29-2003, 07:23 AM   #3
BBozkurt
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In Honbu Dojo..

Shihans are used for grades 5th dan or above

Shidoin's are used for 3rd and 4th dan

and Fuki-Shidoins are for shodans and nidans

Is shihan a title or is used for certain degree?
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Old 01-29-2003, 07:35 AM   #4
rachmass
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There was a thread about two months ago on the subject of the title shihan and what it meant and who used it.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...&threadid=2241

and

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...&threadid=2746

hope these links help
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Old 01-29-2003, 08:00 AM   #5
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
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Quote:
Baris Bozkurt (BBozkurt) wrote:
In Honbu Dojo..

Shihans are used for grades 5th dan or above

Shidoin's are used for 3rd and 4th dan

and Fuki-Shidoins are for shodans and nidans

Is shihan a title or is used for certain degree?
Its a title. In aikikai, only people teaching at aikikai hombu are shihan etc, with a couple of important exception.

Having a yondan grade from aikikai doesn't make you a shidoin unless you teach there. In that case it seems you get the title shidoin as well.

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 01-29-2003, 08:11 AM   #6
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There was an amusing little ditty (I think it was on Aikido FAQ?) about ‘Spontaneous Shihan' springing up out of nowhere...
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Old 01-29-2003, 01:18 PM   #7
Jim ashby
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Just call him Ralph.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:08 PM   #8
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There once was a 'wannabe' Nidan

Not content with the rank he should be on

He thumped on his chest

Said his budo was best

And insisted his title was 'Shihan'...
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Old 01-29-2003, 03:29 PM   #9
Paul Smith
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Along came a miscreant sandan

whose young heart was regularly peed on

growing up he did vow

he'd speak loud and then Pow!

he would walk with the title of 'Shihan'

Anyone? (bad poetry)

Paul Smith
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Old 02-22-2003, 12:29 PM   #10
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We know of a shodan named Paul

He shows up and we have a ball

He's full of good cheer

Cuz he drinks so much beer -

What a sterling example for all!

(ok, you're right, bad poetry....)

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Old 02-22-2003, 01:31 PM   #11
siwilson
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I had something a little similar a little while ago. An Aikidoka contacted me saying his "Sensei" had stopped training and he was Shodan from this "Sensei", and was now running his "Sensei"'s dojo. He wanted to join our school.

No problem there, but I knew his "Sensei" and he was only ever graded to Shodan, so this guy was graded to Shodan by a Shodan!!??

I passed this up to the top of our school. I was not going to take that one on! I have always been shy of Aiki politics. My Master always said that it is the training that matters.

My advice would be to ask this guy for proof of rank and state that Shihan is not a grade, but a title, and usually 5th Dan and above. From reading what you said, I would not worry about upsetting him.

Good luck and all the best.

Osu!
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Old 02-22-2003, 08:04 PM   #12
PRapoza
Dojo: Cape Cod Aikido Kenkyukai 541 Thomas Landers Rd., East Falmouth
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Looks like at Hombu the Shihan title starts at 6 dan. I personally have never known any Shihan under the rank of 7 dan. I have never heard anyone refer to themselves as "Shihan".

__________

Paul
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Old 02-23-2003, 11:04 AM   #13
Philippe(Schpk)
 
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The officials shihans and why they are or not:

http://65.119.177.201/cgi-bin/ubb/ul...c&f=9&t=001544
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Old 02-23-2003, 07:18 PM   #14
PeterR
 
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Just to point out there are a number of Aikido Shihan not associated with Aikikai.

It really is not so clear cut - but the term really means Model Teacher. There are organizationally defined Shihan but also where a number of instructors look to someone for guidance. For this reason you see Chiba Shihan who for years was not an official Aikikai shihan (I think that's correct) or Tanaka Shihan of the JAA who is not officially a JAA Shihan. Both men have a number of Shishodin who look to them as Shihan. Perhaps what distinguishes these men from the Shihan waanabes is the level of the people they guide.
Quote:
Philippe Schpilka (Philippe(Schpk)) wrote:
The officials shihans and why they are or not:

http://65.119.177.201/cgi-bin/ubb/ul...c&f=9&t=001544

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-24-2003, 02:39 AM   #15
Edward
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Even though the official list of Shihan as recognized by the Aikikai Hombu is quite limited, the current trend is to call any instructor holding 6th dan upwards a Shihan.

But I've never heard yet of a 5th dan downards Shihan but you never know...
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:13 AM   #16
Jim ashby
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Taking a serious note for once, this has to be a case of "show us your medals". Either this person CAN back up their claims with the appropriate paperwork and/or the backing of other high-ranking Aikidoka from outside this person's organisation, or they can't. Either way it is a person with a shockingly large ego that demands to be called Shihan off the mat.

Have fun

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:17 AM   #17
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Just ask for his grade for use in your dojo then list his shihan title as "additional info" on his style/club in any literature/website info if you wish. Say you want to avoid confusing students so you keep organisational differences/titles out of your dojo.

As for shihan "off the mat" - give me strength, do egos never end in aikido...
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Old 02-24-2003, 08:02 AM   #18
mike lee
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the end is near

Quote:
As for shihan "off the mat" - give me strength, do egos never end in aikido...
Death is the great leveller.
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Old 03-23-2003, 01:58 PM   #19
George S. Ledyard
 
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Accepted Practice?

Quote:
Si Wilson (siwilson) wrote:
I had something a little similar a little while ago. An Aikidoka contacted me saying his "Sensei" had stopped training and he was Shodan from this "Sensei", and was now running his "Sensei"'s dojo. He wanted to join our school.

No problem there, but I knew his "Sensei" and he was only ever graded to Shodan, so this guy was graded to Shodan by a Shodan!!??

I passed this up to the top of our school. I was not going to take that one on! I have always been shy of Aiki politics. My Master always said that it is the training that matters.

My advice would be to ask this guy for proof of rank and state that Shihan is not a grade, but a title, and usually 5th Dan and above. From reading what you said, I would not worry about upsetting him.

Good luck and all the best.
I was always taught that one could reasonably expect to have ones gradings considered legitimate if one graded only up to within two grades from ones own. In other words, a Shodan running his own program would only grade up to 2nd kyu; anything above that would not tend to be accepted by other teachers as having legitimacy.

The USAF folks made this whole issue a lot clearer when they used the Shidoin and Fukushidoin system which spelled out what you were allowed to do and what others, at least from within the same organization, would accept.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 03-23-2003, 06:18 PM   #20
siwilson
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Hi George,

This was exactly my dilema. Shodan from a Shodan!!?? Especially as in the school which I belong to and he (the "Sensei") was graded in, required a rank of 3rd Dan before being able to grade, which was up to 1st Kyu.

Like I said, I passed it on to those who rule!

Osu!
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Old 09-17-2003, 01:51 AM   #21
Steven Tame
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Just wondering is is possible for a woman to be given the title Shihan?
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Old 09-17-2003, 02:36 AM   #22
sanosuke
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Quote:
A difficult question / request has been made to me with regard to this and so I need some information and advice / thoughts on how to say, no - we will not list you as Shihan. For starters it's a title not a grade and he insists his grade is Shihan... I'm sure this issue is going to some up with others over here and elsewhere at some stage.
if you're not comfortable with it, and the shihan insist. just call theguy 'shihan' or 'sensei' like you addressed someone as 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.'
Quote:
Just wondering is is possible for a woman to be given the title Shihan?
why not? but I haven't heard any 5th dan woman graded by Hombu Dojo.
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Old 09-17-2003, 03:41 AM   #23
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Steven Tame wrote:
Just wondering is is possible for a woman to be given the title Shihan?
Yes - in the Naginata world there are several. I think they outnumber the men.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-17-2003, 03:56 AM   #24
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Quote:
Steven Tame wrote:
Just wondering is is possible for a woman to be given the title Shihan?
The female version of the title is "She-han".
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Old 09-17-2003, 07:05 AM   #25
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There are a couple of 5th dan women just in my neighborhood. They did not grade *at* Hombu Dojo, but all our ranks (we're USAF) come from Hombu.
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