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Old 03-18-2003, 10:19 AM   #1
John Boswell
 
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Question Beyond Yondan ?

I've searched around, so if this question seems redundent... my apologies. Also, this may all sound nieve and you would be right, but I'm gonna ask anyways...

What is the purpose of training beyond "Yondan" and how the heck would one even go about doing that?

From what I can tell, most Aikido organizations have training up to 4th Dan posted and then it stops. Beyond that, no one really knows or just doesn't talk about it. From what I've "heard" or been told, ranking beyond 4th Dan is due to 'who you are' or even 'who you know' rather than any particular training. Someone like Saito Sensei who was 9th Dan, well, he was O'Senseis most dedicated and longterm students. I can understand his rank. I don't know off-hand Doshu's rank, but I'm sure its well beyond 99% of Aikidoka.

I guess I really just want to know not just how one trains beyond 4th dan, but WHY? Is it prestige? Honor? Was it responsiblity that was thrust on you? I don't see any such rank in my future, but understanding how one gets it will help me understand just who I'm talking to or training under... and THAT is important to me.

Thank you.

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Old 03-18-2003, 10:39 AM   #2
Qatana
 
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discipline, community, love?

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 03-18-2003, 10:40 AM   #3
erikmenzel
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How about:

Beyond yondan finding your own path is part of the training

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 03-18-2003, 10:41 AM   #4
akiy
 
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Re: Beyond Yondan ?

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
What is the purpose of training beyond "Yondan" and how the heck would one even go about doing that?
To answer the latter: "Don't quit and don't die."

As far as "why", I think you answered your question in your own post. I doubt many of the people who attained high ranks trained in order to achieve them. Rather, they achieved the ranks through dedicated, persistent training in the art.

The folks at our dojo who have fourth dan and above seem to be the ones who just "kept going." I don't think any of them kept training for the sole purpose of attaining rank.

If you're interested in getting to know "who you're talking to or training under," why not talk to them? I've gotten to know a bunch of folks with 4th dan and above. You know what? They're still people...

-- Jun

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Old 03-18-2003, 10:50 AM   #5
Qatana
 
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and here's another guess- maybe these people are granted higher ranks because they have/ are making a significant contribution to the aaikido community? like the sensei of the senseis?i'm sure neither my sensei (5th) or his (7th) really gives a hoot what rank they have and are more interested in training, both their students, and themselves.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 03-18-2003, 10:59 AM   #6
otto
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Hi Jhon

At how train , well , i could only guess that what Jun posted is the simplest answer , just keep going.

But at what to look for after Yondan , maybe this would give you (us) a hint.

Mitsugi Saotome's Yudansha Ranking

Best of luck on your search...

Plus KI!

"Perfection is a Process"
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Old 03-18-2003, 03:29 PM   #7
John Boswell
 
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Ottoniel,

Thanks for that link. Upon seeing it, I realized I had read it once before many months ago after I first got into Aikido. Had forgotten all about it.

One thing I've realized since coming as far as I have in Aikido, is that I'm always ready to stop and go back... start all over again. That's one thing I love about the art is that no two days are ever the same. How people could get bored is beyond me because I KNOW no matter how good I get, it could all be better somehow.

I guess that is something else I wanted to confirm to: how it is someone could be 30 - 40 years in Aikido and still consider themselves a "student". Aikido always comes full circle. It never changes yet its never the same thing twice.

Thanks everyone. And thanks,Jun! I forgot all about living forever so I can attain rank. I'll put "being immortal" on my to do list. Thanks for reminding me.




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Old 03-18-2003, 05:33 PM   #8
Don_Modesto
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Re: Beyond Yondan ?

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
What is the purpose of training beyond "Yondan" and how the heck would one even go about doing that?

I guess I really just want to know not just how one trains beyond 4th dan, but WHY? Is it prestige? Honor?
I'm YONDAN and I still train because of those behind and those beyond. The ones behind often foil my technique, from ROKKYUS to SANDANS, ...very humbling (when you don't blame UKE for not knowing how to attack (lose). Those beyond can do the things they preach and I can't yet do. So there you have it: My feet are to the fire but I see the light at the end of the tunnel...

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 03-19-2003, 08:54 PM   #9
Bogeyman
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This may sound silly but as far as continuing after yondan I feel it is a responsibility to pass on the gifts we have been given by our senseis.

E
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Old 03-20-2003, 06:11 AM   #10
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Beyond Yondan ?

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
What is the purpose of training beyond "Yondan" and how the heck would one even go about doing that?
Having gone past yondan some time ago (1980, it was), I can guarantee you there are lots of really "juicy" things that open up for you as far as technical growth is concerned.

I view yondan as the point where I began to really "do" budo as opposed to practicing. It is just another beginning.

As to how to go beyond yondan... find yourself a teacher that has been where you want to go that you trust and do the practice. Continue to learn from a teacher. I think along with continuing to polish physical and mental principles; practice at this level is largely emotional/spiritual in nature.

As Jun said..."Don't quit and don't die."

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 03-20-2003, 10:00 AM   #11
John Boswell
 
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Quote:
as far as continuing after yondan I feel it is a responsibility to pass on the gifts we have been given by our senseis
Excellent point. I bring attention to this because I think it is a point that can be easily overlooked and gives sound reasoning for not only continued training but for attending seminar's and the Aiki Expo and such events... to carry on and share with the world the gifts avalible in Aikido.
Quote:
I view yondan as the point where I began to really "do" budo as opposed to practicing. It is just another beginning.
I see this point as well. I place value on rank only in respect to the fact that it is a reminder to myself of where I am, where I've come from and that there is room to grow. Not a day of training goes by that I don't "wish" to myself that I could start all over and make my technique better, cleaner, better grounded in basics, etc.

As it says in my signature, its not just enough to know something (theory) or just to only experience it (practical) but the combination of the two lay the ground work for wisdom in the future. Like it or not, you can always count on my asking questions... whether I'm ready for the answer or not.

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Old 03-25-2003, 06:46 PM   #12
E. Winters
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Hello John,

I am a yondan and I train because I want to have the best technique I can possibly have. I realize I can never have "perfect technique", but it sure is fun to try. It helps when I see my instructors and I realize I have much more to learn. I believe everybody should train in something just to see how good you could get. Because in doing so you build much more useful qualites, besides being awesome in what your practice is. But also I train because I enjoy it! Aikido's coooool!
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Old 03-28-2003, 05:43 AM   #13
cdwright
Dojo: Yorkville Aikido
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??????

I am no where near a yondan rank but I have always been taught a few things.

Shodan is the BEGINNING of your training.

Aikido is something to do your whole life

Do not worry about rank. I generally see lower ranks worry about rank. The dan ranks never do.

Sometimes the journey is more important than the end result. Ans sometimes the journey never ends.

Good luck.
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