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Old 03-27-2003, 07:27 AM   #26
JJF
 
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Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 780
Denmark
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Hi Marty!

I guess you are in Copenhagen then. If one of your study tours takes you to Aarhus let me know. We have a pretty decent Aikikai dojo, and I'm sure you will be welcome to drop by.

What 'style' do you usually do ? There should be a pretty good chance of finding something close to your preferences in Denmark since we have both Ki-aikido, Iwama-ryu and aikikai (Nishio-influenced) - most of them represented in the larger cities.

If you want to do aikikai-aikido you should take a look at www.aikikai.dk - there is a poster regarding a large easter-camp with 7. dan Takao Arisoue. People from all of europe plus some from the US usually join us for a week of practice.

See you!

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 03-27-2003, 07:55 AM   #27
Greg Jennings
Dojo: None at the moment.
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,098
United_States
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I have two instructors. One local and one distant. Both have been training 35 years. Not because of their rank, but who they are, I consider myself incredibly fortunate to train under them.

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 03-27-2003, 09:34 AM   #28
Dan Herak
Dojo: Florida Aikikai
Location: South Florida, USA
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 41
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Sensei's Rank

Although my sensei is only a shodan, I do not think a higher ranked instructor would really be any better. After receiving his shodan from ASU (when it was independent of hombu dojo), my instructor had a great opportunity. Although many martial artists claim to be one of a kind, my instructor met the Real McCoy - the head instructor of the Tokyo Police Department, who had a 6th dan (now 7th) in Judo, an 8th dan in Kendo, and dan rankings in various other martial arts. My sensei recognized a once in a lifetime opportunity and studied with this man several hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week, and received dan rankings in taihojutsu (a police martial art combining judo, jui-jutsu, boxing, kendo, jodo), kendo, iaido and ninjutsu. My instructor then created his own independent school and I am learning both aikido and taihojutsu from him.

My sensei will probably never be promoted above shodan, as he is independent of any affiliation. However, his instruction is more thought out and systematic than any I have seen elsewhere. Also, I do not think of myself necessarily as an aikido practitioner. I practice martial arts, with aikido being one of the main components. With judo, jui-jutsu, etc. in the taihojutsu curriculum, I think I see things more broadly than others who study just aikido. In fact, when I have gone to seminars, I am always taken aback that some aikido practitioners may be better than me at aikido (I am a nikyu), but seem to be totally unaware of how to deal with this or that attack which would be better addressed with a different system. Further, I simply cannot empathize with some aikidokas' difficulty with koshi waza or ukemi in general. Judo is filled with hip techniques and jui-jutsu's ukemi is five times as extensive as aikido's. Finally, there is no real free practice in aikido - tori and uke are clearly defined. Not so in kendo or judo, where those designations lose meaning. The lack of free practice is a downside to aikido that I can work through in other ways.

I do not mean to digress. But if I had simply chosen a dojo based on the rank of the sensei, I believe I would have missed a great opportunity to learn something unique. And I doubt my aikido would have been any better as a result.
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Old 03-27-2003, 09:57 AM   #29
Greg Jennings
Dojo: None at the moment.
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,098
United_States
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Re: Sensei's Rank

Quote:
Dan Herak wrote:
<SNIP>Finally, there is no real free practice in aikido - tori and uke are clearly defined. Not so in kendo or judo, where those designations lose meaning. The lack of free practice is a downside to aikido that I can work through in other ways.<SNIP>
Please be very careful when you make broad statements about "aikido". There is no one aikido.

The quoted statements are not true of some branches of aikido or of some schools within the main lines.

In our school, in addition to jiyuwaza (where the shite/tori/nage and uke roles flow back and forth), we have a mode of training in which the most senior, most sensitive students uke for the more junior. The senior student looks for and exploits any opening whatsoever in nage's technique. The junior student is also free to counter reverse if possible. It can be rough and sloppy at times, but I believe it is good training nonetheless.

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 03-27-2003, 12:04 PM   #30
William Boyd
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Reno, NV
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 26
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Hi,all

At the dojo I attend our sensei has the rank of 5th dan. As for the sempai we have 0ne 3rd dan,2 or 3 2nd dans, and 2 or 3 1st dans.
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Old 03-27-2003, 01:58 PM   #31
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
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Re: Re: Sensei's Rank

Yondan (JAA).
Quote:
Greg Jennings wrote:
Please be very careful when you make broad statements about "aikido". There is no one aikido.

The quoted statements are not true of some branches of aikido or of some schools within the main lines.
Quite right.

Sean

x
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Old 03-28-2003, 01:44 AM   #32
aubrey bannah
Dojo: Yoshinkan Brisbane
Location: aust
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 34
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It is important to ask the teacher who their sensei is, nobody can progress in a vaccum.

In other threads there was a queston on why to grade or continue to grade. For me, I have seen different doorways open after gradings for many people regradless of how high the rank. My Sensei is 6th Dan. Recently he said that looking at Takeno Sensei he knows what his Aikido should be when he's 50 and at looking at Kancho Inoue Sensei what his Aikido should be in his 60's, and being Uchi Deshi to Shioda for ten yrs certainly means a vast heritage for all his students in Aikido and even other aspects of his life.

Cheers

Aubrey
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:27 PM   #33
GreyRonin
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10
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Never asked. Or dared to. Seems disrespectful, like you're trying to see if he's qualified.

I think my Sensei/CI is well qualified, he's had 38 years of experience.
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Old 03-28-2003, 02:49 PM   #34
bob_stra
Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 641
Australia
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Don't know and actually don't really care. The week I spent watching classes prior to starting told me everything I needed to know abt the instructors.

Our style is kooky anyway. We have guys with brown belt, white stripes. That's like the second belt after white. And everyone wears hakamas. Most of the time, you can't even tell who's a newbie until the action starts.

Wouldn't it be cool to train aikido in street clothes?
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Old 03-28-2003, 06:09 PM   #35
tedehara
 
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
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My sensei is a 6th dan and as far as I can tell, the longest active Aikidoist in the region. He started in Yoshinkan, went to Aikikai and ended up in the Ki Society. He's got about 45 years in Aikido.

When he's not there people have to put up with me (nidan). We also have two shodans, a 1st kyu and two beginners. More experience than people.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 03-29-2003, 04:02 AM   #36
bob_stra
Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 641
Australia
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I've gotta say, I'm not a big fan of the grading. <feral grin> I actually prefer folk to think I'm a clueless newbie (well, I am, but you get what I'm saying) and then suprise em.

There's probably only two real reasons (IMHO) to grade -

(1) To get access to the advance classes. I watched one today - fun!

(2) Become proficient enough to teach.

Though...who doesn't like all those prudy colours!

(Sorry, saw my first blue hakama today, so am a little colour happy ;-)
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