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Old 01-05-2005, 10:15 PM   #226
Bronson
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Hey no problem...this should be a group effort

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:32 AM   #227
kironin
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Nice, but I think the first paragraph is a bit problematic for anyone but an Aikikai school.

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Old 01-06-2005, 06:01 AM   #228
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

The general paragraph or number 1? How so?
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:00 AM   #229
Big Dave
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Re: Aikido Frauds

It seems to me that the average beginner is not going to even be aware of the possibility of "frauds" when choosing to get started. The decision to start at a particular school/discipline can be influenced by so many other considerations. In my case, I knew I wanted to start martial arts to help me with my health issues. But which? I had lived in China for some time and had observed Tai Qi Quan there - so I opened up the yellow pages and found that there are endless choices of different styles of MA. So I then start making phone calls, talk to a few friends who have some experience, meet a few teachers and observed several classes of various styles. I also consider things like parking, hours of class, convenience, the tempo of the class, the price, etc. It never even occurred to me that some of the instructors are frauds. Finally, I choose a teacher/school/system and hoped for the best. I doubt that most beginners are reading aikiweb or martial arts magazines before they start their training. Maybe I am wrong about this. But how does one suggest getting the information, written in the articles above, to the very people who most need it? Surely an aikido fraud is not going to hand out the information to people who really need it.
It's similar in some ways to the entire organization question to me. I had no idea there were different styles of aikido, different organizations and interpretations of Osensei teachings until I had been doing aikido for half a year or so and went to a seminar where everyone kept asking me what style I did, who my instructor was, etc...I had chosen "aikido" not judo or karate, and was ignorant of the different styles out there.
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Old 01-06-2005, 09:44 AM   #230
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

"But how does one suggest getting the information, written in the articles above, to the very people who most need it? Surely an aikido fraud is not going to hand out the information to people who really need it."

That is a good question. I don't have a good answer other than legitimate dojos taking on the task of educating the public through demonstrations, newspaper articles, networking, etc. It is something that will take time. Hopefully, with the advent of the internet and its pervasive use people with do searches and end up on Aiki-Web.

"It's similar in some ways to the entire organization question to me. I had no idea there were different styles of aikido, different organizations and interpretations of Osensei teachings until I had been doing aikido for half a year or so and went to a seminar where everyone kept asking me what style I did, who my instructor was, etc...I had chosen "aikido" not judo or karate, and was ignorant of the different styles out there."

True. Most people not in the art will not be aware of the different groups. I recall when I first started aikido in 1973-it was relatively unheard of back then. What I did not realize until several years later was that I had started not long after the split from the Aikikai. I just thought shin shin toitsu aikido was the only name with the shin shin toitsu explaining or emphasizing the mind body connection. Little did I know of the history.

Perhaps that is why we see so many what I call "martial arts lookey loos". They don't really research the arts and see what fits them. I had dabbled in shotokan and taekwando but did not really like them. I stumbled on aikido by accident looking for a karate class at a YMCA. in Southern California. There wasn't a lot written about the art and few had heard of it. I was hooked once I tried it. The opportunity to do the research and the number of schools out there makes it more imperative that one checks out the arts thoroughly -they may spend the rest of their life practicing it. I definitely know that if I invested years and thousands of dollars studying something and later found out the instructor was a fraud-I'd be pissed.

Last edited by aikidoc : 01-06-2005 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:44 AM   #231
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
David Peling wrote:
But how does one suggest getting the information, written in the articles above, to the very people who most need it?
When a prospective student comes to our dojo they leave with a flyer, schedule, and waiver. A copy of an article like this could be included in a "prospective student package". Then those people who are in the stage of visiting different dojo to find one they like would have the information needed to make an informed decision.

I would also add references to Aikido FAQ (if it's still up), AikiWeb and E-budo in the article and encourage people to check out dojo, instructors, and whole organizations through these independant sources.

As for the article itself; I think it needs to be shortened. There is some great info in it but it is too wordy and at points convoluted. Most notably in the opening paragraph where it starts to go into Hombu and different organizations, and sections 1 & 2 need to be pared down a bit. Also for some reason the phrase "splinter-group" just seems to carry a negative connotation to me, I know it's not meant that way but to me it just has that ring

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 01-07-2005, 07:19 PM   #232
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

I'll work on paring it down-any suggestions are welcome.
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Old 01-08-2005, 05:30 PM   #233
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

He's an effort at paring it down some. See if this is more succint and less convoluted.

How to Choose an Aikido School/Instructor

Choosing an aikido school can be a very important decision. It is necessary to find a good match between what you are looking for in martial arts training and the ability of the school to provide it. Aikido is unique in the martial arts. It provides a strong philosophical point of view as well as a martial art heritage. The founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba intended for it to be a martial art but wanted to raise it to a new level of understanding. Different schools and styles of Aikido are prevalent. Some schools and organizations follow the goals and rules of the founding organization (World Headquarters Aikikai-Hombu dojo). Several master instructors and organizations affiliate with the Aikikai directly or through the International Aikido Federation (IAF). There are other organizations that have over the years separated from the Aikikai and have legitimate Aikido heritage and lineage. There are also independent groups with lineages through such groups. These different organizations may vary by their philosophy orientation, weapons training, and whether they are more "hard" or "soft" styles. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU CHOOSE.

CREDIBLE SCHOOLS WILL GENERALLY HAVE THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:
1. RANKS/TITLES. Generally, Aikido instructor ranks can range from 1st degree up to 8th degree black belt. Lower ranked instructors (1st to 3rd degree) generally teach at clubs or dojos and may have the assistant instructor title fuku-shidoin. Intermediate level instructors (4th to 5th degree) generally teach at dojos and may be teaching committee members. They may have the instructor title shidoin. Higher ranked black belts (6th-8th degree) are master level instructors and may head up larger organizations or be representatives for countries or regions. They may have the master title shihan. Aikido does not use such titles as grandmaster, soke, shodai, professor, or doctor. Very high ranks like 9th and 10th dan are very rare in Aikido with such masters studying in the 50 year range.
2. LINEAGE/RANK SOURCES: Legitimate aikido schools will be able to trace their lineage generally back to the founding organization. There are many different splinter groups but all have one common source: O-Sensei (Morihei Ueshiba). The most common organization groups are: Aikikai, Ki Society, Tomiki, and Yoshinkan, to name a few. There other major groups and independent groups as well. All these groups generally have a past connection with a major and have attained high rank within that group before separating. Legitimate aikido ranks are not awarded by non Aikido masters or soke councils.
3. BACKGROUND: Legitimate aikido schools will generally be able to identify their martial arts background and provide information on previous training. The sources should be verifiable through major organizations.
4. WEBSITES/CLAIMS: Responsible Aikido schools provide factual and verifiable information about their history, lineage and ranks. Outlandish claims about secret military backgrounds and arts handed down from family to family are generally not part of the Aikido mindset. Aikido styles are not ryu arts (family or clan arts) handed down from secretive societies or instructors. Aikido is practiced world wide.
5. SPECIAL POWERS. Aikido as an art places special emphasis on harmony with energy or Ki. This is a foreign concept for many students and may seem somewhat esoteric. Ki training is an integral part of many Aikido organizations. Outlandish clamis are not.

Last edited by aikidoc : 01-08-2005 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 01-08-2005, 06:47 PM   #234
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

OOPS. I missed some corrections.

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
He's an effort at paring it down some. See if this is more succint and less convoluted.

How to Choose an Aikido School/Instructor

Choosing an aikido school can be a very important decision. It is necessary to find a good match between what you are looking for in martial arts training and the ability of the school to provide it. Aikido is unique in the martial arts and has spread worldwide. It provides a strong philosophical point of view as well as a martial art heritage. The founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba intended for it to be a martial art but wanted to raise it to a new level of understanding. Different schools and styles of Aikido are prevalent. Some schools and organizations follow the goals and rules of the founding organization (World Headquarters Aikikai-Hombu dojo). Several master instructors and organizations affiliate with the Aikikai directly or through the International Aikido Federation (IAF). There are other organizations that have over the years separated from the Aikikai and have legitimate Aikido heritage and lineage. There are also independent groups with lineages through such groups. These different organizations may vary by their philosophy orientation, weapons training, and whether they are more "hard" or "soft" styles. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU CHOOSE.

CREDIBLE SCHOOLS WILL GENERALLY HAVE THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:
1. RANKS/TITLES. Generally, Aikido instructor ranks can range from 1st degree up to 8th degree black belt. Lower ranked instructors (1st to 3rd degree) generally teach at clubs or dojos and may have the assistant instructor title fuku-shidoin. Intermediate level instructors (4th to 5th degree) generally teach at dojos and may be teaching or testing committee members. They may have the instructor title shidoin. Higher ranked black belts (6th-9th degree) are master level instructors and may head up larger organizations or be representatives for countries or regions. They may have the master title shihan. Aikido does not use such titles as grandmaster, soke, shodai, professor, or doctor. Very high ranks like 9th and 10th dan are very rare in Aikido with such masters generally studying over 50 years. 2. LINEAGE/RANK SOURCES: There are many legitimate organizations and all can trace their lineage back to one source: O-Sensei (Morihei Ueshiba). The most common organization groups are: Aikikai, Ki Society, Tomiki, and Yoshinkan, to name a few. There are other major groups and independent groups as well which generally have a past connection to a major organization and their leaders have attained high rank before separating. Legitimate aikido ranks are not awarded by non Aikido masters, karate organizations, or soke councils.
3. BACKGROUND: Responsible Aikido schools provide factual and verifiable information about their history, lineage and ranks.
4. WEBSITES/CLAIMS: Aikido styles are not ryu arts (family or clan arts) handed down from secretive societies or instructors. Claims about secret military backgrounds and arts handed down from family to family are generally not part of the Aikido tradition.
5. SPECIAL POWERS. Aikido as an art places special emphasis on harmony with energy or Ki. This is a foreign concept for many students and may seem somewhat esoteric. Ki training is an integral part of many Aikido organizations. Outlandish clamis are not.
There-I hope that's a little better.
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Old 01-08-2005, 07:46 PM   #235
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Re: Aikido Frauds

John,

I think this second effort is far better in both tone and content. The point has been made, though, that this kind of thing needs to be made available to prospective students.

I think, really, it's a matter of getting schools to be willing to distribute this stuff. For me, I don't have a problem with this (except the cost). I shouldn't think most legitimate schools would, either, but I'll bet one or two will surprise you.

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Old 01-08-2005, 08:11 PM   #236
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

It should be printable on a single page now.

The orginal stuff was all the red flags-hard not to go there when you see so much b.s. It makes it easy to identify. However, I did apply the above to another thread. The interesting thing is the aikido wasn't bad-it was just all the other fluff stuff that detracted from the legitimate part. The ego seems to prevail far too often and common sense goes down the toilet.
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:03 AM   #237
Bronson
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Michael Riehle wrote:
I think this second effort is far better in both tone and content.
I agree. I think this works very well.

Nicely done

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 01-09-2005, 08:25 AM   #238
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

p.s. The last sentence should read Outlandish "claims" not clamis. Does this have spell/grammar check?
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:48 PM   #239
Ali B
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Re: Aikido Frauds

I agree about the "aikido frauds" to a certain extent, was thrown out of a dojo when the "master" told me he was an eleventh dan. I think we must be careful in our criticism of teachers or styles whom we do not understand...

I have changed organization several times, also studied with an independent teacher for 4 years whilst living in Spain. He was an excellent teacher, with all the relevant credentials and he practices and studies aikido twice a day, almost every day of the year. I have witnessed behavior which have to say, disappointed me, especially those who had the backing of organizations but who's' aikido left much to be desired.

I cannot believe the amount of "snobbery" I come across in my aikido life, find the politics strange as when I joined, I was taught that I had become part of an "aikido" family. I hope my "family" judge me on my aikido and not on the lineage of my teachers when I meet them on the tatami.

Love and light
Ali
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Old 01-09-2005, 05:01 PM   #240
Ali B
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Also...
We live in a world where everyone seems to want to tell us what is best for us, there is a lesson even from a "bad" teacher and we should be grateful to them, that way, we can recognise the good teachers without having to read their qualifications to know it.
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:15 AM   #241
kironin
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

not just in aikido
came across this essay

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/...al_arts/107470

and a contrary opinion from the other side

http://www.ndcma.com/Page8.html


enjoy

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Old 01-10-2005, 07:45 AM   #242
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
alison macdiarmid wrote:
I cannot believe the amount of "snobbery" I come across in my aikido life, find the politics strange as when I joined, I was taught that I had become part of an "aikido" family. I hope my "family" judge me on my aikido and not on the lineage of my teachers when I meet them on the tatami.

AND

We live in a world where everyone seems to want to tell us what is best for us, there is a lesson even from a "bad" teacher and we should be grateful to them, that way, we can recognise the good teachers without having to read their qualifications to know it.
I have "attachment" to this issue because I was tricked into wasting a lot of time. As I moved from teacher to teacher in my search I did learn some things (that I value now) but mainly - at the time - I just got more and more screwed up. When I finally found my current teacher - who is qualified to teach aikido - he basically spent about 5 years helping me undo almost all of my previous experience. That sucks because life-energy is a precious thing.

If I can do something to help other people from that kind of thing, then I'm going to try because that's the right thing to do for aikido.

I have read several times on this thread that 'people are adults and we should let them find out for themselves'. That is bogus. I have adults start aikido class all of the time, and they have no way of knowing what is real or fake in aikdio until they have invested quite a lot of effort into building up a skill set and then then going out and working with many other folks in aikido and at friendship semianrs to see for themselves if any of what they are doing matches up to what else is out there. Also, the frauds love to talk about the "snobbery of tradional aikidoists" and the students of their weird cult cling on to those words to protect their mental playhouse when they are confronted with the reality that their ability (which is almost always low-level JJ at best) and corresponding relatively high rank NO WHERE NEAR COMES CLOSE to their tradional counterparts.

When I first spoke out about this, I got an email from a "yondan" telling me that he remembers when we were similar levels and he got the better of me in a technique years ago. So I looked at his web site (which I will not post, Jun) and checked out his pictures and video section. OHMYGOSH! It was maybe 1st kyu wasa at best. The techniques were so low level and he is obviously SO proud of them. Also, his head (which was pretty much straightover his shoulders 13 or 14 years ago) is now about 6 or 7 inches forward - which is the same posture as his fraudulently ranked aikido teacher. He is now TEACHING that nonsense as a new style of aikido. That guy had the makings of a real aikido warrior. If he had met a real aikido teacher initially, he would be that .0001% (guess!) of the students who went out and started his own dojo and kept things going. Instead he and his students are basically lost to delusion.

Here is a basic flow chart for aikido I've been thinking about:

Are you directly pushing? (think ikkyo) If Yes then that's not aikido (yet)..
If no, then are you directly pulling? (think iriminage) If yes then that's not aikido (yet)..
If no, then are you directly lifting? (think shihonage) If yes then that's not aikido (yet)..
If no, then are you cranking/paining uke to the ground without regard to either of your safety? (think kotegaeshi) If yes then that's not aikido (yet)..
If no, then are you ever yelling at or belittling juniors? If yes, then that's not aikido (yet)..
If no to all, then you should probably be teaching aikido.
If you answered yes to any of these then keep working on it because you should be a student a little longer - or even a student teacher (provided you didn't answer yes to the yelling one!) but keep learning...

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 01-10-2005 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:02 AM   #243
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

The article by Soke Ed Annabel was interesting but I think it is very weak for the following reasons.

1. Many Americans practice traditional martial arts. As such it is appropriate to use the terms used by their organization or instructor. Poor pronounciation is more by the general pubic and sometimes by the marital artists as well. That is unfortunate but it's a weak argument for using the terms.
2. He makes references to Ueshiba and Bruce Lee and others that started arts art young ages. So what? These were "exceptional" martial artists who spent their lives studying and training and researching. They were training all the time. Ueshiba apparently did not have to work and was able to devote himself to training. Many of the so-called "sokes" that are cropping up with increased regularity have not. One I ran across did his in under 20 years. I doubt very much he studied hours a day.
3. He muses as to why it is a problem for Americans founding their own arts. I have several answers. One, many buy their titles from soke organizations. They rarely hold high rank in any one art and rarely any other art (at least legitimately). Also, when you look at what they do on tape it either looks like traditional arts or poor examples of such. Learning a few techniques to throw into a core art does not make a new art.

I do not have a problem with Americans developing their own art. Wally Jay's small circle Jiu Jitsu for example is one American who did so. What makes such arts valid? I personally think there has to be some type of paradigm shift-something new or innovative. Bruce Lee for example researched, studied and took the most effective techniques from several arts to modify his core art of Wing Chun. It has the flavor of wing chun since it was his core art. He threw out the traditional things he felt did not work and significantly modified the art.

Many of these "dimestore soke's" not only present poor quality in their core arts they accentuate it by adding stuff of equally poor quality. You simply do not get to the skill levels of Ueshiba or Lee by practice a couple hours a night for 20 years as you do living the martial arts life daily and practicing for hours a day. The majority of these arts do not in my mind appear to add anything impressive-i.e., no paradigm shift. Adding atemi waza to aikido does not make a new style. It was already part of the art and de-emphasized by subsequent masters.

To me the article seemed more like a weak justification of his own title. I have not researched his background. Yet.

Rob's points are well taken. True one can get poor instruction in traditional and legitimate groups as well. However, when you have "grandmaster, soke, doctor, professors" who have not earned the right to the title but have more or less bought it from groups perpetuating the problem teaching bad skills it creates a problem. If I have spent years studying with someone claiming they are masters of an art and move and traing with someone who really is a master, I may very well find I've been duped and wasted not only time and money but now have to relearn everything. As I have pointed out in another thread, years of doing things poorly or incorrectly will build a neurological pattern that has to be unlearned. It is hard to break habits after years of practice. I have seen students apparently break such patters after years of studying with an instructor and then get in a stressful testing situation and revert right back to the bad habits.

No one wants to be duped and I have seen those that have been cling to not only rank but techniques with bad kihon. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they are putting people at risk. Students thinking something show works because the instructor can make it work may very well try to do such in a real situation and get seriously injured.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:40 AM   #244
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Sorry for the spelling errors above. I had to rush off and treat a patient.

I also want to comment on the snobbery issue by traditionalists. Why is it that argument is always used. Fraud is fraud. This is not about being a snob it's about being legitimate.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:50 AM   #245
Fred Little
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Sorry for the spelling errors above. I had to rush off and treat a patient.

I also want to comment on the snobbery issue by traditionalists. Why is it that argument is always used. Fraud is fraud. This is not about being a snob it's about being legitimate.
The best thing I have read on the charge of "snobbery" is a piece by Dave Lowry and posted on the main page of e-budo, titled "BICYCLES AND BUDO, A LOOK AT KORYU "SNOBBERY."

http://www.e-budo.com/html/snobb.htm

Some of his points are more specifically related to koryu only, but the general "traditional art" vs. "modern art" outline of the argument is relevant here.

Hope this helps,

Fred Little
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:07 AM   #246
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

By the way, the university section is a real interesting read.

http://www.ndcma.com/GrandmastersCouncil.html

Gee. I qualify for a Masters Degree since I meet the rank and years requirement. Now if I could only get to 7th dan then I'd qualify for the prestigious doctorate. Hmmm. Set up my own style, apply to the sokeship council. That's the ticket. Good grief Charley Brown!

Why is it people have to "double doc" themselves? It is grammatically incorrect to put doctor in front of your name and followed by your degree. Dr. Joe Schmoo, Ph.D. It's either one or the other.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:22 AM   #247
Alex Megann
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Perhaps I'm just showing my age, but for some reason whenever I hear mention of "Grand Masters" I can't help thinking of the classic Goodies "Ecky-Thump" episode.

This featured the ancient Lancashire martial art, in which men in flat caps laid about one another with black puddings...

Alex

http://www.jumptheshark.com/g/goodies.htm
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:35 AM   #248
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Here is one example (no names) from a soke organization: A 29 year old soke. Claims nine 8th dans, two 7th dans, seven 6th dans, Three 5th dans and 2 grandmaster titles and one soke title. This guy must have started when he was gleam in his grandfathers eye. This is from the same site that has the soke article on the counter side. Now if he started at 7 years old-that is a common age with these masters-then that means he has been training for 22 years. This is very impressive.

I really would hate to see this kind of hubris move to the aikido world.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:35 AM   #249
sunny liberti
 
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Dojo: Shobu Aikido
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
We live in a world where everyone seems to want to tell us what is best for us, there is a lesson even from a "bad" teacher and we should be grateful to them, that way, we can recognise the good teachers without having to read their qualifications to know it.
But see, if I'm looking for and PAYING for aikido instruction, I'd like to get aikido instruction please - not "Life University". Sure, lessons about judgement are valuable, but it gives no one the right to defraud me in the name of "teaching" me. How could that possibly be relevant here?!

I get plenty of hard knocks on my own, thanks!

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:23 PM   #250
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: Aikido Frauds

I was just reading a site linked to some of the "questionable" promotions. It was interesting that the founder of the art was awarded a 9th degree by the US Judo Association and then founded his own organzation which subsequently awarded him 10th degree. This is judo but later in the site he brags about there being very few 10th degrees ever awarded and no living Japanese 10th degrees. At least he indirectly admits he awarded himself the 10th. To compare his 10th with the Japanese just because he studied with one of the 10th dans is ridiculous. If I award myself 10th dan via organizational bylaws or whatever rationale, does that make it legitimate?

To me, self-awarding oneself a degree is incredible. You have to be a legend in your own mind. The problem then perpetuates to awarding others 10th degrees and sokeships and the ranks in non related arts like aikido.
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