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Old 01-11-2005, 06:00 AM   #276
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Linda Morimoto wrote:
This may get me flamed but I am curious, I know very little about customary rank promotional norms in Japan. Is it considered to be an unexceptional practice to assume a higher rank in terms of how they do things over there (and for the reasons you enumerate)? If so, wouldn't it seem that there is precedent for others who wish to make use of self-awarded rank? Excuse me, not meaning to offend anyone, I am not at all knowlegeable about these matters.
Most of the frauds haven't spent more than 20 years total training and then have 10th dan. There is a big difference.
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:57 AM   #277
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido Frauds

If the person has 7th dan ability in aikido after 2 days of training, then I'm fine with that person getting the promotion or even for them to start their own thing. Here is how I currently see rank - I know other people see thigns differently - but it's a starting point for what ISN'T fradulent aikido:
I expect a shodan in aikido to know basic technique, be able to take ukemi for all of the basic waza, and to be able to take ukemi basically endlessly (it can be slow, but always get up fast). [I know this isn't everyone's definition but most wouldn't have a problem with someone with these qualifications being promoted to shodan. And I wouldn't care how long the student has been training, really.] I expect a nidan to have good flow - good transitions and better precision. I expect a sandan to actually have mind/body connection and clearly demonstrate kokyu in their waza. I expect a yondan to be able to move very naturally (unencoumbered) and powerfully where they separate their focus and use their mind and body to accomplish different goals at the same time. I expect a godan to be able to move themselves and from deeper levels of principles. I expect a rokudan to be able to move both themselves and their partners from deeper levels of principles. I expect a nanadan to be able to express their own feeling - as opposed to coping their teacher's feelings - while expressing ego free movement with partners. I expect a hachidan to be a nanadan and also have 1000s of students growing in their influence. I expect a kudan to be a nandan and also have tens of thousands of students. I expect a judan to be an honorary rank given to someone that died while dedicated to aikido.

That might not be everyone's rank definitions, but if you saw someone who had only trained a day or so but they met any of those definitions, would you argue? If so, what else would you want to see to justify that rank?

Rob
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:44 PM   #278
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

FYI. I am compiling a list of links with potential frauds claiming to teach aikido. I am adding to this as I discover them. I will gladly provide this list privately through e-mail. I would also appreciate any links anyone has discovered in their surfing. I have about 6 right now and just started this. I'll add to it as I recall some of the othes I have ran across.

Remember, this will be a potential list and I will leave up to you to decide if they are frauds or not. It will however include those with the red flags.

So anyone wanting to send me links privately (don't put them on this thread) please do so.
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:03 PM   #279
David Humm
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Re: Aikido Frauds

John,

Will you be including those found in Europe and the UK?

If you are I will forward those I'm aware of here and let you screen them for your criteria

Dave
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:05 PM   #280
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Thanks to both Peters (R. and G.) for clarifying elements of my previous post.

It's so good to get the history and facts from folks who are near to the source.

As for 2-day 7th Dans - I think one's level is determined both by time spent maturing or "growing into" a rank as well as other technical and maybe political aspects at the higher dan levels.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 01-11-2005 at 01:08 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:45 PM   #281
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

David: I will include any I find world wide.

Keep in mind I'm not claiming they are frauds but rather putting together a list of sites and people claiming to teach aikido with very questionable credentials or validated fraudulent credentials. Please don't send legitimate indepedent organizations with high rank in a recognized organization.

What I hope to do is put together a matrix with name, website, claimed rank, and why there are concerns about them. If any documented proof exists, I will also cite that as well. I will not publish this on any sites but will make it available one on one when requested with the disclaimer that I do not know whether the person is a fraud or not but the information is to be used only to evaluate claims by such instructors.

Also, if anyone knows how to validate military claims that would be useful as well. Some of these people have been known to make wild claims about their military backgrounds. In the karate environment, there have been sites posted showing when these people are researched their military claims were woefully lacking.

Last edited by aikidoc : 01-11-2005 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:03 AM   #282
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

I received a private e-mail from a poster who informed me of a really bad looking profile posted on a "personalities" section on a prominent aikido site. I thank him for the message. He had also informed Peter G. who was apparently going to talk with the website due to the absurdities posted (claimed a Tomiki/Shotokan Aikido rank from the IAF). I e-mailed the editor as well and indicated this had to be a joke. In addition to the ridiculous claims, rambling profile and the absurd information this person's posted profile looked like it was written on drugs (must have been a wild trip). It has now been pulled off the other site-see it works to point out the ego-maniacs and frauds sometimes. At least one bit the dust.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:16 AM   #283
John Boswell
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

What? You mean Tomiki Shudokan Aiki Karate isn't legit?

Dang.

***hides an old 15th dan cert. under the bed***

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Old 01-15-2005, 03:21 PM   #284
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

I want to thank all the posters and commenters for their valuable input. The thread generated more interest than I had anticipated. If anything, it has raised the level of awareness of many to the potential and the growing problem of aikido frauds. When we have more "10th" dans popping up in these groups than have been issued in the history of the art and so-called sokes increasing as well the awareness is good. This has already resulted in one fraud being kicked off a sister site and if it stimulates one potential aikidoka to rethink what they are learning or a prospective student to reconsider going with a blatant fraud then I feel we have accomplished something important.

We may have little more than the power of the media to draw the spotlight on the problem. However, if it helps keep them out of the art it is a worthy effort.
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Old 01-16-2005, 09:41 AM   #285
darin
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Yeah its not good when they claim to have been given a certain grade in a certain style by a certain person when its all crap, especially when they are taking people's hard earned cash. Then again to some people ignorance is bliss... John, you are definately right to expose these frauds. Especially where people are being exploited financially, emotionally or physically without thier knowing.
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Old 01-17-2005, 08:51 AM   #286
David Humm
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Re: Aikido Frauds

<smiles> at the above. Absolutely.
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:53 PM   #287
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
David Peling wrote:
I noticed that a number of instructors on the websites above had PhD's in MA. What exactly is that and where does one go to school to get it? Just curious.
In Korea, a couple of schools give out MA majors in Hapkido and such like. In fact, in Korea, it is often your thesis that determines what you label yourself, so if you study sports science and wrote an MA on Hapkido, then they might say they have an MA in Hapkido. But I think they actually do have MA courses in Hapkido, maybe even Ph.D. I know they also have univ. courses in bodyguard training but not sure if they can graduate with such. In Japan, there is also the Budo University...

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Old 01-17-2005, 07:32 PM   #288
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Incidentally, the problem of frauds has been around a long time - although of late it is becoming rather more ridiculous than I ever imagined. I wrote the following back in 1994 when I first made my website:

http://aikido-in-korea.com/nobo_jutsu.html

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 01-17-2005 at 07:37 PM.

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Old 01-19-2005, 06:41 AM   #289
Tim Gerrard
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

One quick way to discover frauds, go to the school's website and in it (if it is a "sokey-dokey" art) you should find a section justifying why they should be soke/grandmaster/hold 10+ dan grades. Plus I found one with a Grandmaster's council application form...Shame I don't have $125 burning a hole in my pocket...

Aikido doesn't work? My Aikido works, what on earth are you practicing?!
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Old 01-19-2005, 07:15 AM   #290
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido Frauds

You know, I haven't ever heard of one legitimate aikido person who is connected to a soke organization. Is there one example?

Also, I've about countries promoting people in aikido - as if they have any ability to judge aikido ability! That simply isn't fair to the poor person who has to live up to ability they don't have yet. Some poor guy (maybe a sandan by aikido standards) who was promoted to 5th dan by his country met Donovan sensei. Donovan sensei told me that he had no idea about this so initially he was just working out hard and not going very easy on him at all. I like Donovan sensei very much, but I'd sure hate to be on the recieving end of that!

I've also heard about people who were well respected godans that changed organizations and became instant nanadans. That's a little disturbing to me.

I'd still rather train with these teachers who have some actual aikido ability - just not what I would expect for the rank they advertise - than a charlitan, but I still say this is a lesser form of rank fraud.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 01-19-2005 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:49 AM   #291
mriehle
 
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Dan ranks are reliable, aren't they? Well, no...

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I've also heard about people who were well respected godans that changed organizations and became instant nanadans. That's a little disturbing to me.

I'd still rather train with these teachers who have some actual aikido ability - just not what I would expect for the rank they advertise - than a charlitan, but I still say this is a lesser form of rank fraud.

Rob
Okay, this one is actually trickier than it initially seems.

To start with, a lot of MA organizations, Aikido included, award rank based on skill achievements up to a point and subsequent rank awards are more about contribution (teaching, promoting the art, etc.). I know that in Aikido, sandan is often the "skill threshold", though it seems like rokudan is used about as often.

Now, that isn't to say that a godan isn't likely to be better at the art than a sandan. I think the reasoning for doing things this way is: at some point real advancement in skill is not the responsibility of the teacher, and real improvement will show more in your contributions to others learning than in whatever you are doing on the mat.

But...

There are all kinds of other factors that can screw this idea up if you have the wrong expectations. Here's an example, sort of. I'm a shodan. I teach. There are several sandans who've attended classes I teach who've commented afterward that I had given them a new perspective on some aspect of Aikido. Does that mean I'm really better than the average shodan?

Nope.

What it means is that I'm a natural teacher (which I've known for years). So my perspective as a natural teacher makes it possible for me to offer something in the way of instruction to these guys who outrank me and, frankly, are much better at Aikido than I am.

It also matters where the threshold is. I had a teacher make a comment once about shodan's in the US being much better than shodan's in Japan. He is Japanese, so I thought this was significant. Fortunately, I didn't have to press him on the point because one of his senior students lept on that comment instantly. It turns out that his point was that we (in the US) tend to train very hard to achieve shodan and then slack off. He said that the sandan's in Japan are much better than they are in the US. I've observed that here in the US we often think of shodan as the threshold regardless of the standards of the organization.

Another thing I've observed (in a completely unscientific way, of course) is that the lower that "skill" threshold the better the shodan's will be (and the nidan's, etc.) in general. I think that's because more is expected of a sandan in an organization that awards subsequent ranks based on contribution. If you're going to contribute, you'd better be good at the art to start with.

Of course, one way to contribute is money. Or marrying the right person (okay, now don't get started ). Or founding a school where no school existed before. These things do not require much in the way of a skill improvement, but they are (mostly) legitimate contributions.

What you should be able to count on from anyone with a rank higher than the threshold is that they be at least as good as or better than someone holding the threshold rank. In their organization.

Because if someone comes from an organization where rokudan is the threshold, holds a sandan and then moves to an organization where sandan is the threshold, the difference is likely to be *very* noticeable.

Also, why would a new organization recognize ranks based on contribution? This person didn't contribute to their organization. In one way you could say they were aiding and abetting the competition. So even if their skill level is up to snuff, why wouldn't you knock 'em down a rank or two? At least until they make a contribution to the new organization.

Of course, the situation you describe is exactly the opposite. Why did they award these people the new rank? Was it part of a "recognition" thing. "Thanks for coming in and saving our organization from almost certain ruin!" Okay, there's more than a touch of hyperbole there, but I wonder.

I wouldn't like to say bribery. No, I really wouldn't. That just never happens in Aikido schools. Can't possibly. Just isn't part of my reality.

"I reject your reality and substitute one of my own" - Adam Savage (Mythbusters)

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Old 01-19-2005, 12:07 PM   #292
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
You know, I haven't ever heard of one legitimate aikido person who is connected to a soke organization. Is there one example?

I've also heard about people who were well respected godans that changed organizations and became instant nanadans. That's a little disturbing to me.
Rob
The rank inflation is an issue. The aikikai requires testing to yondan. I know some independent groups that test only to nidan and then everything is awarded by time in grade-that part in my mind really inflates rank over ability. Cutting testing off at nidan is way too early in my mind if you want to ensure quality. The skill needs to be there.
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Old 01-19-2005, 02:11 PM   #293
Fred Little
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:


I've also heard about people who were well respected godans that changed organizations and became instant nanadans. That's a little disturbing to me.

I'd still rather train with these teachers who have some actual aikido ability - just not what I would expect for the rank they advertise - than a charlitan, but I still say this is a lesser form of rank fraud.

Rob

Hey Rob....

It seems to me that I've seen circumstances that involved organizational changes that called for significant regradings in both directions.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the grading standards of a particular group as an outsider, if one is leaving one's previous organization and becoming an insider, having one's grade anomolously high or low in terms of local norms could be a problem either way.

It's a bit like going from one country to another and changing money:

It the choice is a higher denomination bill in a currency that is devalued, unstable, or difficult to exchange, then even in the abstract, I don't quite see the point. A lower denomination bill in a stable or rising currency that is more widely accepted would present a different situation entirely.

But changing organizations is a bit more like renouncing your citizenship and taking a new nationality than like international tourism:so it's a good idea to make sure you really like the food and the people and share their standards before you move, because afterward, there is rarely any going back.

Best regards,

Fred Little
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:40 PM   #294
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Here's a list of 10th dans in aikido from Kjarsten's website:

http://www.aikidofaq.com/misc/10dan.html
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:14 PM   #295
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

I decided it was probably a good idea to walk my talk. Since I started this topic, I decided to go out and put two matrixes on my website: one is a chronology of the organizations I studied under-hopefully it is accurate. The second is a rank matrix identifying rank, organization, date tested where remembered, date official (sometimes takes several months), and the instructor.

I also put a Fraud statement in there as well. I don't know if this is the best way to go but I have nothing to hide so I thought I'd just do it.
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:49 PM   #296
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

I finished putting a statement on my site. I have the choosing your school and a Fraud statement. On my instructor page, I put my organization lineage and my rank matrix. I am doing it to accurately document my history so anyone checking me out knows exactly my background.

Here's the link: http://members.cox.net/aikidoc1/

Click on the Aikido or O'Sensei's picture to enter. Go to instructors. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link (last item).

Let me know if anyone has any suggestions.
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:04 PM   #297
David Yap
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Hi John,

Good write-up. Lineage chart needs some improvement on consistency; for example, if you want show O Sensei/Student generation relationship, then K Tohei and Nidai Doshu should be on the same level since they were 1st generation students. Toyoda and Saotome were not direct students of O Sensei, they were the direct students of either K Tohei and Nidai Doshu when O Sensei was still alive, hence, they should be on the 2nd generation line.

Forget the Kyu history - the fact is you have already arrived (recognized as a yudansha), how you got there is not important. When I interview someone for a job, I look at his degree/diploma and transcripts (if necessary) and sometime his high school cert and it stops there, there is no point going to every grade down to nursery school. You don't need to be accountable for everything, over-disclosure is like stripping naked (that's the accountant in me talking )

That's my 2 sen comment.

David Y
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:03 PM   #298
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Thanks for the feedback David. You are right-the kyu stuff was overkill so I removed it.

The Lineage chart was not intended to show generations as much as lines of authority. Although Tohei and Doshu were in the same generation, I viewed the lineage more along the lines of who had the authority. Then I put the shihan's on the next level regardless of rank (6th to 8th dan). Then the sensei's more along the same level regardless of rank. I was trying to keep it as condensed and uncomplicated as possible. I'm not real sure who is what generation since I don't have Stan's flow chart. Just my thoughts.

Here's my ranking of how they related.
O'Sensei
Doshu
Shihans
Senseis

Any other thoughts on this?
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:38 PM   #299
David Yap
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Here's my ranking of how they related.
O'Sensei
Doshu
Shihans
Senseis

Any other thoughts on this?
I still feel that if you intend to impress on lineage, then you should be consistent with lineage and not complicate the reader with rankings.

That my comment and it's your site

Cheers mate!!
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Old 01-26-2005, 10:32 PM   #300
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

So where does sandai doshu fall? Would he then be below the shihans on the lineage? Are you suggesting the lineage go by generation rather than heirarchy? I'm not sure how to lay it out on that basis since I don't know all the generations.
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