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Old 12-21-2004, 05:40 PM   #51
kironin
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Mary Kuhner wrote:
I appreciate you may not want to answer this question, but I'm really curious on a technical level: what did this end up looking like? Was it sloppy-but-aikido-like or was it evolving into something else?
Mary Kaye
technically not good mostly because the level of understanding about ukemi was not good.

They couldn't throw me. It's weird to think about it now because those same students are in such a different place now when I take ukemi for them. They definitely can throw me now. Back then I would just look at them and they would just look at me, I wasn't trying to stop them, there just wasn't anything in what they were doing that was close to correct and my balance was not taken etc.

my students tell the story much better because it made a big impact on them. I was just visiting.

where it would have gone I really can't say.

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Old 12-21-2004, 05:45 PM   #52
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Chris, wasn't kyoju dairi the highest rank Takeda gave at the time UM received it? Didn't Hisa, or someone around Hisa, talk Takeda into giving menkyo kaiden?

Thanks.
Kyoju dairi is really a certification to teach rather than a rank itself. There really were no ranks at the time, just a traditional scroll based system which is not quite the same. Anyway, Ueshiba received Goshin'yo no te and Kaishaku Soden, which were the highest level scrolls that Takeda was giving out at the time. Takuma Hisa and Masao Tonedate (Asahi Shinbun) both got menkyo kaiden from Takeda, although Tonedate's seems to have been largely honorary. Kodo Horikawa's menkyo kaiden was apparently approved by Sokaku but actually issued by Tokimune after Sokaku's death.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-21-2004, 10:16 PM   #53
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
How do we stop this from happening?
I do not think this is possible as aikido has spread so quickly and there are so many different organizations and splintered groups. I know of an aikido sensei who also practices/teaches another martial art. This art is not very wide spread and is as far as I can find located in the state he lives, Hawaii. When a school opens and they claim to be teaching this other style, since it is very closely monitored teachers of this style know one another pretty well, so if the individual is not legit they are merely confronted and told not to advertise as such or face certain consequences. Meaning a serious spanking as I interpretted. So in short unless we go back to the day of dojo storming frauds will continue to pop up.

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 12-21-2004, 10:55 PM   #54
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
The usual pattern would be that Takeda would breeze into town, have somebody (such as Yukiyoshi Sagawa, or his son Tokimune, who would travel with him) set up a local seminar and then move on to somewhere else. Everybody in the seminar would be required to sign his enrollment book. Most of the 30,0000 people in the books were therefore people who saw Takeda no more than once for a couple of hours. The number of students who actually studied with him over a number of years was really quite small, so 30 represents a fairly good percentage of them.

Best,

Chris
To know that for sure, you would have to know with some authority the actual amount. What was the number of people that were regular students of Takeda vs.the temporary students? Was it 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 1000, 500, 100, or less and can you give a source for this information?

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-22-2004, 12:17 AM   #55
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
To know that for sure, you would have to know with some authority the actual amount. What was the number of people that were regular students of Takeda vs.the temporary students? Was it 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 1000, 500, 100, or less and can you give a source for this information?
Well, he never had a dojo of his own, so 20,000 would be quite an unlikely number. You could check through the enrollment books and make lists, I suppose, but the fact that he had relatively few regular students is fairly well documented through interviews with his students and son, and by books like "Tomei na Chikara" (in Japanese), which gives a fairly good picture of what he was doing. If you think about it, 30 instructor level students is a fairly large number for anyone, but even more so for someone who never had their own dojo or any kind of established organization.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-22-2004, 05:12 AM   #56
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Well, he never had a dojo of his own, so 20,000 would be quite an unlikely number. You could check through the enrollment books and make lists, I suppose, but the fact that he had relatively few regular students is fairly well documented through interviews with his students and son, and by books like "Tomei na Chikara" (in Japanese), which gives a fairly good picture of what he was doing. If you think about it, 30 instructor level students is a fairly large number for anyone, but even more so for someone who never had their own dojo or any kind of established organization.

Best,

Chris
When I made my original point, it was not that Sokaku Takeda rarely gave out the kyoju dairi but that in Daito ryu, it is a rare thing to have the kyoju dairi. I based my idea on the fact that Daito ryu is an art that takes decades to learn because of its comprehensiveness and that in light of that O Sensei couldn't be compared to the modern frauds who just set themselves up.. Your point seems to be that thirty instructors over the span of Sokaku's lifetime isn't that rare. Should then I rephrase and say that O Sensei studied Daito ryu and other martial arts over a 21 year span (albeit for short periods of time) and therefore may have put a little more into his art than the modern frauds?

Last edited by Jorge Garcia : 12-22-2004 at 05:24 AM.

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Old 12-22-2004, 05:20 AM   #57
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Well, he never had a dojo of his own, so 20,000 would be quite an unlikely number. You could check through the enrollment books and make lists, I suppose, but the fact that he had relatively few regular students is fairly well documented through interviews with his students and son, and by books like "Tomei na Chikara" (in Japanese), which gives a fairly good picture of what he was doing. If you think about it, 30 instructor level students is a fairly large number for anyone, but even more so for someone who never had their own dojo or any kind of established organization.

Best,

Chris

I just thought of another one. Could I say that O Sensei was different from the modern frauds in that he was a regular student of Sokaku Takeda which was a rare thing to be?

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:37 AM   #58
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
I have noticed recently there seems to be a quite a few aikido frauds cropping up in various places and some are being exposed by various forums. This seems to be increasing. By frauds, I categorize them "aikido frauds" based on the following criteria:

1. Lofty ranks awarded by organizations that cannot be identified or located. Lots of 6th to 10th dans (usually the person is in their 40s).
2. Start their own "style" of aikido with weak credentials to do so. Usually no traceable lineage. Many have never held higher than 3rd dan in a legitimate organization.
3. Organization sites which have dubious, non-verifiable rank histories or questionable promotions.
4. Promotions and styles are often sanctioned by dubious Soke Organizations which frequently sell their ranks. They say they don't award ranks just document earned ranks.
5. Websites frequently have dubious claims about their skills or they have studied under masters that no one has heard of or can verify... <snipped>.
Then again, potential students are also faced with "wannabe" aikido instructors in legitimate organizations. By "wannabes", I would categorize them in the following criteria:

1. Does not have the skills and attitude of a true aikido practitioner.
2. Has a low level of integration of the powers of mind and body.
3. Possess unharmonized combination of physical means and ethical motives - potential to cause injury.
4. Still cannot get rid of the (egotistical) mean streak - the will to cause injury is innate.

Surprisingly (or not), some of these "wannabes" hold high ranks (even shihan perhaps) from legitimate organizations and their individual list of injured students could be at least an arm long. The danger is "wannabes" are molded from "wannabes". I can't help wondering that O Sensei's mission of Aikido might have taken a wrong turn at some point in time. Will it come back to its rightful path is the critical question.

Just looking from another side of the coin.

Regards

David Y

Last edited by David Yap : 12-22-2004 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 12-22-2004, 06:10 AM   #59
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Although your points are valid David, that strays from the thread.
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:20 AM   #60
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Maybe we can solve both problems. I think someone had the idea of coming up with a new copyrighted certification. I've been thinking about it and I'd be willing to video a class I taught and send it in to a review panel and/or visit a few places and demonstrate where I'm at in aikido every year or so. If there were suggestions on how to improve my technique or my teaching - I'd be willing to pay for those lessons and implement the changes as fast as I could. I'd be willing to have people visit for inspections or suprise inspections. What do you think? As long as people with fradulent rank are willing to do the same then I'd be fine with them. We can even come up with our own teacher ranking system where loyalty and teaching ability can be seperated out from tai jitsu proficency (- as opposed to the way it is now).

Rob
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:47 AM   #61
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Interesting idea Rob but getting different organizations to agree on a standard is a problem. The instructor quality issue should be left in my opinion to the organization. If there is a bad or abusive instructor as David suggests, the organization has a repsonsibility to fix that problem. People are people.

So, here are some thoughts as I ponder this:
1. We could come up with a list of what generally identifies a legitimate aikido background/instructor and publicize it in our respective areas.
2. Re-implement dojo raids or challenges-too many legal issues here.
3. Hope the frauds get found out and just go away. Some get caught in their lies when their egos run away and get publically exposed. Unfortunately, not enough of them.
4. See if their is a way to get the Ueshiba family to copyright the term "Aikido" and then sue everyone who is not authorized to use it.
5. Encourage these frauds to rename their art excluding the word Aikido (I could go with this one).


Regarding number 1. Here are some thoughts on screening criteria for a legitimate aikidoka/instructor.
1. Must be certified/ranked at all levels by a recognized aikido organization that split off from the Ueshiba family and can trace a lineage: Ki Society, Yoshinkan, Tomiki, etc.
2. Ranks are in line with these organizations and not self awarded or awarded by groups with no one qualified to do so: soke organizations, karate organizations, etc.
3. Legitimate instructors should accurately document credentials on public media such as websites. This is not to be an ego thing but rather to establish credentials and accurately reflect what you have "earned". I know some don't like to do this especially at high ranks (opposite of what the fraudulent high ranks do) but not only should the rank be documented but when it was awarded and by whom or what organization. The rank should be verifiable through the organization. No excuses for certificates getting burned up in fires or awarded by someone nobody can find or some defunct organization. If you have legitimate credentials from a legitimate organization and it gets burned in a fire you can get it replaced. They should have a record of you anyway and it can be verified if you can't afford to replace it.
4. Senseis in legitimate dojos should be willing to display their rank certificates on a wall in the dojo if possible unless working in a YMCA or something like that. They should be willing to show and prove to students their rank and source without getting offended that someone asks. Usually, people with legitimate credentials do not have any problem with being asked to provide proof of their rank and its source-probably because they can.
5. Legitimate instructors should attempt to keep in contact and or at least know where their instructors are and actually should be able to name them. A good red flag is the instructor cannot remember who they studied with. If I earn a black belt with someone I should be able to remember their name-besides sensei. Their instructors should actually be people that are living or who have lived in the past and that this is verifiable. In other words, given the ease of finding people with today's technology, I should be able to locate and if desired contact these people.
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:58 AM   #62
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Another approach would be a red flag list. If you see some of the following, run, run, run:
1. Rank awarded by a soke organization, non-aikido organization or the individual themselves through an organizational charter.
2. Multiple high dan ranks. Generally, these are not verifiable. Sometimes they are from styles the person made up themself. Frequently they are awarded by soke groups.
3. High dan ranks for someone in their 30s or early 40s. There are very few 8th, 9th and 10 dans awarded in legitimate aikido organizations and in the aikikai apparently there are age requirements. The 40s does not qualify one for an 8th or 9th or 10th dan.
4. Vague websites. Websites that claim lots of awards but give little information. Generally the information is not verifiable when checked.
5. Outlandish claims. Some I've seen are: cutting paper and moving people with ki, claims of being the best (martial humility), and the one I love are references to doing secret work with the government (never verifiable of course). They'd probably have to kill you if they told you too much about this.
6. Claiming mastery of several arts with high ranks. One site I saw had the person claiming he mastered 40 arts and he was in his 40s. Impressive.
7. References in their bios about surpassing their instructors and being so good it was necessary to seek outside rank. Generally, these people may get to 3rd or 4th dan before they are being politically suppressed and must go on their own so as to be recognized for their true ability. I feel one of those sneezes coming on with a sound like a crass version of bovine feces.
8. Setting up their own style at a young age (30s-40s) without having achieved a high rank like 6th or 7th dan from a legitimate or verifiable organization.
9. Students that defend their skills to the death and refuse to recognize they have been duped.
10. Can't remember their senseis or don't know what happended to them. Or another is a made up Japanese name that no one can find ever existed.

Anyone think of any others?

Last edited by aikidoc : 12-22-2004 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 12-22-2004, 09:05 AM   #63
sunny liberti
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

I'd like to add to this general discussion (over many threads) that it's a red flag to me when students (or teachers) get so up in arms and hostile over a question of legitimacy.

I can't in my wildest dreams imagine having the urge to come to my teacher's defense if someone called him a fraud. I love him dearly, but I (and anyone who's ever met him) wouldn't be able to breathe from laughing so hard. It wouldn't even register on the scale of what offends me.

I think those who get so hostile in response to a legitimacy question or accusation really know the truth about their "teacher" deep down. The questions or accusations cut too close to their bones.

Last edited by sunny liberti : 12-22-2004 at 09:13 AM.

Sunny

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Old 12-22-2004, 10:38 AM   #64
bkedelen
 
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Considering how long humans have been making illegitimate/fraudulent claims about martial arts (since we emerged from the diluvian waters), I am going to go out on a limb and say that these claims are not as harmful as we would like to believe. Just look at the incredible amount of misinformation about Chinese martial arts that was generated by kung-fu cinematography, yet many forms of wushu are alive and well in this and other countries. The only harm I can see is that unscrupulous peoples may be able to more aggressively advertise their mcDojo, taking business away from real dojos. If you run your dojo as a business you have to expect competition. Of course, athletic clubs and sports teams take business away as well, but there is no thread on how we can shut them down.
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Old 12-22-2004, 10:58 AM   #65
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Interesting idea Rob but getting different organizations to agree on a standard is a problem. The instructor quality issue should be left in my opinion to the organization. If there is a bad or abusive instructor as David suggests, the organization has a responsibility to fix that problem. People are people.

So, here are some thoughts as I ponder this:
1. We could come up with a list of what generally identifies a legitimate aikido background/instructor and publicize it in our respective areas.
2. Re-implement dojo raids or challenges-too many legal issues here.
3. Hope the frauds get found out and just go away. Some get caught in their lies when their egos run away and get publicly exposed. Unfortunately, not enough of them.
4. See if their is a way to get the Ueshiba family to copyright the term "Aikido" and then sue everyone who is not authorized to use it.
5. Encourage these frauds to rename their art excluding the word Aikido (I could go with this one).


Regarding number 1. Here are some thoughts on screening criteria for a legitimate aikidoka/instructor.
1. Must be certified/ranked at all levels by a recognized aikido organization that split off from the Ueshiba family and can trace a lineage: Ki Society, Yoshinkan, Tomiki, etc.
2. Ranks are in line with these organizations and not self awarded or awarded by groups with no one qualified to do so: soke organizations, karate organizations, etc.
3. Legitimate instructors should accurately document credentials on public media such as websites. This is not to be an ego thing but rather to establish credentials and accurately reflect what you have "earned". I know some don't like to do this especially at high ranks (opposite of what the fraudulent high ranks do) but not only should the rank be documented but when it was awarded and by whom or what organization. The rank should be verifiable through the organization. No excuses for certificates getting burned up in fires or awarded by someone nobody can find or some defunct organization. If you have legitimate credentials from a legitimate organization and it gets burned in a fire you can get it replaced. They should have a record of you anyway and it can be verified if you can't afford to replace it.
4. Senseis in legitimate dojos should be willing to display their rank certificates on a wall in the dojo if possible unless working in a YMCA or something like that. They should be willing to show and prove to students their rank and source without getting offended that someone asks. Usually, people with legitimate credentials do not have any problem with being asked to provide proof of their rank and its source-probably because they can.
5. Legitimate instructors should attempt to keep in contact and or at least know where their instructors are and actually should be able to name them. A good red flag is the instructor cannot remember who they studied with. If I earn a black belt with someone I should be able to remember their name-besides sensei. Their instructors should actually be people that are living or who have lived in the past and that this is verifiable. In other words, given the ease of finding people with today's technology, I should be able to locate and if desired contact these people.
These are interesting ideas John. I was thinking of a real way to implement them and I realized there is something like this in the religious world. As you know, television evangelists have about the worst reputation because of the scandals and money issues. Years ago, a few of them headed by Billy Graham formed the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability or ECFA. They set up a group to which ministries could join. The group has standards that every member must meet and they are audited and checked. Ministries then post the seal of the ECFA on their websites and literature indicating that they have been through a verification process and are legitimate and not charlatans. It's not a cure all because a lot of the public doesn't know about it but these guys have done good work and have made an impact. Someday, maybe someone could come up with a 501 (c) 3 like this for Aikido groups or maybe for all martial arts schools. Then you promote it and groups join it so they can display the seal of the group indicating they meet those standards. It helps educate the public too. You could get responsible and well known people on the Board of Directors. Their names would give the group some integrity and "gravitas". It's a big job and not a cure all but it would practically go along way toward solving the problem. The financing could be raised by small dues and the group could print brochures and contact major organizations etc. trying to get large groups of new members. The EFCA has been very successful using a format like this.
In religious circles, it is interesting to note which major ministries won't join ECFA. When you investigate, it's usually because the whole board is family or they pay themselves too much. That's the red flag the public is looking for.
Here's the website if you want to take a look at what they are doing. Could we do this for aikido or martial arts in general?
http://www.ecfa.org

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Old 12-22-2004, 11:02 AM   #66
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

I like that idea Jorge. If you could get the legitimate ones to join, then it would work nicely.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:02 AM   #67
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido Frauds

This is in regards to the previous post by Benjamin Edelen.

Is the fact that there is generally no competition in aikido kind of a major factor in this equation? If you open up a "krotty" school and make credentials up, I think you have a much worse chance of getting away with it for too long.

It also hurts the legitimate schools because many perspective students in an area might get their (mis)information from one of the many duped students and former students.

...And if there is a health club in your area, you should try to get a satellite dojo in there!

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 12-22-2004 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:07 AM   #68
happysod
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Rank awarded by a soke organization, non-aikido organization or the individual themselves through an organizational charter.
dammit I knew it, I'm a fraud! Twice over in fact! No, seriously, using this definition... I'll expand. (most recent example first) head of my old association left ki soc, wanted to still do ki so ended up under the umbrella of a martial arts organisation who covered several martial arts for insurance etc. i.e. not solely aikido - I graded under them hence my rank is fraudulent.

First time round was again a non-affiliated society who's auspices I think were the BAB, but I don't know (DaveH, as we found out, started in the same group, any idea of their then affiliation Dave?) - again, here I'm a potential fraud.

Sorry John, while I can understand your wishes for aikido not to be misrepresented, sometimes politics does get in the way of a nice lineage.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:14 AM   #69
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido Frauds

If the person left ki soc, then I still think Tohei sensei would be in your lineage.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:24 AM   #70
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Hi folks,

Just a quick reminder: let's keep specific names and organizations out of this thread. Thanks.

-- Jun

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Old 12-22-2004, 11:26 AM   #71
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Ian: I'm not familiar with the UK situation. Most of my interest has been on what I see happening here in the states. There is no regulation here like there is in a lot of European countries. you can pretty much do what you want.

Splinter groups will always be an issue. O'Sensei had many of them and some he even encouraged from what it says in the literature. They all earned that right by years of rigorous training and study. A 40 year old master of 40 arts and a half dozen self awarded or soke organization awarded 6th and 7th dans however does not in my mind fall into the same criteria. So if your group head was a long term student/instructor and broke away with some decent rank, more power to him. Although some of the guys doing this are physically gifted and can fake a lot, they generally aren't just all that good and their understanding is pretty shallow and their egos pretty deep. A lot of them have pretty weak connections with legitimate organizations as well. One here in Texas studied under a legitimate organization but did not like to test and never was awarded a black belt. Now 10 years later he's a 5th dan shihan. It can get pretty bizarre with the stuff these "masters" make up. One had a 3rd dan in a legitimate organization, made a new organization and became 10th dan and wrote a lousy book.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:32 AM   #72
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

By the way, I really like the good responses I've been getting in this thread. It appears I'm not the only one concerned about this issue and the proliferation of bogus ranks and groups. Although the current organizations are not perfect and definitely not apolitical, it may be the best we have until we work out a better system. Some of the ideas have been great on identifying, containing, and wishfully eliminating or marginalizing these groups.

As Jun says, lets keep this on a conceptual non specific level.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:35 AM   #73
happysod
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Re: Aikido Frauds

John, my apologies, there just seems to have been a lot of threads recently espousing the "true aikido" (tm) and linking this to organisations/countries whatever - even to the extent of dojo storming (which was only mentioned half in jest). As an unreconstructed independent (my own experience of one of the larger organisations was totally negative) has left me with misgivings over blanket statements regarding some of the more august bodies.

Jun, sorry, please edit my thread as you wish - put this down to not thinking clearly.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:44 AM   #74
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Ian. Good point. I hope I have not been "espousing" the true aikido. This is not my intent with the thread. However, there are many claiming to do aikido and calling it that who don't have the qualifications. Unfortunately, when something is popular people do that a lot. When I was looking for aikido in California, a lot of karate dojos would advertise it. You would call them up and ask questions and find that he had seen aikido at a seminar and taught some techniques he remembered. That was funny to me. Advertising you teach aikido when you only know a couple of wrist locks. It was popular so it brought in the students for the hook.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:45 AM   #75
David Humm
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Re: Aikido Frauds

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
First time round was again a non-affiliated society who's auspices I think were the BAB, but I don't know (DaveH, as we found out, started in the same group, any idea of their then affiliation Dave?) - again, here I'm a potential fraud.
Hi Ian, Jeez that was a looong time ago

Yep the organisation was, if my memory serves me correctly under the umberlla of the Governing Body. Not that that actually gives any major credibility to it.

Thing is... Students aren't frauds, their grades are issued by their 'organisation' thus are "valid" but, it's the credibility of the organisation (ultimately it's Principal) which determines the quality or "worth" of the paper the grade is written on.

There is no such thing as a poor student... Only poor instructors.

Dave
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