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Old 05-02-2005, 09:14 PM   #1
Takuan
Dojo: Circulo de Aikido
Location: rio de janeiro
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
Brazil
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How many shodans around the globe?

Hello everyone! This is my first post here at the Aikeweb forum. I've been training Aikido for about 15 years on and off. Next July I will be doing my shodan exam and I'm curious to know if there is an estimate of how many Aikido black belts there are around the world. Or even if there is an estimate of how many people practice Aikido. I'm really happy to be here sharing information about Aikido related subjects. Best regards to all.
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:49 PM   #2
Dan Rubin
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 335
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

This might give you some idea:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=643
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:39 PM   #3
RebeccaM
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Boulder
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 136
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

Quote:
Christiaan Oyens wrote:
Next July I will be doing my shodan exam and I'm curious to know if there is an estimate of how many Aikido black belts there are around the world.
I am under the impression that shodans are a dime a dozen.

When I make the mistake of telling someone not involved in the martial arts I have a black belt they start oohing and ahhing. Even after I've told them that my shodan is roughly the equivalent of a high school diploma. It's very silly. No one oohs and ahhs over high school diplomas.
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:51 PM   #4
Melissa Fischer
Dojo: Tenzan Aikido/Seattle Holistic Center
Location: Seattle, Wa USA
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 53
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

What about the huge number of shodans who get the belt then quit having "been there, done that". Do they get counted?

It's my understanding that shodan stands for "serious student", kinda neat.

Hey Rebeccah, we miss you here in Seattle! Come on back an bring that nidan bro of yours!

Melissa
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Old 05-03-2005, 12:56 AM   #5
ChrisHein
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

Rank is over rated.
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Old 05-03-2005, 04:54 AM   #6
JJF
 
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Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

Interesting question. Let's assume only actively practicing shodans are valid - then we can make a head count. I'll start.

ONE!!

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 05-03-2005, 06:21 AM   #7
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote:
Interesting question. Let's assume only actively practicing shodans are valid - then we can make a head count. I'll start.

ONE!!
LOL!

TWO!!

Ruth
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:46 AM   #8
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Location: South Korea, Yongin
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

That's easy (at least if you are in the AIkikai). When you get your certificate just look at the number - they are issued in numerical order.

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Old 05-03-2005, 08:47 AM   #9
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

One of my students got his back in October and his number (aikikai) was 101,926. I don't know what percentage are active but suffice it to say there are at least 100K aikikai shodans. I have no idea about other styles.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:49 PM   #10
Takuan
Dojo: Circulo de Aikido
Location: rio de janeiro
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
Brazil
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

Thank you all for your replies. I am also glad that the black belts that wrote here are so modest. I almost feel like a fraud for doing my exam in a couple of months. To me at this current stage of training, it's almost as if all I have achieved is memorizing certain techniques. I truly feel my training has only just begun.
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Old 05-04-2005, 03:12 AM   #11
JJF
 
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Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

Quote:
Christiaan Oyens wrote:
Thank you all for your replies. I am also glad that the black belts that wrote here are so modest. I almost feel like a fraud for doing my exam in a couple of months. To me at this current stage of training, it's almost as if all I have achieved is memorizing certain techniques. I truly feel my training has only just begun.
Sounds like you are just about ready

I just took my shodan-exam this easter, and it left an empty blank space. Suddenly my aikido felt completely hollow and useless. It was very frustrating. Little by little I'm getting back though and by now I enjoy it again. See the other thread on this site named "´Now what" or something like that. There I try to describe my experience.

I guess my advice is to expect a feeling of a 'low' right after the grading instead of the 'high' that one could expect. Maybe it won't happen to you, but if you expect it as a possibility then you might through it easier. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel

Good luck and remember to have fun!!!

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:37 AM   #12
Jeremy Young
Dojo: Tatsumaki Dojo/Springdale, AR
Location: Springdale,AR
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 33
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

Dan Rubin:

Thanks for posting that link. I have always thought that this was interesting. My girlfriend is always finding this amusing that here in our little dojo in the united states we are so serious about the training and etiquette and yet when she has visited a dojo in japan it is not so much this way. Many times she has commented that americans (and i am sure this is true of other countries as well) seem to be more serious about the japanese martial arts than the japanese are! I also remember one time someone asking Obata sensei whether there was a higher quality of ma training in Japan and he replied something similar.
Jeremy
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:43 PM   #13
Takuan
Dojo: Circulo de Aikido
Location: rio de janeiro
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
Brazil
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Re: How many shodans around the globe?

Thanks Jørgen for that post. I have heard about the Shodan blues and I guess I am preparing for it in a way. Of course first I have to pass the exam ; - )

Just as I thought there are very few black belts around the world compared to the amount of people that train or have trained Aikido. To persevere seems to be fundamental in Budo, so many people just quit somewhere along the line.
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