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Old 05-08-2005, 08:54 PM   #26
Aragorn
Dojo: Aikido of Marin
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
James Matarrese wrote:
well...at least my kanji work...
Mine to lol!

i sign my name with it! I like smilies! (do you mind if i go crazy?)
Regards,
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Old 05-08-2005, 09:42 PM   #27
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: unfair belt rankings

well, now we're just going insane...

Last edited by samurai_kenshin : 05-08-2005 at 09:44 PM.

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 05-09-2005, 01:43 AM   #28
JohnWu
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Re: unfair belt rankings

1. Aikido is not about ranking. If you want the black belt quick and fast, you can always get one easily from the shop.

2. IMHO, not all balck belters are that good too. So long you know your strength and weaknesses, its good enough. Afterall, its a non-competitive sports so don't take the color belt that seriously.

Regards,
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Old 05-09-2005, 02:32 AM   #29
Sonja2012
 
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
James Matarrese wrote:
"Less chat, more mat".
Love that!!!
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Old 10-05-2005, 10:12 PM   #30
po_courcelles
 
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Paige, just wanted you to know that i sympathize with you.

I started Aikido 5 years or so ago and i had to stop after little less than 2 years of practice (moved out of town). I started back in January and, coincidence, I met back a fellow Aikidoka that began Aikido with me 5 years ago in our old hometown...

Guess what, i still don't have my 4th kyu yet and i witnessed his 1st kyu grading last spring. I also met a few others old comrades while attending a seminar and some that were fresh new begginers when I left are now all 2nd and 1st kyu.

What a shame and a waste of time have I told myself at first...It was a hard but valuable ego lesson. Who cares if a guy I onced helped to learn Ukemis now beats the sh*t out of me? I know for sure that I'm doing Aikido because I love it and for my own training only, not in a race against some sempais.

IMHO, your issue about your grading speed and my little bring-the-ego-down-to-earth story and both a great exemple of one of O-Sensei's goal in Aikido: masakatsu agatsu -> Victory over yourself.

Try to use this experience in a constructive way, like someone said: there is merit without skill and skill without merit. I'd like to add my version: skill with merit -> the one you award yourself.

Last note: makes me think of a prof. i had in university that once told us in the class right before a final: "If it doesn't hurts, it's worth nothing doing it. See ya at the bar."

I liked that one...

Keep on your practice,

P-O

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
--- Albert Einstein
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:03 PM   #31
aikigirl10
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Pierre-Olivier Courcelles wrote:
Paige, just wanted you to know that i sympathize with you.

I started Aikido 5 years or so ago and i had to stop after little less than 2 years of practice (moved out of town). I started back in January and, coincidence, I met back a fellow Aikidoka that began Aikido with me 5 years ago in our old hometown...

Guess what, i still don't have my 4th kyu yet and i witnessed his 1st kyu grading last spring. I also met a few others old comrades while attending a seminar and some that were fresh new begginers when I left are now all 2nd and 1st kyu.

What a shame and a waste of time have I told myself at first...It was a hard but valuable ego lesson. Who cares if a guy I onced helped to learn Ukemis now beats the sh*t out of me? I know for sure that I'm doing Aikido because I love it and for my own training only, not in a race against some sempais.

IMHO, your issue about your grading speed and my little bring-the-ego-down-to-earth story and both a great exemple of one of O-Sensei's goal in Aikido: masakatsu agatsu -> Victory over yourself.

Try to use this experience in a constructive way, like someone said: there is merit without skill and skill without merit. I'd like to add my version: skill with merit -> the one you award yourself.

Last note: makes me think of a prof. i had in university that once told us in the class right before a final: "If it doesn't hurts, it's worth nothing doing it. See ya at the bar."

I liked that one...

Keep on your practice,

P-O
Thanks for your concern.

I started this thread a long time ago, and my views on belt rankings have changed somewhat since then. I still feel like there should be only one belt system for adults and kids no matter what... it would just be easier for everyone. But i guess its not my dojo.

I am still 4th kyu. It seems a bit degrading even now that i havent had a test or advanced in almost 3 years. I know im growing in aikido and i learn everytime i go to class. But it seems like im the only one who recognizes my progress...and that alone can be disappointing whether i have "skill without merit" or not. But i understand what everyone has told me. I have grown mentally because i started another MA in the past year and im really gaining confidence because im told all the time that im best in the class (not bragging but compliments feel good). And thats just in one year.

The whole "belt ranking" thing doesnt get to me as much as it used to. I guess thats something u gain with age and experience. Right now aikido is just kind of acting as a '' side-kick" to my other MA (shaolin , in case your wondering) I know thats kind of a wrong way to look at aikido but i cant help it... shaolin is moving so fast and im really more into it right now, i have a tourney in 17 days and honestly i havent been to aikido in about 3 weeks but i still remember everything like i was there yesterday. Oh well... i guess in the end it will all work out okay. I'll move at the pace that i want to and everyone else will have to deal with that whether they think im progressing or not... Showing up at aikido at an average of about twice a month is okay with me right now.

-Paige
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Old 10-06-2005, 04:52 AM   #32
bogglefreak20
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Re: unfair belt rankings

We don't use coloured belt system where I train. Only white and black.

Come to think of it, I can't recall a single person in our dojo that wears his/her black belt.

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
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Old 10-06-2005, 05:34 AM   #33
macmcluskie
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Just another prospective but I run a children's program that I had to create from nothing. Our nationally recognized organization doesn't award black belts to kids. You must be 18. I had to create enough belts to motivate but not let them test to black belt. For example an 8 year old comes to my school, trains hard, attends class regularly but cannot be awarded a black belt in less then 10 years. No matter how good he is. I agree this may not be fair. It becomes even harder when other styles hand out children's black belts like candy.
On a side note, children who do stay the path and continue to train into adulthood are awesome and it shows that the time was well spent.
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Old 10-06-2005, 08:43 AM   #34
aikigirl10
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Miha Sinkovec wrote:
We don't use coloured belt system where I train. Only white and black.

Come to think of it, I can't recall a single person in our dojo that wears his/her black belt.
I would actually almost prefer it this way. This way you avoid ego alot more. This also allows you to see who is really skilled and who isnt.
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Old 10-06-2005, 08:55 AM   #35
Sonja2012
 
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
I would actually almost prefer it this way. This way you avoid ego alot more. This also allows you to see who is really skilled and who isnt.
Hmmm, I wish I could agree, but from what I have seen, everybody inside a dojo knows pretty much exactly what kyu rank the other deshi are anyway - coloured belts or not. It sounds like a good idea because it seems that having only white belts would get rid of the competition between people. But I think that (if I like it or not) competition is part of human nature and therefore it only covers the "problem". It is great at seminars though, where people do not know each other.

In our organisation we have dan ranks for teenagers up to 18 (errrr.... years old I should add, not 18 dan ranks ). They don´t have to do the theoretical part of the test, but have to do that as soon as they turn 18 or they loose the rank. Alternately they can do the three week´s course/certificate for teaching aikido when they turn 18.
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Old 10-06-2005, 09:34 AM   #36
aikigirl10
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Sonja McGough wrote:
Hmmm, I wish I could agree, but from what I have seen, everybody inside a dojo knows pretty much exactly what kyu rank the other deshi are anyway - coloured belts or not. It sounds like a good idea because it seems that having only white belts would get rid of the competition between people. But I think that (if I like it or not) competition is part of human nature and therefore it only covers the "problem". It is great at seminars though, where people do not know each other.

In our organisation we have dan ranks for teenagers up to 18 (errrr.... years old I should add, not 18 dan ranks ). They don´t have to do the theoretical part of the test, but have to do that as soon as they turn 18 or they loose the rank. Alternately they can do the three week´s course/certificate for teaching aikido when they turn 18.
I guess if they still tell you what kyu you are all the time and they still test you for every kyu then i guess it wouldnt be a whole lot better.

I thought she meant that there was no testing until black belt. My mistake.
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:00 AM   #37
John Boswell
 
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Paige,

I envy your study of Shaolin. By the time I got around to studying martial arts, I felt that my body was so worn out from life that every other MA out there would only injure me more. Aikido has been good to me, keeps me in shape and I enjoy it... so I'll stick with what I know.

I'm sorry to hear your not progressing in aikido though. Two classes a month isn't going to get you anywhere, whether rank matters or not. Had I been in your shoes when you first started this post, I would have approached the Sensei and told him/her my concerns and gotten feedback on it. Sure, kids are graded differently than adults, in various martial arts... and I've often wondered what a 12 year old "black belt" would think when they finally turned 16 or whatever age and were handed a kyu rank belt? I'd be a bit peeved to.

You mentioned a competition with your Shaolin MA, and if you enjoy tournaments, you might be in the right place. Personally, I like aikido because I do NOT want to compete. I'm not here for the rank, ego or anything else. I like learning a skill that will help me protect my family, loved ones and self. I know that going to class will get me and keep me in shape, develope balance and endurance I've not had for over ten years and give me a confidence so I can not worry about a lot of different things.

Aikido has given me something else I really enjoy: Wisdom. My mother had fallen a week ago and could not get herself around, couldn't stand hardly, go to the bathroom, none of that. Through my knowledge of Aikido, I found a way to lift her and safely move her from room to room without injury to myself or to her. I even got some "knee walking" in through the process. Anyone else would have had to call 911 and get medics to move her around, but she didn't want to make a "big fuss" over her situation... spared her some embaressment.

Do what is right for you. Learn all you can and enjoy and be sure you are where you are for the right reasons. I think if I were you, I'd shop around some other dojo's and try them out, talk to other instructors and see how they do things. If something at your aikido dojo upset you and caused you not only to vanish off the mat, but change arts altogether... perhaps it wasn't as great as you first thought??? Don't want to speak ill of your Sensei... but it might be something to consider.

Good luck to you! Let us know if you win your tournament!

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Old 10-06-2005, 12:04 PM   #38
aikigirl10
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Paige,

I envy your study of Shaolin. By the time I got around to studying martial arts, I felt that my body was so worn out from life that every other MA out there would only injure me more. Aikido has been good to me, keeps me in shape and I enjoy it... so I'll stick with what I know.

I'm sorry to hear your not progressing in aikido though. Two classes a month isn't going to get you anywhere, whether rank matters or not. Had I been in your shoes when you first started this post, I would have approached the Sensei and told him/her my concerns and gotten feedback on it. Sure, kids are graded differently than adults, in various martial arts... and I've often wondered what a 12 year old "black belt" would think when they finally turned 16 or whatever age and were handed a kyu rank belt? I'd be a bit peeved to.

You mentioned a competition with your Shaolin MA, and if you enjoy tournaments, you might be in the right place. Personally, I like aikido because I do NOT want to compete. I'm not here for the rank, ego or anything else. I like learning a skill that will help me protect my family, loved ones and self. I know that going to class will get me and keep me in shape, develope balance and endurance I've not had for over ten years and give me a confidence so I can not worry about a lot of different things.

Aikido has given me something else I really enjoy: Wisdom. My mother had fallen a week ago and could not get herself around, couldn't stand hardly, go to the bathroom, none of that. Through my knowledge of Aikido, I found a way to lift her and safely move her from room to room without injury to myself or to her. I even got some "knee walking" in through the process. Anyone else would have had to call 911 and get medics to move her around, but she didn't want to make a "big fuss" over her situation... spared her some embaressment.

Do what is right for you. Learn all you can and enjoy and be sure you are where you are for the right reasons. I think if I were you, I'd shop around some other dojo's and try them out, talk to other instructors and see how they do things. If something at your aikido dojo upset you and caused you not only to vanish off the mat, but change arts altogether... perhaps it wasn't as great as you first thought??? Don't want to speak ill of your Sensei... but it might be something to consider.

Good luck to you! Let us know if you win your tournament!
Good post! thanks for the encouragement. I enjoy all of those things about aikido too.. its just a little slow moving right now.. i'll get back into the groove of things eventually. I realize twice a month isnt enough by a long shot and i beat myself up for it alot, but its just something i cant help right now. Shaolin is where my focus is at the moment and my aikido classes are about 45 minutes away so its kinda hard to get down there every week anyway. After this tournament (which i do plan on winning ) i'll do my best to get back to aikido and more often.

Thanks , and i'll let everyone know how everything goes.

-Paige
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Old 10-06-2005, 02:18 PM   #39
aikidojoe
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Paige,

Train in your own manner, but it's good to set goals. You've set a goal for Shaolin, try setting one for aikido. Maybe not so lofty a goal that you feel it would be hard to attain, but something you KNOW you can do, and that will help to further motivate you.

Anyway, hope your tournement goes well,

Gambate Kudasai!

-Joe
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:47 AM   #40
aikigirl10
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Joe Varano wrote:
Paige,

Train in your own manner, but it's good to set goals. You've set a goal for Shaolin, try setting one for aikido. Maybe not so lofty a goal that you feel it would be hard to attain, but something you KNOW you can do, and that will help to further motivate you.

Anyway, hope your tournement goes well,

Gambate Kudasai!

-Joe
Im just not sure what my goal for aikido would be. Its not like shaolin... My goal for shaolin is to win this tournament. What is there to be won in aikido? I can see long term goals, yes. My long term goal for aikido would be to one day (not any time soon) have a school of my own. I realize aikido isnt about winning or about beating someone else... its about learning and discovering things about yourself. And believe me i have learned ALOT through aikido, which is why , goal or not, i will always continue train in the art of aikido whether it is slow-moving or not.
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Old 10-07-2005, 12:08 PM   #41
Nick P.
 
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Some say it's an endless journey, this study of Aikido.
The goal might just be to show up to pracice, and not much else.

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Old 10-07-2005, 12:52 PM   #42
giriasis
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Im just not sure what my goal for aikido would be. Its not like shaolin... My goal for shaolin is to win this tournament. What is there to be won in aikido? I can see long term goals, yes. My long term goal for aikido would be to one day (not any time soon) have a school of my own. I realize aikido isnt about winning or about beating someone else... its about learning and discovering things about yourself. And believe me i have learned ALOT through aikido, which is why , goal or not, i will always continue train in the art of aikido whether it is slow-moving or not.
You're goal doesn't have to be something to win. Pick a skill you might want to work on. Work on being more centered, learning to control uke, find more details to techniques. Work on learning from a resistant partner. Work on improving your ukemi whether it's better breakfalls, connection to nage, or taking only the necessary ukemi, etc. Work on variety of your techinques. Work on your movement and fluidity. Take some beginners under your wing to help them along and teach them what you already know. There's always room for improvement.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 10-07-2005, 01:26 PM   #43
aikigirl10
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote:
You're goal doesn't have to be something to win. Pick a skill you might want to work on. Work on being more centered, learning to control uke, find more details to techniques. Work on learning from a resistant partner. Work on improving your ukemi whether it's better breakfalls, connection to nage, or taking only the necessary ukemi, etc. Work on variety of your techinques. Work on your movement and fluidity. Take some beginners under your wing to help them along and teach them what you already know. There's always room for improvement.
sry, i wasnt trying to sound like i already knew everything. And i realize there is always room for improvement and every time i go to class i learn something new , usually more than one thing. I mean obviously everyones goal is to be better at aikido and improve themselves. I think most people could agree on that.

Bottom line, i can only do so much at once. Sometimes with crosstraining comes sacrifices. When there is something important going on in one art i try to take time off from the other art to focus on it. And i do this with both shaolin and aikido. When im getting ready for a test in aikido i only go to shaolin about twice a month. The thing is i never test in aikido, i dont think anyone recognizes me progressing at all. So , as long as its going this way i probably will be more into shaolin than aikido.
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:30 PM   #44
giriasis
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
sry, i wasnt trying to sound like i already knew everything. And i realize there is always room for improvement and every time i go to class i learn something new , usually more than one thing. I mean obviously everyones goal is to be better at aikido and improve themselves. I think most people could agree on that.
I didn't mean to imply that you sounded like you were implying you knew everything.

I was replying your statement:
Quote:
Im just not sure what my goal for aikido would be. Its not like shaolin... My goal for shaolin is to win this tournament. What is there to be won in aikido?
It's just that you asked for what kind of goals you can set in aikido. I was just providing you examples of goals that are not as concrete as winning a tournament or obtaining a rank. Goals that are practical for your given situation.

Even if you can only make two classes a month in aikido because of your shaolin training, that doesn't mean you have no goals to focus on while in class, since when you are in aikido you focus should be aikido. You can still focus on accomplishing something even if it's learning that goal setting doesn't always include a tangible award. It could be the satisfaction of helping a newbie learn to roll or it could be the statisfaction of putting your 100% into aikido. These are all things you can do in class without it interfering with your shaolin training and without giving you extra tasks to do outside of class.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:59 PM   #45
aikigirl10
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
Some say it's an endless journey, this study of Aikido.
The goal might just be to show up to pracice, and not much else.
some how i looked over your post.

But i agree. All martial arts are endless journeys if you choose them to be that way.

And right now my goal for aikido would be to show up more often. You hit the nail on the head.
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:33 AM   #46
PeterKang
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Hi Paige,
I'm actually envious that you're only fourteen and you've started training aikido. I started much later... into my thirties..... and I am only going to hit a ceiling as to how well I can perform aikido and take ukemi. I simply cannot be as flexible and as agile compared to if I started learning aikido when I was a teenager. I still give my training everything I've got but my body can only move so much and bend so much.
If you keep training regularly, chances are that you're could be a much better shodan compared to me. I think that the general observation is that people who begin aikido at earlier age and who continue to train have greater potential to excel, as opposed to yours truly with the creaky joints and hardening tendons.

As mentioned in previous posts, don't worry about it and just keep enjoying your aikido practice.

Regards,

Peter
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:51 AM   #47
PeterR
 
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Re: unfair belt rankings

To a 14 year old one year is 1/14 of their life.

To a 43 year old it is 1/43rd.

My daughter reminded me about that when I told her she was being impatient and should wait.
Its all relative.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:29 PM   #48
crbateman
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
To a 14 year old one year is 1/14 of their life.

To a 43 year old it is 1/43rd.

My daughter reminded me about that when I told her she was being impatient and should wait.
Its all relative.
Your daughter makes an interesting point, Peter, but perhaps you could respond that being 14 means she has so much more time ahead of her in which to accomplish, than someone of 43, and that perhaps that gives you more reason to be impatient, but you are not so. If you can be patient, she should be able to, as well. Nothing that's really important lends itself to the instant gratification route.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:17 AM   #49
Patrick Crane
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Re: unfair belt rankings

If you still have your old white belt, go back to wearing it. Wear it proudly but say nothing.
If anyone asks, tell them it's none of their business.
If your sensei asks, tell him it's simply the belt you prefer to wear until you rate a black one and leave it at that.

If your main focus is shaolin and the competitive aspects that come with it, let your aikido training goals center around developing your ma-ai and your "sixth sense" of feeling how your opponent is shifting his weight and when he's about to move.
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Old 10-15-2005, 04:07 AM   #50
PeterR
 
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
Your daughter makes an interesting point, Peter, but perhaps you could respond that being 14 means she has so much more time ahead of her in which to accomplish, than someone of 43, and that perhaps that gives you more reason to be impatient, but you are not so. If you can be patient, she should be able to, as well. Nothing that's really important lends itself to the instant gratification route.
Patrick - it really depends on what you are talking about and what the window of opportunity is. I brought up the little quip only because it is very easy for us old guys to talk about time and forget how relative that can be. In my daughters case we were talking about 9 years of hard training and a very narrow window of opportunity she feels she may be missing - not instant gratification.

The above is not Aikido but the intensity of a young persons drive is easily forgotten. We may talk about Aikido being a major part of our life but to feel it to our very core - I don't know. What you and I would consider a minor setback is more keenly felt with this mindset.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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