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Old 10-27-2005, 12:41 AM   #76
Sonja2012
 
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Dojo: Aikido Verein Esslingen
Location: Stuttgart
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 192
Germany
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Nice post, Paige. And congrats!
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Old 10-27-2005, 01:55 AM   #77
Joshua Livingston
 
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Location: QLD Australia
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Hey Paige,

This is Joshua. You should remember me from the Dojo, I left for Australia about a year and a half ago. The fairly tall guy with glasses and long hair....

I'm very glad to see that everything worked out right. I was thinking of so many different things to write as I was reading through the posts, luckily you had some great people responding in the meantime. Also today is the first time I've seen the thread, so I didn't tip anyone off.

I know you've gotten past the problems from the original post now, but I wanted to add my point of view anyway, being more of an insider to the situation.

Though I only practiced at the Dojo for around 3 years, I have been practicing martial arts since I was in the first grade, and counting the different styles I've taken would use more fingers than I have. As such I have experienced first hand the lower ranking for the children's class any many different styles.

The reason they do this is because it simply isn't right to have a black belt when you can't even drive a car. Yes I know as a child training that long, you have heaps more experience and are indeed better at the art than some shmoe who comes off the street and only practices for 3 years and walks a way with a black belt (That is for other styles outside Aikido as it usually takes us 5-7). I can't count how many times I had that happen. You are lucky that it takes longer in Aikido than it does in other styles to get a black belt as I believe John is the only one you've seen who has come in as a white belt and got a black belt before you. I saw this happen to me heaps of times and it is Very discouraging.

The thing is being a black belt has come to signify that you have a certain grasp of the art and that you are able to use it effectively to a certain extent. Being as young as you are, you simply don't have the body mass to move someone effectively with Aikido who is a full grown adult. When I was your age I thought I could beat the hell out of an adult because of all my experience, unfortuantely I was proved wrong once. No matter how much I knew I didn't have the mass behind me to make the effective techniques I knew actually be effective. Nikkyo won't work if your full body weight is less than someone can resist simply using their strength. Irimi Nage won't work if your opponent can simply puff out their chest and break your hold. Thus many martial arts do not allow black belts befor 18 or 20. I believe it's 20 in our organization.

As someone also said before, there is the issue of maturity. And though I've met you and thus know that you are mature for your age, as I believe I was when I was your age, it's hard for a Sensei to make exceptions based on maturity because by default the others your age won't understand because they aren't mature enough, and thus will become discouraged because they aren't grading as fast. It's a lot easier to say to someone they aren't old enough than it is to tell them they aren't mature enough.

As such, most people need belt encouragement to get them to continue training, which is why some Sensei create colored belts for children that adults don't have. They know that a person who starts at 10 has 10 years before they are allowed to get a black belt, and in most cases, even though the techniques themselves come quickly to children, most people don't really start absorbing everything in the proper way until they are about 13, which is still 7 years away from getting a black belt, and on top of that children tend to need even more encouragement than adults, thus more belt colors. Unfortunately those who don't need the extra encouragement, simply get discouraged like you and me. But we are special cases.

Another thing to take into account is the fact that the children's class only ran once a week, where as the adult classes were three times a week and people like John, me, Hai, and Mark were also practicing once a week at Marshall. That makes a big difference in training.

When I came to the Dojo I realized immediately how good you were, I also knew that when I was at 4th Kyu that you were better than I was at 5th Kyu. And when you were 4th Kyu you were better at me than when I was 4th Kyu, and you are probably now better than me at 3rd Kyu. Of course I have the advantage of having practiced martial arts for a long time and thus can pick such things out. Beginners that are adults just coming in can't really tell stuff like that because they have nothing to compare it to. Being adults and thus (usually) automatically arrogant towards kids, simply assume they know better than you because they are an adult. As most people have said its only important that You realize that you are better (technique wise at least :P), and that Sensei knows, which believe me he does.

I can't count the number of times that Sensei and John have talked about how well you are progressing and of course that they wished that they were doing Aikido when they were your age. Sensei brags about you to every body all the time. He simply doesn't do it in front of you because it wouldn't be proper.

You've seen first hand how many people come in get 5th-4th Kyu and you never see them again. They may get the belts faster, but all in all you will have worked harder than they have and you'll be around when no one else even remembers their name.

Believe me Sensei knows exactly how good you are and he knows how hard you have worked. When you reach the standard age for black belt I know he won't hesitate for a second to put your application in to test with Yamada Sensei.

Just keep at it strong!
Gambatte!

Joshua Livingston

Joshua Livingston
Aikido of Ashland (USAF)
Gold Coast Jujutsu
Capoeira Zambia Congo Group
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Old 10-27-2005, 06:56 AM   #78
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Re: unfair belt rankings

' Tom, if you or someone in my dojo is reading this... i want to say i really do love aikido, and tonight made me realize that.

Its not about the belt, its about knowing that im progressing. Its about knowing that someone cares that i even show up, and Tom definitely expressed that to me tonight. I wanna say thank you Tom because you are an excellent sensei and i wouldnt pick anyone else over you. '

Excellent words Paige! Congratulations on getting your third kyu, it sounds like you really deserve it! I've had similar thoughts in the past and Im just starting to get over them and really enjoy training for what it is, thanks for sharing this

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:38 AM   #79
Joshua Livingston
 
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Location: QLD Australia
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Joshua Livingston wrote:
Hey Paige,

This is Joshua. You should remember me from the Dojo, I left for Australia about a year and a half ago. The fairly tall guy with glasses and long hair....
Actually, scratch that as I just remember I wasn't wearing glasses back then, but since Rick cut his hair I'm pretty sure I was the only one going around with a pony tail...

Joshua Livingston
Aikido of Ashland (USAF)
Gold Coast Jujutsu
Capoeira Zambia Congo Group
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Old 10-27-2005, 10:59 AM   #80
James Davis
 
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Dojo: Ft. Myers School of Aikido
Location: Ft. Myers, FL.
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Well everyone, i think it was this thread i said i was gonna keep you updated with shaolin. And good news, i won my tournament! It was awesome 1st in the intermediate womens sparring it was great and i look forward to competing more often now. Thanks for all of your posts, and advice.

Just a little news
-Paige
Paige,

Kiggazz! I'm glad you're doing well at shaolin, and congrats on your new aikido ranking!

My personal opinion about your recent situation with aikido is that you just craved a little positive reinforcement. I think that the new belt rank that your sensei conferred didn't mean quite as much to you as his acknowledgement of your skill. I've never seen you practice, but when you post on this site you seem to know what you're writing about. I may outrank you on paper, but you have a couple years of experience on me and I take very seriously what you have to say.

Now, I'm gonna go off "old man style" on you. I'm not going to be mean, but I will say something to you that I wish someone had said to me when I was your age...

Quit looking so hard for stuff to be mad about!!!

What's wrong with senior students who ask you if you're okay?!

I have a student who's a former marine and is a helluva lot tougher than I am. He has a black belt in a hard style, and could probably wipe the floor with me in a minute.

But you know what?- I still ask him if he's alright after taking a high fall. I don't ask him because I think he's less skilled; I ask him because he's my friend.

Paige, I think you're a nice girl. Just pick your battles! There are worse things out there than people who ask if you're okay!

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-27-2005, 03:02 PM   #81
aikigirl10
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
Join Date: May 2005
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Joshua Livingston wrote:
Hey Paige,

This is Joshua. You should remember me from the Dojo, I left for Australia about a year and a half ago. The fairly tall guy with glasses and long hair....
Joshua!!! hahaha of course, i remember you!

I really looked up to you in those days. Wow, its good to know someone else from my dojo (or formerly from) understands. And you have some really good points.

I always kinda wondered what happened to u lol.

Quote:
Joshua Livingston wrote:
The reason they do this is because it simply isn't right to have a black belt when you can't even drive a car.....
I completely agree. In shaolin little kids can get black belts, and i've always thought that was wrong. I still think one belt system creates less confusion for the ones that stick with it, but i can definitely see why its good to have seperate ones for kids and adults.

Quote:
Joshua Livingston wrote:
As someone also said before, there is the issue of maturity. And though I've met you and thus know that you are mature for your age, as I believe I was when I was your age, it's hard for a Sensei to make exceptions based on maturity because by default the others your age won't understand because they aren't mature enough, and thus will become discouraged because they aren't grading as fast. It's a lot easier to say to someone they aren't old enough than it is to tell them they aren't mature enough.
I never thought about this, this is a very good point.

Quote:
Joshua Livingston wrote:
Another thing to take into account is the fact that the children's class only ran once a week, where as the adult classes were three times a week and people like John, me, Hai, and Mark were also practicing once a week at Marshall. That makes a big difference in training. .
This , plus i think adults take it a little more seriously than children.

Quote:
Joshua Livingston wrote:
When I came to the Dojo I realized immediately how good you were, I also knew that when I was at 4th Kyu that you were better than I was at 5th Kyu. And when you were 4th Kyu you were better at me than when I was 4th Kyu, and you are probably now better than me at 3rd Kyu. Of course I have the advantage of having practiced martial arts for a long time and thus can pick such things out. Beginners that are adults just coming in can't really tell stuff like that because they have nothing to compare it to. Being adults and thus (usually) automatically arrogant towards kids, simply assume they know better than you because they are an adult. As most people have said its only important that You realize that you are better (technique wise at least :P), and that Sensei knows, which believe me he does..

I can't count the number of times that Sensei and John have talked about how well you are progressing and of course that they wished that they were doing Aikido when they were your age. Sensei brags about you to every body all the time. He simply doesn't do it in front of you because it wouldn't be proper. ..

Just keep at it strong!
Gambatte!
Wow. Thanks for the encouragement. PM me anytime you wanna talk. Good to hear from you!

-Paige

P.S. - I would still appreciate it if you dont mention this to Tom. I would never want him to think i have any thing at all against him. Hes an awesome teacher, and this post was started a long time ago, so my feelings have definitely changed. Thanks

Last edited by aikigirl10 : 10-27-2005 at 03:03 PM. Reason: add
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Old 10-27-2005, 03:05 PM   #82
aikigirl10
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
Join Date: May 2005
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote:
Paige, I think you're a nice girl. Just pick your battles! There are worse things out there than people who ask if you're okay!
Lol you have a point.

But you can see where im coming from right? I just dont want them to over-do it.
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Old 10-27-2005, 03:56 PM   #83
James Davis
 
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Dojo: Ft. Myers School of Aikido
Location: Ft. Myers, FL.
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Lol you have a point.

But you can see where im coming from right? I just dont want them to over-do it.
Yeah, been there myself. Just try to be in control of your moods (a tall order, I know). When they're babying you because you're younger, tell them to stop being silly. If you allow yourself to become angry about it, then you're the silly one!

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-28-2005, 12:53 AM   #84
Melissa Fischer
Dojo: Tenzan Aikido/Seattle Holistic Center
Location: Seattle, Wa USA
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Re: unfair belt rankings

That is absolutely the best ending ever!! Made my day for sure. Now I want to get in my car and drive down there to Ashland and get thrown around by you and this famous Tom Sensei.

BTW, its obvious you love Aikido.

best wishes,

Melissa
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:46 AM   #85
Qatana
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Congratulations,Paige!

If it makes you feel any better, my Sensei asks Everybody , after just about every throw, if they're OK.. Even the Nidans.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:27 AM   #86
Joshua Livingston
 
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Location: QLD Australia
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Posts: 34
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Joshua!!! hahaha of course, i remember you!

I really looked up to you in those days. Wow, its good to know someone else from my dojo (or formerly from) understands. And you have some really good points.

I always kinda wondered what happened to u lol.
Yeah I moved to Australia and got married. Currently I'm taking Jujutsu and Capoeira, but I'll be starting Aikido again in about 2 months when my driver's license gets finalized. It's about a 45 min drive...

I'm the one who gave Sensei the blue Aikido carving that last I heard was hanging on the Shomen.


Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Wow. Thanks for the encouragement. PM me anytime you wanna talk. Good to hear from you!
No problem, you deserve it, just keep training.


Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
P.S. - I would still appreciate it if you dont mention this to Tom. I would never want him to think i have any thing at all against him. Hes an awesome teacher, and this post was started a long time ago, so my feelings have definitely changed. Thanks
The only way I would have blabbed is if the problem hadn't taken care of itself, as I would have rather told him than have you quit because you were discouraged or felt neglected. So he won't hear it from me. As far as I know, Sensei and John don't usually visit this board, and when they do I don't think they'd check the forums as they are simply too busy with other stuff. As for others in the Dojo, who can say, but I wouldn't worry about it, even if Sensei did see it, he would understand where you were coming from. He's been through quite a lot in the past few years, so if at times he seems aloof, it isn't through any lack of interest on his part, simply too much else going on in his mind, and as much as the higher ups like to proclaim that they can step on the mat and forget the rest of the world, when it comes to the big stuff, it simply isn't that easy.

So as I said just keep on training, some day you're going to make a kick ass black belt.

Joshua Livingston
Aikido of Ashland (USAF)
Gold Coast Jujutsu
Capoeira Zambia Congo Group
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:34 AM   #87
Joshua Livingston
 
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Location: QLD Australia
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Melissa Pittman Fischer wrote:
That is absolutely the best ending ever!! Made my day for sure. Now I want to get in my car and drive down there to Ashland and get thrown around by you and this famous Tom Sensei.

Melissa
Sensei is the best martial arts teacher I have had, and I've had more than a few. You're more than welcome to drive down any time.

Joshua Livingston
Aikido of Ashland (USAF)
Gold Coast Jujutsu
Capoeira Zambia Congo Group
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Old 10-28-2005, 02:40 PM   #88
aikigirl10
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Quote:
Melissa Pittman Fischer wrote:
That is absolutely the best ending ever!! Made my day for sure. Now I want to get in my car and drive down there to Ashland and get thrown around by you and this famous Tom Sensei.

BTW, its obvious you love Aikido.

best wishes,

Melissa
lol well im glad somebody appreciates my story

thats so strange (famous Tom Sensei lol)

and like joshua said you're welcome anytime... (but its kind of a long drive from Seattle Joshua... haha)

Last edited by aikigirl10 : 10-28-2005 at 02:41 PM. Reason: add
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Old 10-09-2006, 10:56 PM   #89
Al Williams
Location: Hobart Tasmania
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Australia
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Re: unfair belt rankings

Maybe your dojo can do away with wearing colored belts. We all wear white belts- then again we are a small dojo.
All your belt does is hold your dogi together.

Train hard and often.
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