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Old 07-16-2005, 04:41 AM   #1
CarlRylander
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Smile How long????

How long does it take generally to get a black belt in Aikido?

I've heard everything from two years to eight years to ten, depending on how often you train!
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Old 07-16-2005, 08:54 AM   #2
Qatana
 
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Re: How long????

It takes as long as your sensei thinks it should.

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 07-16-2005, 01:07 PM   #3
Adam Alexander
Dojo: none currently
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Re: How long????

Different schools, different times...there's many types of Aikido and many types of people.

Train--rank will follow.
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Old 07-16-2005, 01:16 PM   #4
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Re: How long????

Here's an old poll: http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=61

Anywhere from 1 year to over 10, go figure.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 07-16-2005, 01:35 PM   #5
Dirk Hanss
 
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Dojo: Aikidoschule Trier
Location: Merzkirchen
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Germany
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Re: How long????

In many organizations there are minimum time requirements to achieve the next grade, so you can calculate on your own how long it will take at minimum. There are many reasons, why it takes longer, i.e. tests only twice a year: if you miss one, you take it half a year later. In some organizations, you might get your shodan in one year's time, if you do full time practice.

In most European and American organizations, I know, if you train hard and learn fast, you need some 3.5 to 5 years. Obviously many people will tell you that is rather optimistic.

Best advice, I read before: train and have fun. It will take longer to get a high grade, but maybe you even learn more than only technique.

Regards Dirk
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Old 07-16-2005, 01:57 PM   #6
justin
Location: swansea wales
Join Date: May 2005
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Re: How long????

i was always told a belt is for holding up your trowsers.
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Old 07-16-2005, 09:52 PM   #7
andylucas
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 22
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Re: How long????

you need the required hours to test. get hit, you fail, try again next month,
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:01 AM   #8
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
Location: Houston
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Re: How long????

It's a good question but there's no way for anyone else to know the answer because of the differences between the groups. I have two people I know that have been shodan for 8 and 10 years respectively. That's a long time but there was no way to tell beforehand that was going to happen because there are a lot of variables that are unpredictable. The same goes for someone like you. Will you quit? Will you get injured. Will circumstances change that will prohibit your progress. Even if you knew, it would still be unpredictable. While it is nice to know that if you practiced for 4 years, you could get your black belt, the truth is that particular piece of knowledge is probably a fantasy since there is no way to tell-still. Even with the uniformity of a group, there are variables. Most people average 4 to 5 years but in fact, it could be 3years, it could be never.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:22 AM   #9
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Israel
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Re: How long????

Quote:
Justin Thomas wrote:
i was always told a belt is for holding up your trowsers.

You must mean your Jacket



Amir
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:39 AM   #10
arjandevries
Dojo: Ima Juku
Location: Amersfoort
Join Date: May 2004
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Re: How long????

you know the story; if the student asks :"how long does it take? the teacher replies 10 years. If the student replies: And as I practise twice as hard? Then it takes 20 years, the teacher replies.

I love the story.
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:50 AM   #11
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: How long????

Quote:
Arjan de Vries wrote:
you know the story; if the student asks :"how long does it take? the teacher replies 10 years. If the student replies: And as I practise twice as hard? Then it takes 20 years, the teacher replies.

I love the story.
Arjan, I like this.
Yes it is like:
If you are in a hurry, walk slowly. If you are even more in a hurry, take a by-pass.

But nevertheless it is interesting to new mat-mates, how long they have to expect.

While what is the conclusion? Does anybody wants to choose the martial art or dojo, where he could achieve the shodan the fastest?

Well probably, if someone has already his own dojo and needs to have another teaching license.

Dirk
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:05 AM   #12
kokyu
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 283
Hong Kong
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Re: How long????

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Train--rank will follow.
I agree with this comment wholeheartedly.

But, I understand how Carl feels. I used to be very rank conscious... especially because my first dojo used colored belts for kyu ranks. There were certain privileges associated with the color - where one sat in relation to others, whether one could attend weapons classes, etc... And if one became a shodan, the relationship between you and the Sensei became closer. If one became a nidan, one could also conduct classes... etc..

[Having said that, there are advantages to having a color belt system. It's easier to identify beginners who may need help when using colored belts. It gives people a feeling of achievement when their belt changes colors. Also, limiting the size of the weapons classes makes things easier for the Sensei - i.e. it's easier to teach people who are familiar with the empty-hand techniques and there's more space to swing your bokken ]

Then, I was given an opportunity to train at a certain dojo in Japan for a year and a half and my perception changed completely. I was training with people who had been in Aikido for 25+ years... and they were still enthusiastically training. I remember apologizing to a person who had been training for 20+ years, saying that I was a shoshinsha ("beginner") and could not execute the move well... his comment was: "We are all shoshinsha". My goals changed from getting a higher rank to simply getting better at Aikido.

Also, the higher one goes, the greater the "weight" of the belt. People look at you when they are unsure of a technique. One has to train frequently to maintain and improve one's level of skill (this is one reason that people drop off, higher ranks demand higher levels of commitment to training). The Sensei at the first dojo used to say it was very tough to teach because your moves had to be perfect; you were a model that everyone was watching. If you slipped when demonstrating a technique or an ukemi, your students' faith in you would be reduced. In other words, the higher you go, the greater the expectations - promotion isn't always fun.

The meaning of shodan is "beginning step". I think it should be seen as an indication that one is a serious student of Aikido, but nothing more. As Jean de Rochefort says, rank follows training. I think one should train seriously, but more importantly, one should enjoy one's training. After some time, the Sensei can see that the student has progressed to the next level and should be graded. And then one day, we are allowed to wear a hakama. And then the novelty of wearing the hakama wears off, and it's just another day of training.
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:07 PM   #13
DevinHammer
 
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Re: How long????

Quote:
Carl Rylander wrote:
How long does it take generally to get a black belt in Aikido?
Much longer than it takes for that to no longer be a reason for training.
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