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Old 05-27-2001, 10:36 PM   #26
darin
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I think it took me 3 and a half years or four years to get my shodan. In our school we start from 10th kyu. 3 months between grades up to 3rd kyu then 6 months.

I failed once on 4th or 5th kyu, I don't remember, but jumped from 3rd kyu to 1st kyu. Now I am sandan, a few years down the track. Still feel like a beginner though.










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Old 05-28-2001, 12:05 AM   #27
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: I'm dying to know...

Quote:
Originally posted by giriasis
...who reached shodan in under three years?
There are 40 of you folks out there. Forgive my disbelief, but I just can not fathom someone reaching shodan withing a year or two.

Anne Marie
I received my shodan in just about 1 1/2 years. I was fortunate enough to join Saotome sensei's dojo in Washington,DC when it was brand new. There were eight of us in the original group of beginners and five yudansha who had moved there to help Sensei open his dojo. We had class six days a week and I usually trained on my own on Sundays. It was very intense as Sensei was quite openly interested in training future instructors.

I had a chance to train with people from other places that had gotten their shodans in the usual time of four or five years and it was apparent that having that daily exposure to someone of Saotome Sensei's calibre made a big difference in how much we were learning. We weren't all that great but we generally held our own with our peers from other places.

We were just lucky. Having a very small group getting daily attention from Saotome Sensei, who initially taught the majority of classes, was an unbeatable start for us. It was a once in a lifetime deal. The normal time today for ASU students, including those at my own school is somewhere around 4 years depending on how often one is training.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 05-28-2001 at 12:07 AM.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-28-2001, 08:53 AM   #28
Jim23
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Darin,

No, I'm actually not in Japan. I was just asking Peter if he was there, as his post suggested it (on second reading, I realized that he wasn't).

Funny you should mention it, I did get drenched while running yesterday (Sunday) -- refreshing.

Don't worry about the grammar (or spelling).

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 05-28-2001, 06:41 PM   #29
Nick
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"I wish to be your student and become the finest hareteka in the land," the boy replied. "How long must I study?"
[/b][/quote]

Sorry to drag this off topic, but what in the world is a hareteka?

Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 05-29-2001, 11:02 AM   #30
Brian Vickery
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Re: I'm dying to know...

Quote:
Originally posted by giriasis
...who reached shodan in under three years?

I would like to hear from the people who voted in the categories of "under 1 year"; "between 1-2"; and between "2-3". I'm stopping there since I will consider between 3-4 years more plausible.

Please quince my curiosity,
Anne Marie
...I'm one of those who voted '2-3 years.' I tested shodan one month short of 3 years in my training. The average time to get to shodan in our dojo is about 4 years, but that depends on many factors: how many classes attended, physical ability, positive attitude, self-confidence, etc.

At that time my dojo held 7 classes a week, I was in a minimum of 5 of them. During test month I was all 7.

The classes were also relatively small, somewhere between 6 to 12 students per class, so each student received much hands on attention from sensei. In my opinion, this was the major factor in advancing relatively quickly. I have noticed when student numbers grow, the rate of student progress begins to slow down as a whole.

Shodans are considered 'beginners' in the dojo. They have a solid understanding of the basics, can take ukemi, but by no means are they considered 'experts'. Truely, my training JUST began when I got to shodan! Up to that point, I sometimes 'felt' as if my sensei's techniques were a bit on the soft side, but what I didn't realize was that he was just taking it easy on me until I was ready to handle the harder stuff! I became 'painfully' aware of that point VERY quickly! ;^)

I had taken Tae Kwon Do for a short time prior to starting aikido, but that didn't have any impact on my advancement in aikido. All that did was make me a better uke, knowing how to punch & kick. (Of course learning ukemi is a totally different story!!!)

I hope this helps!

Best regards,

Last edited by Brian Vickery : 05-29-2001 at 11:04 AM.

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 05-29-2001, 11:21 PM   #31
jimbaker
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I would still be interested in hearing from those who got shodan in a year or less.

JIM and the wolves in DC
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Old 05-30-2001, 12:03 AM   #32
Erik
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Funny how stories show up. Took me 5+ years but I just heard of a story taking well under a year.

Seems there was a fellow who went to Japan and made it a policy to resist everyone's technique unless they really threw him. After a few months, the sensei (a most famous fellow indeed) gave him a black belt because very few could throw him. He came back to the states and started teaching, even though he didn't know any technique. Apparently, he was one damn tough uke.

You might think this guy was the story, but, not really. You see, the guy I heard the story from was awarded his black belt in 5 mos from this rather resistant fellow. Pretty funny stuff.

In the end, he decided 5 mos wasn't enough and started over. He's now a sandan 15+ years later.
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Old 05-30-2001, 02:41 PM   #33
giriasis
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Thanks all who replied to my question.

Anne Marie
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Old 05-31-2001, 06:42 AM   #34
Kenn
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Smile

Being relatively new to Aikido...I've been studying about a year....I asked my Sensei about this. He said that three years is about right if a person practices every day. The people that replied under a year..well...lol..NOT. I relayed the previous post referring to the guy who made it in 5 months and he got a good laugh. Also our senior Shodan made a good point about nobody being able to throw the guy...resisting being thrown, on purpose, in Aikido...good way to dislocate a shoulder.

Just thought I'd share that with you all

Peace, Kenn

Kenn

Remember, the only way to be happy always, is to be happy always, without reason.
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Old 05-31-2001, 12:11 PM   #35
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kenn
I relayed the previous post referring to the guy who made it in 5 months and he got a good laugh.
Actually, the really funny thing is who promoted his teacher to shodan. Those high Japanese standards.

Or, perhaps it was "I'll promote this guy and get him out of here in one piece."

Last edited by Erik : 05-31-2001 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 05-31-2001, 12:28 PM   #36
PeterR
 
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Kenn;

Both you and your sensei are missing the point, although maybe the latter was not asked the right question. Different organizations have different standards. Shodan means beginning level and some feel that it should be given soon rather than later. You can not compare black belts from different organizations, you can compare years practiced. Even if the years practiced is the same, the next question is what techniques were required for Shodan. It's like comparing apples and oranges - they are both fruit but that's about it.


As an exmaple - if an Aikikai Shodan came into my dojo I would not expect him or her to take what I deliver to my own kyu ranked students. I would expect him to pick up on it rather quickly but assumptions tend to get people hurt.


Quote:
Originally posted by Kenn
Being relatively new to Aikido...I've been studying about a year....I asked my Sensei about this. He said that three years is about right if a person practices every day. The people that replied under a year..well...lol..NOT. I relayed the previous post referring to the guy who made it in 5 months and he got a good laugh. Also our senior Shodan made a good point about nobody being able to throw the guy...resisting being thrown, on purpose, in Aikido...good way to dislocate a shoulder.

Just thought I'd share that with you all

Peace, Kenn

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-31-2001, 04:05 PM   #37
Kenn
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Peter, perhaps I miss the point, perhaps not. My point is this; I believe that although, yes, shodan may mean literally "beginning level", in most martial arts, and any style of Aikido I have been exposed to (I train in Aikikai from a Sensei two generations removed from O Sensei) a shodan tends to be one who has put in some time, and is at least competent in the basics of their art. I do not believe one can become competent in Aikido, any style, within 5 months.

Using your reasoning, yes, requirements are different depending on style. However, I could very easily open up the Kenn Aikido Association, and become a 10th degree black belt super master of all time in my style, and give out Shodan's as if they were candy.

I think you will find very few Shodans of any skill that have been awarded their ranks from any of the major Aikido orginizations.

As to your comment regarding a Shodan from Aikikai not being able to handle what you give to your kyu ranks...I'm sorry, that just sounds arrogant sir. I would not hesitate to say that I believe any shodan from my Dojo could handle your classes quite well. (I am assuming you do not abuse your students...lol)

Peace

Kenn

Kenn

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Old 05-31-2001, 05:21 PM   #38
mj
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kenn

Using your reasoning, yes, requirements are different depending on style. However, I could very easily open up the Kenn Aikido Association, and become a 10th degree black belt super master of all time in my style, and give out Shodan's as if they were candy.

Kenn
Lot of money there Kenn...

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Old 05-31-2001, 05:43 PM   #39
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kenn
Peter, perhaps I miss the point, perhaps not. My point is this; I believe that although, yes, shodan may mean literally "beginning level", in most martial arts, and any style of Aikido I have been exposed to (I train in Aikikai from a Sensei two generations removed from O Sensei) a shodan tends to be one who has put in some time, and is at least competent in the basics of their art. I do not believe one can become competent in Aikido, any style, within 5 months.
Well the 5 months was a bit tight but I do know first hand one person who took Shodan in a year and a whole slew who took Shodan at the end of their second year at University. All of these were in Japan but the one American that I know of who apparently does so (based on his web site), Karl Geis, bases his decision on what is done in Japan. My point is that within the organization it was appropriate and it had meaning only within that organization.
Quote:
Using your reasoning, yes, requirements are different depending on style. However, I could very easily open up the Kenn Aikido Association, and become a 10th degree black belt super master of all time in my style, and give out Shodan's as if they were candy.
Sure you could but you are not Aikikai Honbu, or one of the senior students of Ueshiba that set up their own style. In all these cases Shodan is handed out under different cricumstances but I've noticed things even out around 3rd or 4th Dan.
Quote:
I think you will find very few Shodans of any skill that have been awarded their ranks from any of the major Aikido orginizations.
I have no idea what you mean here. Do you mean that no Shodan is any good.???? Personally I think that learning begins after Shodan so perhaps that's correct.
Quote:
As to your comment regarding a Shodan from Aikikai not being able to handle what you give to your kyu ranks...I'm sorry, that just sounds arrogant sir. I would not hesitate to say that I believe any shodan from my Dojo could handle your classes quite well. (I am assuming you do not abuse your students...lol)
Boy you must be looking for arrogance real hard - how long have you been studying?

Let me try again

As an exmaple - if a Shodokan Shodan came into my friend's Aikikai dojo I would not expect him or her to take what he delivers to his own kyu ranked students. I would expect him (the Shodokan Shodan) to pick it up it rather quickly but assumptions tend to get people hurt.

When I entered the above dojo that is exactly what happened. When the above sensei entered my dojo that is exactly how I treated him.

Answer quick - I return to my home dojo in less than 24 horus and depending on circumstance may not be able to connect for three months or at least a week. Osaka here I come.




Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-31-2001, 06:02 PM   #40
Kenn
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Smile

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think you will find very few Shodans of any skill that have been awarded their ranks from any of the major Aikido orginizations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I have no idea what you mean here. Do you mean that no Shodan is any good.???? Personally I think that learning begins after Shodan so perhaps that's correct.

lol, sorry, typo, Imeant that you will find very few shodans of little skill...etc..

as to your arrogance, I apologize, I misunderstood your meaning.....

Kenn

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Old 05-31-2001, 10:23 PM   #41
jimbaker
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But Peter (I like starting things with, "But Peter), but Peter, two guys walk into my dojo, both with brand new Aikikai Yudansha dipolmas, both signed by the new Doshu. They both met the minimum requirements of their respective associations. One has 320 hours of training and the other has 1100 days of training.

That is the main problem; crossing association lines. I had one student who moved to CA. With me, he was first kyu. The first dojo he went to made him a nidan. He moved again (in CA) and his new dojo made him a shodan. In one Aikido group, the number of hours I have just teaching, not training, would qualify me for 6th dan!

There have been many splits among the Aikido associations in the US, and a lot of it had to do with rankings. The gap is such that now Shodan means anywhere from 6 months to 7 years of training under a sensei who has between 2 and 50 years of experience.

I think that people would just like to see a little more order among the chaos.

JIM, the wolves always know who is the Alpha, beneath my window in DC
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Old 06-01-2001, 08:05 AM   #42
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimbaker
But Peter (I like starting things with, "But Peter),
I think that people would just like to see a little more order among the chaos.
But Jim (hey this is fun)


The order from chaos is something few people would disagree with, in fact with Shodokan there is a strong movement to standardize curriculum and miniimum training times. Well actually it is standardized and it is being spread through JAA affiliated dojos as we speak.

Still, there is a difference in teaching standard exists and there was a move to have only Shihan (remember we have only two) be given the right to grade yondan and up. That apparently annoyed some nanadans - I don't know what the situation has deveolped into.

I personally have annoyed some people when I have expressed more interest in how long they trained and who with, rather than the color of the belt. Even within my organization.

Perfect world no problems - the only solution I can think of is to approach the probelm as I stated above and in previous posts.

Six more hours and I begin my travels. Yehaaaa!!!!!

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-01-2001, 04:33 PM   #43
Chuck Clark
 
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Ability is much more important than time or grade. Latch onto someone and train with them for awhile and then you know.

I know students who've trained for years and still haven't "got it" in my opinion. I also know a few who have "gotten it" fairly quickly.

Who your teacher is; the relationship you have with your teacher; the amount of quality time you spend with that teacher and a peer group which pushes you is important.

Regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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