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Old 12-27-2005, 04:47 AM   #26
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7
Re: Skipping grades?

Just fwiw, in Japan it is not unusual that people jump Kyu grades ("tobikyu"). I have have seen this both in Aikido and in Karate quite often. It happens less frequently with increasing level, and I have never heard of it happen with Dan grades.
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Old 12-27-2005, 07:30 AM   #27
Ed Shockley
Dojo: aikikai of Philadelphia
Location: philadelphia
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 84
Re: Skipping grades?

Just to affirm add to the comment by Willi Brix, I do know of a shodan who was promoted to san dan without a test after returning to Japan following a long college stay in America. He was simply asking his sensei if he should test there in Japan or at his new American home. His Sensei called the doshu and was willing to make him as high as a yo dan had he not refused. Meanwhile, the Aikidoka in question is probably the best practitioner I have encountered who is not a shihan. He was head of a college club and required from his first day to return from morning classes with a host of shihan then teach the same techniques to his college confederates. Add to that innate physical gifts of balance and travel that has taken him for extended periods of study with shihan and shidoin on both coasts of America and I have no reason to doubt the wisdom of his Sensei. Ultimately everyone's rank is their private concern. I know of one person who quit his dojo because of political elevations. This seems ill advised. I suggest that my focus should be on Aikido and my own rank as a reflection of my understanding of the teaching I am receiving. Someone else's advance, other than as an opportunity to buy them a drink, means nothing in my life.
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:15 AM   #28
IP Hash: 98df27bd
Anonymous User
Re: Skipping grades?

Hmmm... see, there's an interesting thing.

I started Aikido at the beginning of August and I wasn't planning on grading at all to start with, at least not for the first year. After a couple of months sensei said that I should go for my first grading.

This duly happened and the examiner came from elsewhere in the country and much higher in the organisation and graded us in a non-partisan way, as it were. I was more than a little suprised to then be announced as 4th kyu... skipping a grade completely.

Any insights gratefully received...

First of all, congratulations on your new rank.

In my humble opinion, this situation looks a bit fishy. I see two problems here. One, you tested after a couple months with no background in any MA whatsoever. I don't know how often you practice, nor the extent of your abilities, but most people after 2 months of practice are still trying to figure out what feet goes where, and how to get their ukemi up to speed. If I said to the average two month newbie: "quick, Ushiro Tekubitori Kotegaeshi!" They wouldn't know what to do...

The second problem is that you were not graded according to a syllabus.

I my organization, you have to accumulate a certain number of hours prior to each test. When that requirement is fulfilled, and you are deemed ready to test, you have to learn the techniques set by the organization for the particular Kyu you are testing for. Everyone is graded under the same standards.

You would need about three months practicing every week day (5 times a week) to be eligible to test for 5th Kyu in my organization. A big commitment if you have a busy life.

I have seen cases of people skipping a kyu rank. The difference is that they had to perform the techniques required for BOTH kyus. No freebies. Needless to day these aikidokas had a lot of hours under their belts and were very good.

Kind regards,
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