When you finally get shodan you will have to come to terms with just how much you don’t know, and the fact that you are the same person you were the day before. Grades can improve you only as a side effect, as you have actively learned to obtain them, or that they allow you to move forwards again.They can also change you for the worse, if you think they are about dominance over others, or they make you less aware of your own learning, or otherwise complacent.That’s what the do means in aikido or iaido or whatever.
It’s intended as a foundational level at which point your basics are sorted out, the stabiliser wheels can come off and your journey really begins anew.
Here is the embarrassing truth, the Japanese describe Dan graded students collectively as , “those that do not have dan grades”.
Obviously there isn’t a 0.99 Dan or 1.25 Dan, but the process has to try and accommodate the different levels of achievement seen. Different arts will have different expectations for shodan.
The “syllabus” requirements for a shodan in Iaido are smaller than many arts, and practised in many clubs every single class.
By being active learners, you also help your instructors to learn themselves. In any case, the point is, it is up to you, if you want to achieve a certain grade you need to work actively towards that goal.
Aikido Black Belt Essay
This seems obvious, but you should be looking at your organisation’s grading syllabus and actively ticking things off, become aware of what you know, and retain that, and start identifying what you don’t know.
So, here are some thoughts that may or may not be useful. All martial arts are man made systems and someone appointed themselves in charge.
Those people then graded other people and are often above the grading system themselves, or are 10th Dan.
Try and obtain grades to compete against yourself, not others.
On the other hand, some people will shy away from grading from a less obvious pride; they are afraid to fail. : “true victory is self victory” was a favourite expression of Morihei Ueshiba Sensei. It’s not up to your instructors to get you to any given grade. Yes, you need competent instruction, or most people do, but you have to walk the path.