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#168852 - 07/29/05 01:00 AM Re: Validity of young yudansha [Re: Canyon]
csinca Offline
former moderator

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 672
Loc: Southern California

I was working with a recently promoted black belt who's roughly 16 years old yesterday and I found that she could not do most techniques from a basic grab because she couldn't move (i.e. move around or break the grab). It made me wonder about the validity of such young black belts.

And before you start yelling McDojo, she's the only <18 year old student anywhere near that rank and has studied for > 5 years. On one hand she is very smooth and flowing. Her maai is solid and her balance is there. And she has certainly studied long enough and earned the right to test. However because she studied in the kids class the whole time where the kids don't grab very hard and because of her very small stature she just can't really seem to do techniques on adults without a lot of cooperation. I really wonder how valid her black belt is in terms of applying aikido.

I'm just curious what other opinions on this are.

Canyon, things may have gotten off track here but my biggest piece of advice is to be completely and painfully honest with yourself. If you are jealous of this other person rank but lack of ability, refocus on why you are training and hopefully you will realize that this person probably had nothing to do with you taking up aikido so they shouldn't weight too heavily on you now.

If you are questioning your ability, visit other dojos, go to seminars, or for a real eye-opener, find a dojo from a different style/art and go play for a bit. No need to tell them about your aikido background, just look for some introductory specials and go join some classes. See what you feel!


#168853 - 07/29/05 08:09 AM Re: Validity of young yudansha [Re: csinca]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
That has got to be the best advice I've heard all day.

Some people do not advocate cross-training. I think it's important. Reason being that there are generally 2 ways people generally see things: sameness or difference.

Go explore another style or system. Look for similarities. Appreciate the differences. Make up your own mind later.

#168854 - 07/30/05 02:16 PM Re: Validity of young yudansha [Re: csinca]
Canyon Offline

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 42
No it's certainly not jealousy. It's more of a question of what I've been able to get away with (i.e, sloppy technique). I do train at other schools when I travel but it's often hard to gauge how I'm doing because they often have such different techniques. I'm moving in a few months and will likely find a new school to train at. I think that will give me some better perspective.

#168855 - 07/31/05 07:41 PM Re: Validity of young yudansha [Re: Canyon]
AttorneyJohn Offline

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 14
Loc: Houston Texas
I sort of hesitantly agree with what you are saying. In my, personal, opinion, she should have been involved with the adult class in order to learn the things that she should know about off-balancing a larger, stronger opponent. I would have started her in the adult class as soon as she was, say, an ikkyu level in the children's only class, if your school has such a thing. Then, you would be teaching her not only the adjustments she'd need, but teaching her at a, generally, more advanced, more mature level all around. That is JUST a personal opinion, so don't tell your Sensei that he did wrong.....

#168856 - 08/04/05 03:53 PM Re: Validity of young yudansha [Re: RedRaven]
hayduke Offline

Registered: 08/04/05
Posts: 2
A belt is something to keep your gi closed.

We have students that are white belts that have studied for 3+ years but have for some reason or another missed kyu testing, that I would rate with many nikyu or ikkyu.

So, does belt really matter?


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