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View Poll Results: would you like to drop the dan grade system and go traditional??

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  • yes

    25 52.08%
  • no

    13 27.08%
  • I have 40th dan and it is beneath my level to reply...

    10 20.83%
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Thread: drop the dan grades?

  1. #1
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    Default drop the dan grades?

    Our group are trying to get away from the dan grade system and go back to the old way of doing things, ie junior student, senior, master(menkyo), grand master. ( not that any of us will ever hit grand master/ menkyo kaiden!) These are usually awarded after working closely with a teacher over a long period of time and himknowing you reaaly well.
    I think it might take out this stupid obsession some people have with gradings. Lets face it, what is say two years of training over a lifetime ( 1st dan to 2nd dan for most clubs?) How many of us can tell the difference between students at that level anyway and would we group them seperately for training?
    If you know its going to take, say, ten years to get to senior student, you have already accepted a long term committment to your chosen route. It also might stop the 'Ive got a black belt and am leaving to set up my own dojo as a master' garbage as well.
    Anyone else feel the same?

  2. #2
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    Default sign your name

    Not to harp on you but it is require on Ebudo that you sign you name on every post...if your name is not is not your user name. I don't practice an art that uses a dan system. I like it that way. I know that everyone is better than me though so it's nothing new for me
    Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow...
    ...that's what makes my thumper go

  3. #3
    Nicolas Caron Guest

    Default

    I don't know about it. I mean, I'm all for dropping a grading system, but if it's only to change it for a different grading system I don't see the point of doing it.

  4. #4
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    Default look at Koryu

    Many Koryu systems use the system that he describes above. It does tend to prevent the so called master of Garbage dodjo's as you are requied permission from the proper authorities to teach.
    Last edited by Tony Peters; 18th February 2002 at 06:00.
    Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow...
    ...that's what makes my thumper go

  5. #5
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    Default

    Koryu systems use the system that he describes above. It does tend to prevent the so called master of Garbage dodjo's as you are requied permission from the proper authorities to teach.
    Not all Koryu use the this system. MJER in particular uses the dan system. I don't think there is a cure to the McDojo syndrome. There will always be McSensei.
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  6. #6
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    Default Gendai

    deleted
    Last edited by Tony Peters; 18th February 2002 at 05:59.
    Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow...
    ...that's what makes my thumper go

  7. #7
    Aaron T. Fields Guest

    Talking

    WHAT... do away with al the pretty colors....ba...I say add more grades.....

  8. #8
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    Default

    MJER(and MSR) itself does not have dan grades. Various organizations (ZNKR,ZNIR,Jikishinkai,SanShinKai,etc) that promote MJER/MSR et al, issue dan grades, not the tradition itself. If you poke around a bit, you may find some old timers with traditional licenses, as well as dan grades. MJER traditionally had several scrolls issued for different levels. I believe the MJER equivelent to Menkyo Kaiden was called Kongen no Maki. My own late sensei had not only 7th dan, but also Menkyo (MSR).

  9. #9
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    Default

    The problem I have with using dan gradings is that in many cases a person or group has attached an arbitrary ranking system to an existing style. Someone who supposedly knows what they're doing decides that to have such-and-such rank, you have to demonstrate such-and-such skills. The problem is compounded by the fact that different organizations rarely use the same criteria for gradings, even in the same martial style. You can't just say "MJER uses dan gradings" because it depends on the parent organization you're under.

    I don't have any problem with ranking systems, but I don't put a lot of weight on them. Some of the best martial artists I know don't hold any rank. You work with them a while, and it becomes obvious how good they are.

    Ric Flinn

  10. #10
    red_fists Guest

    Default

    Get rid of them thingy's.

    Belts are good to collect Exam Fees, and sell Goods (belts).

    Just my 0.2 Yen worth.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Originally posted by Charles Mahan


    Not all Koryu use the this system. MJER in particular uses the dan system. I don't think there is a cure to the McDojo syndrome. There will always be McSensei.
    I beg to differ.

    The reason Chidokan mentions his getting away from the dan grade system is the very fact that he does MJER and there "are" no dan grades. These are awarded by the association and not the ryu.

    Hyakutake Colin
    Last edited by hyaku; 14th February 2002 at 06:00.

  12. #12
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    Default I think we should keep the grades

    But as teacher you have to make your students understand that they dont practise to get dans.
    I also think that the grade is sortof a reciept of your achievments. Depending of course on the examinationboards impartialility.
    Nils Bjorkegard
    Stockholm Kendo Alliance
    www.stockholmkendo.com

  13. #13
    Ben Bartlett Guest

    Default

    MJER(and MSR) itself does not have dan grades. Various organizations (ZNKR,ZNIR,Jikishinkai,SanShinKai,etc) that promote MJER/MSR et al, issue dan grades, not the tradition itself.
    This is an important distinction, and I think a lot of confusion about MJER/MSR comes from the fact that people don't understand the difference between the ryu, and the associations which promote the ryu. Of course, part of this is the fault of people like me. I constantly refer to the branch of MJER I study as the "Jikinshinkai branch", but that's not actually accurate. The Jikishinkai is the organization that promotes the study of a particular branch of MJER; it's not the branch itself. I've heard other MJER practioners refer to the ZNIR branch, the ZNKR branch, etc. This is because it's convenient, as each organization can generally be associated with a single branch, not because it is accurate. It's important to understand this distinction, however, before making statements about practices within MJER, as it may in fact be a practice within an association which promotes MJER, and not MJER itself. (How's that for confusing? )

  14. #14
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    Default

    Another problem with gradings is that they are not equally available to everyone. In the best case, your instructor is able to award the grading, and every so often the students can test, just as easily as going to practice. In the worst case testings are held maybe once or twice a year, 1000 miles away, and if you miss your shot because you can't get there then you're out of luck.

    Maybe I'm just bitter because I fall into the latter case. I think many people have a tendency to see someone who tested for shodan after 6 months as "outranking" someone who remains unranked after several years.

    Ric Flinn

  15. #15
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    Default

    Here is some food for thought. First off, I don't practice MJER, but I do practice koryu and to be frank, I never really liked the use of kyu and dan as a ranking system.

    Brian Dunham wrote:

    "MJER(and MSR) itself does not have dan grades. Various organizations (ZNKR,ZNIR,Jikishinkai,SanShinKai,etc) that promote MJER/MSR et al, issue dan grades, not the tradition itself. If you poke around a bit, you may find some old timers with traditional licenses, as well as dan grades. MJER traditionally had several scrolls issued for different levels. I believe the MJER equivelent to Menkyo Kaiden was called Kongen no Maki."

    This is really interesting. If the school itself doesn't have any dan grades as Brian says, then the people holding those ranks wouldn't really have any rank in the school then would they? It would leave a lot of people in a sticky situation. (Please don't flame me, I'm just following this line of thought out to its logical conclusion.)

    In many koryu schools, rank can only be given by the soke of the tradition, and no one else. Others may allow a menkyo kaiden (or the equivalent) to award some ranks (but not necessarily all of them). Where would this leave MJER?

    Tony Peters wrote:

    "Though MJER is a koryu it is practiced in a more Gendai manner..."

    I would agree that to me MJER does look much more like a gendai school to me after seeing it taught so many times and talking to people who practice it.

    and: "...Much the same as Aikido as compared to say Takeuchi Ryu jujutsu. The Dan grading system is most definatly post Meiji(sp) in that it was a creation of Kano."

    Here is something else to consider. I believe that the Bichuden line of Takenouchi-ryu (as well as some other koryu schools such as Tatsumi-ryu) issues dan grades along side of their traditional ranking systems. This begs the question: If both are offered by some schools, then might they not represent different things? Hmmm...

    We also know, that according to Earl Hartman that the MJER curriculum was at one time apparently much larger than it is today (See the "MJER Curriculum" thread). I am assuming that in MJER of old, the awarding of rank meant that the student had learned and was able to perform the techniques required for each level. Would that not rule out the use of most of the earlier ranks that were awarded?

    The whole idea of changing from dan ranks to classical ones seems very problematic.

    My take on the situation would be to issue dan grades if that is what you have been given (and of course, have been given permission to issue). It wouldn't seem right to change and start giving out classical ranks if you had never been given them yourself, not to mention had never been given authority to do so.

    Best,

    Ron Beaubien

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