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Relative Dan Scale

In my post on Doubling Skill, I showed the numeric values that would apply if there was a doubling of skill from one dan level to another.

To be clear, I should state that I do not believe this to be true in a literal sense. I do not believe that skill can be quantified, nor do I think that skill is the only factor considered in dan ranking. On the later point, I recognize that factors such as contributions to the art mean more and more as a student advances.

But I do like the idea of a doubling. Is shows that it does not take a little to progress from one level to another -- it takes a lot. The actual numeric value is not important -- it is the idea.

Also, I mentioned in a follow-up post that I am not jealous of seniors' rank or skill. Halford E. Jones, a frequent reader of this blog and the donor of the Halford E. Jones Filipino Martial Arts Collection at the Hawaii Karate Museum, suggested that a better word might be "envious". I agree.

Imagine when Koichi Tohei first visited Hawaii. How do you think that the local Judo instructors felt when he started to demonstrate his Aikido techniques. Many of them were inspired to begin the study of Aikido.

My Aikido Sensei was Sensei Sadao Yoshioka. His Judo instructor was Yamamoto Sensei, who was a 6th dan when Tohei Sensei first visited. Despite his decades in Judo, Yamamoto Sensei became a student of Aikido. Can you imagine that? And so did Yoshioka Sensei.

Tohei Sensei was so inspiring. Rather than being jealous or envious, I believe that the people observing him were amazed.

I am not a fan of rank, I am a fan of skill and character. Someone can give you rank, but you have to earn your own skill and shape your own character. Rank does have its place, but it is just a piece of a greater puzzle.


Charles C. Goodin