“Who gets it, who doesn’t and would you want it anyway?”
One of our readers kindly sent a link to a very interesting article written by Christoper Li of the Aikido Sangenkai. It has to do with the title of “Shihan” and the differing standards for referring to oneself as Shihan within the Aikikai system. I highly recommend that you read this piece.
“Shihan” – most often translated as “Master Instructor”. Sound pretty important?
The term wasn’t used much when I first started Aikido, but it seems to be the title to have nowadays.
In Japanese, the Kanji for Shihan (師範) break down to “instruct” and “model” – or “model instructor”. This makes sense, especially considering normal Japanese methods of instruction – this would be the guy that everybody else copies, or hopes to copy.
The regulations appear to be fairly straightforward, as is Tani’s clarifying statement – until we get to this section: