Higher Dan can lower your credibility! 船越
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I was awarded 8th dan in 2009. The first 8th dan of Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association under
Personally i felt i was too young to be a 8th dan, but i accepted the 8th Dan rank inorder to keep the organizational structure , i needed to think of the other Karateka in the organization that are older and showed loyalty to my father Kenneth Funakoshi and FSKA over the decades under the FSKA organization.
Last year 2018 (after the customary 9 year span), i was offered by my father to be 9th dan. This time i refused to accept the 9th dan promotion. I personally feel that i am too young to be a 9th dan (57 years old at the time) . Accepting the 9th dan will not only question the credibility of the whole organization and my own rank, but also my PERSONAL FEELING of being a 9th dan at such a young age. Being technically great as competitive champion in both Kata and Kumite of FSKA and oustside of FSKA,KAH,HKC, JKA Hawaii etc champion does not take the place of experience and knowledge gained thru years of Karate life (Karatedo).
Physical exhibition of technique and competitive Shotokan Karate is done thru physical and technical Dan Exams up to the 4th and 5th dan exams. From that point 6th dan and higher, Understanding Karate/Karatedo, Character, Dojo Kun, Organizational skills and many other "Karate" skills become a more important factor in determining Dan Rank . Even basic everyday life and family skills are factors...
Seeing so many young 9th and 10th dans under 50 years of age is very heartbreaking to me personally. An EXAMPLE: A Karateka can be the greatest Kumite and Kata champion ever but if they are proclaiming 10th dan at 35 years old, it ruins all the accomplishments they acheived .... Many Traditional Shotokan Karateka discredit other "Open" Styles proclaiming 10th,12th 16th dan,etc.. what is the difference of a Shotokan Karateka in their 40-50's 10th dan from the "open" styles? both lose credibility in my eyes.
This is just my personal Opinion about Funakoshi Karate. by Kevin Funakoshi Sensei 船越