Report from the Nov. 2, 2016 Meeting of the ASU Board
- The treasurer reported that the roof of the house at the Aiki Shrine will need to be replaced. The Board thanks Gary Clementi who did a temporary fix – in the middle of a hurricane.
- ASU is now registered as a non-profit organization with a tax-exempt number in the state of Florida.
- We are considering an ethics statement for the ASU, in conference with the ASU attorney, Richard Moore.
- The attendance requirements for yudansha promotion had been updated in Board meetings earlier this year, with the intention of allowing greater flexibility to students. Specifically, a certain amount of seminar attendance is now allowed as an alternative to the earlier Camp-only attendance requirement. The Board is reviewing these requirements.
- An overview of how Kagami Baraki promotions were done this year has been given to the Board: In 2015, Saotome Sensei, during a time of great flux, chose not to do Kagami Baraki promotions, tasking the Board with this duty for 2016. The Board designated the “Kagami Baraki” sub-committee, consisting of all ASU seventh dans, to present a list to Saotome Sensei for promotions to yondan and above. A list of all up-to-date ASU dues-paying members was generated. As required by Hombu Dojo this list, consisting of 247 people, was then checked for time in grade requirements, with the understanding that it is better to be well over the time requirements posted by Hombu Dojo. Thirty people were recommended from this list for godan and above. The major focus was to promote people who had been at their rank for a fairly long time. There were a few exceptions due to health issues or advanced age. The list was presented to Saotome Sensei for his approval, who kindly approved the list. These thirty people then wrote biographies describing their training, filled out the necessary forms, and found their Yudansha books. This took two months. As this is the first time someone other than Patty Saotome Sensei has done this work, all this paperwork was hand-carried to Hombu Dojo in October, so that the forms could be reviewed before being officially handed in. The forms were duly approved for consideration for promotion by Hombu Dojo.
Hombu Dojo reinforced the idea that rank would not be given, for godan and above, merely for time in grade. No one is promised rank this year. We will be waiting until the middle of December when Hombu Dojo should inform us of their decisions as to who will get promoted.In the coming year, the dojo-cho will be asked for promotion candidates for yondan and above. The time-line for this process should be decided and sent out to dojo-cho by January 1, 2017.
The Kagami Baraki Committee will receive the dojo-cho requests for consideration and will make sure that others do not fall between the cracks. An important consideration is that the ASU does not want to look like a promotions mill. There will be more guidance on this in the near future.