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Aside from actual techniques what are any other requirements for these ranks for you guys?
I know that time in rank is a given, but there are also some things that each style or school may require to advance to these ranks.
For us to attain 5th it is required to at least begin learning to use acupuncture needles. The healing aspect is as important to my GM as anything else. This is especially true if you have your own school. I know for my part when I have my own school up and running I will require a basic sport massage therapy as well.
I am also a firm believer in technique review for every rank after that. It would be sad to promote someone to 7th Dan and then can no longer perform their basics up to par.
As for Grandmaster, I have been told that to attain 8th one must do something to forward the art, must be active in the community. A potential GM must write a book, make a dvd to promote the art. It is not always about bringing in money but trying to be a grandmaster in every seance of the word. For my part I may be eons away from grandmaster but I am doing what i can right now. I am playing a big role in revamping and revitalizing things. My Gm has let things go in his older years as he has also pursued other venues to try and provide for his retirement.
Our style awards the honorific Master on attaining 4th dan, which is normally also the rank you are allowed to open a Dojang. A full understanding of the curiculum is of course required as is active participation in all major Kwan events.
The title Grandmaster? Well personally I believe that title belongs to only 1 individual and that is the head of your Kwan, somebody that has commited their life to the art and to the members of their association. I also believe that there should be some type of time/age requirement including the years they have trained in that style so as to preclude the create my own style and make myself a grandmaster syndrome.
For us 4th is instructor. As well, this is the rank when you are permitted to open a school of your own. Before this you must have special permission to do so.
The thing with the Korean arts, Hapkido in this case is that 8th is also grandmaster.
In our reworking of our association and everything in between we have chosen to keep 8th grandmasters but to show that there is a clear purpose for them. They are going to be area/regional seniors and my GM and then who ever he appoints as his successor will be the head of he art. But after him we have decided that a master's council is in order to keep any one individual from hijacking the art and going for their own greater glory. There is quite a bit to it.