Friday, November 10, 2006

More Shodan Musings

Yesterday, I talked to a friend about similarities between go and martial arts. He had an interesting observation. I told him 'I am getting closer to the once coveted shodan. Although now that I am getting close, shodan seems pretty weak and no big deal anymore, i still have soooooooooooooooo much to learn!. He replied: 'WOW That's really awesome. And yes that's exactly how i feel about the shodan issue in budo too. In Japan no-one cares about shodan....all it means is that you're actually a student of whatever art you study rather than just someone checking it out. People only say things like "i have sandan" or "I have godan". If they're only shodan they say that they are "studying jujitsu" and if they're under shodan they don't talk about it. Pretty different from here where everyone just quits after shodan.'



Looking at the AGA ranking histogram, many people seem to quit after reaching shodan in go too. Is it because they reached the goal they set themselves? Do they lose interest and quit go? Or they stop studying, or maybe the stones are so far apart at that level that many people don't want to go through all the work to get stronger? The thread about 'Shodan... and then?' on godiscussions.com has been interesting to read. I like the way Chiyodad expressed himself: 'Shodan is nothing more than a beacon to guide the first leg of your journey. After you get there, you find a farther destination and carry on. You had better be enjoying the trip because I suspect that every destination will really turn out to be nothing more than a road-sign that says "You are here". '

4 comments:

lobo said...

I guess you are right about this shodan issue but for some of us (europeans) its just the first step. All depends on what type of person you are and what goals you try to achieve.

Goplayerz said...

Hi. Are there really so many 1 dan players ??

Come to play Go on FICGS correspondence Go server.

xed_over said...

do you really think the drop is because people quit? or is it more that there's a natural plateu around 1-4d and is so much harder to continue getting better.

O_Scientist said...

xed, I really have no idea, I always thought it was a combo of self promotions and people stopping after reaching shodan.

But maybe you are right, and there is a harder plateau there, interesting idea. It would be nice if there were some more statistics than just the numbers, but I don't think they are available.

Nanny