1st degree/dan black belt teaching??

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Will_Christian, Jan 20, 2017.

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  1. Will_Christian

    Will_Christian White Belt

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    Ok, so I was working out when i saw some karate students coming down from the upstairs part of the gym. When they came down i noticed their teacher was only a 1st degree blackbelt Is this the certified teaching level for karate? I thought to teach any martial arts you have to be a master, or at a teacher level, or 4th degree or whatever. Not a 1st degree. This just seems kind of sketchy...

    I know it changes from one martial art to another. But is this normal? I don't know if i have ever seen a 1st degree/dan teaching.

    If you are to lazy to read all that, Whats the certified level to teach a karate class? Does it change from one school to another in karate? is a 1st degree
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The answer is yes. To all your assumptions.
    Different systems have different meanings for "1st Dan."
    In some, you can reach that rank in a year. In ours, it'll take 6-8 years.
    But in our system (Moo Duk Kwan Taekwondo), 1st Dan is a teaching rank.
     
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  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    it varies based on the style/organization. However, if the 1st dan is not from a "mcdojo", or a school that views 1st dan as the beginning, but instead as someone with a level of mastery, i would have no issue with it. Heck, I would be fine learning from a brown belt in some styles.
     
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  4. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    it varies based on the style/organization. However, if the 1st dan is not from a "mcdojo", or a school that views 1st dan as the beginning, but instead as someone with
     
  5. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Chances are he wasn't the head teacher, but my teacher ran schools at 1st degree. :D
     
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  6. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Chances are he wasn't the head teacher, but my teacher ran schools at 1st degree. :D
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Depends. A purple or brown could certainly run a reputable BJJ school. Not as common as it was 10 years ago, but still not unheard of.
     
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  8. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    Who says that was the guy who runs it the main instructor may have just been sick. Anyway a black belt is a black belt to me it doesn't how many stripes you have if you're a black belt you should be competent enough to teach
     
  9. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    Really the only standard I have for being a teacher is knowing something I don't. How qualified by rank he is is up to you.
     
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  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    My 1st Dan in karate took 9 years from the last of three brown belt gradings we took so yes first Dans are qualified to teach. I've kept my answer short as you may be too lazy to read it all otherwise ( hint, please don't insult the posters here)
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Like the style Dirty Dog trains, in most of NGA 1st Dan is a teaching level. They spend a minimum of a year at 1st Kyu (brown belt), including a year of student teaching. I talked to one person whose style started teaching at 5th Dan.

    Rank only means what it means within a given school or organization.
     
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  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I keep forgetting to use BJJ in these discussions. The ranks in BJJ are used differently than any other art I'm familiar with, and it makes a great example of ranks meaning what they mean within the context. I'd even be happy to learn some basic BJJ from a blue belt, though that's more like learning from a competent student than an instructor, I'd think.
     
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  13. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    My question is , how do you know he was a shodan? In some styles there are no markers like stripes on the black belts. In uechi ryu karate the only markers happen at honorary titles like kiyoshi where you get a gold stripe and that is usually around 7th or 8th dan with 30 years in the style.
     
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  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    The first stripe on a Uechi Ryu black belt is typically at 6th dan (there could be Uechi schools that don't follow this). Add 5 to however many stripes on the belt.
     
  15. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Every art is different, every organization within each art is different, and every individual within each organization is different.

    I was asking my instructor about this the other day. In my organization (Seido Juku), 3rd dan is the typical minimum to open your own school. I haven't seen anyone under 3rd dan listed as a chief instructor of a school. Permission has been given in the past to people under 3rd dan to open a school under the right conditions- they're a very good student and instructor who's proven they're ready to run n their own school using the Seido Juku name, and there's not a school within a reasonable distance.

    3rd dan or any rank above it isn't a guarantee to be able to open your own school either though. The person has to be approved by our kaicho (head guy).

    I worked out with a 1st dan who just opened his own Shotokan school when I was in college. We was an uchi deschi in Japan under one of the big names in Japan (I can't remember which one). He was quite good. Way better than I was in terms of karate ability and teaching ability, and I was a 1st dan too (non-Shotokan). There were also no other karate schools within a good 45 minute drive. I'll admit I didn't think he'd be what he was when I saw his ad. I stopped in and was quite impressed. I'd have stayed, but it was about 2 months before I graduated and returned home.
     
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  16. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    No one needs Dan or any ranking to teach. One needs to meet some requisites in order to use some names or teach within some organisations...

    I think in BJJ is quite usual a Brown Belt being the principal teacher (which usually is already a great level). While other disciplines require more Dan or some special courses or something. And (1st) Dan is a very relative level and only means something if you know who gave it.

    Everyone can create his own style / name / organisation and give himself as many Dan as he want... :)
     
  17. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    No one needs Dan or any ranking to teach. One needs to meet some requisites in order to use some names or teach within some organisations...

    I think in BJJ is quite usual a Brown Belt being the principal teacher (which usually is already a great level). While other disciplines require more Dan or some special courses or something. And (1st) Dan is a very relative level and only means something if you know who gave it.

    Everyone can create his own style / name / organisation and give himself as many Dan as he want... :)
     
  18. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Yeah, I've started crosstraining in BJJ recently, and the beginners' classes I'm in are taught by a blue belt, though the head instructor at that school has a black belt. My understanding is that blue belt in BJJ is kind of analogous to 1st dan in, say, TKD.
     
  19. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Yeah, I've started crosstraining in BJJ recently, and the beginners' classes I'm in are taught by a blue belt, though the head instructor at that school has a black belt. My understanding is that blue belt in BJJ is kind of analogous to 1st dan in, say, TKD.
     
  20. kuniggety

    kuniggety 2nd Black Belt

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    It really depends on the BJJ school. I've known people who jump into BJJ and are going 4 or 5 times a week and get the blue in a year. Most working adults go 2 or 3 times a week and it takes them 2 - 3 years. Quick math says your typical blue belt will have between 200-300 mat hrs. I look at it as a lower intermediate degree. Purple is usually close to double that... another 400-600 hrs so someone will have between 600 and 900 when they get purple. I personally view this as upper intermediate - teatering on advanced and should have a wealth of knowledge to share. A blue should have plenty of trick shots to show a noob... I've taught some basic positional moves and attacks as a blue.
     
  21. kuniggety

    kuniggety 2nd Black Belt

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    Double post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  22. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Hey JR did you/ do you study uechi ryu? If so who did you train under?
    And to clarify my post I did use the word "like" as in ...as an example... I used kiyoshi as an example, didn't intend on confusing anyone...yes Renshi is the first gold stripe, and that is commonly given at 6th dan. But my point was that the only marking is for the honorary title not for the actual degree of the black belt.
     
  23. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    It varies so widely--I've commonly seen anything from brown belt to 4th dan as the minimum to teach for a given org., with exceptions at both ends. Remy Presas encouraged even complete newbies to spread Modern Arnis after a single weekend seminar, for which one got a beginner's instructional certificate--he was that anxious to have his art spread outside its homeland. My mental image is that a brown belt is an asst. instructor level and that a first degree black belt should be able to open their own school and grant at least some colored belt ranks, but that's just based on me averaging out what I've seen over the years. In many cases you need to have higher dan rank to have your own school.123
     

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