Black Belt/Sash/Rank at a young age...

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by BlazeLeeDragon, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    TKD suffers (or benefits, depending upon your perspective) from heavy commercialization and all that goes with it. Arts and sciences are fundamentally at odds with commercialization. Art and science demand a degree of integrity while commercial interest demands profit. If integrity is standing in the way of profit, guess which one loses?
     
  2. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Some martial arts schools will practically hand out black belts, often as a method of making more money. Personally I don't agree with that and I would not recommend training at such a place. I don't think the black belt should be handed out. I don't think any of the belts should be handed out except perhaps the white belt. In most places, a student starts with a white belt on day one and Im fine with that. All the other belts I think should be earned. They should be earned by the student working hard and meeting the standards for the belt. I also think a student should know what they need to do to get their next belt up, whatever color it might be. Up to and including the black belt, a student should know what they need to do to get their next belt.
     
  3. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    In which case, they aren't being handed out but are being sold.
     
  4. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    We don't even give out the white belt. New students wear regular workout clothes until they learn Kicho 1. Not super difficult, but they have to be able to get through it on their own before they can wear a dobak.
     
  5. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Yes there are some dojos where you start with no belt and have to earn the white belt. What Im saying is that none of the belts except the white belt, or including the white belt if your dojo doesn't start with that, should be handed out/sold but instead should be earned. However, its only proper that a student should know what they need to do to get to their next belt rank, whatever it might be. It makes sense that a student should know their sensei's standards for getting their next belt up to and including the black belt, doesn't it?
     
  6. generalneon

    generalneon White Belt

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    I believe that those of us who are following this thread are in agreement with that opinion. The debate, however, is how young is too young to earn the black belt. Some here believe that if a student has put in the requisite training, and can pass the art's standards, then they earn the belt. Some believe that there should be a youth program separate from the senior training and have it's own belt system.
     
  7. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I believe in a separate youth program for reasons unrelated to the belt. It is generally unproductive to mix adults with kids, or young kids with teens. Mainly, the classes are tailored differently.

    My personal feeling is that if the student can really pass the test and has the requisite training time, then barring any age standards set by the organization, I see no reason to differentiate.

    So long as standards and integrity are maintained. If the black belt is simply a standard feature of the school after a requisite number of classes and payments, then I have an issue with it. Regardless of the age of the students.
     
  8. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    That would depend on what the standards are. In some dojos, in order to get a black belt you have to be able to take impact like a full grown adult. You also have to be able to hit with the power of a full grown adult. A young child would not be able to meet those standards.
     
  9. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Sad but true. This is what I often refer to when I talk about people caring more about $$ than the quality of things...but that's just me. Like I've said, I'm all for someone making a buck. It's just sad...actually pathetic is more like it, when people resort to the things that we've talked about.
     
  10. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Nor would some full grown adults. Are we talking adult males or females? Does that include senior citizens? What about diminutive people who simply lack physical power?

    Saying, 'power of a full grown adult' simply muddies the waters.
     
  11. AIKIKENJITSU

    AIKIKENJITSU Yellow Belt

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    I have been learning and teaching since 1967. That's right, I'm still alive and punching and teaching private lessons.

    Kids should not be taught an adult program with crippling or deadly techniques until they reach the age of sixteen, but even then it depends on the kids maturity to take on the serious adult program. To give a kid an adult black belt is an insult to the adult students and I would never do that and it is also dangerous for kids to have adult knowledge which could injure other kids. Even if a kid had a black belt, a grown adult could beat the kid up. His muscles aren't developed, his height and his emotions.

    Aikikenjitsu
     
  12. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Yes that can be a problem. All I know is that my sensei requires a student to be able to take impact like a full grown adult as one of his requirements for black belt. I would assume he means average adult as adult's physical abilities vary based on different factors such as size, gender, ect.

    In medieval times, to be a knight you had to be strong enough to wear armor. The standard age at which a person got knighted was 21 and that is how we got the age of 21 to mean the age of adulthood for certain stuff such as being able to drink alcohol or to get a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) or in the old days, to vote. The reason why people were usually knighted at 21 was because usually by that age a person was strong enough to wear armor. Now, you didn't have to be 21 to be a knight, you could be a knight at a younger age if you could meet the requirements including the requirement of being able to wear armor, but usually it was at 21 when a person got knighted. Just like one of the requirements to be a knight was to be able to wear armor, one of the requirements that my sensei has for black belt is to be able to take impact like a full grown adult. I've never known of any five year old that could do that. There were knights that were younger than 21 but I never heard of a knight who was 5. By the same token, I don't know of any five year old that could take impact like an average full grown adult so that's why a 5 year old would never be a black belt at my place.
     
  13. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I have no criticism of your sensei's requirements.

    My point was that any requirement is in some way arbitrary. An age requirement is arbitrary; 13, 16, 18? I've seen numerous ages mentioned. Requirements of a degree of power, ability to fight adults, requirements of crispness, etc.

    Different people have different ideas, with the only real commonality being that they all seem to feel very passionately about their position.
     
  14. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Tyler manowara at 16 fighting adults.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bHMq7p-QgnM

    At that age he was dropping pro fighters. So ability is not necessarily too age restricted.

    Now if a black belt is based on fighting ability alone and this kid wandered into your gym and flattened you. Does he deserve your black belt more than you do?
     
  15. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    I could perhaps make an exception for an exceptional 16 year old to be awarded a black belt but as to the belt thing in another dojo, no way, because black belts are not normally handed out that way. As has been pointed out by numerous people on numerous occasions, belts are a mark of progress in any particular system. They cannot be compared style to style. What it would mean, if this kid wandered into our dojo (we don't train in a gym), and could handle himself doing the things we do, is that he is a very competent martial artist. Nothing more.

    By your arguement I could wander into an Iaido school, challenge them to a fight by my rules and become an Iaido black belt because I could beat them in a fight that favours me. If it was fair dinkum fighting they could use a sword but because that is not part of my training and they don't really want to hurt me the sword is not part of the fight.

    Then another way of looking at your hypothetical is, if I go into an MMA gym and beat an MMA guy, what does it prove? Just that I am competent at what I do. It doesn't make me a BJJ black belt or an MMA black belt if they have such things.
    :asian:
     
  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Then the belt system represents something other than just fighting competency. And looking at a child black belt or an old black belt with the expectation that they are some sort of fight monster is a bit misleading.

    And maybe it is just to represent progress within that school however that school feels justified doing that.

    And why if someone wants to justify a 10 year old bb they should not have to do it based on that 10 year olds ability to physically defend that belt.123
     

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