Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by Rob_Broad, Apr 9, 2002.
You ARE a wise one Josh, keep at it !!
Well thank you goldendragon, I don't really consider myself wise, especially on this board, I have learned so much from everyone here.
I recently completed my written thesis but have not yet tested for rank. My thesis is on the use of a knife for self-defense. We are also required to do a thesis kata which I did as a techinque kata using a folding knife.
I am new to American Kenpo, and I like the idea of a Black Belt thesis. I think it gives a person some time to study, reflect and articulate aspects of their journey thus far into the art. Often, we don't pause in our training to ponder; I think the thesis allows for this in a structured manner. I'll ask my instructor if one is required in my school.
There is no thesis requirement in our association until IV Dan - before that, the requirement is for community service.
I wrote my IV Dan thesis on teaching students with special needs - anything from short- and long-term injury to permanent disability (cognitive and/or physical).
I did my Black Belt thesis on the evolution of martial arts. I love doing theses(I think that's the plural form). the whole knowledge side of martial arts is really important for me and important to me that my students are involved in that side of it as well. I feel a lot more complete with all 3 sides of the triangle in place then just 1 or 2. When I say, "all 3 sides" I mean; mind, body, and spirit.
The concept of a written exam has been incorporated into the Dan exams of the Internation Tangsoodo Alliance since it's inception. The written exam is quite extensive and often includes Essay questions. Most Shimsanim require the candidate to also write prior to the exam an essay on an assigned subject. I personally have assigned a book to be read and subsequent report to be written on every occasion where I have served as either Mentor or as Shimsa. When I was coming up through the ranks, this was a demand I placed upon myself without being told so by my mentors. In Korea, origianlly there were no such requirements, atleast not up to the 4th Dan. This seems to be an innovation that was first established in the west. As regards TKD today, you simply cannot get a job teaching in Korea unless you have been educated and earned an academic degree, preferably from one of the Universities offering specific programs in Taekwondo. There has been a great debate in this country (USA) over the establishment of some type of licensing for MA instructors. Most are against this. I am one of the few who do not think it would be a bad thing....even if it means I couldn't teach anymore. I think it will be impossible for us to ever raise MA out of the murk of being something carnival until this happens. I also find it deplorable the great number of martial artists who still believe it is unimportant to know the history, culture, politics and language of the Asian Martial Arts. Sadly, more would keep us ignorant than push us to excellance. THe only reason I can find for this is because it serves their own greed and self gratification. It may no be in the keeping of the spirit of humility for one to confront such people publicly...but unfortunately, that currently is the only method by which they can be revealed and rebuked. True teachers should never fear challenge.
I havent written one yet, but i think it is a good idea, it makes shure that the person getting there black belt didnt just go through motions.. i mean it's not dancing you need to fully understand what you are doing and what the reactions of your oponent will be.. I have met black belts that shouldent have a belt aroud there waist becuse they simply go through the motions and put lackluster effort in it and then ask "is he throwing a right punch or left?" So yea THESIS is good.
We do not have to write one, but we do take a written test on the technical aspects that requires writing extensive paragraph type responses. It took me a few hours to complete.
A thesis sounds nice, I wouldn't have been bothered by having to write one.123
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