Black Belts from other styles entering your school

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Azulx, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    If a student comes to my club with a black belt (or any othervrank) from within our organization comes to my club, of course they retain their rank. If it's another style, they generally start as a white belt, or sometimes we advance them to green in recognition. Either way, they have to catch up on our ways of doing things, since there are always some differences...

    But I also have to agree with lklawson. This is popping up a lot suddenly. Maybe we can get to the root discussion if the OSCAR'S to share why they're bringing it up....

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  2. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    It's really simple, do they know and meet the criteria for a given rank in your school? If it's a different style then no, they don't. If it's a similar style they might get there faster. But if someone goes into a new school and wants to wear a rank in a different style they are probably there for the wrong reasons.

    Rank should never become more important then training, anyone that comes into a school more concerned about rank then training is going to most likely be a poor student.
     
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  3. Azulx

    Azulx Black Belt

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    We moved our school to a college campus since last September, since then we have had 3 black belts not from our school try to join our club. One was extremely humble and had no problem wearing a white, belt , even though his old program was almost identical to ours. He was one of the greatest practitioners I have met. As for the other two they expected to be treated as black belts and had an attitude, about not being treated as their rank.

    Since we are located on a college campus with 10,000 + people walking around constantly. We are bound to have people who have prior experience walk in and try to join. So we average one about every month or so. This gives it potential for it to happen commonly.
     
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  4. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    If they are from a different system we say "hey thats great, you can wear it or not, but we don't use a belt system for rank."

    If they are from the same system they would get a questioning look with a "uh, thats nice, but don't give out belts for rank....."

    :D

    My training group, and most of the kali groups that I have worked with are very informal with regard to rank. The only guys who ever get called by a title are our equivalent to grandmasters, everyone else is on a first name basis. And even then outside of class or seminar most of those guys are on a first name basis as well. We don't line up in lines according to rank, there is little hierarchy, there are no uniforms. You come in and train hard and learn.

    I call my group a "training group" intentionally, this isn't just my school even though I am the lead instructor. Over half my guys are black belts in judo with heavy competition experience, you better believe I tap into their area of expertise. If the new guy brings good information to the table we will make use of it.
     
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  5. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    You walk into a new school because there are something in that new school that you want to learn. You may be a "single leg" expert in grappling but if you want to learn "flying knee", you have to join in a MT school. A black belt for a "single leg" expert is not going to help you much for your "flying knee" learning.

    If you have a Judo black belt, you don't want to wear you black belt when you joint in a BJJ school. The reason is simple. If a BJJ white belt can beat you on the ground, you will lose face big time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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  6. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I never understood why a black belt from one style would want to wear it at a totally different school. I went from 1 Goju Ryu school as a Brown Belt to a different one and asked to start as a white belt. The teach agreed for about 2 weeks then told me to put a brown belt back on. I got a black belt in that school if I ever went back to my first Goju Dojo I wouldn't ask to wear my blackbelt. When I went to try totally different styles I don't even mention my black belt unless Im asked about prior training and ranks.
    On the flip side if someone was a black belt in a different style and came to my school and wanted to wear the belt I wouldn't really care because they are going to still be starting with beginner classes. We had a Black belt in some Filipino style (Sorry I cant remember which one) he wore his black belt in classes and was allowed to teach some classes on the side for people interested but in Goju he started with the white belts.
     
  7. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Many years ago, The Kung Li system master Wang Fen-Ting opened a Chinese wrestling school in Taiwan. One day 2 young boys walked into that school. The instructor invited them to sit down and watched the class. In the middle of the class, the instructor asked both boys whether they had learned any Chinese wrestling or not. Both boys said that they didn't know any Chinese wrestling. The school instructor invited them to wrestle with his students, those 2 boys defeated all the instructor's students on the mat, That Chinese wrestling school closed down the day after. IMO, to hide your identity will always be toward your advantage both in a friendly environment or a non-friendly environment..
     
  8. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    If someone walked into my old instructors school and wanted to wear his black belt from another style, he better be ready to work with the black belts and keep up with the "big boys" because they would be put through hell. If they came back for a second class it wouldn't be as a black belt. That white belt would be around their waist as a means of self preservation. I am sure it might be the same in some BJJ schools.
     
  9. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    I don't really understand (and have no real use for) anyone that "expects to be treated as their rank". I've run across managers at my work with that same attitude, and I don't understand them either. :)
     
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  10. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    This must be an FMA thing. I run my little group the same way. Then on Sundays, I drive across town to train under another guy who is quite good. And sometimes I work with his teacher who is phenomenal. Most of the people in both groups have significant martial arts experience, but it's no big deal. Beginners or experts, we are all in it together. We call each other by first names, or sometimes call the presiding instructor "coach" etc. Ego doesn't factor in. And as an instructor in one group, it's actually really enjoyable just being a student in the other. Teaching is fun, but learning is better!
     
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  11. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    And here's your answer... Point to him, say "See, Fred there, he has a black belt in XYD, but started over when he came in the door. Look how good he is... but he started over" if someone has a problem.
     
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  12. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Easy. My system doesn't use belts so belt would be totally meaningless to us. Someone walks in and says that they have a black belt in TKD or Karate has no baring on what they can do with our fighting systems.
     
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  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    I earned a 1st degree black belt, and was preparing for my 2nd degree. Before I tested, I was offered a graduate assistantship 5 hours away. I figured I'd come back 2 years later when I was done, but a career, marriage and 2 children made my break 15 years.

    My first system was headed by a former Seido Sensei. I now practice Seido. My current teacher knows my former teachers and system, having been a student along side them back in the day.

    I remember 99% of the old material, and but there's there's a few things in Seido that were dropped by my former organization. Other than flexibility, I haven't lost much. My first month or two, my teacher asked me several times if it's really been 15 years, as he (and I) was surprised by how well I performed stuff like kata and kihon.

    I wasn't offered to keep my old rank. I didn't ask to, nor did I want to. After I told my new teacher about my previous experience during my first visit to his dojo, he told me "You can't wear your old belt in here." I responded with "I don't want to; all it'll be is a Halloween costume anyway."

    I started at white belt. I've tested for every promotion. 10 months in, and I'm getting ready to test for my green belt.

    I don't care about the belts. I just want to train and improve. I love the tests though, but for the process; not for the results. I love being taken out of my comfort zone and being pushed harder than usual.

    I visited a dojo in my old organization when I was looking to start up again (my old teacher moved his dojo an hour away, and the schedule isn't possible for me). My old organization offered to let me keep my old rank without me asking them, and I told them I didn't want to. They liked my outlook. Had there not been any break/minimal time off, I would've wanted to keep it though.

    My old teacher had people come from different karate organizations and MAs. All started as white belts. His policy was the student wears a white belt for 3 months, and is ranked where he sees fit. If the student doesn't like it, they can leave afterwards and break the contract without financial penalties.

    We had a 3rd dan from judo who thought he should keep his rank even though we were karate. He was told up front that he'd start at white belt and have to test for every rank, as karate and judo don't have much in common. He could potentially advance quicker if he worked hard and displayed the requirements, but no quicker than anyone else who did the same. Never heard from him again. You'd think a 3rd dan would understand, but apparently not.
     
  14. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    This may not apply to MA training but it may apply on other things in our life.

    When I came to US as a student, my American friend suggested me to join in the US national guard. Back in 1973, if I spent 2 weekends per month in US national guard, I would get $175 per month. That was a lot of money for a student (the UT Austin tuition was only $50 per semester). I told the US national guard that in Taiwan, I had 3 months formal soldier training, 3 months sergeant training, and served 2nd lieutenant in Taiwan navy as supply officer for 1 year (a total of 1 year and 6 months military experience), The US national guard told me that I still have to go through the soldier basic training. I ended up didn't joint in the US national guard. There are still something in our life that we want to hold our own value for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  15. Montana

    Montana White Belt

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    Exactly!
     
  16. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge 2nd Black Belt

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    I teach Wing Chun and we don't have belts the way that you mean, but there are stages of the curriculum and some basic seniority that keeps order and helps me and my students focused on the training that they need.

    Because so many people have trained in Wing Chun somewhere or think they know something about it because they trained somewhere that claims some connection to it, this comes up a lot for me.

    When they approach me, I let them talk and ask questions, but if I'm not hearing "I want to come to you to learn, because I think I would benefit from it" or something like that, I send them away politely. If they continue to ask, then I get more direct about "what are you hoping to gain by training with us?"

    If their expectations don't line up with mine, I don't invite them in, period. Because I'm not running a school with commercial aspirations, I can do that, but from my experience, it just takes one of the wrong people to screw up the environment for everyone.

    That said, I'm thinking of a few people right now who came in with a lot of experience and did quite well and ultimately did advance faster. One had former Wing Chun training from a different lineage, one karate and one hung gar. They came in respectfully, worked hard (a good martial arts student is a good martial arts student and in this regard their past training can really help) and found a new home for training.

    I had a lot of training before I met my SiFu 10 years ago, I had to put all of my past aside, except for the part where I learned to listen, be respectful and work hard. It paid off for me.
     
  17. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    This has nothing to do with commercial aspirations... One bad student that drives 2 good students away is a bad business move to keep. Not signing up bad apples in a commercial school might even be more important, as if the membership drops so does the owners salary.
     
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  18. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Locked in to a mindset. Go to training wear the training gear. I go to other styles in a rash vest because I feel comfortable wearing it.

    Sporting a deadpool one at the moment.
     
  19. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge 2nd Black Belt

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    Excellent points, Andrew and of course you are right.
     
  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    How often does it actually happen that one gets a black belt with a superiority complex coming in and expecting to start training as a black belt not as they should a white belt? In the karate club I trained in before my current one I have never known it in many years, I have however seen people who have high grades in other styles come in with no belts and/or white belts and no attitude.

    Everyone is getting very indignant about these people coming in expecting to be 'respected' etc for their grades but I've never come across it. We've had people coming in to train with us, as I said, passing through, they rarely wear their belts even when we say it's fine. so how many people can honestly say it's happened at their place of training?123
     

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