Disappointing grading

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Headhunter, May 11, 2019.

  1. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    not for myself but I asked by a friend who runs a kenpo dojo to assist in a grading for a guy for his 1st degree brown belt (1 before black belt) so I agreed and honestly was not impressed with what I saw.

    The guys basics were sloppy and lacked any power or sharpness.

    His forms he got 4 out of 8 completely wrong and others he got lost halfway through.

    His techniques well he couldn't remember most of them and the ones he did do were either wrong in the way he did totally the wrong movements or they were very slow and robotic. It got so bad with the names they switched his place in the technique line. He was at the front because he was testing but instead they put him at the back so in their own words "he can see what the technique is" and it still didn't improve anything. Now I know your not expected to be perfect but when you're going for that high a level you should at least know each move even if they're not amazing you should at least know what you're meant to do and he didn't.


    So at the end they asked my opinion on if he should pass. I said no because he'd made so many mistakes he'd shown very little competence I didn't believe there was any way he deserved that rank. Plus he'd acted very cocky during the test when the head instructor gave him advice he just scoffed and rolled his eyes and had 0 control and gave his partner a black eye. All of that added up to me saying hell no.

    But....long story short my opinion meant nothing and they promoted him and then started saying nonsense like that was the best grading they'd ever seen....well if it was I'd hate to have seen the worst.

    Through all of it had this really arrogant look on his face like duh of course I passed he even said. "Thanks sir I'll be ready for my black belt by the end of summer" and he wasn't joking either.

    But yeah after the grading he came up to me so I just shook his hand and said well done. He asked what I thought of his performance because I hadn't said anything in the presentation (funnily enough they never asked me to say anything)

    So I was honest I'm not one for bs or blowing smoke up people's backside being honest is the best way in my opinion plus the fact he was acting so cocky I said well honestly if I was in charge I wouldn't have passed you and I gave him my reasons i already stated and ooh he looked pissed the fake cocky smile was totally gone and he said well I don't give a f___ what you think you're just some has been second Dan and then walked off....man I was fuming but I left it. Luckily I'm more I'm more in control with my emotions now than I was years after my wife died because I nearly said well if your so good get your gloves on and lets get on the mat. But that would've been a stupid and childish thing to do especially at a club I'm not part of. Like I said I'm way more in control now .

    Very disappointed in my friend because I always thought he was a guy who never gave away rank. Very disappointing
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  2. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That sucks. I wouldn't do any more gradings with them in the future.

    As a side note, part of the reason it took me as long as it did to get to black belt is remembering the names of the different techniques. If you tell me to do all the techniques at a belt, I can do that, or if you tell me which technique it is (ie "the one with the heel stomp at the end") I can do that too. But for a long time if you asked me to do grasping eagles all you'd get is me laughing.
     
  3. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Yeah hey I get that and I wouldn't automatically fail someone for that because I know there's a lot of names at high levels and we all have our area. For me names were always easy because I started in a Japanese style and had to learn Japanese names and orders so when I switched to learning English it was easy and I can still say probably up to purple belt in the correct order but it wasn't just that it was everything else as well. If he just screwed up some names but then did it right I'd be fine with that but even when he saw it he still didn't seem to know it at all.

    And like you said it took you a while so you at hard to earn it not just get given so I respect that. We've all got our area. Mines stances. My legs are weird so feet never point in the right direction. (Why I like Muay Thai. They don't give a damm about that haha)


    And yeah I won't be attending there again and I refused to sign the guys certificate. I said it simply to my friend I'm not putting my name to a grade I don't agree with and to someone who talks to me like that. But I looked up the guy on facebook later out of curiousity and turns out he's a guy who's not short of money.....if you catch my meaning...and I know my friend just bought a new car...sooo
     
  4. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    My first thought is maybe there are some underlying issues with the brown belt (tourettes, etc...) that may explain some of why the instructor was giving him a pass. But it doesn't read that way at all. It sounds like they are allowing a bad situation to manifest itself. I really only see two options; bow out of any future invitations or get engrained with the program and student and see if either can be turned around. I suppose a lot of it hinges on how good a friend the instructor is. Is it possible he doesn't know better?
     
  5. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    The instructor came up in rank the same time as I did he was trained in the way you had to earn your belt. No one was given it in our place. He even failed a couple of tests. The guys definetely not got Tourette's because he was kissing major butt before and after with the others he was so smarmy it made me cringe. From looking around Facebook which I did out of curiosity and speaking to a few other people I know from that club who also don't have great stories to tell the guys just a jerk
     
  6. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    People have told me I take it to seriously when it comes to rank and maybe I do. I believe that rank isn't important when determining your skills but it also shouldn't be given out for poor performance because that just starts a cycle of low ability getting passed down. That's why traditional styles get a bad reputation because of the belts being given out undeserved. I've never chased a rank and I've never been given one because I wouldn't allow it. One time I did a grading for like green I think and I was poor I admit it. I'd been sick the past month and had stuff going on at home so barely trained but it was at a camp I was attending and went and did it but I was awful I felt rusty and slow. I thought I'd failed and even said to the guy running it instead of kneeling down like you do when waiting to find out if your promoted I just said I'll go sit at the side. He asked why? I said because I know I've not passed. He said just kneel down so I did and turns out they passed me. But I wasn't happy and I didn't accept the rank (in kenpo there's a stage where they say if you don't agree with this decision you don't have to take it and you can stand up now) so I stood up. I hadn't graded well I knew I was better than what I showed but I hadn't shown it on the day so I didn't want to feel like a fraud. The guy later shook my hand and said he respected my humility and that was the first time he'd ever seen that happen.

    I got the belt 3 months when I tested again and was fine with it because I knew when I'd done what I needed to do
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That sounds disappointing on a number of levels. I saw one grading (for shodan) where someone I though the student should have failed. I wasn't of rank to speak up at the time (I was a fresh shodan, myself), but seeing that guy get his shodan is part of the reason I changed my testing guidelines.

    Seeing that happen from someone you respect is a let-down. Having them ask for your opinion, then not only ignore it, but speak the opposite to the (already cocky) student would cost them more than a little respect in my eyes.
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If there were other problems that warranted some leeway, those should have been shared with the visiting reviewer, too.
     
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  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I tend not to take rank very seriously, but at the same time, I feel like if there's a stated standard, it should be held to unless there's a danged good reason for an exception (and there are some danged good reasons out there).

    The best equivalency I can give is - as always - my NGA training. If I had forgotten a single technique (either name or how to do it) for my BB test, I'd have failed that part of the test (we test over a number of months) and would have had to try again in a few weeks. That's true not only at BB, but all the way down to yellow (first earned rank). I know that latter fact, because I failed my yellow belt test the first time for that very reason.
     
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  10. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Doesn’t sound like a very good situation. I get pretty irritated when someone asks my opinion, then completely ignores it. I guess they’re looking for confirmation of their decision more than any actual opinion.

    As far as washed up 2nd dan goes, show up to sparring class one night. Let him see if he’s right ;) I don’t mean to in there and beat him up, but spar him like you’d spar with any other brown belt. He’ll know his rank is a sham no matter how hard he tries to hide it.
     
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  11. TSDTexan

    TSDTexan Master of Arts

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    Rule 78:
    The proof is in the foot... or fist.
     
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  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Sounds like you were put into an unfair situation. I would say you handled it as well as could be expected. I respect that you voiced your concerns and did not compromise your standards, and when the fellow in question asked for your input, you gave him an honest answer.
     
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  13. Rat

    Rat Black Belt

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    Kind of reminds me of a few black belts not being able to walking stance without being pushed over the first time. Granted they only did it once and a few of them did it. Not really a equivalency but it slightly makes me giggle when high belts forget the basics, everyone can do it though.
     
  14. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

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    That's unfortunate, it disappointing to see a systems standards compromised and not consistently upheld.

    I can't say with certainty, but maybe they knew he wasn't up to snuff and wanted an outside instructor to validate their denial.

    It's funny when others approach us and ask our opinion when all they really want is validation opposed to actual input. His attitude alone shows a disgusting lack of respect and he isn't high rank material.

    You it handled well considering the situation
     
  15. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I'm just reading this for the first time. I'm speechless.
     
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  16. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Was speechless as well. Luckily that didn't interfere with me typing :D
     
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  17. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I disagree. Beat him like a drum. Rinse, repeat.
     
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  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Yeah, but don’t make it obvious. Otherwise you won’t be invited back to repeat. :)
     
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  19. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    What I meant was the instructor, or whoever was in charge there, should have beaten that man within in an inch of his life for saying that to a visiting panel member on a rank test.

    And I ain't buying any "maybe he didn't hear it" b.s. either.

    I'm still kind of stunned at the whole thing. Maybe I need to get out more.
     
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  20. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    After that joke of a test I don't want to go back
     
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