Funny thing I noticed after black belt class today

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by skribs, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    After class today, as everyone is shaking hands, I noticed something.
    • All of the 1st degree black belts were hobbling, like they were sore
    • All of the 2nd degree black belts had a tired look on their face, but they could at least walk normally (even if they were slouching)
    • All of the 3rd degree black belts were still smiling and bouncing, still full of energy
    I just thought it was funny.
     
  2. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master of Arts

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    Haha!

    Maybe 3rd degree black belt is the REAL black belt... :eek:
     
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  3. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    In previous classes, I've noticed a distinct difference in technique between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. (This was back when I was 1st).
     
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  4. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I would say that is typical. That new black belts is a powerful motivator, a fun and exciting time in the journey. Generally people are working harder at "special" classes. Logic dictates that a 3rd Dan should be more polished and not have to work as hard. I think you will find within a group of BB's the 1st and 2nd Dan's are going to be the younger, more athletic and energetic group. So I expect them to work harder and push more. It tracks predictably.
    Of course the 3rd Dan's could be slacking off and need a kick in the butt.;)
     
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  5. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Completely anecdotal and limited to the places I’ve been and the people I’ve been around, but most often 3rd dans have that perfect blend of age, experience, and ability. For the ones who started training in later high school/early college age, they’re typically late 20s to early 30s. The age where you’ve been at it for a while, but not old and declining physically. Of all the people I’ve been around, the typical 3rd dans have been the ones to watch and watch out for more than the others. 4th dans too, but not as much; they’re typically a bit older and have started to slow down a little bit.

    Again, completely anecdotal and could quite possibly be limited to the people I’ve been around. Of course, this excludes places that have teenage “masters,” 3 years to 3rd dan, etc.
     
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  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Double post
     
  7. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    As you were alluding to, I think it’s largely a case of the 3rd dans “letting the fight come to them” and not “chasing” the opponent/sparring partner. How am I more winded than the 65 year old broken-down 4th dan I spar with frequently after a 3 minute round? Simple. He creates and/or waits for an opening, then he takes it. He’s not forcing anything, and I’m doing all the work for him. He’s like people I’ve seen trying to catch chickens - people who haven’t done it will run all over the place after them, whereas the ones who do it regularly walk up and lead them into a corner without any effort.
     
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  8. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Green Belt

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    I tested for 5th Dan a couple of days ago. Afterwards I WAS hobbling, sore, tired, slouching and had no energy - but I was smiling!

    I had to spar at the end of my test and used the exact strategy you described. Timing and patience and angles. The matches were to five points - there was no way I was going to (or could, at that point) battle that long! So I let them come to me and run into a lazy backfist or reverse.

    It seems you have hit on the right method JR 137 - even if you are not a 3rd degree, you now know how to fight like one. By the way, watch out for the "65 year old broken-down" remarks; I'm older than that.
     
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  9. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    There's a difference between a test designed for a 5th degree, and a class designed for all degrees.
     
  10. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    The “65 year old broken-down man” is how he describes himself. :) He’s had a few neck and spinal surgeries, along with bum shoulders and god knows what else. From everything he’s had done to him and all his ailments, he walks around like Quasimodo. And he still makes me look bad on the floor. I call him the custodian because he sweeps me and practically everyone else like it’s his job.

    I’d really love to be able to fight like him. Get close, and he makes me carry his weight and just pummels me before he sweeps me. Get outside, and he’s making me come at him and then sweeping me on my way in. I don’t throw kicks at him because I almost always feel a tap on my plant foot or ankle. And when there’s no tap, I’m picking myself up off the floor.

    He’s found a way to be very effective despite all of his physical shortcomings. Sitting there watching him, it doesn’t look pretty. Standing in front of him, I’m just constantly thinking what the hell can I possibly do against this guy that has a chance of working. Sure, he lets me work some stuff, but we both know he’s LETTING me. That’s a fighter. And a hell of a training partner.
     
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  11. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Green Belt

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    I know the feeling. I've been outclassed on a number of occasions with being frustrated and helpless against an opponent. I learned in those situations to just accept the probability of defeat and not worry about it. Sure, I still lost, but by not overly stressing about it during the bout, I could use that extra brain power to enjoy the opportunity to learn. Sort of a mushin thing. That broken-down old guy sounds like a great role model. Also, it gives you the knowledge that getting old is not the end of the world, especially for a martial artist. The spirit is independent of the body. My sensei calls it "old man power."
     
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  12. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Funny thing is I’ve never felt helpless sparring with him. He lets me do just enough where I’m working hard for it and I’m not his glorified punching bag. Sometimes I catch him, and I know exactly when because he gets that proud father kinda look and will say something like “great punch.” When I don’t get that, I know it was because he let me :)
     
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  13. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Green Belt

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    He would be a great sensei if he is not one already. He gives the right amount of resistance to make you work, yet not so much that you get disheartened. That's a talent. Also shows he puts helping you over his ego. Your training sounds like it is coming along well.
     
  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    All yondans in our organization have the sensei title. What he does is what is expected of everyone - help the lower ranks. No one’s sparring to “win” we’re sparring to improve. People above me help me out, and I pay it forward by doing the same for people I’m above. We’re a small and tight-knit dojo. I can honestly say we don’t have any egos. We reportedly had a few bad apples in the past, and they were shown the door. That was before I was there.

    The chief instructor sets the tone at every dojo. Our CI has been at it for close to 50 years. The way he carries himself rubs off on us. I can’t say enough good things about him. That’s what drew me there and keeps me there.
     
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  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Man I love this post. Great to hear about such an awesome workout environment. It is something that is truly contagious.
     
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