Graham lelliot promoted to 9th dan

Discussion in 'Kenpo - (EPAK) Ed Parker's American Kenpo Karate S' started by Headhunter, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    13,469
    Likes Received:
    3,679
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Training instructors is a different skill set from training students. It's not about motives, but about whether they can build capable instructors. The only requirement for reaching that rank is to present a capable instructor (trained according to the instructor manual) for promotion. If they get promoted, so does the person who trained them.
     
  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    13,469
    Likes Received:
    3,679
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Of a new art/style, arguable true. Of a new association, I've never seen it work that way. I've seen them either keep their old rank (creating a new "ceiling" on rank), or promote themselves when necessary to promote someone else to a rank below them. They could, of course, step outside ranks entirely, but for many that will feel like they're claiming a rank comparable to the highest ranked person in the association/group they were in.
     
  3. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    2,765
    Likes Received:
    1,396
    Trophy Points:
    353
    Location:
    In the dojo
    Don’t forget that other organizations can grant rank to a founder of an organization if that person is willing to accept it.

    Shigeru Oyama (no relation to Mas Oyama) left Kyokushin in the early-mid 80s and started his own organization - World Oyama Karate. A few years ago one of the major Kyokushin branches (quite possibly IKO 1) promoted him to 10th dan, recognizing his contribution to karate as a whole, and a lifetime achievement award in a sense. I think he was deserving of it; along with Tadashi Nakamura he brought Kyokushin to North America and turned it into the major force it is/was here and internationally. He started and grew a highly respected international organization consisting of many highly regarded students and instructors. He was truly a legend in knockdown karate. The promotion came no more than a year or two before he passed away.

    Tadashi Nakamura did not promote himself to his current 9th dan. He was promoted to 7th dan by Mas Oyama during his Kyokushin days in large part for his massive contribution to spreading Kyokushin internationally. He served as the chief instructor at the Kyokushin honbu in Tokyo for quite some time and was considered by many to be the best teacher in Kyokushin. Many years after leaving Kyokushin, he was promoted to 8th and 9th dan by a budo organization in Japan. I’m not sure which one, and I know he didn’t ask for it. He doesn’t advertise any of this, other than briefly mentioning 9th dan in appropriate places. He’s reportedly stated a few times that he would never accept a 10th dan because he’s still learning.

    There’s plenty more people out there who fall along these lines. Not every high ranking yudansha promoted him/herself in an attempt to pad their resume, gain unearned respect, sign up more students, etc. They’re certainly out there, but they’re easy to spot if you’ve got a little understanding of how ranks work and what they mean beyond one or two organizations.

    When you look at it that way, I really struggle to figure out how a guy who runs a dojo in a strip mall and only has a handful of students who’ve successfully run their own dojo or doesn’t have any who’ve done so has “earned” a high ranking rank. Unless of course they’ve “been there, done that” in a highly respected organization and recently broke away.

    As far as people promoting someone above their own rank goes, I think some people overthink this one. Is it really THAT HARD for a group of worthy high dan ranks to say “this guy is at another level.” If basketball had dan ranks, I don’t think it would be too difficult for a group of some of the most respected players to say “these guys are far better and greater than us.” Radical concept here, huh?

    IMO the highest dan ranks should be the people who’ve made the biggest impact on the art. The ones who’ve spread the art on a large scale, and/or the ones who those guys go to for their training. Take a guy like Meitoku Yagi. He was given Chojun Miyagi’s belt and gi by Miyagi’s family. As far as I know, he didn’t bring Goju Ryu to the masses on the level that someone like Gōgen Yamaguchi did. But guess who Yamaguchi and many of his peers went to to get further training? Yagi. They considered him the encyclopedia of Goju kata in a sense. Do you think Yamaguchi and his peers couldn’t nor shouldn’t have the authority to promote him to a rank higher than their own? Even stupider question - do you think Yagi cared much more than a simple “thank you very much” if they promoted him? I doubt a guy like that needed that sort of validation.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    13,469
    Likes Received:
    3,679
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    I'm going to guess that's unlikely in most US organizations. I've heard from instructors that when they left an organization, the organization formally revoked their earned rank. I can't see organizations like that ever granting rank to someone outside. It's a different (and more egotistical) view of rank and splits, IMO.
     
  5. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    2,765
    Likes Received:
    1,396
    Trophy Points:
    353
    Location:
    In the dojo
    Everyone’s got their ways. I doubt Shigeru Oyama’s split from Kyokushin was an amicable one on both sides. But time heals wounds. And there was zero doubt on his contribution to Kyokushin and knockdown karate as a whole.

    I’m 99% sure it was IKO1 and Matsui who granted the promotion. Matsui is not very well liked within Kyokushin circles outside of IKO1 to say the least. He and his people are the single biggest why Kyokushin is as fractured as it is today. Most other Kyokushin factions have gotten along recently; they all seem united in despising Matsui.

    I say all of that because for IKO1 to recognize and honor someone outside their circle is huge. Matsui’s most vocal critics respect Matsui recognizing Oyama in this way.

    There was a great thread about Oyama’s promotion and a link to an official-looking release and pictures on the now defunct Kyokushin4life forum. I’d link to it, but there’s no trace of anything from the forum. It’s too bad it’s not archived somewhere easily accessible.

    But yes, highly unlikely for an organization to recognize a past member like this.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    10,512
    Likes Received:
    1,458
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Well, for many generations this stuff was a folk art, meaning it was passed along from one generation to the next, often fathers to sons, grandfathers to grandsons, uncles to nephews, etc. there were no formal organizations that held authority like a corporation, although there are some family systems that can be held tightly by the family.

    But my point is, I doubt there was formal “instructor-trainer” classes. It seems to me that that is something more in line with the modern world. I’m often not convinced it is necessary.

    Personally, I believe that to be a good teacher requires a natural knack for it on some level. Without that knack, all the instruction in the world will not overcome that deficit and will only make someone a slightly less sucky teacher. For someone with that knack, that instructor training might make them better at it, but they would still be perfectly capable without it.

    People can train for years and learn teaching methods through the example of their own teachers. People can figure out what works and what doesn’t from those years of being a student, and then teach in a similar manner, making adjustments along the way and as they gain experience. I don’t think it’s that hard.

    Some people will never be good teachers, no matter the instruction. So don’t promote them to Instructor ranking. Make that assessment along the way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    13,469
    Likes Received:
    3,679
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    As with much else, just because it was that way for generations, that doesn't make it better. I've seen many instructors who didn't follow some very basic principles of adult learning (simple mistakes, like explaining the technique before showing it to the students in full flow). They do this because they understand the techniques quite well, but most don't really understand how people learn. In my professional life, I've helped many subject-matter experts learn to teach what they know. Some were naturals, and just needed some polishing to be quite good. Others were deeply proficient and knowledgeable, but couldn't transfer that to the trainee. The same holds true in MA. There are folks who are very good martial artists, and who have some natural ability teaching. The instructor development program will help them, but that's not who it's for. It's for all the others, who aren't so good at transferring that knowledge they've gained over the years.

    Yes, there are some who will never be good, just as there are some who will naturally be good. The instructor development program separates those, helps the latter become better, and equips the rest (the majority) to become competent instructors.

    Teaching is a skill. It can be taught, and it can be learned. The reason many people think it must be a natural thing is that they've never experienced being taught how to teach. Now, I will say that there's a natural disposition that makes it more comfortable (about 50% of the population will have that), and another that will make it easier to be methodical (a different, overlapping 40%, IIRC). But the techniques and approaches can be learned by anyone with reasonable communication skills.

    EDIT: I left out a key point you made. Yes, people can learn from their instructors. However, teaching approaches should be fitted to the individual (both student and teacher). If their instructor has a different personality, it's unlikely the same approach will work equally well for both.
     
  8. Malos1979

    Malos1979 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2017
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I told you, that deep down you already knew :D
     

Share This Page