Kenpo Ranking Question

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by Tames D, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. Tames D

    Tames D RECKLESS

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    A question for you Kenpo guys... Just out of curiosity, and not intending to start a political storm...
    I was always under the impression that a Black could only promote up to two ranks below his/her own rank. But I've been seeing promotions to 8th, 9th and 10th degree ranks by 9th and 10th Blacks. Was I always misinformed about the protocol? It makes sense that the head of a Kenpo org can do what ever he/she wants, but I'm just curious, having seen quite a few promotions under these conditions.
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think there are so many splinters and factions that there is no uniform standard. Rules only apply to whatever group you belong to.
     
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  3. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    From what I know yes that is the case but well with any martial art there'll always be some who break the rules for profit
     
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  4. Tames D

    Tames D RECKLESS

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    Did Ed Parker establish the 2 rank under policy, if there even was a "policy"?
     
  5. Tames D

    Tames D RECKLESS

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    Personally, I don't see anything wrong with promoting up to, and including your own rank.
     
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I guess I don't know, I was in the Tracy lineage. I'm not sure what that rule even is, in Tracy's.
     
  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    My first instructor was shodan when he promoted me to shodan, tho he had oversight from a nidan.

    We were teaching the Tracy curriculum, my instructor's connection with Tracy's was not direct, it rather was though his instructor who was direct. But we kinda did what we wanted, we never even discussed that part.
     
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  8. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    In my kempo style, the two ranks is a hard and fast rule. In my kenpo style, I believe you can promote to your own rank, but being able to promote is earned separately from your rank. I don't believe there's any real consistency among ken/mpo
     
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  9. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    In that case, by the powers invested in me, I want everyone who reads this thread to slap another piece of electric tape, on the tips of your belt. :D
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've always thought promoting to the rank below you should be a no-brainer. Promoting to your own rank...I'd have to think about that.
     
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  11. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    In theory it could make sense, but that depends on how you train. Technically, you have all the material up to the level you are at, so if you are trained where you have to be fully proficient in that material before you advance (which I would argue you should for any Dan rank), there is no reason I can think of for you not to be able to evaluate someone else's ability to be proficient at the same material. As a 3rd dan (for example), I can't think of why you would know the 1st Dan material well enough to advance someone to second, but not know the 2nd Dan material well enough to advance someone to 3rd.
     
  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I suppose the question is more a matter of how subjective the measurement is. If it's somewhat subjective, the argument could be made that someone who holds 3rd dan doesn't necessarily have the depth of understanding to grade someone to 3rd. If, however, the measurement is largely objective, there's no reason a 3rd dan couldn't provide the evaluation.

    For comparison, in Shojin-ryu, the requirement for reaching 3rd is pretty well-defined. An existing 3rd has to agree that someone you're suggesting for promotion to 2nd is properly prepared. If you're making good 2nd dans (instructors) then you're qualified to be a senior instructor (3rd dan) who can make more instructors. In essence, a 3rd dan can promote to 3rd dan.
     
  13. Tames D

    Tames D RECKLESS

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    Wouldn't that eliminate 10th degree black belts? But then, self promotion would be the answer to that problem :)
     
  14. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    The tenth degree thing found a way to eliminate itself...
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Unless you require a group for promotion beyond a certain point. Of course, in some styles the highest rank is automatically bestowed upon the current head-of-style, which fixes the issue, too.
     
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  16. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've said this before, I'll say it again. Personally I dislike the whole dan-grading thing because it is largely used and abused as an ego thing and to hold power over others. I think the underbelt thing can be useful, it helps student keep motivation, but maybe there could be fewer of them. But the black belt thing, I think there ought to be only two levels: black belt non-instructor, and black belt instructor. That's it. Not everyone wants to be, or should be, an instructor. So they get the first. Once someone is bestowed as the nstrictor, that's it, no more. No more rank to chase. And instructor can promote all the way to instructor. And once you decide that someone has earned that level, then they are free to teach and promote and progress as they see fit. They don't need to ask permission and whatnot, they are responsible for upholding their own standards. No more empire-building.

    That doesn't mean people don't maintain affiliations, or recognize who is senior or from whom they could still learn. It should just me more relaxed.

    Some aspects of the ranking system can be useful, but some can really get in the way and are just nonsense.
     
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  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've never seen it turn nearly as dark as you imply, but I mostly agree. I added only one more rank to what you suggest, so that there's some evaluation of an instructor's ability to build instructors. It's a different skill level than building effective students. So I set it up so shodan (I still use the "dan" terms because it's what I'm used to) is the non-instructor black belt, nidan is a qualified instructor, and a sandan is qualified to promote instructors. Assuming I ever have enough people in Shojin-ryu for this to matter, this structure should help build good instructors and ensure they know who's capable of helping them improve how they teach.
     
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  18. KenpoDave

    KenpoDave 2nd Black Belt

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    Typically, in Tracy's, the 2 rank rule is adhered to, although Mr. Tracy announced at the last gathering that moving forward, promotions to 9th or 10th would require a consensus of 3 10ths.

    Makes sense, given that the 2 rank rule can't exist at that level.
     
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  19. SenseiHitman

    SenseiHitman Orange Belt

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    From what I have seen most styles run out of material at some point in the higher degrees and the last couple belts tend to point out who has committed more to the dojo or seniority, thus they are more of a political rank than a skill. I dont think it matters how the political ranks are awarded as long as their is no deception about it's origin. As far as promoting goes I was given permission to promote to the belt under me in Kenpo and two belts under in Ju jitsu. If someone was given authority by his organization to promote to the same belt then I would not have a problem with it.
     
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  20. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Not sure about Kempo. but in a few styles I have seen once you start getting to silly high dan ranks they become more political ranks rather than martial arts ranks.

    Like being the pope.
     
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