Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by Tames D, Oct 28, 2016.
I have noticed that
It really depends on your kenpo organization. Some people who started their own style of kenpo received their rank from an outside governing body. Others just proclaimed themselves a 10th degree. Others set up bylaws (IKCA comes to mind) that spells out how many years each degree rank should take and that ANY ONE with the time/effort would be able to test for a 10th degree (not saying anyone can pass or make it, but the chance is there).
I agree with most everyone else in that the organization you study under determines the rules for promotion. I'll insert that my school follows the rule of promotion up to the belt below you but no farther. In order to rank above the associate professor at my school you must travel to another school and gain the rank from another teacher. This forces all students in the school to prove that they can perform to the degree that other schools would expect as well.
Classically, in Japanese systems, there are two grading / title systems. There is the student kyu / dan grade, level system and the Menkyose...the licensure system.
One can always be a student but all be limited to 5th dan without being invited and going through the Menkyose system, which runs parallel but is not the dan ranking system. Dan grades are attributed to different instructor levels, and one can only ascend past 5th dan through the process of discovery, which is outside the kyu/dan system and only found in the Menkyo licensure system.
Your idea already exists and has for centuries...the issue is that "modern / traditional" martial arts have borrowed without understanding how it works.
You can promote up to one rank higher than yourself if the student surpasses the teacher.
I saw that in Ju jitsu training there was belt ranks and then there were the scrolled arts (Monkey) taught to advanced black belts.
If you get enough like-minded friends together, you can promote each other as high as you like as and organization, and then pretend you didn't just self-promote.
I'll see that rank and raise you one stripe.
Yeah but I doubt that'll happen much in kenpo as there's to many egos. Now I love kenpo as an art but there's so much bs in the political side. I don't even know half that rubbish I don't care I just want to train but there's so much rubbish these days even coming from parkers family saying you've got to pay them to even put your certificate up in your school.
That was always my problem with kenpo to much bs and suck ups. When a higher instructor comes over they act like a god is coming down to earth and showing them the way of life. I mean sorry ill respect you for your skills but if a higher guy told them to jump off a cliff they'd ask what rock he wants them to land on or exactly what bones to break.
I completely understand your disgust for the egotistical nonsense and political BS that is a large but insignificant part of most Martial Arts. Most of that egotistical stuff stops as soon as you get on the mats or get face to face with people. A great deal of it is caused by communicating via cyberspace with people that don't fully understand where each other is coming from, once an actual relationship is established where physical information is exchanged, respect and friendship are natural byproducts. Even the guys that are high up as you put it can be some of the most down to Earth, humble and hilarious SOBs you ever break bread with, at least in my experience that has been the case. All you can do is be the change you want to see, set an example in terms of how you conduct yourself and how you focus on realistic training over pushing political nonsense like "what I do is superior to what all others do," you will end up having a filtering influence and Kenpo will be better for it.
My understanding is that up to 5th degree is based on knowledge and ability. Ranks above that are for what you contribute to kenpo (promoting the art, running schools, seminars, tournaments, promoting others to black belt ...) and time spent.
The rule is that you can promote people to two ranks below the rank to which you have promoted yourself.
Under Ed Parker you could promote to one rank below you own. You could not run your own studio unless you were a 2nd degree BB. Some exceptions were made for 1st BB but they must be no more than 2nd generation. Mr Parker tested all 3rd BBs from all schools.
The material goes up to 3rd black. After that there were other factors that would earn your rank.
When Mr Parker died, there was no one person to be his successor. This in my opinion caused major turmoil. People were 3rd BB and in 5 months now they were 7th. So many organizations popped up that it was confusing. My instructor went to WKKA. It was at this junction when I started studying under different arts. I've always tought Kenpo and applied it to each system I trained under. But never joined a Kenpo organization.
It's 3rd dan to be a head instructor, 1st dan is assistant instructor, second is associate instructor and 3rd is head instructor
Dan ranking is in other arts that I have studied. I've seen it kenpo schools also. However when Mr Parker was alive and IKKA umbrellaed schools that tought his system (24 techniques per belt) it was only 1st 2nd black belt and so on. A 2nd could open a school and be under IKKA with no issues. A 1st BB had to have permission to open a school from Mr Parker and you had to be 1st or second generation. Mr Parker was very interested in who was running schools. I was a 1st BB in 1990 when I opened my 1st school. The only reason was that I was a second generation and had to get a waiver from Mr Parker to be able to promote people under the IKKA. It wasn't just send in a application and your schools in. Mr Parker was hands on.
As I see it now there are so many fractions out there that it takes me a few minutes when I walk in a school to understand just what this school has done to the system. I see schools with 12 techniques per belt, 6 techniques for some belts and so on. It's still the same system they have just stretched it out to have material to 5th or 7th or what ever. I'm not saying this in a negative way. Cause some will state Mr Parker wanted his system to evolve. Which I think he did want that. Each person has their own interpretation of just what that means. I guess you could call me a traditionalist to the American Kenpo. I teach all concepts theories and principles in each technique. I stay true to the way I was tought and I show my perception of the technique that I incorporate from other systems to fill the dead space. But when a student tests, it is on the the way I was tought not the way I may have changed it.
Nothing wrong with a 9th and 10 degree black belt promoting others to 9th or 10 maybe they were were 8 degree or 9th degree black belt before and the one who promoote them was already a 9th degree or a 10 degree already
All these dans mean nothing anyway. In my eyes anything after 4th means nothing. After that it's all about who you know not what your skill is. It's about how many seminars you run or how many students you give black belts to. Heck I know a guy who got promoted to 5th who's skills are about brown belt level at best, never teaches anyone and does nothing apart from watch most classes but he goes out boozing with the right people. To me things like 9th and 10th dan sound good but to me it doesn't mean much to me at all
I have it on petty good authority that the Karate world will be passing a law declaring all Karate men must wear underwear that matches their belts.
The modern dan ranking system is really interesting. Classically, anything after 3rd level, or in some cases 5th level, was awarded based on the contribution back...not $$ but rather, what have you or what do you give back in terms of discovery. What have you discovered that will benefit everyone and how can it be used for training or the organization? Based on the depth of your discovery, you receive a depth of level. You see, dan ranking is not about height, but about depth.
In theory that's what it's meant to be but mostly it is about money or how many drinks you buy, I've been around plenty of these 6th and 7th and 8th dans and the majority I've never been that impressed with. I personally know one person who's a 5th dan who 100% doesn't deserve it and messes up teaching even the simplest things like stance set or a purple belt technique.
Of course eveyone will say it's about contributions but how many times does it actually work that way. That's the problem with kenpo there's no real monitoring of it. I know a guy who got his 7th dan a year after he got his 6th and didn't even live in the same country as his instructor. He went over for a 3 day visit and got promoted without even getting on the mat.
Separate names with a comma.