kiddy/fatty blackbelts (RANT)

Discussion in 'Horror Stories' started by The MMA kid!, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    MMAKid

    There is an interesting difference between talking on the internet and talking to someone in real life. There is no one around when you post. No one to cut off certain thoughts before they get out of hand. The words on the internet don't go away, though, until the mod deletes them or they are buried in a bunch of posts.

    Thus, when one runs off at the mouth (and channels it through the keyboard), it can be kind of...interesting. When I first started posting here, I had a few threads that I typed some stuff that I wish I could take back. You can't do that though.

    All you can do is learn a little and attempt to remember that 2,500 people may read what you write. Controversial topics are ones that really need to be dealt with tactfully. You can talk about this stuff if you wish, but you have to think about ways to bring it up that won't be overly hurtful...just as you would in real life.

    With that being said, I agree with some of the substance in your rant. However, the question becomes, what to do about it. Do we take all of the kiddy black belts away and send them packing? Do we take bbs away from people who get out of shape and can no longer perform? It may be helpful to remember that some of these folks may have been great when they were younger...or may be showing potential to be great in the future. And then there are those who get things but do not really deserve them. Can you really differentiate between these groups?

    The only thing you can do is control what you do. Do not let yourself get out of shape if that is important to you. If you run your own dojang, do not test kids for bb or even teach kids if you don't think that your martial art. Look at some of the threads on MT regarding health and fitness. Look at some regarding teaching children. See things from many different points of view. But always focus on what you can do yourself and you will always be part of the solution.

    :asian:

    upnorthkyosa
     
  2. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think that this statement really sums up quite a bit of the discussion. I have heard this argument before (both the kids and the overweight adults). In regards to the kids, well, I have to say that I have a problem with black belts who still have to hold mom's hand while crossing the parking lot, and, in addition, most of the very young BBs I have seen have a great deal of cute factor and much less performance factor - but not all of them; I have seen some truly awesome performances from younger students, both in terms of athletic ability that adults may not be able to manage and in terms of technical proficiency. The question I have about these students is: do they truly understand what they have been trained to do? In TKD (at least in the variant I train in), black belt signifies the wearer's "imperviousness to darkness and fear"; in reality, it signifies a level of control (which comes from practice) that differentiates between a red belt and a black belt - that is, a red belt knows, and knows how to use, potentially deadly techniques, while a black belt knows to to control those same techniques to get a specific response, from striking just above the surface, to light contact, medium contact, and intentional injury. Students who are very young when demonstrating the physical skills may have more difficulty demonstrating the comprehension of when and how to apply those skills, and that is of greater concern to me than any other issue - but it is impossible to make a single guideline that covers all people of all ages. Some children are more mature, emotionally and cognitively, at 10 than some adults will ever be. It is the responsibility of the instructor determine if the student is physically, cognitively, and emotionally ready to be a BB before the student is allowed to test. An organization can provide guidelines, but cannot replace an instructor's knowledge of his/her students and their individual needs and abilities.

    As for the second part of the 'rant', there are a couple of issues. First, WHY is the person overweight/out of shape? And is the person really as out of shape as s/he appears? I know a lot of senior BBs who appear to be out of shape, with weight gained due to circumstances (injury, illness, side effects of medication, etc.) who, despite their appearance, are very capable of performing - although as a middle school teacher, I am quite dismayed by one of the PE teachers who, with no medical excuse, is severely obese (by which I mean 5'11", over 350, and has trouble with stairs) - and he teaches health, and the importance of fitness. The difference is, I think, that the BBs I know who are overweight are still very capable of demonstrating what they teach; the PE teacher is a living example of how not to follow his own teachings. As people age, it becomes easier to put on weight, and harder to keep it off; the long-term effects of injury and/or illness can exacerbate this. BBs who experience these problems and still continue to train and instruct have my respect, not my denigration - they are continuing to better their chosen art(s) rather than sitting on the couch bemoaning the loss of their youth and doing nothing to slow their decline. The second part of the issue, already alluded to, is what the person has done to maintain his/her skills despite illness or injury - I have a student who reached high red belt and then required back surgery for an injury sustained while working on his house; after nearly two years of rehab and additional injuries (he fell while working on a staircase in his house, broke two ribs, and punctured a lung) he returned to class, worked out, and tested for his BB - including performing a midair foot break at his shoulder level. Can other, younger, more "in-shape" students perform the same break higher or to more boards? Certainly - but his perseverance in reaching his goals is more impressive to me than youthful athleticism.

    I agree wholeheartedly. My sister, who is 43, is still blaming all the things that have gone wrong in her life on things my mother did when we were kids, because it's easier than blaming herself. If you don't like the examples you see around you, then work on yourself and your ability to set a different example - if you do it well enough, then others will follow you.

    This discussion is part of a set of larger issues that need to be aired and discussed, and you were correct to label it as a rant - but as has been demonstrated by the range and thoughtfulness of the discussion, you're not the only one thinking about it.
     
  3. evenflow1121

    evenflow1121 2nd Black Belt

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  4. The MMA kid!

    The MMA kid! Green Belt

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    has anyone else seen these old, vintage- blackbelts?
     
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  5. Sin

    Sin 2nd Black Belt

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    MMA kid titled this thread as a rant...Not an attack on anyones "Lifestyle" here on Martial Talk, because he most likely dosn't know many people here in real life. I agree with you MMA kid, there are a lot of Mcdojos and hasbeens out there, but don't let that discourage you. Also everyone If you are "over-weight" or "Out of Shape" and your not doing a thing about it....like dieting, working out, etc....To me thats just plain laziness. I myself am out of shape, wouldn't say over weight, just need to tone up a bit...and I am doing something about it...I go to MA class work out there, and every morning before my shower I do 30 Crunch-bucks and 50 push-ups, and when the weathers nice...I go for a mile run...I do not consider myself to be lazy when I am on the regiment, and I have great respect for those of us who are Over-weight and they are trying there darndest to lose the poundage....
    All in all, I got two things to say...Don't wear your heart out on your sleeve, MMAkid titled this as a rant and you enter at your own risk, and he was only expressing his opinion so relax. And 2...GREAT RESPECT to all those over-weight and doing something about it...I know how hard it is. ::bow::
     
  6. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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  7. bluemtn

    bluemtn Senior Master

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    Is there really a pink belt??? I've heard of/ seen camo, but PINK? As said before: to each his own... We don't have to love it, though.
     
  8. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've never seen it as an actual rank, but I did know an instructor who kept one around for people who forgot their belts to wear... just so their tops would stay closed. One of my students heard about this and offered to dye a spare white belt pink for just that purpose, but she hasn't gotten it done yet... but it could be fun when she does!
     
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah, I know a BJJ instructor who does this.
     
  10. tradrockrat

    tradrockrat 2nd Black Belt

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    Without getting too far into the rant, I will say that I personally think schools that teach young students perform a very valuable service for our society, and I think children who are able to show the adult level commitment to earn rank deserve their belts.

    I also think that there needs to be a clear understanding that 4-6 year olds don't earn the "same belts" as the youth classes, and the youth don't earn the "same belts" as the adult classes, but the earning of belts is something I have zero problem with.

    As for overweight instructors, well there is overweight, then there is OVERWEIGHT. I wouldn't feel comfortable teaching right now because injuries have me 30 pounds over weight, but does that mean I CAN'T teach? Hell no! I'm a teacher by profession (highschool) and damn good at it. I am also (judging by parent responses) a very good MA instructor when I do teach, but physical fitness is very important to me and I will not put myself out there on the mat until this weight is gone. I to have serious problems with FAT instructors, but a few pounds around the waist doesn't put me off in the least.
     
  11. Monadnock

    Monadnock 2nd Black Belt

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    I wouldn't put much weight (no pun untended) on the relationship of how far a teacher tips the scales and his/her ability to teach.

    99% of the "teachers" I have met need to get on the mat to "teach" me anything. A true teacher should be able to teach me something without having to get up out of his/her chair. There seems to be too much dependence on someone getting on the mat and doing tricks in order to appease students' entertainment desires.

    Bottom line, a teacher will be able to teach you just as well, injured or not.
     
  12. Sarah

    Sarah Senior Master

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    Depends...people learn in different ways, one student may be fine with verbal instructions a description of the tech...Others may require a demonstration or need to have the move done on them to ensure they are doing it correctly...

    I fall into the later, you can explain till your blue in the face....show me!

    That being said, I do agree that a good instructor should be able to still teach while injured etc...as long as he has the assistance of a good senior to help demonstrate.
     
  13. tradrockrat

    tradrockrat 2nd Black Belt

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    Being a school teacher as well as a MA instructor, I have learned many valuble things in my studies that most MA instructiors never take the time to learn. This is a huge mistake.

    Take, for example, what we are discussing right now - learning modalities.
    There is a WHOLE LOT of research and theories about learning modalities out there for an instructor to educate him or herself with.

    A good teacher wil use all modalities in his / her lesson plans - and BTW, if your instructor doesn't have lessons planned in advance, they are wasting your time - literally, as they come up with off the cuff activities and repetitive exercises that don't build on previous training.

    A brilliant man named Gardner listed and defined several learning modalities that we as educators need to account for in our teaching style.
    They are:
    linguistic
    logical
    musical
    spatial
    kinesthetic
    interpersonal
    intrapersonal
    naturalist.

    If you are an instructor, and don't know the definition of these learning modalities and cannot recognize them in your students, I challenge you to educate yourself on them. You will find that they greatly help in your every day teaching.
     
  14. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately, yes.

    Some kids will be wearing belts that are ragged, torn, etc. While a few of them might have been given one of their instructors' old belts (a great honor), the vast majority of the kids wearing ragged black belts probably dumped theirs in the washer and dryer for dozens of cycles, or even took a metal file to their belts.

    Rather comical, indeed. If there is embroidery on the belt, and the writing is in either Japanese Katakana or Korean Hangul, and if I know the kid's name, I can get a pretty good idea of whether the belt was a gift, or whether it was their own, abused belt.
     
  15. ed-swckf

    ed-swckf Black Belt

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    I really do fail to see what is wrong with an instructor being overweight or not in tip top condition. Sure, if they were entering competitions they would need to be in shape but when you are instructing its a completely different game. Teaching really is more about getting the best out of your students rather than the best out of yourself. I mean, the best way i can think of looking at this is when you watch a heavy weight champion boxer you don't judge his ability by looking at the weedy old guy that trained him thats stood in his corner.
     
  16. tradrockrat

    tradrockrat 2nd Black Belt

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    I personally think that there are two different levels of overwieght being refered to here. A heavy set person may be an excellent teacher, a FAT MAN will not represent what I look for in an instructor. Physical fitness is important to the entire philosophy of the martial arts. Being fit doesn't mean you have to be ripped and 0% body fat, but if you refer to yourself as in shape because round is a shape - you're not acceptable to me.
     
  17. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Then I guess when or if you ever meet me you would walk out the door because I'm round, is this what you are saying. I cannot believe some people views about being trained by some one with a round body. So all my experience is out with the trash for my shape dictates that, well I have meet so many instructors who has that gym type body and they do not even understand why certain techs. are done, I guess they are to busy being at the gym working on the sculpture body of theres.
    Terry
     
  18. The MMA kid!

    The MMA kid! Green Belt

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    good point, ive fought with muscle guys before that have no technique and glass jaws.
     
  19. evenflow1121

    evenflow1121 2nd Black Belt

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    I totally agree, when I was younger my friends and I would plan out road trips. And we would end up at all sorts of hill billy bars across the great State of Florida. And let me tell you, they may not be much to look at, but boy can they fight.
     
  20. tradrockrat

    tradrockrat 2nd Black Belt

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    Show me a pic of you, and I'll answer the question. But in the meantime, do you consider yourself fit? Are you physically able to demonstrate your techniques you're teaching? Do you still train on your own? If so, I seriously doubt your as round as you think - or more importantly, as round as I refer to when I say FAT MAN.

    I've seen instructors who are clearly obese and and quite as obviously no longer actively training or practicing their art. Those are the people to whom I am refering to. Remember, in my post I said that I had no problem with instructors who carried a few around the waist - that's an inevitable result of aging. A ripped and cut body only means that he works out.

    For the record, I am anything but musclebound or ripped and have always carried extra weight except for the few years I was kickboxing and competing. In fact my first post reflected that I won't step foot on the floor to teach right now myself! I sufferd a bad knee injury a while back and the pounds piled on. I'm currently fighting to shed the weight, but YES a certain level of physical fitness is required before I will take an instructor seriously, and yes I don't care what he has learned in the past cause he obviouosly doesn't care about the present - which is what counts to me as a student. He may know the secrets of the ancients, but if he doesn't care enough to stay healthy, then he sure ain't practicing them! Notice I said "healthy", not "ripped and sculpted".

    I sincerely doubt you fall into this category of instructor as your posts demonstrate a keen interest and passion for the martial arts, which I believe to to be incompatable with the type of instructor to which I am refering.123
     

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