Thoughts on time variance to earn black belt

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by skribs, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    I can see that. Saying she had confidence (or started with it) may be a bit overstated. She toughed it out and I would have noticed. That is a strong character quality.
     
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  2. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I will definitely agree with you here.

    But here's what would have happened if she was a red belt instead of black belt. After her first couple classes, my Master would have had her and her dad come into the office for a private meeting. He would have explained that the techniques she knows is what we expect in our purple belt class. She would have been embarrassed (but behind closed doors, so it's not in front of everyone). Her Dad would have been disappointed, but understanding. After that, she'd have started purple belt class as a purple belt, and would learn the techniques and forms that are appropriate to her level.

    She'd still have the embarrassment of being in over her head. But after a week or two in class, she'd be in a class where she could thrive and grow. Instead of the months she had to put up with it being in black belt class.

    And it's not that we humiliated her. Everyone was supportive and understanding of her. I just felt bad for her, (and a little angry at whoever gave her a black belt) more than anything else.
     
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  3. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    And hitting each other in the nuts.

    And we’re really not all that good in public.
     
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  4. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I don't need other people for that. I got nunchucks. I'm fully capable of hitting myself in the nuts.
     
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  5. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    Proof of we don’t grow up...

    A few months back, a friend of mine had a bunch of people over to his house. A lot of us haven’t seen each other in 10+ years. We’re all mid 40s with spouses, kids, etc. Life just gets in the way and you start to lose touch after a while. Most of us went to high school together, but there were people in our crew from other schools too. There were about 30 of us, guys and girls.

    What did the guys do? We started hitting each other in the nuts. And busting balls (no pun intended). At the end of the night one of our female friends is about to leave, and another guy and I were on our way out too. We told her we’d walk her out. She looked as us with this smirk and said “if I didn’t know you guys, I’d be really weirded out by two guys offering to walk me to my car while grabbing themselves.” Another woman says “yeah, what the hell are you guys doing?” We started laughing I said “we’re covering up because we’ve been hitting each other in the nuts all night.” My buddy’s sister who’s randomly walking by says “you guys are still doing that crap? What’s wrong with you?” Laughing, I said “look around. Some of us have gray hair, some of us lost our hair, and all of us got fatter. But none of us have grown up at all. Guys don’t grow up, we just get older.” There wasn’t a person there that wasn’t laughing hysterically and agreeing.

    The whole night was honestly like none of us ever lost touch with each other. We picked up right where we left off.
     
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  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    - Before growing up, you usually cry and then end with laughing.
    - After growing up, you usually laugh and then end with crying.

    - Before growing up, you pretend you are sad everyday.
    - After growing up, you pretend you are happy everyday.

    In school, I wrote the following poem (I made an "A" in that English class). Today, I don't think I can have that kind of feeling.

    Craw weep in the dark.
    Tide bellow in the north wind.
    How lonesome the world.

    Before growing up, you pretend you are sad, "I'm alone, The time when you read this, I'll be gone ..."

     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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  7. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Brown Belt

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    Nagamine Shoshin? He was a Shorinryu guy, though he also trained under Motobu Choki, if memory serves. If not him, maybe Itosu Anko. Neither one was Goju, but many of the old masters worked together, if not to unify into one system, at least to encourage the growth of karate-do.

    By the way, Nagamine has a book about notable Okinawan MA masters. Worth reading.
     
  8. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I remember that well. I’ve been pretty much at war with them ever since.

    What can I say, I’m an American heathen.
     
  9. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Yesterday, I showed up a little early in class at my school's smaller location and was helping out with the kid's intermediate class that happens just before the adult class starts. There were two new kids wearing belt colors different from what our school uses, so I knew these were kids that came over from another school. And they were lined up at the head of the class because, in theory, they were advanced belts (one had a combination red/black belt and the other a black belt with a white stripe.) While the instructor worked with most of the class, I along with another adult black belt were working with these two kids trying to teach them our beginning forms. I was trying to work with this one kid on Do San, which is the form we teach to high yellow belts, which makes it pretty much of a beginner form. The poor kid was literally tripping over himself trying to perform the relatively simple moves of the form, and he was struggling to get the pattern down.

    I can see our head instructor will have to have a discussion with this kid's parents as there is no way these kids can be awarded a high brown or probationary black belt, and in fact at this point they are not even at the green belt level for our school. There is no way these kids can tough it out. They really need to start over and probably demand a refund from whoever the instructor was who awarded them those high belts from the other school. I am not saying that all of our junior black belts are serious badasses, but they are all at least a year or two ahead of the two kids I was working with yesterday.
     
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  10. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    When you say 'kids' how old are we talking? Very young kids can be a spaz, at any given time. Put them in a stressful situation like a new school/class/curriculum and it only magnifies. That said, I personally have a bit of issue awarding high belts to young kids
    .
    My first question would be how long has it been since they have worked out at all. Natural attention deficit (Not ADD) is normal and I hope will quickly adjust for the kids.
    IF they have moved over from another school with little/no break then, Yes, that is a glaring indictment of the old school/teacher(s). However, there are a few conditional things I would consider that may cut them a little 'slack'.

    For me personally, even though they are conditional black or high red they would not have lined up at the front of class. I would have them at/near the back line working with an adult BB or higher ranked adult. It serves multiple purposes; Regardless of how they got there, it can be a bad visual que having the apparent 'highest' ranked people struggle through class. Not good for the other students or onlookers.
    It reduces external pressures on the new kids and greatly helps the learning process.

    It is personal preference I suppose but I Always talk with the parents and students and let them know what they should expect Before the first class. This is paramount when changing styles or systems within a style. A week or two later I will circle back and have another meeting with both parents and students to see how they are processing things.

    I agree that the scenario you described can get complex. There is much more going on that what is usually seen on the surface.
     
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  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    Nagamine is correct, according to Wikipedia...

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukyugata
     
  12. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    1. We are talking about kids maybe 9 or 10 years old
    2. IDK how recently these kids trained.
     
  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Yea, that can be a challenging age to teach.
     
  14. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Due to changes in my schedule, I mostly teach 4 & 5 year olds now. The class is 4-7, but I think 80% of them are 4 or 5. I wish I had kids that were only as challenging as 9 and 10 year olds!
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, when my instructor added little kids' classes, I just noped out on that. I like the 8+ age group okay (though I really can't teach the way I want to with kids under about 14), but the little, little ones I have no patience for in class. I couldn't really even bring myself to watch the classes very often.
     
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  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    I would compare it to being an aunt/uncle. Kids, in moderation are fine as long as you can give them back at your choice and time.;)
     
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  17. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    From what I have seen, if the kids can stick with it past age 12, they can really start getting good. IMO, some of my schools best students are 14 to 15 year olds who started as 5 or 6 year olds. For them, Martial Arts is as natural to them as walking or breathing. It is a small number of kids who start as "little ninjas" and are still training as high school students, like fewer than 10%.
     
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  18. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    That's what I say. I love all these kids, but I also love giving them back to their parents at the end of class.
    If it's all they've known, it's natural to them.
     
  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I've never had a chance to teach kids like that. I was only at the school about 4 years after he started the little kids' program, so none of them had made it to that age yet.
     
  20. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    In my not so humble opinion....

    Too much emphasis is placed on making 1st Degree Black Belt. It's a great goal to have, don't get me wrong, but it is not the be-all and end-all of training. It's very much like graduating from high school. All it shows is that you have learned the basics. Now it is time to really start learning the art.123
     
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