1 in 2000 earn their black belt - still true?

Kwan Jang

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I hope such a ratio NEVER apllies to me because it would indicate that I am a horrible teacher. If you brought your child to an elite prep school to prepare your child for higher education (ex. Ivy League Universities) and the headmaster bragged "we only graduate on e student out of 100" (let alone 2000), would you see that as a positive or a negative? I would see it as an indication that they needed to learn more about teaching and meeting the needs of the students.

I STRONGLY believe in VERY high standards for advanced students, especially black belts. As an industry, the quality of "our product" is the quality of our advanced students. However, I believe that the instructor(s) bare much of the burden of lifting the students up to that level. Of course, you can't do it for them, but how well you motivate, structure the classes and curriculum and guide them through the journey makes a huge difference. IMO, far too many instructors stand as a barrier between students and their success and have the attitude that "you have to get through me to achieve this".

I am NOT in favor of watering down the standards for black belt, just the opposite, I feel that far too many are too lax towards it. However, I believe the instructors and master instructors bare the greater burden in this process and that they often pass the blame on to the student when that failure occurs. I do realize that the student (or if a child, student and parent) must do their part, but they came to us to learn certain life skills and obtain certain qualities and we need to do our very best to deliver.
 

tshadowchaser

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Way back in the 60-70s instructors where not interested in the number black belts they turned out but in the quality of those that made it. The training was more violent in most schools and the testing was extremely hard.
You did not see children with black belts. If you saw anyone below 18 with one they where exceptionally good and hard as nails.
1 in 2000 might be a high number but I know for a fact that my instructor washed out 99 out of 100. Most fell out in the first 3-6 months.
With all the new laws and sue happy people and courts out their the training has become almost a joke compared to what it once was. I am not saying that some schools out there do not have hard training, because I know some that do, but I think most instructors are afraid of the old school training . 1. Too many would lose their entire class and have no one to pay the rent left. 2.They are also afraid of law suits. 3. Kids get black belts today (keeps mommy and daddy happy and keeps the $$$$$ coming in).
 

Bruno@MT

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If you wash out 99 out of a 100 students, you are not a good teacher. You are just someone who chased away everyone who was not a natural born warrior. You didn't teach the 1 remaining student because he already knew everything except the techniques. And you didn't teach anything to the 99 who dropped out because they were not tough / skilled enough to your BB standard.

A skilled teacher is one who can teach anyone to reach -their- fullest potential. That may or may not be black belt. But just because you only have the black belts left does not mean that that was a great achievement.
 

tshadowchaser

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That may or may not be true. But at least he did not sell black belts to anyone who could pay the price.
Now I will agree that many who could have made it to higher ranks in other schools did not make it in that school. However it was not always about the ability to fight, it had to do with the willingness to push oneself to the limit while doing exercise, staying in a stance till you ached, learning one kick or one stance and doing it till you did it correctly and not learning another till the first was correct.
It also had to do with his philosophy of never giving a student a black belt unless he felt he could trust them to hold a gun to his back. In other words he had to know who and what they where and be able to trust them with his life.
I know these ideas of training are outdated in most places today but years ago there where many who weeded out those they felt where not fit (mentally or physically) to hold high rank. On the other hand there where also those that gave out black belts in under 2 years, so a person might have to travel a little but he/she could get the kind of training they wanted.
As to weather or not those that droped out of his school learned anything i can not answere for them nor can I say they did not learn.
 

tempus

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We have a lot more kids in our school then adults. The kids stick with it until they start high school. Then sports, dating and part time jobs usually pull them away. Adults start, but rarely keep going once they start. I think they are nervous about the fall and rolls. Others I think it is the time. It takes about 5 to 7 years to earn a black belt. It took me 8 years. Now I am finding I am learning more details about the techniques I did not ever notice before. I am guessing from teaching I am seeing things I did not notice before. Makes me want to put my white belt back on and start over again now that I know all the techniques and I see where the fine tuning is needed.

-Gary
 

Kyosanim

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Many, many, years ago I read an article in (I think) Black Belt that said only 1 in 2,000 people who start the martial arts continue with it until they earn a black belt. I have no idea if that was accurate back then, I know I've seen a lot of people start and drop out over the years. Does anyone know if that statistic is still accurate today? With so many complaints about lower testing standards, buying black belts and so on has that number really changed? There are so many different schools, different requirements, people who exaggerate rank I'd think it would be extremely difficult to accurately get this number, but maybe someone has.

I'm simply curious, no other reason.


I really don't know what to say to this. As far as people who really earn their black belt maybe, but there are a lot who just buy their belt.

Many people lie these days about rank, and in my personal opinion there are people who get promoted to dan grades that absolutely do not deserve it, but this is my opinion and its not really up to me either. It might be harsh, and many will disagree but I know people who abuse it and cast a poor reflection on all of us. I have to say though that as far as people who really earned their belts there may be that few, though there is always the possibility that I or any of us on here are among the group that didn't truly earn the rank we hold. Who's to say.
 

Grasshopper22

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I don't think that the standards to earn a black belt have dropped (well perhaps a little) but mainly that a black belt does not mean what it used to. No I would not say that it is accurate, I'd say about 1 in 10 people who start martial arts will continue until they get to black, and that's not because other people don't have the capability, just that some people are less dedicated or have other commitments, get bored of it etc. There used to be only 2 belts in martial arts, white (student) and black (sensei). Black belt was the highest rank and it just meant that you were now ready to teach but as they've brought in 10 Dans now, the black belt's connotations have changed from 'good enough to teach' to 'I have mastered all of the basics and am now ready to start more advanced training'.
 

Tswolfman

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I run a studio at my studio i have yet to test someone for black belt that started with me I have tested people for black but they all have come from other schools. I have seen over 400 students train with me and i have tested maybe 8 black belts in that time. with that math it is more along the 1 in 50 or 2% reach black belt. at least that is at my school.
 
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Haakon

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From what I've seen and read since starting this thread 2-3% seems to be fairly typical for reaching black belt.

Mas Oyama apparently said "1-2 out of every 100 students reach Black Belt and of those only 1 out of every 1,000 acheives his 2nd Dan" in his book This is Karate that is probably the original source for the number I read in Black Belt so many years ago.
 

Makalakumu

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In ten years of martial arts teaching, I have one black belt student.

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Makalakumu

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Approximately how many students have you had in that time? So we can get a rough percentage.

It's hard to say. I've had so many people start and quit that it's hard to keep count. I've had about 100 students more or less, so my Black Belt percentage is roughly 1%. It's like a baseball statistic! LOL!
 

Chris Parker

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I don't think that the standards to earn a black belt have dropped (well perhaps a little) but mainly that a black belt does not mean what it used to. No I would not say that it is accurate, I'd say about 1 in 10 people who start martial arts will continue until they get to black, and that's not because other people don't have the capability, just that some people are less dedicated or have other commitments, get bored of it etc. There used to be only 2 belts in martial arts, white (student) and black (sensei). Black belt was the highest rank and it just meant that you were now ready to teach but as they've brought in 10 Dans now, the black belt's connotations have changed from 'good enough to teach' to 'I have mastered all of the basics and am now ready to start more advanced training'.

Hmm, Grasshopper, you've already been corrected on a number of things here (I know, I'm the one that corrected you), so I'm starting to get curious as to where you're getting your information from. You've stated that you have about a months training with no previous experience (although you contradicted that on another thread), and are coming across as very young... but when you post something and are corrected here, or given advice, you have yet to acknowledge any of it, or take any correction or advice given. I can pretty easily find where you've posted, for instance, by seeing how old the threads are in the "new posts" list, despite you being told repeatedly about being careful with resurrecting old threads. But more importantly, your take on "original ranks/belts" is very incorrect, and that has been explained to you already, so I'm not sure why you're repeating it here again.

Where are you getting your information from?
 
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