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mrt2

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Depends on what being a Black Belt means to you. In our system, 1st Dan is a teaching rank, and ones understanding of the system and ability to pass it on are at least as important as anything else. We recently awarded a 1st Dan to a woman in her early 70's. She deserves it.
Personally, I'm certainly not the fighter I was ten, twenty or thirty years ago. But I don't plan on turning in my belt. And there's certainly something to be said for experience. The last time I fought in a tournament I was about 50. There weren't enough people to have a separate geriatric fat man class, so I sparred in the 30-35 year old Black Belt class. And brought home a lovely little necklace.
Geriatric fat man class. Sounds about my speed. :)
 

Gaucho

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Due to the absence of punctuation and capitalization, I didn't get past the third 'sentence.'
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Due to the absence of punctuation and capitalization, I didn't get past the third 'sentence.'
Briefly skimming, I counted 9 periods, 3 question marks and 9 line breaks. I could be off considering I just woke up. But either way, there have absolutely been times on this site where punctuation has been an issue, and long blurbs with no punctuation become unreadable; I don't think this falls into that category.
 

Anarax

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The for black belt kids, is that although they have the ability to perform the kata/forms and may have some knowledge. They can't use their art to any great degree.
Just for reference for this thread, when I say child or children I'm referring to prepubescents. From my experience it really depends on the child. Some are just in class putting very little to no effort in, but some children can show tremendous heart and dedication to martial arts. However, the dedicated students I've seen are usually in the small minority of younger students.

Can we say the same things about the older generation that have taken up martial arts later in life? of course this is a much much smaller percentage of the population but it still exists.
I see your point. There is a difference when it come to human development though. Younger students are limited by their size and level of muscular and bone development. Meaning, they're not yet at the level of development in which they can defend themselves against an adult attacker. I've sparred highly ranked children, some have good technique, but they lack speed and power. There's also a psychological component that's involved. A child's mind is still developing and hasn't reached a high level of comprehension for tactics and strategy. Thus when you combine a lack of speed, power, tactical and strategical comprehension, I don't see how a black belt can earned. That's not to say that they can't be highly ranked, but I think a black belt isn't feasible at their current state of development.

Older people on the other hand can improve their physical state to a reasonable degree through exercise. They also don't suffer from under development and can more easily comprehend tactics and strategy. I see this as a game changer or balancing mechanism when they are sparring a younger and stronger student.

people may point to Helio Gracie or other older Grandmasters/Masters who reached an older age and could still be active on the mat. Certainly this is a strong point, for those few who have reached such a level, maybe having a higher degree in an art also implies 'paid their dues'
That's how I see it too. They have achieved a level through lifelong training and know all of the facets of the art. Their experience becomes their most versatile tool given how long they've trained for. This is how the masters are expected to handle the young bucks.

Overall, I don't agree with awarding children black belts. I see it as disrespectful to the art and more of a marketing gimmick. The schools I've seen that award black belts at a very young age are usually more commercial or a mcdojo.
 

Dirty Dog

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Can we say the same things about the older generation that have taken up martial arts later in life? of course this is a much much smaller percentage of the population but it still exists.

You/re right. Us old farts can't generate or deliver any power at all...

I apologize for the weakness of those breaks, but in my defense, when this was shot I had just recently finished a six month course of chemo and radiation for throat cancer. I could do better now.
 

Anarax

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I apologize for the weakness of those breaks, but in my defense, when this was shot I had just recently finished a six month course of chemo and radiation for throat cancer. I could do better now.

That's inspiring!!! I'll have to remember this the next time I miss practice because I feel tired.
 

pdg

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You/re right. Us old farts can't generate or deliver any power at all...

I apologize for the weakness of those breaks, but in my defense, when this was shot I had just recently finished a six month course of chemo and radiation for throat cancer. I could do better now.

Couple of general curiosity questions...

Were those multiples of 2" thick slices?

Did I see correctly that they were spaced?

What were the other dimensions (width*length)?
 

pdg

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Couple of general curiosity questions...

Were those multiples of 2" thick slices?

Did I see correctly that they were spaced?

What were the other dimensions (width*length)?

By the way - I'm only asking so I can maybe see if I can do it, no hidden motives ;)
 

Dirty Dog

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Couple of general curiosity questions...

Were those multiples of 2" thick slices?

Did I see correctly that they were spaced?

What were the other dimensions (width*length)?

Yes. I generally use 16"x8"x2" pavers for power breaks and 16"x4"x2" for the speed breaks. The wider ones tend to fall over on their own when placed on the heavy bag. They work fine, though, if you place them on a table or something of that sort.

I put carpenters pencils between them for the power break. I've also done it with nails between them. Pencils are just easier, because they're flat. So they don't roll off while you're stacking the bricks. The standing bricks are just standing on top of a heavy bag with nothing between them.

Contrary to what lots of people think, spacers are not used to make a break easier. I had always been taught this, and I've confirmed it with one of our kids. He's got a master in mechanical engineering and is working on his PhD. Part of his job involves modeling and testing this sort of thing (for locomotives, but the principles are the same) so I think he knows what he's talking about. Currently he's working on the affects of impacts on various sorts of couplers and various methods of construction in the cars themselves.

Here's the thing. Pile up a bunch of bricks, without spacers. Now smack them. If you apply enough energy to break them all, you're fine. If you don't, then that energy will rebound into you, and it's quite likely to be you that breaks. Now put spacers between them. This time, if you fail to break them all, you'll still break some of them and the force rebounding into you will be the force you applied minus the force used to break some of the bricks. And so you don't break yourself.
That's why I don't use spacers on the speed break. If I fail the break, the bricks just fall over, so there's no rebound and I won't get hurt.

I prefer bricks because of their consistency. Their breaking characteristics are not affected by things like humidity. And they don't warp.
 

pdg

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Not wanting to derail the thread, so I'll post a teaser and expand if requested.

Using spacers makes a multi layer break easier, and more difficult o_O
 

pdg

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Bear with me, I'm trying to figure out how to word it...

It'd be very easy to take part of it and use that to say "so spacers make it easier", or "so no spacers make it easier" - when what I'm trying to get toward is: it's essentially the same, but different.
 

Dirty Dog

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Bear with me, I'm trying to figure out how to word it...

It'd be very easy to take part of it and use that to say "so spacers make it easier", or "so no spacers make it easier" - when what I'm trying to get toward is: it's essentially the same, but different.

I'll agree with this. The required impact is the same (or close enough as makes no difference). But the feel is different, and it's also possible that there is a psychological difference - e.g. you think it will be easier, so you' re more willing to commit to the break. And commitment is a vital part of a successful break.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Bear with me, I'm trying to figure out how to word it...

It'd be very easy to take part of it and use that to say "so spacers make it easier", or "so no spacers make it easier" - when what I'm trying to get toward is: it's essentially the same, but different.
Word it however works for you. If you get too technical, @AngryHobbit (Masters in Mechanical Engineering) will explain it to me (background in Psychology and Theatre). If you simplify it too much, I'll explain it to her.
 

AngryHobbit

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Bear with me, I'm trying to figure out how to word it...

It'd be very easy to take part of it and use that to say "so spacers make it easier", or "so no spacers make it easier" - when what I'm trying to get toward is: it's essentially the same, but different.
@gpseymour , actually this makes perfect sense from the engineering standpoint. Each structure - with and without the spacers - has its own pros and cons. With the spaces you have an airier structure with less solid material. However, the presence of the spacers creates an opportunity for the slices to flex and create an arch, causing the broader distribution of the force of the strike. Without the spacers, there is no arching and no slipping at the point of contact with the spacer. But then, you have a solid mass of material to deal with, through which the force of your strike has to propagate.

In English, with the spacers, you have to strike harder. Without the spacers, you have to strike more precisely and deeper for better penetration.
 

pdg

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Ok, so I'll try this...

Any material you want to snap (essentially what breaking is) has to be brittle enough in the first place.

As you strike it, it has to be bent past it's elastic recovery zone (even concrete, it still has a small amount of give).

If stacked directly with no spacers your initial impact has to be hard enough to bend all the sections through to the bottom one (assuming no individual compression), and it's the bottom one that will usually break first.

A failure on this type of break will probably see none of them broken (unless there's enough irregularity in the meeting surfaces or compression of each 'leaf').

The distance over which you must apply the force is roughly the same distance as to break a single leaf.

If each leaf is spaced from the next sufficiently to allow it to break before contacting the subsequent layer, then you only have to apply enough impact to break one, but then you have to instantly repeat that as many times as there are leaves.

A failure here would see some broken, starting with the top one.

So, the distance over which the force is applied is the sum of the spaces plus the distance required to break one leaf.

If the spacers are such that the first leaf can contact the second before breaking, the behaviour is similar, but the force/time graph profile is different.

So, is it easier or harder to break with spacers?

Yes.


The total force required is the same, but no spacers means that force is greater for a shorter time.

Think of it like: is it easier to carry 10 litres of water for 5 miles, or 50 litres for one mile...*

(Oh, this discounts friction between elements - and the shape of any spacers. Because the leaf has to bend, the length of the faces will change. Round spacers can roll like a bearing, square spacers must slide as must face to face.)



*Edit: Or break it up into 10 litres for 1 mile, 5 times... A failure on 50 litre/1 mile sees nothing arrive, a failure on 5x10l/1 mile might see some of them get there.
 
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