Age, rank, and knowledge

Sukerkin

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Thank You, I was beginning to feel as if I was being cyber-stalked. My grandma once taught me that if one has nothing positive to contribute, then they should remain silent. Hopefully, those posters who insist on demeaning me will heed your kind warning.

The Moderating staff here play no favourites, good sir. So please bear in mind that what I said applies equally as much to yourself as it does to any other member.

EDIT: As an aside, given that you're new here you might not be aware of how Moderation works at MT. Unlike many places, there is a graduated scale of responses which are generally applied by successively more senior 'layers' of Staff.

At present time, what you have seen are what are semi-officially termed 'nudges'. These are posts wherein a member of Staff makes comment on recent posting behaviour in a thread in an attempt to stave off having to move on to an official response (which then starts to impact on a members record). Think of it like a warning from a policeman who does not write you a ticket for a minor or unknowing offence.
 

seasoned

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You are correct in that I claim no rank in ninjitsu, Kug Maky Ung Ryu or otherwise. Considering that this journey has just begun, I would place myself in the rank of white belt. We should be our own harshest critics as MAists. This is a principle I hold dear, and consequently will award myself rank only when I feel it worthy.

There is much work for me to do until I give myself green belt. One of my self imposed requirements is to complete an indoor triathlon I intend to compete in towards the end of March, an event which will be a 45 minute torture test. This is just one of the many technique and conditioning requirements I have designed into my rank structure.

I feel that, on the beginning of your journey, in your new style or ryu, you have received some good insight from some very knowledgeable martial artist, throughout all of your threads. Your enthusiasm is respected, but on the same token, good common sense is warranted. I am going to assume that you came to this site to share and except good solid advice, of which you have ignored. You yourself said that you would throw together some techniques and principles and, I think you said you would call it a system. I think this is an irritant to martial artist from this site as well as myself, because of some of the wording used. I think anyone that wants to build anything , be it a system of self defense or a car, or a building, would seek advice from people of like mindedness, as a base, because no matter how much knowledge we have as individuals on any given subject, we just don’t have all of the answers. IMHO, I am just trying to help you out.
:asian:
 
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MBuzzy

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ATTENTION ALL USERS:

Please keep the discussion at a mature, respectful level. Please review our rules and regulations here, specifically section 4.3.

Feel free to use the Ignore feature to ignore members whose posts you do not wish to read (it is at the bottom of each member's profile). You may also make use of the "Report to Moderator button at the upper right hand side of each post if you feel that any member's posts are outside our rules. Thank you.

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Aiki Lee

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Ranking in martial arts can be a difficult thing to address. If I understand correctly, Hatsumi couldn't care less what rank someone is as long as they train hard so he promotes people to high ranks without testing their martial ability and allows youthful people to be ranked as Shihan or Shidoshi. This can ensure loyalty to the art by those who reap the benifits as well as provide a confidence boost to those who Hatsumi feels deserve it.

But

The flip side problem is that belt rank is seen by others as a level of attained skill, and Higher ranks should be more powerful in their art than lower ranks. I have seen many high ranking individuals who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag, and some who don't even know what the requirements were to earn the belt they are currently wearing!
Giving rank out to those who don't deserve it can have disasterous effects. In can instill false confidence that could lead to a tragic outcome if such a person where to engage in a life or death struggle.

When it comes to rank or titles I think that once you've LEARNED it you've EARNED it.
 

Kreth

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There's a bit of a culture clash here. Most Westerners view rank as a milestone, something they have earned. In Japan, it's common to promote a promising student ahead of their potential. In return, the student will train harder in an attempt to live up to his new rank.
 

exile

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There's a bit of a culture clash here. Most Westerners view rank as a milestone, something they have earned. In Japan, it's common to promote a promising student ahead of their potential. In return, the student will train harder in an attempt to live up to his new rank.

Hmmm, that's very interesting... I hadn't realized that. That's something that could impact a number of other discussions on the board.

There is, e.g., a semiactive thread now running about the ranks that the TKD Kwan founders respectively achieved when they were studying Karate in Japan, unker Kanken or Funakoshi. The documentation is spotty at best, and the information in some cases has to be inferred indirectly... but if at least some of them might have been 'pre-promoted' along these lines, that adds another element of uncertainty to the mix.
 

Aiki Lee

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There's a bit of a culture clash here. Most Westerners view rank as a milestone, something they have earned. In Japan, it's common to promote a promising student ahead of their potential. In return, the student will train harder in an attempt to live up to his new rank.

This explains a lot. I'm surprised I didn't figure this out myself. I can see arguements for both sides.
 

nitflegal

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I've traveled a fair amount to different Bujinkan dojos for drop ins and I think it's safe to say that quality and skill within the ranks can vary greatly. In all honesty, I've long remembered something Glenn Morris said at a seminar back to us back 7-8 years ago, where the varying quality was a test to the members. If you are a student it's expected that you will evaluate your teacher and move on if you require something more to develop in the art. If you stay and retard your learning, nobody is going to help you realize you're screwed, you have to realize it yourself. Considering how many traps there seem to be in the art for the unwary, it makes as much sense as anything.

Matt
 

Brian R. VanCise

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There's a bit of a culture clash here. Most Westerners view rank as a milestone, something they have earned. In Japan, it's common to promote a promising student ahead of their potential. In return, the student will train harder in an attempt to live up to his new rank.

Absolutely Kreth. This definitely should bring a new thought to how people perceive their rank. In that do I deserve it or how do I live up to it.
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It is not enough for some one to be promoted and then if they quit or stop training they really are not at that level anymore. People need to understand that you have to live up to your training.
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Bujingodai

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I agree with Kreth on this one. Rank is not the determining factor. Though it would be nice if the level did actually have some bearing on the person. As a rule I've seen it go 2 ways.

When I was in Japan, most definatly there were folks that deserve their rank. I trained with a 10th kyu that obviously had been sitting on that belt for many years or just was naturally talented and with a Sichidan that I wouldn't rank along side my 8th kyus.
Personal opinion and that is all it is. Hatsumi can do with what he wishes. If someone cares enough to look deeper they will see why someone is ranked the way they are, and if it is poor reasoning then well that school may suffer from the loss of a potential student or loss of respect.

Who knows, too many variables.
 

MMcGuirk

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I agree with Kreth on this one. Rank is not the determining factor. Though it would be nice if the level did actually have some bearing on the person. As a rule I've seen it go 2 ways.

When I was in Japan, most definatly there were folks that deserve their rank. I trained with a 10th kyu that obviously had been sitting on that belt for many years or just was naturally talented and with a Sichidan that I wouldn't rank along side my 8th kyus.
Personal opinion and that is all it is. Hatsumi can do with what he wishes. If someone cares enough to look deeper they will see why someone is ranked the way they are, and if it is poor reasoning then well that school may suffer from the loss of a potential student or loss of respect.

Who knows, too many variables.

This again goes into the culture factor. The skill difference between two or more people not including yourself is not an issue. If anyone studied the Japanese corporate business model on promotions and such you can see the parallel in promotions and actual skill.

In the business model, you are grouped with your entry class into the corporation. As you progress and are promoted, other people around you who started with you will be promoted also. Does this mean everyone is equal in skill? No, of course not. (and for the record, I'm not comparing any martial art school to a business. I am using this as a metophor. trolls lurk everywhere!)

However, it is considered rude and a loss of face to keep someone at a lower management level. Therefore they are promoted along with their peers. The interesting thing is the people with the most skill level are placed in positions of higher responsibility and "the office without a view". These people don't have time to look out the window as they are busy making things happen. The lesser skilled manager obviously has the lesser responsibility and "an office with a nice window view" The reasoning effect being this person with the window is really never going to go anywhere so they may as well enjoy the view and collect the paycheck or be ashamed and try harder for the office without the window or just leave.

What in the world does this have to do with Budo? (little grapes?!-sorry)
Obviously Budo is a Japanese word and the art here is Japanese. If you don't understand Japanese culture and way of thinking then you won't understand why someone of less skill is ranked higher than a lower rank student. Does this to apply to all Japanese martial arts? No. Does it apply to this discussion? Yes.

Western reward values do not apply here as Kreth pointed out. I'm more wary of the instructor who thinks "traditional" is bowing to each other before every technique, adhering to a militaristic behavior and "acting more Japanese than the Japanese". In my experience it's a cover up for not knowing the art. Some people have a preconcieved notion of how things ought to be and the reality of what it is. And a lot of this is just ego. Some people want the adoration and awe that comes with a high rank. I see it all the time with new people and the wide eyes when they see a dark color belt.

This is what I tell people who are new: "the only person you are competing with is yourself. That other person's rank has nothing to do with your relationship with your teachers or your ability." Some people get it and others it seems refuse to get it even though it has been presented to them on a silver platter.

And as far as my own personal opinion for those who leave because they can't accept the way things are, let them. It has no bearing on my training. As one of my mentors wrote: "what we practice has been around for over a thousand years. Don't you think it's seen greed, ego, pettiness and all the bad and good human behavior? There is nothing new with what goes on in the world"

For those able to travel to Japan I suggest this: Go with open eyes, open ears and more imporantly an open mind. Leave your preconcieved beliefs of how things ought to be at home. Believe me, it will show in your training and how you move. For better or worse your body language will give you away.


I shall now go back to lurking.
 

MMcGuirk

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Oh, the laughing Icon was supposed to be on the "Budo" little grapes joke. Sorry, it was a lame attempt at humor!
 

HeisaaReborn

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Ranking in martial arts can be a difficult thing to address. If I understand correctly, Hatsumi couldn't care less what rank someone is as long as they train hard so he promotes people to high ranks without testing their martial ability and allows youthful people to be ranked as Shihan or Shidoshi. This can ensure loyalty to the art by those who reap the benifits as well as provide a confidence boost to those who Hatsumi feels deserve it.

But

The flip side problem is that belt rank is seen by others as a level of attained skill, and Higher ranks should be more powerful in their art than lower ranks. I have seen many high ranking individuals who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag, and some who don't even know what the requirements were to earn the belt they are currently wearing!
Giving rank out to those who don't deserve it can have disasterous effects. In can instill false confidence that could lead to a tragic outcome if such a person where to engage in a life or death struggle.

When it comes to rank or titles I think that once you've LEARNED it you've EARNED it.

My husband/master has always taken to the addage a black belt is not something you wear it is something you become. I missed my testing last week as I was very ill and felt badly for a moment as I was about to test into my first of the advanced junior ranks. I then realized I had no reason to be upset. My skill level had not changed. My sparring ability had not changed. Mentally I had not changed. A belt is something to hold the uniform on a allow someone who does not know me a small insight into my degree (or lack thereof) skill. In a Budo art that can be a good thing, a bad thing, or an innocuous thing. As long as I have somehthing to keep my gi tied with I really can't complain.

BTW- our school will not put a black belt on anyone under 16 years of age. How can one even talk of leadership or starting to learn how to teach when they have not even finished puberty?
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That is just a thought. My husband did have his art recognized at the tender age of 29. He has studied for 20 years. However I think some above posters are confused when you create your own style you create your own lineage. You become a Soke, Kaiso Sensei, or whichever title you choose to use. This equates with a 10th dan which is an honorary dan ranking. It is not an irrational giving of a rank. There is a big difference between being a 10th dan in Bunjikan and being a founder of a lineage. I will not argue that one further.

Budo,
 

Bruno@MT

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In genbukan, rank denotes mastery of a specific set of skills.
From 10th kyu to 1st kyu, there are several hundred techniques / skills to be tested. Ditto for dan grades, though I don't know the specifics. Not my problem yet :)
Personally I like this way of testing / grading.
 

HeisaaReborn

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In genbukan, rank denotes mastery of a specific set of skills.
From 10th kyu to 1st kyu, there are several hundred techniques / skills to be tested. Ditto for dan grades, though I don't know the specifics. Not my problem yet :)
Personally I like this way of testing / grading.

As is true for most systems - but when you look at the traditional systems and lineages you have Sokes and Hanshis. A Soke is founder. A Hanshi is usually the holder of the Meiko Geidan after the Hanshi has passed on. Usually the Soke name is only passed if the Soke chooses to pass the Soke title after death. This is a practice that usually saved for those lineages that are from the Budo arts, namely Ninjutsu. This goes to history as Soke also means "Head of Family." The true practicioners on this site should not need more explanation than that.

Budo,
 

Bruno@MT

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??

I am missing something here. What does your reply have to do with my reply (since you are quoting it)?
 

HeisaaReborn

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Maybe I misread what you were saying but I replied to yours as I thought it was a comment to the above conversations about those who found systems. If it was not than I apologize for the clarification that was not needed.
 

Aiki Lee

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I'm with Bruno, you quoted me as well, but I can't tell if you agree, disagree, or have no opinion on what I said.
 

HeisaaReborn

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I think I just misread because where your posts ended up in location to mine and not what you actually said so I do apologize if this was not the case. I was more reacting to the comment of creating rank and while I do agree that there are some that give themselves rank that have not had their arts recognized by any legitimate association this is not the case with many of who are the head of a created art which becomes a lineage. That was my only point and I apologize humbly again if any offense was taken by my misreading.
 

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