An attempt a uniformity

artFling

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I read and found the following link interesting. Don't know if it's been shared elsewhere on this board. It's a common discussion amongst these threads: what should or should not constitute a blackbelt? At what age is it appropriate to award a BB to a student. Here's a group attempting to deal with that issue. It looks like they are jujitsu-ka in the main, but their discussion seems pertinent to the MA world as a whole. Do you tend to agree with their age requirements?

http://www.jujitsutraining.co.uk/bl...ood_and_masters_cou_2009&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
 

Wo Fat

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Their BB age criteria is similar to our style. No child will be awarded a BB until he or she is 17. Until then, they may wear a Black/Brown belt in some combined fashion--the instructor has discretion as to the design.

There is a great deal of responsibility and maturity that goes with a BB, and children--by nature--don't have that level of maturity and responsibility.
 

MJS

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Worldwide uniformity...next to impossible. Now, if you have an org. headed by one person, with a panel of advisors under him/her, then I'd say the chances for some sort of standard would be better. Then again, even that is probably not 100%.

This of course, is one of my biggest pet peeves, and I'm sure I've upset more than my share of fellow Kenpoists. I always find it interesting to see so many kids running around with high ranking black belts on, as well as people who are older, also wearing some damn high rank, in addition to claiming high rank in other arts as well.

If someone were to start training at 4, which IMO, is way too young anyways, then realistically, after 12yrs of training, they can be awarded the BB at 16. The flip side is...Is someone, especially at that age, really going to want to wait 12yrs? People are under the assumption that if you wait X amount of time, then when you reach that time, you should be awarded your belt. I disagree. If the norm is 6yrs to black, then at 10yrs old, you have a first degree BB. Wait 2 yrs in between rank, and now you have a 12yo 2nd degree, a 15yo 3rd degree, a 19yo 4th degree, 24yo 5th degree, etc. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I can't see a 30yo 8th degree BB. Now, factor in a few more arts, and you have someone in thier 40s, with 4 or more 8th degree black belts. Sounds kinda odd to me, but again, thats just my opinion.

You will always find your child or adult who is above average, meaning they pick things up quick. But IMO, there is more to training than just being able to run thru a series of moves. I've also seen my share of 4yr olds, who can't grasp the simplist thing, and are more of a distraction in the class than anything else.

I say, wait until the person is older, maybe around 10. At least 6yrs to black, and then at least the amount of years at that rank, for the rank they're going for, as I said above. ie: 2yrs for 2nd black, 3 for 3rd, 4 for 4th, etc.

I think that too many times, people are more concerned with the "ohh and ahh" factor, instead of quality. I don't give a rats behind if you have a belt with 1,000 stripes on it. That is not what *I* look for in a teacher.
 

Ken Morgan

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The context is very different in the Kendo federation but I guess they would be. There needs to be an established grading protocal in all oraganizations.

Applicants (Kendo, Iaido and Jodo) must have the following periods of practice:​
Dan/Kyu Practice Periods Minimum Ages​
1 Kyu
1 (Sho) Dan Over 3 months after granting of 1 Kyu 14 Years and over
2 (Ni) Dan Over 2 years after granting of 1​
st Dan 16 Years and over
3 (San) Dan Over 2 years after granting of 2
nd Dan 18 Years and over
4 (Yon) Dan Over 3 years after granting of 3
rd Dan 21 Years and over
5 (Go) Dan Over 4 years after granting of 4
th Dan 25 Years and over
6(Roku) Dan Over 5 years after granting of 5
th Dan 30 Years and over
7 (Nana) Dan Over 6 years after granting of 6
th Dan 36 Years and over

8 (Hachi) Dan Over 10 years after granting of 7
th Dan 48 Years and over
 

MJS

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Their BB age criteria is similar to our style. No child will be awarded a BB until he or she is 17. Until then, they may wear a Black/Brown belt in some combined fashion--the instructor has discretion as to the design.

There is a great deal of responsibility and maturity that goes with a BB, and children--by nature--don't have that level of maturity and responsibility.

I agree, however the #1 issue, IMHO, is that not only does the child not want to wait that long, but neither to the parents. Now, the inst. has a choice...make them wait and run the risk of them leaving to join a school that will cater to them or give them the belt so they stay happy and stay at your school.

This, I feel, is the issue that many face. Again, I tip my hat to those that adhere to solid standards. It should not be about the money or how many students you have and how many BB's you have, but the quality of them.
 

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While I appreciate organisations' attempts at standardisation, how can they apply age criteria (eg. no 2nd deg until 23 or over) without appearing completely and utterly arbitrary??? I think favouring standardisation over the grass-roots instructor's descretion is a ridiculous idea.

As a guideline, yes fine, and but as a organisation's statute or dictate, I could not agree at all with it.

The only criteria for a grade surely is that the student can demonstrate a set level of proficiency. Age? What has that to do with anything? If an organisation insists on having minimum age-limits, then it must surely also apply upper age-limits too?

Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 

MJS

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While I appreciate organisations' attempts at standardisation, how can they apply age criteria (eg. no 2nd deg until 23 or over) without appearing completely and utterly arbitrary??? I think favouring standardisation over the grass-roots instructor's descretion is a ridiculous idea.

As a guideline, yes fine, and but as a organisation's statute or dictate, I could not agree at all with it.

The only criteria for a grade surely is that the student can demonstrate a set level of proficiency. Age? What has that to do with anything? If an organisation insists on having minimum age-limits, then it must surely also apply upper age-limits too?

Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna

Maybe I'm reading the first line wrong and forgive me if thats the case. But I take that as saying, judge each person on a case by case basis. If that is the case, I think that would be more of a headache and heres why. You have 2 kids, Joey and Jack. Both are good friends, live next door to each other, and joined the dojo at the same exact time. Joey trains his butt off. His parents sit down with him daily and review his martial arts requirements. They treat this just like they treat his school work. Jack is much more relaxed, doesn't practice that much, his parents dont work with him, and rarely show up to watch and ask questions at the dojo.

So, test time comes 4 mos. later. The head inst. decides that Joey is ready to test, however, Jack isn't quite ready. So Joey tests, and gets his new rank, and Jack is held back. Can you see where this is heading?

Now, this isn't to say that if there is a standard, that the child or adult is still up for the test. All it means is they've reached the set time. If they're still not ready, they dont test.

Lets apply this, for a moment, to school. If someone is in the 8th grade, and they don't meet the standards, they are usually kept back. On the flip side, those that do meet the standards, go to the 9th grade, not jump to the 10th just because they're an exception to the rule.
 

Jenna

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Maybe I'm reading the first line wrong and forgive me if thats the case. But I take that as saying, judge each person on a case by case basis. If that is the case, I think that would be more of a headache and heres why. You have 2 kids, Joey and Jack. Both are good friends, live next door to each other, and joined the dojo at the same exact time. Joey trains his butt off. His parents sit down with him daily and review his martial arts requirements. They treat this just like they treat his school work. Jack is much more relaxed, doesn't practice that much, his parents dont work with him, and rarely show up to watch and ask questions at the dojo.

So, test time comes 4 mos. later. The head inst. decides that Joey is ready to test, however, Jack isn't quite ready. So Joey tests, and gets his new rank, and Jack is held back. Can you see where this is heading?
No, you have not misinterpreted, thank you that is what I was trying to say, yes. And yes, that is a good analogy and I appreciate what you are saying. In this case, of course, as you say, headaches for the instructors would abound. Still, if Jack is not ready for testing, he is not ready. As with anything, he (or his parents) cannot expect to make the grade if his performance or attitude is lacking, can they? What we are doing though, is holding Joey back while we wait on Jack. Is that any fairer?

I do understand why organisations seek to standardise testing, certainly. I am only trying to say that I do not see age as being a relevant to the issue of student readiness. If they are ready at 16yo (according to their own instructor), then they are ready at 16, irrespective of whether the overarching organisation stipulates, prescribe >=18 for that particular grade. In those extra two years between when a student is ready and when the organisation permits grading, that student may conceivably become disillusioned.

I would worry that such standardisation by age would result in the lowest common denominator of performance - almost as though we hold a class back, waiting on the least prepared student or that with the most lax attitude - the "Jack" in your example. Are we saying, Jack will be ready at eg. 18yo, therefore 18yo is our benchmark?

If that is the case, then fair enough, I am not part of the organisations and so perhaps have no right to comment. That said, I think this situation is designed to cope with the mass at the expense perhaps of the gifted. While that might be expeditious in revenue terms, I think it is a shame that the best students are penalised in the interests of group standardisation.

And can I apologise if this sounds argumentative, it is not meant to. I do work (non-MA) with young people in my local college and find that in the younger generation, sparks of enthusiasm can be so very easily extinguished. I do not like the idea of damping a young person's enthusiasm because some distant policy-maker has slapped an arbitrary barrier in front of them.

Thank you again for your reply :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 

Grenadier

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Leave each system to their own. Let them use their own standards, since to try to compare one to another is going to be comparing apples to oranges.

If someone really wants a more universal ranking, the opportunities are there, with organizations the likes of the WKF or USA-NKF, who offer their own rankings for those interested in having such a "universally recognized" ranking.

The rules for such rankings are clearly spelled out.
 

Ken Morgan

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There needs to be a standard, also there needs to be a standard for those on the grading panel. Those judging, need to follow strict criteria, so as to not bring any personal prejudges into the situation.

You MA grade should be about what you are bringing to the floor on grading day. If you meet all the rules and regulations you should be allowed to grade on grading day, with your Senseis permission of course.

I have seen arguments where some want to bring character into gradings. How the Hell can you judge character? It needs to simply be about what you do on grading day.
 

MJS

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No, you have not misinterpreted, thank you that is what I was trying to say, yes. And yes, that is a good analogy and I appreciate what you are saying. In this case, of course, as you say, headaches for the instructors would abound. Still, if Jack is not ready for testing, he is not ready. As with anything, he (or his parents) cannot expect to make the grade if his performance or attitude is lacking, can they? What we are doing though, is holding Joey back while we wait on Jack. Is that any fairer?

No, we're not holding Joey back while Jack catches up. We're promoting Joey and holding Jack back. In that case, the inst. would be following the standard. Even if the standard time is met, it doesnt mean that the student will always go up to test. If we took the above situation and put it at the inst. discretion, then there is a chance that the inst may feel bad, may feel pressured and move Jack ahead anyways.

I do understand why organisations seek to standardise testing, certainly. I am only trying to say that I do not see age as being a relevant to the issue of student readiness. If they are ready at 16yo (according to their own instructor), then they are ready at 16, irrespective of whether the overarching organisation stipulates, prescribe >=18 for that particular grade. In those extra two years between when a student is ready and when the organisation permits grading, that student may conceivably become disillusioned.

So by this line of thinking, then regardless of age, quality, etc., its ok to move someone on, even if they are not up to par? So technically, you could have a very young, high ranking BB running around. IMO, that reeks of McDojoism.

I would worry that such standardisation by age would result in the lowest common denominator of performance - almost as though we hold a class back, waiting on the least prepared student or that with the most lax attitude - the "Jack" in your example. Are we saying, Jack will be ready at eg. 18yo, therefore 18yo is our benchmark?

Again, just because there're standards in place, does not mean that when the student reaches the standard, that they have to go up in rank. Yes, they've waiting the required timeframe, ie: 4 mos. between blue and green belt, but if after that 4mos, they're still not ready, they still do not test.

If that is the case, then fair enough, I am not part of the organisations and so perhaps have no right to comment. That said, I think this situation is designed to cope with the mass at the expense perhaps of the gifted. While that might be expeditious in revenue terms, I think it is a shame that the best students are penalised in the interests of group standardisation.

There've been many times, against my better judgement, I gave the ok for someone to test, only to sit on the test panel, and hang my head, because the student that *I* said was ready, sucked. I'm not into quantity, I'm into quality. And if that means that someone sits at X rank until they look good and know their stuff, then so be it. Perhaps, instead of looking at is as punishing the entire class, you're moving all but the ones who need the work, setting an example. Maybe, if the student who wasnt ready, trained harder, if their parents were a larger part of the childs training, then they'd have moved with the rest of the class.

And can I apologise if this sounds argumentative, it is not meant to. I do work (non-MA) with young people in my local college and find that in the younger generation, sparks of enthusiasm can be so very easily extinguished. I do not like the idea of damping a young person's enthusiasm because some distant policy-maker has slapped an arbitrary barrier in front of them.

Thank you again for your reply :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna

Nope, I didn't take it that way at all. :) Its good to have varying opinions. If everyone thought the same, imagine how boring this place would be? :) As for damping the enthusiasm...you explain to the child why he/she was held back. I'm doing my part, which is to teach. They need to do their part and practice.
 

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So by this line of thinking, then regardless of age, quality, etc., its ok to move someone on, even if they are not up to par? So technically, you could have a very young, high ranking BB running around. IMO, that reeks of McDojoism.

What I think is being said is that it is not regardless of quality, just age. Think about what a black belt means, it varies with a lot of people, but it usually represents a certain knowledge and proficiency. Adding an arbitrary age requirement means it changes the meaning of a black belt (or any other belt) from: This means I'm proficient in my art. To: This means I'm proficient in my art and I'm proficient at being over 18.

As for damping the enthusiasm...you explain to the child why he/she was held back. I'm doing my part, which is to teach. They need to do their part and practice.

I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that by dampening the enthusiasm was actually for the more gifted child (Joey), not the one who didn't work hard (Jack). So the reason you'd be explaining to him would be along the lines of "You've put in the hard work, you know all your material, you're enthusiastic, but the people who made the requirements said 18 years old is the requirement and it's 3 months till your birthday, so no grading"
 

MJS

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What I think is being said is that it is not regardless of quality, just age. Think about what a black belt means, it varies with a lot of people, but it usually represents a certain knowledge and proficiency. Adding an arbitrary age requirement means it changes the meaning of a black belt (or any other belt) from: This means I'm proficient in my art. To: This means I'm proficient in my art and I'm proficient at being over 18.

So going on this, then its ok to have a 10yo 1st degree BB, a 12yo 2nd degree, a 15yo 3rd degree, and an 19yo 4th degree? That is using what, IMO, should be the standard. In other words, you wait the amount of years for the degree you're going for. Technically, if that wasn't used, then you could have a very young, high ranking BB. Again, I ask, this is what we want in the arts? We could also look at what proficient means. To be able to do the material. To have a basic understanding. To have an above average understanding. What do we want to see from the BB? Keep in mind, that these people may be called upon to teach. Are they capable of understanding enough, to not only teach, but to answer questions they may face?

If you're asked 10 questions about a technique, and you can answer only 3 of them vs. someone who answers 8 of them, who has the better understanding?



I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that by dampening the enthusiasm was actually for the more gifted child (Joey), not the one who didn't work hard (Jack). So the reason you'd be explaining to him would be along the lines of "You've put in the hard work, you know all your material, you're enthusiastic, but the people who made the requirements said 18 years old is the requirement and it's 3 months till your birthday, so no grading"

In a nutshell, yes, they wait. All of this, of course, should be told to the parents, child, adult student, in the beginning. Personally, I don't think that anyone should expect rank. If/when it happens, it happens, period. Like I said earlier, people are more concerned with whats around their waist, instead of making sure that they look sharp, can perform, can perform under stress, can adapt to whats presented to them without thinking. In the end, its the skill, not the belt that is going to save their butt, when the poop hits the fan. :) I dont care if you have 30 stripes, if you can't do the material, because you were in a rush to get the next belt, not only did you get your *** kicked, but you wasted all that time training.
 

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So going on this, then its ok to have a 10yo 1st degree BB, a 12yo 2nd degree, a 15yo 3rd degree, and an 19yo 4th degree?

Yes, it is, IF they are a reasonable proficiency, and meet all the non-arbitrary requirements.

That is using what, IMO, should be the standard. In other words, you wait the amount of years for the degree you're going for. Technically, if that wasn't used, then you could have a very young, high ranking BB. Again, I ask, this is what we want in the arts? We could also look at what proficient means. To be able to do the material. To have a basic understanding. To have an above average understanding. What do we want to see from the BB? Keep in mind, that these people may be called upon to teach. Are they capable of understanding enough, to not only teach, but to answer questions they may face?

If that is your requirement for a grading then they are capable. That is the argument there, make the grading requirement understanding and ability to teach if that's what you want BBs to do, not make the age 18 and hope they have those qualities just because they're a certain age.

If you're asked 10 questions about a technique, and you can answer only 3 of them vs. someone who answers 8 of them, who has the better understanding?

Ask those questions in the grading, don't assume they know them because they are older. Again I said base it on quality not on age and you go straight back to quality.

In a nutshell, yes, they wait. All of this, of course, should be told to the parents, child, adult student, in the beginning. Personally, I don't think that anyone should expect rank. If/when it happens, it happens, period. Like I said earlier, people are more concerned with whats around their waist, instead of making sure that they look sharp, can perform, can perform under stress, can adapt to whats presented to them without thinking. In the end, its the skill, not the belt that is going to save their butt, when the poop hits the fan. :) I dont care if you have 30 stripes, if you can't do the material, because you were in a rush to get the next belt, not only did you get your *** kicked, but you wasted all that time training.

Please read what I am actually writing. This is the guy who knows the material and you say things like this makes me think you barely skimmed over what I wrote. He didn't expect to grade, he was just ready to grade, we didn't mention his caring of whether he was moving up or not, more that a student will lose enthusiasm because of an arbitrary barrier.
 

Carol

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... more that a student will lose enthusiasm because of an arbitrary barrier.

I have yet to meet a child that has lost their enthusiasm about driving, because they have not met the state's age limits.....or even because they are technically old enough but their parents are not yet prepared to sign off.

If a child's maturity is such that they may quite the arts over being old enough to get what they wanna get, then perhaps that child doesn't yet have the maturity to wear a black belt.
 

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I have yet to meet a child that has lost their enthusiasm about driving, because they have not met the state's age limits.....or even because they are technically old enough but their parents are not yet prepared to sign off.

If a child's maturity is such that they may quite the arts over being old enough to get what they wanna get, then perhaps that child doesn't yet have the maturity to wear a black belt.

I would argue that a driving analogy does not hold up. Firstly the actual loss of enthusiasm is not really in question here, as it DOES happen, people will get disenheartened/frustrated with training and such if they are excelling and not progressing, and is the reason for a number of gifted academic programs funded by governments too.
I think the main difference is that it is clearly understood the reasoning behind having an arbitrary age barrier for driving, is due to a government's inability to deal with it on a case by case basis. Whereas an instructor has that ability to view it on a more personal or case by case level. There is also the fact that black belt is an arbitrary measure itself.
 

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I have yet to meet a child that has lost their enthusiasm about driving, because they have not met the state's age limits.....or even because they are technically old enough but their parents are not yet prepared to sign off.

If a child's maturity is such that they may quite the arts over being old enough to get what they wanna get, then perhaps that child doesn't yet have the maturity to wear a black belt.


When I turned 16 I was quite excited that I could finally get my learner's permit. However, due to issues such as both my parents working and the DMV closing before they got home and not being open on weekends, it was about 6-8 months before I actually got my permit. Honestly, in that time my enthusiasm about learning to drive just went right out the window. I had been excited thinking "I can get my permit tomorrow!" and then I gradually got less excited as I had to wait longer and longer until I just stopped caring about it.

Also, regarding waiting for a belt promotion, I don't think that the thought process is so much "I want a black belt for the sake of having a black belt" but more "I want a black belt so I can learn new material and progress in my art." If Joey is mature enough and proficient enough at 16 to move on to more complex material or move on to learning weapons (some schools only start weapons at black belt) but is told he needs to wait 2 years for that material, I think it's understandable that he would become frustrated and bored and lose his enthusiasm.

Someone else used a gifted child analogy; if I'm in 8th grade and I know all the 8th grade material backwards and forwards and I'm able and ready for 10th grade material, and mature enough to participate in 10th grade classes, is it fair to make me wait 2 years to learn it? To make me learn things I already know over and over for 2 years just because I'm not the usual age to be in 10th grade? Most people would say no, that isn't fair to the child and will seriously hurt their enthusiasm for school and for learning. That's why there are gifted programs and why some children skip grades, and most people see those as good things, or at least not as problems. So why not apply the same logic to Joey?
 

Wo Fat

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While I appreciate organisations' attempts at standardisation, how can they apply age criteria (eg. no 2nd deg until 23 or over) without appearing completely and utterly arbitrary??? I think favouring standardisation over the grass-roots instructor's descretion is a ridiculous idea.

As a guideline, yes fine, and but as a organisation's statute or dictate, I could not agree at all with it.

The only criteria for a grade surely is that the student can demonstrate a set level of proficiency. Age? What has that to do with anything? If an organisation insists on having minimum age-limits, then it must surely also apply upper age-limits too?

Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna

On the flip side, there are plenty of 12-year olds who think it's ridiculous that they can't go down to Wal-Mart and purchase a firearm on their own. While that particular child's parent might believe that his son is perfectly capable of owning and carrying a firearm, society has determined that he's too young to handle that kind of responsibility.

Similarly, there are organizations who believe that a 10-year old is ill-equipped to handle the responsibilities of being a Black Belt. And personally, if I'm going to award someone a Black Belt, it's because they've demonstrated that they can effectively defend themselves. Not just remember their katas and their one-steps; not just come to class with a good attitude; not just make their tuition payments; not just being able to be a good point-fighter.

So while there are instructors who believe that 10-year olds make great Black Belts, the reality is that said 10-year old is in for a rude awakening should she ever have to defend herself against a real attacker.
 
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MJS

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Yes, it is, IF they are a reasonable proficiency, and meet all the non-arbitrary requirements.

Ok, so going on this, if there should be no standard, and the person should be able to test, then realistically, you could have a 10th degree BB who isn't even 40yrs old. I dont know, maybe its just me, but I always picture someone who is a GM, as an older person, not younger.



If that is your requirement for a grading then they are capable. That is the argument there, make the grading requirement understanding and ability to teach if that's what you want BBs to do, not make the age 18 and hope they have those qualities just because they're a certain age.

So a 10yo 3rd degree BB is going to have the same understanding as a 35yo 3rd degree?



Ask those questions in the grading, don't assume they know them because they are older. Again I said base it on quality not on age and you go straight back to quality.

Because common sense should tell you that a child is not going to understand something the way an adult will. Lets use school as another example. If the child doesnt know basic math, how the hell are they going to know algebra? Trig? Calc? When a child is learning to write, don't they learn the letters, first, how to spell, link them together, etc., before asking them to write an essay paper?



Please read what I am actually writing. This is the guy who knows the material and you say things like this makes me think you barely skimmed over what I wrote. He didn't expect to grade, he was just ready to grade, we didn't mention his caring of whether he was moving up or not, more that a student will lose enthusiasm because of an arbitrary barrier.

I'm getting the impression that you're getting upset. Is this perhaps because you are against what I, and a few others are saying, because perhaps you fall into the category that I'm talking about? Maybe you do, maybe you dont, I dont know, but you seem very aggitated. Oh well...back to the thread. Regarding what you just said. Lets break this down:

In response to something Jenna said, I replied:

"As for damping the enthusiasm...you explain to the child why he/she was held back. I'm doing my part, which is to teach. They need to do their part and practice."

to which you said:

"I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that by dampening the enthusiasm was actually for the more gifted child (Joey), not the one who didn't work hard (Jack). So the reason you'd be explaining to him would be along the lines of "You've put in the hard work, you know all your material, you're enthusiastic, but the people who made the requirements said 18 years old is the requirement and it's 3 months till your birthday, so no grading"

I then replied:

"In a nutshell, yes, they wait. All of this, of course, should be told to the parents, child, adult student, in the beginning. Personally, I don't think that anyone should expect rank. If/when it happens, it happens, period. Like I said earlier, people are more concerned with whats around their waist, instead of making sure that they look sharp, can perform, can perform under stress, can adapt to whats presented to them without thinking. In the end, its the skill, not the belt that is going to save their butt, when the poop hits the fan. :) I dont care if you have 30 stripes, if you can't do the material, because you were in a rush to get the next belt, not only did you get your *** kicked, but you wasted all that time training."

I feel that during the initial sign-up phase, how testing works needs to be explained. I've been teaching for quite some time, and I've had many people, kids, adults, and parents, all ask about the testing, when they may be ready, etc. In many schools, there is somewhat of a timeframe, a basic idea to give. Ex: It should take 3 mos to go from white to yellow. That doesnt mean the person will be ready to test. Yet its assumed by many that they will be. The gifted child may be ready in 2mos, but if the standard is 3, then he/she waits.

This is probably why I'm not crazy about kids as young as 3 and 4, joining up. However, for those that do have a 16yo requirement for BB, do those schools allow 4yr olds to join? If so, I'm sure, they don't allow them to test so fast that they're 10 and ready for black. Some give a Jr. BB instead. They're still learning, have something that gives them the drive to continue to train hard, and when they're old enough, they take the adult BB test. I'd much rather see that, the Jr. BB, instead of a 12yo 2nd degree running around. I know the JRBB isn't on everybodies top 10 fav. list of things.

Everyone looks forward to getting a promotion, even in the real world. But, nothing should be expected. And if you stop and think about it, there should be no issue with the gifted child having to wait another 3mos, due to the fact that if they were really examined like they should be, prior to testing, I'm sure there may be something that could use polish. I've had people perform just fine under no stress, yet, when they know they're really being looked at, they start to crumble. When the attack is loose and relaxed, they do the tech. just fine, yet when the punch is really coming and if they don't move, they're gonna get hit, they crumble.

There are ways to slow people down. If you haven't figured out what they are, I dont know what to say. Its one thing to just run thru the material from A-Z, but when you really get to the meat of whats involved, it shouldn't be that simple.
 

MJS

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I would argue that a driving analogy does not hold up. Firstly the actual loss of enthusiasm is not really in question here, as it DOES happen, people will get disenheartened/frustrated with training and such if they are excelling and not progressing, and is the reason for a number of gifted academic programs funded by governments too.
I think the main difference is that it is clearly understood the reasoning behind having an arbitrary age barrier for driving, is due to a government's inability to deal with it on a case by case basis. Whereas an instructor has that ability to view it on a more personal or case by case level. There is also the fact that black belt is an arbitrary measure itself.

So, just like you feel that a 10yo should be able to be a 3rd degree BB, you're saying that a 14yo should be able to drive? Case by case basis...ok, so the 16yo may suck, but the 15yo may not, so we'll let him get his DL, but wait, the 14yo is a gifted kid, so we'll give him a CDL too.

To add onto this...this is why in many states, there are limits on what new drivers can do, because they do not have the experience.
 
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