Another ATA 5 year old black belt

miguksaram

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If Mst. Weiss is reading through this perhaps he can chime in and let us know if original ITF syllabus contained these techniques as well.
 

dancingalone

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Thank you. So the original Shotokan curriculum as taught by Funakoshi Sensei and his son and several of his 1st generation students did not include chokes, traps, locks, ground fighting correct?

Yes, by my understanding. When I have some time to comb through my messy study, perhaps I can source it here.
 

Cyriacus

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I would like it if historically that was true. May I ask what reference you read to support that conclusion? The reason why I question it somewhat is because General Choi brought in a hapkido expert to develop a hosinsul curriculum. Assuming a substantial inside fighting practice already existed in his taekwondo, this would not have been necessary.

Thanks!
There were 12 Founders - And the Chokes and Jointlocks are very straightforward.
Now, I do have a book laying around old enough to have black and white Photos I could use as a reference. Ill see if I can find it. I remember its name, but given that its name is Taekwon-Do, the Author would probably be more helpful in this case.

In addition though, Inside Fighting is I suppose My Point. When thinking Grappling You normally thing of Grappling in a normal sense, as oppose to grabbing someones forearm, pulling it accross, and punching them in the face. But thats semantics. That said, in the ITF, I saw some Hapkido style stuff, so I full well agree that in some cases, Youre probably correct. Ive also seen many completely functional workings which are nothing like Hapkido in non-ITF Dojangs.
That said, why would it need to be Substancial? It isnt the Focus.

Can you point out in the Shotokan syllabus where locks, traps, chokes and ground fighting was taught....Not being an ***...I just never saw it in the Shotokan books that I have....since TKD's roots are mostly Shotokan, especially the ITF branch, I would like to find out why it was not taught, if it was taught in Shotokan.

Honestly, Im the wrong person to ask. I havent done much Research into Shotokan. I was mostly playing on DancingAlone mentioning that Hed more expect it to be in Karate.
Im interested as well, though.
Theres another factor though, which is how many kinds of Shotokan there are.
In fact, really, Shotokan can be as bad as TKD in the variance of Methodologies between Organisations.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Why does one have to lower the standards? Harvard has not lowered their standards, just because some people cannot hack it once they got in.
Not at all a good analogy. People who go to Harvard go because they believe that a degree from that institution will enable them to go further in their chosen professsin and to become wealthy, thus offsetting the costs of attending the school. Not to mention that the university system has a lot of help from various industries as well as state and federal governments.

Martial arts schools, even good ones, do not offer the promise of greater professional prestige and wealth as a result of getting their blackbelt, and martial arts are held in the same regard as football or baseball, only without the potential for celebrity athlete income or the possibility of making the pros.

I have seen MA lessons compared to piano and violin lessons. Or dance lessons. The major difference is that piano, violin, and ballet are also an established part of upper income culture in the west. Martial arts are not.

At our school we have a set standard which students must adhere to in order to pass to the next belt. If they do not meet the standard they do not test, it is that simple. A average minimum time for even a Jr. BB is 5 years and they do have to be a minimum age as well. That is not to say that being in somewhere longer means better. We have had some kids do it in three years. My point is that we set forth the criteria and standards that each student has to meet. As long as you are confident in what you do and you are providing excellent instruction at a fair price for not only the customer but for yourself as well then why lower standards?
I think that a lot depends on what you consider good money and fair pricing. I'm sure that the ATA considers its pricing to be fair. Given that they tend to target more affluent areas (from what I understand) their pricing is probably in line with their target customers' imcome levels.

While I think that it can be done, most instructors of commerical schools with an ATA style formula probably learned in a school with an ATA style formula, and so they do what they have seen done.

That is:
  • Higher tuition to take advantage of more affluent suburban family incomes.
  • Escalating belt fees or an overpriced fee for promotions.
  • Proliferation of belts in order to maximize the fees above.
  • Training to test and not to get better, which puts a focus on both of the above.
  • Special clubs and programs with fees attached.
  • Training needed for promotion withheld from regular students unless they participate in the aforementioned clubs and/or programs
  • Standards of promotion relaxed in order to have students paying for promotions consistently.
  • Promotion of students is scheduled in order to maintain consistency with the aforementioned fees.
  • The blackbelt promotion is considered graduation, with the expectation that most students will check it off of their bucket list and move onto another activity.
  • The black belt test costs more than three months of tuition in order to grab as much cash as possible before the student graduates and checks it off of their bucket list and moves onto another activity.
  • Black belts who stay are hit with fees for new equipment that often must be purchased through the school at a non competitive price.
I'm sure that I could add to that list, but I think that it is a pretty thorough list of the highlights of modern MA school commercialization.

And it is is commercialization that I see as a problem; not fair compensation, which is what you argue (and I agree) should be possible without sacrifice of training standards.
 

dancingalone

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This was pretty much a norm in most karate schools back in the day. I had a couple of my seniors in my school tell me how lucky I was to learn half a form in a months time. Stating they would be happy if that got to learn 3 more moves within that time frame. I could be wrong but don't some kung fu schools teach in this way? They show you only so much of form per ranking?

Kung fu sets are generally SO LONG, it would be quite difficult to learn a complete form in a short period of time. Short ones can be the equivalent of stringing together 3-4 dan length karate kata.

When I studied cha quan as well as baji quan, I didn't start to learn one of the traditional full sets until I was nearly a year into practice, and that was only after learning tan tui (essentially lines of marching basics). Lots of basics/conditioning though.
 

Gemini

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I know of a several very successful TKD schools that has not watered down their standards and still make good money.
That's kind of the point I was trying to make. So do I, but I know more that when faced with losing their school have made concessions to keep attendance up, went to the dark side because quality of training has become secondary to profit or lost their business outright because they refused to do so and watched their attendance migrate to one of the always present local chains that offer belts every 10 minutes, weapons galore at yellow belt and day care. I'm witnessing a very close friend go through this right now and it's heart breaking. He's by far a much more capable martial artist both in capability and experience, but not as good a business man. Your experience may well paint a different picture, but my experience says it's an uphill battle.


yet many people scold those who do make a good living at it. This is the part that I don't get.
I'm sorry you've experienced that because I have never heard anybody speak ill of those who ran a successful business while maintaining a high standard of training. I applaud it and so do those who know what it takes to pull that off. I wish you continued success!
 

clfsean

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Kung fu sets are generally SO LONG, it would be quite difficult to learn a complete form in a short period of time. Short ones can be the equivalent of stringing together 3-4 dan length karate kata.

Truth... shortest sets I know are not much more that a couple of drills put together.

Longest one I know takes me about 5 minutes at a full run. Great for cardio death practice!!

When I studied cha quan as well as baji quan, I didn't start to learn one of the traditional full sets until I was nearly a year into practice, and that was only after learning tan tui (essentially lines of marching basics). Lots of basics/conditioning though.

Exactly. Most of the time in doing drills & such, you're learning pieces taken from the sets... individual motions up to several at a time. By the time you get to a set, you actually know most of the content, but not the order in stringing it together. But that takes time & effort. I tend go a little quicker than some. It normally takes me 6 months to start teaching sets. I teach lots of drills & combos, but no sets.

When I teach a set, I teach four moves a class, no more than eight a week, no matter how times a week a person comes to class. Before a set is taught, I'm teaching combos from that set for a month or so ahead of time to make the process simple. Not easy, because it's not, but simple. But we're working on applications, practical format & per motion from the set.
 

Kong Soo Do

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I share a lot of the same feelings, but to be fair can we truly say all those things were part of classic TKD? Classic karate perhaps. I'm very willing to say old school TKD included great striking along with a decent amount of judo throwing, perhaps some rudimentary wrist locks... More than that? I dunno - but it would make a good discussion.

I can relay that it was taught, as part of the TKD curriculum by a Korean GM to my instructor. Was it wide spread? Apparently not, but some did teach it as part of the curriculum since this is what they, in turn, where taught.

dancingalone said:
It's commonly accepted that these things were never taught in pre-WWII Shotokan. No kobudo weapons either. The students at the Japanese universities either weren't interested in them or Funakoshi Sensei didn't think it important or necessary for whatever reason.

miguksaram said:
So the original Shotokan curriculum as taught by Funakoshi Sensei and his son and several of his 1st generation students did not include chokes, traps, locks, ground fighting correct?

I would say this is incorrect. Abernethy Sensei references many of Funakoshi Sensei's writings for the techniques I have described. He is but one that has demonstrated the historical links in the writings of the seniors. I would refer anyone interested to take some time, review his articles on the Pinan/Heian series, his (and others) articles on what the senior in Shotokan (and other arts) taught and simply ask him directly if any questions arise. He operates a small discussion board as well as Jissen which is an online, free magazine.
 

miguksaram

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Kung fu sets are generally SO LONG, it would be quite difficult to learn a complete form in a short period of time. Short ones can be the equivalent of stringing together 3-4 dan length karate kata.

When I studied cha quan as well as baji quan, I didn't start to learn one of the traditional full sets until I was nearly a year into practice, and that was only after learning tan tui (essentially lines of marching basics). Lots of basics/conditioning though.
I remember Tantui practice from my Northern Shaolin study...Only did about 6 months of that though. It was fun but the instructor did it as a side thing and his real job would often cause class cancellations.
 

dancingalone

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I can relay that it was taught, as part of the TKD curriculum by a Korean GM to my instructor. Was it wide spread? Apparently not, but some did teach it as part of the curriculum since this is what they, in turn, where taught.

What time period did this Korean GM learn in? From which [presumeably] kwan?


I would say this is incorrect. Abernethy Sensei references many of Funakoshi Sensei's writings for the techniques I have described. He is but one that has demonstrated the historical links in the writings of the seniors. I would refer anyone interested to take some time, review his articles on the Pinan/Heian series, his (and others) articles on what the senior in Shotokan (and other arts) taught and simply ask him directly if any questions arise. He operates a small discussion board as well as Jissen which is an online, free magazine.

There are some writings and printed interviews by and with Funakoshi Sensei's students. I will source them when I can. I really think they reflect that Funakoshi Sensei did not teach much in the way of grappling at all. I don't argue that Funakoshi knew the close range - he would have as an Okinawan karate man. Whether he actively taught such to his Japanese students is another matter.

By the way, I should probably state for the record that Funakoshi Sensei did include some throws in his Kyohan as well as the earlier version of the book. But I do question how often did the pre-war Shotokan practice that material along with locks or muscle and tendon displacing methods.
 
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miguksaram

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He's by far a much more capable martial artist both in capability and experience, but not as good a business man. Your experience may well paint a different picture, but my experience says it's an uphill battle.
This is what I think is at the heart of the problem. Many great instructors are not so great business people. When this happens they tend to fall into the this glitch that we are seeing now.

I'm sorry you've experienced that because I have never heard anybody speak ill of those who ran a successful business while maintaining a high standard of training. I applaud it and so do those who know what it takes to pull that off. I wish you continued success!
No...no..hasn't happened to me yet...I am still working hard to get into that position of success so people can call me a sell out.ha.ha.ha.ha
 

miguksaram

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I can relay that it was taught, as part of the TKD curriculum by a Korean GM to my instructor. Was it wide spread? Apparently not, but some did teach it as part of the curriculum since this is what they, in turn, where taught.
The roots you are talking about, are coming from a different style of karate though correct? Also, was what your GM taught directly from his karate or from other martial arts that he studied and then he intertwined with his lessons? Just curious.

I would say this is incorrect. Abernethy Sensei references many of Funakoshi Sensei's writings for the techniques I have described. He is but one that has demonstrated the historical links in the writings of the seniors. I would refer anyone interested to take some time, review his articles on the Pinan/Heian series, his (and others) articles on what the senior in Shotokan (and other arts) taught and simply ask him directly if any questions arise. He operates a small discussion board as well as Jissen which is an online, free magazine.
I know of him, but is this based on his sole interpretation or actual written documents from Funakoshi Sensei? There is a difference. If it is something that Funakoshi Sensei did write in his books, I would like to know which ones to add to my collection as well as figure out why it was excluded by the TKD pioneers.
 

puunui

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Actually, and with respect, it has not always been done this way. Itosu Sensei as just one example was a full time college professor. Martial arts was something that was a way of life rather than an occupational pursuit. China is another example. Teaching as a commercial venture did not really get into full swing until after WWII.


Incorrect. There are many examples of martial arts practitioners teaching as a commercial venture. TAKEDA Sokaku Sensei for one. Those that taught samurai from the earliest times. There is a long history of teaching martial arts professionally that goes back centuries. Funakoshi Sensei in Japan was a full time martial arts instructor. Mabuni Sensei in Japan, same thing.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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This is what I think is at the heart of the problem. Many great instructors are not so great business people. When this happens they tend to fall into the this glitch that we are seeing now.
This is how many great instructors end up doing the McDojo thing; the formula has already been made to order, tried out and tweeked. When running into difficulty with business, all said sensei need to do is adopt the McDojo model and hire a billing company with contracts. In order to maximize belt test money, standards are dropped and/or more belts are added. And that is how it all begins...
 

puunui

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It's commonly accepted that these things were never taught in pre-WWII Shotokan. No kobudo weapons either. The students at the Japanese universities either weren't interested in them or Funakoshi Sensei didn't think it important or necessary for whatever reason.

GM LEE Won Kuk did say that he learned bo and some sai. He even demonstrated some bo techniques for me on video (without the bo). But the other stuff, the locking, ground stuff, etc., he never learned and never taught it. It wasn't part of the shotokan curriculum, at least when he was there. There are some photographs in Funakoshi Sensei's early book toude jutsu, but that wasn't covered in Japan. GM Lee said that people weren't interested in that stuff when they came to karate, they wanted to learn kicking and punching. If they wanted weapons they would learn kendo. If they wanted grappling they would take judo or jujitsu. If they wanted kicking and punching, they learned karate.
 

puunui

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Getting back to the original subject, I really cannot see why so many people get upset at the thought of a five year old black belt. Who cares? Personally, I am not in any way diminished, threatened, harmed, lowered or hurt by a five year old black belt or even a 4th Dan teenager. I like to think my self esteem is higher than feeling those kinds of things. That really is the crux of the matter, people feeling somehow lowered by a five year old.
 

miguksaram

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This is how many great instructors end up doing the McDojo thing; the formula has already been made to order, tried out and tweeked. When running into difficulty with business, all said sensei need to do is adopt the McDojo model and hire a billing company with contracts. In order to maximize belt test money, standards are dropped and/or more belts are added. And that is how it all begins...
Right...and to be fair some of these martial art marketing companies like MAIA, have some great ideas. You just have to learn to pick adapt it to your principals and style and not the other way around. I loved going to their seminars when I attended the MAIA shows. You would get some great business insight and tips from people who were successful. Not everything they said would fit within what I wanted, but that was ok. I really focused on things that did/does fit into what I need to accomplish.
 

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What time period did this Korean GM learn in? From which [presumeably] kwan?

I cannot give you an exact, so I will estimate. GM Dunn was back in the 80's, Master Kyu In Baik was at the time (if memory serves) an 8th Dan in the HMK. I did not know him, and he is now deceased. But GM Dunn thought and spoke highly of him. Going backward from the 80's for an 8th Dan would 'probably' put him as starting back in the 50's or 60's? I cannot be dogmatic about it, I am only giving a general estimate.

GM Dunn earned his first BB in Goju Ryu on Okinawa in the 60's and much of what was taught was similar. Not saying HMK comes from Goju, just demonstrating similar concepts and techniques existed between the two. And I am not stating that any other HMK senior taught in this fashion or that it was a philosophy of the Kwan. Only that at least one individual senior, within the Kwan had such training and passed it on.

miguksaram said:
The roots you are talking about, are coming from a different style of karate though correct? Also, was what your GM taught directly from his karate or from other martial arts that he studied and then he intertwined with his lessons? Just curious.

The roots of the HMK would be (depending upon whom you ask) JDK and/or YMK. [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Gichin Funakoshi taught Shotokan Karate to Chun, Sang Sup at the College at Dong Yang Chuck Sik (Takushoku) University in Japan in the early to mid 1930's. Whether or not JDK was involved directly or indirectly again depends on whom you talk with and how you view it. But I believe the GM LEE links directly to GM Chun, Sang Sup so Shotokan would be a viable consideration.

I know that there were very close ties with Hapkido at one point. So I cannot be dogmatic on this point.

In regards to Master Abernethy, He references many source books of Funakoshi Sensei and others. I'd have to refer you to his site and articles as I can't remember off hand at the moment.
[/FONT]
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Getting back to the original subject, I really cannot see why so many people get upset at the thought of a five year old black belt. Who cares? Personally, I am not in any way diminished, threatened, harmed, lowered or hurt by a five year old black belt or even a 4th Dan teenager. I like to think my self esteem is higher than feeling those kinds of things. That really is the crux of the matter, people feeling somehow lowered by a five year old.
I think that a lot of it has to do with what a black belt has come to mean in the states how that meaning was communicated by people, such as US servicemen, who brought arts back to the states. Since they weren't training kids, the image of a black belt was a big, tough, ex marine who had trained hard in the art's country of origin and was attracting students similar to himself.

The idea that the belt was for competition bracketing was lost and now it almost seems foreign to many people.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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This is the way that Uechi Kanbun Sensei trained in China. This is the way he taught. His presentation of kata was so powerful, that historically, no one at demonstrations would follow him. It taught not only the form, and more importantly the bukai but also patience.

I have patterned our single form in MSK Kong Soo Do after this principle. Just one movement sequence of the 25 in the form could easily last MULTIPLE classes. We don't follow the philosophy of 'do a form, get a colored belt, repeat'. Very little training takes place that way. Our philosophy is quality rather than quantity.
I like this!
 
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