Are belts the way to go (from a brown belt)?

Kung Fu Wang

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Neither of those ranks means anything to me until I know what they mean.
If I tell you that my long fist system black belt requirement are:

1st degree BB - you have to finish the long fist physical training.
2nd degree BB - you have to finish the long fist mental training.
3rd degree BB - you have to finish the long fist spiritual training.

Do you understand what the long fist BB requirement is?

The issue about the ranking system is, people will ask you

- Who is your teacher?
- Who is your teacher's teacher?
- ...
 
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gpseymour

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If I tell you that I have black belt in 10 different CMA systems, but none of those CMA systems use ranking system. What kind of confidence will you have on me?

One of my students wanted me to give him a black belt in my long fist system. I told him that I can only give him a "long fist teacher certification".
If someone tells me they have a belt in a system that doesn't typically use belts, it tells me really nothing about them or their training. If anyone tells me they have 10 BB, it doesn't matter whether those systems typically use belts or not, I'm immediately suspicious.

Look at the reverse - does someone suddenly gain credibility if I stop using belt ranks (something I considered when putting together my curriculum)? If not, why should they suddenly lose crediblity if someone starts using them?
 

gpseymour

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If I tell you that my long fist system black belt requirement are:

1st degree BB - you have to finish the long fist physical training.
2nd degree BB - you have to finish the long fist mental training.
3rd degree BB - you have to finish the long fist spiritual training.

Do you understand what the long fist BB requirement is?

The issue about the ranking system is, people will ask you

- Who is your teacher?
- Who is your teacher's teacher?
- ...
No. And in most cases, knowing the teachers' names doesn't tell me anything more.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Look at the reverse - does someone suddenly gain credibility if I stop using belt ranks (something I considered when putting together my curriculum)? If not, why should they suddenly lose crediblity if someone starts using them?
You have logic issue here.

If you

- have, you can say you don't have.
- don't have, you can't say you have.
 

APL76

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I have a 2nd degree black belt in bavarian jiu jitsu.
Pfffftttt. you can keep your Bavarian Jiu Jitsu; I got a 10 degree blackbelt in Bavarian Cheesecake (the more cheesecake I eat the more degrees I need to ad to my belt).
 

Snark

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There is different between someone who graduated from MIT than someone who graduated from Liberty Hill Community College.
Errr..... Isn't this counter to your argument. Both of these institutions have a certification process to ensure quality of teaching and understanding of students.

Surely this shows the benefit of a widely utilised certification system (like belts) for assesment of teaching otherwise they couldn't compare.

Isn't just naming a teacher more like going for an engineering job and saying "I have no qualifications but old man Jenkins taught me geometry, and only he knows the true secret of maths, I know this because he told me... Also I can't show you my working out notes cause it's a secret."
 
D

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I knew this would happen, i mis took the post.

As far as i can tell, many orginisations belt lock content. that meanig you need to be of X belt to do this course. There is then going to be a belt where you get the most access other than say black belt. So if your current belt gives you all the access to all the courses etc you are intrested in and want, and you dont want to persue it further, i cant see any reason to persue it further unless they are going to limit your education. (which is a scummy thing to do in my eyes, and theyd be coercing you into grading at that point)

So fundmenetally, if you have all the access you could want, and no longer care to persue grades, dont worry about it. If belts are meaningless, then it should be no issue. Dont be coerced into doing something you dont really want to and dont be peer pressured into it, if they start to do that, try and persue a diffrent school in the same style.
 

gpseymour

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You have logic issue here.

If you

- have, you can say you don't have.
- don't have, you can't say you have.
If I start a new art and decide the highest rank is a chartreuse belt, and that belt designates the current head of the system, then by definition that's my rank. What does it matter? Who would be qualified to hand out that rank?

And once I create that rank, I do, actually, have it.
 

gpseymour

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There is different between someone who graduated from MIT than someone who graduated from Liberty Hill Community College.
Somewhat. But not entirely. And knowing an instructor's name - unless I'm quite familiar with the instructor and the quality of their students - doesn't tell me whether they are MIT or Liberty Hill.

I've met some folks who are bad at what they do with very good degrees. And I've met some who are very good at what they do with no degree or a degree from a relatively unknown school. The degree gives me a hint, but only that.
 

gpseymour

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Pfffftttt. you can keep your Bavarian Jiu Jitsu; I got a 10 degree blackbelt in Bavarian Cheesecake (the more cheesecake I eat the more degrees I need to ad to my belt).
So, adding a stripe is just adding an extension? :D
 

gpseymour

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I knew this would happen, i mis took the post.

As far as i can tell, many orginisations belt lock content. that meanig you need to be of X belt to do this course. There is then going to be a belt where you get the most access other than say black belt. So if your current belt gives you all the access to all the courses etc you are intrested in and want, and you dont want to persue it further, i cant see any reason to persue it further unless they are going to limit your education. (which is a scummy thing to do in my eyes, and theyd be coercing you into grading at that point)

So fundmenetally, if you have all the access you could want, and no longer care to persue grades, dont worry about it. If belts are meaningless, then it should be no issue. Dont be coerced into doing something you dont really want to and dont be peer pressured into it, if they start to do that, try and persue a diffrent school in the same style.
My experience has been that it's not the way you represent it here. Seminars and classes are rank-limited so that those who are ready for that content (likely to be able to keep up, have established the proper fundamentals, and can safely participate) can attend. Your post seems to suggest that it's like game content that is unlocked by the rank, when it's the ability that should be unlocking the rank, and that same ability is required for that additional content.

So when belts are simply a measure of progress, they also become a convenient way to determine who is "ready" for some content. And in that same usage, they're a simple progression - as you get better, the rank goes up (usually with some testing).
 
D

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My experience has been that it's not the way you represent it here. Seminars and classes are rank-limited so that those who are ready for that content (likely to be able to keep up, have established the proper fundamentals, and can safely participate) can attend. Your post seems to suggest that it's like game content that is unlocked by the rank, when it's the ability that should be unlocking the rank, and that same ability is required for that additional content.

So when belts are simply a measure of progress, they also become a convenient way to determine who is "ready" for some content. And in that same usage, they're a simple progression - as you get better, the rank goes up (usually with some testing).


Interpritational diffrence. they say "you do not have to grade" but thats just false if you want the full expereince, i dont know how many would hand out honary passes to no belts or permmenet white belts, but that seems to be the exeption not rule.

(the rule is most list grading as optional)
 

gpseymour

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Interpritational diffrence. they say "you do not have to grade" but thats just false if you want the full expereince, i dont know how many would hand out honary passes to no belts or permmenet white belts, but that seems to be the exeption not rule.

(the rule is most list grading as optional)
Again, you're looking at it as if the belt was something you had to specifically do. It's part of the curriculum. If you're doing the whole curriculum, then the belts should mostly be a result of that study. It's like going to school and going through the different grade levels - if you do the work and meet a minimum standard, you move to the next grade, and much of the content is grouped by grade.
 

crshieh

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As an instructor, I hate belts. But belts help motivate some, and help track progress for some. But for me, the belt requirements are really the absolute minimum I expect from my students. And some students are okay with the minimum. But if you really really really want it, you should probably disregard the belt and focus on what YOU want to progress in, and work with your instructor to get there. What do YOU want out of your training. How can you get there. Can your instructor/school help you get there.
 

Steve

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One thing that we've sort of skirted around are clear, objective standards. Belts are a reflection of that, but there are others. A belt ranking system isn't the only way to do this, but it's a pretty good one, whether to organize students by skill level for competition or not.

Where places have a belt system, but students are unclear about what they're able to do at each level... that's a concern. And the belts aren't the problem.
 
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Again, you're looking at it as if the belt was something you had to specifically do. It's part of the curriculum. If you're doing the whole curriculum, then the belts should mostly be a result of that study. It's like going to school and going through the different grade levels - if you do the work and meet a minimum standard, you move to the next grade, and much of the content is grouped by grade.

Schools are a bad example, its not a opt in system, and you pass by default. You dont pay per grade in school.

Belt how ever are said are a opt in system, but they deny your access to the orginisation unless you opt in. If you want full access to a org, you need to do what is held as a opt in or said to be one, unless the exeption si made where they give permenet white belts exemptions or honoary belts. (which is again, the exeption as far as i can see)
 

wolfeyes2323

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I've been training with a Wing Chun group for the last 5 years. Once or twice per week. I've taken two gradings per year and I've always felt like the gradings were good motivation for learning i.e. when I knew there was a grading coming up I would practice.

I recently failed my second brown. Feeling pretty gutted however it's making me reflect on my progress over the last few years which I think is helpful.

First up, I'm not bitter, I wasn't good. I got very flustered on the forms we were tested on and in particular the dummy. I admire our Sifu and he really knows his stuff so this is in no way a criticism of him.

My biggest concern is that I'm not sure I'm progressing. I started wing chun for the self defence benefits and I said I wasn't going to take any belts, but then I've but carried along with the process a bit and now I feel like they're being used as a measure of progress, when I'm not sure they always are. In some ways I'm glad I failed as it's making me reflect; in some ways I've been training very specifically for the grading in terms of the combinations we're asked to demonstrate, but I don't think I necessarily understand what I'm doing and doubt I could use it in a real confrontation. Rather I've learned to recite a series of mechanical movements in order to gain a belt. We do very little contact training, given this has been impacted negatively by covid but I'm wondering if I need to change clubs to somewhere less 'belt focused'?
No do not leave, stay, PASS THE TEST,
then consider leaving.
Do not teach your self its ok to
quit, all the confusion that happened
to you at the test could happen in
a real confrontation, face it, overcome it,
evaluate, move forward.
I am 65+ , learning to ride horses,
I've been thrown, hit the ground hard,
My riding instructor a young skinny women,
came over , asked "are you OK ? What happened ?"
by the time I answered she was holding the
reins of the horse, she said "ok, mount, back to it".
The other riders I see at the barn, (mostly young
women and girls) said "oh yeah, after about ten
times you'll be a decent rider".
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Schools are a bad example, its not a opt in system, and you pass by default. You dont pay per grade in school.
Schools are an opt-in system once you reach a certain grade. You also don't pass by default (at least in the states, I'd be alarmed if anywhere you just auto-passed all your classes). And depending on the situation you may have to pay per grade.
 
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