black belt 'generations'

satans.barber

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Messages
1,037
Reaction score
6
Location
Leeds, England
If someone is referred to as a '1st generation black belt' (in kenpo), does that mean someone who received their black belt from SGM Parker?

And if I manage to get my black belt from someone who got their black belt from SGM Parker (as I hope to shortly), would that then make me a `2nd generation black belt'?

:confused:

Ian.
 
You hit the nail right on the head!

Example...Someone studies directly with Mr. Parker as a "legit*" student. That makes him/her a first generation black belt. When that person in turn teaches someone and guides them to black belt then that student is a second genration black belt.

*Legitimate = 1le繚git繚i繚mate
Pronunciation: li-'ji-ta-mit
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English legitimat, from Medieval Latin legitimatus, past participle of legitimare to legitimate, from Latin legitimus legitimate, from leg-, lex law
Date: 15th century
2 : being exactly as purposed : neither spurious nor false <legitimate grievance> <a legitimate practitioner>

4 : conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards <legitimate advertising expenditure> <legitimate inference>


:asian:
 
Originally posted by satans.barber
And if I manage to get my black belt from someone who got their black belt from SGM Parker (as I hope to shortly), would that then make me a `2nd generation black belt'?

:confused:

Ian.

yup...if you're a third generation student now, and begin studying under a 1st generation student, you will be technically "upgraded" to a 2nd generation. it was also possible when Mr. Parker was a live to be upgraded to 1st generation, and the family tree would usually reflect that.
 
Originally posted by satans.barber
If someone is referred to as a '1st generation black belt' (in kenpo), does that mean someone who received their black belt from SGM Parker?

In American Kenpo, yes.
 
a first Generation doesn't necessarily mean a person that got their BB from the SGM, but were his students... they could have gotten their BB from another instructor and then become SGM's student. One way or the other, it's a person who knows what they are talking about in Kenpo.

AND: When you get your BB under a 1st Gen, you then will be a 2nd Gen. You currently ARE a 2nd Gen student, but will be a 2nd Gen BB student.
Least, that's how I see it.

Your Brother
John
 
Originally posted by Brother John
a first Generation doesn't necessarily mean a person that got their BB from the SGM, but were his students

That's interesting. I didn't think it was the case.

I thought it was explained properly until Brother John's post, but I've checked my "Family Tree" and it clearly states that people may be on the Family Tree as a First Generation Black Belt "because of IKKA affiliation" or because "they have trained jointly with [SGM Parker] and their instructor thus qualifying him or her aas a first generation Black Belt" so I guess it was not necessary to get a promotion from SGM Parker to change generations.

It also says at the top of the Key that "NAMES IN CAPS are first generation Black Belts who have or are presently studying with [SGM Parker]." Which also does not specify where their last promotion came from.

Thanks John, I was sure that this was not the case, but what do you know. There it is in Black and White.
:asian:
 
Ahh, I see. In that case I wouldn't be classed as a second generation black belt then, I don't think, if it goes on training rather than grading.

Although the guy who will grade me (Phil) received his black belt from SGM Parker, he trained under Gary Ellis, and although Phil will be grading me, I train with Glen, Phil's student.

That would make it more like, um,

SGM Parker -> 1. Bob Rose -> 2. Gary Ellis -> 3. Phil Cawood -> 4. Glen Coolican -> 5. Me

5th generation?

OK, that's not as impressive then, hehe! DOesn't really matter either way, I was just curious.

Thanks all,

Ian.
 
Originally posted by satans.barber
SGM Parker -> 1. Bob Rose -> 2. Gary Ellis -> 3. Phil Cawood -> 4. Glen Coolican -> 5. Me

But you're a 1st generation Glen Coolican student, a 2nd gen
Phil Cawood student, etc.

If/when I earn mine, I'll be a first generation Curtis Abernathy
student. And I'll be proud to say so!
 
Originally posted by Brother John
a first Generation doesn't necessarily mean a person that got their BB from the SGM, but were his students... they could have gotten their BB from another instructor and then become SGM's student. One way or the other, it's a person who knows what they are talking about in Kenpo.

AND: When you get your BB under a 1st Gen, you then will be a 2nd Gen. You currently ARE a 2nd Gen student, but will be a 2nd Gen BB student.
Least, that's how I see it.

Your Brother
John

you're right. i've never looked at it as having to have a black belt under a particular instructor. just because you may not have a BB under him/her, it doens't mean you aren't his/her student.

however as it relates to appearing on the family tree of a particular instructor, am i correct in saying that only BB will appear on the tree?

so i guess there are two differnent things you can be here...a xxxx generation student, and an xxxx generation BB.
 
Generations, schmenerations. The whole idea of "first, second, etc.," is way too simple, too linear. And too damn Oedipal, also...too involved with tracing transmission between fathers and sons, so everybody can be assigned a place in a big pecking order. My own situation--and that of most others, I suspect--is way more complex than this.
 
Originally posted by rmcrobertson
Generations, schmenerations. The whole idea of "first, second, etc.," is way too simple, too linear. And too damn Oedipal, also...too involved with tracing transmission between fathers and sons, so everybody can be assigned a place in a big pecking order. My own situation--and that of most others, I suspect--is way more complex than this.


Robert,

Would you rather have everyone be equal ???

Have everyone be the same level with the same rank?

Explain how it is more complex?

Curious
 
Rich, as I read it, the thread here proceeded from the premise that we could--and should--assign well-defined "generational" status to various black belts. The suggestion sure seemed to be that the closer to the source, the better/more authentic the kenpo. maybe I'm wrong.

But if I'm not, here're the problems:

a) it's one more example, as I mentioned, of guys distorting history to fit their fantasy, an oedipal fantasy, in which everything is betweeen fathers and sons. (See Bloom, "Anxiety of Influence")

b) which "source" are we talking about? Mr. Parker's own teachers? His traditional, or Chinese kenpo, or American, or, "universal," phases?

c) what about women who've studied?

d) what about people who studied, quit and came back or just quit, or who came in from other styles?

e) what about Elvis? Augusto Pinochet? Are they "first generation?"

f) how 'bout those of us with multiple teachers? those of us with multiple teachers who ended up with one closer to the "source?"

g) why, exactly--and I mean this as a real question--is anybody even interested? what are the motives?

This is a complex network of filiations, even a rhizomatic network, not some straightforward generational thing. That's my point.
 
b) which "source" are we talking about? Mr. Parker's own teachers? His traditional, or Chinese kenpo, or American, or, "universal," phases?

I believe it was referring to Mr. Parker. Remember Mr. Parker created what he termed "American Kenpo Karate" or what many now refer to as "Parker Kenpo". Those of us who study that art trace our roots to Parker, not Chow or Mitose however we do give them credit for planting the seed in Mr. Parker's brain.

c) what about women who've studied?

Why would it be different for women?????

what about people who studied, quit and came back or just quit, or who came in from other styles?

What about it? If they studied with Mr. Parker and earned a black belt from him, a good way to confirm it would be to check the instructors signature block. If Mr. Parker taught and promoted them to Black Belt (as their instructor) then what's the beef?

e) what about Elvis?

Look at the Family Tree originally produced as a supplement to Infinite Insights Vol. I, Elvis is listed as a First Generation Black Belt. I don't get into the politics of it, who cares, the man is dead, let him rest.


g) why, exactly--and I mean this as a real question--is anybody even interested? what are the motives?

Because some people take pride in their Kenpo Lineage, likened to that of their own family tree

:asian:
 
"Because some people take pride in their Kenpo Lineage, likened to that of their own family tree," is exactly, precisely, my point. It's just that this doesn't have anything to do with real history, or the complex way in which "kenpo," (whatever the hell that means) gets transmitted through time. It has to do with pride, and with imposing their family images on reality. Of course, I do the same sort of stuff.

Mr. Parker, apparently, spun off very different approaches to very different people at different times, which is one of the things that screws up the whole neat little, "generations," thing. Another thing is that with the history of martial arts being so guy-dominated, so often built around fathers and sons, it strikes me that women may operate in different fashions.

And if Elvis is, "first generation," then the whole association of generations with quality should go right out the window. Of course, it'd have to be a big window, in his case.

Thanks for the response.
 
"Because some people take pride in their Kenpo Lineage, likened to that of their own family tree," is exactly, precisely, my point. It's just that this doesn't have anything to do with real history, or the complex way in which "kenpo," (whatever the hell that means) gets transmitted through time. It has to do with pride, and with imposing their family images on reality. Of course, I do the same sort of stuff.

So is this a sore spot with you? I didn't read about history anywhere in this thread. Just how to trace you "lineage" to Mr. Parker as a "? generation" black belt.
 
There's no, "sore spot," thanks. And if you'll look through these posts on the subject, I think you'll find that history, and the authenticity of one's martial art training, is very much the issue. So again: what's the point in figuing this stuff out? What's the motive? Thanks.
 
what's the point in figuing this stuff out? What's the motive?

I think it's interesting, but the question of "Generation" IS BUNK if using it to determine effectiveness. BUT I think that USUALLY a "1st Gen" knows their history and has good insight about Kenpo.
But truth (the major thrust of Kenpo) is when fist meets flesh. NOTHING more.
The "Gen" thing is a novelty.

Your Brother
John
 
Originally posted by Brother John
I think it's interesting, but the question of "Generation" IS BUNK if using it to determine effectiveness. BUT I think that USUALLY a "1st Gen" knows their history and has good insight about Kenpo.
But truth (the major thrust of Kenpo) is when fist meets flesh. NOTHING more.
The "Gen" thing is a novelty.

Your Brother
John

I agree for the most part. Mr Parker to me didn't sound like the
type of man to turn someone away. I'm sure some people who
were 1 lightbulb short of a case studied with him, and even got
black belt. Just cause they trained with the man,doesn't mean
they're not a smart as a rock.
 
Originally posted by rmcrobertson
I think you'll find that history, and the authenticity of one's martial art training, is very much the issue. So again: what's the point in figuing this stuff out? What's the motive? Thanks.

My degree is not in Anthropology or Sociology but I think the "whole thing" is related to "Hi, how are? Where are you from? What do you do for a living?"

In Martial Arts terms it could translate as "Hi, how are you? Who are you from? What type of system is that?"

You know? :)

This is probably loosely reflected in the wearing of the "city tab" on the right sleeve in the IKKA.

Where you are from is much the same as "Who is your teacher" which leads to "Where is he 'from'" etc. I think that the underlying point is not that your "proficiency" is related to how many generations you are away from Mr. Parker, but that your knowledge of and familiarity with the system (and Mr. Parker's Kenpo culture perhaps as well) is related to what generation you are in.

If I met you and you were a friend of a friend of a friend of Elvis, and I met Dave Hebler who was Elvis' bodyguard, who do you think I'd be more likely to talk about Elvis with? The one who is "closer" to him.

Same with this I think. I think it is a natural, understandable, social phenomenon unrealted to proficiency in the system.

Doesn't this happen in Sports? Aren't young pros often mentioned in the context of what college they went to? Where they were trained? Does it mean that everyone from a great school is great? No.

Does it mean that they could be or that they could be a great coach because they have had great coaching? Yes.

I think these are some of the issues involved here.
:asian:
 

Latest Discussions

Back
Top