Black Belt in FMA

angelariz

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I've seen some systems, like my beloved Modern Arnis has belts. However most of the other FMA I've trained were very informal. As a matter of fact much of the time we are in street clothes and are training in yards and parks. That being said, most of the people I've been training with over the years used 2 ranks...instructors and senior instructor. Everyone else is a associate practitioner.

It has been a long time but I want to earn an official instructor rank in Arnis but as of now I am a High Green belt.
With Sifu Vunak I am a full instructor in his Kali.
I do not really have the need for another black belt but I am curious why people need the lofty ranks in a genre that 50 years ago didnt even have a belt system.

Either way I look up and send my respect to all my seniors from the FMA genre.
 

Headhunter

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I dont know about that system At all but as a whole in martial arts. Black belt is a universally known thing to everyone even non marital artists so I know some systems such as kickboxing put in belt rankings so they can put it in their portfolio for lack of a better word and say hey Im a black belt That means Im legit.

like I said Im not a FMA guy so this could be wrong but I know thats whats happened with some systems
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Is your question more about there being a ranking system in general, or that they use belts for that ranking system?

Theres a lot of arguments for having/not having a ranking system that I can get into if you want, but for specifically black belt..all the students are going to compare it to black belt. Same with people outside the system. My kali style has certificates/ranks that are focused around level of student/instructor, similar to but not exactly the same as a belt system. If I tell someone I train it, sometimes theyll ask me what my rank is. Without fail, I either get the response whats that mean, or sooo is that like a black belt? Sometimes its easier to just bypass that and use belts.
 
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angelariz

angelariz

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Is your question more about there being a ranking system in general, or that they use belts for that ranking system?

Theres a lot of arguments for having/not having a ranking system that I can get into if you want, but for specifically black belt..all the students are going to compare it to black belt. Same with people outside the system. My kali style has certificates/ranks that are focused around level of student/instructor, similar to but not exactly the same as a belt system. If I tell someone I train it, sometimes theyll ask me what my rank is. Without fail, I either get the response whats that mean, or sooo is that like a black belt? Sometimes its easier to just bypass that and use belts.
The question is pertaining to the physical black belt. Technically the first instructor rank is Lakan Isa. But as you said, most people want to equate an instructor rank with a black belt. Truthfully, I find a lot of FMA instructors are trained in weapons and H2H combatives that make them, in my opinion a higher level of martial artist than those who are shodan in something that only uses weapons in forms. That being said, I dont wear belts and my students dont get any rank until they know the material back and forth.
My old teacher taught me with the confetti method. I tweaked it to be a progressive system but when the basics are learned, I switch to the confetti method as well.
 

Blindside

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My larger association has a curriculum with a fairly extensive rank system. In my club there are no symbols of rank or titles. Everybody knows who the instructors are. The first promotion a student of mine would receive is to "lakan Guro" or roughly "assistant instructor."
 

Holmejr

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I've seen some systems, like my beloved Modern Arnis has belts. However most of the other FMA I've trained were very informal. As a matter of fact much of the time we are in street clothes and are training in yards and parks. That being said, most of the people I've been training with over the years used 2 ranks...instructors and senior instructor. Everyone else is a associate practitioner.

It has been a long time but I want to earn an official instructor rank in Arnis but as of now I am a High Green belt.
With Sifu Vunak I am a full instructor in his Kali.
I do not really have the need for another black belt but I am curious why people need the lofty ranks in a genre that 50 years ago didnt even have a belt system.

Either way I look up and send my respect to all my seniors from the FMA genre.

I've seen some systems, like my beloved Modern Arnis has belts. However most of the other FMA I've trained were very informal. As a matter of fact much of the time we are in street clothes and are training in yards and parks. That being said, most of the people I've been training with over the years used 2 ranks...instructors and senior instructor. Everyone else is a associate practitioner.

It has been a long time but I want to earn an official instructor rank in Arnis but as of now I am a High Green belt.
With Sifu Vunak I am a full instructor in his Kali.
I do not really have the need for another black belt but I am curious why people need the lofty ranks in a genre that 50 years ago didnt even have a belt system.

Either way I look up and send my respect to all my seniors from the FMA genre.
In our version of FMA, black belt is the only belt. It also gives my grandchildren bragging rights!
 

Mider

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I've seen some systems, like my beloved Modern Arnis has belts. However most of the other FMA I've trained were very informal. As a matter of fact much of the time we are in street clothes and are training in yards and parks. That being said, most of the people I've been training with over the years used 2 ranks...instructors and senior instructor. Everyone else is a associate practitioner.

It has been a long time but I want to earn an official instructor rank in Arnis but as of now I am a High Green belt.
With Sifu Vunak I am a full instructor in his Kali.
I do not really have the need for another black belt but I am curious why people need the lofty ranks in a genre that 50 years ago didnt even have a belt system.

Either way I look up and send my respect to all my seniors from the FMA genre.
It just shows experience, technical ability, etc at least in an art like judo or BJJ
 

geezer

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I've been taking things more to the informal side. I always wear pants ...or shorts. That's important, since we often choose to train at a public park and you do want to have pants on. Also, a T-shirt with our FMA insignia on it. Unless I'm wearing an FMA themed shirt I got from somebody else ...like the DTE guys, or Bahala Na, OGE, Ilustrisimo, "Lapu-Lapu" or Mata sa Bagyo (Carlito Bonjoc)... They're getting worn out though.

You high-class guys can worry about another Black Belt. My needs are more rudimentary. I need more shirts, people!
 

Argus

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I much prefer training in plain clothes, and don't really like belt systems.

I'm only really there to learn, and generally don't care about rank so much.

To some extent I do care about how freely I can share the material with training partners, because when you live far away from a qualified instructor and can only make it out there on an irregular basis, you need someone to train with, and so how open a teacher or system is to informal practice groups working on the material is of importance to me.

If part of an organization, it's nice, especially for large systems, if you can get certified in certain things, too. IE, one might have a really solid understanding and know all of the material for, say, single stick, or knife work or something, but may simply not have completed other aspects of the system, and so it's odd that one wouldn't be able to teach what they know to the extent that they are competent in that area.

When I first started doing Wing Chun (Ip Ching lineage), I traveled 2.5 hours to train with my teacher. I had to start a practice group in the park to make any progress at all. I did so with the intent of introducing the members to my teacher (when they could make it out there) and I was very, very clear about what I knew and didn't know, and careful about how I "taught." My teacher was okay with it, but apparently it was a little controversial in my school even then. In the end, one of the guys who I "taught" / practiced with came out to the school, and I think my teacher was impressed with how accurately I passed on what he taught me. But in any case, if I was just a white / yellow / whatever belt, and I wasn't allowed to teach at all because of my rank, that wouldn't have been possible.
 
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angelariz

angelariz

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I much prefer training in plain clothes, and don't really like belt systems.

I'm only really there to learn, and generally don't care about rank so much.

To some extent I do care about how freely I can share the material with training partners, because when you live far away from a qualified instructor and can only make it out there on an irregular basis, you need someone to train with, and so how open a teacher or system is to informal practice groups working on the material is of importance to me.

If part of an organization, it's nice, especially for large systems, if you can get certified in certain things, too. IE, one might have a really solid understanding and know all of the material for, say, single stick, or knife work or something, but may simply not have completed other aspects of the system, and so it's odd that one wouldn't be able to teach what they know to the extent that they are competent in that area.

When I first started doing Wing Chun (Ip Ching lineage), I traveled 2.5 hours to train with my teacher. I had to start a practice group in the park to make any progress at all. I did so with the intent of introducing the members to my teacher (when they could make it out there) and I was very, very clear about what I knew and didn't know, and careful about how I "taught." My teacher was okay with it, but apparently it was a little controversial in my school even then. In the end, one of the guys who I "taught" / practiced with came out to the school, and I think my teacher was impressed with how accurately I passed on what he taught me. But in any case, if I was just a white / yellow / whatever belt, and I wasn't allowed to teach at all because of my rank, that wouldn't have been possible.
My pfp is probably 11 years old or so. But you can see how we dress when we train here. Always plain clothes, sweats, and if there will be ground flow practice we use a Gi.
 

Argus

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My pfp is probably 11 years old or so. But you can see how we dress when we train here. Always plain clothes, sweats, and if there will be ground flow practice we use a Gi.

I'm very thankful that my current Modern Arnis club trains in plain clothes!
 

geezer

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I much prefer training in plain clothes, and don't really like belt systems.
I'm only really there to learn, and generally don't care about rank so much.
When I first started doing Wing Chun (Ip Ching lineage), I traveled 2.5 hours to train with my teacher. I had to start a practice group in the park to make any progress at all. I did so with the intent of introducing the members to my teacher (when they could make it out there) and I was very, very clear about what I knew and didn't know, and careful about how I "taught."
This is the only practical way to grow a relatively rare martial art like most of the FMA groups I know, and even most of the Wing Chun groups around here.

You get an enthusiastic student to become a group leader, then more qualified people can give periodic seminars to bring everyone's technique up to snuff.

On the other hand if the head instructor is too restrictive or charges a fortune, these satellite groups will be snuffed out!
 

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