Black Belt Standards...Have they gone down?

James Kovacich

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Originally posted by bob919
no offense to karatakas or tkdists but in both these martial arts you can be almost garanteed a black belt in 2 years

THATS TOO BAD THAT ALL THE SCHOOLS YOU'VE EXPERIENCED WERE WEAK AND MONEY ORIENTED.

But in general you are totally wrong.
1st you listed all Karate as one, 2nd there are many instructors out there who use the same standards to promote that they have always used.

If you walk in the door with a lot of experience, you may move up faster, depending on the instructor but there is no guarantee of moving up.

The reality is its the instructors, not the arts that are bad. And there is a misconception that modified arts are always better. WRONG. At least not all the time.

Modified is good but you need a balance with the old or likely you will quit training sometime down the road, but a true martial artist will train forever!!

I personally have many years in traditional arts and I moved into BJJ and Jun Fan Gung-Fu which I havbe incorporated into "my way" but I have gone back to the traditional arts for my higher learning. I have 3 high level instructors in 4 arts. I "guarantee" you with no experience, they would never give out that rank as fast as you "almost guaranteed."
 
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chufeng

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For those of us who teach, isn't it better to emphasize the learning? Isn't it incumbant upon US to ensure that that IS the emphasis?

For those looking for a school...be wary of an escalating pay scheme for each promotion...be wary of any contract that guarantees black belt within a specific period of time...be wary of a school that has a LARGE number of students and only one or two instructors...HOW can you get the individualized attention in that environment?

Also, black belt means what?
In the U.S., where it seems everyone has one, not much...

However, I see black belt as an indication for the REAL learning...now the student does not have to think about HOW a punch works and can focus on other finer aspects...it is an indicator of an advanced student (emphasis on student).

:asian:
chufeng
 

James Kovacich

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Paying test fees is not always a red flag indicator although it could be.

I used to train under my brother-in-law who teachs as traditional as traditional gets, but on the buisness end, in time, through him I understood the term "support your dojo."

At least 1/2 of the fees should be going to the Federation or Association. In the case of the Federation, they have their daily operations to support, including authorizing your rank and certificates.

On the Dojo's end, your possibly getting a new belt and the test should be done separately from the regular classes like on a weekend. That all costs money. My tests under my brother-in-law were on Saturdays and were scheduled for 4 hours and usually went into overtime. You do have to pay for what you get!

I've also learned that students show up on a regular basis if you charge them. It might sound funny but there are several people who I've taught for free and because it was free they were not dedicated enough to show up regularly.
 
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Kirk

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My instructor spends damn near his entire saturday, once every
two months on testing. He spends a lot of time getting our
packets together, certificates filled out, plus running the test,
and providing us our new belt. Of the 20 dollars he spends,
I bet 15 or more comes right back to us that day. He should get
paid for his time, just the same as when I go to work I get paid
for mine. I don't mind his testing "fee".
 
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Jas0n

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The place I am looking to start at does a have a 5 yr black belt plan its much cheaper but I am not going to opt for that...is that so bad?Everything else about the place seems on the up and up and I hear nothing but good about the guy running it...America Karate Mike Cappi in Lansdale, Pa
 
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chufeng

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Notice I said escalating fees...not flat fees...

i.e. Below brown belt testing costs $40...Brown Belt (x3) costs $75...Black belt costs $200 or better...

Of course a fee should be paid for a test...but it should be reasonable...

:asian:
chufeng
 

tshadowchaser

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Each school / system has its own ranking criteria and its not really for me to say if it is correct. I test my students the way I was tested and the way my instructor told me he was.
Are black Belts being sold for money not experence and knowledge. You had better belive it. I'll agree with those that say go out look at the school, find one that teaches what you are looking for. Thensee if they gurrante you a certian belt in a given period of time . If they do RUN don't Walk out of there and find another one.
tshadowchaser:asian:
 

James Kovacich

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Chufeng, I was just bringing out the point as it was brought to me some time ago and I understand the logic of being weary of the "escalation of fees." No doubt.

I would like to hear more though on how the schools out there are actually charging fees. I want to find a way to offset the students monthly fee so that I can keep it at the very lowest.

Back in the '70's my Instructor charged me $5. a week/5 days while everybody else was charging $20. and more.

Any ideas out there?
 
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Shinzu

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Originally posted by karatekid1975
I not only want to have a BB but BE a BB (hope that makes sence).

makes perfect sence!
 
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lvwhitebir

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Originally posted by Jas0n
Has the standards gone down for becoming a black belt?
Just seems an awefull lot of people claim it? So either there are allot of people out there that good or the standards have gone down? How do I determine if the place I am going to has a hiugh standard?

This is an age-old question... but claiming to be a Blackbelt and being a Blackbelt are two different thing. If you want a Blackbelt, just go to the store an buy one. If you want to BE one, first look at what that means TO YOU.

Most people think that a Blackbelt is the be-all-end-all, one mutha of a fighter, who moves like Jackie Chan but is built like Arnold.

Most instructors will tell you that a Blackbelt is nothing but another door, the same as any other rank. When you reach Blackbelt, you finally realize all that you still don't know. All the belt means that you put in a lot of sweat, blood, and dedication into your training and met the requirements of the school for that level. Some schools have easier requirements than others.

Do you care if you get a Blackbelt in one year? Does it mean anything special? All it means is that you trained for a year and you got something great to wear around your waist. In your school, it may mean that you get extra priviliges. But that's about it in the long run. Do you care if it takes 10 years? Think about it this way, a Doctorate generally takes only 8 years or so...

As most have said, don't worry about the rank itself, worry about your own training and whether you are getting what you want out of the art itself. It's a terrific and long journey, no matter what's around your waist.

WhiteBirch
 
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Astra

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Agreed. I train to become better, which is sort of "moving closer to BB" but at the same time, it is not. Just a difference of goals, one of them having an end point, and mine beeing endless :)

Fees are sort of relative though. If you take for instance WingTsun in Europe, I've been told that the only way to get a legit 1st Practicioners degree (takes averagly 6-7 years to get that far) is to have the main guy in the entire EUROPE test you, which costs a lot.
 

karatekid1975

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I just figured out for the sake of this thread that I would be getting my BB after 4 years of training. That includes the a year in TSD. So, in this school (TKD) it will take me three years. I have 2 years to go. Do I care? Nope.

lvwhitebir made a very good post, which I totally agree. Like I said before, I don't want to just have a BB. I want BE a BB mentally and physically. I also know that having a BB won't make me Jackie Chan. My instructor says I have good technique, but I have a hell of a lot to learn. And, as they say (and I totally agree), a black belt is just an advanced beginner. Color belts learn the basics. Black belts learn how to use the basics ;)
 

Bob Hubbard

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I see a big difference between what it takes to become a black belt, and to be a black belt.

Traditionally, the color arangement depends on your art. But its been white for student, black for instructor at the simpliest level.


Cost to become a black belt is about $5 for the belt, $3 for a good color print at the pffice store, and another $3 for a frame at Walmart. So, for $11 (+ tax n shipping) you too can become a blackbelt.

Now, can you fight your way out of a wet paper bag? Nope.
Have you mastered anything? Nope.
Have you found some inner meaning to your life? Nope.

Like the computer technician who has a wall full of certifications, but doesn't know where the floppy drive is, your belt is meaningless.

Many of the 'High Ranking' BB's you see are political promotions. Done as an honor, or favor, or bribe to someone. Elvis was an 8th degree Kenpo Blackbelt...however all but his FIRST degree were political or honorary.

Beware of the secret back room promotions too...guys n gals who suddenly jump 2,3 or 5 levels, and now are 'grandmasters' with big ads in 'black belt magazine'.


A piece of cloth around your waist does not a black belt make. Its in the heart, and the spirit of the martialartist. A blackbelt is a learner, a beginner, always open to the new technique, or insight to be found. He is an explorer, but what they are exploring is the limits of themselves and how far they can reach beyond them.


The question was asked "Have the standards for blackbelt gone down"?

For the material ones, the piece of paper and cloth, yes.

For the true ones, they have never gone down.

Its all up to you...do you want to be a paper black belt, or a true black belt?

Good Training.

:asian:
 

James Kovacich

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Originally posted by akja
Today everybodys standards are differant. But one thing that should matter is experience!

I practiced a lot of arts, some I don't spend much time in but most at least 3 and a few 5 years. What I got was a lot of experience in Karate, Jujitsu and Gung-Fu.

I ended up with a couple of brown belts and finally a black belt after 15 years. Was I qualified sooner? Maybe. I think I was but I was still just a brown belt bouncing fro system to system.

I became a very well rounded martial artist and that experience in all ranges is what I emphasize in my teaching. That was and is "my way."

I've "heard" of people getting their black belts in a year but haven't seen one in person, but if I did I doubt they would be able to touch someone that I taught for one year!

JUST WONDERING IF YOU GUYS WANT TO SHARE HOW LONG IT TOOK TO REACH YOUR BLACK BELT?
 
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Master of Blades

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Took my teacher 5 years training everyday 5 days a week everyday of the year except christmas boxing and all them days. This was intense training for 3 hours everyday. It has taken me three years of 2 times a week three hours everyday for most of the days of the year to get my Blue belt. I should be red in about 4-6 months, black whenever. I dont think its whether the standard has gone down, I feel it is more the way that the art is taught etc.
 
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MartialArtist

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I remember 50% of the students failing to get their yellow belt, and 95% of the students failing to get the black belt after ten years of rigorous training (6 days a week, at least 3 hours daily).

From my experience with McDojos, I've only seen one student fail, because he forgot his forms which were so vital to fighting :rolleyes: , couldn't break a board, and he couldn't recite some oaths and whatnot.

The oath thing is very traditional everywhere. Every military, and every school (good and bad) have something that you have to memorize. You don't memorize them, you get beat, yelled at, push-ups, conditioning, etc.
 

James Kovacich

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As a teenager (in the "70's) I trained in my class, a Kajukenbo school for a year and it closed, then I trained in a Hapkido school for a year and it closed, then I spent 3 more years in another Kajukenbo school. I had close to 5 years in and I was only a green belt. But in Kajukenbo back then, that was pretty good, at least thought it was.
 
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Jas

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I think the problem is there are to many mass produced martial arts schools around that are just in it for the money, my friend has his son in TKD he is 7 and it just cost my friend over $100 for his son to be tested. I dont want to say anything bad about any style, but as a general rule if theres a school for a certain style on every corner I tend to stay away.
 

James Kovacich

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I hate to pick on styles so I'm not going to name it. But a couple of weeks ago I went out to a pizza and there was a (strip mall) school next door. The class was full of brown and black belts (kids) that doing jumping spinning kicks into a kicking shield. Every last one of them bounced off of the shield.
 
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