Black Belts Kids

Kempojujutsu

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This got brought up on another forum, so I figure to start this up. If you are going to teach kids I feel you need to promote kids so they don't get burn out and quit. I believe it is ok to have a Jr. Black Belt for some one under 16, and Black for some one 16-18 and above. I don't believe kids should teach adults. Which was one of the arruments that was brought up. How does every one feel on this.
Bob Thomas:D
 

Turner

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I agree that you need to keep a child motivated to continue the study of the martial arts and one of the best ways is to offer promotions.

Shorinji Kempo uses the common belt system (yellow, orange, purple, blue, green, 3rd Kyu Brown, 2nd Kyu Brown, 1st Kyu Brown) for children but only has the 3rd, 2nd and 1st Kyu ranks for Adults. I think that it is a great idea to include more ranks to extend the gradient level, reserving the Degrees for adults.

Using promotions for motivation is great and all, but even at a young age you should try to get the child to think that being able to train is its own reward. <and I do mean period. :D > My goju-ryu instructor did an execellent job at this. We went years without being promoted but noone cared. We were eager for the next class because he would teach a technique that wasn't part of the curriculum or do a new drill at random at least once a week and if you missed a class you might miss it and never see it again.

I am a firm believer that a Black Belt (in all of its forms) be reserved for a mature adult no younger than 16. There are plenty of mature adults that are younger than 16 and there are plenty of immature adults. Neither should wear a Black Belt.

I've heard the Black Belt described as being the beginning and translated as meaning "New Man." I agree with those statements. It is the beginning much the same way as you begin your life after graduating from High School. You go on to college or you go out on your own. I liken this to you either leaving thinking that you've studied enough or you go on to try for higher degrees <2nd Dan and above.>

After spending so much time as a child you become a "Man." You put off childish things and take responsibility for yourself and do your best to be a productive part of society. So too is it with the martial arts. Once you achieve black belt you have to put off childish things and take responsibility for yourself and do your best to be a productive part of your art.

It takes 13 years to graduate from High School and it takes at least 16-18 years for you to be considered an adult. Why then does it only take 3-5 years to be a Black Belt? It takes that long for an adult because they have already developed the maturity and understanding of responsibility (hopefully) of what it means to be a productive and honorable member of society. If they haven't they don't deserve the rank. The child just doesn't have the LIFE experience to handle the responsibility or understand what it means to be an honorable and productive member of society. The martial arts is a great way to teach this and children should be taught the martial arts, but to give them any form of a Black Belt is to trivialize the full meaning of what it takes to be that Black Belt.

But that's just me....
 

Zoran

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Originally posted by Kempojujutsu

This got brought up on another forum, so I figure to start this up. If you are going to teach kids I feel you need to promote kids so they don't get burn out and quit. I believe it is ok to have a Jr. Black Belt for some one under 16, and Black for some one 16-18 and above. I don't believe kids should teach adults. Which was one of the arruments that was brought up. How does every one feel on this.
Bob Thomas:D

To keep children motivated, you can add stripes to the ranks. This keeps them motivated by promoting them more often. IT SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A WAY TO MAKE MORE MONEY! As in charging the parents for every stripe promotion. Sorry for shouting. ;)
 
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shihantae

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I think it is left up to the individual.
I don't believe in giving stipes, or testing under 18(one exception), That young person was 16, and both prents were BB so he was very well equiped to handle the rank.

All pearnts whose children take from me, know I will not test them for Bb before they are 18. So far no complaints, and no probelms with the motivation. If you have to continue to find ways to keep a child interested, then their interest iisn't there to begin with. ;)

Of course this is just my opinion, and I feel that how others choose to do it, is fine. After all, we ca not all be alike.

Peace,
Tae
 

Seig

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The solution I came up with, wether it be good bad or indifferent, is that I mafe Junior Black Belt ranks. They will have a white stripe through them and will not have all the exact requirements of the adult ranks. But the requirement is that once they come of age, 16 for 1st Degree, they have to test for ALL of the adult material(No charge)
 

Yari

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Originally posted by Kempojujutsu

This got brought up on another forum, so I figure to start this up. If you are going to teach kids I feel you need to promote kids so they don't get burn out and quit. I believe it is ok to have a Jr. Black Belt for some one under 16, and Black for some one 16-18 and above. I don't believe kids should teach adults. Which was one of the arruments that was brought up. How does every one feel on this.
Bob Thomas:D

I belive kids cann't be black belts. The responsability carrying a black belt is to big for a kid. But ofcourse this is depending on my interpatition of what a black belt is. I believe that it's just as much a question of technique as in mental growth. And a kid hasn't treid enough of things in life to be able to justify this mental stage.

Should kids teach growups. Well, no. When were taling about kids that are under 17-18 years of age. After that it would be a question of the individual. Because I feel that it depends on more than technique when you teach. And to learn others you have to understand others, and young people have an tendancy to forget others, and belive that there way of life is the only correct way.

/Yari
 
K

Kirk

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Originally posted by Seig

As I am a young school owner, I am open to suggestions from those of you Senior to me

I'm not senior to you, so you might want to skip my input here.:shrug:

My instructor teaches pretty much TKD with kenpo sets and forms
as his children's curriculum. When they come into the adult
program as Jr black belts (age 13) then all they have left to learn
are the techniques. They could potentially be 17 1/2 when they
test for black. None have done this yet, however one kid in my
class has had very regular attendance since he was 4 years old!
I don't think he'll get black before he's 18, due to the time
constraints, but he's very mature for his age, and he handles
himself well. If he met the criteria before age 18, this is one
guy who not only has earned it, he deserves it. He LOVES MA,
and is quite gifted. Pretty damned smart too.
 
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tonbo

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They just don't mix. Period.

I would humbly argue that anyone under 18 can't *really* handle a Black Belt.

Yes, there are exceptions, as always, and those should be treated on a case-by-case basis. But never for those under 16. That's where I would draw the line.

Our school has a "junior black belt" program supposedly in place. The *theory* is that you can test for a junior BB at 12, if you are ready. It's never happened, and I doubt it ever will. We allow younger kids to be assistant student instructors, but they really can't be teaching adults until they are older. Thus, most of our student/assistant instructors are 16 or older, easily.

When I look back at where I was when I was 16-18, I laugh myself silly. I thought I knew it all, I was headstrong, and had I had a BB, I would have made a serious fool out of myself. I wasn't ready, plain and simple. No slam intended for those in this age range, but life hasn't settled in enough at that point nearly enough. I think you start getting really ready when you are out on your own, making your own way, and running the rat race with everyone else. That's when you get to use your martial arts in the non-physical way the most (dealing with tense work situations adult to adult, discipline in paying bills, etc).

Again, as always, there are exceptions. There will always be.

I always told my son (13 now) that he *could* be our school's youngest BB, but that it would REALLY require a lot of work, both mentally and physically. He was okay with that. I think most kids are, too, if they understand the reasoning behind it.

BBs for kids under 12? *shudder* Ain't natural. Tell me that a kid can understand all the concepts required for a BB, and can explain them fully to someone else, and I will be doubtful. Most of the *adult* BBs I know are STILL trying to get all the concepts down......

Dang.....I rambled again...;)....thanks for indulging me...;)

Peace--
 

Goldendragon7

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Age is not really a good measure of the rank (Black).

Case in point.... a person may be 21 and not capable of handling what I feel a Black Belt is! Remember we all stamp our own opinion of what this Belt represents. (that's the problem) Some have come into our communities with very very low and/or poor standards that we feel are unacceptable due to OUR high/different standards no matter what the age.

Kids Black Belts are just one portion of the problem. LOL with no easy answer..... its a free country and in business a 3 or 4 year old black belt can be had............ Hey I saw a chimpanzee that now is a black belt in the Chuck Norris system.... many of you have seen this chimp ~ he can do some cool kicks but is he a black Belt with all the mental components...... well opsssssss that's my standards again ....... sorry. (see what I mean)

No easy answer to this problem.
:eek:
 
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tonbo

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I agree that age is not the be-all, end-all when it comes to determining a Black rank, but.....

There *is* a general standard to the western mind, at least, that the Black Belt symbolizes someone who has put in a great deal of time and effort in the MA, and who has achieved a certain degree of skill. To see a 10-year-old walking around with one just doesn't carry much weight to me.

An analogy that I would make would be teachers and professors. Yes, there may be some VERY gifted and intelligent kids out there, but how many of them do you see with the title "Professor" or "Dr." before their names?

I agree that we all put our own stamp on these things, but I also think that there are certain standards. Yes, maturity has a LOT to do with Black Belt, and I have seen adults who don't deserve the title, either.

I just don't think that pre-teen Black Belts are a good idea. I think that it is more indicative of a McDojo, when you see them running around. 16 and up, sure, depending on the individual. 21 and up, I'm all behind it, again, depending on the individual.

And as for Black Belt monkeys, why not? *I'm* one, so why can't another chimp make it? :D

I won't spar him, though. Those guys can be tough as nails.

Peace--
 

Goldendragon7

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I agree with you but................

The reality is....... there are NO standards ......... other than what WE individually or as an organization set up. This is what I was getting at.......... once again i agree with you .......but there really are no set standards. (unfortunate)

:asian:
 
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tonbo

Guest
There ain't no "standard" standard.

McDojo wants to allow 3-year-olds as Black Belts, 'cuz they were kicking in the womb, well then, they will. Their call.

Good point, and true as can be.

What's "excellence" for one person may be total trash to another. Hence the basis for endless debate on sooooooo many topics. :shrug:

Anyway, I have faith in *most* of the schools out there that I have personally seen. Most of them have only older/mature BBs; BBs who can actually defend (no pun intended) what got them to BB in the first place (i.e., they actually know something about their style).

I'm still a Kenpo monkey, though. :eek:

Peace--
 

Goldendragon7

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While physical skills are mandatory prerequisites for obtaining a Black Belt, a true Black Belt is one who is expedient in his use of psychological strategy. Psychological strategy transpires when the attitude of a Black Belt is such that his spiritual qualities overcome his physical fixations. When a Black Belt conveys kindness instead of hate, peace instead of animosity, and uses words instead of his fists, he is truly a Black Belt.

President Abraham Lincoln, in my estimation, conveyed this spirit. He was an expert when it came to utilizing psychological strategy. The following story is proof of his convictions:

Lincoln, in his youth, was hated by Sam Brown who looked for every opportunity to fight with him. One day an opportunity presented itself when Sam accidentally (or purposely ) bumped Lincoln. Using this as an excuse to start a confrontation, Brown challenged Lincoln to a duel. The choice off weapons were determined by Brown who naturally picked a weapon with which he was an expert -- that weapon was an ax. Lincoln refused the challenge and was then told that he had no choice except to name the time and place. Having no knowledge about fighting with an ax, Lincoln decided to take advantage of the two choices left him. According to history, Lincoln was well over six feet four inches tall while Sam was only five feet eight inches in height. Taking into account their difference in height, Lincoln answered, "I'll fight you tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. under six feet of water". The episode ended with Sam Brown shaking Lincoln's hand and saying, "Let me shake the hand of the man who beat me verbally." Lincoln's psychological strategy worked and both men later became good friends.

Should you lack knowledge of the Martial Arts and, Like Lincoln, be challenged to a duel by a Martial Artist who is an expert kicker and who allows you to name the time and place, give him this reply--"I will fight you tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. in the telephone booth located on the corner of___and_____". When your opponent arrives, invite him into the telephone booth with you and shut the door. The lack of space will thwart his efforts to retaliate with kicks. Psychological strategy would have triumphed again as you utilize environment as a means of defeat.

The following is a list of some of the qualities you should evaluate in critiquing yourself as a Black Belt in Ed Parker's American Kenpo:

1. Build a solid foundation of basics with knowledge of every
component part.
2. Have a thorough knowledge and understanding of principles
associated with your basics.
3. As you understand and internalize your principles, learn to
logically assemble them so that your moves flow with
continuity.
4. Once internalizing all of the above in establishing basics that
are competent, reliable, and dependable TAILORING is your
next order of priority. Tailoring is the result of understanding
what constitutes good basics. It is the ability to randomly
convert your art from the IDEAL, to the WHAT IF, and finally to
the FORMULATION PHASE.
5. Develop creativity once having knowledge of formulating your
basics.
6. Know your forms from all levels -- skeletal to levels of
intricacy.
7. Know how to create forms as well as the what's and the
whys so that you'll be able to help the lower belts in their
creations.
8. With your forms develop:
a. Basic principles of technique movement, understand
the central idea of each form and have both the
ability and desire to discover what they teach and
how to apply that knowledge to the art of self
defense.
b. Your individual style of movement.
9. Know as well as teach the IDEAL techniques and their
associated themes and principles. Expand into the WHAT IF
and the FORMULATION PHASES.
10. Continue to improve your freestyle skills by participating in it
regularly. Include street freestyle in your class sessions and
the logical criteria that it is based on. Pass on your skills to
fellow members or students.
11. When freestyling remember:
a. Every angle that you choose as a defense your
opponent may choose as an offense, and vice-versa.
b. Stances are the foundation of your art.
c. Develop Timing - know when to move in and when to
move back.
d. Be a capable counter puncher.
e. Have a solid base move to build upon.
f. Be able to analyze motion so that you can employ
proper angles and directions when entering or
departing.
12. Develop your ability to teach others. Remember to teach
others is to teach yourself.
13. Develop qualities of leadership that will influence, encourage
and guide those of lesser rank.
14. Cultivate an attitude of respect and regard toward others no
matter what their rank might be.
15. Develop diplomacy and use it wisely.
16. Encourage others to become IKKO members.
17. Continue to seek higher goals. Endeavor to continue learning
and updating your material.
18. Make every effort to continually improve yourself: physically,
mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
19. Remember that there are no stereotypes.
20. You will need three to five years of training, but that should
be ultimately measured in the number of quality, intelligent
hours that you train.
21. You must put time back into your school (teaching, etc.).
22. Your attitude should be positive and confident. Believe in
yourself.
23. For Black Belts to obtain advanced degrees, their names must
be submitted for testing by their instructor.

:asian:
 
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Stickboxer

Guest
Kids are a totally different ballgame! You can't teach knife techniques to a six-year-old. Heck, I haven't been able to teach such material to teenagers in High School! The maturity for serious training and serious subjects just isn't there yet.

Which brings up the point of determining when it IS there. When they reach a certain age, like a driver's license? A license to get behind the wheel of an automobile on one's own is preceeded with a lot of hour logged, studying and practicing, just like in a martial arts school. But then, arguably, most accidents happen in teen years, when the maturity makes them drive fast and wild, etc.

OK, some people may say. No black belts when they turn 16. Maybe 18 instead. But then girls mature faster than boys, etc. etc. You can have a different ranking system for "Juniors," but the problem remains: where do you draw the line? There's a big difference between a 15-year-old boy and another kid who's 7.

A pre-adolescent student will have a ton of fun in class, and thus all the motivation they'd ever need, kicking a ball around and quite frankly doing a lot of basic drills found in TKD classes; maybe that's why TKD gets ribbed for having so many juvenile black belts. If you're going to teach kids, perhaps giving them "distracting" techniques and games will hone skills but not really teach them the important stuff... it'll just set the stage for later, more dedicated and intense training in their later years.

I'm just thinking aloud. I don't teach kids and I don't use belts, so it doesn't really affct me :rofl:
 
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shihantae

Guest
Hi Stik,
LOL,

I don't bleieve in "Jr." anything. You either are or you aren't.


But as others have said it is a hard call. I require more that just knowing the techniques. But different strokes for different folks. :D

Taht is what makes the wrold go round. I truly think that it somes down to individual belief, and that is the way it should be.

Peace,
tae
 
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Shinzu

Guest
a kids mentality vs. an adult mentality is two completely different things. giving a kid a black belt is like giving them a loaded gun and saying "dont point it at anyone, and dont pull the trigger". bad things can happen when a kid knows how to hurt someone and doesn't have control over himself.

i feel a certain age, skill level, maturity, and attitude need to be attained before a student can reach this level of responsibility.
 

Goldendragon7

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Originally posted by Shinzu
a kids mentality vs. an adult mentality is two completely different things, I feel a certain age, skill level, maturity, and attitude need to be attained before a student can reach this level of responsibility.

...would be the age, skill level, maturity, and attitude?

:asian:
 
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