Brown Belt - What do you expect?

Narges

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Hi
I started Karate less than 4 years ago and I have my brown belt test coming up in about a month. I should be happy, but I'm not. I don't think I'm ready for it. In other words, I don't think I deserve it. It's a new stage. It's the last coloured belt (before black I mean) and I can't help feeling that there are lots of little things and fine points I need to learn before I can tie a brown belt around my waist and feel confident.

I have a question here:

What do you expect from a brown belt? What do you think they should know? What should they be capable of? If you are/were an instructor, when would you consider your student ready for the test?
 

ppko

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Hi
I started Karate less than 4 years ago and I have my brown belt test coming up in about a month. I should be happy, but I'm not. I don't think I'm ready for it. In other words, I don't think I deserve it. It's a new stage. It's the last coloured belt (before black I mean) and I can't help feeling that there are lots of little things and fine points I need to learn before I can tie a brown belt around my waist and feel confident.

If your Instructor believes you are ready you probably are. Most instructors are testing you every day, watching the progress you have made and are quite confident in your ability.
I have a question here:

What do you expect from a brown belt? What do you think they should know? What should they be capable of? If you are/were an instructor, when would you consider your student ready for the test?
I expect my brown belts to be ready to help with teaching, stepping up and being a good role model. Most importantly to have a great understanding of the basics and the importance of them. My brown belts should be confident in there ability's and most importantly just confident in themselves. By brown belt you should have a good grasp on your abilities and begin to know your limitations.
 

Bill Mattocks

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It took me two years plus to reach the lowest level of brown belt (san-kyu) in my dojo, which is where I am still at. I have two more levels of brown and then black belt; perhaps another three to five years before I reach sho-dan.

I don't think this necessarily means anything in the overall scheme of things, however. Every instructor is different. Be diligent, train hard, and respect the traditions you are learning.
 

searcher

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Honestly, I expect my brown belts to have one major thing over the lower ranks: unquestionable work ethic!! Their technique does not need to be perfect(nobody is ever perfect) and they are still working on it. Their knowledge base need not be complete, they are still learning. How hard they are working had better never come into question. They may feel under the weather or be worn out, but they had better be giving all they have at any given moment.
 

Never_A_Reflection

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If you've been training for four years and you've been putting the effort in I'm sure you will do just fine--I passed my test for sankyu (third degree brown belt) after about 2 years of training, but I was spending about 14 hours a week in the dojo, both helping and training.
 

Yondanchris

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I value your humility and honesty, let your Sensei know how you are feeling and
he/she should understand and know how to encourage and motivate you!

Brown Belt is an advanced level in SKK, so I expect a lot from my brown belts!

- Must be teaching! (either in group lessons or private lessons)
- Must be focused on their next belt goal (3rd, 2nd, or 1st Brown)
- Must be willing to take on new tasks (from cleaning to administration)
- Must be humble to understand that they don't know it all, and that I don't know it all
- Must be observant and "on the ball" seeing mistakes and correcting them FAST
- Must be willing to view things "outside of the box" and apply that to training
- Must be working on their Black Belt Thesis and gathering the appropriate tools and
information.
- Must be growing spiritually as well as physically (Bible Memorization/Application)
- Must have a good report from coworkers/friends/family/church
- Must embody what it means to be a Christian Martial Artist and a future Christian BB

Just a few in a list that could go on and on, needless to say not very many make it to this level, unfortunately.
If I had 2-3 of these in my Dojo it would transform the entire community!

Grace and Peace,

Chris
 

MJS

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Hi
I started Karate less than 4 years ago and I have my brown belt test coming up in about a month. I should be happy, but I'm not. I don't think I'm ready for it. In other words, I don't think I deserve it. It's a new stage. It's the last coloured belt (before black I mean) and I can't help feeling that there are lots of little things and fine points I need to learn before I can tie a brown belt around my waist and feel confident.

I have a question here:

What do you expect from a brown belt? What do you think they should know? What should they be capable of? If you are/were an instructor, when would you consider your student ready for the test?

A brown belt, IMHO, should have a strong understanding of all of the basics, ie: punches, kicks, etc, as well as the techniques and kata. At this point, they should start to really look into the material and begin getting a deeper understanding of it.

They should be capable of teaching others. They should be capable of taking charge of a full class, with little to no assistance.

I would imagine or hope that an inst. wouldn't promote a student, to any rank, nevermind brown, if the student wasn't ready. That being said, I imagine that your teacher feels that you're ready to test. However, if you have doubts or questions about something, I'd sit down with your teacher, privately, and discuss with them, your concerns.
 

jthomas1600

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I'll only comment on one aspect of your post. You said "I don't think I'm ready. I don't think I deserve it". First of all, from what I've gathered 4 years to brown belt is really a reasonable time frame. Secondly I would have reservations about someone that said "I've been ready for almost a year. Finally my instructor realizes I'm ready to test". The fact that you're concerned about whether or not you legitimately deserve this and that you're trying to gather information so you can meet expectations indicates that you have at least the the maturity and the right mind set to be a brown belt.

Good luck on the test and congratulations.
 

Aiki Lee

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A brown belt is a person that the instructor sees as proving himself or herself disciplined enough to actually study the martial art. Don't worry about not feeling polished enough. You have a lifetime of training to polish yourself.
 

fangjian

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Another thing that I do not always see at some schools, is a written examination. For my 'brown belt' /'black belt', besides techniques etc., I have a written exam covering knowledge of the history of either CMA or FMA depending on their concentration at my school. Some students do not seek this knowledge on their own. Which is fine, but if someone says they are a 'whatever' belt at a school, they are representing something.

At the higher levels, I wish that my students know something about the history/evolution/notable people etc. of our styles and of martial arts of China or The Phillipines.
 

marlon

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There arre very many excellent comments to your post, sir. I advise you to take it all in and what Blade96 said...trust your instructor.
Anohter point to look at is that perhaps, it is the material to come and the responsiblity of being a brown belt that will get you to the next level.
Respectfully,
Marlon
 

Blade96

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There arre very many excellent comments to your post, sir. I advise you to take it all in and what Blade96 said...trust your instructor.
Anohter point to look at is that perhaps, it is the material to come and the responsiblity of being a brown belt that will get you to the next level.
Respectfully,
Marlon

He's afraid...cause he knows its a responsible position and he's not sure he's up for it i guess.

Well Narges, How did you do? I'd like to know :)
 

K-man

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At the base brown belt level (3rd kyu in our style) I expect very little. I expect the student to consolidate the knowledge accumulated so far and look for dedication, but I don't expect a student to take classes at this time. By the time he/she reaches 1st kyu, then I would expect far more. :asian:
 

zDom

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... I can't help feeling that there are lots of little things and fine points I need to learn ...

Don't ever lose that feeling (even after black belt!) and you should be just fine.
 
OP
Narges

Narges

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Well, more than a month has passed since the original post and I am pleased to inform you all that I passed the test and am a brown belt now. You posted very useful replies to my questions. I no longer have that feeling of uncertainty, but am as eager as ever for learning new stuff.

Btw, I was very amused at how you were sure of my being a 'He' , marlon and blade96 :)
 

fangjian

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Well, more than a month has passed since the original post and I am pleased to inform you all that I passed the test and am a brown belt now. You posted very useful replies to my questions. I no longer have that feeling of uncertainty, but am as eager as ever for learning new stuff.

Btw, I was very amused at how you were sure of my being a 'He' , marlon and blade96 :)

Congratulations ma'am :)
 

Blade96

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Well, more than a month has passed since the original post and I am pleased to inform you all that I passed the test and am a brown belt now. You posted very useful replies to my questions. I no longer have that feeling of uncertainty, but am as eager as ever for learning new stuff.

Btw, I was very amused at how you were sure of my being a 'He' , marlon and blade96 :)

People think I'm a guy too :)

and yes I've done that too as you just found out )

Congrats on being a brown belt now! Knew you could do it. :) A great big Oss, fellow Shotokanka!
 

Yondanchris

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Well, more than a month has passed since the original post and I am pleased to inform you all that I passed the test and am a brown belt now. You posted very useful replies to my questions. I no longer have that feeling of uncertainty, but am as eager as ever for learning new stuff.

Btw, I was very amused at how you were sure of my being a 'He' , marlon and blade96 :)


Congrats!
 
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