Contradictions In The Martial Arts

in the FMA, there is typically no belts, I believe similar to CMA. You kind just know who you are. If you have the desire and fortitude to stay with it, then you were meant to be there and if not, well okay. Ive been at my current school for 7 years. I know all the techniques, angles, etc as my teacher. He spending a decade directly under GM has fluidity and transition over me. But Im getting there and I find exchanges with my instructor less and less lopsided. Good stuff!
Maybe its not for you, but that is between you and you.
Well to the best of my knowledge belts of rank are more or less only used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean arts, or in arts in other parts of the world that that evolved from arts from any of those three countries (such as BBJ.) Filipino arts and most of the Indonesian arts and Indochinese arts do not have belts of rank.
 
The cause of your confusion is that the purpose of the black belt and test is often twofold. First, a test of technical skill. Secondly, it's proof of one's perseverance and dedication. This last one can be harder than the first. So, there is no contradiction, just two different areas of self-development.
But if you're going to require technical skill you're also requiring perseverance and dedication. Why? Because it takes perseverance and dedication to develop technical skill. So a skill requirement is a de facto perseverance and dedication requirement.
 
Im only obsessed with rank up to the point of first degree black belt. I don't care much for rank progression beyond 1st degree. In other words, I don't care much about making 2nd degree, 3rd degree, ect. I just like to keep training and getting better after making 1st degree without caring much about earning higher degrees, but that's just me.
Seems an unhealthy obsession. Just based on the many many many many many many threads you've started here about that obsession.
 
So are you saying there should be no belts of rank?
What I think is not important as I do not have the same difficulties about rank. I simply ask the question so that you can find the answer yourself about what it means to train martial arts beyond the rank and beyond the color of a belt. You will find the answer when you give it some thought.

Sometimes we get focus on the wrong things. But you answer should be clear if you remove the belt, remove the rank, and what every is left will be you answer.

If you know that there is no top then you should be close to you answers and rank and belt will not seem as central to training.
 
Im only obsessed with rank up to the point of first degree black belt. I don't care much for rank progression beyond 1st degree. In other words, I don't care much about making 2nd degree, 3rd degree, ect. I just like to keep training and getting better after making 1st degree without caring much about earning higher degrees, but that's just me.
Does your curriculum top out at shodan?

I want at least one honorary dan grade (godan in ISKF), but will be happy with the grade that completes the curriculum (yondan).
 
Im only obsessed with rank up to the point of first degree black belt. I don't care much for rank progression beyond 1st degree. In other words, I don't care much about making 2nd degree, 3rd degree, ect. I just like to keep training and getting better after making 1st degree without caring much about earning higher degrees, but that's just me.
A fair percentage of people gain the black-belt and then leave the dojo, never to be seen again
 
Some schools don't have much depth and are unable to provide meaningful training past 1st degree, so students think they know it all. They don't know what they're missing.
It's very easy for any MA system to have 3 different levels of training.

1st degree BB - offense skill.
2nd degree BB - defense skill.
3rd degree BB - counter skill and combo skill.
 
Seems an unhealthy obsession. Just based on the many many many many many many threads you've started here about that obsession.
Well even first degree black belt itself isn't always an obsession of mine. Right now Im preparing to test for my first degree black belt in Goju Ryu and while it would be nice to get it, my main focus an concern is learning the material and developing skill (as it always has been.) Not that long ago I got promoted to purple belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu which is two colors away from black belt (after purple is brown and then black). As it is, I will be satisfied with a brown belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
 
Does your curriculum top out at shodan?

I want at least one honorary dan grade (godan in ISKF), but will be happy with the grade that completes the curriculum (yondan).
I've never trained at a dojo where the top rank is Shodan. All the dojo's I've trained at have higher ranks such as Nidan, Sandan, ect. As for me though, I just don't care much about advancing in rank beyond Shodan. I still want to get better and further my skill and in fact, I consider Shodan to be just the beginning when it comes to developing skill and knowledge in the art, but I just don't care so much about advancing in rank beyond Shodan, that's just me.
 
A fair percentage of people gain the black-belt and then leave the dojo, never to be seen again
From my experience I would say most people drop out at white belt or yellow belt, never to be seen again. Lots of people will try out the martial arts for a little while and then decide it's just not their thing. The martial arts has a very high turnover rate.
 
That's what happens when the martial arts is about the belt and not the training.
Well that's why I would stay after making black belt. As I said, in terms of developing knowledge and skill black belt is just the beginning.
 
Some schools don't have much depth and are unable to provide meaningful training past 1st degree, so students think they know it all. They don't know what they're missing.
Definitely an instructor issue. If they only go as far as the book and don't explorer with what they know, then there won't be any depth. For me the only way to gain depth is to spar and try to use the techniques. Not just the easy ones but the complex ones as well. I don't think depth can come without doing this.
 
I've never trained at a dojo where the top rank is Shodan. All the dojo's I've trained at have higher ranks such as Nidan, Sandan, ect.
I wasn't asking if the highest rank was shodan. I was asking if that's where the curriculum tops out (i.e., is that the highest technical dan grade).

As for me though, I just don't care much about advancing in rank beyond Shodan. I still want to get better and further my skill and in fact, I consider Shodan to be just the beginning when it comes to developing skill and knowledge in the art, but I just don't care so much about advancing in rank beyond Shodan, that's just me.
If shodan is not the highest technical dan grade, then there's still more to add to your repertoire.
 
I wasn't asking if the highest rank was shodan. I was asking if that's where the curriculum tops out (i.e., is that the highest technical dan grade).
Most of the styles I've trained in top out at 10th dan, although usually 5th dan is the highest you can get in terms of skill. Advancement beyond 5th dan is granted by your peers and is based on stuff such as how much you contribute to the art, ect not on skill.
If shodan is not the highest technical dan grade, then there's still more to add to your repertoire.
Yes there is but as I said, I just don't care much about rank advancement beyond shodan, although I still want to get better in terms of knowledge and skill.
 
Well that's why I would stay after making black belt. As I said, in terms of developing knowledge and skill black belt is just the beginning.
The belt has nothing to do with it. This is stuff that should be going on before students become a black belt.

I personally would not wait to become a black belt to start digging deeper into a fighting system.

If a person doesn't know how use a technique, then that's a good opportunity to "dig derper" into the system and figure it out. That path will help them figure other things out as they become more advanced. The black belt should not be starting point for such things.
 
From my experience I would say most people drop out at white belt or yellow belt, never to be seen again. Lots of people will try out the martial arts for a little while and then decide it's just not their thing. The martial arts has a very high turnover rate.
I dropped out at yellow belt as a kid.
 
Definitely an instructor issue. If they only go as far as the book and don't explorer with what they know, then there won't be any depth. For me the only way to gain depth is to spar and try to use the techniques. Not just the easy ones but the complex ones as well. I don't think depth can come without doing this.
The "book" can only impart information. Understanding in MA comes from doing - again and again and again. To quote Ed Parker, "To feel is to know." By this, I don't mean mindless repetition, though doing so will ingrain the physical technique. But that might not be the best way to do it (for you). As you say, some experimentation is needed. Sometimes a 5% difference in execution can yield a 20% increase in effectiveness. It takes initiative in understanding your art, study and experimentation. I believe that the difference between very good and great, in any endeavor, is that 5%.

To know what kind of adjustments to make I've watched how some masters I'm impressed by move and then try to emulate them to see if it works for me: The way they pivot, add chinkuchi (unifying the body in execution), the flavor they put in the move, and try to absorb that quality that makes them stand apart.
One example of this: Doing forms, I've always felt that my turns and pivot were not as good as I thought they could be, even after thousands of reps over the decades. Then, at age 70, I finally got it by using this method.

While my kicking speed and reaction time have slowed, and a head kick is now a mere fantasy, in all other respects my karate is better now than ever. In answer to those who ask, "What's to learn after 4th or 5th or even 6th degree? I know all the techniques," my answer is to transform those techniques by finding that elusive 5%. That's the quest that keeps one advancing beyond the "book" and any degree of belt.
 
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