Contradictions In The Martial Arts

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PhotonGuy

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Miyagi didn't have belt rank, because belt rank hadn't yet reached Okinawa from the mainland by the time he left. So the whole idea was unimaginable to him.

We can wax pedantic on the specific questions that Danny and Julie asked him about belts, but those responses would easily be the same to "how long."
What Daniel and Julie asked Miyagi about belts and how Miyagi responded would be like somebody visiting a dojo and asking how long it takes to get a black belt and the instructor saying that they don't have belts of rank as not all arts do.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Let me clarify - I don't mean sexual assault, I meant what I was saying about Port Moresby.
Just because Port Moresby is the way it is doesn't mean it can't be changed and doesn't mean there aren't people working to change it and it doesn't mean you shouldn't voice your opinion about how it could be changed, and that goes not just for Port Moresby but the rest of the world too and everything in it.
 

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Just because Port Moresby is the way it is doesn't mean it can't be changed and doesn't mean there aren't people working to change it and it doesn't mean you shouldn't voice your opinion about how it could be changed, and that goes not just for Port Moresby but the rest of the world too and everything in it.
Port Moresby has been like that for decades, probably since before most of us here were born. Whatever the solution to the problem is, it has been thought of and tried, to no avail.

But whatever the solution may be, until it is found, a woman either chooses not to walk the streets of Port Morseby alone (treating the world the way it is), or she does so at her own peril (treating the world the way it should be).
 

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I sometimes notice that there are big contradictions in the martial arts. For instance, and I've discussed this before, how they will say that being a first degree black belt doesn't mean you're a master or even an expert it just means you're a serious beginner, but then they make it so hard to get that you practically have to be a master to get it. Sounds very contradictory to me.
Yes, you have said this before so why again?
 
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Yes, you have said this before so why again?
I posted the original post of this thread back in June last year. At the time yes it has been discussed before about how first degree black belt often means you're just a serious beginner not a master or an expert. But I don't recall at any time before then where I pointed out the contradiction about how they consider you a just a serious beginner if you're a first degree black belt but at the same time make first degree black belt really hard to get. That is a contradiction if you think about it. If a certain belt symbolizes that you're just a serious beginner, not a master or an expert, than said belt should be easy to get. If it's hard to get it would mean that you're more than just a serious beginner, if not a master you should at least be considered an expert, if said belt is hard to get.

Anyway been awhile since I've seen you on here. Welcome back.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Port Moresby has been like that for decades, probably since before most of us here were born. Whatever the solution to the problem is, it has been thought of and tried, to no avail.

But whatever the solution may be, until it is found, a woman either chooses not to walk the streets of Port Morseby alone (treating the world the way it is), or she does so at her own peril (treating the world the way it should be).
Or she could learn to defend herself, and hope she doesn't get in trouble for doing so.
 

JowGaWolf

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But I don't recall at any time before then where I pointed out the contradiction about how they consider you a just a serious beginner if you're a first degree black belt but at the same time make first degree black belt really hard to get.
  • I don't know anyone who thinks this.
That is a contradiction if you think about it. If a certain belt symbolizes that you're just a serious beginner, not a master or an expert, than said belt should be easy to get.
  • I'm pretty sure you are the only one that has this playing in your mind. Most people just put in the required work and get the belt.
If it's hard to get it would mean that you're more than just a serious beginner, if not a master you should at least be considered an expert, if said belt is hard to get.
Again. This is only in your mind. This is your own contradiction and not a "Martial Arts" one.


Hopefully this will clear your mind so that you don't come back to revisit this thread.

When you first learn a martial arts system you are a beginner. Then as you get better and reach a higher level, you begin to understand that the martial arts system is much deeper, than what you first assumed as a beginner. For the longest I considered myself a beginner in Jow Ga even though many others thought I was much better. I didn't think of myself as beginner in the system. I thought of myself as a"Beginner in truly understanding Jow Ga."

When people reach black belt, they learn that what they currently know is only a fraction of what the system has to offer, but you can't come to the realization of this until you reach a certain level within a Martial Arts system.

Advance knowledge and skills open new worlds and possibilities. This only makes you a beginner in the these new perspectives and understandings. It does not make you a beginner in the system itself. You seem to have the assumption that black belt means end of the road and that there is nothing new to learn. The opposite is true. Becoming a black belt opens your eyes to new worlds, new possibilities, and new understandings. Have you ever thought about how many of the high level martial artists in this forum are able to talk about techniques, applications of techniques, and strategies without actually knowing or training in the martial arts system being discussed.

Have you not noticed that some of our discussions talk about the importance of balance, vision, and mechanics. Does any of those conversations sound like the conversations that martial arts schools give to beginners? So as a person becomes more advanced they gain new perspective on what they train and because of that, they considered themselves a beginner.

After all if the perspective is new to you, then doesn't that make you a beginner in that perspective?
 
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  • I don't know anyone who thinks this.
It's been mentioned on this thread that the first degree black belt doesn't mean you're a master or even an expert. I don't recall who said that and I wouldn't mention any names even if I did know but it's been said on here before.
  • I'm pretty sure you are the only one that has this playing in your mind. Most people just put in the required work and get the belt.
That's all fine and dandy if you know what the required work is. Success is not just a product of working hard, it's also a product of working smart.
Again. This is only in your mind. This is your own contradiction and not a "Martial Arts" one.


Hopefully this will clear your mind so that you don't come back to revisit this thread.

When you first learn a martial arts system you are a beginner. Then as you get better and reach a higher level, you begin to understand that the martial arts system is much deeper, than what you first assumed as a beginner.
True, you do go through that circular path of learning.
For the longest I considered myself a beginner in Jow Ga even though many others thought I was much better. I didn't think of myself as beginner in the system. I thought of myself as a"Beginner in truly understanding Jow Ga."
Does Jow Ga have ranks? I thought it didn't but I could be wrong. But whether you're a beginner or not I suppose is relative and depends on one's point of view. From your point of view you were a beginner and from other people's point of view you weren't.
When people reach black belt, they learn that what they currently know is only a fraction of what the system has to offer, but you can't come to the realization of this until you reach a certain level within a Martial Arts system.
Yes I know that from my own experience.
Advance knowledge and skills open new worlds and possibilities. This only makes you a beginner in the these new perspectives and understandings. It does not make you a beginner in the system itself.
As I said before, whether or not you're a beginner I suppose is relative. A first degree black belt would not be seen as a beginner from the viewpoint of a white belt but they might be seen as a beginner from the viewpoint of a third degree black belt.
You seem to have the assumption that black belt means end of the road and that there is nothing new to learn.
Nope I never thought that. If I did think that I would quit after making black belt. If that were the case everybody would quit after making black belt. After all, if you know it all and there is nothing new for you to learn, what's the point of still doing it?
The opposite is true. Becoming a black belt opens your eyes to new worlds, new possibilities, and new understandings.
Exactly. And that was why getting my first black belt at the first dojo that I started seriously training at was so important to me, because I wanted to reach that level where I could reach new worlds, new possibilities, new understandings, ect. I wanted to reach that level where the real learning began.
Have you ever thought about how many of the high level martial artists in this forum are able to talk about techniques, applications of techniques, and strategies without actually knowing or training in the martial arts system being discussed.
Yes, I've done some of that myself.
Have you not noticed that some of our discussions talk about the importance of balance, vision, and mechanics. Does any of those conversations sound like the conversations that martial arts schools give to beginners?
From my experience, balance is taught very early on, sometimes on day one. Balance was one of the first things Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel after he had him wax his cars and sand his deck and paint his fence and house, when Daniel was practicing while standing on the boat. And balance drills are taught very early in real classes not just in the movies, I've never seen students practicing on boats but they do other balance drills.

Vision and mechanics are also taught very early, yes they get much more in depth with such stuff as you get more advanced but the point is that they start early on.
So as a person becomes more advanced they gain new perspective on what they train and because of that, they considered themselves a beginner.
As I said, they go through a circular path of learning.
After all if the perspective is new to you, then doesn't that make you a beginner in that perspective?
Once again, it depends on one's point of view.
 
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That's how I'm gonna look at a prospective student asking about how long it takes to make black belt. We've all seen Karate Kid and other movies where new and prospective students get sonned for asking this question, so we all know better.
You said before about checking out the dojo's website. A website might or might not have the information you're looking for so if a dojo's website doesn't have the information you want, including how long on the average it takes to get a black belt at that dojo, the only way for you to know is to ask. That means you will have to take the risk of getting sonned if you want that information. If you do get sonned it's not the end of the world, you can always go to a different dojo.
 

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You said before about checking out the dojo's website. A website might or might not have the information you're looking for so if a dojo's website doesn't have the information you want, including how long on the average it takes to get a black belt at that dojo, the only way for you to know is to ask. That means you will have to take the risk of getting sonned if you want that information. If you do get sonned it's not the end of the world, you can always go to a different dojo.
If I was asked that question, I would state that it depends on the student. So far, I havent ever had a prospective student ask me this question.
 
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If I was asked that question, I would state that it depends on the student. So far, I havent ever had a prospective student ask me this question.
So do you teach? If so what style and for how long?

Some prospective students might ask about how long it takes to get a black belt at a dojo and some prospective students might not. People take up the arts for all sorts of reasons. Some people are interested in earning belts, some aren't.

As for how long it does take to get a black belt at a certain dojo, obviously that does depend on the student and it varies from student to student but when somebody does ask how long it takes usually what they mean is how long it takes on the average, what is the average length of time it takes a student to get a black belt at the dojo.
 

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So do you teach? If so what style and for how long?

Some prospective students might ask about how long it takes to get a black belt at a dojo and some prospective students might not. People take up the arts for all sorts of reasons. Some people are interested in earning belts, some aren't.

As for how long it does take to get a black belt at a certain dojo, obviously that does depend on the student and it varies from student to student but when somebody does ask how long it takes usually what they mean is how long it takes on the average, what is the average length of time it takes a student to get a black belt at the dojo.
Yes, I teach TSD. I have been an instructor since the late 80s. I understand the motivation behind the question, but my response would remain the same. Since progression requires demonstrating proficiency in various skills, the student would determine how fast they progress. Some take much longer than others. I began as a young child and it took me more than twice as long to earn Cho Dan than the teenagers since I had to develop my fine motor skills.
 

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You said before about checking out the dojo's website. A website might or might not have the information you're looking for so if a dojo's website doesn't have the information you want, including how long on the average it takes to get a black belt at that dojo, the only way for you to know is to ask.
I also said to check the website of the association to which the dojo belongs. If it's not there, you can also check websites of other dojos that belong to the same association. If you're going to ask... if you absolutely must, then exhaust all other efforts first and make asking your last resort.

That means you will have to take the risk of getting sonned if you want that information. If you do get sonned it's not the end of the world, you can always go to a different dojo.
And if there are other dojos in the area where the information is available, you can simply narrow it down to those dojos only. And that's IF the need to know is that important to you.

I think I mentioned earlier on this thread or another that when I'm shopping for a used car, I will never go to a car lot that has "call us for the price" in any of their listings (even if that particular listing is not a car that I'm interested in). First, they're not going to give you the price over the phone. They're gonna ask you to come to the lot. The intent is to get you sold on the vehicle to the point where you're going to overlook the fact that it's overpriced.

I'm not saying that dojos or associations that do not have this information on their websites are intentionally omitting it for the same purposes. But you can treat it that way. I'd think that you would, considering how you regard not explicitly disclosing this information to be unethical.

I'll also say that there are ways to get the information and be smooth or slick about it. For example, making a comment that you believe is likely to be false or asking a question that assumes something you believe is likely to be false, so that the instructor can correct you with the information that you're looking for.

As a matter of fact, I did this at my current dojo when I first got here. I knew that testing was every three months up to 1st kyu, but there was too much conflicting information on the websites on how long it takes to go from ikkyu to shodan. After a test in which a student made ikkyu, I think I made a statement like "Man, he'll be a black belt in three months!" The instructor then responded with "No, it's a year long wait from ikkyu."

Boom. I got what I wanted.
 
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Yes, I teach TSD. I have been an instructor since the late 80s. I understand the motivation behind the question, but my response would remain the same. Since progression requires demonstrating proficiency in various skills, the student would determine how fast they progress. Some take much longer than others.
So if you've been teaching for that long there must be many students who've made black belt under you during the time you're teaching. The time its taken each student would certainly vary but there must be an average that you could calculate or estimate.
I began as a young child and it took me more than twice as long to earn Cho Dan than the teenagers since I had to develop my fine motor skills.
That makes sense, when you're a small child and still developing it will take you longer than somebody who is more developed. It will take an 8 year old longer than a 14 year old to develop skills because the 8 year old is far less developed.
 

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So if you've been teaching for that long there must be many students who've made black belt under you during the time you're teaching. The time its taken each student would certainly vary but there must be an average that you could calculate or estimate.

That makes sense, when you're a small child and still developing it will take you longer than somebody who is more developed. It will take an 8 year old longer than a 14 year old to develop skills because the 8 year old is far less developed.
I understand the answer that you are looking for, but my response remains the same. I could have two students of the same age where one takes twice as long as the other. It really depends on how committed the student is.
 
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PhotonGuy

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I also said to check the website of the association to which the dojo belongs. If it's not there, you can also check websites of other dojos that belong to the same association. If you're going to ask... if you absolutely must, then exhaust all other efforts first and make asking your last resort.
The dojo might not belong to any association. It could be a privately run dojo that functions independently of any associations. A website for any dojo, whether said dojo is part of an association or not, or for that matter a website for any association, might not have every bit of information that everybody who checks it out wants. You seem to be very opposed to asking, what's the worst that can happen? As I said before being sonned is not the end of the world.
And if there are other dojos in the area where the information is available, you can simply narrow it down to those dojos only. And that's IF the need to know is that important to you.

I think I mentioned earlier on this thread or another that when I'm shopping for a used car, I will never go to a car lot that has "call us for the price" in any of their listings (even if that particular listing is not a car that I'm interested in). First, they're not going to give you the price over the phone. They're gonna ask you to come to the lot. The intent is to get you sold on the vehicle to the point where you're going to overlook the fact that it's overpriced.
I can understand why you would do that when you're shopping for a car, new or used. I know the games they play with auto sales. But it's not the same with the martial arts. A dojo is not a car dealership and a sensei is not a car salesman.
I'm not saying that dojos or associations that do not have this information on their websites are intentionally omitting it for the same purposes. But you can treat it that way. I'd think that you would, considering how you regard not explicitly disclosing this information to be unethical.
Why would I want to treat it the same way? As I said it's different. I don't particularly think that not disclosing information somebody might want on a website is unethical as stuff can be overlooked on websites but if somebody comes in and asks I do think its unethical for the instructor to give a silly answer, such as a student asking how long it takes to get a black belt and the instructor saying that they cost five bucks or whatever. But even if an instructor does give you such an answer, you can always leave.
I'll also say that there are ways to get the information and be smooth or slick about it. For example, making a comment that you believe is likely to be false or asking a question that assumes something you believe is likely to be false, so that the instructor can correct you with the information that you're looking for.

As a matter of fact, I did this at my current dojo when I first got here. I knew that testing was every three months up to 1st kyu, but there was too much conflicting information on the websites on how long it takes to go from ikkyu to shodan. After a test in which a student made ikkyu, I think I made a statement like "Man, he'll be a black belt in three months!" The instructor then responded with "No, it's a year long wait from ikkyu."

Boom. I got what I wanted.
You could do that but I don't see any reason to not be straightforward when it comes to asking for what you want. For instance, you can ask about any minimum time requirement to get from 1st kyu to 1st dan and you will probably get the same answer that you have to be at 1st kyu for at least a year before you're eligible for 1st dan. I don't see any need to be slick or sneaky about asking. There's nothing unreasonable about asking about how the dojo is run, including any minimum time requirements for belts.
 
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I understand the answer that you are looking for, but my response remains the same. I could have two students of the same age where one takes twice as long as the other. It really depends on how committed the student is.
So your answer would be that it depends on the student as you've pointed out, and yes there are other factors besides age when determining how long it would take such as how often the student comes to class, how much they put into it, ect. Nevertheless there is probably an average on how long it takes a student to get a black belt at your dojo. Obviously not all students would meet that average but there would be an average when you take into account how long it took the longest student and how long it took the student who did it the quickest, and all the students in between. Also there might be a minimum time requirement at your dojo that somebody might ask about, such as at the Goju Ryu dojo that I go to you have to be a student there for at least five years before you're eligible for the black belt. And then there's a range when it comes to the length of time it takes students to get black belts, for instance you might say, "It can take anywhere from five to ten years to get a black belt at this dojo," if that's the case.
 

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So your answer would be that it depends on the student as you've pointed out, and yes there are other factors besides age when determining how long it would take such as how often the student comes to class, how much they put into it, ect. Nevertheless there is probably an average on how long it takes a student to get a black belt at your dojo. Obviously not all students would meet that average but there would be an average when you take into account how long it took the longest student and how long it took the student who did it the quickest, and all the students in between. Also there might be a minimum time requirement at your dojo that somebody might ask about, such as at the Goju Ryu dojo that I go to you have to be a student there for at least five years before you're eligible for the black belt. And then there's a range when it comes to the length of time it takes students to get black belts, for instance you might say, "It can take anywhere from five to ten years to get a black belt at this dojo," if that's the case.
I could, but I dont want to give an unknown student unrealistic expectations. I honestly wont know until I observe the student in class. Every student will know what is required of them for the next gup or dan.
 

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IMO, "average time" isn't useful information anyway.

The two pieces useful information are the following:

1. How many kyu grades are there?

2. When are the tests? The most common I've seen is quarterly.

From here, it's simple math: a x b = the minimum time it makes to make shodan (in months). Where:

a = the number of kyu grades, and
b = the frequency of the tests (every 3 months, etc)

Depending on the school, there may be something additional you have to look at:

3. What are the requirements for each grade up to shodan? When looking at the requirements, pay particular attention to any attendance requirements or time in grade requirements. Even if the test is every three months, some grades may have a six month time in grade requirement for example (and then you adjust your math from there). Also, if there are attendance requirements, do you have a personal or professional life that would keep you from meeting those requirements during those three months (or whatever it is)? If so, then adjust your math based on that.
 
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The dojo might not belong to any association. It could be a privately run dojo that functions independently of any associations. A website for any dojo, whether said dojo is part of an association or not, or for that matter a website for any association, might not have every bit of information that everybody who checks it out wants.
And if that's the case, then I personally would want nothing to do with that place. Why are dan grades often referred to as "degrees"? Because they're credentials. And credentials are only as good as how widely recognized they are. But if you don't care about that, then more power to you.

You seem to be very opposed to asking, what's the worst that can happen? As I said before being sonned is not the end of the world.
I can only picture someone who is used to it saying this.

I can understand why you would do that when you're shopping for a car, new or used. I know the games they play with auto sales. But it's not the same with the martial arts. A dojo is not a car dealership and a sensei is not a car salesman.

Why would I want to treat it the same way? As I said it's different.
When someone's looking at the car they want, the first thing they want to know is "how much?" By omitting the price for the listing and having you come in, the car salesman is going to try to convince you to look beyond the price.

Now, replace "price" with "black belt."

I don't particularly think that not disclosing information somebody might want on a website is unethical as stuff can be overlooked on websites but if somebody comes in and asks I do think its unethical for the instructor to give a silly answer, such as a student asking how long it takes to get a black belt and the instructor saying that they cost five bucks or whatever. But even if an instructor does give you such an answer, you can always leave.
You could. But, once again, I'm not going to a car lot that omits the prices from any of their listings, as long as there are other car lots in the area that don't do this.

You could do that but I don't see any reason to not be straightforward when it comes to asking for what you want. For instance, you can ask about any minimum time requirement to get from 1st kyu to 1st dan and you will probably get the same answer that you have to be at 1st kyu for at least a year before you're eligible for 1st dan. I don't see any need to be slick or sneaky about asking. There's nothing unreasonable about asking about how the dojo is run, including any minimum time requirements for belts.
I could. But I'm also used too used to being talked to like an adult, and I like to keep it that way.
 
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