- Apr 28, 2021
- Reaction score
Taking a conversation that started elsewhere to it's own thread.
My response:For what it's worth, Taekwondo isn't alone in this. Funakoshi Gichin Sensei promoted his first group of Shotokan Karate students to 1st Dan after about 18 months of training. Kano Jigoro Sensei promoted his first group of Judo students to 1st Dan after just over 1 year.
Then @andyjeffries reply:With no disrespect intended, I do not believe these are comparable examples to today's timeframes. In the examples you cited, these were mostly experienced military men, training nearly full time under harsh conditions with high expectations. You can become pretty darn good at most skills under those circumstances.
To take that time frame and apply it to the recreational student who trains 3-4 hours a week (on padded floors, with air conditioning, and skips class on holidays) will never produce the same product. (Why I generally consider 4-5 years a minimum for an adult student to reach this level).
This I think is the disconnect. I agree that 1st Dan was/is a "beginner" rank then and now... I just think their definition of beginner was less charitable than the current standard in too many places (hence my agreement to this being a pet peeve of mine as well).
... Now if someone was to train as they did then for 18 months... I'd likely have no issue with them reaching 1st Dan that soon. They'd probably have earned it
Are you sure?
-- Gichin Funakoshi Sensei Informal Biography
So his first students were literal students, training part time... Let's go to Judo:
Mitsuyo Maeda - Wikipedia - Mitsuyo was a student when he started to learn Judo from Kano Sensei
Yokoyama Sakujiro - Wikipedia - Yokoyama was in the police when he first started to learn
Kyuzo Mifune - Wikipedia - Kyuzo was an U14 student
Tomita Tsunejirō - Wikipedia - No mention of him being a military man?
Don't get me wrong, it's more of a romantic thought to think these were all hardcore elite athletes when they started and were training 18 hours a day, so their black belt was much harder - but the reality is that the asian mindset is that 1st Dan is a beginner rank.