Desperation

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Hot Lunch

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Barred by whom? Who has the authority to issue that decree, and how is it enforced?
I do find it a bit weird that the same people who say that "belts mean nothing" and/or "you shouldn't want the belt" will gatekeep the hell out those same "meaningless" belts that their students shouldn't want.
 

Flying Crane

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I do find it a bit weird that the same people who say that "belts mean nothing" and/or "you shouldn't want the belt" will gatekeep the hell out those same "meaningless" belts that their students shouldn't want.
I do not understand how this is in response to what I had said. Could you explain?
 

mograph

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Patience is a virtue, but the problem is when somebody requires you to be patient when you don't have to be. When somebody requires you to take longer to do something just because they want you to be patient.

For example. I once knew of this fellow who, at his dojo, his sensei might not let a student test for or promote to black belt even if the student is skilled enough because he wanted the student to be patient and take longer.

You're assuming that the student would not gain any martial benefit from learning patience, possibly discovering more about the art beyond the testing criteria.

... and speaking as a member of the public, I'm not so sure that I would want more impatient black belts running around out there.

Yes, some teachers are a-holes, but how do you know that Sensei wasn't trying to teach the student about a valuable component to the karate program? Or maybe he saw the student as a potential loose cannon who would benefit from learning patience?

In such a case the dojo should be shut down and the sensei should be barred from teaching Karate.

Really? Personally, I think he should be commended.

Sorry PhotonGuy, you really need to learn about the value of patience and calmness in martial arts. There's a reason why they value that sort of thing in martial arts movies. It's not all about punching and kicking.

Try to see it from an old guy's perspective. Try to set yourself upon the path of wisdom.

At age 45, I realized that yes, I am mortal, and that I am going to die, and possibly be quite aware of it when it happens. Yes, we all know it'll happen eventually, but we don't internalize it. Coupled with that awareness was the knowledge that while I can still play squash and get in better shape, my body is decaying with age: I can never be as strong as I could have been when I was a young man.

So, with my body declining, albeit slowly, what can I grow? What can I gain with time?

Wisdom.

So I set myself on the path to study Eastern philosophy. I also went back to school to get a Psych degree and took up meditation. As a result, I see things much more clearly and don't get as pissed-off at things as I used to -- there's just no point. But I still get sh*t done when the situation warrants it, and I'm very enthusiastic about things that give me pleasure and energy.

Yin-yang, right?

... and I wish I had done this as a young man, as I would have had both physical strength and wisdom.

I recommend you augment your physical practice with a study of Eastern culture and philosophy, and let it change you. After all, Eastern culture is infused into the vast majority of martial arts discussed on this site, even though many (most?) of the members just see the chop-socky, because that's what they want to see.

Good luck with your practice.
 

Flying Crane

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I do find it a bit weird that the same people who say that "belts mean nothing" and/or "you shouldn't want the belt" will gatekeep the hell out those same "meaningless" belts that their students shouldn't want.
Ok, I think you are simply missing the meaning of what is being said. The comment about not wanting the belt are about the mindset that comes with training. The belt is, literally, a piece of colored cloth. If you want one you can simply buy it from a supplier. They sell to anybody. You do not need to show any kind of certification to justify the color of the belt that you wish to buy. So if that is what you want, go buy it.

But the belt itself is meaningless. It is supposed to be a symbol or an indicator of the skill and knowledge and proper attitude that one has achieved through diligent training. What one really wants (or should be in my opinion) is the skill and knowledge and proper attitude. If they cultivate that, then the belt should come as part of it once the teacher recognizes the gains.

When someone gets all wound up over when they get to test next, when do they get another promotion, why doesnt Sensei allow me to test yet, I JUST KNOW Im ready for it NOW so its just UNFAIR that he wont let me test or wont promote me安ell they are showing that what they really want is a colored piece of cloth and they have separated it from the skill and knowledge and they lack the proper attitude. In that case the belt is meaningless.

Students often think they know best. They believe they are more skilled and more knowledgeable than they are. But the teacher is the one who makes that decision which leads to testing and promotions. If you decide to study under a teacher, you need to be willing to trust his/her judgement about these things. If you arent willing to do that, then why are you studying under that teacher? It is the teachers decision to make. When a student tries to undermine the teachers judgement, the teacher might make a point by delaying the promotion. Maybe he was about to give the promotion but the student shot off his mouth and gave the teacher pause to reconsider. People gotta get out of their own way sometimes. Just focus on training and dont worry about the belt. If your teacher has integrity, the belt will be given when the skills and knowledge and attitude warrant it. Only then does the belt mean something beyond a colored piece of cloth. You cant insist on being on a schedule for this. It does not work that way.
 

Hot Lunch

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Ok, I think you are simply missing the meaning of what is being said. The comment about not wanting the belt are about the mindset that comes with training. The belt is, literally, a piece of colored cloth. If you want one you can simply buy it from a supplier. They sell to anybody. You do not need to show any kind of certification to justify the color of the belt that you wish to buy. So if that is what you want, go buy it.

But the belt itself is meaningless. It is supposed to be a symbol or an indicator of the skill and knowledge and proper attitude that one has achieved through diligent training. What one really wants (or should be in my opinion) is the skill and knowledge and proper attitude. If they cultivate that, then the belt should come as part of it once the teacher recognizes the gains.

When someone gets all wound up over when they get to test next, when do they get another promotion, why doesnt Sensei allow me to test yet, I JUST KNOW Im ready for it NOW so its just UNFAIR that he wont let me test or wont promote me安ell they are showing that what they really want is a colored piece of cloth and they have separated it from the skill and knowledge and they lack the proper attitude. In that case the belt is meaningless.

Students often think they know best. They believe they are more skilled and more knowledgeable than they are. But the teacher is the one who makes that decision which leads to testing and promotions. If you decide to study under a teacher, you need to be willing to trust his/her judgement about these things. If you arent willing to do that, then why are you studying under that teacher? It is the teachers decision to make. When a student tries to undermine the teachers judgement, the teacher might make a point by delaying the promotion. Maybe he was about to give the promotion but the student shot off his mouth and gave the teacher pause to reconsider. People gotta get out of their own way sometimes. Just focus on training and dont worry about the belt. If your teacher has integrity, the belt will be given when the skills and knowledge and attitude warrant it. Only then does the belt mean something beyond a colored piece of cloth. You cant insist on being on a schedule for this. It does not work that way.
When you gatekeep something, you give it meaning.
 

Flying Crane

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When you gatekeep something, you give it meaning.
Please elaborate?

What you see as gatekeeping may simply be upholding standards. Again, if you choose to train under an instructor, you need to be willing to accept his/her judgement. Otherwise, why are you there?
 

Hot Lunch

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Please elaborate?

What you see as gatekeeping may simply be upholding standards. Again, if you choose to train under an instructor, you need to be willing to accept his/her judgement. Otherwise, why are you there?
I agree that it's upholding standards. But is it or is it not giving it meaning?
 

Dirty Dog

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I do find it a bit weird that the same people who say that "belts mean nothing" and/or "you shouldn't want the belt" will gatekeep the hell out those same "meaningless" belts that their students shouldn't want.
Strawman argument. Please show us where anyone has made the statements you quote.
 

Flying Crane

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I agree that it's upholding standards. But is it or is it not giving it meaning?
If it results in the belt being given as an indicator of skill and knowledge and proper attitude, then of course it has meaning. But its meaning is not universal. Different schools hold different standards. So its meaning is limited to within the school or within the organization.

There is more context here however, that you are missing because you are new to the forums here. Photonguy has been making these complaints for years, at every turn. Eventually, after seeing his endless complaints and endless circular monologues that he uses to justify his perception that he is being wronged by everyone and why he knows best, you start to realize that he simply thinks he is perpetually persecuted or something. You havent clued into that yet because you just arrived. Eventually it just gets tiresome, hearing his circular excuses over and over, for years. Notice the age of these old threads that he just dug up, to re-hash old perceived wrongs? They are about a decade old. Context matters, both in what is being said and in the circumstances around what is being said.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Was he enforcing a time in grade policy that was already in place, or was he targeting that one student?
I don't know the exact details, all I know was what this fellow was telling me about how his sensei requires not only skill but also patience for students who want to earn black belts. I can understand having minimal time requirements, to a reasonable extent, but having a student wait indefinitely before being promoted (even if they've got the skill) because you want the student to be patient is unacceptable.
 
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PhotonGuy

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I do find it a bit weird that the same people who say that "belts mean nothing" and/or "you shouldn't want the belt" will gatekeep the hell out those same "meaningless" belts that their students shouldn't want.
I know. Very contradictory isn't it.
 
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PhotonGuy

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You're assuming that the student would not gain any martial benefit from learning patience, possibly discovering more about the art beyond the testing criteria.

... and speaking as a member of the public, I'm not so sure that I would want more impatient black belts running around out there.

Yes, some teachers are a-holes, but how do you know that Sensei wasn't trying to teach the student about a valuable component to the karate program? Or maybe he saw the student as a potential loose cannon who would benefit from learning patience?
See post #34
Really? Personally, I think he should be commended.
People shouldn't be commended for not being fair.
Sorry PhotonGuy, you really need to learn about the value of patience and calmness in martial arts. There's a reason why they value that sort of thing in martial arts movies. It's not all about punching and kicking.
Patience is all fine and dandy as long as you also realize that time is precious.
Try to see it from an old guy's perspective. Try to set yourself upon the path of wisdom.

At age 45, I realized that yes, I am mortal, and that I am going to die, and possibly be quite aware of it when it happens. Yes, we all know it'll happen eventually, but we don't internalize it. Coupled with that awareness was the knowledge that while I can still play squash and get in better shape, my body is decaying with age: I can never be as strong as I could have been when I was a young man.
Well it does make sense to want to earn a black belt before you're 105, doesn't it?
So, with my body declining, albeit slowly, what can I grow? What can I gain with time?

Wisdom.
All the more reason to get what you need to get done when you need to get it done.
So I set myself on the path to study Eastern philosophy. I also went back to school to get a Psych degree and took up meditation. As a result, I see things much more clearly and don't get as pissed-off at things as I used to -- there's just no point. But I still get sh*t done when the situation warrants it, and I'm very enthusiastic about things that give me pleasure and energy.

Yin-yang, right?

... and I wish I had done this as a young man, as I would have had both physical strength and wisdom.

I recommend you augment your physical practice with a study of Eastern culture and philosophy, and let it change you. After all, Eastern culture is infused into the vast majority of martial arts discussed on this site, even though many (most?) of the members just see the chop-socky, because that's what they want to see.

Good luck with your practice.
You've said so yourself, you're mortal. You only have so much time in this world. So patience is good as long as you realize that and make sure to get done what you need to get done while you still can. Makes sense doesn't it?
 
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PhotonGuy

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You want laws governing martial arts? By martial artists, or let a government with no knowledge of how MAs work dictate it?
Usually, whenever the government passes laws they consult with people in various fields of expertise. That's how they know, for instance, what speed limits to put on roads. Lawmakers will consult with people, in this case engineers, who know all about what a safe speed to drive on a particular road would be. And that's just one example. That same principle could be applied when passing laws to govern the martial arts.
 

Hot Lunch

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You want laws governing martial arts? By martial artists, or let a government with no knowledge of how MAs work dictate it?
The only way this could happen is if, by law, dojos were considered to be academic institutions. If a university held degrees in abeyance from students for the purpose of instilling patience, it would be in a lot of legal trouble. But, be that as it may, dojos are considered gyms.
 
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