Fast track gradings?

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Hi, I'm new here, and was after some advice if anyone could offer some that would be great.
I come from a small town in Australia. and there isn't much here in the way of style of martial arts, like theres karate, Bjj and Thai.

I did some karate a very long time ago and I just found out through a friend that that there arnis which looks cool, and the head instructor looks like he knows his stuff. he name Darren Lea of washin-kan karate do
anyways, my friend has been doing arnis with him 1 night a week for about 3-4 months and then did 2 days and got graded to purple belt, that cost him about $200.
Is this possible to achieve in such short time? and what quality of information would some one retain to pass it on?

I heard that this same instructor also who teaches karate gave out dan gradings to 2 guys that still didn't know the system he was teaching one from kyokushin and one from gkr.

I turned up to see them one night and a lower grade black belt that wasn't a dan was teaching that first dan the stuff he should know. the lower grade black belt was very nice and seemed to know more than the higher grades? what the hell right? shouldn't they be teaching the lower grades?
He also knew arnis but a different style of arnis and said honestly he was never graded as when he did it there weren't really grades.

I'm a bit confused, I would like to learn lightning arnis, but am a bit unsure of Mr Lea, he has a huge knowledge of many different styles, he said he might be able to fast track me, but would the grades be genuine? or is he just ego and money based? should I go, or find another school, as he seems nice but pushy and over keen to sign me up there is very little students there too.

Please help.
 

KangTsai

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That is really sketchy. A purple belt, by BJJ belt standards, should take more than three years to receive. I recommend staying clear of that place for now.

If you still insist, take into factor time, cost etc. I assume arnis is one of the more costly martial arts thanks to heavy weapon (not heavy weapons) emphasis. BJJ and Karate is excellent to learns but you have gi and grading prices to worry about (not an issue for BJJ really).
Muay Thai is the cheapest of those I would guess; you need gloves, that is a minimum. However wraps, mouth guards, shin guards and headgear etc. is completely optional.
 

FireSnake

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I'm seeing a lot of red flags here. If there are few students and/or the academy is in its early days of establishing itself, that might partially explain using fast-tracking as an incentive, but not necessarily excuse the practice. The last thing you might want is to be stuck in a belt mill, paying on a far too regular basis for belt-testing and not getting the quality training that may is so essential to learning and development. I'd say visit a few other places first, compare your experiences, and match them against your motivations for taking up the art.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I'm going to assume here that the purple belt was in karate rather than arnis, since I don't believe arnis has belt rankings...If so, and if purple belt is the second belt in that style (I'm not used to that, but it's what I'm getting from your post), then it's perfectly reasonable to get your second belt in 3-4 months. The high belt fee is weird, but it might be to offset low regular costs, and does not really impact the quality of training at all. If the belt was in arnis, as arnis doesn't have belts AFAIK, it doesn't really matter how quickly he is testing people since there's no standard to go by.

With regard to you hearing that people earned black belt without learning the system..can you elaborate? Did you hear that from a reliable source, and how long were they in the system before becoming black belt, vs. people who did not have previous training?

I'm confused by your statement that a black belt isn't a dan, as those are the same thing. But based on your post, I honestly don't know if someone who has never done arnis before is qualified to tell the difference between a lower grade black belt or a higher grade black belt. And since as I stated I don't know of any arnis that grades, the idea that he didn't grade in the other style is an issue or indicator of skill in that style.

The only red flag I see, is his offer to fast-track you. How much extra would you be paying for that, how often would you be going, and how quickly would you advance versus someone who is not fast tracked? If you dislike the idea that you might not actually earn your belts (I would dislike that too) don't do the fast-track, but honestly all your issues don't really seem like issues to me.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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That is really sketchy. A purple belt, by BJJ belt standards, should take more than three years to receive. I recommend staying clear of that place for now.

For BJJ, yes. But other systems allow you to advance more quickly, and will have purple belt earlier in the curriculum than BJJ does.
 

WaterGal

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I did some googling and couldn't find a lot of information about this guy, but I did see a Facebook post where his organization is offering a week-long Arnis seminar that ends with doing a grading. I don't know much about arnis, but if kempodisciple is right and it doesn't normally have gradings, that seems strange.

His website includes the following quotes, which raise a bit of a red flag for me:

Darren Lea Shihan, been a student of Karate Do since 1974 and has learned all aspects of this ancient martial art.

The name Washin Kan, was given to me by my teacher Master Kenji Sakamoto back in the 1990, but it wasnt until 1995 that I had opened a school under his direction here in Australia.Washin kan in the early days in Japan 600 years ago and is a samurai based school that taught all the samurai arts and specialised in the Bo (staff).

Keep in mind that karate came to Japan from Okinawa in the 1920s.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I did some googling and couldn't find a lot of information about this guy, but I did see a Facebook post where his organization is offering a week-long Arnis seminar that ends with doing a grading. I don't know much about arnis, but if kempodisciple is right and it doesn't normally have gradings, that seems strange.

His website includes the following quotes, which raise a bit of a red flag for me:





Keep in mind that karate came to Japan from Okinawa in the 1920s.
This changes my opinion slightly...I can't imagine any art where you grade after 1 week, or a karate instructor who thinks his style is 500 years older than it is...
 

Tez3

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I've being practising Googlefu, lots of Washinkan all around the world, it's Aikido in England, kendo in Washington DC, karate in The Netherlands, in Italy it's 'martial arts, yoga and Tai Chi'.
Did find this though "Kyoshi Darren Lea is a student of Hanshi Dennis Kibler Sr." from this International Memberships.
This is fun Rev. Dr.Dennis W. Kibler Sr.'s Page.
 
OP
D

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Hi everyone, thanks for the replies.

@kempodisciple

it was definatly arnis and is on facebook and classed as assistant instructor. my mate also said the same thing about grades, that this is more money based than style and that how much will be retained after one week is questionable.

his system has a probationary black belt which is just black belt then 1st dan and up. If I was to start at white, before I get to yellow I have to pass 2 black tips then grade at yellow belt then 2 black tips then orange and so on from what he explained.

The two guys, they know karate, but they don't know this style or system that he teaches, so the details I guess, how can you teach shorin ryu if the 1st dan instructors are kyokushin and gkr? I think that's what I mean, they have been with him less than 6 months and run his other schools. the other black belt has been with him longer and teaches them the techniques and katas in town. I did karate before and when a black belt come from another school the instructor graded his skill set and gave him a brown belt until he learnt the katas and techniques which took about a year to be able to do it proficiently and change over. sorry if I was unclear. but your right to say I haven't done arnis as that's what I would like to learn.
 

Midnight-shadow

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This changes my opinion slightly...I can't imagine any art where you grade after 1 week, or a karate instructor who thinks his style is 500 years older than it is...

That's quite hilarious, and I'd love to know where this guy got his information from. According to my research the style I practice(Southern White Crane) is only 350 years old and is one of the main ancestors of Karate. Anyway, as to the school in general, anyone who offers gradings after a single week, even if you practice all day every day is somewhere I would avoid. Then there's getting people who don't fully know the system trying to teach it. It sounds to me like this guy is trying to expand his business too quickly but doesn't have enough instructors to help him so he makes do with people who don't fully know the system yet.
 

TSDTexan

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I have mixed feelings.

If a wado-ryu exponent who was a 4th or 5th Dan relocated to a town with a Shotokan dojo, I could easily see him or her being graded as a nidan. As there is a high level of correspondence between these styles of karate.

Many of the kata are the same kata, with variations in stance height, and other little nuances.

I had quite a number of guests drop in to my humble dojang, and I allowed them to demonstrate their level of proficency.

If all they lacked was learning a few one steps, or two steps hosinsool. They were trained in just those, and could correctly demonstrate them, they were promoted in my school, at the end of that class.

But this was something my own TSD teacher allowed, back in the day.

However.... belts in arnis?
Mmmm-ohkaaaay, if you say so.

I don't even care about belt colors, and fast promotions, if he is a competent instructor, teaching a genuine FMA.

My problem is if he is running a belt mill for money, and not actually teaching people to be able to protect themselves.
 

Darren Lea

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Washin Kan Karate Do - Chotoku Kyan Shorin Ryu

To all brothers and sisters in martial arts around the world, I would like to share my side of this ridiculous story that has been placed on this site.

Firstly, to the PERSON who wrote this nonsense I know who you are, you were expelled from our club earlier this year for trying to steal our name, take our students because you wanted it for your personal gain and ego.You never did what you were told as far as training is concerned and you always wanted things easier for yourself. Obviously, you lack discipline, honour and courage for not talking to me directly, all the things a KARATE KA must have.

You have never completed any training that was required of you, you ran from all your responsibilities and only thought of yourself not the students or the club, never did you train with me overseas. This is why your rank and all standings with us has been taken from you. A student like you who has been kicked out and then jump from style to style to earn grades will end up with nothing.

Our school in Osaka is indeed 500+ years old it is a SAMURAI BASED SCHOOL, this includes JUJITSU, KENJUTSU and other martial arts, and as anyone can tell you Karate was a late edition in 1900's by Sakamoto my sensei. Sakamoto was a member of this old style and told me this himself when I last visited Japan, this was cross referenced in Martial Arts encyclopaedia, the name of my school comes from this conversation, just to clarify..

To all those who jump on this band wagon, my qualifications are numerous and well deserved from Japan, Philippines, USA and Australia.

As an 8th Dan and registered in Japan and throughout the world I can say that people like you dont belong in any martial art, those who criticize must have a deep look unto themselves first, get out of your arm chairs and train.
My grades were given by Katsumi Okubo 10th Dan, Meliton Geronimo Sr 10th Dan, Dennis W Kibler SR 10th Dan, Vincente Sanchez 10th Dan, I am registered with IKMA (Japan), WOSSKA (USA), WRBBOF (USA, Japan), MAIA (Australia) WSBP (Philippines) Kali Int. (Philippines) just to name a few Grand Master Vincente Sanchez has placed grades in his syllabus as this is the only way he can monitor progress, I myself hold Punong Guro with my GM and have a license to teach from him directly

Black belts must earn their grades properly the same for most real karate schools, there are no easy grades, and as you know you must learn what you need to learn in order to grade.

Have some nuts and call me or better yet come and see me, and that goes for the rest of you that are talking behind my back. After 43 years of training I know who I am.

Keep it up or else I will see you in court
 

Chris Parker

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Our school in Osaka is indeed 500+ years old it is a SAMURAI BASED SCHOOL, this includes JUJITSU, KENJUTSU and other martial arts, and as anyone can tell you Karate was a late edition in 1900's by Sakamoto my sensei. Sakamoto was a member of this old style and told me this himself when I last visited Japan, this was cross referenced in Martial Arts encyclopaedia, the name of my school comes from this conversation, just to clarify..

Leaving off the rest, can you please name this 500+ year old system from Osaka?

To all those who jump on this band wagon, my qualifications are numerous and well deserved from Japan, Philippines, USA and Australia.

As an 8th Dan and registered in Japan and throughout the world I can say that people like you dont belong in any martial art, those who criticize must have a deep look unto themselves first, get out of your arm chairs and train.
My grades were given by Katsumi Okubo 10th Dan, Meliton Geronimo Sr 10th Dan, Dennis W Kibler SR 10th Dan, Vincente Sanchez 10th Dan, I am registered with IKMA (Japan), WOSSKA (USA), WRBBOF (USA, Japan), MAIA (Australia) WSBP (Philippines) Kali Int. (Philippines) just to name a few Grand Master Vincente Sanchez has placed grades in his syllabus as this is the only way he can monitor progress, I myself hold Punong Guro with my GM and have a license to teach from him directly

Black belts must earn their grades properly the same for most real karate schools, there are no easy grades, and as you know you must learn what you need to learn in order to grade.

We're not overly impressed with resumes, you know...

Have some nuts and call me or better yet come and see me, and that goes for the rest of you that are talking behind my back. After 43 years of training I know who I am.

Keep it up or else I will see you in court

And that kinda talk will get you banned from the site... as well as not really get anyone thinking on your side. Just a friendly heads up.
 

Kickboxer101

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Washin Kan Karate Do - Chotoku Kyan Shorin Ryu

To all brothers and sisters in martial arts around the world, I would like to share my side of this ridiculous story that has been placed on this site.

Firstly, to the PERSON who wrote this nonsense I know who you are, you were expelled from our club earlier this year for trying to steal our name, take our students because you wanted it for your personal gain and ego.You never did what you were told as far as training is concerned and you always wanted things easier for yourself. Obviously, you lack discipline, honour and courage for not talking to me directly, all the things a KARATE KA must have.

You have never completed any training that was required of you, you ran from all your responsibilities and only thought of yourself not the students or the club, never did you train with me overseas. This is why your rank and all standings with us has been taken from you. A student like you who has been kicked out and then jump from style to style to earn grades will end up with nothing.

Our school in Osaka is indeed 500+ years old it is a SAMURAI BASED SCHOOL, this includes JUJITSU, KENJUTSU and other martial arts, and as anyone can tell you Karate was a late edition in 1900's by Sakamoto my sensei. Sakamoto was a member of this old style and told me this himself when I last visited Japan, this was cross referenced in Martial Arts encyclopaedia, the name of my school comes from this conversation, just to clarify..

To all those who jump on this band wagon, my qualifications are numerous and well deserved from Japan, Philippines, USA and Australia.

As an 8th Dan and registered in Japan and throughout the world I can say that people like you dont belong in any martial art, those who criticize must have a deep look unto themselves first, get out of your arm chairs and train.
My grades were given by Katsumi Okubo 10th Dan, Meliton Geronimo Sr 10th Dan, Dennis W Kibler SR 10th Dan, Vincente Sanchez 10th Dan, I am registered with IKMA (Japan), WOSSKA (USA), WRBBOF (USA, Japan), MAIA (Australia) WSBP (Philippines) Kali Int. (Philippines) just to name a few Grand Master Vincente Sanchez has placed grades in his syllabus as this is the only way he can monitor progress, I myself hold Punong Guro with my GM and have a license to teach from him directly

Black belts must earn their grades properly the same for most real karate schools, there are no easy grades, and as you know you must learn what you need to learn in order to grade.

Have some nuts and call me or better yet come and see me, and that goes for the rest of you that are talking behind my back. After 43 years of training I know who I am.

Keep it up or else I will see you in court
Sorry but your post raises a lot of questions you complain the guy ran from his responsibilities, well sorry but any martial artists only responsibility is to train he pays you money so you teach him so he owes you nothing. He never trained with you oversees? Well maybe he simply don't want to or couldn't afford to or couldn't get time off work. It's posts like this and this attitude that put me off traditional martial arts in the first place the fact that instructors think the students owe you anything. They owe you nothing about from class fees and honestly you writing down a lot of names doesn't prove anything and honestly I don't think anyone cares who you trained with or who graded you. The op seemed respectful to you and never outright said anything bad about you and just asked for opinions.

You want to take him to court? Well you'll have a job to prove who it was and honestly he hasn't done anything wrong. You say you know who you are but you seem to be very upset by this thread if you know who you are then things like this shouldn't bother you. Just my 2 cents
 

msmitht

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Washin Kan Karate Do - Chotoku Kyan Shorin Ryu

To all brothers and sisters in martial arts around the world, I would like to share my side of this ridiculous story that has been placed on this site.

Firstly, to the PERSON who wrote this nonsense I know who you are, you were expelled from our club earlier this year for trying to steal our name, take our students because you wanted it for your personal gain and ego.You never did what you were told as far as training is concerned and you always wanted things easier for yourself. Obviously, you lack discipline, honour and courage for not talking to me directly, all the things a KARATE KA must have.

You have never completed any training that was required of you, you ran from all your responsibilities and only thought of yourself not the students or the club, never did you train with me overseas. This is why your rank and all standings with us has been taken from you. A student like you who has been kicked out and then jump from style to style to earn grades will end up with nothing.

Our school in Osaka is indeed 500+ years old it is a SAMURAI BASED SCHOOL, this includes JUJITSU, KENJUTSU and other martial arts, and as anyone can tell you Karate was a late edition in 1900's by Sakamoto my sensei. Sakamoto was a member of this old style and told me this himself when I last visited Japan, this was cross referenced in Martial Arts encyclopaedia, the name of my school comes from this conversation, just to clarify..

To all those who jump on this band wagon, my qualifications are numerous and well deserved from Japan, Philippines, USA and Australia.

As an 8th Dan and registered in Japan and throughout the world I can say that people like you dont belong in any martial art, those who criticize must have a deep look unto themselves first, get out of your arm chairs and train.
My grades were given by Katsumi Okubo 10th Dan, Meliton Geronimo Sr 10th Dan, Dennis W Kibler SR 10th Dan, Vincente Sanchez 10th Dan, I am registered with IKMA (Japan), WOSSKA (USA), WRBBOF (USA, Japan), MAIA (Australia) WSBP (Philippines) Kali Int. (Philippines) just to name a few Grand Master Vincente Sanchez has placed grades in his syllabus as this is the only way he can monitor progress, I myself hold Punong Guro with my GM and have a license to teach from him directly

Black belts must earn their grades properly the same for most real karate schools, there are no easy grades, and as you know you must learn what you need to learn in order to grade.

Have some nuts and call me or better yet come and see me, and that goes for the rest of you that are talking behind my back. After 43 years of training I know who I am.

Keep it up or else I will see you in court
Curious-what is name of school in, osaka, Japan that is 500+ years old. I know about the different Karate schools but they are all relatively new and couldn't be that old. there is an old kendo/Naginata school but I believe less than 150 years in its tradition unless I'm mistaken.
Not being rude as I know nothing about you or your system. honestly curious as to a school that has survived that long.
 

Micky John

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Hello fellow martial art enthusiasts.

I am glad I found this forum and look forward to having many a discussion and learning as much as I can

Firstly this forum was brought to my attention as the original OP was describing myself. I am the person who obtained Purple belt in Arnis under the teachings of my Sensei Mr Darren Lea. I just wanted to give some information about my study as I believe that Sensei Leas integrity was brought into question in regards to giving out belts for money or Fast tracking.

I have been training with Sensei Lea for around one year, and I have a passion for FMA. The information in the original post was incorrect. It was correct that I attended an intense full week of training, this was all day training. This ended in a grading were I was awarded a purple belt. Most of the training I have received in Arnis has been one on one as unfortunately not many students are interested in this art.

This brings me to another point. The Arnis training has only ever been attended by long term members of the club. This is unfortunate as it is a beautiful art and quite fun to practice. So knowing this it is safe to assume that the OP was not posting to ask questions. With this information I can only assume that the point of the whole thread was to bring Mr Leas school and integrity in to question. This saddens me as Mr Lea has dedicated his whole life to the martial arts. If you spend more than five minutes with Mr Lea you would find that he is not pushy as the OP suggests but he is very enthusiastic about martial arts and has a passion to teach anyone who is willing. And thats what the overseas training is about. It is far from a requirement of the training. The point going overseas is to train with the masters nothing else.

As the original post stated that the OP only showed up one night. If you read between the lines the OP knows far to much information about the school and Mr Lea for that to be true. Unfortunately I belive that the whole post was created to slander Mr Lea. It was an attack by a high ranking ex member who was kicked out of the club for a very good reason. For that I am sorry you guys were brought into it

Sorry about the long post, I am happy to answer any questions you have

thanks
 

Steve

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I'm very interested in this samurai training. Can't wait to learn more about it!!​
 
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