first colored belt tests

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,153
Reaction score
827
Location
Kennewick, WA
From my kenpo days:
Yellow belt requirements: usually about 2 or 3 months
salutation
3 main stances (horse stance, training horse, neutral bow)
4 main blocks (in, up, down, out)
6 hand weapons (reverse punch, vertical punch, chop, palm heel, ridge hand, back fist/knuckle)
11 self defense techniques
two forms (short 1, finger set)
have creed memorized
 

PhotonGuy

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
3,753
Reaction score
437
From my kenpo days:
Yellow belt requirements: usually about 2 or 3 months
salutation
3 main stances (horse stance, training horse, neutral bow)
4 main blocks (in, up, down, out)
6 hand weapons (reverse punch, vertical punch, chop, palm heel, ridge hand, back fist/knuckle)
11 self defense techniques
two forms (short 1, finger set)
have creed memorized

So did they have a form that listed all the requirements that you could look at? Also, how about kicking techniques?
 

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,153
Reaction score
827
Location
Kennewick, WA
So did they have a form that listed all the requirements that you could look at? Also, how about kicking techniques?

Yes, we hand every student the appropriate rank sheet that delineates all the requirements for the appropriate belt. And it looks like I left kicks off of my list, there should be 4 (front, side, back, wheel).
 

PhotonGuy

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
3,753
Reaction score
437
Yes, we hand every student the appropriate rank sheet that delineates all the requirements for the appropriate belt. And it looks like I left kicks off of my list, there should be 4 (front, side, back, wheel).

I see. Well that's good for students to see what they need to do for their next test, although some people such as Gnarlie would no doubt disagree with that. But at my dojo and I would assume at your dojo too, there's much more to it than just knowing the proper techniques. You also have to perform them to a certain level of proficiency depending on the belt you're testing for. For instance, at my dojo you have to perform the front kick for both the yellow belt and the brown belt test, but with a much greater degree when testing for brown belt. A front kick that's just good enough for yellow belt will not pass a brown belt test.
 

Gnarlie

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
445
Location
Germany
I'm not a fan of documenting requirements, because the moment you document something it tends to become used as the hard and fast gold standard, when the reality is we can test you on whatever you have done in your time training.

There's only a need to document if the test is in some way different to the training, and at our place that is not the case. How and what we train is how and what we test.
 
Last edited:

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,153
Reaction score
827
Location
Kennewick, WA
I'm not a fan of documenting requirements, because the moment you document something it tends to become used as the hard and fast gold standard, when the reality is we can test you on whatever you have done in your time training.

There's only a need to document if the test is in some way different to the training, and at our place that is not the case. How and what we train is how and what we test.

Hmm, perhaps I was incorrect. Just so I understand, you don't have fixed standards for Belt X? Or is it more of a "we know what a black belt is when we see it" kind of thing?
 

Gnarlie

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
445
Location
Germany
Hmm, perhaps I was incorrect. Just so I understand, you don't have fixed standards for Belt X? Or is it more of a "we know what a black belt is when we see it" kind of thing?
Yes we have standards and a documented guideline syllabus for trainers. But it is communicated to the student through training face to face, not on paper. Learning by doing rather than by just telling or showing.

An example: for beginners we use a couple of in house created forms to communicate all basic required techniques up to green belt. If they have trained once a week for three months they will have performed this form both by numbers and in their own time more than enough times to be able to do it or any of the techniques from it at will. It is not a form that we document. If someone can't perform it on their own, they haven't been training.
 

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,153
Reaction score
827
Location
Kennewick, WA
By a written curriculum I meant a sheet showing rank requirements, not a step by step breakdown of a form, that would be silly.
 

Gnarlie

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
445
Location
Germany
By a written curriculum I meant a sheet showing rank requirements, not a step by step breakdown of a form, that would be silly.
Yes, we don't use form breakdowns either.

There is a documented syllabus, and there are defined guideline requirements for each grade, but they are for the trainer's use and are not given to students on paper, or discussed directly. If we think someone needs to work on their side kick to promote, we will train side kick with them, rather than telling them to go away and practice it. This way the trainer has accountability for what they train, and they aren't just 'teaching to the test' or laying off all the responsibility onto the individuals.
 

Gnarlie

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
445
Location
Germany
I think a factor that causes a difference regarding documentation and communication of requirements is how training time is viewed.

Is it for learning new things to be practiced at home?

or

Is it for learning and practicing new things, and maintaining / developing existing skills?

If the latter is true, as it is at our place, there is less need to talk about requirements.
 

PhotonGuy

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
3,753
Reaction score
437
If we think someone needs to work on their side kick to promote, we will train side kick with them, rather than telling them to go away and practice it. This way the trainer has accountability for what they train, and they aren't just 'teaching to the test' or laying off all the responsibility onto the individuals.

You must have either a small school or lots of instructors to be able to give students such individual attention.
 

Gnarlie

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
1,913
Reaction score
445
Location
Germany
You must have either a small school or lots of instructors to be able to give students such individual attention.

Not particularly, we have a lot of people. There is one instructor in each class. We break them up to keep things efficient. Classes are split, kids and adults do not train in the same session, and neither do beginners and advanced. This means training focuses on the things it needs to focus on for the group.

In the case of beginners, heavy drilling of basics in many different formats that physically teach how the techniques work. A example would be slow motion kicking over an obstacle for side kick, forcing a high chamber, then slow kicking between obstacles to force a linear kick. Then repeating with a wall close behind to avoid leaning back and reinforce correct posture. Then going to full speed kicks against a pad or opponent.

By the time they reach the advanced class they have a foundation of correct technique and can work on drilling refinements and applications.
 

PhotonGuy

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
3,753
Reaction score
437
Well there's been some good feedback on this thread. Anyway, Im thinking of starting a thread about being told when you're going to test for belts vs having to ask to test. For those who are sick of such threads or who constantly hit themselves on the head when reading my posts, you've been warned.
 
OP
tshadowchaser

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,460
Reaction score
732
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
for a yellow belt I expect the following:
being able to preform our basic block and strike routine
be able to preform basic 4 kicks by the numbers and with moderate power and speed
know our first 3 basic forms and 1 tension form
show me the first 5 self defense moves and 5 made up on the spot
know the name of the systems and the correct names/terms for the instructors
Now this may change if there is a learning disability or physical handicap
 

PhotonGuy

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
3,753
Reaction score
437
Well anyway, there has been discussion here, possibly on this thread about how it can be hard for somebody who has an advanced belt in one place for them to wear a white belt at another place where they're just starting out. I would have to say not necessarily. As for me, I would actually prefer to start at the beginning so contrary to the impression some people might have of me on this board I am not all about rank and hierarchy.
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
21,140
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Pueblo West, CO
Well anyway, there has been discussion here, possibly on this thread about how it can be hard for somebody who has an advanced belt in one place for them to wear a white belt at another place where they're just starting out.

It would only be "hard" for someone whose ego is wrapped up the their belt. Belts are for wrapping your waist. Not your ego.
 

PhotonGuy

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
3,753
Reaction score
437
It would only be "hard" for someone whose ego is wrapped up the their belt. Belts are for wrapping your waist. Not your ego.
Well earning a belt is not something I need to flaunt and if I was to start at a new place in a new style, I wouldn't care what color the belt wrapping my waist is when I start there. The best way to learn is by starting from the beginning and learning everything from scratch. As they say, empty your cup. I do see earning a belt, however, as fulfilling a challenge, and I don't consider spending about five dollars to buy a belt as much of a challenge.
 
OP
tshadowchaser

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,460
Reaction score
732
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
someone coming into my training area is expected to wear a white belt if they are just starting to learn my system and wear my patch . They may wear their own belt ( regardless of color) if they wear their old uniform.
I may at my discretion place them in position of the rank they hold in another system while they have my uniform patch on to show they hold rank in another system but when they test they take the same test as anyone else that tests for the color belt.
Most experienced people I have know did not hesitate to put on a white belt in a new school. Most do not want to wear their own belt if it is a completely new system. Most good martial arts people I have known want to test with no special consideration being given to them because of old rank in a different system. They may learn faster but no always, and they may want to wait until a black belt test would be given to them because of their new knowledge but most want to go through all the steps of testing beginning with the first colored belt test.
 
Top