Five year old is a first dan black belt...

ATC

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I'd like to thank the father for cheapening the arts and disrespecting black belts (real ones) everywhere.
The art is not cheapened and I am not disrespected. Even if you just gave some 2 year old a belt would not offend me in any way. I could care less. That belt means something entirely different to me than them.

Just because I give someone a black belt does not mean that they have the same meaning of it that I have. So whoever gave her hers simply has a different meaning of the belt than you or I. Maybe she was able to wash the dishes at home by herself so he said you deserve a black belt. Oh well. Not why I would give it to her but he did. So she is only a black belt to those who have the exact same standard as the person that gave it to her. That is all.

Don't feel bad for yourself or the art because someone gave her a belt. The art is something different to each and always has been and always will be.
 

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MJS

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The art is not cheapened and I am not disrespected. Even if you just gave some 2 year old a belt would not offend me in any way. I could care less. That belt means something entirely different to me than them.

Just because I give someone a black belt does not mean that they have the same meaning of it that I have. So whoever gave her hers simply has a different meaning of the belt than you or I. Maybe she was able to wash the dishes at home by herself so he said you deserve a black belt. Oh well. Not why I would give it to her but he did. So she is only a black belt to those who have the exact same standard as the person that gave it to her. That is all.

Don't feel bad for yourself or the art because someone gave her a belt. The art is something different to each and always has been and always will be.

In a way, yes, the art will be cheapened. Don't you remember when I kept saying, "Guilty by association."? People already have a distorted view of the martial arts. People will lump certain arts together. People will assume that all (insert art here) will be the same, if they see a school that hands out black belts like candy.

Of course, in the end, its people like that, that'll have to deal with the comments like you see on this thread and the others in the TKD section. We'll never change the mcdojos of the world, because there will always be people who put the $ before the quality. Oh well.....
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I think that a better way of putting it is that it cheapens the image of the art and it hurts the industry in the long run.

The McDojos that charges a ton of money and deliver a lousy product are not so hidden from the general public as they once were. There are more adult parents now who have been turned off to taekwondo and the mini-mall dojo and who are bypassing both the art and the sport altogether; there are better MA alternatives than what one finds in the McDojo and there are better sport alternatives to Taekwondo.

Let us face it: if Junior wants to be a hot shot athlete, he is presented with much more, much better, and much more established options than Taekwondo or any other sport karate. An athletic kid will go further as an athlete with any one of a number of ball sports and/or wrestling.

Personally, I think that if the McDojo's would just go completely sport and come up with some sort of designated competition black belt; one that indicates that the belt is for competition bracketing, then the practical art and the sport could, structurally, go their separate ways and we could appreciate sport as a sport, and not be comparing child black belts with 25 year in adult practitioners.

Daniel
 

celtic_crippler

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What Daniel said...

People like that also cause me to have to "prove" myself more than I'd like.

I don't advertise what I do in my spare time; however, there have been occasions where people have said, "Oh...you're a black belt in krotty? Well...what would you do if I did this!" and then swung at me.

Neither I nor the poor idiot that swung at me appreciate the image this kind of crap creates. The popular view of "krotty" these days is that it's glorified day-care and a joke. People make fun of it and don't respect it because they have what I call the "Power Ranger Mentality."

McDojo's only contribute to this stigma; especially when they strap a black belt onto a 5 year old.

I don't care how talented the kid is...do you see any 5 year old pee-wee football stars playing in the NFL? Do you see any 5 year old prodigy's in the UFC for that matter? Do you see any 5 year old genius' teaching college level Physics? If you did, how seriously do you think the general public would take them? And, in the event that a particular field became inundated with 5 year olds... then the whole field would suffer for it.

For the sake of argument, let's say the kid had the skills and knowledge. You can't convince me that a child has the mental capability or maturity level to comprehend all the principles as well as a working knowledge of how to apply them.
 

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I have stated before on this forum, and I will say it again, no person under the age of 18 should receive a black belt equivalent in any art. Maybe a junior recognition, but if so they should be required to re test at age 18. I have been in the Chinese martial arts a long time, and one premise that has not changes is that a Master's rank is dependent as much on mental prowess and understanding, along with the amount of honor, that a person has attained over YEARS of sweating blood, as we used to call it. A person of that age or any child has no concept of the precepts mentally that correlate with the physical skills one attains over the years.

This trend dovetails with the overall trend today to not set boundaries of behavior for a child, be worried about your child liking you, and the psychobabble currently foistered by school systems and psychologists that our kids must like us when they are young. My parents and my teachers never cared about us liking them, whether in school or the martial arts. I thought for years one of my three masters absolutely hated me and treated me like crap compared to my classmates. Only later did I find out he did this because he felt I had the most potential but would not handle praise well..LOL! He was right! His actions spurred me to train harder, internalize the lessons learned, and become adept at failing and then learning from it!! But, none of my three teachers would ever dream of giving a black belt to a child! They were reluctant to give one to an adult....LOL! This gives a child a false sense they could actually defend themselves at that age.

The ONLY two people I every saw as a kid who deserved these accolades were Jet Li at age 11 and Ernie Reyes Jr at age 8.
 

celtic_crippler

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I require written tests as part of rank advancement. A five year old couldn't spell half the words much less understand their meaning... so that rules out any 5 year old black belts in my lineage.

Most American Kenpo schools require a thesis paper as part of attaining a black belt... do you think a 5 year old could write a comprehensive paper on a particular concept of martial arts?

Perhaps some other schools/styles/systems that don't do this sort of thing as part of testing should. That way, we'd have less toddler black belts running around and perhaps regain some legitamacy and respect.

...and coloring books don't count as a written test.
 

ATC

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People like that also cause me to have to "prove" myself more than I'd like.

I don't advertise what I do in my spare time; however, there have been occasions where people have said, "Oh...you're a black belt in krotty? Well...what would you do if I did this!" and then swung at me.

Neither I nor the poor idiot that swung at me appreciate the image this kind of crap creates. The popular view of "krotty" these days is that it's glorified day-care and a joke. People make fun of it and don't respect it because they have what I call the "Power Ranger Mentality."

McDojo's only contribute to this stigma; especially when they strap a black belt onto a 5 year old.
I think that the arts themselves create what you speak about. Knowing the arts are suppose to make you know how to handle yourself or fight in most peoples eyes so it is only natural that some idiots will challenge you. Regardless if a 5 year old holds a black belt or not.

I think most people do respect it, regardless of the kids. Most people are aprehensive of anyone their own size and weight anyway so when you add the fact that a same sized person knows any art will make them think twice about doing anything.

People don't respect the weak or anyone they perceive weak or weaker than them I should really say. I think we in the MA community have the perceptions that you speak of. And even we still tend to respece anyone of similar stature.
 

ATC

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I require written tests as part of rank advancement. A five year old couldn't spell half the words much less understand their meaning... so that rules out any 5 year old black belts in my lineage.

Most American Kenpo schools require a thesis paper as part of attaining a black belt... do you think a 5 year old could write a comprehensive paper on a particular concept of martial arts?

Perhaps some other schools/styles/systems that don't do this sort of thing as part of testing should. That way, we'd have less toddler black belts running around and perhaps regain some legitamacy and respect.

...and coloring books don't count as a written test.
Ha ha ha...I get you and understand what you are saying but just because they require something does not mean that they apply they same standards to it that you do. They may even relax their own standards for the sake of age, mental developement or any reason. I think most schools do require some sort of written essay but the standards differ making the point almost moot.
 

ATC

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This gives a child a false sense they could actually defend themselves at that age.

The ONLY two people I every saw as a kid who deserved these accolades were Jet Li at age 11 and Ernie Reyes Jr at age 8.
I don't even think that Jet Li and Ernie Reyes Jr at those ages could defend themselves againt a grown adult.

One of Ernie Masters was also a Master of mine and I knew Ernie when he was young. A bit older than 8 at the time but I still knew him and I can tell you that he was good and there are many just as good as he was at the same age, even today but they cannot defend themselves in a real life and death situation againt an adult at that age. Yes they can handle themselves well againt anyone their age and a few years older but that would be it.

I remember being in class as a color belt and had to spar a 3 Dan girl. She was 20 or so and was really really good. She beat me every which way until I said forget this Matial Arts stuff I am just going to hit her, and I did. I did not try to make it look pretty and I did not try to do any techniques I was taught. I just ran at her and punched her in the chest as hard as I could. She quit...well she balled up on the floor and just laid there. The same would have happen to Jet and Ernie at those ages, so why do they deserve their belts anymore than anyone else?
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I remember being in class as a color belt and had to spar a 3 Dan girl. She was 20 or so and was really really good. She beat me every which way until I said forget this Matial Arts stuff I am just going to hit her, and I did. I did not try to make it look pretty and I did not try to do any techniques I was taught. I just ran at her and punched her in the chest as hard as I could. She quit...well she balled up on the floor and just laid there. The same would have happen to Jet and Ernie at those ages, so why do they deserve their belts anymore than anyone else?
I do not even want to contemplate what it says about her training if she could not evade, block, or somehow defend against someone running at her and throwing a body punch.

And let us look at this illustration. A third dan and twenty. That means that she was no older than eighteen at second and no older than seventeen at first.

I say no older, because unless she had just become third dan, she likely earned these ranks at younger ages. Ninebird's post stated at the outset that nobody under 18 should get a BB and mentioned two exceptions.

Without commenting on the exceptions except that there are some, there is merit to making 18 the benchmark, rather than 15...or five. If I were to have been a white belt watching a colored belt do that to an adult third dan (20 qualifies as adult) in the same school where I trained, I would have had a very hard time taking the training seriously and likely would have found another school. And how old were you at the time? If you were less than fifteen and took her down like that, I would really have made tracks to another school.

You said that she was really good. Define really good.

Good at forms? Good at sparring WTF style? Good at punching the air? Good at breaking boards? Whatever she was good at, defending against punches, charging opponents, and taking a hit were not on the list, and by third dan, they darned well should have been.

I also notice that you said, "She beat me every which way until I said forget this Matial Arts stuff I am just going to hit her, and I did. I did not try to make it look pretty and I did not try to do any techniques I was taught. I just ran at her and punched her in the chest as hard as I could."

I am sorry, but by third dan, I would really hope that she had been taught to defend against someone doing just that.

This is one of my biggest issues with many schools. They act as though sport technique is the equal of self defense. Had you not been another TKD student, you would not have given her the opportunity to "beat you every which way"; you would have just run up and punched her in the chest and been done with it.

It is not clear if she was a fellow student or a student from another school, but if you both had the same teacher, that should have been a huge red flag. Either the training at the school where she was taught produces students that cannot defend themselves outside of the dojo or the owner promotes people who cannot defend themselves. Either way, that does not reflect well on the school where she trained.

Daniel
 

celtic_crippler

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...standards....

That's the crux ain't it?

I don't think standards should be extremely rigid, but I think one's standards shouldn't be as limp as a wet noodle either.

I've lost students due to my high standards but it doesn't bother me because my income is not dependant on it and my primary goal is maintaining the integrity of what I teach.

I don't begrudge anyone making a dollar doing MA, but for cryin' out loud... can we at least have better standards? Or am I really that off in thinking that awarding a 5 year old a black belt is just plain wrong and does more harm than good in regards to our image? :idunno:
 

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I do not even want to contemplate what it says about her training if she could not evade, block, or somehow defend against someone running at her and throwing a body punch.

And let us look at this illustration. A third dan and twenty. That means that she was no older than eighteen at second and no older than seventeen at first.

I say no older, because unless she had just become third dan, she likely earned these ranks at younger ages. Ninebird's post stated at the outset that nobody under 18 should get a BB and mentioned two exceptions.

Without commenting on the exceptions except that there are some, there is merit to making 18 the benchmark, rather than 15...or five. If I were to have been a white belt watching a colored belt do that to an adult third dan (20 qualifies as adult) in the same school where I trained, I would have had a very hard time taking the training seriously and likely would have found another school. And how old were you at the time? If you were less than fifteen and took her down like that, I would really have made tracks to another school.

You said that she was really good. Define really good.

Good at forms? Good at sparring WTF style? Good at punching the air? Good at breaking boards? Whatever she was good at, defending against punches, charging opponents, and taking a hit were not on the list, and by third dan, they darned well should have been.

I also notice that you said, "She beat me every which way until I said forget this Matial Arts stuff I am just going to hit her, and I did. I did not try to make it look pretty and I did not try to do any techniques I was taught. I just ran at her and punched her in the chest as hard as I could."

I am sorry, but by third dan, I would really hope that she had been taught to defend against someone doing just that.

This is one of my biggest issues with many schools. They act as though sport technique is the equal of self defense. Had you not been another TKD student, you would not have given her the opportunity to "beat you every which way"; you would have just run up and punched her in the chest and been done with it.

It is not clear if she was a fellow student or a student from another school, but if you both had the same teacher, that should have been a huge red flag. Either the training at the school where she was taught produces students that cannot defend themselves outside of the dojo or the owner promotes people who cannot defend themselves. Either way, that does not reflect well on the school where she trained.

Daniel
This was a while back and not a sports school at all. We would spar with only the foam feet and hands. Shin guards if you wanted them, and head gear. It was more like kick boxing of old that we were doing. I did not just throw one punch but pretty much bum rushed her and had her backing up. When I did land the punch it was with bad intentions as i was a teenaged boy being embarrased. I would say I was 18 maybe 19. I had just gotten back into the MA after some time off.

She was good in the sense that she could was fast, could hit what she wanted to and her techniques were solid. But she lacked any power to hurt me. It was more of a bother or irritant to get hit by her. I most likely weight about 160 back then and she could not have been no more than 125 maybe 130. She was maybe 5'8" pretty tall, but I am 6'2".

My point was that even though she was more skilled than me she still could not handle brute force. My will was stronger and because I was stronger these two things out classed her skill and training. Just because someone trains and they can be very good, man or woman, If someone has stronger will and is stronger and can withstand anything that they can give out they will physiclly beat them.

That is why there are weight classes from boxing to wrestleing, and sure don't mix women and men.

I do not think that there was anything she could do short of getting lucky with a groin shot or eye gouge. Even a 120 pound man will hit with more force and speed than a 120 pound woman. The two bodies are not built the same or for the same things.
 

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What she should have been able to do as a 3rd Dan is anticipate, at that grade one should have had a huge amount of experience sparring against all sorts of people so she should have been able to see how your body language, posture etc had changed and to expect something. she should have outthought and outflanked you but of course she shouldn't have been that grade at that age! Age and experience will outdo youth and strength because for one thing you get sneakier and slyer as you get older to compensate for losing strength and speed.
ATC I've seen my mate Rosi drop a guy your size lol! He wasn't amused I have to say though. My daughter who is smaller than Rosi ducked under a big guy throwing a punch and took him down with a duck under valley drop, another unhappy guy taken by guile. My daughter is training with Rosi this weekend so goodness knows what she'll come back with!
 

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What she should have been able to do as a 3rd Dan is anticipate, at that grade one should have had a huge amount of experience sparring against all sorts of people so she should have been able to see how your body language, posture etc had changed and to expect something. she should have outthought and outflanked you but of course she shouldn't have been that grade at that age! Age and experience will outdo youth and strength because for one thing you get sneakier and slyer as you get older to compensate for losing strength and speed.
ATC I've seen my mate Rosi drop a guy your size lol! He wasn't amused I have to say though. My daughter who is smaller than Rosi ducked under a big guy throwing a punch and took him down with a duck under valley drop, another unhappy guy taken by guile. My daughter is training with Rosi this weekend so goodness knows what she'll come back with!
First off I would like to say Congrats to your daughter and wish her luck in her training as well.

No about your statement. Yes there are always going to be some exceptions but the norm will always be the norm. If things are kept in context then I'd say the field is level. But once you step outside the guide lines then things tend to tilt towards a more natural conclusion. If I had stayed trying to match her with the limited techniques I had at the time I would not have even touched her.

This happens all the time in real life too. I have seen street fights start off with two guys trying to box each other. One guy is far better at this than the other so the guy that is getting a bloody nose from all the jabs he is taking decides to shoot for the legs or run in an tackle the boxer because in that context he cannot match or even come close to matching his opponent. I see this all the time.

I only mentioned this happening of mine to counter that fact that no matter how skilled an 8 year old prodigy he is no match for any full grown man. I used my own experience with an adult woman and a teenage boy.

It is easy to say that they could side step or parry ones attack, but for how long. You can only run for so long. In any sport match or street fight you will get hit. Now it is can you take that hit and keep hitting back that matters most.
 

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First off I would like to say Congrats to your daughter and wish her luck in her training as well.

No about your statement. Yes there are always going to be some exceptions but the norm will always be the norm. If things are kept in context then I'd say the field is level. But once you step outside the guide lines then things tend to tilt towards a more natural conclusion. If I had stayed trying to match her with the limited techniques I had at the time I would not have even touched her.

This happens all the time in real life too. I have seen street fights start off with two guys trying to box each other. One guy is far better at this than the other so the guy that is getting a bloody nose from all the jabs he is taking decides to shoot for the legs or run in an tackle the boxer because in that context he cannot match or even come close to matching his opponent. I see this all the time.

I only mentioned this happening of mine to counter that fact that no matter how skilled an 8 year old prodigy he is no match for any full grown man. I used my own experience with an adult woman and a teenage boy.

It is easy to say that they could side step or parry ones attack, but for how long. You can only run for so long. In any sport match or street fight you will get hit. Now it is can you take that hit and keep hitting back that matters most.


Cheers, my daughter has her first amateur MMA fight in December should be fun, she's a jockey and as strong as hell lol! she's 24 and been in martial arts since she was 8, she hasn't graded however beyond 7th kyu. She's not interested in grading in anything.

The thing I was trying to get across was that being such a young 3rd Dan she had no experience an older 3rd Dan would have had to escape you. There's a fair bit she could have done to avoid being dumped on the floor or even if she was, getting up and fighting back. At such a young age and at such a relatively high grade there simply isn't the experience, strength and ability there.
Come at me like that and I will take you down, I'm not going to stand and trade punches with a guy, I will take down and hurt in that situation. You need flexibilty of mind which comes with experience not giving BB to children.
 

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Cheers, my daughter has her first amateur MMA fight in December should be fun, she's a jockey and as strong as hell lol! she's 24 and been in martial arts since she was 8, she hasn't graded however beyond 7th kyu. She's not interested in grading in anything.

The thing I was trying to get across was that being such a young 3rd Dan she had no experience an older 3rd Dan would have had to escape you. There's a fair bit she could have done to avoid being dumped on the floor or even if she was, getting up and fighting back. At such a young age and at such a relatively high grade there simply isn't the experience, strength and ability there.
Come at me like that and I will take you down, I'm not going to stand and trade punches with a guy, I will take down and hurt in that situation. You need flexibilty of mind which comes with experience not giving BB to children.
Yes I get your point but I still have to say maybe. We have a couple older guys that just recently tested for 2nd Dan and had to perform SD techniques during their testing. Guess who gets to play the bad guy all the time
icon10.gif
? Yep, me. Well these guys are a bit older in their mid to late 20's and I can tell you they all failed this part. I pretty much man handled them both as would happen in the street and they pretty much did not have the strength to get out of simple holds. One did elbow my ribs pretty good, but it was not enough to make me break my grip and he found himself going to sleep.


I know what you are saying and yes it could be a factor but it could also just as easily not be a factor as well. I think it is up to the individual. We can all say what we will do but when faced with it in real time we can only hope it all pays off. Like I said it only takes one good punch and no one can move or block everything all the time. Sometimes you have to be able to take or with stand an onslaught first. Like I always tell my students; I can take the first one, but can you (refering to my students that is).

Hope you daughter does well. Be proud Mom!!! I think I like watching my kids, win or lose more than me doing it myself anymore.
 

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Yes I get your point but I still have to say maybe. We have a couple older guys that just recently tested for 2nd Dan and had to perform SD techniques during their testing. Guess who gets to play the bad guy all the time
icon10.gif
? Yep, me. Well these guys are a bit older in their mid to late 20's and I can tell you they all failed this part. I pretty much man handled them both as would happen in the street and they pretty much did not have the strength to get out of simple holds. One did elbow my ribs pretty good, but it was not enough to make me break my grip and he found himself going to sleep.


I know what you are saying and yes it could be a factor but it could also just as easily not be a factor as well. I think it is up to the individual. We can all say what we will do but when faced with it in real time we can only hope it all pays off. Like I said it only takes one good punch and no one can move or block everything all the time. Sometimes you have to be able to take or with stand an onslaught first. Like I always tell my students; I can take the first one, but can you (refering to my students that is).

Hope you daughter does well. Be proud Mom!!! I think I like watching my kids, win or lose more than me doing it myself anymore.

Yep always been proud of her lol! Watching your kids fight full contact though is not enjoyable., I'd rather fight myself.
We train full contact and due to my job I get 'involved' a fair bit in fights, I've had punches thrown at me by big guys though funnily enough it's the little ones that are most punchy ( little man syndrome!) and I certainly can take a punch, my teeth will attest to that, though I've been KO'd in the club a couple of times, a punch to the face is okay it's the liver shots I hate though am fond of giving them lol! Taking the first one, standing there afterwards certainly does make the attacker think, oops hit the wrongg one. Again in the course of my work I've had to take someone down, we do take them down, not stand and trade punches.
2nd Dans I know are all in their late thirties, I don't know of any in their twenties.
Our SD is very robust, our instructor is also a close protection officer and doorman as well as having been in the army for over twenty years. He's trained with the best in SD such as Geoff Thompson. The MMA is a separate part of our training but the two complement each other very well, our TSD is probably also more robust than many, gums shields, groin guards and MMA gloves (thats our personal choice) are the only protection and sparring again is full contact.
It's not so much the rank as their age, they are too young for their rank, they can't possibly have the years of experience they should have for their grade. We spend years at one dan grade just learning and gaining experience, no one should be third at 20. If you chaps are going for 2nd but haven't spent a few years at first they won't have much experience, it's just another grading isn't it.
 
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