For those who don't care for ranks

Zero

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Well you see, if you're a white belt you will be working with white belts and other people close in rank or you might be working with people who are of much higher rank but they are going to hold back. They're supposed to hold back if they're of a much higher rank than you. So if you're a white belt and you're working with a brown belt the brown belt is going to hold back and not go all out with you. As long as you're a white belt you will be either working with other low belts who are at beginning levels of skill and experience hence their low ranks or with people of higher ranks who hold back. The only way to train with people of higher ranks who don't hold back is to get to those higher ranks. So that is what I mean by taking your training to the next level.

People have commented on this one a lot already but I gotta also add, this is just plain not the case.

Even if the white belt/junior is coming at it from a lower skill level, you can have people who are very focused on kumite (or kata) tournaments (or just want to excel outside of a tournament environment) and want to get pushed to the limit and beyond to up their skills and ability. As long as they are doing so for the right reasons and are up to it (and most senseis and good experienced seniors will be able to determine that fairly quickly), seniors may well spar and train with them at a far higher level.

Also, seniors may want to, and hopefully do, up the anty with juniors to see what they can take and are capable of...if things look a bit too much, then a good senior will of course throttle it down again (that should go without saying!!). It is a great school that realises that everyone, at all levels, is of different ability in different areas and brings different levels of aptitude with them to class. Again, I have always loved the tournament environment (that's just me) and when I crossed over to karate I started at white/yellow but wanted to be pushed on the competition/fight side of things and got served by the sensei that focused on fighting/competition as much as I could handle. I used to go home at night beaten to hell at first (which I was fine with) but I adapted quickly and my karate game improved exponentially from mixing it with those that had been there and done that.

I think it is the wrong approach to just keep people of the same level primarily training with their peers, the only way to really up your game (be it kata, kumite or whatever) is to play and train with the "big boys".
 

Jaeimseu

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What's telling to me is the use of the term "high rank" in reference to Taekwondo color belts. To me, anything less than 4th Dan is a "low" rank. In certain schools, I'd say maybe under 3rd Dan. I think time consistently training is a much better metric. A belt rank is good for a quick reference, but that's about it. In fact, at my dojang there are no rank stripes on the black belts, so no one really knows what Dan anyone is without asking. And people seldom ask.
 

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Well the thing is, if you do train at a dojo that has ranks, if you stay at a low rank for too long it can cause complications. With higher ranks its not such a problem but staying at low ranks overly long can cause complications with the training.

What types of complications? The only complications I can think of would be that someone is getting frustrated because they're not advancing. Is that what you're talking about? If so, well, I'll call BS on that, because the goal should be learning the art, and getting as good as you can...not worrying what color belt you're wearing or why you're not advancing with Joe, because you both started at the same time, and he tested and you didn't. Those are all BS excuses from people who are more concerned with belts than anything else.
 
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PhotonGuy

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What types of complications? The only complications I can think of would be that someone is getting frustrated because they're not advancing. Is that what you're talking about? If so, well, I'll call BS on that, because the goal should be learning the art, and getting as good as you can...not worrying what color belt you're wearing or why you're not advancing with Joe, because you both started at the same time, and he tested and you didn't. Those are all BS excuses from people who are more concerned with belts than anything else.

Well for one thing you're not going to learn more advanced techniques, particularly katas, if you perpetually stay at a low rank. As I said, staying at a rank indefinitely isn't such a problem with higher belts, somebody on this thread mentioned a student who was eligible to test for Shodan for years but hasn't because they just don't care to test for it. Well, if he's eligible to test for Shodan than he would probably be a brown belt as that's a common belt that lots of schools use right before Shodan. At a belt such as brown not advancing isn't a problem and I know students at my dojo who are at brown and have stopped testing beyond that because they just don't care for rank anymore. At lower belts, though, as I said you are not going to learn more advanced techniques, you are not going to learn more advanced katas, and senior students are more likely to hold back when working with you than if you had a higher rank. There was this one guy at my dojo who was a white belt for about a year as he didn't care to test. He was finally encouraged to test and he passed and got promoted, but being a white belt for as long as he was, it was hindering his progress.
 

ballen0351

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Well for one thing you're not going to learn more advanced techniques, particularly katas, if you perpetually stay at a low rank. As I said, staying at a rank indefinitely isn't such a problem with higher belts, somebody on this thread mentioned a student who was eligible to test for Shodan for years but hasn't because they just don't care to test for it. Well, if he's eligible to test for Shodan than he would probably be a brown belt as that's a common belt that lots of schools use right before Shodan. At a belt such as brown not advancing isn't a problem and I know students at my dojo who are at brown and have stopped testing beyond that because they just don't care for rank anymore. At lower belts, though, as I said you are not going to learn more advanced techniques, you are not going to learn more advanced katas, and senior students are more likely to hold back when working with you than if you had a higher rank. There was this one guy at my dojo who was a white belt for about a year as he didn't care to test. He was finally encouraged to test and he passed and got promoted, but being a white belt for as long as he was, it was hindering his progress.
If you have a good instructor ranks won't matter. They teach what your ready to learn regardless of rank. I've been taught many kata or techniques far beyond my actual belt color. I'm taught the system as I learn one thing and get good my teacher starts teaching me the next and so on and so on. He nor I care about my belt color. We have had 4th kyu come train in the black belt only classes because they were ready to learn what we were working on. I was learning black belt level kata as a 5th kyu because I saw my teacher working on it before class and asked questions about it. He thought I could do it so he taught me.
I still have never tested for rank in my Judo classes and I train in the brown and lack belt classes. My teacher stopped asking me to test because I keep giving him the same answer "I'm here to learn not compete so I don't need a belt" he doesn't teach for the color of the belt he teaches what I'm ready to learn
 
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PhotonGuy

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If you have a good instructor ranks won't matter. They teach what your ready to learn regardless of rank. I've been taught many kata or techniques far beyond my actual belt color. I'm taught the system as I learn one thing and get good my teacher starts teaching me the next and so on and so on. He nor I care about my belt color. We have had 4th kyu come train in the black belt only classes because they were ready to learn what we were working on. I was learning black belt level kata as a 5th kyu because I saw my teacher working on it before class and asked questions about it. He thought I could do it so he taught me.
I still have never tested for rank in my Judo classes and I train in the brown and lack belt classes. My teacher stopped asking me to test because I keep giving him the same answer "I'm here to learn not compete so I don't need a belt" he doesn't teach for the color of the belt he teaches what I'm ready to learn

They must do it differently where you go. Usually you don't learn techniques or forms far beyond your belt and most of the time they never let lower belts into black belt only classes at places that have such classes. Your instructor sounds like somebody who could run a place without rank. Some schools and some styles don't use rank, have you considered training in a place like that?
 

ballen0351

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They must do it differently where you go. Usually you don't learn techniques or forms far beyond your belt and most of the time they never let lower belts into black belt only classes at places that have such classes.
Every place I've ever trained has allowed people who were mature enough to be in higher level classes participate in higher level classes as long as they can keep up.
Your instructor sounds like somebody who could run a place without rank. Some schools and some styles don't use rank, have you considered training in a place like that?
Why would I want to change I like where I am. I train at a place with rank but rank isn't important most of the time we don't even wear belts in class. We only use rank because the umbrella organization sets the basic syllabus and when we train with other school we need to follow headquarters rules. But when it's just us we just train
 

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They must do it differently where you go. Usually you don't learn techniques or forms far beyond your belt and most of the time they never let lower belts into black belt only classes at places that have such classes. Your instructor sounds like somebody who could run a place without rank. Some schools and some styles don't use rank, have you considered training in a place like that?

Photon in regards to your reply to Ballen0351 above, why should he consider or want to train in a different place? I mean he (from the sounds of his post) is training where his sensei listens to him and his needs/wants etc. etc. and doesn't hold back teaching him. From the sounds of it his instructor is teaching him correctly not worrying about the color of the belt but rather looking at the student as an individual instead of just another belt.

There are many different approaches to teaching, in my American karate class that I teach I have all kids (ages 6-teens). OK those classes are broke up by rank and age for ease of teaching for my benefit. However if I identify a student who is really putting forth their best effort and is more skilled than their classmates I'll move them up to the next class, I'll even teach them a higher level kata if they have the kata they need for their next rank down (well enough to pass that part of their next belt exam). Or I'll teach them a kata (or anyo) from say Modern Arnis that is different than their karate/TKD kata to further educate them.

However in my Modern Arnis class if a student (either a kid or an adult) gets a particular drill down, or a disarm down, I'll show them variations of the drill or techniques so they continue to grow even if it isn't part of the "curriculum", or for their next belt level. It might be even from another FMA and not form Modern Arnis.

My karate/TKD class has a much more linear approach to learning (you do A before you learn B, C D, etc. etc.) and the Modern Arnis class has a much more circular approach in that you learn this concept and it might be expressed or displayed in these formats (double stick, single stick, empty hand, or we might throw in espada y daga, or knife or even express it in a drill I learn from a completely different style of FMA). In my Modern Arnis program it is much smaller so everyone works together beginners and advanced, it is broken up only by juniors and adults.

There is also the rotating curriculum format where all students learn this material for this time period, next session it rotates and all students learn the next bit, even brand new students. For instance where in my karate program they learn kata XYZ for yellow, gold and orange belts, in a rotating curriculum student A might come in when you are teaching kata Z, that's OK because the next session student A will be learning kata X and then in the next session kata Y and so on.

Different teachers have different methods, in your school a person who has high skill but low rank might be a problem, but in many of the other schools that people have talked about, that really isn't a problem. Their schools have found a way around it.
 

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They must do it differently where you go. Usually you don't learn techniques or forms far beyond your belt and most of the time they never let lower belts into black belt only classes at places that have such classes. Your instructor sounds like somebody who could run a place without rank. Some schools and some styles don't use rank, have you considered training in a place like that?
Again, all I can say is that your training experience has been sadly limited by this focus on rank and hierarchy. Many schools don't run seperate classes for each belt level; they train, and sometimes break out to work on things that are more segregated, like particular forms that might benefit from being taught in a particular sequence.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Every place I've ever trained has allowed people who were mature enough to be in higher level classes participate in higher level classes as long as they can keep up.
Most places I've trained at allow that too to some extent. Generally, everywhere I've been doesn't have higher level classes but its not uncommon for lower ranking students to sometimes learn more advanced techniques but they're not going to learn much more advanced techniques until they advance in rank, that's how it is where I go.

Why would I want to change I like where I am. I train at a place with rank but rank isn't important most of the time we don't even wear belts in class. We only use rank because the umbrella organization sets the basic syllabus and when we train with other school we need to follow headquarters rules. But when it's just us we just train
So it sounds like at your place that rank isn't taken too seriously and they would just as well get rid of it entirely but that they have to keep it because of the organization that they're a smaller part of, but they don't use it if they don't have to. So its almost like a place that doesn't use rank.
 
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PhotonGuy

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There are many different approaches to teaching, in my American karate class that I teach I have all kids (ages 6-teens). OK those classes are broke up by rank and age for ease of teaching for my benefit. However if I identify a student who is really putting forth their best effort and is more skilled than their classmates I'll move them up to the next class, I'll even teach them a higher level kata if they have the kata they need for their next rank down (well enough to pass that part of their next belt exam). Or I'll teach them a kata (or anyo) from say Modern Arnis that is different than their karate/TKD kata to further educate them.
Learning more advanced techniques and even more advanced kata isn't too uncommon. When I was a green belt I learned the kata for the next belt, blue belt, but in addition to that I also learned the kata for purple belt which comes after blue while still a green belt. But you are not going to learn katas or techniques that are that much more advanced. A white belt is not going to know brown belt katas. And besides, as this one instructor said, part of the glory of advancing in rank is learning the new kata for the next rank. If you know too many advanced katas you don't experience that.

However in my Modern Arnis class if a student (either a kid or an adult) gets a particular drill down, or a disarm down, I'll show them variations of the drill or techniques so they continue to grow even if it isn't part of the "curriculum", or for their next belt level. It might be even from another FMA and not form Modern Arnis.
I wasn't sure Arnis had a ranking system. But like I said its not uncommon to learn more advanced stuff to some extent. And sometimes its good to cross train with techniques from other systems.

Different teachers have different methods, in your school a person who has high skill but low rank might be a problem, but in many of the other schools that people have talked about, that really isn't a problem. Their schools have found a way around it.
I see. Well schools that have found a way around it, they might have various reasons for still using rank such as what Ballen0351 had said about his school belonging to a larger organization where using rank is mandatory, but is there any other reasons a school might still use rank if they've found ways around it?
 
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PhotonGuy

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Again, all I can say is that your training experience has been sadly limited by this focus on rank and hierarchy. Many schools don't run seperate classes for each belt level; they train, and sometimes break out to work on things that are more segregated, like particular forms that might benefit from being taught in a particular sequence.

Well let me ask you this, do you think they should get rid of letter grades in school? (A, B, C, D, F) Sometimes I thought those were more trouble than they're worth. And this question is for everybody.
 

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Well let me ask you this, do you think they should get rid of letter grades in school? (A, B, C, D, F) Sometimes I thought those were more trouble than they're worth. And this question is for everybody.
Actually my kids school has gotten rid of grades. You are marked Satisfactory, meets minimums, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory. I don't necessarily agree with it but that's how they are graded they don't have a,b,c,d grades
 

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Actually my kids school has gotten rid of grades. You are marked Satisfactory, meets minimums, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory. I don't necessarily agree with it but that's how they are graded they don't have a,b,c,d grades
What kind of shiny-arsed clerk came up with those definitions?? Highly inspiring for a child to work their little butt off only to achieve 'Satisfactory'. Awful, awful word, for bureaucrats and clipboard-toting auditors who think they know best, and that everybody else is there to satisfy their criteria. Ugh. Rant over.
 

ballen0351

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What kind of shiny-arsed clerk came up with those definitions?? Highly inspiring for a child to work their little butt off only to achieve 'Satisfactory'. Awful, awful word, for bureaucrats and clipboard-toting auditors who think they know best, and that everybody else is there to satisfy their criteria. Ugh. Rant over.
Oh don't get me started. The entire school system is loosing it's mind. If a kid is bad they can't make them sit in class during recess because of some federal regulation about kids needing exercise everyday. So basically kids get to do what they want. A friend of mine is quiting teaching all together after 4 years because he can't take the BS anymore.
 
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PhotonGuy

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What kind of shiny-arsed clerk came up with those definitions?? Highly inspiring for a child to work their little butt off only to achieve 'Satisfactory'. Awful, awful word, for bureaucrats and clipboard-toting auditors who think they know best, and that everybody else is there to satisfy their criteria. Ugh. Rant over.

You could say the same thing about letter grades. A child could work their little butt off and only achieve a C which is supposed to mean satisfactory, or even if the child gets a B that can be seen as a low grade because its not the almighty A. I've heard people say, "B is for bum."
 

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Well let me ask you this, do you think they should get rid of letter grades in school? (A, B, C, D, F) Sometimes I thought those were more trouble than they're worth. And this question is for everybody.
Irrelevant. We're not talking about a classroom, or basic education. That said... there's an argument to be made for recognizing mastery rather than grades, since the meaning of an A which once meant that the student went significantly beyond the minimum requirements to meaning that the student showed up... In way to many classrooms today, the "gentleman's C" for doing the required work and not looking deeper has become an A...
 

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Well for one thing you're not going to learn more advanced techniques, particularly katas, if you perpetually stay at a low rank.

Actually not true: I have been in at least 3 different schools that will teach a form/kata to the whole class in attendance no matter what rank and tell them " this is a X rank form learn it you will need it for that rank"

Some people do not want the rank for a verity of reasons and some instructors respect those reasons but still give advance instruction knowing the person could be a higher rank if they wanted to test
 
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PhotonGuy

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Irrelevant. We're not talking about a classroom, or basic education. That said... there's an argument to be made for recognizing mastery rather than grades, since the meaning of an A which once meant that the student went significantly beyond the minimum requirements to meaning that the student showed up... In way to many classrooms today, the "gentleman's C" for doing the required work and not looking deeper has become an A...

That depends where you get the A or the C. If you go to a really tough private prep school what would be an A in the standard level of public school would be a C there.

I know this guy in my town who was a straight A student and top of the class at his public school, he then transferred to this really hard private school where he was a B and C student and at the middle of his class.
 

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You could say the same thing about letter grades. A child could work their little butt off and only achieve a C which is supposed to mean satisfactory, or even if the child gets a B that can be seen as a low grade because its not the almighty A. I've heard people say, "B is for bum."
It's different. The letter grades don't say anything other than a letter. It is the use of the word 'satisfactory' as the highest achievable result that irks me. Why not 'Exceptional' or some other positive superlative, rather than some arrogant suited ninny assessing your work and saying 'yes, you may have tried hard but by my standard even the best work is only satisfactory.'

A child that gets a B or C at least has the opportunity to get an A. When satisfactory is the best result possible, it isn't exactly motivating.
 
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