How the Japanese view of the black belt

Steve

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I wonder if that’s why things tend to be different in the U.K.? We were late comers to the Eastern martial arts and many sought out teacher after watching Enter the Dragon! Thus they were civilian enthusiast and the way they acted in the dojo was a reflection of how they were taught. Of course there were hard ar*ses (anyone remember Danny Connor?) but my experience is of a less intimidating atmosphere in the dojo.
Suffragettes were learning jiu jitsu much earlier. Weren’t they?

 

HighKick

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It seems that some Western teachers impersonate their clichéd idea of what they think a Japanese school/teacher is like: strutting around with chest puffed out, abrupt shouts of admonishment, rough treatment, glowers of disdain and generally treating their adult students like naughty children. This cliché is clearly bleeding over into grading examinations!

When I’ve trained in Japan, I’ve found the teachers and sempai to be much more pleasant than their equivalents in the West!
It could be. But I feel much of it comes from external sources and the instructor's base personality.
For example, if the instructor came up through high school playing most of the organized sports that are part of public school, the loud, stern coach was part and parcel. If the instructor has a military background, the same is true and it just gets imprinted on their martial art teaching style.
 
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PhotonGuy

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There were a few Japanese karate sensei such as Yamashita, Yamazaki and Demura who began teaching in the 1960's and 70's and a bunch of sponsored Korean TKD guys, but still, this number is much smaller than the number of schools run by ex-military and their students as well as Parker kenpo that grew exponentially during this time and into the 80's.
Well to this day you still have senseis from Japan and Korea who move to the USA and who open up dojos in the USA.
 
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PhotonGuy

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That may be completely true for Chinese, Filipino, and - to some extent - Korean martial arts, but it's a half-truth at best for Japanese and Okinawan arts.

The whole truth in the case of the latter is this: Japanese instructors (who were expats, not immigrants) were sent by JKA and other Japanese organizations around the world to expand the art by growing cadres of qualified instructors who were native to those countries. Okinawan styles got to the US by military personnel who were stationed there.
Even if they were expats, the point is that they were originally from Japan. They were born in Japan and grew up in Japan. Therefore I would figure they would teach the same way they would as if they were in Japan.

Some of the styles and instruction of Okinawan arts in the USA might've come from US soldiers who were stationed in Japan but Im not sure of just what percent. Before I started training at the Goju Ryu dojo Im at now which is run by an American instructor I looked at this other Goju Ryu dojo which had an Asian instructor who no doubt was originally from Japan.
 
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PhotonGuy

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An (admittedly) smaller set of people can do 500 press ups, perform 500 sit ups and run 10 miles etc. That doesn’t mean they’re good at Karate.
Do they do it in sets or do they do the entire 500 press ups and sit ups non stop? Its not uncommon for people to run 10 miles non stop, marathon runners run 26 miles non stop, but I've never heard of anybody doing 500 press ups and 500 sit ups non stop, without doing them in sets.
 

Hot Lunch

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Do they do it in sets or do they do the entire 500 press ups and sit ups non stop? Its not uncommon for people to run 10 miles non stop, marathon runners run 26 miles non stop, but I've never heard of anybody doing 500 press ups and 500 sit ups non stop, without doing them in sets.
It's in sets. They alternate between pushups, situps, and kicks until the 500/500/1000 is reached.
 
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Hot Lunch

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An (admittedly) smaller set of people can do 500 press ups, perform 500 sit ups and run 10 miles etc. That doesn’t mean they’re good at Karate.
At face value, this is a very true statement. But... I'm also sure that you've correctly guessed that in an environment where this is asked of their students, they're also very tough on the students when it comes to their karate. Paying people money to treat you like a child gets old after awhile. Well... for some, it doesn't (probably because they're not aware that something different is out there).
 

Wing Woo Gar

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It's in sets. They alternate between pushups, situps, and kicks until the 500/500/1000 is reached.
That is more push-ups than I can do by a lot. 10 mile run? Not a chance I can do that. Kicks and sit ups I can do. That sounds really tough, I’m impressed by those standards. Any idea what the pass/ fail ratio is?
 

Gyakuto

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Do they do it in sets or do they do the entire 500 press ups and sit ups non stop? Its not uncommon for people to run 10 miles non stop, marathon runners run 26 miles non stop, but I've never heard of anybody doing 500 press ups and 500 sit ups non stop, without doing them in sets.
I meant as part of a grading!
 

Gerry Seymour

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Much of the martial arts we have today in the US is from immigration, instructors from Japan and from other countries in the Orient who move to the US and open up dojos in the US.
That is true, but I don’t think he was speaking of Japanese immigrants when he said they were impersonating what they though Japanese instructors would do.
 

Gerry Seymour

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An (admittedly) smaller set of people can do 500 press ups, perform 500 sit ups and run 10 miles etc. That doesn’t mean they’re good at Karate.
And I’d bet good money that most people who did that 500 push-up requirement didn’t do anything like 500 decent push-ups. I had an instructor who bragged how many he could do (as well as how quickly). While he was more fit than me, when he demonstrated his per-minute prowess, he was doing “mini-presses”.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I wonder if that’s why things tend to be different in the U.K.? We were late comers to the Eastern martial arts and many sought out teacher after watching Enter the Dragon! Thus they were civilian enthusiast and the way they acted in the dojo was a reflection of how they were taught. Of course there were hard ar*ses (anyone remember Danny Connor?) but my experience is of a less intimidating atmosphere in the dojo.
I’d guess that’s a good part of the overall difference I’ve heard discussed here. There’s a lot I used to see (less common now) in dojos that makes much more sense if you consider that military influence.
 

Gerry Seymour

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It could be. But I feel much of it comes from external sources and the instructor's base personality.
For example, if the instructor came up through high school playing most of the organized sports that are part of public school, the loud, stern coach was part and parcel. If the instructor has a military background, the same is true and it just gets imprinted on their martial art teaching style.
Frankly, for a long time, the general conception of leadership by many in the US was a severe and uncompromising personality. Probably based on those examples.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Well to this day you still have senseis from Japan and Korea who move to the USA and who open up dojos in the USA.
This is also true. It’s worth noting that I have visited quite a few schools in several arts. None were run by Asian immigrants or ex-pats. Most were run by Americans who had trained under Americans.
 
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PhotonGuy

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I’ve never trained in the USA, but the several Japanese teachers with whom I’ve trained in the U.K., are/were all very normal. They were formal at first, but quick to make a joke and laugh.
Well I would think that a Japanese sensei who was born in and grew up in Japan would teach the way they would teach in Japan regardless if they're teaching in the UK, the USA, or anywhere else.
 
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PhotonGuy

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This is also true. It’s worth noting that I have visited quite a few schools in several arts. None were run by Asian immigrants or ex-pats. Most were run by Americans who had trained under Americans.
Well that's your experience. As for me, I do not know the percentage of karate instructors in the USA who are from the USA vs those who are from Japan but the point is, as I said in post #217, that I would think an instructor from Japan whose teaching in the USA would teach the way they would in Japan.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Well that's your experience. As for me, I do not know the percentage of karate instructors in the USA who are from the USA vs those who are from Japan but the point is, as I said in post #217, that I would think an instructor from Japan whose teaching in the USA would teach the way they would in Japan.
Mostly, I'll agree - their method will be an outcome of their past experience. It's likely altered some by the environment they are in (both the cultural influence on them, and the different needs/expectations of the students).

I expect there are arts where there's a higher percentage of Asian instructors. When I think of the TKD, Hapkido, and Kuk Sool Wan schools I've seen (not visited), those had a much higher percentage of Asian chief instructors/owners than the Karate, Aikido, Judo, FMA, etc. that I've either seen or visited.
 

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I expect there are arts where there's a higher percentage of Asian instructors. When I think of the TKD, Hapkido, and Kuk Sool Wan schools I've seen (not visited), those had a much higher percentage of Asian chief instructors/owners than the Karate, Aikido, Judo, FMA, etc. that I've either seen or visited.
This.

Even on the ISKF website, if you click on random member dojos, you'll see that none are run by Japanese, except for the hombu dojo, run by Hiroyoshi Okazaki himself

Japan has been a first world country for a century (give or take), so there's very little incentive for Japanese people to emigrate to North America or Europe. South Korea only started to become first world in 90's, so it makes sense that there are TKD and Hapkido dojangs run by South Koreans who immigrated before then.
 
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