If your art has tests, are they cumulative or do your students brain dump?

Dirty Dog

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While I agree with your premise, DD, I don't think immediate recall of a kata is necessary to understanding. For instance, there are versions of the classical forms of NGA that I don't practice (I introduced alternative forms in some cases). When I visit another school, I often ask a senior student or the instructor to quickly show me those, so I can recall the sequence in them, if we are going to be practicing them in class. Once I'm reminded by that quick run-through, I can provide good feedback to students (sometimes the class instructor will ask me to give students feedback, as a guest instructor to the class). I know those forms inside and out, but can't always call them up exactly from my memory without a visual cue first.

If theyre not part of your curriculum; not required knowledge, then forgetting them is no problem.
If they ARE part of the required curriculum, then there is a problem.
I dont expect students to remember the Chang Hon forms. Unless theyre pursuing KKW rank, theyre not expected to learn the Taegeuk forms.
But you can count on them to know everything thats part of the required curriculum.



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Gerry Seymour

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If theyre not part of your curriculum; not required knowledge, then forgetting them is no problem.
If they ARE part of the required curriculum, then there is a problem.
I dont expect students to remember the Chang Hon forms. Unless theyre pursuing KKW rank, theyre not expected to learn the Taegeuk forms.
But you can count on them to know everything thats part of the required curriculum.



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Agreed. My point was that someone can have depth of understanding of a form, while also being unable to recall it perfectly without a reminder. How much of a problem that is depends how the form is used. I can actually teach those classical forms I don't normally use, as long as I get a quick reminder of them. The reminder can even have errors in it, but will give me enough cues to remember the correct form. I could see that happening in the situation Skribs is talking about. Whether that becomes an issue or not depends how often the person is expected to teach/evaluate those forms. If I were going to teach regularly at one of those schools, I'd practice enough to get back to immediate recall. When I'm training there as a student (even as a BB student), immediate recall isn't always necessary, though it helps.
 
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skribs

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It's funny really you're asking a question yet getting very defensive when people give you their opinion just because it's not what you want to hear

Because the opinions are (to summarize):
1. That people at my school don't know anything because they aren't tested on earlier kata
2. That our helpers are worthless because they don't have rote memorization of the kata
3. That our school is a McDojo because of our testing structure

So, yes, the opinions are that my school is terrible, is why I'm defensive.
 
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If theyre not part of your curriculum; not required knowledge, then forgetting them is no problem.
If they ARE part of the required curriculum, then there is a problem.
I dont expect students to remember the Chang Hon forms. Unless theyre pursuing KKW rank, theyre not expected to learn the Taegeuk forms.
But you can count on them to know everything thats part of the required curriculum.



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You can get a KKW rank using Palgwe forms. We don't have the Taegeuks at my school.
 
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These are some quotes from page 2 I missed the first time around.

Ok, so who out of that group is really your teacher? Is it one particular person, or are you a student of the teaching staff of that school?

Who is actually giving you instruction, who has authority to critique and give you corrections, and test and promotions?

There needs to be some level of consistency. If some black belt who you have never trained with before or perhaps never even seen before comes along at one of these events and suddenly starts telling you that you are doing things wrong, do you trust him?

The Master or one of the certified instructors at the school provides instruction. Black belts and Junior Black Belts (what we call 1st keub) assist with class. The master or instructor will go over the form, and then we may have a helper work on the form with the students or we may continue to work with them. The helper therefore gets a quick refresh of the form, and that's usually enough for them to lead it.

The issue with brain dumping for me is that higher grades need to be able to help lower grades. They can't do that in the brain dump scenario. Which I guess is OK if the green belts and white belts are never in the same class, and the syllabus is structured in such a way that it isn't a problem.

But still, IMO there isn't that much new material at each belt level that the whole time in class needs to be dedicated to it.

That time is better spent re-practicing something known (basic foundations) than practicing only new, more advanced skills and dropping the underlying basics.

There are some things that hold true right through the journey, and those tend to be the things in the early forms.

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This is not the case at my school. Every belt includes more advanced kicking techniques, new forms, more advanced self defense skills for various situations, among a few other things. Everything that is on the curriculum for the green belt test is a new technique, combination, or pattern from the previous test.

At your school you may have a more cumulative approach where a few new techniques and maybe a form are added. This is how the school I was at when I was a kid did things. But there is a lot of new stuff to learn at every belt level at my school.
 

Gnarlie

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You can get a KKW rank using Palgwe forms. We don't have the Taegeuks at my school.
You shouldn't be able to. Gradings should be based on Taegeuk. Trouble is, KKW put their trust in the KKW masters around the world, and not all masters are doing what the KKW thinks they are doing.

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Headhunter

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Because the opinions are (to summarize):
1. That people at my school don't know anything because they aren't tested on earlier kata
2. That our helpers are worthless because they don't have rote memorization of the kata
3. That our school is a McDojo because of our testing structure

So, yes, the opinions are that my school is terrible, is why I'm defensive.
Hey you asked the question. Don't ask a question if you don't want it answered. Sorry if the answers what you wanted to hear (I'm not really) but those are people's honest opinions
 

Headhunter

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These are some quotes from page 2 I missed the first time around.



The Master or one of the certified instructors at the school provides instruction. Black belts and Junior Black Belts (what we call 1st keub) assist with class. The master or instructor will go over the form, and then we may have a helper work on the form with the students or we may continue to work with them. The helper therefore gets a quick refresh of the form, and that's usually enough for them to lead it.



This is not the case at my school. Every belt includes more advanced kicking techniques, new forms, more advanced self defense skills for various situations, among a few other things. Everything that is on the curriculum for the green belt test is a new technique, combination, or pattern from the previous test.

At your school you may have a more cumulative approach where a few new techniques and maybe a form are added. This is how the school I was at when I was a kid did things. But there is a lot of new stuff to learn at every belt level at my school.
Yeah every belt in kenpo has a lot to learn for each new belt. We have 16 or 20 techniques per belt plus a form and set. Yet everyone there is fine with it. Because you should've practiced your stuff so much for each test that it shouldn't just be forgotten. As your progress the old stuff should be getting better each time and that's what the testing panel are looking for more. They'd be happier to see the old stuff looking amazing and the new stuff not as good which is understandable because it's not been practiced as much as the old stuff.

To be honest saying we've got to much to learn to practice old stuff just sounds lazy to me that's my opinion.
 

oftheherd1

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I've never figured out how to do group tests for my curriculum. Mind you, I'd need a group larger than 2 ready to test at the same time in order for that to even be a consideration.
My guess is that it is because different arts tend to teach if varying ways, depending on what each one's philosophy is towards what each deems it most important to be learned, therefore, how the art needs to be taught/learned.
 

oftheherd1

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I agree that could work, especially if he can trust the other BBs' ability to test. By doing it all together, there's more consistency than if each BB tested a few people separately, and it gives the head guy better feedback on what to teach differently or focus on in the classes.

Different schools, different ways. In my school, the GM tested all students. It has been a long time, but I think he tested individually, but I am not sure. I have seen him involved in a conversation while others were practicing, yet somehow able to watch sets of up to 20 students, and pick out one set and go correct one of them doing something wrong. Testing more than one student at a time would have been no problem. At BB testing, for sure several students would be tested at a time, but there would be several GM or Masters grading.
 

oftheherd1

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While I agree with your premise, DD, I don't think immediate recall of a kata is necessary to understanding. For instance, there are versions of the classical forms of NGA that I don't practice (I introduced alternative forms in some cases). When I visit another school, I often ask a senior student or the instructor to quickly show me those, so I can recall the sequence in them, if we are going to be practicing them in class. Once I'm reminded by that quick run-through, I can provide good feedback to students (sometimes the class instructor will ask me to give students feedback, as a guest instructor to the class). I know those forms inside and out, but can't always call them up exactly from my memory without a visual cue first.

Personally, from my experience in MA, I have to agree with what you quoted, minus the suggestion of McDojo. As I have stated before, I have really only studied two MA, TKD, where I didn't progress too far, and Hapkido, where I studied to 3rd Dan, but only tested to 2nd Dan. In both, we were expected to retain everything previously learned, and also expected to keep improving on what was already learned, as we learned new things. I simply can't see value to learning any other way. It seems improper practice moving on to new techniques, or forms (in those MA that have them), without having what went before as a solid basis to build from.

But still, to each their own. If I don't study an art, or have the ability to watch them in person, I am ill equipped to judge them. But is wasn't how I learned.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Personally, from my experience in MA, I have to agree with what you quoted, minus the suggestion of McDojo. As I have stated before, I have really only studied two MA, TKD, where I didn't progress too far, and Hapkido, where I studied to 3rd Dan, but only tested to 2nd Dan. In both, we were expected to retain everything previously learned, and also expected to keep improving on what was already learned, as we learned new things. I simply can't see value to learning any other way. It seems improper practice moving on to new techniques, or forms (in those MA that have them), without having what went before as a solid basis to build from.

But still, to each their own. If I don't study an art, or have the ability to watch them in person, I am ill equipped to judge them. But is wasn't how I learned.
I'm not sure what "suggestion of McDojo" you're referring to, OTH.
 
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You shouldn't be able to. Gradings should be based on Taegeuk. Trouble is, KKW put their trust in the KKW masters around the world, and not all masters are doing what the KKW thinks they are doing.

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My Master had his curriculum approved. I'm not sure if it was by KKW itself or a grand master, but it had to be approved. He also has to send videos of his wife's and son's tests to KKW for approval, so they know his requirements.

Hey you asked the question. Don't ask a question if you don't want it answered. Sorry if the answers what you wanted to hear (I'm not really) but those are people's honest opinions

So I'm not allowed to react to their opinions?

I'm not sure what "suggestion of McDojo" you're referring to, OTH.

Well, yes it does. Because part of our process is the requirement that you know the material. Not that you can follow along with someone else, but know it. And understand it. Neither of which is a requirement in your system, obviously.
Frankly, what you describe screams McDojo to me.

This is from Page 4 of the thread is where the suggestion of McDojo came from.
 

Headhunter

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My Master had his curriculum approved. I'm not sure if it was by KKW itself or a grand master, but it had to be approved. He also has to send videos of his wife's and son's tests to KKW for approval, so they know his requirements.



So I'm not allowed to react to their opinions?





This is from Page 4 of the thread is where the suggestion of McDojo came from.
Do what you want makes no difference to me just saying if you don't want people to give honest opinions and get upset over them don't ask the question.
 

Gnarlie

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My Master had his curriculum approved. I'm not sure if it was by KKW itself or a grand master, but it had to be approved. He also has to send videos of his wife's and son's tests to KKW for approval, so they know his requirements.

I find it very highly unlikely that KKW have approved use of anything other than their standard form set for 1st Dan, given that those forms have been in place since the seventies.

They would also not ask for video of gradings. Somebody is not being completely straight with you.

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oftheherd1

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Because the opinions are (to summarize):
1. That people at my school don't know anything because they aren't tested on earlier kata
2. That our helpers are worthless because they don't have rote memorization of the kata
3. That our school is a McDojo because of our testing structure

So, yes, the opinions are that my school is terrible, is why I'm defensive.

1. Never said that specifically. I don't think testing at each test, of all learned from day one is necessary, at least until all Red belt techniques were taught. But when I studied, if we were at least Blue Belt, we would be expected to do some teaching. Plus, most students practiced earlier techniques on their own.
2. I never personally said they were worthless. But in the two schools I learned at, you would not learn a new form or technique without being able to demonstrate learning of the previous forms or techniques. Actually, I should probably say of previous gups. You may not agree with that, or see any value to it, but that is how we did it, and it just seemed right.
3. Testing structure alone probably would not be useful to define a school's teaching worth. Nor would not knowing all techniques/forms from a certain point after they are learned. But the more you add, the worse it starts to look.

I am also curious about the curriculum of your school. Your instructor seems to have more TKD techniques to fill out the HKD curriculum. If that is so, and that is the way he wishes to teach, that is his business. But I am not sure if he can properly call it Hapkido. I don't mean that to say what he teaches has no value. Only you and his other students can determine that.
 

oftheherd1

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I'm not sure what "suggestion of McDojo" you're referring to, OTH.

Geez gpseyour, as long as we have been posting here at MT, you should be able to figure out what I mean, not what I say. ;) :) It was Post #65 by Dirty Dog. It looks like I put that comment and his reply to one of your comments together. Sorry. That sure wasn't intended. I have always much respect for you and your posts.
 
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I am also curious about the curriculum of your school. Your instructor seems to have more TKD techniques to fill out the HKD curriculum. If that is so, and that is the way he wishes to teach, that is his business. But I am not sure if he can properly call it Hapkido. I don't mean that to say what he teaches has no value. Only you and his other students can determine that.

The opposite, in fact. The Taekwondo class includes some Hapkido techniques (although easier-to-learn versions of them), but the Hapkido class is strictly Hapkido.

Do what you want makes no difference to me just saying if you don't want people to give honest opinions and get upset over them don't ask the question.

Have I been a bit defensive? Yes.
Have I been attacking people? Have I been degrading their opinion (other than that which directly applies to me)? Have I assumed superiority? Have I threatened people? Have I been vulgar? Have I resorted to insulting people instead of attacking ideas? No.
I've merely been trying to point out that there are different ways of teaching, and just because I'm not using your way or their way, doesn't mean our school is doing it wrong, as seems to be the general consensus in the thread.

1. Never said that specifically. I don't think testing at each test, of all learned from day one is necessary, at least until all Red belt techniques were taught. But when I studied, if we were at least Blue Belt, we would be expected to do some teaching. Plus, most students practiced earlier techniques on their own.
2. I never personally said they were worthless. But in the two schools I learned at, you would not learn a new form or technique without being able to demonstrate learning of the previous forms or techniques. Actually, I should probably say of previous gups. You may not agree with that, or see any value to it, but that is how we did it, and it just seemed right.
3. Testing structure alone probably would not be useful to define a school's teaching worth. Nor would not knowing all techniques/forms from a certain point after they are learned. But the more you add, the worse it starts to look.

1. It has been at the very least heavily implied that our students don't understand the art if they don't have all of the katas memorized.
Our students help each other just fine. I see it time and time again in class. People just assume that because it's not on the test, or people don't have rote memorizations of what they've practiced before, that it's lost to the void. It's more like riding a bike. People in this thread are under an impression that our higher belts cannot help our lower belts, and that is not the case, from what I have witnessed with my own eyes. Yet, my own experience seems insufficient to convince people that it works.

2. Maybe you didn't, but others did.
I don't see how this is indicated in my school? You have to test on the same form multiple times before it's replaced. For example, our Advanced Form 1 is tested 5 times. Advanced Forms 2, 3, and 4 are each tested 4 times, and Advanced Forms 5 and 6 are tested 3 times. It's not like students just do the form once in testing and then forget it. They stick with them for several tests, but then they are lost by the wayside.

3. I think this is part of it. People who haven't been to our classes are making assumptions about what is taught, based on the way their class is taught. If you were to change their testing schedule to be like ours without changing the curriculum or the way the material is taught, it would probably not work very well, because the tests are built around the curriculum (and maybe a bit vice versa).
 

ravenofthewood

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I'd like to hear your thoughts. If you have tests, does your school do a brain dump, or do you have cumulative requirements? How well do you feel it would work if you switched? If you don't have tests, which style would you prefer if your school introduced a testing system?

The taekwondo school I teach at doesn't retest material at higher belt levels until black belt. Self defense techniques, however, are cumulative. The sweeps, armbars, etc. which are used in the early defenses are reused throughout the curriculum, so they have to be remembered in order to master each new level of self defense techniques.

We do not expect our students to retest on their poomses while colour belts. However, in order to test for black belt, all poomses have to be remembered and performed without errors and with a significantly higher level of skill than was demonstrated when the student first tested with that poomse. We also spend adult colour belt class time reviewing poomses on a semi-frequent basis. No one is allowed to teach or critique a poomse group unless they still remember all aspects of the poomse.
 

dvcochran

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My master teaches two arts - Taekwondo and Hapkido. In our Taekwondo class, there are lots of requirements for each belt test, and at several points there exist a "brain dump" where certain techniques are no longer tested. For example, earlier forms, simpler punch and kick combinations, and previous self defense drills that were tested on. These are of course replaced by newer forms, more complicated combinations, and new defense drills that use different situations and usually higher difficulty.

There ends up being more on the Red belt test than the Purple belt test, and while the degree of difficulty and the complexity are higher, the number of tested items remains relatively the same.

On the other hand (pun unintended), the hapkido class is cumulative, in that we are tested on 27 techniques at White belt, learn 7 new ones for yellow belt (total of 34 for that test), 4 new ones (38 total) for our next belt, and by the time you get to black belt, you have over 90 things to remember on the test.

I'm a 2nd degree black belt (getting close to 3rd) in Taekwondo, and an orange belt in Hapkido. It's interesting to see that in Taekwondo, very few people remember ALL of the test requirements. Every black belt can provide advice on individual techniques and assist with class, but very few could lead a class and say "this is your form, this is your combinations," etc. In fact, I think I'm one of the only black belts that does remember ALL of the testing requirements for every test.

Now, if we were to change that, and require everyone to remember everything, then we'd have to truncate our curriculum, or the tests would take several hours to go through everything, so I understand the reason for this. However, in our Hapkido class, anyone can teach the requirements to a lower belt, because we need to know it for our next test. We have 7 keub ranks, and a 1st or 2nd keub will know the 7th and 6th keub requiremeents very well, because they're still practicing them.

I'd like to hear your thoughts. If you have tests, does your school do a brain dump, or do you have cumulative requirements? How well do you feel it would work if you switched? If you don't have tests, which style would you prefer if your school introduced a testing system?

I love this topic. It is really bringing out the traditional heart in a lot of practitioners. In the Dojang where I have spent most of my MA life it has been an eclectic blend of MDK TKD, TSD, & WTF. The requirements for promotions are clearly defined. However, there has always been so much extra-curricular available I can see where it can get a foggy or overwhelming to the avid student. Something we make sure is limited in the younger students. In the three primary styles I have spent the most time in (TKD, Kali, Kung Fu) I feel the primary tools for self defense are cumulative and well covered but the forms/stances may not always be. This, in large part is up to the student. Not that promotions are a timed event but rather how dedicated a student is and how polished they want to be. I very much like the broad range of content. I never feel like I have perfected everything, and never will for that matter. MA is a very repetitive practice so can cumulative and repetitive by synonymous?
 
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