New Grandmasters

tshadowchaser

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I would like to hear what you think of the act of self promoting oneslef to Grandmaster and/or those who go befor a bord for an hour or so and then claim the rank of Grandmaster.
Myslef, I think that most of these people have very little skill and really have little respect for the arts that they may have studied in the past. If they truly have come up with something new let them teach it for 10 or more years truly developing it, if at that time other high ranking people say the rank should be awarded So be it. But to study 2 or 3 arts and get disapointed because you can not run the whole show and make your own system up out of ones little experence is belittleing your instructors and the arts you learned because the world dosn't revolve around you or you didn't get that promotion you wanted.
My opion,
Sheldon
aka Shadow
 

Cthulhu

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One thing you need to consider is that in some systems, reaching a certain degree of black belt gives you the title of 'grandmaster'. I think someone pointed this out here quite some time ago. So, if someone is in such a system, and has earned the requisite rank, then no, I don't particularly mind them being called 'grandmaster'.

However, if someone just goes ahead and gives themselves an honorific title, just because they feel they've 'put in the time' or what have you, then no, they're misrepresenting themselves. There are many cases of people calling themselves 'hanshi', 'renshi', 'master', etc. who haven't earned the title.

In the first case I mentioned, a person will have earned the title for that particular system. That's A-OK. However, the majority of honorific titles are usually conferred upon a person by some governing body. So, if a person is just calling themselves 'master' or somesuch, without having that title bestowed upon them by the governing authority of their style, then they haven't earned it.

Bruce Lee, to many people, is a master of martial arts. He never wanted, nor used, the title of 'master'. 'Sifu', yes, because to everybody training under him, he was their sifu. Master? Nope.

Gah. Babbling. Steering this back on course.

So...

If you promote yourself to Grandmaster, bad. If a governing body (the board you mentioned in the original post) promotes you to Grandmaster, then that should be okay.

Cthulhu
 

arnisador

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I agree with much of what Cthulhu has said. If someone has studied for some time and wants to start his or her own system at their own school, fine, as long as they are up fron about it. If they want to be recognized as a Grandmaster then they should expect to either put in their time and be awarded the title by universal acclamation (e.g. Prof. Presas) or by testing/demonstrating before an appropriate board (e.g. Tatsuo Shimabuku of Isshin-ryu Karate, at least according to what I was told when I studied it though I find no mention of it here). I feel the latter is a reasonable approach. As to how long an examination is necessary, my guess would be that like most tests the results would be known before the test began--one wouldn't take such an examination without feeling out one's peers first.

I do not like the notion of a system defining a certain rank as "grandmaster" or giving out the title "grandmaster" to many people; I feel it shoudl refer to a single person within the system. We now have supreme grandmasters in some arts (kenpo also I believe) to differentiate them from "mere" grandmasters--it's title inflation.
 

Jay Bell

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Hi all,

I live in Phoenix. At any one time, if you open up the yellow pages for the valley, you'll see countless "Master Shoto" or "Grandmaster Choi"'s....more then you can count.

How many of these people are legitimate? I'd be so bold to say none of them. To top the cake, in no art I've ever heard of that had any legitamate ties to anything was it proper to call yourself by a title.

"Hi...I'm Master Bob" :D

I come from a Japanese budo background. Let's see here...

Soke - Head of the Family
Shihan - Master Teacher

Hrm...no "Grandmaster" there...

As for the "Grandmasters" out there that feel the need to run off, obtain 15 yellow belts in various disciplines and then throw it all together in a clump which is similar to fertilizer....well....they just plain need to go away. The fact that someone's ego can't hang in there to be a student for the rest of their lives doesn't suddenly mean you have the right to create your own "art".

There's the old arguement of "But people did it all throughout history in Japan"...I've heard this so many times it turns my stomach. Guess what folks, most arts were created by students that had Menkyo Kaiden in at least one school of martial arts. (Speaking Japan)

Fumio Manaka sensei created Jinen ryu over the past handful of years. He was also Menkyo Kaidensha of five koryu bujutsu schools before doing so. He can walk the walk...he has every right to do whatever he pleases.

But Bob "Toughguy" Walton from down the road that has studied 4 arts....a week in each does not, even if he is the town rasslin champ.

People cringe at the thoughts of having government regulated martial arts boards. I'm one of those people. However...I truly wish SOMETHING would be done from a legal standpoint preventing this sort of thing from occuring.

I studied Kenpo for awhile...as some of you know. The organization I was a part of was the IKCA. My instructor obtained all of his rank from video, never having met his two instructors. He wore a blackbelt for as long as I knew him...yet he had yet to pass his Shodan exam. These things I learned of *after* I quit his dojo and told him where to go. To this day, he teaches what he now calls "Chuan Fa"....blindly not having any idea heads or tails of what he's talking about. He lies outright to students who attempt to learn something to better themselves.

Something needs to be done about this madness, in my opinion. On every street corner you can find such fancies as "Joe Bob's school of Fightin"....even though Joe Bob has never seen, much less been involved, in a fight in his life.

I've seen "Rape Prevention" and "Practical Self Defense" classes geared towards protecting people from being attacked. The information conveyed in most of these that I've seen would...

A) Assist the attacker in making you into hamburger
B) Give the student a false sense of security...thinking they understand how to defend themselves

This kinda of b.s. has to stop...unfortunately, without shafting even the good traditions and schools, I don't honestly see how..

Rant mode off....sorry for the ramble...

Jay
 

Cthulhu

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Originally posted by Jay Bell

Something needs to be done about this madness, in my opinion. On every street corner you can find such fancies as "Joe Bob's school of Fightin"....even though Joe Bob has never seen, much less been involved, in a fight in his life.

I agree. Sometimes I wish dojo-bashing was legal. The local martial artists would elect a few people who would serve on an ethics board. When some Joe Shmuch opened up a school, and obviously has no clue as to what he's doing, this board pays him a visit and 'convinces' him to fin some other source of income. I can dream, can't I?

Originally posted by Jay Bell

I've seen "Rape Prevention" and "Practical Self Defense" classes geared towards protecting people from being attacked. The information conveyed in most of these that I've seen would...

A) Assist the attacker in making you into hamburger
B) Give the student a false sense of security...thinking they understand how to defend themselves

I think (B) is the greater offense, because it leads directly into (A). This has a parallel in another thread with some police departments trying to teach complicated joint locks. The officers get on the street, confident they can put any perp into one of these locks and are surprised when they can't do it. Luckily, they usually have numbers on their side.

Originally posted by Jay Bell

Rant mode off....sorry for the ramble...

Jay

Don't apologize. These are all legitimate concerns that should be important to all important martial artists. Not only are these kinds of people giving the martial arts a bad reputation, they are endangering those who unknowingly sign up as students.

Cthulhu
 

Bob Hubbard

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Another problem that arrises from these "inexperienced" folks is they don't know enough to show how to train safely. I've been in classes where the warm ups alone were dangerous. I'm sorry, but sit-ups are not exactly the best thing to do, and unless you can show me the proper way to do a crunch, don't ask me to do it. Full speed punches and kicks in the air? Great way to hyper extend a knee, hip or other joint.
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by Kaith Rustaz
Another problem that arrises from these "inexperienced" folks is they don't know enough to show how to train safely. I've been in classes where the warm ups alone were dangerous.

I left a college tae kwon do class after a month because of this (not just the warm-ups but those and other parts of class). In arts that teach weapons as well the issues of training safety are magnified.

I too would like to see the frauds booted out and much like the govt. forces stores to display the cost per unit on items so you can compare I'd like to see an objective ranking system so the 7th degree with 10 years of training on one corner doesn't appear to be so much better than the 3rd degree with 12 years of training on the other. Beginners don't know what to look for--I remember the stupid (more generously, ignorant) questions I asked when I started looking for a school when I was young--and those of us who have seen the scammers, frauds, and ego-trippers would like to help them out.

I too don't know of a way to do it that would be acceptable even to those of us who feel this way. Would such a board have ruled mixed martial arts a fraud? The Gracies improperly trained or unsafe? Jeet kune do not an actual system? Who knows. I don't have a solution.
 

Jay Bell

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Would such a board have ruled mixed martial arts a fraud? The Gracies improperly trained or unsafe? Jeet kune do not an actual system? Who knows. I don't have a solution.

That's the problem that I see as well. Lineages that someone from a Karate McDojo has never heard of could be labeled as "un-good" and end up being in the wrong pile.

How many "board members" would know what Hontai Takagi Yoshin ryu Jutaijutsu was? :D
 

Cthulhu

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Originally posted by Jay Bell


How many "board members" would know what Hontai Takagi Yoshin ryu Jutaijutsu was? :D

And how many board members would confuse that with Hentai Takagi Yoshin ryu Jutaijutsu? :D

Cthulhu
 
V

vincefuess

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Let people call themselves whatever the heck they want. If you train with them and get to know them, you will find the truth for yourself. I could really give a rat's patootie what title someone has.
 

Jay Bell

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New York Senate --



A06533 Summary:
SAME AS Same as S 3836

SPONSOR Straniere

COSPNSR

MLTSPNSR Dinga


Requires the commissioner of education to adopt rules and regulations requiring
the licensure of martial arts instructors and of any entity which offers
martial arts instruction.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A06533 Actions:
03/06/2001referred to education
01/09/2002referred to education


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A06533 Votes:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A06533 Memo:
TITLE OF BILL : An act relating to requiring the commissioner of
education to promulgate rules and regulations for the licensure of
martial arts instructors and schools.

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : Requires the commissioner of
education to adopt rules and regulations requiring the licensure of
martial arts instructors and of any entity which offers martial arts.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : The commissioner of education is
hereby directed within six months of the effective date of this act to
require the licensure of martial arts instructors and of any school,
institution, organization, business or other entity which offers
martial arts instruction and to promulgate rules and regulations
necessary for such purpose.

JUSTIFICATION : It has been brought to my attention there are no
requirements for the licensing of martial arts instructors/schools,
etc. Minimum education requirements must be established to protect
students, many of whom are young children. Instructors who are not
properly trained can cause serious injury when instructing students,
many of which are young children.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : none

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : none

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately.
 
R

Rob_Broad

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The problem with a legislative body govrning martial arts is quite serious. Imagine the body consisted of politicians, they would do a little research and end up having everybody teaching the same thing, probably whoever contributed the most to their campaign. Jhoon Rhee has had a class for the senate in Washington for yrs, and he has awarded several of them with Black Belts. Do we all want to teach TKD, I don't. Or if it was done by martial artists then the most successful($$$) would be picked for the governing body(probably by politicians). Then we would have the select few monopolizing the market because they could say that person doesn't meet our standards. We would have 6 or 7 Mc Dojos, andmany underground schools where it would be illegal for you to really learn.
 

Jay Bell

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Great points, Sheldon..

Something that *really* concerns me about this is people that study budo in Japan and end up with mokuroku....who determines if it's "properly trained".

I can hear it now..."But where's your blackbelt then, huh?"
 

Bob Hubbard

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Any time the Govt. pokes its nose into something, they screw it up. There are resons why Bill Gates has publicly stated he has no desire to be president. Too inefficent, among other things.

Bah!
 
S

shine

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It seems everybody here is against those people taking on rank and titles on their own. I don't see a problem with it, or at least not the same problem you folks have. If you have been training hard for 10 years in a martial art you've earned the right to develop your own curriculum outside of supervision. You can even call your system what you like, though its slimey not to mention where you learned the stuff.

As for taking titles and rank... I think both are usually pompous artifacts of asian cultures whether they are given or taken. I am referring in particular to higher dan grades and titles such as Sensei, Shihan and others that demand explicit acts of respect from the lower echelons. It's the worst when these same people claim their arts are supposed to teach humility.

By western standards self-promotion (of rank) can be looked upon positively. After all, self-promotion (in the marketing sense) is the sign of an "effective person."

Disclaimer -- I have never promoted myself!

-Andy
 
S

shine

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If I were to develop my own curriculum and rank scale there would be two advanced rankings:

1. A Black Belt indicating remarkable progress towards physical potential.

2. An instructors certification: a license to do your own thing

I can imagine giving out an instructors certification to someone without a black belt: these are the coaches.

I know these rankings don't cover the spectrum needed by the more spiritual (e.g. budo) based arts. Unfortunately, I can't speak to that issue.
 

Jay Bell

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If you have been training hard for 10 years in a martial art you've earned the right to develop your own curriculum outside of supervision. You can even call your system what you like, though its slimey not to mention where you learned the stuff.

That's absurd. 10 years? That means nothing more then you have your fundamentals pretty solid.

s for taking titles and rank... I think both are usually pompous artifacts of asian cultures whether they are given or taken. I am referring in particular to higher dan grades and titles such as Sensei, Shihan and others that demand explicit acts of respect from the lower echelons. It's the worst when these same people claim their arts are supposed to teach humility.

Before the Kyu/Dan ranking system, the titles were used to show where that person was. No one in the proper usage refers to themselves as Sensei, Shihan, Renshi or what have you. It shows the teaching license or accomplishment of that person. Humility? What of the humility of someone who thinks they know enough to create their own style out of basics?

Is it proper for a child to call their school teacher by their first name?
 

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