Not All Dojos Function The Same

PhotonGuy

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I should realize that not everybody here has the same experience as me in the martial arts of training at different dojos. People on this forum are at all different levels of experience and so we've got a Beginners Corner as well as other folders. Some people don't have much experience training in dojos other than the one they currently train at and some people, like me, will try out different styles of the martial arts and different dojos as well. To me this is important as you learn that not all dojos function the same. Lots of people on this forum probably already know that but not everybody. There are apparently some people on this forum that don't know that. For instance, somebody on this forum, I don't remember exactly who, said that you shouldn't have to pursue rank in the dojo that all you have to do is show up and train and rank will come. That depends, it depends on the dojo and whatever system your instructor has on how students go up in rank. Different instructors use different systems on how students go up in rank so to say that you just have to show up and train and that rank will all come, to say that applies to all dojos would be a fallacy and it would mean you probably don't know much about dojos other than your own since dojos vary and instructors vary and every instructor has their own system which can be different than the systems that other instructors use. Just wanted to point this out.
 

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I should realize that not everybody here has the same experience as me in the martial arts of training at different dojos. People on this forum are at all different levels of experience and so we've got a Beginners Corner as well as other folders. Some people don't have much experience training in dojos other than the one they currently train at and some people, like me, will try out different styles of the martial arts and different dojos as well. To me this is important as you learn that not all dojos function the same. Lots of people on this forum probably already know that but not everybody. There are apparently some people on this forum that don't know that. For instance, somebody on this forum, I don't remember exactly who, said that you shouldn't have to pursue rank in the dojo that all you have to do is show up and train and rank will come. That depends, it depends on the dojo and whatever system your instructor has on how students go up in rank. Different instructors use different systems on how students go up in rank so to say that you just have to show up and train and that rank will all come, to say that applies to all dojos would be a fallacy and it would mean you probably don't know much about dojos other than your own since dojos vary and instructors vary and every instructor has their own system which can be different than the systems that other instructors use. Just wanted to point this out.
This is completely false. In any MA system that uses rank and awards it based on ability to perform there will be only one path to rank. Show up. Train.
If a system awards rank for anything other than showing up and training, it's just a belt store with a long waiting period.
 

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...somebody on this forum, I don't remember exactly who, said that you shouldn't have to pursue rank in the dojo that all you have to do is show up and train and rank will come. That depends ...on the dojo and whatever system your instructor has on how students go up in rank. ...Just wanted to point this out.
So, Photon, when you first joined the this forum nearly 9 years ago, I remember you had some real issues about the way people were invited to test for rank at the studio you attended.

If I recall, you said that your instructor did not want students to ask him if they were ready to test.
The custom at your studio was for the instructor to ask the student ...and I believe you felt you had been overlooked?

Anyway, back then you got a lot of advice from various different perspectives about how to politely approach you head instructor and discuss the matter. And if I remember rightly, the same topic popped back up repeatedly for quite a while without any apparent resolution.

Later (at least until now) I noticed that you hadn't mentioned the topic. So my question is, did you ever resolve your issues with testing and advancing through the ranks at your studio? Did you change schools or styles? Or are you still struggling with this after nearly 10 years???
 

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BTW... No personal criticism intended in my previous post. I also have some real problems about the way things are done in the Ving Tsun Association I am still ...kinda-sorta affiliated with.

I can't go along with everything they do, but I am not willing to completely "burn my bridges" and sever all ties with people who I have known and been friends with for so long.

Some problems can be managed, but never truly resolved. :confused:
 
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PhotonGuy

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This is completely false. In any MA system that uses rank and awards it based on ability to perform there will be only one path to rank. Show up. Train.
So all you have to do is show up and train, regardless of how hard or easy you train, regardless whether or not you not only train hard but also train smart, and you will automatically be promoted in rank just for showing up?

In other words, the only requirement for rank advancement is attendance?
If a system awards rank for anything other than showing up and training, it's just a belt store with a long waiting period.
You're entitled to your opinion.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Not all dojos are dojos either, some are dojangs, gun, kwoon, etc.... and even between those there are differences
True, and where I train in Gracie Jiu Jitsu its called an academy, but the term dojo is sometimes used as a generic term for marital arts school.

But that's not the point.
 

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So all you have to do is show up and train, regardless of how hard or easy you train, regardless whether or not you not only train hard but also train smart, and you will automatically be promoted in rank just for showing up?

In other words, the only requirement for rank advancement is attendance?
(bold mine)

Come on, now you're making stuff up. And you're ignoring DD's phrase "based on the ability to perform."
Don't misrepresent people.
 
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PhotonGuy

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So, Photon, when you first joined the this forum nearly 9 years ago, I remember you had some real issues about the way people were invited to test for rank at the studio you attended.
You sure have quite a memory and in this other thread people talked about how they sometimes forget stuff I said from years back.

Anyway, at the dojo I was attending at the time they ran promotion tests about every four months and it was up to the student if they wanted to sign up and test for their next rank although that didn't mean they would pass, you obviously had to perform well enough on the test to be able to pass and promote to your next rank, students did sometimes fail.

However there was a common myth at the dojo that, unlike with any of the lower ranks, before you could test for the rank of first degree black belt the chief instructor had to tell you that you could test. So if a test was coming up and you were a 1st Kyu brown belt or a high brown belt, the rank right before first degree black belt, you could only sign up and test for the black belt if the chief instructor told you you could, or so it was thought. It was a myth although a very prevalent myth that even some of the instructors believed.
If I recall, you said that your instructor did not want students to ask him if they were ready to test.
My instructor did not have a problem with that although there are apparently people on this forum who have problems with that or that have instructors who have problems with that and Im trying to figure out why. Somebody on this forum once said that they would never ask their instructor when they were going to test for their next belt, especially the black belt, as that would be disrespectful. Im trying to figure out why, in the martial arts community, why that might sometimes be frowned upon.
The custom at your studio was for the instructor to ask the student ...and I believe you felt you had been overlooked?
I felt I had been overlooked in being told I could test for first degree black belt and I felt that way for years, until I found out the truth that you didn't need to be told that you could test for black belt before you could test, if a test was coming up you could sign up and test for first degree black belt at your own discretion (provided you were a 1st Kyu high brown belt) of course that didn't mean you would pass. So yes I felt I had been overlooked until I found out that it was a myth that you had to be told before you could test, as I described above.

After all, if Im not being told I can test for a black belt I would like to know why. While I certainly trust my sensei's judgement so that if he says Im not ready that means Im not ready but I would like to know why Im not ready, specifically what I need to work on, so I can work on it and hopefully be ready the next time around.
Anyway, back then you got a lot of advice from various different perspectives about how to politely approach you head instructor and discuss the matter. And if I remember rightly, the same topic popped back up repeatedly for quite a while without any apparent resolution.
I don't recall advice about approaching my head instructor and discussing the matter, I do recall people saying belts and rank are no big deal and that you shouldn't talk to your instructor about such stuff because its disrespectful.
Later (at least until now) I noticed that you hadn't mentioned the topic. So my question is, did you ever resolve your issues with testing and advancing through the ranks at your studio? Did you change schools or styles? Or are you still struggling with this after nearly 10 years???
As I explained in this post I have resolved the issue of testing and advancing to black belt in the dojo that I was going to back when I first joined this forum. I do not go to that dojo anymore as I have taken up different styles, I now train in Goju Ryu and Gracie Jiu Jitsu and I go to schools that teach those respective styles. What Im still struggling with is certain attitudes and positions in the martial arts community in general and with stuff about my past. Some people on this forum have said I should get professional help but the fact of the matter is Im getting my help here and this forum in fact has helped me out quite a bit.
 

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So all you have to do is show up and train, regardless of how hard or easy you train, regardless whether or not you not only train hard but also train smart, and you will automatically be promoted in rank just for showing up?
Go back and read what I wrote. Ask for help if you don't understand it. From your reply, I can only assume you didn't read or understand the part where I said "ability to perform". Showing up and training is the only way to have the ability to perform.
This really isn't that complicated.
 

geezer

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You sure have quite a memory....
Thank you! My wife, and most others who know me would not agree.
As I explained in this post I have resolved the issue of testing and advancing to black belt in the dojo that I was going to back when I first joined this forum. I do not go to that dojo anymore as I have taken up different styles...
Out of curiosity, did you ever take the black belt test at that dojo? What happened? After all these years, it would be interesting to know how that turned out!
I now train in Goju Ryu and Gracie Jiu Jitsu and I go to schools that teach those respective styles.
Sounds like you moved on and made excellent choices. And from what friends here, and in real life (not on the internet) tell me, with BJJ rank is earned by sweat, skill, and what you can actually do. So the role of school "traditions" and instructor bias should be less of a problem.
What Im still struggling with is certain attitudes and positions in the martial arts community in general and with stuff about my past. Some people on this forum have said I should get professional help....
Don't worry about what some jerks on the internet post. Really! And best of luck in your current martial pursuits. :)
 

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I've gone to a really small school forever. Ten students in one class is a lot to me. I've only seen 20 or more people at events. It's pretty laid back. two students might be doing bunkai, another two other students might be doing kata. Maybe even two different katas. Since classes are small we oftentimes may so whatever benefits the individual student. maybe help another student whom needs a kumite partner. As far as ranks are concerned, I'd say they are important. When I was purple belt I remember learning that black belts get to learn tekko! That's cool. Certainly a motivator to reach it. Kama are another weapon that require black belt. Learning new forms in general is a nice incentive.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Go back and read what I wrote. Ask for help if you don't understand it. From your reply, I can only assume you didn't read or understand the part where I said "ability to perform". Showing up and training is the only way to have the ability to perform.
This really isn't that complicated.
So how do instructors gauge your ability to perform? They could do it through daily observations as they watch you in class or they could do it through formal testing. Some dojos use formal testing, there's nothing wrong with that.
 
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PhotonGuy

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(bold mine)

Come on, now you're making stuff up. And you're ignoring DD's phrase "based on the ability to perform."
Don't misrepresent people.
Well in order to develop the ability to perform, if by perform you mean performing well since there is a difference between performing well and just performing, requires more then just showing up and training. You've also got to train hard. You've got to put in a lot of effort if you want to get good.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Thank you! My wife, and most others who know me would not agree.
Well some stuff we remember better then other stuff.
Out of curiosity, did you ever take the black belt test at that dojo? What happened? After all these years, it would be interesting to know how that turned out!
I thought I had posted it on this forum before but yes I finally did take the black belt test and passed after almost ten years of being at high brown belt (the rank right before black belt) but it took me much longer then it should've and so I lost much time. Often when I set a goal for myself, part of the very goal itself is to get it done within a certain time limit.
Sounds like you moved on and made excellent choices. And from what friends here, and in real life (not on the internet) tell me, with BJJ rank is earned by sweat, skill, and what you can actually do. So the role of school "traditions" and instructor bias should be less of a problem.
Yes in BJJ they don't just hand out belts, except the white belt which you start with. It takes about two years to go up a belt although you do get stripes on your belt in between. You can get up to four stripes on your belt, after you get your fourth stripe the next time you get promoted is when you get your next belt.
Don't worry about what some jerks on the internet post. Really! And best of luck in your current martial pursuits. :)
I've learned to some extent how to handle people on the internet although Im still learning. Still, I try to make peace and see where other people are coming from when they say what they say.
 
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PhotonGuy

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I've gone to a really small school forever. Ten students in one class is a lot to me. I've only seen 20 or more people at events. It's pretty laid back. two students might be doing bunkai, another two other students might be doing kata. Maybe even two different katas. Since classes are small we oftentimes may so whatever benefits the individual student. maybe help another student whom needs a kumite partner. As far as ranks are concerned, I'd say they are important. When I was purple belt I remember learning that black belts get to learn tekko! That's cool. Certainly a motivator to reach it. Kama are another weapon that require black belt. Learning new forms in general is a nice incentive.
Some people might agree with you that ranks are important, some people might disagree. Based on both the posts that people make on this forum and from what I observe in the martial arts community in general some people care about earning rank some people don't. Either way is fine, although I will say that rank is one of the more controversial issues in the world of martial arts.
 

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So how do instructors gauge your ability to perform?
How the heck would I know? I don't know every instructor. I know how I do it. I know it sounds crazy, but I do it by watching the student perform.
They could do it through daily observations as they watch you in class or they could do it through formal testing. Some dojos use formal testing, there's nothing wrong with that.
Do you ever just reply to what people said instead of random nonsense that nobody is saying?
 

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