Number of black belts at the average school?

Mider

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odd question, but what’s the average number of black belts at a serious school?

a somewhat famous YouTuber said he went to a judo school with 50 black belts...seemed a very high number but I’m not a practitioner so I wanted others opinion.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I don't think there is an average. In large part because there's no an average number of students at a school. I've been at schools with (adult classes) where there were over 20 people in each class, in schools where there were probably 3-5 serious students total, and everywhere in between.
 

Tony Dismukes

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In addition, it will vary according to the age of the school (a school which has been around longer will have more time to develop senior practitioners) and the standards for black belt in the system. In some arts black belt indicates an average hobbyist student who has been showing up regularly for a couple of years. In other arts it indicates a hardcore practitioner who has been training at least ten years. Obviously the former will produce more black belts.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Also, an art which has been around in a given area for a long time will have a chance to develop more senior practitioners.
 

Unkogami

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The whole belt thing is a load of whoooey. Effective marketing, though.
 

Xue Sheng

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The Aikido dojo my youngest was in had a lot of Dan ranked folks in the adult class. most of the class actually. But they had all been there a long time, and it took a long time to get the Dan rank there. Also the Sensei of the dojo was very good well liked and highly respected in the Aikido community.
 

Gerry Seymour

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odd question, but what’s the average number of black belts at a serious school?

a somewhat famous YouTuber said he went to a judo school with 50 black belts...seemed a very high number but I’m not a practitioner so I wanted others opinion.
This is going to vary by the size of the school, age of the school, and what it takes to get a BB. Even within my primary art (Nihon Goshin Aikido) where typical time to BB is probably 7 years, that number varies a lot. Older schools with a larger student body may have 15-20 or more, while smaller schools may have 5 or fewer.

I could easily see a large, well-established Judo school having a large number of BB.
 

lklawson

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Who cares? Black Belt means whatever the Grading Authority wants it to mean and has whatever standards they want it to have. They could requite 10 years of "time-in-art" or 10 days. They can set skills and knowledge base at whatever they want, from practically nothing to college doctorate equivalent.

So a dojo has 50 Black Belts. They could have 500. Who cares? There's a lot more important things about the school.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Xue Sheng

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Should also add, the number of blackbelts and the TCMA schools I've trained at over the years is zero. Traditional Chinese Martial Arts does not use a belt ranking system
 

Instructor

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I have no idea and I am not sure why it matters. While I would be completely happy to keep all of my black belts in house, I encourage them all to go out into the world and teach and form their own schools.
 

skribs

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odd question, but what’s the average number of black belts at a serious school?

a somewhat famous YouTuber said he went to a judo school with 50 black belts...seemed a very high number but I’m not a practitioner so I wanted others opinion.
There's going to be a lot of factors that affect this. You may want to ask specifically on the Judo forum to eliminate some of these factors. Factors will include:
  • What a "black belt" means in the school
  • How many students the school has
  • Student retention
If you run a small BJJ gym, where a black belt is often 10-15 years or more, then you may have 0 black belts at the school. It may be run by a brown, purple, or even blue belt.

If you run a large Taekwondo school, where a black belt is often 2-3 years, then you may easily have more than 50 black belts.
 

Buka

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2F327EB1-1263-4B64-9295-5990BEC5F0BD.png

This is a black belt class in my old school. But of those pictured, only 12 were promoted by me. The others are guys who were promoted by our same teachers, and others still, who came down every week just to fight.

We had lots of fun.
 

isshinryuronin

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View attachment 28371
This is a black belt class in my old school. But of those pictured, only 12 were promoted by me. The others are guys who were promoted by our same teachers, and others still, who came down every week just to fight.

We had lots of fun.
Looks like a bunch of ruffian bangers that made up many karate dojo in the 70's-early 80's when the demographic was late teens and twenty-something guys. Life was not boring with a crowd like that. I had a lot of unwholesome but memorable adventures back then. Nietzche wrote, "Men like danger and play..." We had a lot of that. Apparently I had just enough brains to survive intact.

That's a good size crowd. Where was your school and what style back then?
 

geezer

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View attachment 28371
This is a black belt class in my old school. But of those pictured, only 12 were promoted by me. The others are guys who were promoted by our same teachers, and others still, who came down every week just to fight.

We had lots of fun.
Buka, why is there a ladder on the ceiling? 🤔
 

shihansmurf

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lets start with this... Whats an average school? What is a serious school?

Fair question. I crack a lot of jokes at my school, am I not a serious school?

In addition, it will vary according to the age of the school (a school which has been around longer will have more time to develop senior practitioners) and the standards for black belt in the system. In some arts black belt indicates an average hobbyist student who has been showing up regularly for a couple of years. In other arts it indicates a hardcore practitioner who has been training at least ten years. Obviously the former will produce more black belts.

I think this gets overlooked a lot when this sort of question pops up. Black belts mean different things in different schools.

In my school it means that you are ready for self directed study and that you are an instructor. Takes around five years on average. I moved around a lot in the Army so I didn't produce a lot of "home grown" black belts. I inherited several mid level to upper level students from other arts. Now that I am retired and have been able to set down roots, I am developing more senior students.

In any event, I only concern myself with my own school and my down line. How many black belts exist in other people's schools has no impact on my or my training.

Mark
 

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