Number of black belts at the average school?

Ji Yuu

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Belt systems vary from school to school. The curriculum in each school can be different and each belt could be held at different standards. A black belt from one school is not always the same caliber as a black belt from another school (even if they are the same style).
 

lklawson

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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
One thing to be aware of is that Judo generally does a good job of standardization. You have a fair chance of being sure that a Judo black belt has a good base of skill in Judo. I've met very few Judoka, and fewer Judo black belts, who couldn't "put it on the mat." Most of the black belts who couldn't were more accurately described as "couldn't any more." It is unfortunately common for Judoka to play competition too long and too hard and get permanent, debilitating, injuries. Long term knee and shoulder injuries are quite common for "older" black belts, and lower back injuries are becoming more common, IME.

But in general, if a person is sporting a black belt in judo, they're unlikely to have a lower skill set than any other judo yudansha.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Hyoho

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I suppose it depends where you are and what country you are in. In my dojo averaging 55 members? 40 Nidan and 15 Sandan. But let us not get away from the fact that Shodan is a qualified beginner, "not" an expert, Its high time some Westerners realized that and cut out a the BS. An association grading is simply recognition of how far you have managed to advanced. If you practice seven days a week, gradings are a foregone conclusion as you have put in the required work for it.

Even a headmasters certificate is worded in such a way to state that you are practicing but still have a lot to learn.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I suppose it depends where you are and what country you are in. In my dojo averaging 55 members? 40 Nidan and 15 Sandan. But let us not get away from the fact that Shodan is a qualified beginner, "not" an expert, Its high time some Westerners realized that and cut out a the BS. An association grading is simply recognition of how far you have managed to advanced. If you practice seven days a week, gradings are a foregone conclusion as you have put in the required work for it.

Even a headmasters certificate is worded in such a way to state that you are practicing but still have a lot to learn.
What Shodan means will vary by its requirements. The rank doesnt always have the same meaning the word once did.
 

Hyoho

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What Shodan means will vary by its requirements. The rank doesnt always have the same meaning the word once did.
Then I guess they should choose another word. Sho means first or beginning (畾). Many even seek Japanese recognition to make them look official. even if they have little knowledge or expertise. Japanese are now trying to downplay grade levels. I had really hoped that in my lifetime we would see the double standard lessened rather than make it worst.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Then I guess they should choose another word. Sho means first or beginning (畾). Many even seek Japanese recognition to make them look official. even if they have little knowledge or expertise. Japanese are now trying to downplay grade levels. I had really hoped that in my lifetime we would see the double standard lessened rather than make it worst.
Words' meanings change over time, based on usage. This is especially true where words cross cultural lines. It's just how language works. We might as well also tell everyone that "you" can only be used as a plural pronoun.
 

Buka

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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?
Boston. The style was American Karate. Bunch a heathens. But nice heathens.
 

Buka

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Buka, why is there a ladder on the ceiling?
For chutes and ladders of course.

Let me find a photo of what was next to it so I can explain. Its part of an exercise that was very beneficial physically, and the best way I knew to grow esprit de corps amongst everyone who came down there, even visitors from other schools.
 

isshinryuronin

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Boston. The style was American Karate. Bunch a heathens. But nice heathens.
American Karate? You're the only one I've ever heard claim this as a style. Is this the mixed karate "style" stemming from the dangerous Jerry Piddington? (He was an early tournament star back in the rough and tumble pre-glove days). I put "style" in quotes for now as just because someone collects forms/techniques from other styles, I don't automatically consider the result a new style, more likely just a new organization. But I'm interested in learning more about your American Karate to keep an open mind.
 

Hyoho

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Words' meanings change over time, based on usage. This is especially true where words cross cultural lines. It's just how language works. We might as well also tell everyone that "you" can only be used as a plural pronoun.
I valid point as Japanese people refer to themselves as "we" and never "I". One of the subtleties of learning a Japanese culture which also applies to MA.
 

Buka

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American Karate? You're the only one I've ever heard claim this as a style. Is this the mixed karate "style" stemming from the dangerous Jerry Piddington? (He was an early tournament star back in the rough and tumble pre-glove days). I put "style" in quotes for now as just because someone collects forms/techniques from other styles, I don't automatically consider the result a new style, more likely just a new organization. But I'm interested in learning more about your American Karate to keep an open mind.
I don't "claim" anything. "American Karate" is the "style" I train and the "style" I teach, has been for half a century now.

We trained with a lot of people, including many fine Isshen-Ryu practitioners, who I thank greatly and wouldn't be presumptuous enough to put their fine style in quotation marks. Guys like Lou Lizotte and Steve Armstrong (may they R.I.P), Chester Holubecki, Mitch Kobylanski and Ron Boucher who I'm pretty sure are all Grand masters now, great guys, too.

They were all well aware of "American Karate", didn't have much choice really, we weren't going anywhere and we always supported their tournaments by bringing dozens of "American Karate" fighters to compete. Every single time, all over New England.

I realize "American Karate" isn't a very old "style". Isshen-Ryu has several decades on us.
We bow to your more tenured experience.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I don't "claim" anything. "American Karate" is the "style" I train and the "style" I teach, has been for half a century now.

We trained with a lot of people, including many fine Isshen-Ryu practitioners, who I thank greatly and wouldn't be presumptuous enough to put their fine style in quotation marks. Guys like Lou Lizotte and Steve Armstrong (may they R.I.P), Chester Holubecki, Mitch Kobylanski and Ron Boucher who I'm pretty sure are all Grand masters now, great guys, too.

They were all well aware of "American Karate", didn't have much choice really, we weren't going anywhere and we always supported their tournaments by bringing dozens of "American Karate" fighters to compete. Every single time, all over New England.

I realize "American Karate" isn't a very old "style". Isshen-Ryu has several decades on us.
We bow to your more tenured experience.
Really enjoyed this response.
 

isshinryuronin

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I don't "claim" anything. "American Karate" is the "style" I train and the "style" I teach, has been for half a century now.

We trained with a lot of people, including many fine Isshen-Ryu practitioners, who I thank greatly and wouldn't be presumptuous enough to put their fine style in quotation marks. Guys like Lou Lizotte and Steve Armstrong (may they R.I.P), Chester Holubecki, Mitch Kobylanski and Ron Boucher who I'm pretty sure are all Grand masters now, great guys, too.

They were all well aware of "American Karate", didn't have much choice really, we weren't going anywhere and we always supported their tournaments by bringing dozens of "American Karate" fighters to compete. Every single time, all over New England.

I realize "American Karate" isn't a very old "style". Isshen-Ryu has several decades on us.
We bow to your more tenured experience.
You completely misunderstood both the content and the tone of my post. By the word "claim" I only meant I had never heard of American Karate as a specific style, you being the first to state it - only in the general context of karate as being commonly practiced in the US, or perhaps referring to Parker's kenpo. I was actually admitting my ignorance as to just what it was.

"Claim" was not intended to have any negative connotation. I'm surprised you thought I was taking such an approach to your post, based on my history here in Martial Talk and our mutual exchanges. It seems like I unintentionally struck a nerve and put you on the defensive. No offense was meant.

Please reread my post in this new light and note I said I put "style" in quotes only "for now". This was followed by, IMO, my stated valid reasoning and justification, as I knew nothing about it. Also note my last sentence, which was really the purpose of my post: "But I'm interested in learning more about your American Karate to keep an open mind." !!!!

I'm still interested in being educated on it, as I hope others on this site are. 殷
 

Buka

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You completely misunderstood both the content and the tone of my post. By the word "claim" I only meant I had never heard of American Karate as a specific style, you being the first to state it - only in the general context of karate as being commonly practiced in the US, or perhaps referring to Parker's kenpo. I was actually admitting my ignorance as to just what it was.

"Claim" was not intended to have any negative connotation. I'm surprised you thought I was taking such an approach to your post, based on my history here in Martial Talk and our mutual exchanges. It seems like I unintentionally struck a nerve and put you on the defensive. No offense was meant.

Please reread my post in this new light and note I said I put "style" in quotes only "for now". This was followed by, IMO, my stated valid reasoning and justification, as I knew nothing about it. Also note my last sentence, which was really the purpose of my post: "But I'm interested in learning more about your American Karate to keep an open mind." !!!!

I'm still interested in being educated on it, as I hope others on this site are. 殷
You're right. My apologies.
 

skribs

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One less at my old school.

One more at another in a few months.
 

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