Progression To Black Belt In Goju Ryu

PhotonGuy

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So I've posted before about how I made 1st kyu brown belt in Goju Ryu and that 1st dan or first degree black belt is next. My sensei is really having me prepare for it, he's asked me to participate in black belt classes and he's also given me some papers that say everything I need to do to get to first degree black belt, all the requirements and so forth. It's not easy and I wouldn't want it to be easy but the important thing is he's telling me what I need to do and he's given me the papers with all the requirements. All senseis should do that, they should give you papers or at least let you know what you need to do for your next belt or rank, up to and including black belt. Just like in college, when you enroll in college and choose a major you get papers that tell you everything you need to do to get your degree in that major, all the classes you need to take and so forth. It should be the same way with belt ranks in the martial arts.
 

_Simon_

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Fantastic, best of luck with your preparation, let us know when it's coming up!
 

Gyakuto

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I agree with you. The process should be as transparent as possible with requirements made explicit. The Wado Ryu association I practised under provided a syllabus of requirements for each kyu grade which we referred to all the time and because I backed the booklet in plastic, its is still in good condition (from 1977!). There were also books on the techniques for each grade complete with photos, but they were very hard to get hold of and somewhat out of date as the techniques had been modified here and there. I think its excellent practise for an association to adhere to.

Best of luck in your training.

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dj_ceiba

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You and I are both black belt candidates in a Goju system.
I'm loving my journey. My body has CHANGED. My already excellent diet has improved. My yoga game is through the ROOF. My calisthenics situation is consistent. I even stopped driving so that i could ride my bike to work. i rode over 1500 miles this year & i feel GREAT. i don't know that i would've made those positive (physical) changes if I didn't think that i was going to have to fight everybody in the room one day. The changes aren't ONLY physical though. Karate made its way through my ENTIRE life. My emotional control is better: i'm less likely to be reactive & far less likely to verbally destructive if i do. My mind is different: I'm better able to stay focused on difficult tasks, am less inclined to run from problems and unfamiliar situations & in general, am nicer (now) than i've been in the last like .. 10 years. I think about different stuff, too! I listen to dharma talks now and mediate when i'd let that go as i transitioned out of my 20s. Who i hang out with is different, I go to temples for retreats i weeded out a TON of **** ppl i had close to me. In short, my whole life has changed in the last 8 years & i'm 1000x better for it. i wanted to share that w/you cuz i bet you can relate.

In terms of curriculae: Our curriculum has VERY little paper. Of course, as (almost) intermediate karate-kas we know most of that stuff & ALL the upper belts make it their business to know the curriculum. That said, the times Sensei HAS brought paper, my brain ATE. THAT. UP. Clarity! clarity is crucial. I'd take it a step further that in addition to paper, ALL the techniques should have video (ie not pictures). In 2023, video is supreme & all of us are visually oriented. Our website should have a member's section where you can study. If i'm blessed w/the opportunity to rank up one day, I'll create that for the kohais.
 

isshinryuronin

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given me some papers that say everything I need to do to get to first degree black belt, all the and so forth.
We had no printed curriculum in my dojo in 1970. But we knew what we had to know for the black belt test - EVERYTHING! we learned up to that point. Simple. Plus, we needed to know some MA and philosophy, but we had access to a few books to glean what we thought would be important.

We knew there would be 4 sections to the test - failure of any part meant failing the test - 90% was passing.
1. Basic blocks, kicks and strikes - individually and in 2-3 move combos and about 10 grab releases, including some takedowns (at test time we found we would have live attackers for all the combos and grabs)
2. Kata, including making up our own to devise and learn overnight, ready for the second day of testing
3. Written
4. Sparring
I'll note that our school did not cater to kids, mostly teens and twenties so there was no coddling. And, there were no test fees either, which was customary at the time for many schools.
 
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Buka

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We had no printed curriculum in my dojo in 1970. But we knew what we had to know for the black belt test - EVERYTHING! we learned up to that point. Simple. Plus, we needed to know some MA and philosophy, but we had access to a few books to glean what we thought would be important.

We knew there would be 4 sections to the test - failure of any part meant failing the test - 90% was passing.
1. Basic blocks, kicks and strikes - individually and in 2-3 move combos and about 10 grab releases, including some takedowns (at test time we found we would have live attackers for all the combos and grabs)
2. Kata, including making up our own to devise and learn overnight, ready for the second day of testing
3. Written
4. Sparring
I'll note that our school did not cater to kids, mostly teens and twenties so there was no coddling. And, there were no test fees either, which was customary at the time for many schools.
I feel like I was there. Those were great days for learning and training Martial Arts.
 
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PhotonGuy

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We had no printed curriculum in my dojo in 1970. But we knew what we had to know for the black belt test - EVERYTHING! we learned up to that point. Simple. Plus, we needed to know some MA and philosophy, but we had access to a few books to glean what we thought would be important.

We knew there would be 4 sections to the test - failure of any part meant failing the test - 90% was passing.
1. Basic blocks, kicks and strikes - individually and in 2-3 move combos and about 10 grab releases, including some takedowns (at test time we found we would have live attackers for all the combos and grabs)
2. Kata, including making up our own to devise and learn overnight, ready for the second day of testing
3. Written
4. Sparring
I'll note that our school did not cater to kids, mostly teens and twenties so there was no coddling. And, there were no test fees either, which was customary at the time for many schools.
The important thing was that you knew what you needed to do to get a black belt. You might or might not be given papers but if you're a brown belt working on the black belt you have every right to know what you need to work on to get it. Just like when you go to college. When I was in college I got papers that listed everything I needed to do, all the classes I needed to pass, to get a degree in my chosen major. The same thing should apply to the martial arts. Whether you get papers or not you should know what you need to do for your next belt up to and including black belt.
 
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