I think it is a standard testing requirement. My point was that - like a weight-bearing fitness requirement - perhaps it should actually be tied somehow to body size. A big guy can blast boards with less technical skill and get away with it, where the same wouldn't work for someone much smaller. So, I guess it's a matter of deciding what it's meant to test. If it's simply the ability to break boards of a certain strength, then it's not necessary to adjust for size (or age). If it's to test board-breaking skill (assuming that to require good technique) then it probably does make sense to adjust for size/strength. I don't know how you'd do that fairly, which points out a problem with figuring out where to set standards.
It's a lot like the sparring requirements present in many styles. If the requirement is to "hold your own" with X number of people of the rank you're testing for, should that be people selected at random, or matched to the size/age/fitness of the person testing? Again, it depends what you decide the purpose of that test is.
Then she shouldn't have the same rank as you. If she's not able to output the minimum power required, why should she have that rank?Dan test board breaking for us is based on age, sex and weight.
A small late teen girl wouldn't be expected to make the same break as me.
I haven't fully read through the responses, so this may have already been said.
I don't see why one should adjust for size/age/weight. This is comign from someone who is 5'6 and between 130-140 pounds (much less than most 'fighters'). IMO, if a black belt is expected to be able to punch with X force, and I am unable to do that because I weigh less than most people, I shouldn't be awarded that rank. An old sensei of mine told me "I dont have any child black belts. I don't have any issue with that idea, but I expect a child black belt to be better at sparring than an adult brown belt. If he's not, then he's missing something, and hasn't yet earned his black belt." I don't expect to be treated differently because of my weight, most female martial artists that I know don't expect to be treated differently because of their gender, and children shouldn't be treated differently for the same reason. Doing otherwise is an unfair bias against that person (by not respecting them) and against others (by expecting more of them.
Regarding your statement about "If the requirement is to "hold your own" with X number of people of the rank you're testing for, should that be people selected at random, or matched to the size/age/fitness of the person testing?" If a requirement for me was a kumite, and someone could not participate because of their size (again, I am 5'6-5/7 and 130-140 pounds, very short and skinny for a martial artist), I would walk out on that test, and lose respect for the tester. If the system requires me to be able to hold my own with someone of a certain skill level, I God Damn better be able to hold my own with that individual, and create strategy on the fly to handle their advantages, or else I do not deserve to be the same rank as them.
Then she shouldn't have the same rank as you. If she's not able to output the minimum power required, why should she have that rank?
Or, if the issue is technique, then the amount that she's able to output should be enough for you to also achieve that rank. By separating it, it's ageism, sexism, and weightism.
This comes back (again) to what you consider a rank to mean...
If you treat it as much like an academic qualification, with a set standard to reach to pass, then your opinion is perfectly valid.
But if you treat it as more of a personal accomplishment and test based on the person it's something different.
There's also the fact that having a minimum standard is just fine - on the subject of breaking something "you have to be able to punch with X force". Nothing wrong with that.
But say a slight woman can do that and it takes 100% of her effort, she's earned it.
For me, that could be a 20% punch. I'd sail the test without thinking. Not much of a test is it? Have I truly earned it? Would I really deserve the pass if it's supposed to be a true test?
I'd say no. There's no challenge.
Is it not a very "today thing" that people are graded and want to be graded (yes some who truly want to know where they at, others so they think what they are paying for actually shows results:- if that makes sense) and that any curriculum is going to be flawed in some way or be picked up on in some way by some one (I'm not having a go at any thing in particular here ).
Is it or could it not be that a school needs to have "X" number of BB (or indeed any colour they choose) to see themselves as relevant and thereby pull in the new students? Thereby survive ?
I know that a very simplistic view however could it be a modern wanting gratification and satisfaction thing ?
If I'm putting myself into a test, I want to be tested. I don't want to meet the minimum standard.
On an earlier test I received a pass. My first response was to ask what I did wrong. Where did I lose marks so that I didn't get 'credit' or 'distinction'.
I'd say our tests are set up so that with effort the average person can pass. I don't want to be that easy on myself...
I didn't take it as a criticism.
I was just stating my reasons for testing. If those reasons make me self gratifying then so be it - there are plenty of things I do for self gratification.........
Yeah it's a tricky one hey...
In one sense it makes sense for each rank to have its standards and requirements, it's what defines it.
But on the other I've heard of a few styles which award ranks based on RELATIVE progress, and relative to the person's capabilities.
This to me makes total sense, but is incredibly tricky to measure and keep track of... Everyone will have different capabilities and limitations (based on age, strength levels, body's limitations, disabilities or impairments), so it makes sense to look at the student and see that they meet the curriculum based on their own personal capacity and progress. It just takes a really awesome instructor to be able to keep track of all the students and to really know them well.
And I think it's nice that it makes martial arts more available to everyone. But it's a bit of a catch 22... in once sense you want there to be a standard and for each rank to mean and stand for something. But not everyone is the exact same, and can only perform with what they've got...
No I'd put you and your goals not as self gratification ....more your need with in yourself to be the best you can be and to me that is a martial arts concept often misunderstood ...Your path is your path not anothers and your best ( what but hard work and studying ) may be well above anothers or below but that is to me not the point it is what and where you see your path and where you see your goals to be
There's simply no point measuring myself against someone else, I'm not them.
Being 40+, can I ever realistically believe I have the same physical capabilities as a dedicated 25 year old who has been training for 15+ years?
I have a physical job and attend class a minimum of 3 times a week, can an office worker who only has time for one lesson a week expect to have the same condition as me?
While there's the "way of life" thing around, MA can only really be a partial way of life that can influence other parts. People have jobs, school, families and myriad other things to live for - is it actually possible now to be a full time martial artist?
I so so agree with your last statement
In theory it is possible to be a full time martial artist (there again we get into the definitions of what is a full time Martial artist ...I'm not trying to start an argument there lol) but as you rightly state we all have to live and survive put bread on the table etc and that is not always easy and can come into conflict if anyone is "full time"
I listened to a sensei talk years ago and they said (para phased) it was easier for them to teach full time as their partner had a well paid job. They also went on to say that when they taught they had to accept that not all the students would have the same dedication to the art as them or want to live and breathe it as they did or practice train as they had done with their sensei. When asked if that meant letting their standards drop they answered no but they have to be re-evaluated as it the students coming that pay for the dojo etc
dunno if that makes any sense
No, it makes sense.
There's a lot going around about standards slipping and how it might damage the arts - but so what?
If someone with less ability than me holds a higher grade, why should that affect me in the slightest? It doesn't mean I'm not going to try my best.
To operate, a school needs students. Without them it simply can't stay open.
People in general want to see progression with their activities - whether that's real progression in my eyes or not doesn't really matter. So someone gets promoted who I think isn't really that good - so what?
They keep turning up, they keep paying.
That means the school stays open and I can afford the lessons.
If I don't allow myself to coast, I don't care if 99% of other students are crap and uncoordinated. If I don't allow their performance to influence the standards I set for myself why does it really matter?
As a bad example, say someone says "I can do 100 push-ups". But they're doing them with their bum in the air, their back sagging, not going through full range of motion, actually doing little more than bobbing their head.
They're only cheating themselves, not me. Their poor form doesn't devalue what I can do. If they got a badge for doing 100 push-ups and I got a badge too, but mine were better - what real impact does that have on anything at all?
So a member of the public says TKD is crap because they saw a black belt fail a kick. Big whoop. That person who failed that kick might very well be helping to subsidise my continued learning.