Registering for a tournament in a belted system when you have no belt

skribs

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What is the protocol for registering for a tournament in a belted system, when you yourself don't have a martial arts belt.

For example, let's say you do wrestling and you sign up for a submission grappling tournament. Or let's say you do Muay Thai and sign up for a Taekwondo tournament. Or let's say you train at the Skribs Kicking Academy and you sign up for a Tang Soo Do tournament. (You see where I'm going with this?)

In this situation, how do you sign up? Do you just google "average time to each belt in Tang Soo Do", say "I've been training for 2 years, that's probably equal to 4th gup, so I'll register as a green belt"?

Or alternatively, if I were running the Skribs Kicking Academy (it probably won't be called that, but we'll see), and we were planning on attending the tournament as a school, could I post a chart and say:
  • If you started in or after February, white belt
  • If you started between October and January, yellow belt
  • ...and so on
 

gyoja

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What is the protocol for registering for a tournament in a belted system, when you yourself don't have a martial arts belt.

For example, let's say you do wrestling and you sign up for a submission grappling tournament. Or let's say you do Muay Thai and sign up for a Taekwondo tournament. Or let's say you train at the Skribs Kicking Academy and you sign up for a Tang Soo Do tournament. (You see where I'm going with this?)

In this situation, how do you sign up? Do you just google "average time to each belt in Tang Soo Do", say "I've been training for 2 years, that's probably equal to 4th gup, so I'll register as a green belt"?

Or alternatively, if I were running the Skribs Kicking Academy (it probably won't be called that, but we'll see), and we were planning on attending the tournament as a school, could I post a chart and say:
  • If you started in or after February, white belt
  • If you started between October and January, yellow belt
  • ...and so on
We did this when competing in open tournaments sponsored by the local Shotokan school. They had three categories for non-black belts: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Sign up your students on site based on your assessment of their skills.
 

drop bear

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Most tournaments eyeball it anyway. We would probably put the guy in a comp we feel he will get a good experience from.

And look. We had a 15 year old kid compete recently. Who didn't have any 15cyear olds to play with. So he was put in the adults. But not in his weight division. A division heavier.

So worrying about belts is probably not that important.
 

_Simon_

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In the open all style tournament I've competed in a bit they have this system for those who don't have a belt (or are in a system that doesn't use belts):


If you do NOT use a KYU system please use the following guide:

  • - 0 - 24 months training : 10th to 6th KYU
  • - 25 - 40 months training: 5th to 1st KYU
  • - Black Belt
 

gyoja

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What is the protocol for registering for a tournament in a belted system, when you yourself don't have a martial arts belt.

For example, let's say you do wrestling and you sign up for a submission grappling tournament. Or let's say you do Muay Thai and sign up for a Taekwondo tournament. Or let's say you train at the Skribs Kicking Academy and you sign up for a Tang Soo Do tournament. (You see where I'm going with this?)

In this situation, how do you sign up? Do you just google "average time to each belt in Tang Soo Do", say "I've been training for 2 years, that's probably equal to 4th gup, so I'll register as a green belt"?

Or alternatively, if I were running the Skribs Kicking Academy (it probably won't be called that, but we'll see), and we were planning on attending the tournament as a school, could I post a chart and say:
  • If you started in or after February, white belt
  • If you started between October and January, yellow belt
  • ...and so on
Did you ever get this figured out?
 
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skribs

skribs

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Did you ever get this figured out?
You mean this question in particular or the bigger picture I've been asking about for the last several months?
 

gyoja

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You mean this question in particular or the bigger picture I've been asking about for the last several months?
Either. Im genuinely curious about both.
 
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skribs

skribs

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Either. Im genuinely curious about both.
I think for this thread, @Dirty Dog had the best suggestion. Barring that, I would probably just look at their rank system (based on what ranks are for different forms) and how long it takes in that art to get to each, and base it on that.

In general, my preference I think is still to do things the way I was originally planning. At least for now. However, right now my fallback plan is a change in approach, one piece of which is a change in how I would handle rank.
 

gyoja

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I think for this thread, @Dirty Dog had the best suggestion. Barring that, I would probably just look at their rank system (based on what ranks are for different forms) and how long it takes in that art to get to each, and base it on that.

In general, my preference I think is still to do things the way I was originally planning. At least for now. However, right now my fallback plan is a change in approach, one piece of which is a change in how I would handle rank.
How do you plan to handle rank?
 
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skribs

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How do you plan to handle rank?
Differently in different classes.

I'm floating the idea right now about doing an "a la carte" system instead of a "sampler" system.

What I mean by that is the TKD schools I've attended and the way my current plan is designed, is that TKD covers a broad range of styles and applications. You have the artistic performative side, the sport kicks side, and the practical self-defense side. There's a core class that covers everything and is how you get your belts, and then there's usually special classes that let you deep-dive into any one particular aspect.

The "a la carte" system is that each specialized class can serve as your primary source of training, and there is no core class that touches on all of them. So you can go to the self-defense class, which doesn't really have a rank system, and focuses on practical striking and standup grappling. Or you can go to the sport kicking class, which has "beginner", "intermediate", and "advanced", but doesn't really have a belt system. And then there's the demonstration class, which has a belt system that ends at a non-degreed black belt (instead of climbing through degrees) and just takes a little longer to get there than I had originally planned.

I could also go with a longer path to a degreeless black belt and use my original curriculum plan. Instead of changing the timing of the teaching, I would simply change the color associated with it. What I mean by that is that in my current curriculum, each of 8 "keubs" is a minimum of 3 months, meaning 2 years minimum to black belt (I assume it would take 3-5 for the average person). That's the point at which a switch is flipped that you start to focus less on building muscle memory and more on application. A switch that has not existed at either of the TKD schools I've trained at as an adult.

On the other hand, if I have a 12 keub system, where the first 8 keubs take around 2 years, and the next 4 keubs take around a year each, I can have a system that is pretty close to my system.

Either way, changing the belt system has the following benefits:
  • Going from "3rd degree black belt" to "black belt" wouldn't be seen as a self-promotion in the way that going to "4th degree black belt" would.
  • In many organizations, 3rd degree black belts can't even promote, especially to black belt. At the very least, I would likely only be able to promote to 2nd, which is a relatively beginner rank. In the old system, it would likely be that a quorum of my highest level students would be 2nd degree black belts, which wouldn't be that important. In this system, I would be able to promote to my level more convincingly (because you're reaching the plateau), and then my quorum would be folks that have a rank that took 6-8 years to get, and would hold more weight.
  • Because the system is different enough, I don't think people will put as much weight into comparisons to other TKD organizations, and it will make it feel more like my own.
 
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skribs

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Also, another benefit of the "a la carte" system is that it would integrate cross-training a lot better than having a rote curriculum.
 

gyoja

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Also, another benefit of the "a la carte" system is that it would integrate cross-training a lot better than having a rote curriculum.
Is this something that you would build up to once you have grown some assistant instructors, or start with this many options?
 

JowGaWolf

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Focus on the skill not the belt.
@skribs You can disagree with me all that you want, but nearly everything will flow back to this statement. If you train with someone else, you focus on the skill not the belt, when you train with someone who doesn't have a belt then you have no choice but to focus on the skill and not the belt.

As a person who comes from a system without belts, we do not try to translate our skills into a belt system. We also don't look at belt rank in other systems and try to determine a skill level. Out of all the times I've sparred with someone outside of the system. I have never asked about their belt rank and they have never volunteered for it.

The reality is that there are a lot of martial arts and fighting competitions that do not use belts. If you look at the total number of these type of competitions. Competitions based on belt ranks are a small percentage. When a competition is an open competition then by default, the belt rank will not hold because some of the participants aren't going to hold.

So like I always say, and you can disagree with this as well. Focus on the skill and not the belt.
 
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skribs

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Is this something that you would build up to once you have grown some assistant instructors, or start with this many options?
Off the bat. At first I'd have low enough student count that it would be doable. Hopefully I have more coaches by the time I need them.
 
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