white dragon

After reading the "How long till blackbelt?" post it reminded me of a question I wanted to ask people. What does the term "senior" mean in your class? Or in relation to people in your class? Is it restricted to people only of a higher belt or who your instructor thinks should be classed as someone elses senior?

I don't know if this makes sense, but I always thought it just meant a higher belt, until a recent grading when I didn't actually grade due to injury and so a friend went to a higher belt than myself. As usual with gradings he (and a couple of others) started to get a bit cocky and gave me a couple of orders in class. My instructor came over and told him that he should be listening to me because even though he was currently a higher belt I was still his senior. another example was given to me when a 2nd Dan joined the class with some attitude (what is it with higher belts?!:) ) and wouldn't listen to me when I was helping our instructor to take the class (just basics). again my instuctor told him to listen to me as in the class I was his senior.

so is being a senior based on technique, or the amount of time you've been in the class? Because there are people in the class that have been there longer than me that I'm apparently more senior (if that's the term) than....

I'm at home for the holidays so I can't just ask my instructor, besides it would mean I don't get to pick you guys and girls brains'! :)
Hmm .. interesting, white dragon. I thought it meant higher
belt too. Had you been under your instructor longer than the
other gentleman? Maybe he's refering to you being senior in
the school?
Well if it went by age, I would have been the 'senior' in our school! LOL Apparently, in your school, it means whoever your instructor feels is worthy of the responsibility, which is obviously a good thing, seeing as people's egos seem to get the best of them!
In our school senior is the one whos been attending the school longest. Real age and belt rank don't matter just "school age".
Well we started around the same time, think we went to the first class together actually, but I have been more often than him, that's for sure. but then I would have thought him grading would have made him my senior, so, I guess not.

hehehe, thankfully it doesn't go by age, otherwise I'd be way down the pecking order!
Apparently, in your school, it means whoever your instructor feels is worthy of the responsibility, which is obviously a good thing, seeing as people's egos seem to get the best of them!
Well I guess that must be true then, and it kind of does make sense (knowing how my club works) but I just wondered how other peoples schools worked?
Those who are confident in themselves have no problem humbling themselves. I refer to everyone I do not know as "sir" or "Ma'am"- regardless of rank. Just as I refer to my friends of much higher rank by whatever title they choose (usually Mr., Mrs. Sir, or Ma'am, OR first name- depending on the individual). I have found that lower belts warm up to me faster and respect me more when I call them "sir" or "Ma'am"- if they say "Hey- call me Bob (or Mary)" then so be it- but I offer the respect first.

We get a big cross-section of personality types in MA training, and some people have the need to be dominant. I usually give it to them. Sooner or later, the cream has its chance to rise to the top, and the truth will be there for all to see. The "respect me or else" personalities usually end up in the "or else" category themselves. Just like a wise man has on his ID- "Time will either expose or promote you".

There are a great many rings I have been asked to kiss along the way to which the fingers no longer exist.
the way our club works no doubt is a little different than most as we're a university based club, so we have people joining at different times of the year, from different styles and with different ranks, and you can garantee about once a month you'll get someone come in black-tag or above with a GIANT ego problem. Despite never having come to the club before they will demand respect and assume rank over other memebers. On more than one occassion we've had blackbelts come in and interupt our instructor during the demonstration of a technique saying something like "... yeah that's pretty good, but if do it this way..." it's at this point that those of us that know better tend to back off, leaving a clear line between the new guy and the instructor :)

Another example (not really relevant, but funy so I'll tell it) was when one of our regular 3rd Dan instructors came back training after a little time out due to injury. Because he wasn't fit to train normally he didn't wear his dobok and stood at the back of the class. Anyway a new black-tag was down for his second lesson with us and about halfway through the two partnered up, the guy showed no respect, assuming that because he wasn't wearing a belt that he couldn't have been graded. Anyway, I can't remember how it all happened but basically the black-tag ended up saying something along the lines of how he could kick the *** off him and it would take him years to get up to his level. So at the end of the class our 3rd Dan friend decided to "test" the black-tag and kicked the **** out of him for about 45 minutes straight. I'll hand it to the guy though he wouldn't give up, and I've not seen someone get hit in the face every single time they attack. Quite an achievement really. Yeah so I guess the point is, respect should be shown to everyone in the class and not to just assume things because you're a higher belt.
Well, I don't know how the traditional Korean systems do it, but traditional gung fu schools use a system of seniority rather than rank. This seniority seems to be entirely based on 'time served'; that is, the person with the more time in the school is senior over those who have less time at the school.

It sounds like your school uses this type of system in conjunction with a belt ranking system. That's the first time I've heard of anyone doing that.

Then again, it could have been just your instructor's way of busting some egos. :)

I guess we must be using a mix of the two then, as you suggest. Iwth a constant stream of people coming in from different schools I suppose it makes sense to use seniority based on time severed in our club, rather than rank. That said if I've severed the same time as someone and they've graded more than I have shouldn't they be my senior? Unless it's down to who the instructor feels is more resposible (or maybe in some cases less ego driven!)... *scratches his head*
In my school seniority is based on rank, age, time at present grade, and time in art in that order. So for example, I just got my 2nd Dan, before that I had been a 1st Dan for 5 years, 2 months, and 2 days (not that I was counting or anything :p ). So I lined up in front of all the other 1st Dans, and they all called me sir.

Also although young people can be senior, we must still respect our elders.
I think the term of senoir is based on situation as much as anything else. We can talk about senoir experience in life or in the arts, if the talk, or situation, is about life more than martial arts Id say age is senior. And of course rank shows seniority, also age in the school is another basis for seniority.
I've taught in schools that had students coming in from other systems and other schools to train. Because they hadn't served any time in my school or know the curriculum and how things worked, they were set apart. When the class lined up to open and close the visiting students would line up perpendicular. Seniority would flow back and forth between rank, time in my class, and age. Respect would be shown by all. I would tell my students that they should listen to the visitors so that they could learn a different way of doing things and should appreciate that. I would tell the visitors the same thing. They may share their knowledge and their methods of doing things, but have an open mind to my way of doing things. We learn martial ARTS. Everyone does things a little (or a lot) differently. Appreciate them all. In a highly disciplined area, every student showed every other student... regardless of rank, age, or time in my class... respect by using Mr., Ms., Sir and Ma'am. Children are not allowed to order around adults because they haven't earned the right to be leaders (no matter their ranks) until they have the life experience to back it up. I help provide that life experience by putting children in charge of the class. When I place someone in charge, they are the leader and are responsible for their actions. If a kid is put in charge and starts acting egotistical and arrogant, everyone else has the right to gang up and beat the living snot out of the kid and remove him from leadership... Same goes if an adult is put in charge and starts acting inappropriately. Leadership requires more than just someone claiming to be the boss. It requires having authority, a sense of service, potential, and strength of character. I don't want to get someone just accustomed to a select few of those qualities. S/he has to demonstrate them all. You can't demand or require respect just because of your age or the color belt around your waist. You earn it by your actions.

I tell people that they can gang up on someone being a moron, but it never happens because everyone is careful to act respectful and proper because they realize that there can be concequences, just as there are concequences in real life if you don't show restraint and self control. The classes are mostly friendly in nature. I want people to have fun and let loose, but exercize restraint and control at the same time.
Originally posted by vincefuess

There are a great many rings I have been asked to kiss along the way to which the fingers no longer exist.

Hey Vince, I don't know if it means the same in the US as it does in Australia, but "kissing someones ring" is not something to brag about.

Isn't vernacular a funny thing, LOL?

--Dave :rofl:
It means the same over in the UK, and I got a little worried where he was going with the whole "finger" thing for a moment till I realised what he was actually talking about :)
Well one's 'ringpiece' is a very intimate part of one's anatomy, but it is essential to know this location on others, particularly when it is necessary to take that hand that Vince mentioned, and <<stuff it where the sun don't shine!!>>
Oh man- I will never be able to use that phrase again- it has been soiled!! Hooccchh!! Ptuiii!!! Yuck!

The phrase I used is used here in reference to a custom in the Mafia, whereby you show respect to the Godfather by kissing a ring he wears on HIS HAND. It is a demonstation of respect and subordination.

Vince, there is just no accounting for some peoples 'vernacular'!!! :rofl:
yeah, yeah, what ever turns you on baby :D
Actually, metaphorically speaking, the two definitions are not all that different- except maybe in flavor... :rofl: :rofl:

(Sorry, Moderators- sometimes they just can't be resisted!)

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