Should a black belt be given out after only one year of training?

searcher

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Here is a question that needs to be asked, "is it the first style he has trained in?" I could see this happeneing IF the person already has training and is somewhat of a phenom.
 

Touch Of Death

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Black Belt in one year? No!

With that said, there are exceptions to every rule. If an instructor/school, awards a black belt to a motivational speaker that has proven himself and furthermore would like to serve as an example that things CAN be achieved, then YES, there's the exception. Specially if the student will continue with regular training.

There are a lot of factors that we don't know here, money, hours, previous training, etc.

Taking long to get a black belt for just the sake of taking long, does not make a black belt better. I've seen students take 2-3-4 months off at a time, habitually! and then earn their 5-year "training" Black Belt .

Now is that better, than someone who spent 2-3 years working their butts off with regular training? Not to mention if you're like me, where you're thinking about martial arts constantly, looking at videos, reading magazines, finding ways to improve yourself outside the dojo.
Any one Living in a Van down by the river probably should be a black belt.:)
Sean
 

hkfuie

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But I support the existence of programs that don't follow my approach, I really do. If people want 1 or 2 year black belts, good for them, I'd even help find them a school. Then my students don't have to worry about them. Always a good idea.


Nice point. :D
 

chinto

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a black belt in a year? Hmm say he is a brown belt, first kyu in a very related system..then yes.

if he was not trained in a realated system , and I mean a very related system.... NO WAY!


min of 5 years is standered in the USA. and most european nations. that is because in such places most people think a BB is some kind of expert. We all know he is not, but they think he is. that is why I am told that most of our brown belts are better then most BB's who are sho dan and even ne dan in Okinawa. because we expect much more out of them.

the other reason is that the law does treat a BB in an altercation diferently. you are much more likely to go to jail after one if they know you are a martial artist with one. they will also most likely take a lot higher precations when taking you into custody for the very reason they think you are an expert if you have that rank.

so NO minumum of 5 years. in shobayashi seems to averidge about 63/4 years to7 year.
 

Brandon Fisher

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Chinto,
Big claim that most of the brown belts in your dojo are better than the shodan's or nidans in Okinawa. Those guys are good, may not know as much kata or waza but they are good.
 

Victor Smith

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The entire discussion hands on there are no objective standards everyone follows. Being classical there is no rank or systems, just instructors and students, period.

A friend had a TKD program in his down 20 years ago awarding students black belts in one year. Then that program closed and all the parents ran to my friends school to sign their kids up and were shocked that they could do so as white belts and then got mad with "Well we paid for the test they passed for black belt". They had a very hard time understanding that meant nothing in my friends program.

A different friend halved the time for black sash from 6 years to 3 years and explained he felt he would have more students training at 6 years from the change. His requirements from time in study didn't change just the belt they wore, so at 6 years you were studying the same material as before. His program has been successful for 40 years. He is teaching Chinese arts.

IMO the standard is how successful the program is. If one promotes students to black belt after 1 year and they're still studying 20 years later then that answer worked. If the program doesn't last that answer works too.

It's not about comparison to other programs. None of you are qualified for a sho-dan in my program. I've always been pleased when dan's have approached for study but explain that they start from the beginning. They either stay or they don't. Those that joined average 15 years of study with me in those cases.

Even less relevant is my student can beat their students. In classical karate there was no competition. I'm not against it if that's what you want, but it has nothing to do with the practice of karate.

some thoughts,
 

jtbdad

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The reason I'm asking is that a motivational speaker I know of around my area supposedly got awarded his Shotokan black belt after only one year of training. Obviously, he did it to prove his points about "anything being achievable" and so on. Some would say that getting a black belt after only one year in the dojo is a great accomplishment, while others would argue that nobody can get a black belt that fast, no matter how well they perform stuff.

Traditionally, a getting a black belt would take about five years. I know that in some arts, like in the Bujinkan's Ninjutsu, a black belt is commonly awarded after only two and a half to three years training, while in others (like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) you're crazy good for getting one after less than five years, as most people will train for twice as long to get their black belt status.

When I was a kid in the eighties, I thought getting a black belt meant that you were a real master of the art. Now I see black belt in some arts that move like beginners.

What do you think about all this? Is a black belt that is given after only one year of training legit? Honestly, I guess asking because I'm sort of disappointed and disillusioned by all this. Isn't it a shame when something that could have been a real badge of achievement comes as cheap is it apparently does nowadays?


My friend the meaning of any color belt is purely dependent upon the requirements set up by those awarding the belt. I hesitate to make judgment calls upon other schools and their own criteria. We must remember that the belt system itself is subjective, not uniform and not even universally applied (some MA's have no belt or even ranking system) Train hard, have fun and pass on what you learn to those less fortunate.

Blessings upon you my friend.
 

Black Belt Jedi

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In my school, my Sensei used to give out the black belt and certificate four months after the candidates graded, but he changed the format by giving out the black belt(s) and certificate(s) right after the grading is over. The reason is that a candidate goes through a 4 month training period to meet certain requirements, that is really the test, then the four hour grading which is more than a show. So before the grading you know that you have already got your black belt.

I prefer to get the black belt and certificate right after grading instead of waiting for a long time. Even other people I know through myspace go through the same thing or receive their black belt at a special function such as a banquet or a tea ceremony the next day or two which is very cool.
 

RobinTKD

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I practice TKD, and although it isn't the first martial art i've studied, i got my Black Belt in 16 months, so a little over a year, I train (notice present tense!) Every. Single. Day. And when i'm not training, i'm thinking about training, or thinking about applications of techniques and kata, i often write these thoughts down too as i can then see how my mental attitude or thought processes has evolved over the course of my training. I think TKD is slightly different though, a black belt has never denoted a master, more someone who knows and can perform the basics proficiently, so it becomes the beginning of the real training, rather than an end.
 

lma

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Most probably a McDojo but I wouldn't say its impossible. If they trained all day every day and had the required level within a year then it would be unfair not to. Thought there is a certain amount of knowledge that only comes with experience over time.
 

Cyriacus

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I think it really Depends.

Where I Train, 1st Dan really just means that you understand all the Main Foundations. 2nd Dan to us, is 1st Dan to most. If that makes any sense.
 

Buka

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The fast track to Black Belt has had an effect on Martial Arts similar to the steroid era on baseball. Used to be when 30 home runs meant something. Used to be when the term Black Belt was held in esteem similar to the term Special Forces.

Going to a dojo for a few years and paying your tuition does not a Black Belt make.
 

Cyriacus

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I think it really Depends.

Where I Train, 1st Dan really just means that you understand all the Main Foundations. 2nd Dan to us, is 1st Dan to most. If that makes any sense.
Apologies for Quoting Myself, and i normally wouldnt do it, but the Detail is somewhat Pertinant.
It still takes 2-6 Years to get a 1st Dan, depending on how smoothely you Sail, and if you do any Double Gradings. Its just the way its percieved i was looking at, opening possibilites.
 

Brandon Fisher

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In Okinawan Karate and Kobudo Shodan (1st Dan) is just a basic understanding of the basics and nothing more also. Also Masters level though its not used like that is typically 7th Dan when someone is issued the grade of Kyoshi not Shihan. Shihan grade is the license for you to be able to teach on your own in your own dojo under the watchful eye of your organization. This can be done at 3rd dan but normally 4th Dan or 5th dan, I think it is the western idea of what black belt is and what its not that has changed some things.
 

Black Belt Jedi

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Going for black belt should take a minumum of 4 or 5 years at an adult level. If you train for a year or two and grade for black belt you will most likely have limited knowledge of the system you study. It is common for Mcdojo's to have students even kids hand out their black belts in a short span of their training. I heard stories from my students ranging from 8-10 years of age on a couple of occasions, that told me that they visited the YMCA and the Sensei there have black belts around their age 6-10 years of age!
 

SuperFLY

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this would never happen in my school.

for starters you have to train for a minimum of 1 year after reaching 1st kyu before you can be eligible for your black belt grading.

could potentially do it in 2 years if you got through all the kyu grades in a year but thats unlikely as gradings are official affairs that run once every 3 months. no less.

so certainly not possible to manage it in the school i go to.

that said, after 15 years or so of not training i went to 1st kyu in around 9 months. but i was awarded 4th kyu as a starter as i already had the skills in my head. (had trained for around 6 years as a child) for someone to start from scratch, its just not going to happen.
 

Kong Soo Do

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What do you think about all this? Is a black belt that is given after only one year of training legit?

I suppose it depends on who you ask. In Korean, school children get their first Dan in about a year on a regular basis. Consider that for what you think it's worth. On the other hand, in my area is a high ranking legite instructor of an Okinwan style. He promoted someone, supposedly a friend and semi-celeb to Shodan in one year. The home org in Okinawa honored it, but from what I heard they were not happy campers about it.

As mentioned, a lot has to due with the amount of training that went into the year. Was it 5-7 days a week of an hour or more each day? Did the successfully pass all requirements when tested? Perhaps the proof is in the pudding i.e. on the mats where, in truth, it really counts.
 

DaveB

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For me, a black belt should only be awarded for appropriate skill, knowledge and understanding of the art in question.

If that takes 2 weeks or 20 years is immaterial. Grading based on other factors diminishes the rank in my eyes.
 

Limasogobudo

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You know I have a student of mine whom did get his black belt in one year. He trained with me for about 2 to 4 hours a day 6 days a week. We went to tournaments he did vary well. most of the time 1st place but the physical part is easy. I was lucky to train with him this much because I could see who he was. A black belt like i said is not just doing an exercise it is to improve your life. So during that time I watched him make drastic changes within himself. That is what make that idea of earning his black belt final. I see people give black belts out like candy because of physical techniques or kata but then the black belt leaves. We all have things that we could leave for I mean we all have life. but it is the idea that when you get that black belt you see your life change. And to me a Shodon just means you past high school. So you see the major change then you continue to watch it mature. that is the idea. and as your mind matures so does your body. So does your mind.
 
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