The Controversy of Cross-Ranking

Wo Fat

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I'm sure it's happened in many a style: someone who attained BB rank in one style, is offered BB rank in another style based on his or her friendship/kinship with a higher-up. Is it fair? Most--except for the one being cross-ranked--would say "no".

So what happens to the style itself? It now has people of high rank who don't know its customs, its techniques, its nuances. Some of these cross-ranked Black Belts actually put in the time to master the style (and if they're a true expert, that's do-able). But others don't. Worse yet, THEY start promoting their old students to rank within the new art. All the while, maintaining their old art.

Sometimes cross-ranking is necessary if the head of an organization can no longer perform his or her duties, and there's no one else ready to assume them (yeah, that says a lot about the organization, but once in a while that's the reason).

What are some of your thoughts on cross-ranking?
 

Bruno@MT

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Cross ranking is a McDojo style scam.

It's a disgrace. And that is putting it mildly and not using the vocabulary that comes to mind, which would trigger the word censors and possibly earn me a talking to by one of the staff. They already have enough on their plate :) so I am not going to. If you want, you can mentally add some profanity to this post and you probably get it approximately right.
 

Xue Sheng

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Cross ranking, based on the OP discription is bad

McDojos however gets a :deadhorse:deadhorse:deadhorse:deadhorse :deadhorse on the beats a dead horse scale :D
 

suicide

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sounds like someone gets mcdonalds coupons for coming to class and participating like a good lil boy & girl :wavey:


dont let me catch you slipping son cause ill roundhouse that burger out your mouth ... homeslice
 

MJS

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I'm sure it's happened in many a style: someone who attained BB rank in one style, is offered BB rank in another style based on his or her friendship/kinship with a higher-up. Is it fair? Most--except for the one being cross-ranked--would say "no".

So what happens to the style itself? It now has people of high rank who don't know its customs, its techniques, its nuances. Some of these cross-ranked Black Belts actually put in the time to master the style (and if they're a true expert, that's do-able). But others don't. Worse yet, THEY start promoting their old students to rank within the new art. All the while, maintaining their old art.

Sometimes cross-ranking is necessary if the head of an organization can no longer perform his or her duties, and there's no one else ready to assume them (yeah, that says a lot about the organization, but once in a while that's the reason).

What are some of your thoughts on cross-ranking?

This is another one of those topics that I hate. This, IMO, is right up there with those that train in 10 different arts, claiming to have very high rank in all of them, etc. I look at cross ranking like this....if its something that happens to you, fine, but, do not make it seem like you really earned and trained in said art. This IMO gives a false impression. Someone who gets cross ranked without training in the art, could try to deceive others, who see that rank, and assume the rank is legit. If someone does it, then let it be known that it is honorary and that the person has no background in said art.

People like the "ohh and ahh" effect. It makes them feel real good if they can brag and pad their resume with a ton of different things. Sorry, that doesn't impress me at all.
 

jks9199

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It's one thing to cross rank someone in closely related arts, like if you left a judo school and the only school available was a Korean yudo school (which, to my understanding is almost identical.), or maybe moving between the x-kan schools. Especially if the cross ranking is supported by some sort of testing/evaluation. It's another to cross rank in very different styles...
 

Shinobi Teikiatsu

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JKS made a good point about the closely related systems, but I think it boils down more to whether you're switching between organizations, such as the X-kans, that teach, relatively, the same art, or between actual arts themselves, such as switching from Hung Gar to Choy Li Fut. In situations where its an organization switch, then a cross-rank could work in theory, but an art based cross-ranking should never happen, plain and simple.

The way I hear it, cross-ranking often happens when black belt masters congregate during a seminar and one is impressed with the other, so he decides to "gift" him the title of shodan or whatever in the former's style. This, clearly, is an honorary title and should be taken with a grain of salt, but leaves this martial artist feeling a little irked. I feel that if you feel you've learned a great deal from one of your martial siblings, the proper course of action isn't to grant them a certain rank within your style (because a jiu-jitsu expert has superb jiu-jitsu skills, not kyusho-jitsu skills, and should not be stated as such), but rather to present them with some sort of gift such as a special gi or the patch of your school, perhaps even a sword. Something to signify that they contributed to your knowledge and to your school and have prowess, but are not necessarily your students or representatives of your school. Remember, your black belts are YOUR black belts because they represent YOUR school, their black belt shouldn't hold weight anywhere outside the confines of your walls. I think those people that chase cross-ranking have an overly large ego and do not appreciate the finer points of being a white belt.
 

MJS

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It's one thing to cross rank someone in closely related arts, like if you left a judo school and the only school available was a Korean yudo school (which, to my understanding is almost identical.), or maybe moving between the x-kan schools. Especially if the cross ranking is supported by some sort of testing/evaluation. It's another to cross rank in very different styles...

I still feel that the person should earn the rank, even if the arts are similar. For example...I went from the Parker system of Kenpo to Tracy. Many of the techniques and kata were very similar, however there were slight differences. I still wore my belt from the Parker system. I started at the beginning, at the new school, and moved on up. There were some things that I had not done before, so I had to learn them. I took a black belt test at the new school, although it was a modified test, meaning I did not do all of the punches, kicks, exercises, etc. I did however run thru every tech. and kata, and yes, by the end of the 2 hr test, I was exhausted.

While my teacher told me to wear my original belt, he wanted me to be ranked in his school.

As I said, the similarities were there, but for him to just hand me the rank in the school, when I didnt know all of the material yet...that wouldnt be right IMHO.

As for the X-kans...you might find this interesting. So I take that as: if a 3rd dan student from the Bujinkan wanted to now train in the Jinenkan, he'd have to start from the beginning. Check out this as well.
 

Bruno@MT

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Given the politics surrounding the Xkans, it would greatly surprise me if people are just crossranked. I don't know about Jinenkan, but Genbukan and afaik Bujinkan membership rules state that you can't be a member if you are also a member of any other ninjutsu organization.

If you want to switch kan, you have to start over, no matter which way you go (I think). However I suppose that you can be accelerated through the kyu ranks, depending on whether you know everything that is in the curriculum or not. You'd still have to do all the intermediate checktests and prove your skill level, but the time in rank requirement can maybe be waived at least until you hit BB.

Dan rank comparison between kans is impossible anyway, so there is very little to no chance you'll be accelerated to your old rank.
 

TigerLove

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Case 1: ok

My master achieved 1. dan hapkido (he never trained it) after he achieved 5. dan in taekwondo. I think this is proper, because those two arts are perfect for cross training. Now my master is 3. dan hapkido.

Case 2: ok NOT

But, i get pissed of when 18 years old achieved 1. dan taekwondo (he is wtf), and like a gift received 1. dan hapkido. Jesus, i left half of me on mat to achieve green belt!!

I asked him to show me some hapkido moves and advices (well, he is few grades higher, right) - and he didn't know even how to start. When he started i suspressed my self laughing, some white belts are better then him.

But that doesn't touch me much - i am here to beat myself, not others. His problem and shame.
 

Bruno@MT

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Case 1: ok

My master achieved 1. dan hapkido (he never trained it) after he achieved 5. dan in taekwondo. I think this is proper, because those two arts are perfect for cross training. Now my master is 3. dan hapkido.
.

This is only ok if your master knew the hapkido curriculum and was able to perform all the techniques and moves. If he didn't, then he should only get the rank that reflected his actual hapkido knowledge imo.
 

jks9199

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OK -- I was only using the x-kans as an example of closely related arts. Internal politics between such closely related arts may well preclude any effective cross ranking between them. But it's much more credible to transfer ranks across arts that have such a high level of specific overlap than, say, between tae kwon do and silat.
 

TigerLove

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This is only ok if your master knew the hapkido curriculum and was able to perform all the techniques and moves. If he didn't, then he should only get the rank that reflected his actual hapkido knowledge imo.

Well, he couldn't not know when hapkido has so many similaries with taekwondo.

As i know (but through fog) hapkido is delivered from Tekyon and Yoo Sool, and Tekyon is ancient part of taekwando. And also, most hapkido tehniques also can be found in some ancient taekwondo style, but forget it's name.

If i am wrong correct me..
 

ACJ

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Well, he couldn't not know when hapkido has so many similaries with taekwondo.

As i know (but through fog) hapkido is delivered from Tekyon and Yoo Sool, and Tekyon is ancient part of taekwando. And also, most hapkido tehniques also can be found in some ancient taekwondo style, but forget it's name.

If i am wrong correct me..

If you say so.

Neither is developed from taekyon or any other "ancient" martial art. All quite modern. Taekwondo from karate. Hapkido from jujitsu? And probably bits of karate too. Still I would hardly say 5th dan in taekwondo counts as anything in hapkido or vice versa.
 

TigerLove

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If you say so.

Neither is developed from taekyon or any other "ancient" martial art. All quite modern. Taekwondo from karate. Hapkido from jujitsu? And probably bits of karate too. Still I would hardly say 5th dan in taekwondo counts as anything in hapkido or vice versa.

If you say so. Like almost always in this kinda of conversation, we think different.

Maybe you are right, but i am pretty sure that tekyon is an ancient style from which tkd is delivered. I think every source i readed says it.
Also, 90% of kicks in hapkido are from taekwando. And, also i think tkd rankings are pretty much counts in hapkido, because there was some sub style in traditional taekwando which contains all tehniques contained in hapkido. Maybe i am wrong, i just say what i readed.

Hope that somebody who has better knowledge explain it to us.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Well, he couldn't not know when hapkido has so many similaries with taekwondo.

As i know (but through fog) hapkido is delivered from Tekyon and Yoo Sool, and Tekyon is ancient part of taekwando. And also, most hapkido tehniques also can be found in some ancient taekwondo style, but forget it's name.

If i am wrong correct me..
Okay, at your invitation, I am going to correct you.:)

First of all, regardless of what claims are made, hapkido and taekwondo are both postwar arts with no verifiable direct links to any prewar Korean martial art. Both have links to prewar Japanese martial arts, but not the same martial art.

Taekwondo and hapkido are separate arts and in many ways, very different. They do have a degree of crossover, but not enough to where you could say, 'if you know one you know the other.'

Taekwondo comes out of Shotokan Karate. In fact early on, taekwondo used Heian forms until the TKD pioneers invented new ones. And even the new ones, including some of the later Taegeuks have a fair amount of similarity to the Heians. Taekwondo has no verifiable link to Taekyeon and Taekyeon's heads deny the connection. The Jidokwan developed the sparring style that was adopted by the WTF, and by virtue of it having an emphasis on kicks, it looks like Taekyeon to the untrained eye. But that is kind of like saying that wrestling and judo look alike to the untrained eye. Taekwondo has much more in common with Shotokan for obvious reasons, but knowing one does not qualify as knowing the other.

Hapkido's founder, Choi Yong Sul, claimed to have trained under Takeda in Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu. Aside from his claim, there is no verifiable link there either, though it is verified that he lived in Japan and returned to Korea with training in something that bears resemblence to DRAJ. Whether it was DRAJ or some other form of jujutsu is another question. The major difference is here is that from a technical standpoint, there are similarities between the two, similarities that are apparent to the trained eye, not just the general public. Also, Aikido, which is verified as coming out of Daito Ryu, shares a lot with Hapkido. In fact, Hapkido and Aikido have more similarity than Hapkido and Taekwondo (they are both represented with the same chinese characters: 合気道). And even then, I would not make the claim that if you know one then you know the other.

Jae Han Ji added most of the flashy kicks and such to the hapkido curriculum, and I believe that he made claims of Taekyeon influence as well, though I do not know that this claim has any substance.

There are DRAJ, Hapkido and Aikido practitioners here who can give more detail and likely add more pertinent facts, but the above is the essential breakdown.

Taekwondo and hapkido share a good number of strikes and kicks, but the whole of the arts, and their basic philosophy are quite different. I say this as having studied both as separate arts.

Daniel
 

TigerLove

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Thank you very much.

I always feel better when someone with knowledge which i can believe tells me something.

I train Hapkido (Moosoolwon) and Taekwondo (ITF) and that cross training works perfect for me. Still, simply because of my principles i don't want to achieve rank in hapkido because of getting it in taekwondo (example), even if somebody offers it to me. No, i will get mine fair.

Once more, thank you for correcting me!!
 

Daniel Sullivan

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If you say so. Like almost always in this kinda of conversation, we think different.

Maybe you are right, but i am pretty sure that tekyon is an ancient style from which tkd is delivered. I think every source i readed says it.
Also, 90% of kicks in hapkido are from taekwando. And, also i think tkd rankings are pretty much counts in hapkido, because there was some sub style in traditional taekwando which contains all tehniques contained in hapkido. Maybe i am wrong, i just say what i readed.

Hope that somebody who has better knowledge explain it to us.
Again, not true.

Ranks in one rarely translate to ranks in the other unless the TKD school in question is so hapkido influenced as to be almost indestinguishable. I do observe a fair amount of camaradarie between hapkido and taekwondo, but not enough to justify a cross rank.

Hapkido and Taekwondo were developed during the same time frame, and Ji certainly culled kicks from some of the same sources that the TKD founders did, but hapkido also has kicks that are not found in taekwondo.

The substyle in Taekwondo that you are referring to is likely Mudukwon (sp?). There is a large hapkido influence in MDK from what I understand, but keep in mind also that MDK split, one faction ultimately rolling into the Kukkiwon (this one, I believe: http://worldmoodukkwan.com/), the other being Soo Bak Do (http://www.soobahkdo.com/). I understand that both have a greater amount of locks and throws than typical TKD, but I am not sure of the degree of similarity between the two or if ranking in one enables crossrank in the other. In either case, I am also not certain as to whether either are considered to be a subset of hapkido.

I may be off on my MDK history, so if any MDK members here wish to correct me, please feel free.

One comment: KMA history is very, very contentious. Taekwondo particularly. There is a lot of misinformation out there, much of it purposefully promoted in order to distance Taekwondo from karate. Individual schools seeking to profit from both TKD and HKD have also spread further misinformation.

I hope that I do not come across as picking at your posts; that is not my intent.:)

Daniel
 

MJS

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Given the politics surrounding the Xkans, it would greatly surprise me if people are just crossranked. I don't know about Jinenkan, but Genbukan and afaik Bujinkan membership rules state that you can't be a member if you are also a member of any other ninjutsu organization.

If you want to switch kan, you have to start over, no matter which way you go (I think). However I suppose that you can be accelerated through the kyu ranks, depending on whether you know everything that is in the curriculum or not. You'd still have to do all the intermediate checktests and prove your skill level, but the time in rank requirement can maybe be waived at least until you hit BB.

Dan rank comparison between kans is impossible anyway, so there is very little to no chance you'll be accelerated to your old rank.

While that may be the case, and I'm not familiar with the material in each of the Kans, but its possible that Manakas standards for kyu ranks could be very different than the Bujinkan. The same for Genbukan. So, while it may be possible, again, I really dont know, I do get the impression that it may not be as easy as it seems on the surface.
 

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