They sure take their black belts seriously

Andrew Green

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I pose the question as stand up art how can we better judge a person's ability without damaging eachother.

This is really simple, you spar... Throw on some shin pads, 16 oz gloves and headgear if you like and go at it. Even going at a hard sparring level no one is getting hurt, and it is very obvious who has skill and who doesn't.

People that do striking arts and don't do contact sparring tend to overestimate the damage a hit causes. I've met many people that, if they where correct everyone that entered a Muay Thai, MMA or Kyokushin event should be crippled for life :rolleyes:
 

hoshin1600

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I'd say that with striking arts, contact sparring is the necessary route both for developing and testing ability.

Unfortunately, there is a tradeoff. More contact and fewer restrictions means greater development and more valid testing. It also means a greater likelihood of serious, possibly permanent injury.

The best test would probably be something like the matches at a Dog Brothers gathering*. Full contact, minimal protective gear, weapons allowed, very few restrictions. Most of us, even serious martial artists, aren't up for going that far. The next step down might be Muay Thai or Kyokushin-style sparring or contests. From there you can go step by step down the ladder until you reach light/no contact sparring with severely restricted targets and techniques.

*(Another path is to have a career path or lifestyle which leads to actual real-life physical confrontations on a regular basis. This has advantages and disadvantages of its own.)

I'd posit that the best path for most people is to
a) observe what consistently works for the people who do fight or spar full-contact with few restrictions, and build a technical base around that.
b) spend most of their training working with light-to-moderate contact and relatively few restrictions on technique (according to their physical capacity and level of risk tolerance)
c) at least occasionally, bump things up to hard-contact sparring or even full-contact competition to get a feel for what it's like to really give and/or receive some damage.

thanks for the answer Tony. my thoughts are towards the standards for BB. so the career path is more personal development rather than style or organization requirement for BB. but i still have a problem with the sparring issue. certain people will love it others will want nothing to do with it. question: does BJJ require full competition in order to get a black belt? if they do than it would make sense that a stand up art that is trying to match their competency level for BB would also require hard sparring but if actual competition is not required then i need to figure an other way to evaluate competency in stand up.
 

hoshin1600

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This is really simple, you spar... Throw on some shin pads, 16 oz gloves and headgear if you like and go at it. Even going at a hard sparring level no one is getting hurt, and it is very obvious who has skill and who doesn't.

People that do striking arts and don't do contact sparring tend to overestimate the damage a hit causes. I've met many people that, if they where correct everyone that entered a Muay Thai, MMA or Kyokushin event should be crippled for life :rolleyes:
i am not questioning your competency but there are different levels in the striking game. to think that you wont get injured or take damage just because you put on 16 oz gloves means youve either never done it or never worked with a good striker. i wouldnt want to get hit by a guy like Bas Rutten even if he had on 50 oz gloves. :bawling:
 

Gerry Seymour

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thanks for the answer Tony. my thoughts are towards the standards for BB. so the career path is more personal development rather than style or organization requirement for BB. but i still have a problem with the sparring issue. certain people will love it others will want nothing to do with it. question: does BJJ require full competition in order to get a black belt? if they do than it would make sense that a stand up art that is trying to match their competency level for BB would also require hard sparring but if actual competition is not required then i need to figure an other way to evaluate competency in stand up.
It goes right back to the issue Tony pointed out previously. How much contact would be in that competition? Light point striking is very different from MMA-style ground-and-pound finishes. The latter evaluates a larger range of abilities for the striker, and is closer to the chaos of a fight/attack if we're talking about SD. But it also increases the chances of injury by an order of magnitude (or two) compared to the light point fighting. Most of us would have a tolerance somewhere between those two points...probably not very close to the ground-and-pound finishes.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I must say that's quite an accomplishment. So where did you get it?
Where - at the gym I train at: 4 Seasons MMA
Who - technically, it was Carlson Gracie Jr who made the decision to promote me that day, but Carlson only knows me from seminars. Really the promotion is under the auspices of our head instructor, Mike O'Donnell.
When - February, 2015
 

Tony Dismukes

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does BJJ require full competition in order to get a black belt?
Some schools will require tournament competition for promotion. Some won't.

All schools will require plenty of sparring on a regular basis for promotion. Technically the main difference between tournaments and grappling in house is the level of adrenaline and how seriously the participants take each match.
 

JR 137

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thanks for the answer Tony. my thoughts are towards the standards for BB. so the career path is more personal development rather than style or organization requirement for BB. but i still have a problem with the sparring issue. certain people will love it others will want nothing to do with it. question: does BJJ require full competition in order to get a black belt? if they do than it would make sense that a stand up art that is trying to match their competency level for BB would also require hard sparring but if actual competition is not required then i need to figure an other way to evaluate competency in stand up.
Kyokushin has sparring and competition standards for promotion to various ranks. The different groups within Kyokushin have some differences, it theyre mostly on the same page.

Im not sure which ones go with which ranks specifically, but it gets progressively more intense. Ive seen syllabi that state students need to have competed in a low level local tournament, regional tournament, and international tournament. Again, depending on rank testing for. Emphasis isnt placed on outcomes, only that they competed. In order to qualify for higher level tournaments, you obviously have to be successful at lower level tournaments, so its not like someone testing for 4th dan can compete in an international tournament without ever winning anything previously.

Then theres the X man kumite. A brown belt may have to complete a 5 man kumite during testing; a 1st dan 10 man kumite; 2nd dan 15, etc. A 5 man kumite would be five 2-3 minute rounds against a fresh black belt every round, under knockdown rules. Same for the other X man kumites, only add opponents.

I had to do a 20 man kumite at the end of my shodan test. 2 minute rounds vs a fresh black belt every round. We wore hand, foot, and head gear. That school did a mix of bare knuckle and padded sparring in class. Somehow when the pads were worn, we hit harder.

Yeah, guys got hurt sparring. And as you said, Bas Rutten, or better yet Mike Tyson is going to put a world of hurtin on you even if they had 50 oz. gloves on.

Sparring in and of itself isnt a universal measure of effectiveness. Even bare knuckle sparring. You have no true way to tell if that kick to your opponents knee wouldve really blown out his knee without fully doing it. You have no idea if that knife hand strike to the throat wouldve really crushed his trachea without actually throwing it full force. In grappling, its quite obvious the rear naked choke works when its sunk in. Its obvious the arm bar will dislocate the elbow if the opponent doesnt tap. Striking, not so much without throwing the technique full force. You cant exactly tap out after the roundhouse lands on the outside of your knee and right before it blows it out. Once it lands, thats it. People will throw it very lightly and/or stop right before it lands, as they absolutely should, but that doesnt guarantee that it wouldve actually landed nor that it wouldve been hard enough to have the desired effect.

A good example is I was sparring with lower ranks the other night. My teacher told me to tap their foot to start to get them used to being conscientious of being swept. They didnt hear him tell me that. I tapped their feet with my foot several times. I probably wouldve been able to actually sweep them most of the time, if I cant possibly be 100% certain I couldve every time I did it. Theres a big difference between grabbing their shoulder while tapping their foot and actually following through and taking them to the ground. If it were equal or higher ranks, Id have tried to complete the sweeps and known. Thats no different in my eyes than tapping someone on their knee with a roundhouse; maybe it wouldve worked if I threw it full force, maybe it wouldnt. Thats not something I have a pressing question worth answering at this point though.
 

drop bear

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Kyokushin has sparring and competition standards for promotion to various ranks. The different groups within Kyokushin have some differences, it theyre mostly on the same page.

Im not sure which ones go with which ranks specifically, but it gets progressively more intense. Ive seen syllabi that state students need to have competed in a low level local tournament, regional tournament, and international tournament. Again, depending on rank testing for. Emphasis isnt placed on outcomes, only that they competed. In order to qualify for higher level tournaments, you obviously have to be successful at lower level tournaments, so its not like someone testing for 4th dan can compete in an international tournament without ever winning anything previously.

Then theres the X man kumite. A brown belt may have to complete a 5 man kumite during testing; a 1st dan 10 man kumite; 2nd dan 15, etc. A 5 man kumite would be five 2-3 minute rounds against a fresh black belt every round, under knockdown rules. Same for the other X man kumites, only add opponents.

I had to do a 20 man kumite at the end of my shodan test. 2 minute rounds vs a fresh black belt every round. We wore hand, foot, and head gear. That school did a mix of bare knuckle and padded sparring in class. Somehow when the pads were worn, we hit harder.

Yeah, guys got hurt sparring. And as you said, Bas Rutten, or better yet Mike Tyson is going to put a world of hurtin on you even if they had 50 oz. gloves on.

Sparring in and of itself isnt a universal measure of effectiveness. Even bare knuckle sparring. You have no true way to tell if that kick to your opponents knee wouldve really blown out his knee without fully doing it. You have no idea if that knife hand strike to the throat wouldve really crushed his trachea without actually throwing it full force. In grappling, its quite obvious the rear naked choke works when its sunk in. Its obvious the arm bar will dislocate the elbow if the opponent doesnt tap. Striking, not so much without throwing the technique full force. You cant exactly tap out after the roundhouse lands on the outside of your knee and right before it blows it out. Once it lands, thats it. People will throw it very lightly and/or stop right before it lands, as they absolutely should, but that doesnt guarantee that it wouldve actually landed nor that it wouldve been hard enough to have the desired effect.

A good example is I was sparring with lower ranks the other night. My teacher told me to tap their foot to start to get them used to being conscientious of being swept. They didnt hear him tell me that. I tapped their feet with my foot several times. I probably wouldve been able to actually sweep them most of the time, if I cant possibly be 100% certain I couldve every time I did it. Theres a big difference between grabbing their shoulder while tapping their foot and actually following through and taking them to the ground. If it were equal or higher ranks, Id have tried to complete the sweeps and known. Thats no different in my eyes than tapping someone on their knee with a roundhouse; maybe it wouldve worked if I threw it full force, maybe it wouldnt. Thats not something I have a pressing question worth answering at this point though.

Sort of. It is not really as simple as you don't know what you don't know.

And thanks to jobo and his insane thread for helping me get this idea to something manageable.

There will always be unknowns but they do not stand alone in some sort of void.

So I can spar hard and not have to resort to kicking out someone's knee to dominate them.

I have an arsenal of techniques that I use to drop people without having to cause lasting injury. Leg kicks, body shots and sweeps. So if I get a noob who wants to fire off I don't have to kill him to control him.

From that information I can make assessments of the veracity of moves like knee kicks at least to the point of safe entry and exit in real time with real feedback. Which is most of the battle.

The contingency I don't train for is hitting that knee and having it collapse which if that happens I am happy to make up the rest.
 

Gerry Seymour

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The contingency I don't train for is hitting that knee and having it collapse which if that happens I am happy to make up the rest.
Which is where a lot of self-defense schools get themselves in trouble: so many of them always train for that contingency.
 

TSDTexan

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It can happen, but its not something you would necessarily expect or require. (Source - Ive had my black belt in BJJ for a few years now.)
Has it really been that long? Where does the time go? I remember when you posted about getting recognized as a BB after almost 20 years of doing Bjj.
 

Andrew Green

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i am not questioning your competency but there are different levels in the striking game. to think that you wont get injured or take damage just because you put on 16 oz gloves means youve either never done it or never worked with a good striker. i wouldnt want to get hit by a guy like Bas Rutten even if he had on 50 oz gloves. :bawling:

That's the thing, sparring, even hard sparring, unless you are at a certain stage in getting ready for a fight is not about trying to hurt each other. Bas could completely dominate over most people without hurting them, but you'd know he's kicking your butt the whole time. Just line in grappling, a higher level guy doesn't need to smash you completely and tap you every 20 seconds in order for you to know you are out of your league.

Sparring answers the question of skill, it always does.

Same as a older fighter, might not be as fast, might not hit as hard, might not want to get hit hard anymore, but if you glove up even going easy you will know they have a high level of skill.
 

Anarax

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In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu they really take their black belts seriously. They don't just hand them out, as a matter of fact they don't just hand out any of the belts except the white belt but particularly the black belt. If you claim to be a black belt in BJJ you had better be legit and you had better have earned it. They don't put up with people making such claims when they're not true.

Some styles maintain better quality control than others, BJJ isn't the only one that's done a good job of it though. Judo, Kyokushin, Goju-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu and Filipino Martial Arts have maintained good quality control as well. It's really comes down to the training culture schools choose to maintain.
 

JR 137

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Sort of. It is not really as simple as you don't know what you don't know.

And thanks to jobo and his insane thread for helping me get this idea to something manageable.

There will always be unknowns but they do not stand alone in some sort of void.

So I can spar hard and not have to resort to kicking out someone's knee to dominate them.

I have an arsenal of techniques that I use to drop people without having to cause lasting injury. Leg kicks, body shots and sweeps. So if I get a noob who wants to fire off I don't have to kill him to control him.

From that information I can make assessments of the veracity of moves like knee kicks at least to the point of safe entry and exit in real time with real feedback. Which is most of the battle.

The contingency I don't train for is hitting that knee and having it collapse which if that happens I am happy to make up the rest.
Good counterpoints.
 

JR 137

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Which is where a lot of self-defense schools get themselves in trouble: so many of them always train for that contingency.
Ive overwhelmingly seen them rely too much on the groin kick, eye gouge, bite, etc. work EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Better yet, I havent seen very many contingency plans.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Ive overwhelmingly seen them rely too much on the groin kick, eye gouge, bite, etc. work EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Better yet, I havent seen very many contingency plans.
I've made that a hallmark of my training approach. I teach every technique as a contingency to something, and teach contingencies for it not working, too.

Another thing I've seen a lot in SD schools is, during drills and simulations, the "you messed up, just stop and start over". I think this breeds the same kind of habit toward stopping mid-fight that some have asserted point fighting (the kind where you stop and reset after a point) would create. I've developed a bit of grouchiness about that with my own students. Aside from very controlled, technical drills, they're not allowed to stop just because they messed up. If you mess up a hip throw, give them an elbow or something. If you mess up in the middle of an Arm Bar, find SOMETHING that would work, rather than just giving up. Same if they're practicing knife defenses and get "stabbed". Keep fighting, because that's what you'd better be doing, even if you get stabbed, if you ever face a knife you can't run away from. You don't stop until it's over - one way or the other.
 

JR 137

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Sparring answers the question of skill, it always does.

I really like your post, and agree with everything except the line I quoted. Theres so much variation in sparring. The type, amount of contact, what is and isnt allowed, etc. Then theres your sparring partners and their ability and lack there of. Lets pretend knockdown kumite is the best type of kumite there is. I go in and dominate my dojo. If my sparring partners are crap, how good am I?

As for sparring always answering questions of skill, I leave you with this...

Edit: I guess it does actually answer the question of skill, if you say it answers how good or poor the skills are.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I really like your post, and agree with everything except the line I quoted. Theres so much variation in sparring. The type, amount of contact, what is and isnt allowed, etc. Then theres your sparring partners and their ability and lack there of. Lets pretend knockdown kumite is the best type of kumite there is. I go in and dominate my dojo. If my sparring partners are crap, how good am I?

As for sparring always answering questions of skill, I leave you with this...

Edit: I guess it does actually answer the question of skill, if you say it answers how good or poor the skills are.
I'd amend Andrew's comment to "sparring answers a (not the) question of skill" - it will answer the question of who is better (at that moment) in that context.
 

punisher73

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Ive overwhelmingly seen them rely too much on the groin kick, eye gouge, bite, etc. work EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Better yet, I havent seen very many contingency plans.

Yep. They talk about an eye gouge on a small moving target, yet they can't land a jab on an uncooperative opponent. Learn to land a jab at will and we can discuss the matter of landing that eye jab.

But, I digress.

BB's mean nothing outside of that particular school/system/organization in reality. For some, it marks a sign of excellence and skill for others it marks you as ready to start learning.
 

Andrew Green

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As for sparring always answering questions of skill, I leave you with this...

I'd hesitate to call that sparring... This is more like LARP fighting. They've likely decided that the side kick is the most powerful and devastating kick, so the best thing to hit is that. But not wanting to hospitalize each other with this devastating kick they pull them so that they don't ever even come close to landing.

Might was well be standing there yelling "fireball" as they throw bean bags at each other and deflect them with a cardboard shield.

Now maybe they have developed a set of rules and points and there are people that are better and worse within those rules... but what they are doing is fantasy fighting.
 
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