Western 10th Degrees. Fake or legit?

47MartialMan

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Well, back the topic, I dont care if someone is a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, whatever, if they have many years, and seem to be knowledgable, then perhaps they have something to teach and/or I may have something to learn.


Although, I must admit, I will be a little more concerned/skeptical, or scrutinize someone claiming 8th, 9th, 10th, or special title.
 

Bester

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Considering how long it should take to reach that level, I'm suspicious of anyone claiming high rank at a young age, moreso anyone claiming multiple high ranks at young ages.

And "founders" who are under 40, or who have taken an existing system and only changed 5-10% are tripley suspect.

Lets be blunt: Founding 1 art in a lifetime is rare. Founding 2 rarer. More than 3, well, I'm in serious doubt. Now, I've seen a few folks, but often those are "revisions" not "all new". Ironically enough, those individuals seem to avoid "10ths" while alive, and they are often awarded after death to honor them. That, I have no problem with.

Its that 25 year old "expert" with a "sokeship" and 10 black belts, who founds his own system, with minimal to no "practical" experience. Like I want to learn combat arts from a glitter-dancer who plays with hollow aluminium toys at tournys. :barf:
 

47MartialMan

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Bester said:
Considering how long it should take to reach that level, I'm suspicious of anyone claiming high rank at a young age, moreso anyone claiming multiple high ranks at young ages.

And "founders" who are under 40, or who have taken an existing system and only changed 5-10% are tripley suspect.

Lets be blunt: Founding 1 art in a lifetime is rare. Founding 2 rarer. More than 3, well, I'm in serious doubt. Now, I've seen a few folks, but often those are "revisions" not "all new". Ironically enough, those individuals seem to avoid "10ths" while alive, and they are often awarded after death to honor them. That, I have no problem with.

Its that 25 year old "expert" with a "sokeship" and 10 black belts, who founds his own system, with minimal to no "practical" experience. Like I want to learn combat arts from a glitter-dancer who plays with hollow aluminium toys at tournys. :barf:
Good point.....understood
 

Matt Stone

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Ok same scenario.
10 years to 1st black, age 15. 3 years per dan for the early Dans. age 24 4th Dan by the accepted standard. As they get higher in the Dans it takes longer, much longer.

But I think the point is that the years from 5 - 18 are questionable in terms of training impact... The gangly pre-pubescent and the pimply faced teen aren't really emotionally, physically, nor mentall mature enough to really "get" what they are being taught. So, at least in my book, it is the years from 18 on that really matter.

I started training at 16. I am 36 now, so that racks up 20 years, right? Sure, but those first two years I really had no clue as to what I was doing... I mimicked things, but it was hollow, empty, devoid of "feeling." For myself, I only really count the last 15 years as useful years, and probably only 10 of those as good training years (the other years my training was to sporadic and too unfocused to be of any great physical benefit).

How many people are willing to admit that kind of time line?
 

Aegis

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Matt: My own experience shows similarities with what you were saying, though obviously I haven't been in the arts as long as you. My Judo training from about 11 to 19 really left very little lasting impression on me due to the short training sessions only being once a week, and me only being a kid at the time. My real training started when I got to university and started training jujutsu at least 6 hours a week, which I've tried to stick with ever since except through illness or injury.
 

arnisador

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I wouldn't say the years from 18, but I agree with the general idea--that unless you're on the right side of puberty, say 14, you're not getting all that much from it.
 
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James Kovacich

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Matt Stone said:
But I think the point is that the years from 5 - 18 are questionable in terms of training impact... The gangly pre-pubescent and the pimply faced teen aren't really emotionally, physically, nor mentall mature enough to really "get" what they are being taught. So, at least in my book, it is the years from 18 on that really matter.

I started training at 16. I am 36 now, so that racks up 20 years, right? Sure, but those first two years I really had no clue as to what I was doing... I mimicked things, but it was hollow, empty, devoid of "feeling." For myself, I only really count the last 15 years as useful years, and probably only 10 of those as good training years (the other years my training was to sporadic and too unfocused to be of any great physical benefit).

How many people are willing to admit that kind of time line?

I don't disagree. Rank is easier to get from org. to the next. But it was Royce Gracies rank that was being questioned. It was implied that the high rank was easy for Gracie Family and hard for everyone else. The brothers almost all started after learning to walk and thats when they start their kids too.
 

47MartialMan

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Matt Stone said:
But I think the point is that the years from 5 - 18 are questionable in terms of training impact... The gangly pre-pubescent and the pimply faced teen aren't really emotionally, physically, nor mentall mature enough to really "get" what they are being taught. So, at least in my book, it is the years from 18 on that really matter.

I started training at 16. I am 36 now, so that racks up 20 years, right? Sure, but those first two years I really had no clue as to what I was doing... I mimicked things, but it was hollow, empty, devoid of "feeling." For myself, I only really count the last 15 years as useful years, and probably only 10 of those as good training years (the other years my training was to sporadic and too unfocused to be of any great physical benefit).

How many people are willing to admit that kind of time line?
Me-
 

Matt Stone

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akja said:
I don't disagree. Rank is easier to get from org. to the next. But it was Royce Gracies rank that was being questioned. It was implied that the high rank was easy for Gracie Family and hard for everyone else. The brothers almost all started after learning to walk and thats when they start their kids too.

I don't know that much about the Gracies... Mainly because I don't care. They are becoming victims of their own hype, I think, because once upon a time they were this small Brazilian family with an impressive record of alleged undefeatability (is that even a word? It is now...). I say "alleged" because from what I recall, early on they said that a lot of their fights were "in the street," a phrase that has little to no merit when discussing someone's fight record... Too easy for even McDojo Joe to say "I've fought over 100 fights 'in the street' and I've never been defeated." Yeah, whatever.

Anyway, while they certainly have a leg up on folks when it comes to training (what with having it surround them 24/7), that doesn't mean that they should necessarily make rank any faster than someone else. If they do, especially if some outside student who trains like a demon doesn't, it will inevitably reflect poorly on them. Besides, if someone wants to take issue with them, no matter what they do that person will find something about it to cry about...

Anymore, especially now that I'm "in the wilderness" again without a school of my own to train in for about 8000 miles, I'm just going to focus on my own training... Others can do what they like. They'll be found out in the end.
 

RRouuselot

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Matt Stone said:
Anymore, especially now that I'm "in the wilderness" again without a school of my own to train in for about 8000 miles, I'm just going to focus on my own training... Others can do what they like. They'll be found out in the end.

Matt,

I am trying to nail down some dates to go over to the ROK.....we can train then
 

TimoS

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47MartialMan said:
Perhaps big titles and high rank are big egos and people who are high?

Definetely there are some who fit into this category, but since there are obviously some who don't (I would like to say majority, but can't be sure), I don't think that that is a fair description
 

evenflow1121

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Depends where the system was founded. If the system is a Western based then I dont see much of a problem, if the system is eastern based, then there may be an issue.
 

bushidomartialarts

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theoretically, you're legit if you're promoted by your organization.

realistically, there's a bunch of idjits running around who formed an organization so they'd get promoted to high rank.

practically, i take any rank above 5 with a heavy grain of salt.

personally, i wonder why these people bother to promote themselves. shodan is hard enough to live up to.
 

Jukato

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In 2003 I, along with several other people of various MA gave a Demo on Camp Zama. Several arts were represented, Chinese, Japanese, and "another”.

The “other” was a guy named Castro who claimed to be a 10th dan, Soke and had founded several MA organizations… one of them he called Japanese Ancient Jukato(JAJ); a mixture of Jiu-Jitsu and Karate, as well as, Matsudiara-Ryu Nihon-Jujutsu…...all bogus of course. At the event he solicted not only me but every other style to join his organization. I thought it was pretty ballzy of him to go around and ask people to join even though he had no idea who we were or what kind of people we are. Anyway all the groups demoed and Castro got up and claimed he was going to do an ancient sword kata using a katana developed by Chinese sword makers that were kidnapped and taken to a village in Japan. The Chinese sword makers developed this kata to protect the village from bandits. He then proceeded to turn on a boom box and do what looked like a combination of Tae-bo, aerobics and jazzdance with a katana in his hand, every once in a while scrapping it on the ground…..ugh….. the BS load got to me and after seeing this demo I wanted to kick the living crap out of this guy but was persuaded not to by a few friends. Come to find out he, as well as I, both worked on Camp Zama. I saw him on more than a few occasions and asked if he would care to work out……EVERYTIME he declined claiming injury to some part of his body...... can you say "wuss"?
Too bad he never took me up on my offer because I wanted to "dial in a choke" on this guy sooooo bad.


Here is Grandmaster Castor's Bio:
[font=Verdana,Arial,Times New I2]Master Castro is the International Representative and President of FUMA(Federation of United Martial Artists) Japan. Master Castro was born on 10 December 1959, in Manhattan, New York. Master Castro is a ranked heavy professional martial artist who has studied since he was ten years old. He studied under Chinese Master Lo receiving his first Black Belt in 1976. He was awarded the 6th Degree Black Belt(Shihan/Master Rank) in Professor Kato's system of JAJ in 1996 and was awarded the rank of Grand Master in 2001. He is a member of the International Federation of Jiu-Jitsuans(IFOJJ). Master Castro also has a 4th Degree Black Belt(YonDan) in Japanese Okinawan Goju-Ryu, 4th Degree(YonDan) in Chinese Tiger Claw, and 2nd Degree(NiDan) in Taekwondo. His known competitor name is "White Tiger", winning over 50 stateside welter-weight championships. He is director of the Black Belt Unity Program(BBUP), dedicated to professional education and the development of Black Belt students and instructors. Master Castro was the U.S. Olympic Committee Representative for five years consecutively while assigned to Ft. Bragg, N.C. He trained the U.S. Army Taekwondo and Karate Teams, of which won Gold and Silver Medals in county, city, state, governor cup, region, national and international competitions. Some of his students own successful martial arts schools operationally located in Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Virginia, and New York. Master Castro was the head Instructor (Kouchou) for Jujutsu-Karate at Camp Zama, Japan, for approximately 13 years. Master Castro now teaches in Hawaii. One of his students is Instructor Nidan Kim W. Zornes. Master Castro has the following qualifications:[/font]


I gotta tell ya, that reading items such as this and the follow on comments are very disturbing. First off, the arts are not bogus. If you are a true martial artist, you don't belittle another's art. Each art has its pros and cons. You won't see Master Casto doing that, and you won't see me doing that either. I appreciate the fact that he mentioned me in the caption as being one of his students and instructor, even though I haven't seriously taught for years due to my ongoing Army service (34 plus years). Both of us are recognized with IFOJJ, USMAF, and USMAA. You really might want to reconsider slandering martial arts instructors/professionals, no matter what your opinion is. Each art has something to take away and learn from. Finally, if you are a true martial artist, you would know better than to write crap like this to begin with.
 

dvcochran

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I think 99.9% of the Western 10th Dans are bogus, questionable, and outright frauds. First, it is easy to claim your own style, with yourself as Founder, and award yourself 10th Dan. A quick glance at the World Head of Soke membership list will confirm this.
Second, I think people receive 10th Dans for reasons other than 50 years of dedication to a style and world credibility: honorary rank, getting some "Soke" to sigh your certificate if you sign his, going to Kinko's etc.
Thirdly, if you base 10th Dan on the premise that the recipient has dedicated 50 of their life to outstanding promotion and dedication to their art, very few martial arts have been established in this country for 50 years. Furthermore, by that reasoning, your average American 10th Dan should be at least 70 years old. Many of these "10 Dans" look pretty young to m
It seems that all of the head of family sokeships are looked down upon by many. Some of the reasons were because of the improper usage of the word soke and other reasons were about bogus rank.

It seemed to me that it was being implied that all 10th degrees in the west were bogas. Is that what everyone beleives? Why?

I think most of us have read at least some of the current threads rearding similar topics but this question was left unanswered. I my self know several Grandmasters and I'm sure that many in here do too.

So what is the view on 10th degrees in the USA and the rest of the west?
Does this thread include easterners who have lived in the west for xxx years? Just curious.
 

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