What amount of experience makes it onto your bio/resume?

Monkey Turned Wolf

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There just doesn't seem to be a good answer, does there? (If all of the arts got together and said "We will all have black belts and it will take this many years in all of our arts it would be different).
Agreed. Another thing to consider is that years in an art doesn't equate to skill in that art. If someone trained in an art for five years, 3 times a week most weeks, while practicing at home, and someone else went once a week, often missing multiple weeks in a row, and never practicing at home they're going to have vastly different skill levels. But if both are writing a bio, going by years, all you'd see is both instructors have trained 5 years in X, at the same place.

I'm hoping someone on here has a better solution, but I think ultimately, you'll have to sacrifice to either appeal to existing martial artists, or appeal to the masses.
 
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Not sure what your question is here. I referenced a kyu grade knowing more than a 1st dan, as an example of disparity. I would be concerned if a kyu knew more than a 3rd dan of the same school, unless that kyu had experience in other similar martial arts that make up for the difference in rank.
Rank is also not based on one factor, but several. To name a few:
  • Time in grade
  • Time with the art
  • Competitive ability
  • Knowledge of the curriculum
  • Application of the curriculum
  • Character (attitude, discipline, etc)
  • Leadership skills
  • Bias from the instructor (such as someone they get along with better or have similar opinions maybe getting an edge)
A 3rd Dan who has put in a lot of time and has a lot of natural talent may have less abstract knowledge than someone who spends a lot of time reading and discussing martial arts. Especially if it's things that aren't typically discussed in class or in your system.

That also kind of brings back to the point in this thread. Someone who is a 5-year veteran of 4 different martial arts will have a broader, but less-deep understanding of martial arts than someone who has spent 30 years focusing on one.
 

geezer

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....actions speak more than words. If you can do it OK but if you can織t then people will soon know.
That is absolutely true in competition, less so in teaching or coaching. Experience and knowledge aren't always outwardly apparent. That's why credentials ...and resum矇s are important.
 

Jimmythebull

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"so should a kyu grade know more than a 3rd dan? " reads like a question to me, I'm just not sure where you're getting the question from. Though the direct answer is "No".
it織s actually my comment to this
Hell, even in the same school I've seen much more proficient 'high ranking' (low-kyu) colored belts be more proficient than their 1st dan peers. So personally I put more stock in time training than I do in rank.
so my observation is this is your opinion & experiences in martial arts, hence my answer saying this was my observation.
 

wab25

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Maybe you are putting too much emphasis on this part...? If you read the threads here, where people are looking for a school, what advice are they given? Go to the schools, try it out... look at how the instructor teaches, look for how the students perform (are they able to learn the stuff being taught) look at how they all interact with each other....

I have yet to see an answer that says: Look for the word "Dan" then find out who has the biggest number preceding it. I have never seen: Soke > Sensei, Grand Master > Master, Master > Sesnei.... I have not seen: count the number of different arts that they studied....

I imagine that most places people go to, for advice on which art to study will give similar advice as found here. To most folks looking for a place to start training.... Sabunim, Sensei, Soke, Renshi, Shihan.... don't hold any meaning at all.

As long as you are honest in what your previous training is... I don't think it much matters. How you teach and how your students perform and the culture of your class is the important bit...
 
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Maybe you are putting too much emphasis on this part...? If you read the threads here, where people are looking for a school, what advice are they given? Go to the schools, try it out... look at how the instructor teaches, look for how the students perform (are they able to learn the stuff being taught) look at how they all interact with each other....

I have yet to see an answer that says: Look for the word "Dan" then find out who has the biggest number preceding it. I have never seen: Soke > Sensei, Grand Master > Master, Master > Sesnei.... I have not seen: count the number of different arts that they studied....

I imagine that most places people go to, for advice on which art to study will give similar advice as found here. To most folks looking for a place to start training.... Sabunim, Sensei, Soke, Renshi, Shihan.... don't hold any meaning at all.

As long as you are honest in what your previous training is... I don't think it much matters. How you teach and how your students perform and the culture of your class is the important bit...
I have seen lots of posts on Reddit "Is this school legit?" and then people will offer their opinions. This is mostly on r/Taekwondo and r/MartialArts.

Then there's if I'm not the only Taekwondo school in the area. If they look up and see 3rd Dan at one school and 6th or 7th Dan at another, that's a few degrees of separation (literally).

Once I am established, student performance and word-of-mouth will be a resource I can leverage. When I am just starting, they will not.

I want my resume to reflect the type of place I'd go to in order to train. If I read my resume and think "I probably wouldn't pick that school", then I have more learning to do before I'm ready. If I read my resume and think, "I would go there", then I'm ready.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Maybe you are putting too much emphasis on this part...? If you read the threads here, where people are looking for a school, what advice are they given? Go to the schools, try it out... look at how the instructor teaches, look for how the students perform (are they able to learn the stuff being taught) look at how they all interact with each other....

I have yet to see an answer that says: Look for the word "Dan" then find out who has the biggest number preceding it. I have never seen: Soke > Sensei, Grand Master > Master, Master > Sesnei.... I have not seen: count the number of different arts that they studied....

I imagine that most places people go to, for advice on which art to study will give similar advice as found here. To most folks looking for a place to start training.... Sabunim, Sensei, Soke, Renshi, Shihan.... don't hold any meaning at all.

As long as you are honest in what your previous training is... I don't think it much matters. How you teach and how your students perform and the culture of your class is the important bit...
That's what people get if they ask on a forum. If they're just looking themselves, that's another story.
 

Gyakuto

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I think each time you give your resume you have to contextualize it to your audience. Sometimes not mentioning rank is best, but a simple statement like, "experience in other systems including...." Can be the simplest approach to communicating the totality of your experience.
A very good point. Muggles rarely know what a 3rd Dan means, but qualifying it with 3rd Dan, which equates to X years of practise and study, y times a week色 etc might give them an understanding of what you have achieved.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I don't think there's a set answer and I don't know that it matters all that much for marketing purposes. Most newbies don't know what the various ranks mean and don't care that much. More experienced people know how much variation there can be in the meaning of different belt ranks and time spent training.

My personal approach is to include just those elements of my background which have been significant enough to factor in to what
I teach, starting with the most important parts.

So, from my school's website:

My bio:

Coach Tony Dismukes (BJJ)

Tony has been training in various forms of martial arts for over 40 years. He holds a 2nd degree black belt in BJJ as well as a black belt in Bujinkan taijutsu and an instructors license in Muay Thai. His focus is on jiu-jitsu as a practical means for self-defense and as a life-long tool for self-improvement. His thoughts on training can be found at bjjcontemplations.com.


The mention of my overall training time covers the multiple arts which I've trained enough in to influence my personal style, but which I don't have any sort of official credential in.

My friend Portland's bio:

Coach Portland The Prince Pringle (Boxing/MMA)

Portland has been training and competing for over 13 years, with 13 amateur fights (MMA) and 31 professional fights (22 MMA, 8 boxing, and 1 kickboxing) to his credit. He is the current Kentucky boxing champion in both the cruiserweight and light-heavyweight divisions as well as the current Hard Rock middleweight MMA champion. He also holds a blue belt in BJJ. As a coach he emphasizes both cardio and technique.


In this case, Portland's only martial arts rank is his blue belt in BJJ, but that comes last because his real credentials are his fight records.

My coach's bio:

Coach Michael O'Donnell (BJJ, MMA, Boxing, Muay Thai, Submission Wrestling)

Who am I?
I believe we are all on our own journey to find out the answer to that simple question?
I am a work in progress, my goal is to keep evolving into better version of my former-self, compressing new experiences of today with yesterdays trues, to embrace the present and and plan for the possibilities of the future!
What am I?
Artist, Martial Artist and Head Coach and the Architect of Four Seasons Martial Arts experience!
-4th degree Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt ( Master Carlson Gracie Jr.)
-5th Level Black Sash Chinese Kung-fu (Master John Dufresne)
-Head Coach Four Seasons MMA Team
-President of Carlson Gracie Kentucky
-Kentuckys First Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt
-ECC Pro MMA Title 2002
-Member of Team Gracie Vs.Team Hammerhouse 2006
-King of the cage veteran
-Official UFC trainer
-Kentucky Fighting Championship Hall of Fame 2010
-Gruesome MMA Lifetime Achievement award 2010
-Navy Seals Team Ten Combatives Instructor 2010
-Bellator 30 Submission of the Night


Mike's an artist, so he waxes poetical for a bit before getting to his actual ranks and then his accomplishments as a fighter and a coach.
 

tkdroamer

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This post is mainly aimed at higher-level practitioners; those who would need a bio for their school's website, or who would need a resume when applying for a job as an instructor. But also at less experienced folk who would be reading those bios when picking a school. How much experience or rank do you need in an art where it helps your resume instead of hurts it?

This thought came up with my recent transition from TKD to BJJ, and the thought of maybe eventually going back to TKD and opening my own school. Unfortunately, I was a belt test and a seminar away from being qualified to open a school in my organization, but I could always take advantage of the fact there are no requirements if you're unaffiliated. At that point, it would be my resume doing the talking.

A broad experience would certainly help. TKD, HKD, wrestling, and BJJ make for a well-rounded approach to martial arts, which includes Korean traditional style and American (continents) sport styles. But too broad, and you end up like Master Ken. "I have studied at over 3 dozen martial arts facilities in the past 17 years; not one of them was able to contain me." That's less than 6 months on average per school. Going back to me, I don't think a stripe on my white belt in BJJ is much for a resume.

How many years is it for you? Or what rank? Before it goes from "this might hurt my resume" to "this would help".

And also, how would you handle arts which have different ranking systems? For example, if several years down the road I am:
  • 3rd Dan Taekwondo
  • 1st Dan Hapkido
  • Purple Belt BJJ
  • 3 Years Wrestling
I would categorize 2nd Dan TKD, 1st Dan HKD, and Purple in BJJ all in the same tier (based on time it takes to get there). Yet they look vastly different.
Considering it from both perspectives, listing rank means less to a new, uniformed person. Plus, a person well versed in one style may see "purple belt BJJ" and think you just dabbled in it to mid Gup level which would be inaccurate.
I would suggest listing time in training for each area and a brief summary of specifics. I would never list the things that you just casually trained in and have no 'graduate-level' accreditation.
Going to such and such seminars means very little, no matter who the main character was. This is mostly true for a new student. If you as an instructor actually applies what you learned at the seminar, that gels into your base curriculum. An exception would be things like graduating the WT Master Classes or Referee/Coach programs.
Listing instructor credentials can be very misleading. I cannot count the websites and school instructors who tout Champion this or that because they won a few local tournaments. Even for an experienced person, understanding a person's competitive history and what it really means can be tough.
Unless you truly trained regularly under a GM of great lineage, do not list it. The common "I trained under X who trained under X who was taught by Supreme GM such and such means nothing.
If you are going to list lineage (which I think can be a good thing) make sure you can prove it and that it makes sense.
To me, just as important is to list your accomplishments outside the classroom. Do you teach programs with the local school system or with professional organizations like Big Brother & Sisters?
Remember, in the context of webpage advertising, you are selling yourself to the buyer.
 

Hanshi

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Interesting discussion if indeed a bit confusing. I've been deeply involved in martial arts for 60 years. It took me around 12 years to earn a 1st dan in Tang Soo Do and a purple belt in Shotokan. Afterwards ranks came much quicker. Much of the reason for the quicker promotions is that I already had very significant training/knowledge in the general basics of striking arts. Ranks in things such as judo & aikido slowed back down as they are so different from striking arts. I opened my school with no mention of rank or resume. I actually knew what I was teaching. Over time my students started drawing the attention of "cadre-level" masters. This reflected impressively on me and my school. At clinics my students were among the very best in our Organizations. A few of my students were likely more skilled in particular techniques or maybe just in general than was I. Eventually our school and students became members of half a dozen national organizations including USJA and in Korea. I was an officially chartered school with licenses to teach from 3 in the US.

My ranks are well validated as is those of my students. Some of my students now have their own school or teach a martial art at my former school - I sold it after I became disabled. I maintain contact with many of my instructors and students. This probably adds little to the thread but I do hope I hit a few of the points of the posts.
 

Hyoho

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This post is mainly aimed at higher-level practitioners; those who would need a bio for their school's website, or who would need a resume when applying for a job as an instructor. But also at less experienced folk who would be reading those bios when picking a school. How much experience or rank do you need in an art where it helps your resume instead of hurts it?
A degree in education would help. Don't they run coach awards for the things you do? Doing it is one thing, teaching is something else.

When I taught MA in night school in the West years ago a coach award was required for insurance purposes. Don't you have to show the people you rent facilities from you are competent in this respect?
 
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A degree in education would help. Don't they run coach awards for the things you do? Doing it is one thing, teaching is something else.
Yes, it would. But it's not really worth the time or money unless I was already going into education.

I have several years of experience already in teaching martial arts. A degree in education would just be a very time-intensive rubber stamp. And it might not speak to people, because a degree in education has very little to do with martial arts.
 

Tez3

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A degree in education would help. Don't they run coach awards for the things you do? Doing it is one thing, teaching is something else.

When I taught MA in night school in the West years ago a coach award was required for insurance purposes. Don't you have to show the people you rent facilities from you are competent in this respect?
In the UK it's common for all sports clubs now to also list first aid qualifications, perhaps reassuring to potential martial arts students. (we batter you but can put you back together)
The other thing that is practically compulsory if you take students under 18, is a DBS, a police check.
Many martial arts instructors here do have coaching and refereeing qualifications. The organisations they belong to, not necessarily style ones, hold courses including child safety, health and safety, first aid etc. We also do these type of courses in Guiding, many leaders and I imagine martial arts instructors can find them useful for their CVs for work as well as reassuring potential students. Coaching qualifications can also impress potential bosses even though it has nothing to do with the work, however it shows other qualities.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Instead of to state your MA ranks, it may be better to state your MA contribution such as:

- Books that you have published.
- Videos that you have made.
- New forms/principles/strategies/ ... that you have created for your MA system.
- Tournaments that you have responded.
- MA teams that you have trained.
- Workshops that you have given.
- Public demonstrations that you have given.
- Tournament records that you and your students have competed.
- ...

IMO, a 10th degree black belt without any MA contribution is no different from a white belt.
 

Hyoho

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Yes, it would. But it's not really worth the time or money unless I was already going into education.

I have several years of experience already in teaching martial arts. A degree in education would just be a very time-intensive rubber stamp. And it might not speak to people, because a degree in education has very little to do with martial arts.
The fact of the matter is just because you do MA doesn't mean you can teach it. There also the safety aspect we should consider. As Tez3 mentions, the UK did it a long time ago with the Martial Arts Commision.

Sounds to me like you are setting your own rules.
 
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The fact of the matter is just because you do MA doesn't mean you can teach it. There also the safety aspect we should consider. As Tez3 mentions, the UK did it a long time ago with the Martial Arts Commision.

Sounds to me like you are setting your own rules.
I didn't just say that I do martial arts. I said I spent several years teaching martial arts. I am using the same rules everyone else in the US uses. I'm not in the UK. I'm not bound by their commission. If I were to create a commission like that in the US, then I would actually be setting my own rules by creating the commission.

The most common degrees for martial arts instructors? Business, criminal justice, and psychology are the top 3. And I would go out on a limb and say this is a correlation, not a causation. That it happens to be people with these degrees who become coaches, and not the other way around.

A degree in education would cost tens of thousands of dollars and years worth of full-time work. It's an unnecessary hoop to jump through. It's nice to have, but not the necessity you make it out to be.

And certainly not "making my own rules" to not have a $40,000 piece of paper that barely anyone else who teaches martial arts has.
 

Gyakuto

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Ah the MAC! Big Jim Elkin! So many factions sprung up in 80s U.K., that they eventually became just a place to obtain public liability insurance (which is pretty much what our governing bodies are in the U.K. now).

Being able to teach is a real skill, the principles of which can be presented to anyone. But like cooking, car repair, carpentry, writing fiction, fighter piloting etc, not everyone can become reasonable, never mind good, that word being very subjective: whats good for me isnt necessarily good for someone else. What is required is by a good teacher theory of mind and compassion in teaching, characteristics I find most of the teachers in my art seem to lack.
 

Tez3

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I didn't just say that I do martial arts. I said I spent several years teaching martial arts. I am using the same rules everyone else in the US uses. I'm not in the UK. I'm not bound by their commission. If I were to create a commission like that in the US, then I would actually be setting my own rules by creating the commission.

The most common degrees for martial arts instructors? Business, criminal justice, and psychology are the top 3. And I would go out on a limb and say this is a correlation, not a causation. That it happens to be people with these degrees who become coaches, and not the other way around.

A degree in education would cost tens of thousands of dollars and years worth of full-time work. It's an unnecessary hoop to jump through. It's nice to have, but not the necessity you make it out to be.

And certainly not "making my own rules" to not have a $40,000 piece of paper that barely anyone else who teaches martial arts has.
I'm not sure why Hyoho thinks we have a commission we don't. We aren't bound by anyone not even MMA has any sort of governing body. We have various associations, some style specific, some welcome all styles. They provide insurance, licence books, coaching courses, child protection advice, help with publicity, some will run gradings, some not. You pay a fee to join, there's many around. None endorsed by the government. The only very official one is the Olympic Judo one, it comes under Sport England/Scotland/Wales etc.
This is a very typical one. The Multi-Award Winning, Politics Free British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) - The UK Leading Martial Arts Association - British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) there's many others
 
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