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#120064 - 11/15/03 08:04 AM The Ideal Black Belt
elleTKD Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 236
Loc: USA
Obviously, everyone has different perspectives on what the ideal blackbelt would be. And since there are so many with different requirments, especially in TKD, you end up with blackbelts worth nothing and blackbelts who well earned their title. In your opinion, what specifications or charachteristics make the "perfect" black belt?

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#120065 - 11/15/03 08:41 AM Re: The Ideal Black Belt
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
I don't know if this question is simply in regards to TKD, but I will answer anyway. That is a difficult question. I used to feel that there should be one standard and if an individual did not measure up they did not deserve their black belt. I would see people who's kata was crap. They had no power, no speed, and were very robotic. I would see people who would only point spar and if you sparred without the gloves they would complain if you hit them too hard. They had no advanced knowledge of the concepts and principles of their art and just sucked. I would think to myself why the hell is this person a black belt. These days a black belt means nothing. There is no standard to control the quality of black belts that are produced. If you look back to when Funakoshi adopted the belt system of Judo he simply gave all of his senior students a black belt. I think these days it does not have as much to do with skill as level of seniority in a style. I always felt if you are a black belt you should be able to fight at a certain level, but as we all know there are vast differences among the fighting skill of black belts. These days any kid who's parents have money to burn can find a dojo to give them a black belt and any middle class middle aged individual with no fighting spirit and way too much time on their hands can do the same. Because of all of this I have changed my view on what an ideal black belt is. Being a black belt is about being the best that you can be at all times, seniority, training everyday, trying to gain greater knowledge in you style, helping the other students, things like that. Maybe I was spoiled at a young age because of the great skill of my Sensei, but being a black belt has less and less to do with skill these days. Maybe one day I will begin the revolution.

[This message has been edited by medulanet (edited 11-15-2003).]

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#120066 - 11/15/03 02:31 PM Re: The Ideal Black Belt
elleTKD Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 236
Loc: USA
Not just TKD. medulanet, agreed.

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#120067 - 11/15/03 05:50 PM Re: The Ideal Black Belt
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
very good question, and good answer medulant.
if you wear a black belt, you should be able to fight...period. even if you dont train just for fighting (i imagine few of us traing JUST to learn to fight) you should be able to defend yourself using your chosen art even if its just a byproduct of your training, otherwise there is nothing MARTIAL about what you do. that is my opinion.
however you must take into consideration things such as age, flexibility, agility, possible handicaps etc.
i think your spirit has as much to do with wearing a black obi as skill does.
you should be able to name, explain, and perform all concepts, principles, and techniques in order AND at random, (attack AND defense)..from memory, for ALL previous ranks.(i think that should be part of your shodan test) your movements should be fluid and natural to you. and just the fact that you stayed and persevered long enough to test for black belt tells something about your spirit! i also think that you should be able to teach lower ranks if you are a black belt (licensed instructor or not) and some org's require this before testing.
you should know the history of your art, and be able to explain it, and all terminology (if applicable)
also you should be good at randori (free practice) and successfully use your art against random attacks.
basically a black belt should have and be able to show repeated, demonstratable skill in all aspects of their art, history, culture, customs, ettiquette, techniques, concepts, principles, basic teaching, and actually shodan should mean you have excellent basics period...etc.
i also think there should be a certain amount of training hours required in each rank before (and after) 1st dan. (too many black belts running around that have only studied for 1 1/2 to 2 years tops, when they only study maybe once or twice a week)
i also think there should be a minimum age requirement for shodan, and if younger you should be a "junior" black belt. or have a different curriculum for kids and adults.
in my original art, the test consisted of the following:
know techniques, defenses, concepts etc...be able to name and perform them etc...the end of the test was basically 4 ranking black belts lined up along the wall, you start from one end and FIGHT your way to the other and make it out the door, then you pass...keep in mind they didnt expect you to be able to whip 4 black belts...but to be able to hold your own and live through it. just a note lol

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#120068 - 11/15/03 08:38 PM Re: The Ideal Black Belt
elleTKD Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 236
Loc: USA
why is opinion underlined in all these posts?

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#120069 - 11/16/03 11:34 AM Re: The Ideal Black Belt
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
opinion is underlined? i dont see anything underlined. do you mean literally the word is underlined?
maybe its to stress that it is but an opinion, and not fact, and its ok to disagree. who knows

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#120070 - 11/16/03 07:28 PM Re: The Ideal Black Belt
elleTKD Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 236
Loc: USA
now its not. sorry. my laptop has some dumb highlight thing for my word processor. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/redface.gif[/IMG]

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#120071 - 11/18/03 10:42 AM Re: The Ideal Black Belt
judodoc Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 152
Loc: Charlottesville VA USA
A black belt should be able to fight. Back in the day, when black belts were rare, every black belt I knew was a terrific fighter,essentially unable to be defeated by any untrained person.
This is still true for the most part in Judo and BJJ, probably other arts I don't know about but not usually the case in TKD.
In Judo the promotion system ensures this fighting ability. You have to win in tournaments in order to be promoted.( with some exceptions now)
I know I know, not everyone wants to compete etc. etc. But thats what we do.

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#120072 - 11/18/03 01:32 PM Re: The Ideal Black Belt
immrtldragon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 1540
Loc: Just outside Philadelphia, PA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by judodoc:
A black belt should be able to fight. Back in the day, when black belts were rare, every black belt I knew was a terrific fighter,essentially unable to be defeated by any untrained person.
This is still true for the most part in Judo and BJJ, probably other arts I don't know about but not usually the case in TKD.
In Judo the promotion system ensures this fighting ability. You have to win in tournaments in order to be promoted.( with some exceptions now)
I know I know, not everyone wants to compete etc. etc. But thats what we do.
[/QUOTE]

I was just going to post something similar. Part of Judo and BJJ testing requirements are wins at tournaments. In some ways this is very good...these people can fight under pressure. Some of the cons are that people don't have the time/money to compete regularly and lack experience to win. There is a post under the Judo section debating the ups and downs of this type of testing requirements. Also, Judo min age for BB is 16. I think black belts should have at least some exerience in competition (if competitions are common in your art: Judo, BJJ, even TKD) as well as knowledge of their art and techniques.

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#120073 - 11/19/03 12:20 PM Re: The Ideal Black Belt
Anonymous
Unregistered


here's the problem I have with the being able to fight part.

In my school we have a 52 year old women,she started training about 6 mo. ago.She trains her ass off and is one of the only females who shows up for bjj(we don't receive belt in bjj,it is optional training).
Is it reasonable to expect her to be able to fight? fight against who? we have a shortage of 52 year old women in our school,or do you mean she should be able to fight me-a 34 year old male who is a foot taller than her and around 60 pounds heavier?
Does the fact she spends extra time after class training, asks questions and keeps going over stuff she doesn't understand until she gets it count for nothing?

Just my opinion(sorry, can't figure out how to underline it) [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]

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