FightingArts Estore
Pressure Points
From a medical professional, straight facts on where and how to hit that can save your life.
Limber or not, anyone can add height and speed to their kicks with this method.
For yourself or as a gift, calligraphy is special, unique and lasting.
Karate Uniforms
Look your best. Max snap. low cost & superior crafted: “Peak Performance Gold” 16 oz uniforms.

Classic book translation. Hard to find. Not in stores.
Who's Online
0 registered (), 124 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Tomsmithh, exofozulo, Sumit, vick, sitpholek
23090 Registered Users
Top Posters (30 Days)
MassPadawan 2
vick 1
Tomsmithh 1
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28
New Topics
Looking for an Arnis coach
by vick
02/07/17 02:35 AM
Philosophy of Martial Art
by jackharrel
01/10/17 07:25 AM
** Introduce Yourself! **
05/13/07 08:02 AM
Pregnancy and training
04/23/06 02:31 AM
Recent Posts
** Introduce Yourself! **
by Tomsmithh
02/22/17 10:37 PM
Pregnancy and training
by MassPadawan
02/08/17 01:37 PM
Philosophy of Martial Art
by MassPadawan
02/06/17 06:08 PM
Forum Stats
23090 Members
36 Forums
35673 Topics
432697 Posts

Max Online: 424 @ 09/24/13 10:38 PM
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#133474 - 07/16/04 07:35 PM ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?
WolfGate Offline

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 93
I'm curious how instructors would have a student handle the situation of getting a "stripe" he doesn't think he's ready for yet.

In my TKD school, the instructors give 4 stripes while you're progressing towards your next test. One of the stripes signifies that you've mastered the self defense techniques for your current belt. From what I've seen, the instructors are quite demanding before giving these stripes. The class today was taught by the owner of our school; usually he's the most demanding! The whole class is adults (I'm 40).

I am currently 9th gup, meaning I'm only one belt above white belt. During class today, I covered the self defense techniques for my belt for the first time. I was also the only 9th gup, so I was paired with a very talented 6th gup both to allow that student to review and to start explaining techniques as part of their growth. The 6th gup explained quite well, but I was certainly thinking my way through some of the moves and being talked through them by my partner as well. Wasn't at all second nature or perfected yet.

At the end of the class, the owner said some students had earned their stripe. I was stunned when he stopped at me and put it on my belt. He only gave them to about 1/4 of the class.

I know what happened. As he looked on our pair from a distance I probably looked proficient - but only because the 6th gup was effectively telling me what to do immediately before I did so. And, since we didn't really need him for much personalized instruction, he didn't spend enough time with us to see that was what was happening. We're both athletes, so we were going pretty much full speed even at this point - also making it look more natural than it really was.

So, what should I do:
1) Say nothing and just focus on practicing and learning the material. I won't test until at earliest late August, so there's time to get where I need to be.

2) Tell the instructor privately that I don't think I'm ready for the stripe. Is that likely to be perceived as questioning his judgement? After all, he's 6th Dan and I'm a newbie.

3) Simply remove the stripe and go back to class. He doesn't keep written record of stripes, so he might or might not realize. (Yeah, I see the danger here.)

4) Something else?

How would you instructors want a newer student to handle this situation?

#133475 - 07/16/04 08:49 PM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?

I understand. I've gotten belts faster than what I feel like I should before as well.

Perhaps your teacher thinks you are ready for it even if you dont. When this has happened to me I work 10x harder to "live up" to the new rank. In some ways it is what pushes me to get better.

For others it could be a bad thing if they start feeling cocky I suppose. Your teacher should be able to judge when your ready but if you are not comfortable, just work your ass off until you are.

#133476 - 07/16/04 09:25 PM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?

You are one belt above white. Realize that your instructor has his own standards that he is looking for. If he thinks you have earned your stripes, he is the authority. He knows the standard. You are early in the game but at some point point but you will likely have some promotions that you think you are ready for but your instructor does not.

One day at a time. Relax and have fun.

#133477 - 07/17/04 08:26 AM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?
mark Offline
sword of magnamity

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 1284
Loc: uk
This comes down to money, the more students that grade and pass the more money the instructor gets!

A club in my area has 20 kyu grade levels, a grading every 2 months, 20 each time!!!


#133478 - 07/17/04 03:09 PM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?
WolfGate Offline

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 93
[QUOTE]Originally posted by mark:
This comes down to money, the more students that grade and pass the more money the instructor gets!

A club in my area has 20 kyu grade levels, a grading every 2 months, 20 each time!!!


Nah, this one isn't a money issue. Did a lot of research before I picked a school, and this one is not a McDojang. Our testing fees are only $35, the school is purely functional and far from pretty, average time betweens testings is much longer than others I visited, and you're required to learn a lot more to test than I saw at others. No added belts from the traditional 10 gups and then the Dan's (none to that provisional or decided stuff.)

And since the stripe doesn't mean money or anything other than I've been identified as proficient on my self defense part, no financial reason here.

#133479 - 07/19/04 07:31 AM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi WolfGate:

An interesting question and despite my normal cynical response to grading questions being appropriate, I think a reasoned response would be more useful.

The grading system is not yours. It's the schools and the instructors. If there is no money involved in the stripes, which you indicate, then it really doesn't matter.

Also, the instructors only expect you at your stage to have a rudimentary understanding of what you're doing. I'd say just leave it alone.

When it comes to a grade where there's money involved, then you should question things.


#133480 - 07/19/04 06:27 PM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?
WolfGate Offline

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 93
JohnL - thanks for the reasoned response; I debated posting this exactly because I wasn't sure of the appropriateness.

Over the past weekend, I've pretty much come to the same conclusion you mentioned. The other things I've seen don't cause me concern that the school is just trying to push people along for $$ generation, so why should I question anything? I'm really there to learn and train, so I'll focus on that.

Appreciate hearing someone with more experience than I.

#133481 - 07/21/04 09:33 AM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?

Hey Wolfgate:
#1: It's his School. If you wear the rank it has nothing to do with YOUR opinion of your's HIS opinion that matters.
#2: You really should trust your instructor and just keep working. Working hard and paying close attention is your only objective as a lower belt student. (To be honest, we upper belt students need to stick to this area as well)
#3: It's pretty bad to start second guessing your instructor. DO NOT just take off the rank and try to keep going. If you try to play your instructor for a fool...VERY bad things will happen. EVEN if he doesn't realize (I'd bet he would...if he's worth his salt) you've put your novice opinion before his expert decision. Leads to a deteriorating "Student/Teacher" relationship.

Work hard!
Pay Close attention!
Practice Daily!
Let those above you help you move forward, but first

#133482 - 07/21/04 04:29 PM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?
WolfGate Offline

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 93
Papa John - thanks for the wisdom. I've pretty much decided, as you said, to trust the instructor. When I look at the higher ranked students in my school, they appear proficient and are at a level I want to be some day. And, they got there trusting my instructor. So I will just work hard and pay attention.

#133483 - 07/22/04 10:59 AM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Good Morning WolfGate:

Your SOLE job, is to learn, from these folks the art which they are presenting you, period. Do not worry yourself with the what & whys.. that's THEIR job. Yours is hard enough... don't take theirs on too!!!

And look, you are an A-D-U-L-T person, right? You are not an infant. Therefore, feel free to speak with your instructor privately and mention your concerns. If you are treated like dirt, then RUN to the nearest exit and do not look back. As an adult, as a person who is doing their VERRY best you are entitled to understand their reasoning, their thought process in giving you the stripes. You do not understand theirs, so ask them...

They have many potential reasons to give you one, many good, a few not good. Perhaps you are CLOSE to the skills and will grow into honing them perfectly? Perhaps you are better than you believe? Perhaps there is a certain group dynamic they wish to keep. There will always be varying degrees of skill in any group... keep pushing, keep honing. You will improve and merit whatever ranking you disbelieve!

This help?


#133484 - 07/22/04 01:42 PM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?
0goun Offline

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 130
Loc: Brooklyn, NY, USA
In my school, my sensei gives stripe between belts. The stripe only identifies what you have learned for that rank. It does not measure proficiency for the techniques for that stripe. With time you are expected to become proficient.

My suggestion is to say nothing and work your butt off.

#133485 - 07/26/04 04:28 PM Re: ? How should a student handle unearned "stripes"?
WolfGate Offline

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 93
Ogoun - Interesting you should say that, because it turns out that is the same philosophy at my school.

I had a chance to casually talk with the owner/instructor and asked him if he could better explain the stripe structure to me. (I didn't mention my concerns about the self defense stripe.) He said that the stripe simply shows that the student has learned the techniques well enough to then go and practice them. It doesn't mean that he knows them well enough to test on them; in fact, it usually is several weeks to a several months after all stripes are earned before the instructor will issue an invitation to test. In some ways it benefits the instructors the most, because it gives them a visual indication at the start of class on who they need to work with to teach techniques and who they can pair up with others to go practice techniques.

So, everyone who said I should keep my mouth shut because I don't know his criteria was totally correct.

[This message has been edited by WolfGate (edited 07-26-2004).]

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Cord, MattJ, Reiki, tkd_high_green 

Action Ads
1.5 Million Plus Page Views
Only $89

Fight Videos
Night club fight footage and street fights captured with the world's first bouncer spy cam

How to Matrix!
Learn ten times faster with new training method. Learn entire arts for as little as $10 per disk.

Self Defense
Stun guns, pepper spray, Mace and self defense products. Alarms for personal and home use.

Stop An Urban Gorilla: Get 2 FREE TASER M26C Replacement Air Cartridges With Each New TASER M26C!


Unbreakable Unbrella

krav maga