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#149915 - 05/27/05 09:43 AM A philosophical question for those who teach
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Most sincere instructors wouldnt' test someone for a higher rank if they weren't certain that person wasn't ready for the test. Here's the question, would you test a student you expected to fail if the situation was such that the student might benefit from that failed test as opposed to not testing at all?

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#149916 - 05/27/05 10:05 AM Re: A philosophical question for those who teach [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Gemini Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/04
Posts: 333
Loc: NY, USA
Not sure how that student could benefit from such an experience, though maybe others might. I have seen schools fail a student just to keep the rest "at top level" though I don't agree with doing that. If you have a student that isn't up to par, just watching those at his/her level advance and leave them behind tends to either get them up to par or quit. What's your situation?

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#149917 - 05/27/05 01:36 PM Re: A philosophical question for those who teach [Re: Gemini]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Almost three years ago, when I did test for blue belt, my instructor wasn't convinced that I would pass. At the time, I was having other problems in life, which were affecting my training. I asked sifu to let me test regardless, as an attempt to try and get my training back on track. I ended up passing and getting my blue belt anyway, but every teacher I've spoken to since have said the same thing. "If I'm not sure they will pass, they don't test." What I'm wondering is if there are instructors who will make an exception to that if it might help a student who is off track with their training.

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#149918 - 05/27/05 02:47 PM Re: A philosophical question for those who teach [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
A Student asking a Teacher to be tested is a concept that is completely foreign to me... Bushi, wasn't that considered 'bad form' ? or am I just old fashoned.

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#149919 - 05/27/05 02:57 PM Re: A philosophical question for those who teach [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Gemini Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/04
Posts: 333
Loc: NY, USA
Quote:

What I'm wondering is if there are instructors who will make an exception to that if it might help a student who is off track with their training.




That's pretty much where I thought you were going with this, but wanted to be certain. Given that one of the ideas behind belt grading is to instill confidence, I wouldn't think most instructors (none that I know anyway) would consider this a positive approach. If they did, I'd love to hear their reasoning behind it.

A student requesting a grading is rare and more often than not, flattly refused. On occasion however, it will be permitted. Apparently your instructor saw more in your request than "I wanna be a BB as fast as I can", which is the reasoning behind most requests.

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#149920 - 05/27/05 03:11 PM Re: A philosophical question for those who teach [Re: Gemini]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
In my dojo, it is as much the students responsibility to bring up that they feel ready to test as it is Sifu's to tell them they're ready. In that particular case, I went up to Sifu and told him I wasn't sure if I was ready or not, but that I felt the need to test, as I was having so much trouble, and that if I failed it was my money ($15 at the time, so I wasnt' worried about wasting it) and it might just get me to stay with my training. I did pass, and for the next six months I was solidly into my training, taking a night off here or there instead of a week at a time. Eventually I signed up for college courses that conflicted with my training schedule, thus the two year hiatus happened. I'm fairly certain that if I wanted to test next month Sifu would let me, and there's a good chance I would pass, but this time I think I'll wait for the next test about six weeks later. I've quit school (with a cumulative GPA of 1.58) and my focus is on the MA now. I know I won't ever get rich doing so (God forbid I should, and I mean it) but I would like to teach for a living down the road. I would start down that path by teaching under my Sifu at his dojo at brown belt level, and work my way up from there.

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#149921 - 05/27/05 04:43 PM Re: A philosophical question for those who teach [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
bushi, dude. I don't know how to tell you this, but I've been reading your posts about your dojo and sifu and situations... here's my observations:
warning, I'm blunt.

1) you are making your training waaay too complicated than what it needs to be.
2) your dojang seems to have a number of 'Mc' qualities.
3) you can still bring your GPA up to a pass level.
4) in general you sound confused about where you are going in your life (happens to everyone - make priorities)
5) you seem to be trying too hard on this forum. (I did the same thing for the first week- get it out of your system quick and then just relax)
6) everyone slumps and peeks...you gotta plow thru it. no other way. you can't drift between one or the other. Be committed to school and train part-time. Then, while you are stable in a job after school, you won't be worrying so much about the practical things like bills and food, etc...this freedom will allow you to focus more on training in your non-work time. plus making more per hour gives you more free hours to train!

you have an opportunity to finish school. there are probably excellent fighters and dojo senseis that wish they went to college...ask them the reasons why you should finish school.

take care, sorry if I was harsh. needed to be said.

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#149922 - 05/27/05 06:03 PM Re: A philosophical question for those who teach [Re: Kintama]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
In our school you simply DO NOT ask to be tested. When you are ready to be tested and the instructor is ready to test you,you will be tested.
I missed my brown belt test and had to wait a few weeks before being tested.
If someone is not ready to test I don't test them.No reason to test someone just to watch them fail.
_________________________
Skinny,Bald,and Handsome! Fightingarts Warrior of the year

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#149923 - 05/28/05 06:21 AM Re: A philosophical question for those who teach [Re: SANCHIN31]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Ah, a philosophical question.

I have seen instructors place students into testing situations where they would not succeed to teach them various lessons.

On the other hand I teach karate, not testing. I don't test students at all. When they're ready to move into the next level of training (an arbitrary decision after all) they do so by my leave, and if a belt goes with it, that's all that's involved.

This is how my instructors trained on Okinawa, this is how they taught me, this is how I've taught my students and this is how my students train their students.

There is a black belt initiation ceremony, that might be considered a test, but the way we do it is the student stands up and runs it themself. They simply spend a few hours explaining and demonstrating everything they've studied. They're simply demonstrating they understand the entire body of kyu training and are ready to enter advanced studies for the rest of their life. But they are already at a serious level of training in order to give the ceremony.

The ceremony is private, only for the group's dans and the single student.

I've never put somebody up for the ceremony who was not fully capable of completing it. If they can't do it they shouldn't be there, they should be training.

In fact there's an aspect of testing that is often lost. When a testing situation takes place, the instructor is being more seriously tested than the student, becuase the student is the wave front reflection of the instructor's teachings.

I've been tested various times. I've helped test many times. I've watched innumerable testings.

From my perspective as an instructor, every minute spent testing could be better put in use, everywhere, training.
Having an initiation ceremony is something very different, it's a celebration, a very, very private one, done once, and that's all.

As for awarding kyu and dan ranking, I just do it and get on training.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#149924 - 05/28/05 04:10 PM Re: A philosophical question for those who teach [Re: Victor Smith]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Victor, as with most schools, the "test" per se is a formality. In the past, the few people who have failed have done so because of their older skills from earlier belts degrading. The only person I know of "failing" a test because he wasn't "up to par" on his current material was my brother, and our Sifu was willing to pass him as long as he spent the first few weeks training the belt material he was lacking. Our mother and my brother agreed that it would probably be just as well if he retested in a month, and was above the required proficiency and not right at that level.

I see one major advantage to having a set time to test for rank. The instructor might be sure a student is ready for the next belt, but taking a few hours to specifically watch students and make sure they are ready for the next belt means that the instructor sees exactly what they are capable of. The advantage is that an instructor might see the capability of a student in class, but there are distractions from students that aren't ready for their next belt.

And I've learned something at every test. Usually a minor detail that I needed to work on in a technique, but I still learn something.

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