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#161291 - 07/09/05 01:43 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: WADO]
Bossman Offline

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
This might help - it's our dan grade guidelines:

1st Dan standard would entail a sound knowledge of the grading syllabus to that level, able to perform it consistently with sufficient power, concentration, fluidity and awareness to produce the effect that the technique dictates. 1st Dan requires the applicant to be able to instruct the techniques to others in the standard manner and be able to teach students to 6th Kyu standard consistently. 1st Dan applicants should carry the recommendation from their Coach and have a proven history of good behaviour, good manners, good etiquette and have given support to their Club and Association environment. At 1st Dan it is expected that the successful candidate will commence portfolio building for NVQ Coach Level 2.

2nd Dan standard would entail a sound knowledge of the grading syllabus to that level and would have gained maturity and depth in their power, concentration, fluidity and awareness that only consistent practice and sufficient instruction can give. 2nd Dan requires the applicant to be able to teach students to 3rd Kyu standard consistently and their manner should now be a cross between “Instructor” and “Teacher”. A 2nd Dan should be taking responsibility for Club discipline and helping the students to develop the good manners, behaviour and etiquette necessary to develop themselves and be working in an advisory capacity under the guidance of a senior Coach. It is necessary to have a proven track record of having undertaken Association or Club responsibility and been able to see tasks through to completion. 2nd Dan candidates should have developed their NVQ level 2 portfolio to near completion.

3rd Dan standard would entail a sound knowledge of the grading syllabus to that level with added maturity and depth in their power, concentration, fluidity and awareness. 3rd Dan means senior instructor and “Teacher”, this means being able to interpret technique and the underlying concepts into their own words and still be correct. A 3rd Dan should be able to teach successfully and consistently to 1st Dan standard. A 3rd Dan should have the “insight” and “wisdom” necessary to be able to work with and help special needs students without monitoring from above and the patience and compassion to complement the strength and determination required achieving the seniority and warranting the respect. A 3rd Dan candidate should have a proven track record of having taken both Club and Association responsibility and having seen tasks through to completion. A 3rd Dan Candidate should also have their NVQ Level 3 portfolio near completion.

4th Dan grading can be honorary and/or a physical grading may be necessary. 4th Dan candidates should have a proven track record of working at senior level with a group of clubs or at Association Level. They should have “specialised” in some way and produced work and results that merit the grading award. If the Grading Committee have no personal knowledge of the applicant it would be expected that a report be produced containing evidence of the above and a physical grading be taken to prove technical competence.

5th Dan grading would be the same as 4th Dan but work and “specialisation” should now be at an Association and National level, with proof of the candidates' instruction being able to produce students to 3rd Dan level. Grading would comprise of reports, evidence, and recommendation from senior Association officers and may require a physical grading to prove technical competence.

6th Dan and above are honorary grades giving distinction for work done at a National and International level and can only be awarded by recommendation from the Technical Committee.

It is generally accepted that from 3rd Dan and above, you can grade your own students to 2 grades below your own grade, after which their further gradings will be overseen by a member of the Shi Kon Martial Arts Technical Committee. 3rd Dan upwards is by recommendation in writing to the Shi Kon Technical Committee who may require a physical grading if they are not aware of your technical standard.

In exceptional circumstances 1st and 2nd Dan instructors are able to grade under licence from the Shi Kon Technical Committee to 6th Kyu and 3rd Kyu respectively, but it is strongly recommended that only a Chief Instructor of 3rd Dan and above conduct gradings.

Minimum time periods between Dan Grades are as follows:

1st - 2nd Dan 2 years
2nd - 3rd Dan 3 years
3rd - 4th Dan 4 years
4th - 5th Dan 5 years
5th - 6th Dan 6 years
6th - 7th Dan 7 years
7th - 8th Dan 8 years
8th - 9th Dan 9 years
9th - 10th Dan 10 years

It must be stressed that these are the absolute minimum time periods between grades and any request for upgrading should be supported with evidence as to why seniority is warranted.

The minimum age for awarding adult 1st Dan is 16 years and 2nd Dan 18 years.
supporting standards in the martial arts

#161292 - 07/09/05 02:47 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: Bossman]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
well there you go...all disputes are solved with these convienent guidelines.
some problems though... what if someone doesn't have access to the following:

grading syllabus
Club or Association membership
NVQ level 2 portfolio
NVQ Level 3 portfolio
senior Association officers
Shi Kon Martial Arts Technical Committee

#161293 - 07/09/05 03:45 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: shoshinkan]
Trevorg Offline

Registered: 07/09/05
Posts: 22

I always understood that 5th dan was considered the 'technical' peak within the system, often full teachers license would be issued at this point.

As a side point I also assumed this was the minamum rank to be considered for the shihan (expert licenses), renshi, kyoshi and hanshi titles.

5th dan to me should be supported by at least 20 consistant years of practise in the art.

Quite the most sensible answer I have seen so far. I have been practising for 33 years and have achieved rokudan after a long struggle, and I have been honoured with a Shihan Menkyo.

It is normally the case in my experience that technical examinations are mandatory up to and including 5th dan, thereafter it is a question of recognising various steps through one's life with regard to their martial art. Usually higher gradings are given by a committee or grandmaster (I dont like using Soke) and when very high grades are given say 8-10 dan these are usually honorary and by the peer group.

The difficult thing is that there is a proliferation of styles and associations and governing bodies throughout the world, much changed since the early days when Japan dominated. Everyone moves on of course and things change, but the overall question that seems to bug people is : why do some styles have higher grades than others, differing grades, syllabuses, blah blah, and the answer is that it really doesnt matter any more.
How can anyone say that a 3rd dan in one style is any better or worse than one in another, or that an 8th has reached the pinnacle in their style but could have done better elsewhere !
Its all in the person. The individual knows their true level. Labels that others put on (or put on themselves) are irrelevant.

#161294 - 07/09/05 04:54 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: Kintama]
Bossman Offline

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
I did qualify the posting by saying that it was OUR (as in Shi Kon) guidelines but most of those can be transposed to other associations or governing bodies.
supporting standards in the martial arts

#161295 - 07/13/05 01:50 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: Bossman]
WADO Offline

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Interesting all the answers, I am somewhat of an Historian, or at least my job gives me easy access to many first hand historical texts, in the 50's and 60's the manuals all said that Black belt third degree is the highest rank in Karate given for technical ability and merit and that the highest rank is Black belt 5th degree. It seems in the 70's that shifted to 5th and 7th Dan, now I have heard of 10th degree black belts. Early manuals written by first generation students of Funakoshi, seemed to have clear Syllabi up to 3rd Dan and guidelines for 4th and 5h dan, I have not seen a any Karate manual before 1975 with criteria for 4th and 5th Dan.

#161296 - 07/13/05 02:01 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: WADO]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
Taht's very interesting and informative.Can you give us a reference or list the syllabus for the ranks back then? Seems like I read them before somewhere and they had age and time in rank requirements. Thanks.
Skinny,Bald,and Handsome! Fightingarts Warrior of the year

#161297 - 07/13/05 05:24 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: WADO]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
that is very interesting, would appriciate any reference material acess on this subject if possible.

#161298 - 07/14/05 12:34 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: shoshinkan]
WADO Offline

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 900
Loc: denver co usa
Sorry guys I pulled two books off m desk last night and left them on my desk so you have to wait till tomorrow, for citations. I was curious though as we have been talking about grading and my earlier post was based on reading the text portion of the books and remembering the phrase that black belt in the third degree is the highest rank given in karate for technical merit. The reason that phrase stuck in my head was that I hadn't heard the phrase black belt first degree black belt second degree and black belt third degree in a long time. I was looking at actual teting criteria in the books and there wasn't much detail in testing criteria. For example one book had a chart with three columns "required techniques" "forms" and "sparring"
For the shodan test under required techniques it listed basic techniques and combination techniques.
right lunge punch+left front kick
Right front kick+left reverse punch
things like that
then it listed
body shifting
proper body movement
and all the basic techniques.
Under forms it listed
Hean "we call it Pinan 1-5 5X each
Tekki 5x each
then the entry read additional at instructor and student discretion.
Finally under sparring it listed
Sanbon Kumite
and free sparring under free sparring it listed knowledge of blocks strikes and kicks as well as distance timing and movement as appropriate.
I will post this books cite tomorrow, but the author was a student of Funakoshi, the book was first translated into english in 1954.
The other book was about 10 years later written by a second generation student of one of Funakoshi's original students th authors name I think was a guy named Jordan Roth who was American and it took a much more scientific approach.
The Shodan test in that was incorporated into something called special summer training or special winter training.
The test itself was a 2 mile run then basic skills practice from 8-10
then breakfast rest then kata again same kate 5Xeach
from 10:30 till about 12:30
then 30 minute rest lunch then 1 hour rest.
Then combination practice 2:30 till about 3:30
Then 40 minutes sparring
Finally the last part was dinner party celebrating completion of special training.
The other things I noted were that the 8th kyu tst had all the same listed requirements as the ShoDan test with the exception of Instructor dicretion Kata, and both books hinted at but didn't insist that 16 weeks of training were necessary to qualify for the first test. They both also stated that the following schedule should be maintained to qualify for promotion.
Sunday-Holiday no trainig
Monday-Intense difficult training
Tuesday-light training
Wednesday-Normal Training
Thursday normal training
Friday light training
Saturday-Intense hard training.
Their indication was that any day a student can't attend training with the exception of Sunday they should practice each technique and kata 5Xeach.
The American author, had very interesting charts comparing Karate Students at various levels to NCAA wrestlers, it appears did a series of tests between Wrestlers and Karateka, with the result that the Shodan students averaging about the same as NCAA wrestlers in endurance,spped and stregth, and outclassing NCAA wresters in reflex and reaction tests.
When I looked at the 8th kyu tests in both books those tests seemed a little tougher than a 4th kyu test in our school. For example 40 minutes of the 8th kyu test were devoted to kihon and sanbonkumite and free sparring I don't think we would normally expect more than kihon for 8th kyu and no free sparring generally till about 6th kyu and certainly not 40 minutes devoted to those till at least 4th kyu, with mabey 15 minutes of kihon and mabey 10-15 minutes of free sparring.

#161299 - 07/14/05 04:16 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: WADO]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1669
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Sanchin, now that I've had time to go over some of the AKK techniques at different levels, I can weigh in on this. You more or less probably will feel a physical shift when you are about to make a progressive leap. There was a definite difference in how I felt training for my orange belt and my purple belt. There is a difference in the techniques and how they are constructed, and I felt myself learning how to properly execute these new styles of techniques. I've also been in the middle of one of those shifts since shortly after I got my blue belt, as I'm approaching the brown belt level, and there's been another shift in the techniques. Also, over time, I've learned several of the brown belt techniques (some I remember, some I've forgotten) and even a few of the black belt techniques. As I continue training (which I will be restarting soon) I feel myself shifting into green/brown mode.

So, the basic thesis of that is that there are different levels of training, not always matching the belt ranking, where you feel the difference.

#161300 - 07/14/05 04:46 PM Re: Transitions in dans [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
I have just remembered i have seen alot of okinawan masters with three gold bars on their belts, in pictures. never paid much attention to it before.

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