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#163710 - 07/03/05 05:40 PM What happens to instructors/students when...
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
Here is a familiar scenario:
Some dojo's have a sho-dan turn-around time (white->black belt) of 5 years or less.
Someone trains in an art for 5 years, then decides to open their own dojo as ni-dan.

After having students for 5 years, they promote their first round of black-belts in their new dojo. since the students can never get promoted to the same rank as their sensei, what happens?
do the students change schools? or does the sensei promote him/her self to stay ahead in rank of the student?

or is another option for the sensei to join a membership to a organisation that sees to it that you will always be promoted ahead of your students...provided your dues are paid.

anyone see a problem with any/all of these options?

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#163711 - 07/03/05 05:51 PM Re: What happens to instructors/students when... [Re: Kintama]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
I see alot of problems with this.One is that it happens too often.Anyone can join some organizations which will promote them to whatever rank they want.Alot of them think that time in rank is enough to promote themselves too.
In my opinion nidan is far too early to open your own school anyway.
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#163712 - 07/03/05 06:15 PM Re: What happens to instructors/students when... [Re: SANCHIN31]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I am curious too. I read on this site that Shotokan does not have any ranks higher than 5th because that's what rank Funakoshi was when he died. Is this true?

I mean, rank is only worth so much anyway. Maybe it is not a big deal if you are a 1st degree forever. Does it matter if you know what you are doing?

I agree that a 5 year MA student opening their own school is often not a good idea. Hell, I was in MA for 7 years before I was an assistant instructor (although I had taught some on the side).


Edited by MattJ (07/03/05 06:20 PM)
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#163713 - 07/03/05 06:22 PM Re: What happens to instructors/students when... [Re: MattJ]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
Our head instructor split off from his school and organization many years ago.He was 5th dan,so now we only go to 4th dan,that's it.If you want to go higher than that you'll have to go to another school.At our school it takes 20 yrs to reach 4th dan and our curriculum is much different than other goju schools.
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#163714 - 07/03/05 06:28 PM Re: What happens to instructors/students when... [Re: SANCHIN31]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I think Ashihara karate may be in somewhat of a similar situation. I seem to remember Butterfly saying that the highest rank he had seen in that system was 3rd degree, although I am unclear if that is the highest rank extant in Ashihara.
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#163715 - 07/03/05 06:38 PM Re: What happens to instructors/students when... [Re: SANCHIN31]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Sanchin31,

I think what Kintama described is a bigger problem that what you have listed.

What Kintama has put forth realy implies the instructor just doesn't have it under the belt: Time, understanding, ability to teach, etc. I think that is much of the problem that we have with the McDojos today...watered down stuff, that is easily passed on to new generations of 5 year McMasters who now know it all because that is all their instructors knew.

Now Sanchin31, what you described is a person with understanding and for whatever political and/or philopsophical reasons, decided not to maintain or was forced to not maintain his connections to a head organization.

I doubt if anyone points to your and says he doesn't know what he is teaching or that you and the rest of his students don't carry that education well.

So, you won't make 5th dan....OK...You still know what you know and can access education elswhere without being a 21 year old 8th dan that people laugh at.

-B

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#163716 - 07/03/05 07:01 PM Re: What happens to instructors/students when... [Re: MattJ]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Matt,

Just for some clarification, if any is requested or needed,
yes I am a sho-dan and have been practcing Ashihara for I guess around 15 years now and received my BB in 1995. This is continuous practice, mind you, not leaving for a few months and returning and so forth. And generally it take around 5-8 years for a BB. I am considered an assistant instructor as are the other sho-dans that still continue to practice, except for one (there are two others in my dojo who still practice who have practiced 20 years and 18 years respectively and are still sho-dans).

Problem that we have is something sort of similar, but tangentially so to Sanchin31.

My original instructor was Yoshida Sensei who was the head Hombu instructor under Ashihara. He was a San-Dan (3rd degree BB) and was the highest BB that I have ever met in our organization, though I suppose that there are others now that are higher.

I do not know what Ninomiya's rank was when he left Ashihara to found Enshin Karate, but I believe it was 4th Dan. Also, I do not know what rank Ashihara held in Kyokushin before he left that organization to found this style..but I believe it was either 4th or 5th.

In any case, I go with Matt's feeling on this. I still learn a lot and have yet to really become adept at certain conceptual and technical portions of the art. I still learn from my senpai Shigeta, though a 1st dan, who is considered a full instructor. So, I could care less about my rank or the ranks of others as long as there is competence there in teaching and in understanding and in showing that knowledge.

My current head instructor is a Ni-dan and has been practicing this style for around 22 years and who was also a Ni-dan in Shorinji Kempo and who has a teaching certificate to instruct boxing in Japan.

I also would say that most of the black belts we have, have studied other martial arts so this helps further expand the MA knowledge base that we share from. Again, this is just a nod to Sanchin's background.

Sorry for being so long winded.

But if the instruction is good, I could care less about rank.

-B

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#163717 - 07/03/05 07:05 PM Re: What happens to instructors/students when... [Re: Kintama]
Gino Offline
Member

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 410
Loc: New York State
Hopefully, the new dojo owner will continue to train at the hombu dojo, as well as teach at their own school. Then, when the young owner eligible for promotion, so will his/her highest ranking students. By the way, I took my first karate lesson at age eighteen, and the dojo owner was a brown belt.
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#163718 - 07/03/05 07:08 PM Re: What happens to instructors/students when... [Re: butterfly]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
what I described is not a problem (for me) really, because I'd never go to a dojo owned by a ni-dan with 5 years...this is more a curiosity. There were threads not long ago where people were talking about the business side of running a dojo...I'm wondering how a business stays marketable (legitimate and mcdojo), if they can't promote past sho-dan. I suppose in a legitimately skilled dojo, by sho-dan your students would realize dan-ranks don't matter and not be concerned (like S31 described). For other dojo's, is it really just a matter of laser-printing your own promotion certificate? or paying dues to an organization and getting a certificate mailed? is it really this corrupt?
If it is that bad, what protection does a consumer have against an over-zealous sensei promoting themselves illegitimately when they realize the marketability advantage?

Thinking further to those questions, is it really a bad thing? imagine being a legitimatly instructed SD or sport MA, and you have all of these mcdojos around you scooping up most of the business. Since most of the population has the easy stuff available, they would go to the mcdojo. The serious practioners would seek out your legitimate dojo and tend to stay longer. now, if there were no mcdojos and you were the only dojo in town, you'd get more students starting and quiting, and you'd have to install a revolving door at the entrance.

I'm starting to see that mcdojos serve the purpose of teaching the lifelong white-belt population. This is beneficial to the legitimate sensei.

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#163719 - 07/03/05 07:17 PM Re: What happens to instructors/students when... [Re: Kintama]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
I believe that organizations such as ATAMA serve such a purpose in situations that is described.

http://www.atama.us/ranking.htm

There is a similar organization in Victoria, Australia which also serves a similar purpose.

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