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#350261 - 07/08/07 09:31 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: hedkikr]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
my training partner failed his Renshi test in Kyudo (which he travelled to Japan to take) several times before passing. Out of 300 or more taking the test, only 2 or 3 passed each time. Finally, he was one of them.

What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

#350262 - 07/08/07 10:05 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: wristtwister]
tkd_high_green Offline

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont

It doesn't take hours and hours of watching the same thing to see if you do things the right way

From a general motion/ability stand point, I agree. I don't think you need to see someone perform a side kick 50 times to know how well they can do a side kick.

However, someone who doesn't know you might want to see a broader range of things from you than someone who knows you might, just to know if you are capable of performing that technique.

How long would it take to run through all of the different techniques? How many variations do you go through? jumping, spinning, combinations? Different scenarios? etc. How well do you have to know the entire syllabus? Is it about physical performance, or knowledge?

A standard test at our school consists of 45 minutes or so of bag, paddle, or line drills, self defense, and light contact sparring (light contact only because we don't bother taking time to put gear on) Then the next half is spent with patterns, any or all of them, and breaking, one or two techniques, which we typically know ahead of time. Students don't test unless their instructor thinks they are ready, and rarely fail. Even then its usually more of a on hold until you can perform your break or pattern, or sometimes at the behest of a parent, improve behavior or grades at home or school.

My coworker will be testing for his third degree in august. His test will take place over three days during his schools annual summer camp. Three days might sound excessive, but if you look at it from the perspective of being able to spend three full days having fun training in your chosen art, with the people you choose to train with, and at the end of it maybe walk away with a promotion. Sounds like a good deal and a lot of fun to me.

Once you get past technique analysis, these lengthy tests are really just about conditioning, perseverance, and bragging rights.


#350263 - 07/08/07 11:11 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: hedkikr]
Saisho Offline
more than just a pretty face

Registered: 06/26/06
Posts: 620
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
At the end of a weekend seminar the first time I met the head of my style, Taba Sensei, an 8th-Dan in Canada told me I was testing for my Godan. After going through everything and nearly collapsing, I was told that I was not getting Godan.

I consider it failing, but Taba Sensei told me that there was only a slight chance that I would have passed because he does not promote people the first time he sees them. He wanted to see me go through the test to see me closely and give me the opportunity to shine. I didn't. He said that had I performed superiorly (not going to happen after the seminar), he would have considered it, but he felt I was about 70%-80% of what he wanted.

The next time I saw him, which was about 2 years later, I tested again and passed. He said that I had kept my promise and made all of the corrections he asked me to make (and even after 2 years he was able to list them all from memory). Then he gave me a longer list for next time!

I told him I was not looking for the rank and that the corrections/teaching was enough. He said that he knew that and if it was the rank I wanted I would not have gotten it.
Tony Partlow Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Minamoto Shibu Dojo

#350264 - 07/09/07 02:13 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: Kimo2007]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
I don't agree with a 2 week test for Shodan, I mean its just a test, testing if you know most of the basics of the system. I think 4-6 hours in 2 days is long enough.

If the candidate survives our BB test (and he will or he would not be selected regradless of time in grade) you will feel that you earned it. Every Instructor knows that the BB candidate has the skills, but the test is a test of the heart and character. Its were you learn or fortify something that you didn't know about yourself.

I was on a board once and the BB candidate pasted his test, but asked me later "If I thought he deserve his BB?" He asked me I guess because I was the only surprise in his test. We were asked to see something else or question him, I stepped up and told him,"I'm gonna punch U in the face FOR REAL, stop me." He did. And I told him that he past the requirement of that dojo thats all he can concern himself with right now.(It did look like a 5th kyu test, I didn't set the bar, each school is different). But I don't want those insecurities from a new BB nor do I want am I still alive.

In a different scenario I have past students and visiting Instructors on my boards. They give words of incouragement and right as you say of passage. "Stop that crying some will say that was nothing compared to the test he gave me". As I recall the test was near the same. Techniques are practiced everyday in class, in a Test at this level Heart/Guts and character is what is tested. We know, you know, what you have practiced, but can you use it under pressure!!!

I try to escape from the since I was abused, I must abuse frame of mind that some in my group use, where the candidate is afraid to test. I usually tell a BB candidate this will be easy you r ready or I would not let you test, don't get flashy and be smart. Thats what messes them up getting cute, its the difference of passing with bloody nose or scraped knuckles.

A 2 week test for Shodan Its hard to imagine, it means a lot to your Sensei I'm assuming. I bet U would rather have that then, "Do I really deserved this rank?"

#350265 - 07/09/07 02:34 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: wristtwister]
Tiger86 Offline

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 13
Loc: Valley Stream, NY, USA
In my opinion, if know one fails the test b/c there all good then thats okay...but if know one fails the test b/c the school doesnt want to loose students then thats not okay. I'm sure we've all had our moments while watching other ppl test and you just go "omg, how did he/she pass?".

i think a black belt test should be however long it'll take for you to be tested on everything. if it requires 5 hours over a 3 day period then do it. but i think that the students should be ready to do it. but sometimes u think someones ready when there not. but dont give them the belt b/c they hung in there. tell them to go train more and try again. i mean i can go into a whole thing about why certain tests are how they are but its basically in McDojo's they give u the belt b/c u paid for it.

but to answer hedkikr's question of have any of u ever failed a BB test? I did not fail my Black Belt Test. do i think i should have, part of me says that i wasnt 100% ready for it, but the other part says i was. but during my BB test i was kicked in my tailbone during the sparring and i still finished the test, so i tried really hard, lol.

back to length, if the BB is X amount of days X amount of hours, then anytest after that, weather is a stripe test or a Dan test, it should be longer and harder. why have the black belt test be hard and then 2nd dan is easy? what would be the point of getting 2nd dan then?

well thats my thought, everyone else had lots of interesting things to say.

#350266 - 07/09/07 05:39 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: Tiger86]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
This is where evaluating the candidate daily up to that point comes in, quite frankly some people fold under pressure when its really appiled. Theres a difference whenyou know its a drill even if it full contact most at that level perform as normal.

But imagine a group of plained clothes aggresors with all the crap talking and jargon, you don't know them. You look over to the board and the lights goes out and someone hits you, lights back on and your are dealing cause you have to!!
I've had people fail this part of the test because they freeze, have 2 or 3 down and get held up fighting instead of fleeing and the 2-3 down get up (this really pi$$ me off) playing S-man (superman or stupid, man both pi$$ me off). I've had people pass it by taking off when lights goes off, or getting armed then backing out toward the door. No one said you couldn't do either. Be smart, don't risk a a$$ whipping you still got the rest of the test to do. Its really a mind game, thats backed up with physical ability. I've passed some people that got the crap beat out of them, they gave as good as they got. Which is dumb but they did finally escape or fought to stand still. Bc they fought and didn't quit, they did it their way. They still passed because they stood for something. I think its dumb what they stood for, but they paid the price and usually will escape faster the next week in class. I'm not trying to prove I'm right. I'm saying prove me wrong, with eye thats not swollen shut.

I don't think anybody trully believe they deserve a BB, but they do feel they earned it by right of passage, if you know what I mean.

I've seen some sado-maschist test, I've seen some tough test, I've seen weak test and some give aways. My test, test the mind, spirit and ability if you lucky and smart you can make it through without a scratht, sweaty and nervous but barely got touched. If you are smart, the mind is our most powerful weapon.

#350267 - 07/11/07 12:15 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: Tiger86]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Tiger86 wrote - why have the black belt test be hard and then 2nd dan is easy? what would be the point of getting 2nd dan then?

What I remember about 2nd and 3rd Dan test, is that it is more information and harder then the 1st Dan test. But just like the 1st week of footballs 2 adays, or the 1st Lap around a race track in a 350z or 1st week of Trig when you know the subject matter and know what to expected its not that hard no matter how hard it is. The Mind accepts it and the body answers the challenge. If You know what to expected the mind controls, how you respond.

You asked almost any Nidan was his Nidan test harder then his Shodan he would say of course, but the Shodan test was had an unexpected leap in intensity. As I mentioned eariler its a test of the mind, spirit as well as physical techniques.

Edited by Neko456 (07/11/07 12:23 PM)

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