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#350251 - 07/07/07 04:15 PM The Length of Black Belt Testing
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
In another thread, I expressed the opinion that black belt testing was a formality and should be "short term". My personal belief is that the teacher should know the student's abilities, and be able to draw them out without simply punishing them to the point of helplessness.

The thread was on black belt retention at
http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthreads/s...0&fpart=all

Feel free to chime in on alternate theories...

The quote that opened this thread was:
Quote:

I also disagree with the tests that take days to accomplish, but that's for another thread. Any test that takes more than a few hours means the teacher doesn't know his student or his abilities.
Tests should be a formality anyway, if used.





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

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#350252 - 07/07/07 04:58 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: wristtwister]
haze Offline
Dragon

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 106
Loc: Syracuse NY USA
My test was about 4 hours per day / 5 days long.(20 yrs ago)

I see the test as an audition now. Dojo has some belt positions open, apply for one. You have the knowledge and training, now show me what you can do. Some kata, some kumite or self defense demos. I don't need to see you do 1000 push-ups or sit-ups. I have watched you train and know what you can do. We have worked on improving all that you know and have given you new material to digest.

Apply for the position!
_________________________
David

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#350253 - 07/07/07 07:27 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: wristtwister]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I guess this begs the question of how one views becoming a black belt:

Is it a cumulative, gradual experience, starting from day one? This would not really require a formal blood'n'guts ceremony, as it has been proven for some time.

Or is it a singular event where one becomes a black belt at a specific time? This would require a torture test/ceremony for the candidate to pass/overcome to be born into the rank.

I personally ascribe to the former. But I am a confirmed wu$$y.
Formal or Informal black belt test?
Only one choice allowed


Votes accepted starting: 07/07/07 07:25 PM
View the results of this poll.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#350254 - 07/07/07 07:53 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: wristtwister]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Quote:

My personal belief is that the teacher should know the student's abilities, and be able to draw them out without simply punishing them to the point of helplessness.





I agree with that, and in my case (2 week test) my instructors could have handed me the belt, they knew Day 1 if I could or would pass, but still it was a rite of passage.

In any skill the ability to perform under pressure is important, emotionally and physically. I think there is a lot to be gained by it.
_________________________
Undefeated in all of Asia!

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#350255 - 07/07/07 10:40 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: Kimo2007]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
That may be the case in some circumstances, but take my nidan test in Judo, for instance. It took almost three hours just to do the techniques, and that didn't actually have me doing anything except "show me XXX". I didn't have any randori, just an additional written test, and a requirement for "hours of training" and "points accumulated".

Now, I had been in randori during every class for a month previous to "my test", so the examiner already knew whether I could use the techniques or not. When I asked about it, they told me "not necessary... we know what you can do"...

When I got my teaching licenses for jujutsu, I tested every day for a week at camp in different scenarios... judo, jujutsu, karate, aikido... and I even think we had some swimming thrown in...

Where my irritation with the whole testing situation exists is the lack of consistency throughout. One test is for a week, one is for half a day... if they were cumulative, it would be different, but simply no consistency. And simply knowing x-number of techniques doesn't make you anything. It's the ability to use them that makes or breaks your "martial arts ability".

My first teacher's attitude was "If you can kill everybody in the dojo, you can wear any belt you want"...

That's the right theory...


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

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#350256 - 07/08/07 12:22 AM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: wristtwister]
Boomer Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 304
Loc: York, Pa
hm. some interesting points are made here. in my own experience, the brown belt tests have been the knock down drag out "see if he quits or if he really wants it" tests that push you to your limits, then beyond them.

My dad's theory is that he's "teaching teachers". And that's what our black belt test really measures...one's ability to pass on the art. On our certificates is Funakoshi's poem:
The Way: Who will pass it on straight and well?
_________________________
Calling yourself "Master" implies that you have slaves.

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#350257 - 07/08/07 05:06 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: Boomer]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Funny you should say that. Brown belts used to be famous for remaining brown belts in Judo for years... not because it was too difficult to get their black belts, but because they could get into the most competetive division of tournaments.

We used to joke that "black belt tests were on knowledge, brown belt tests were on survival".

The USJA had a problem at one time figuring out how to promote people who had been brown belts for 20 years and actively teaching Judo. Thats what prompted them to come up with the "points" system that they used for years... maybe still use. You acquired points for teaching classes, attending tournaments, attending seminars, and dozens of other activities that were "judo related". To get promoted, you had to have "points" and be eligible to test.

What blew that out of the water, was the "batsugan" promotions that were given at tournaments... where someone's skills were recognized and an "instant" promotion was issued. There were lots of those promotions turned down simply because the brown belts wanted to stay in the brown belt division.

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

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#350258 - 07/08/07 08:46 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: wristtwister]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
If you are being tested by your instructor, then tests are mostly a formality, however if you are being tested by someone who doesn't know you or your skills, then the test must be more rigorous to determine what you can do and what you know.

If you are going to have a test though, it should actually test you. Push you harder or faster that you might normally do in class, or try things that are just a little out of the ordinary, or just outside of your comfort zone. I think you should feel that you earned your rank. You should at the very least feel good about the effort you put into your test, but I don't think its necessary to spend days testing, unless of course, you are being tested by someone who doesn't know you. Then they will need time to learn what you know.

My black belt test consisted of two hours allocated for a written test, including an essay on what it meant to be a black belt, 45 minutes spent running the testing for the kids class that I had started teaching, and then an hour and a half for my own testing.

I've never been stressed over my own testing. I will either be good enough or I won't. Passing or Failing doesn't concern me.

But if you want stress...just wait until the first time you have to present a group of students, that you teach, to your instructor for testing!

Laura

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#350259 - 07/08/07 08:50 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: tkd_high_green]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
...which begs the question, "Have you or any one you know failed a BB test?" and "If so, why?"

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#350260 - 07/08/07 09:27 PM Re: The Length of Black Belt Testing [Re: tkd_high_green]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Quote:

If you are being tested by your instructor, then tests are mostly a formality, however if you are being tested by someone who doesn't know you or your skills, then the test must be more rigorous to determine what you can do and what you know.






I really think that if you "have it", it will show without having to go through hours and hours of testing. With experience, comes the "eye" to see what goes on, and to understand what you're seeing as far as body mechanics, movements, etc. "Are the punches crisp... on target...done without leaving yourself open?" "Are you constantly running from your opponent, or stepping out and countering them?"

It doesn't take hours and hours of watching the same thing to see if you do things the right way. Realistically, a student shouldn't be allowed to test unless they are ready, and in "open testing", they shouldn't feel bad if they fail the test... it should serve to show them what they need to work on.

If it takes hours for the examiner to determine someone's skills, I would question their capacity as an examiner. If tests are strictly done on "style" components, it might take longer to "get through the list", but regardless of that, the examiner should be able to look at someone and tell what level skills they show.

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

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