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#370138 - 11/15/07 04:49 PM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: JAMJTX]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
REALLY at 8th Dan what do you expect, now I know some 3rd kyu who can do JSB kick better then some 8th dan. But very few that can show you and explain the purpose of his system inside and out. Or show you the fine points to tai sabaki and then deliever strikes to a certain area of the body. Be it a merdian PP or a known weakness of the body surface target. And explain the how to.

Lets be relative in our examination of the belts system most accredited 8th dans are 50-70 years old, a 3rd kyu most times are 16-30 years old. The 8th dan has mental knowlegde along with physcial skills, the other has physical skills and is attaining mental skills.
_________________________
DBAckerson

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#370139 - 11/15/07 05:05 PM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: JAMJTX]
underdog Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
The dan ranking system is ordinal only within a particular school. It is not a universal measure. As long as it functions in a particular school, fine. As we know, the ranking of someone in one school does not translate well into a rank in another school of the same style.

I wouldn't trash dan ranks except in those schools where it doesn't help THEM. I accept it WITH all it's limitations.

Keeping dan ranks however, still leaves you with the problem of atypical folks with black belts. There are some obese, out-of-shape, people who couldn't test for their current rank again. There are older people who are earning new dan ranks or still holding ranks they earned when they were younger. There are physically and cognitively challenged people who are earning black belts. These belts mean something ONLY in the school where they are awarded and they have real value.

If there is a need for a more universal ranking system that would allow ranking of more diverse groups of people within the same alledged style, then yes, a system would need to be invented.
_________________________
The older I get, the better I was!

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#370140 - 11/16/07 09:51 PM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: underdog]
Cafa Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 11
Thanks for your input guys, I've made my decision. Since I don't have a humble posture, I guess people would say "he thinks he's better than us" if I stayed a white belt. You know, it wouldn't suit me, I don't look or act like Mr.Miyagi, although I agree with him on proper usage of belts.

It would also disrupt some training routines, as we divide the class to white belts and colored belts, mostly when doing katas. After all, I should be honored I was chosen to take the test. So I'll go with the flow and get my yellow belt in a month, although it doesn't mean much to me.

BTW for that guy who said my post is amusing, I didn't say I'm an experienced tournament fighter, but an experienced fighter.

Osu!

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#370141 - 11/19/07 05:06 AM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: Cafa]
General_Neo Offline
Member

Registered: 11/19/07
Posts: 70
You guys are correct!
there is NO meaning in belts, i have fought with many 1st 2nd and 3rd dans who's skill is at a lower level than mine and i am not yet a blackbelt (i have been doing MA for 10 years now and still havent in any of the MAs i do as i do not see the point)
I guess what i am trying to say is: belts do not determine your skill.
All a belt means is that in someone else's point of view, you are at a certain skill level.
Take care, all of you.
_________________________
Im not in this world to live up to your expectations and youre not in this world to live up to mine

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#370142 - 11/19/07 09:20 AM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: cxt]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Cxt:

And an excellent hypothesis today as well, minus the rotating teacher aspect. We have between 25 and 40 students per kids class. There are eleven classes at one facility alone. The kids switch classes an amazing amount.... (makeups, sick days, etc.). It would not be mentally possible to keep them all straight, the belts provide the basic grouping. Given the particular makeup, experience level, age of the given class the lesson alters on the fly...

Jeff

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#370143 - 11/19/07 12:04 PM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: Neko456]
jakmak52 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/18/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Florida USA
From Rob Redmond:

Which happen to be my views as well, he's says it much better

The purpose of testing is to verify two things. First, it confirms that you did the work required and attended the classes where you learned important things. It also confirms that you were smart enough to learn everything well enough to pass the exams given at the time. Once the degree is conferred, it is a permanent thing and cannot be taken away.

A person with a degree has a sheet of paper that says, ďThis person knew everything we needed them to know on this date. They are the kind of person who started and finished this program to our satisfaction and overcame everything we threw at them. Please accord them the status granted below.Ē

If I did everything the first instructor said I had to do, received my rank certificate, and have the paper to prove it, then whether or not I stink today is irrelevant. No one should take it upon themselves to attempt to retroactively judge another personís degrees and certificates of learning, and there is a very good reason why that is.

It is because most of us will eventually grow old, and as we do, we will lose our athletic ability. When we are older than we are today, over 40 years old, or over 50 years old, or even older than that, no matter how much we practice, no matter how many special herbs and vitamins we take, no matter how much regular exercise we do, our bodies will betray us and cease functioning as well as they once did. Our skills will no longer measure up, and then, because of our own ridiculous thinking that ranks equal skills, we will no longer be worthy of our own ranks.

If that is the way karate rank really works, then every karate instructor over the age of 45 should be demoted dramatically. There are hardly any karate experts over age fifty that remain competitively skilled today, despite their studentsí protests to the contrary. Certainly the men who run todayís karate associations could not possibly pass the test for shodan today to any sort of objective standard. Iíd have to fail all of them if I were in the business of reexamining people because they didnít appear to have enough skill to justify their claimed rank. They are all old men. Despite being very athletic for old men, they are still feeble and old. They might not even survive the test!

So, physical skill cannot be the component we use to judge peopleís current ranks unless we are going to treat people unequally and say that this person gets a pass because he is famous. If someone looks like a 1st kyu and fights like a 1st kyu, and they hold a 3rd dan black belt certificate, then they are a 3rd dan black belt, and there shouldnít be anything I as an instructor of karate have to say about it. The degree was conferred by someone else. If the certification is in the same art as mine, I feel it behooves me to accept it at face value and move on.

Unfortunately, karate ranks are issued by everyone differently, and there is no national standard for issuing them, no accrediting national board, and no state or local agencies which work to audit and ensure that karate ranks are managed properly. Basically, karate ranks are no more valuable if they ship from Japan printed on parchment than they are if they are scribbled with a ball point pen on a napkin in a Bar-B-Q joint.

I say there must be an obstacle, because we are obviously hypocrites if we say that rank must equate to skill while we run around bowing and scraping for an 80 year old man who couldnít fight off a gaggle of enraged elementary school girls and consider him to have the highest rank. We have something in our minds that is blocking us from letting go of the importance of karate ranks and allowing our visitors and newcomers keep their ranks and just line up wherever they please in class. What are we so uptight about?
_________________________
"The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is when good men do nothing" EB

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#370144 - 11/19/07 12:46 PM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: harlan]
jakmak52 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/18/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Florida USA
On a personal experience:

When I first started training in 1994 at age 41 with a bum shoulder due to a gunshot to my left shoulder and felt I was too old and disabled to begin training, I still wanted to check it out. I went to USA Karate here in St. Petersburg, Florida and spoke with the Instructors about my age and limitations. They assured me that that there were students much older than I and with certain physical challenges. They said if you are willing and have the ATTITUDE and perseverance to do the BEST you can, we can teach you. So I began. I amazed myself by advancing far beyond my dreams in spite of my age and bum shoulder (I wasnít able to do a proper sudo, LOL), I compensated for that. In addition to the physical aspect, I learned respect for myself and others, that anything is possible, to pass on what I had learned, courage, self confidence, focus and concentration, and that I will never know it all. In 1999 I started teaching at risk children and senior citizens self defense (which was very fulfilling for me) and competing in the NASKA circuit here in Florida and Georgia. After winning 1st place in the Executive Menís Form Division (thatís what they called it then, it was better sounding than the old farts division LOL), I realized that there will always be winners and losers. Whether a BB or WB, you have my utmost respect and support. As time past, I no longer received high awards, thatís not the point, I participated regardless win or lose, I felt involved. To contribute back to the martial arts and continue training teaching and competing is sooo much fun!! Iíll do it until the wheelchair comes out..LOL . Yes, there are lesser ranks that are better physically than me and more power to them, they teach me as well. Did I earn my rank? Iíd like to think so. But itís all of us that do our best that inspire me. Thanks for letting me share.
_________________________
"The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is when good men do nothing" EB

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#370145 - 11/19/07 12:56 PM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: Cafa]
shadowkahn Offline
anti-stupid crusader

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 234
Quote:

I have a feeling that belts, championships and stuff, are mostly used among us westerners to show that we're better than someone else




Well in my dojo anyway, belts are just an identifier. "Oh, that guy's a brown belt and I'm a gold belt. He's learned what I'm having trouble with, I'll go ask him." or "I'm teaching this class and that guy's a white belt so I can't expect him to know such-and-such."

None of this "I'm a black belt and therefore I'm better than you in every way" crap.

Quote:

I'm an experienced and effective fighter, white belt in karate. I kind of fell in love with that belt, as I like that romantic legend that it shouldn't be washed, I want to wait and see will it eventually become black. Crazy, I know.




Good luck. We don't do so much training outside in the dirt anymore, so it takes a lot longer for the belt to discolor. I was in a flood once and when I got back into the house my old white belt was green and yellow, with bits of black. Does that count? Can I be a mold belt now?



Quote:

I heard all sorts of discussions "yellow belt in this dojo is stronger than a green belt in that one", and the more I think about it, the more I am reluctant to enter that rat race.




Is it really a rat race? My old dojo (that I "trained" at for all of 3 months before finding the one I stayed with) doesn't teach karate. It barely even teaches martial ballet. Almost everything they teach is wrong. I will put one of our gold belts up against their black belts any day of the week. It doesn't mean I feel competative toward them -- - but then again I'm a realist.


Quote:

If I (or any other karate-ka) decide to stay white belt, how would you look at it?




Well, considering that it's awfully hard to learn brown belt stuff if you're a white belt, I'd say it would be fairly pointless. And as long as you're training at brown belt level, why not wear the belt? I don't think I'm better than anyone because there's a black belt in my gym bag, but I am extremely proud of it. I worked damn hard to earn that belt. I think I have a right to be proud of my personal accomplishment. The trick is not letting that pride turn into me being a jackass to other people.
_________________________
"Belt mean no need rope hold up pants" - Mr. Miyagi, RIP.

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#370146 - 11/19/07 01:27 PM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: shadowkahn]
jakmak52 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/18/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Florida USA
Quote:

Quote:


Well, considering that it's awfully hard to learn brown belt stuff if you're a white belt, I'd say it would be fairly pointless. And as long as you're training at brown belt level, why not wear the belt? I don't think I'm better than anyone because there's a black belt in my gym bag, but I am extremely proud of it. I worked damn hard to earn that belt. I think I have a right to be proud of my personal accomplishment. The trick is not letting that pride turn into me being a jackass to other people.




Well said, thank you.
_________________________
"The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is when good men do nothing" EB

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#370147 - 11/20/07 11:00 AM Re: Belt or no belt? [Re: jakmak52]
underdog Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
I'd like to keep the belts. When I teach, as noted above, the belts help me know what material each kid is supposed to have. I don't get as reliable an answer if I ask the kids. They usually want more advanced material than they should have by belt and stripes.

As for myself, I started martial arts at 45 years old and it took me 9 years to get my black belt. They did not make the test any easier for me. I'm at Nidan now and I earned it. I am aware that because I am the only female black belt over age 20 (there is one female teenager and only 2 female black belts), that competition or comparison to others is rediciulous. I have no equals and no peers. Of course I am on the down swing in skills. It is odd. I am learning lots of new things and improving in things all the time, but meanwhile, the height of my side kick gets lower and lower. It wasn't an even trip moving up in skill and the decent isn't even either. I wouldn't want someone taking my black belt away from me because I have aged. I think I set a good example for people in terms of my training and attitude. I also have a lot to teach.

In short, dan rank, and even ku rank, means a lot of different things beyond skill.
_________________________
The older I get, the better I was!

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