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#396296 - 05/21/08 04:34 PM Re: what does master or grand-master mean to you? [Re: JMWcorwin]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
JMW,
While, there are variations on this, the standard we use in my neck of the woods is 4'th through 7'th degree black belt is considered masters rank, while 8'th and 9'th are considered grand masters. Each rank has a minimum time frame to get to it, 2 years to 2nd, 3 to 3rd, etc.

So sure, a 4'th degree master is going to have significantly less knowledge and experience than a 7'th degree, but if you've been training 3 or 4 hours a week for 10 years (as an adult black belt) and you don't have your act together either physically or mentally, then I think there's a real problem.

And frankly, if you've been training and/or teaching a martial art for 40 or 50 years, then you know what? I think you deserve some respect.

Laura

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#396297 - 05/21/08 05:41 PM Re: what does master or gand-master mean to you? [Re: jeff_andle]
everyone Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
IMO calling oneself a "Master" is just an abreviation of another word meaning making oneself feel good.

Being called a master by others is a discriptive term to be used for the rare few who have proven themselves. This is subjective of course, but if used sparingly, it will still have meaning.

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#396298 - 05/21/08 06:32 PM Re: what does master or grand-master mean to you? [Re: tkd_high_green]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Quote:

So sure, a 4'th degree master is going to have significantly less knowledge and experience than a 7'th degree




I don't agree with this. From those I spoke with and from those I've seen their skill this does not ring true. And in fact I've been told more then once by more then one person that it gets more political then anything else which does not require "said" skills. I would most certainly put up many 4th Dans or higher against 6th, 7th and higher and be more confident in their skill level.
_________________________
"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#396299 - 05/21/08 07:10 PM Re: what does master or grand-master mean to you? [Re: Dereck]
VDJ Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 1674
Isn't "Master" a reference to a adolesent male who isn't old enough to be called "Mister" yet? I'm just saying..

VDJ

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#396300 - 05/21/08 07:45 PM Re: what does master or grand-master mean to you? [Re: VDJ]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Yes VDJ it is!

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#396301 - 05/21/08 08:07 PM Re: what does master or gand-master mean to you? [Re: Andymcc]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Quote:

People get way too caught up in terminology. A quick looks at a dictionary reveals the following defintions of master:
* To conquer or overcome: (to master one's pride.)
* Become adept in: (to master a language.)
* A worker qualified to teach apprentices and to carry on a trade independently.
* A person eminently skilled in something, as an occupation, art, or science.




This is a good way to look at it.

Quote:

And knowing a syllabus... such as the ITF's, still doesn't mena you have learned "all" there is to learn anyway.
So, master (to me) means someone who has achieved a highly expert level of proficiency. But it can't be measured in terms of something as concrete as years of service.
If the ITF considers dans 4-6 "expert", then to me that should translate to master. Doesn't mean you know it all, but as the definition of the word suggests, you have achieved at a very high level.




Please let me attempt to clarify. In the ITF a student must train around 10 years & successfully complete an international instructors course to be a 4th degree expert. An additional 15 years or so must be completed to become a 7th degree master. Another 15 years at master level is required for one to be a grandmaster.

Now much like what is a BB & standards for a BB, they really can't be compared accross styles & organizations, as everyone has their own set of critera & terms.

A master, according to the founder was one who knows all the aspects, both the mental & physical. The elite, with 9th degree, the highest being a grand master.

Now an international instructor, 4th to 6th degree is responsible for teaching color belts & BBs. They are still doing physical tests themselves. A master is responsible for teaching the above & the spirit of our Art. The title in Korean is SaHyunNim, meaning soul of the system. The red on the master shoulder flashes indicates spirit.

Now a grandmaster is the voice of the system. The title is SaSungNim, which literally means 4 star, as in a military general. The grandmaster is responsible for promoting world peace. The blue on the shoulder flashes is the color of peace, like the UN Flag.

IMHO those that spend a lifetime learning a system do at a point in the diligent study, naturally move to earning these titles. It works well.

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#396302 - 05/21/08 08:13 PM Re: what does master or gand-master mean to you? [Re: jeff_andle]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Quote:

I'd make this a survey except that I really do not want to prefame the answers. I see people claim various titles in their own styles and i see others granted titles without requesting them per se. So, what do people consider makes one a "master", a "grandmaster"?

I'm also curious as to what one sees as the objective comparable meanings of the various dans...




We never had grandmaster. In the old days there was master SaBumNim at 4th degree & the head of the school was KwanJangNim. However by the early 70s, 7th degree was master, SaHyunNim. Later on, grandmaster, SaSungNim was added in.

To me, one is a master that has spent a long time of diligent study as an apprentice under a qualified master. Once out on their own, the quality of their work earns them the title of master. I look at it like the old days of a tradesman, such as a blacksmith or carpenter, who when they branch out on their own, their customers refer to them as a master, based on the quality of what they produce, not a cert hung up on the wall of the barn or workshop from the World Blacksmith Assoc or International Carpenters Assoc stating they are masters. JMHO

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#396303 - 05/21/08 10:27 PM Re: what does master or grand-master mean to you? [Re: tkd_high_green]
TKD_X Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 786
Loc: HERE
Quote:

JMW,
While, there are variations on this, the standard we use in my neck of the woods is 4'th through 7'th degree black belt is considered masters rank, while 8'th and 9'th are considered grand masters. Each rank has a minimum time frame to get to it, 2 years to 2nd, 3 to 3rd, etc.

So sure, a 4'th degree master is going to have significantly less knowledge and experience than a 7'th degree, but if you've been training 3 or 4 hours a week for 10 years (as an adult black belt) and you don't have your act together either physically or mentally, then I think there's a real problem.

And frankly, if you've been training and/or teaching a martial art for 40 or 50 years, then you know what? I think you deserve some respect.

Laura




i agree with you. and i think our system is the same way where 4th is the start of master and it takes 2 yrs between 1st and 2nd dan and 3 yrs between 2nd and 3rd etc. i think that masters have become a little less...i don't want to say valuable, but just less thought highly of. for instance back in the 90s when i first started, the only master we saw was the man with the beard and a bunch of stripes on his belt who came to tests and could help anyone break a board with just a little verbal guidance. he was the "head honcho". now my old instrutor has achieved 4th dan and my current teacher is a 4th dan. i know that i am fortunate to have a master as my primary instructor, but he doesn't seem like that amazing guy who we saw once in a while at belt tests who pronounced everyone's name wrong but was still so cool. now master is pretty much equal to instructor. now it is the GRANDmaster who makes us nervous whenever he comes to visit the school. i think we should really appreciate our masters even if they are like personal friends. maybe it's just when you get up to black belt level, when you are being trained by a master, they should be more like an instructor. color belt students are to instructors as instructors are to masters as masters are to grandmasters i suppose. however you look at it, this is an interesting thread. back closer to the topic at hand, if a 8th or 9th dan starts his or her own federation, i would definitely call him/her a grandmaster. i say this because not everyone can just form a federation. they need to have real skills and a line of masters that will be part of the federation. your federation will not succeed if you are doing something wrong. you would be swallowed alive by the bigger federations' popularity. i'm not saying you have to start a federation to be a grandmaster, but it is definitely a sure way to show that you are truly a pioneer and have a real understanding of the art and a true desire to continue the art as you know it.
_________________________
Are you ok!?!? It was an accident! No really! I promise!

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#396304 - 05/22/08 01:19 AM Re: what does master or grand-master mean to you? [Re: VDJ]
oldcoach Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 130
Quote:

Isn't "Master" a reference to a adolesent male who isn't old enough to be called "Mister" yet? I'm just saying..

VDJ




Hehehe...I agree ("Master Potter. Master Harry Potter"). Trust VDJ to come up with something which most everyone would tend to overlook.

Here are some others, according to my not-so-smart mind:

1. A grandmaster is like a grandfather. A father's father is a grandfather. A master's master is a grandmaster. Simple, eh?

2. Use the term grandmaster as you'd a chess grandmaster and you'd have a very different definition and vision of "masters" and "grandmasters"

3. If one wants to use the term "grandmaster" to describe someone in the martial arts (but never oneself) I'd hold him to the technical, cultural, tactical and strategic standards Musashi appeared to have attained as depicted in his Book Of Five Rings, as well as the nine points he delineated when comparing the way of the carpenter with the way of the warrior. Then again, there's the whole issue of principles, values and character, which are whole different ballgames altogether.

If you have all these ducks line-up in a row, I won't mind calling you a "grandmaster". Then again, out of respect, I'd not be averse to acknowledging you as GM simply because you're my teacher's teacher or because you have spent umpteen decades contributing to the martial arts.

Hehehe...

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#396305 - 05/22/08 07:15 AM Re: what does master or gand-master mean to you? [Re: EarlWeiss]
jeff_andle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 241
Loc: Falmouth, Maine USA
Quote:

In the ITF the term "Master" is used to Denote the level of Instructor. Dans 1-3 are novice, 4-6 are expert, 7-8 Master, and 9 is Grandmaster. The term Master at & is fitting for this sytem since to achive that level you have demosnstrated knowledge for the entire syllabus of the system.
This makes any system using the term "Master" of it;'s system when the entire system has not be learned somewhat disingenuous.

In the ITF 30 years of training is not unusuual to achieve the 7th Dan Level.




That certainly underscores the ATA roots in ITF...
1st - newly 6th dan are able to teach and 4th dan and up have to be full time instructors. 5th dan requires 200 actively training students counting your students' students etc.

At 6th dan (at least 16 and typically 20 years) one may apply for Masters' Training (1 year) if they meet other teaching and leadership requirements.

7th dan (at least 22 years, and likewise 30 is not unusual) are eligible to promote to Sr. Master and 8th dan (at least 29 years) are eligible to promote to Chief Master and be appointed to the Masters' Council.
_________________________
sam dan Songham Taekwondo The learning has just begun...

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