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#415616 - 02/06/09 11:45 AM Beyond Black Belt Standards
everyone Offline

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
I understand there are minimum objective standards a prospective Black Belt has to pass before they are awarded their BB. They have katas, teaching hours, knowing techniques, etc…

Are there subjective standards as well? Morals, honor, respectfulness, humility, how they present themselves, sparring skills, how they represent the school, etc…

With subjective standards there generally isn’t a benchmark qualifier that they must attain (otherwise it would not be subjective). Often times though, it’s easy to see if the person is way to one side or the other as far as qualifying.

Please share any subjective standards your school has and how they are enforced.
Does Your School Have Subjective Standards for a BB
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Have You Seen Subjective Standards Enforced
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#415617 - 02/06/09 11:55 AM Re: Beyond Black Belt Standards [Re: everyone]
Ames Offline

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Most schools I've been to do have some level of 'subjective criteria', and this is probably a good thing. An instructor usually doesn't want to knowingly teach people who are going to go out of their way to injure others.

In terms of what standards I've seen. Well, for BJJ the instructor is pretty clear about rolling not being show off time, and that you should respect your partners. Also, everyone shakes hands afterwards.

In Aikido it is a lot more strict. You're not allowed to disagree with a senior on the mat, even if you know the technique is wrong, you have to have total respect for uke and conform to their abilities etc. Bowing and saying 'Osu' is a constant as well. The last few minutes of every class in spent sitting across from your training partner meditating, then bowing.

"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."

#415618 - 02/06/09 12:01 PM Re: Beyond Black Belt Standards [Re: Ames]
everyone Offline

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
What I am getting at is people will say something like, "I passed all the tests, I deserve my BB". But are there also subjective criteria that would bar them from receiving this reward? Have you ever seen someone denied their BB because of any subjective criteria? Is it right to do so?

#415619 - 02/06/09 12:02 PM Re: Beyond Black Belt Standards [Re: everyone]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
I have real issues with 'character standards' for MA gradings.

1. too easy to fake. Plenty of people can assume the correct mannerisms and project them whilst in class, and then drop them outside of that environment.

2. Many people just dont need 5 years of martial fortune cookies to be decent respectful people, and for the normal, hard working guy off the street to be told that is not enough, and that they must have a specific philosophical code enforced upon them in their free time for their dedication to be recognised is a breach of freedom that, if insisted upon by a government, would have the people take up arms.

3. Who is a Martial arts instructor to decide what level of personal development I am at!?!? on what basis of authority or education are they capable of assessing me based on watching me throw kicks for 3 hours a week?

The whole world of MA needs a mindset-enema.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'

#415620 - 02/06/09 12:45 PM Re: Beyond Black Belt Standards [Re: everyone]
stac3y Offline

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 42
My school doesn't ask for conformity to anything like this, but I'm told that some students have been kicked out because they were dangerously aggressive and refused to modify their behavior. But this happens LONG before black belt level. People who won't "play nice" don't get very far.

Stac3y Karate Moms have Brass Ovaries!

#415621 - 02/06/09 12:59 PM Re: Beyond Black Belt Standards [Re: stac3y]
tkd_high_green Offline

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Absolutely. Students are held for rank due to bad behavior at school or at home. This happens more often in lower ranks than at black belt level. However it is also known that if a student exhibits bad behavior after they've earned their rank, that that rank can be taken away, or the student will be asked to leave if they don't straighten up.


#415622 - 02/06/09 01:00 PM Re: Beyond Black Belt Standards [Re: Cord]
Dereck Offline

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10416
Loc: Great White North
All good points Cord and I would have to agree.

I like the philosophy in being yourself whether in class or not in class. I believe in the philosophy of respecting others in class or not in class. That usually a good person will be a good student, morally that is no matter what the setting.

I know for the TKD I took that attitude was most certainly taken into consideration. If you had a poor attitude then you didn't get far; a part of the weeding out process. Nobody was trying to change your morals or conform you. Your thoughts and ideas were respected as they wanted theirs respected.

I like the BJJ I take, it is more laid back and you can discuss and ask things more openly. There is less formality which is refreshing. This isn't too far off from the TKD I took, still line up and bow in, rank from highest to lowest belt, but it seems more of a buddy type of system and perhaps that comes with having somebody laying on you all of the time; or vise versa. And there is a respect thing that goes on and you always finish class with bowing and grasping each other for a shoulder type hug. Unlike many martial arts where you can train on your own whether katas or kicking/punching a bag, with BJJ you need a partner to work techniques so the respect is more genuine. You don't have to fake this, you do it because you believe it.

#415623 - 02/06/09 11:26 PM Re: Beyond Black Belt Standards [Re: everyone]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Everyone:

Any rank is merely an acknowledgement solely between you and your teacher alone that you have passed (in their opinion) a certain point.

That is it...

Phone book "cliches" morals, honor, respectfulness, humility how can they present in any way such that it can be TESTED at an exam?

If disrespectful, and perceived... it will be addressed. "Ego problem" or "immoral"... that too will be a series of conversations... all as factors of involved good training. Meaningful enough said behaviors are challenged, and changed. If not students leave as unwilling to alter their path or get asked to do so.

The art has two sides, the "red" zone and the "white" zone. The red = primitive, the raw physicality of the animal within us all. The white = detached, the clinical observer taking it all in simultainously. Everyone is a combination. Some people are very red... others are the pure white... detached, almost seperate from their physical bodies & actions.

Only physical and we have not learned the art below the surface/depthfully. Regardless purely red that does not mean one is not powerful, far from it. A large dog, a professional sharp-shooter, neither is an ideal opponent. Combine them the danger is worse.

Mandatory and fundamental one must have the ability to explain, articulate ones art(s) its concepts, ideas, and philosophies. Unable, how well do we truly understand it?
There are ~places~ where physical action, physicality is inappropriate and the wrong tool entirely. My basic criteria for any yudansha goes far beyond the physical!

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken,


#415624 - 02/17/09 09:31 PM Re: Beyond Black Belt Standards [Re: tkd_high_green]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Laura:

<<Students are held for rank due to bad behavior at school or at home .


How in the blazes is this defined prey tell???

The affair someone is having is grounds?
What about the drinking someone does?
What happens if someone gets hooked on prescription drugs?
What about a sexual relationship, someone else might not "approve of" (ie provided its legal)?

I can think of dozens of situations around which no dojo, no kwan, no dojang has any say or influence what so ever! What of those sticky situations, the grey areas?

Where does the dojo/dojang/kwan END prey tell re: exterior behavior(s) or actions?


#415625 - 02/17/09 09:39 PM Re: Beyond Black Belt Standards [Re: Ames]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Ames:

<<You're not allowed to disagree with a senior on the mat, even if you know the technique is wrong, you have to have total respect for uke and conform to their abilities etc.

That's not "respect" thats something else entirely. Are open QUESTIONS permitted in your Aiki environment? I can be a real jerk about how I ask a question, or I can be earnest and still ask. Provided I was earnest, is it acceptable/allowed?


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