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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 406
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:

A couple things in your post...

When a lot of adults start training for the first time, they're looking for an alternative to Gold's Gym. They're looking for socialization. They're looking for a hobby, and getting exercise and health benefits kill two birds with one stone. No all, by any means, but more and more each day. A lot of adults have the mentality that they don't need to fight anymore as they get older, they already know how to, etc. It's not about fighting for many of them, it's about the other things.


I can honestly say this has not been my experience with adults which is one of many reasons I maintain my Shinshii's traditions of not teaching anyone under the age of 16.

I have actually experienced the direct opposite. The vast majority had the intention of learning to protect themselves. Yes I will concede that there are some that also wanted the added bonus of exercise and discipline in their lives but again this was not the main reason they joined. It may be the type of student I accept also.

To be fair to this conversation I do interview my students and they are also on what I will call probation for a few months so I can understand the type of person they are. I do tell some to find another school right off the bat and others, after getting to know them, are shown the door as well.

I practice the same standards as my Shinshii in that I only accept what I deem as worthy students. If they are not there to train or have other motives they are shown the door without hesitation. Also to be fair I have a full time job and do not depend on my students for my living so that may be the primary difference. I strictly teach because I love it and feel an obligation to give back what was given to me. So in truth I am more or less hand picking who I will teach and the majority of these students joined to learn how to defend themselves either because their job demands it or because they want to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones if danger ever comes knocking on their door.

I find nothing wrong with this as long as their personality and intentions are pure. If they are not they are shown the door.

JR 137 wrote:
Many parents view MA as a physical activity for their kids, as an alternative to team sports or a supplement. They need to get their excess energy out, and they won't make the (insert sport here) team. In MA, everyone makes the team, everyone gets equal playing time. This also goes hand in hand with parents wanting discipline and respect, yet would rather have someone else teach it than them.

Being MA and fighting is a side effect/added bonus. They're not all there for that. That's a big reason why the McDojos exist. That's a big reason why it's easy for them to justify giving kids yudansha ranks and titles. If it wasn't about fighting, what's the big deal with rank/titles?

Sad, but often true.


I guess because I do not teach kids this is something that I don't have to deal with.

And no offense to those that teach kids, because I respect the patience you must have, but I don't want to teach kids. Not only do I not want to teach them I would have to completely alter the way I teach because I could not in good conscience teach kids what I teach adults. I do not wait until advanced levels to teach what some would call "hidden" or "deadly" techniques. They are taught as they learn each Kata.

Don't get me wrong I love kids and laugh at their antic's and have kids of my own. I would not trade them for all the riches and fame in the world. However I would not teach my kids until they reached the age of 16. Instead I enrolled them in a traditional art with a teacher that I know and respect. Once they turned 16 they had the option to join or continue on with him with the understanding that they would enter as a Hachidan just like every one else does. One stayed and one joined me. I now teach both of them and love doing so. But then again they are both grown adults now.
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Luther unleashed
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 603
Location: Phoenix
Styles: A few!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey long time no post, and I always cringe when I see this topic lol. The reason I cringe is because I know without question there will be many posts that say something like "it took me 13 years to earn my black belt" or "a black belt means ______". Fact is, black belt means in most arts and in most schools, being proficient in the basics. I do understand that this is not how many Americans view it, because as stated in these threads, western martial arts are different.

To be proficient in the basics should not take 10 years, it's just not that serious. That's my opinion. Also, I have personally awarded black belts to 7 year olds. Yup, that's right. They were awarded a black belt in the "ninjas" program for 6 and 7 year olds. Now please understand it's a child belt, and represents a proficient level of basic child material, I don't do it for money, I have awarded 2 not 200. They wear it for a while and move on to the youth karate program, as a white belt.

A child black belt doesn't mean the same thing so it shouldn't mean something so heavy and become offensive, at least in most cases. If you are awarding a black belt in shotokan or Tang Soo Do to a 7 yr old it's redicuous imho but we're all entitled to our own.

As matsushinshii stated he doesn't teach kids, and that he would have to change the material. That's exactly the point. The material for even youth karate isn't the same. They learn much more on the surface, it's not an adult black belt and it's that simple. I started at 7 years old which was about 1984. I joined a local Karate joint in Chicago, that stuck with me. I'm thankful for those that teach kids as I do, because my journey could have started much later, or not at all! The most important thing a youth black belt possesses is the biggest thing missing from many adult black belts, in my opinion, it's humility and true lack of ego. These are far more important then any techniques. I'm frustrated as a martial artist lately because I see so much bull and attitudes that are hard to watch. Traditional martial arts are changing, but I don't have to. Respect first, fighting is a last resort, train how you like and I'll do the same. We're all humans and have the choice and right to take what we feel is useful from martial arts, so judge less, and train how you want more.

You know I'm back when a novel has been written
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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 406
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luther Unleashed,

I respect your explanation. My art does not give kids BB's or junior BB's so this idea had escaped me until joining here and reading the difference.

I do not dispute what you have said and respect how you feel.

However the original topic was an 11 yr old with a full Yondan grading. I could accept this if it were as you pointed out a kids grading and not the actual grading.

I guess I fail to see how anyone this age could be worthy of a Shodan (full grading) much less a Yondan.

I have grown a little since I joined KF and have somewhat opened my mind to other ways of doing things and can accept, albeit not always agree, with these ways.

But to be totally honest, there will never be a time in my life when I can accept this type of lunacy. Yes I can agree with you that in starting this topic I kind of knew some of the answers I would get and yes I'm one of those it took me 5 years to achieve my Shodan guys. Having said that I have realized that not all arts are my art and we all have different experiences and I can accept that. But accepting an 11 year old Yondan in my world is just never going to happen.

Can you imagine walking into a Dojo for the first time as an adult and being told to bow to an 11 year old teaching you? Better yet can you imagine dropping your 16 yr old kid off to this same class?

Maybe I'm just an old porch hound that doesn't like change but I can not imagine a world where I would respect this grade much less bow to it with an 11 yr old wearing it.

In my opinion most agree with me, albeit in this age of political correctness they might not admit to this openly. Just imagine an 11 yr old teaching you how to fight. I'm cracking up just thinking about it. Kinda like a fly teaching the fly swatter. ROFL
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Luther unleashed
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 603
Location: Phoenix
Styles: A few!

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I missed that. I didn't realize in skimming that an 11 year old earning full rank was the issue. I agree, although in many schools 13 is when kids join the adults class. We had a 15 black belt in class. He had some mental issues but new what he was doing. He was much bigger than me as well, not sure if it went along with his disabilities or just lucky but he stood over me and I'm 6ft lol. On a side note he was dropped by our chief instructor in sparring as he was going to hard, he swept him and gave home a warning, pretty interesting and kept me respecting my instructors ability to lay me down if he needed haha. Really though My point is that size played a role for him. Sparring and holding equipment for partners was a pretty big part of our class, he just couldn't fit in a kids class.

The question comes to mind, what is the right age? I have toyed with this myself. I like the idea of an adult black belt not being given until 18, and I'm pretty sure I will be sticking to this idea. Jr black belts start in the youth program at 8, so your looking at 10 or 11 earning a jr black belt. They don't learn much real self defense, they don't learn many applications, and they don't look like seasoned adults, most anyways. It's not the same to me. I ageee though, I WOULD NOT personally award an adult level, full curriculum Black Belt to an 11 year old. Also, if I am in a black belt class, an adult doesn't bow to adults, and children always call adults Mr/Mars so and so, even if the adult is a white belt and the child has a Jr black belt. Just more that makes it clear there is a difference.

Picking an age is tough though because not all kids will become adults mentally right at 18. Some are ahead and some behind. My daughter is 15 and holds a 1st degree adult black belt (not awarded by me). I'm comfortable with it, at first it seemed weird but then again rank is a personal thing with a personal standard, to a degree.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12467
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me just say this, in addition...

If the student has freely CHOSEN that particular dojo of your own free will, for whatever the reason(s) might or might not be, then, as the student, you had better believe you me that you had better bowed to that child instructor without reservation, no matter the age of the student!

There's no room for more than one instructor, and the student is NOT the instructor!! Respect is earned, and often times, the child instructor isn't even allowed to earn that right because of its age.

I'm not a fan of a child black belt, let alone a child black belt instructor, but all in all, no matter if I like it or not, that child earned that black belt and has been appointed as the instructor by whomever that might be. Protocol is protocol, and it must be obeyed by all of the Student Body at all times.




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The Pred
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 300

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Let me just say this, in addition...

If the student has freely CHOSEN that particular dojo of your own free will, for whatever the reason(s) might or might not be, then, as the student, you had better believe you me that you had better bowed to that child instructor without reservation, no matter the age of the student!

There's no room for more than one instructor, and the student is NOT the instructor!! Respect is earned, and often times, the child instructor isn't even allowed to earn that right because of its age.

I'm not a fan of a child black belt, let alone a child black belt instructor, but all in all, no matter if I like it or not, that child earned that black belt and has been appointed as the instructor by whomever that might be. Protocol is protocol, and it must be obeyed by all of the Student Body at all times.





I could be wrong but I doubt an 11 year old would be teaching adults. If anything he or she would most likely be helping out with little kids with an adult on the floor.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12467
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Pred wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
Let me just say this, in addition...

If the student has freely CHOSEN that particular dojo of your own free will, for whatever the reason(s) might or might not be, then, as the student, you had better believe you me that you had better bowed to that child instructor without reservation, no matter the age of the student!

There's no room for more than one instructor, and the student is NOT the instructor!! Respect is earned, and often times, the child instructor isn't even allowed to earn that right because of its age.

I'm not a fan of a child black belt, let alone a child black belt instructor, but all in all, no matter if I like it or not, that child earned that black belt and has been appointed as the instructor by whomever that might be. Protocol is protocol, and it must be obeyed by all of the Student Body at all times.





I could be wrong but I doubt an 11 year old would be teaching adults. If anything he or she would most likely be helping out with little kids with an adult on the floor.

More than likely, but one never knows for sure looking from the outside looking in; stranger things happen.

As a JBB, I taught adults quite often, even more so as I grew older. However, either Soke and/or Dai-Soke was on the floor supervising at all times. We've no JBB under the age of 13 years old!!




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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 406
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Let me just say this, in addition...

If the student has freely CHOSEN that particular dojo of your own free will, for whatever the reason(s) might or might not be, then, as the student, you had better believe you me that you had better bowed to that child instructor without reservation, no matter the age of the student!

There's no room for more than one instructor, and the student is NOT the instructor!! Respect is earned, and often times, the child instructor isn't even allowed to earn that right because of its age.

I'm not a fan of a child black belt, let alone a child black belt instructor, but all in all, no matter if I like it or not, that child earned that black belt and has been appointed as the instructor by whomever that might be. Protocol is protocol, and it must be obeyed by all of the Student Body at all times.





I am nothing if not traditional and having said this I understand the pecking order of instructor to student. Even so, as I stated there is no way I would respect or bow to an 11 yr old as an adult.

I get your point and respect what you are saying because of the back ground we come from and the traditions and requirements we follow. However I would walk out and find another school before ever extending respect or bowing to the belt (notice I do not say person) that an 11 yr old wears.

A person must earn respect, the belt is a symbol and as such has a degree of respect attached to it. Just like military rank.

I like to think I have a degree of humility but this far and exceeds my ability to humble myself. I give the utmost respect to all of my students and instructors without question until they prove that they do not deserve it. I have had students pass me in grade and never have I had an issue with this as it was my decision to pass on grading and have extended all respect to their grades and have absolutely no problem bowing to them. This situation however is something I would never kowtow down to.

For me, I could never bow to a grade not earned or to a person not worthy of the grade given. To use your words, "proof is on the floor", and I would be thoroughly amazed in ANY 11 yr old no matter how big could stand toe to toe with me on the floor and earn my respect. To me a grade such as this had better be able to win the respect of his/her students not only through knowledge but also ability. Ability also implies being able to stand with any of your students. Can you or anyone else here say that an 11 yr old can do that? If so I would love to meet them.

I have given great thought to the whole JBB issue. Having read many opinions and explanations of it, I have come to understand it's use and also what it means. I have come to understand their meaning and accept the reason for having them. But a full grading at 11 is for me just crazy. I would love to use other slang to describe this but I don't want Patrick to yell at me.

In this case I would just walk out and find a school without comment to this young lady. It's not her fault she wears what I feel she does not deserve. I guess in my mind the real issue is less with the 11 yr old and more so with the person that granted this grade to an 11 yr old. To the point, I would have an even harder time bowing to or having any respect for the instructor (no matter what grade he/she was) that promoted this young lady than I would bowing to her. And I would have an even harder time not questioning their grading. I would definitely walk and never look back at minimum.

I guess the underlying reason I get so passionate about this type of subject is that it's another reason that the art has declined. Belt factories, McDojo's, feel good everybody is a winner mentalities. The respect for the art is what suffers when this type of thing happens. I don't think anyone would really consider an 11 yr old to be worthy of a Yondan grading. It's a joke and most instructors understand this. It's the general public that does not understand what it takes to achieve said grades.

It's the utter lack of respect for the traditions and the art itself. Yes instructors can do as they please, but to what end? If I promote every student to Shodan after the first month of training what message does that send to them?

Yes I look at Shodan and all the other Yudansha grades differently than most of the others here on KF. To me it is not just another belt. I was definitely brought up differently in the arts than most and besides some here I'm older than most. But if the standards of Yudansha grading's are degraded and anyone walking in the door can get one with minimal effort what does your grade, position, title mean to them? Not much. Its the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality that makes winning, hard effort, and working to EARN something worth nothing at all.

So if they don't respect and value the belt, because it was given not earned, how do you expect them to respect you or the art you teach?

[And lets be honest she did not study for 11 yrs because her parents are not in the art and until around the age of 6 her attention span was smaller than a flea in my experience, so how many years/hours could she have put in? How many hours could she have devoted to training? Oh and I might mention that he also had a picture of her in a ballet uniform so she's not strictly devoted but even if she were, it's impossible to devote that many hours in such a short time frame unless the belt was given.

It's semantics. It's ridiculous and in my humble opinion down right impossible. Bow to the grade? Nope. Not me not ever.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12467
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it protocol or is it manners??

We don't have to like it, and again, I don't, but as a guest of a dojo, and a student is a guest of that dojo, manners should be extended to the dojo, if nothing else.

If anyone chooses to not show manners towards any of our JBB's, they'll have to answer to me. Disrespect for Shindokan, for our Soke/Dai-Soke, for the dojo, for our Kun, for my floor, for that JBB, for the Student Body, and for me.

Protocol or manners?? It's both!! If I'm a guest of a CI, I'll show that I've manners by following their protocol.




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The Pred
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 300

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like this topic should be stickie since it seems like this one topic is always posted at least once a year.
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