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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 125
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 9:20 am    Post subject: Black belts welcome at your school? Reply with quote

How do you treat someone with prior experience who visits your school to ask about training?

I've been in both traditional and non-traditional martial arts for many years, and from time to time I've looked around for a new school.

What I've found is, the non-traditional clubs- JKD, boxing, MMA, combatives, are happy to show me around, have me come train. No attitude or suspicion.

But visiting commercial, traditional clubs (like my old TSD org, or TKD), once they ask about my experience, it becomes clear I'm not welcome, it's not the place for me.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I welcome BBís to watch classes however if they decide to join their belt is replaced with a white one.

I imagine that youíre having difficulty based on one of a few reasons. They feel you will come into class with your own ideas and would be harder to train their way than someone with a little experience or someone with no experience at all. They donít have confidence in what they teach or are afraid of being exposed as a fraud (McDojo). Or it may be because they donít want to have the discussion about wearing your current grade and just ignore you so they donít have to.

My experience is opposite of yours. 90 or more percent of my training is in traditional arts. I have always been welcomed and experienced eagerness to teach me their art.

Maybe start the conversation with the fact that youíre a BB in another art. Then
explain that youíre interested in learning another art. If youíve held this tid bit out until later in the conversation they may feel you have ulterior motives or have something to hide.

Other than that I canít imagine not welcoming a new student no matter the grade.
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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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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 125
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I've had this experience at a traditional school, it was (with one exception) in the same style. I think some of the points you made are valid, though. I also think in the traditional environment there's concerns about hierarchy, loyalty, and organizational politics.
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Tempest
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on what your black belt is in.

Being a black belt in TSD does not convey any particular skills in Judo or BJJ.

It is useful for me to know of your prior experience so when I am teaching you, I can often relate the techniques to something you may be familiar with, BUT the skills are not directly transferable between arts that way.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JazzKicker wrote:
When I've had this experience at a traditional school, it was (with one exception) in the same style. I think some of the points you made are valid, though. I also think in the traditional environment there's concerns about hierarchy, loyalty, and organizational politics.


In this case it's most likely politics. Many instructors veer a bit from the organization's curriculum for one reason or another. Maybe for very good reasons. This sometimes posses an issue when BB's from other schools ask to join in. In the back of their minds they don't know if you're sincere or checking up on them. This and after years of teaching you get tired of explaining yourself to BB's from other schools that presume they know better and that their way is always better.

Having dealt with similar circumstances I can appreciate their outlook. I once had a gentleman that was a grade higher than me (in a different art) constantly question and try to correct me. This was merely based on his way of doing things and how he was taught and I realized this. Even still after a few months it got really old, really quick. As teachers we try to not let one instance sour us but as humans there is only so much patience a person has.

We ended up getting over the hump so to speak and this constant barrage of questioning ended but if this happened often enough I could see myself getting to the point of showing others to the door rather than giving them the opportunity to avoid the frustration.

Ego is often the culprit.
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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.
Charles R. Swindoll
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've experienced the opposite problem.

I have my main style, but I also like to go and get a different perspective or some different skills entirely from elsewhere from time to time.

I always tell any new instructor of my main experience, right from the outset, just purely in the interest of openness and honesty, and I also tell them I'm a complete beginner in their style.

Yet time and time again, I hear things like 'but you'll know this already', 'I don't need to explain this to you' etc. Which I find frustrating, because if I did already know this, or I didn't need it explaining, then I wouldn't be there.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14336
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With zero experience with Shindokan, and they want to learn Shindokan, and no matter their rank somewhere else, they're white belts, and I treat them accordingly!!


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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1717

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try going from teacher to teacher in the exact same system. The two may well teach the same thing on the surface , but that is as far as it goes. Prior experience or not black belt means very little to an instructor who hasnít had the time to evaluate oneís level of skill. This is from personal experience training in nothing but the same Shorin ryu system.

Everyone and anyone is treated with the same courtesy, respect and hospitality, provided that the newcomer or visitors comes with the intention to learn what the instructor teaches, and an open mind. It all depends on the attitude of the person.

When visiting a school one must be willing to set aside prior experience. If one has the intention of becoming a serious student there, then one must be able to forget it and accept learning new skills as a novice.
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Lupin1
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1603
Location: NH USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they're Isshinryu, I'm guessing they can keep their belt, though they will have to learn all the "extra" kata we do at our school. If they're from a different style, it depends. If they're just visiting, they can wear their black belt. If they plan on training with us long term, they have to start at white belt, though they'll most likely advance much faster than normal.
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tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6851
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: Black belts welcome at your school? Reply with quote

JazzKicker wrote:
How do you treat someone with prior experience who visits your school to ask about training?

I've been in both traditional and non-traditional martial arts for many years, and from time to time I've looked around for a new school.

What I've found is, the non-traditional clubs- JKD, boxing, MMA, combatives, are happy to show me around, have me come train. No attitude or suspicion.

But visiting commercial, traditional clubs (like my old TSD org, or TKD), once they ask about my experience, it becomes clear I'm not welcome, it's not the place for me.


BBs are always welcome to stop by and check us out. Visiting BBs are treated according to their rank.

Now if they are looking to train full time it's a different discussion. A BJJ BB is what it is. They come in as is. Ranking in any other system isn't the same, so they go to the white belt. But again, visitors aren't held to this standard.

I roll with all the visitors that come in. If they aren't ranked in BJJ I want to give them an idea of etiquette. If they are it's important for me for them to know I'm not ducking them or trying to bury them. It's just a roll. I want to set the tone.

I've had guys that have stopped (ranked to BB in BJJ) by that can beat me, and guys I can beat, and a vast number of them that we go to draw. What I want them to know is I'm not concerned with it. It's worked out well to date.
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