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bigpopparob2000
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 23 Jun 2003
Posts: 102
Location: Georgia
Styles: Tae Kwon Do, Gracie Jiu Jitsu

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:02 pm    Post subject: GJJ: How much does the teacher's rank effect your growth? Reply with quote

I've been training in Jiu Jitsu for a little over two years now, and I really enjoy it despite the fact that during most rolls I'm only slightly more adept than a grappling dummy. My school's head instructor is especially impressive. He's a fourth degree black belt, and when I watch him roll with the other higher ranks, I sometimes suspect that he's a minor deity.

However, I've really wanted to work for a particular organization for a while, and I've finally gotten to a point where I could make that change. Unfortunately, doing so would require that I move two hours away. Fortunately, my current head instructor has a brown belt student with a school of his own at the location I would move to. My concern is, would changing from a fourth degree black belt to a brown belt instructor hinder my growth? Have any of you had or witnessed such an experience? What are your thoughts on this issue?
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Tempest
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only fair answer to this is "It depends". Brown belt IS an instructor rank in GJJ, but a junior one to a 4th degree.

Junior instructors can have great energy and sometimes can actually push you to succeed faster than an older instructor who understands that it is a marathon, not a sprint.

That being said, you should be prepared to take a greater degree of control over your own development at this point, and I would not rule out the possibility of doing some weekend sessions with your current instructor as time allows.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6418
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't speak for BJJ, but as a beginner I would think you would still receive excellent training from a lower ranked instructor and would develop solid basics. As you progress through the ranks and start learning the more intricate details you may find you need to learn from someone more qualified. But at the same time your instructor will be progressing and learning too so I wouldn't worry too much.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15424
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: GJJ: How much does the teacher's rank effect your growth Reply with quote

bigpopparob2000 wrote:
My concern is, would changing from a fourth degree black belt to a brown belt instructor hinder my growth?

No!! Why? First, lineage can have quite a lot to do with growth. After all, is the growth cycle effected from a 4th Dan to a 8th Dan??!!

That brown belt, while he'll be the CI of his school, he'll be mentored by his teacher, and possibly other black belts from his school, as well as the governing body. That brown belt runs his school; credible governing body will not interfere with how he runs his school, UNLESS, it affects the brand.

Quote:
Have any of you had or witnessed such an experience?

I've personally known brown belts who are the CI of their school. At first, I was surprised, but shortly thereafter, it was no big deal. Why? The brown belts that I've seen running a school were they themselves STILL a student, and they are mentored across the board by either that brown belts own CI, and several of his/her black belts, as well as the governing body. That brown belt will not be left alone to fend for themselves.

Our SKKA doesn't allow any rank under the rank of Sandan to be a CI under the SKKA brand.


Quote:
What are your thoughts on this issue?

I've no problem with it at all for reasons already stated. Brown belts are capable of running not only a class, but an entire school. In the USA, ANYONE of ANY rank can open a MA school just as long as they have a business license.

Takes years to earn a brown belt, even more so, in GJJ. So, by the time one of his students become a brown belt, that same brown belt CI, will have earned some type of Dan ranking.



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28921
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of good thoughts already mentioned here. The truth is, you won't know until you see what the instructor has to offer.

He won't have the amount of experience that the 4th dan has. But, given a chance, he might have some very good experiences of his own to pass on to you. Will your growth be hindered? No, I don't think so. Will your progress by different? Likely, but that could happen by switching to another 4th dan, as well.

What will hinder your progress, though, is not training at all. So, if it were me, I'd opt for the brown belt to teach me for a while.
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bigpopparob2000
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 23 Jun 2003
Posts: 102
Location: Georgia
Styles: Tae Kwon Do, Gracie Jiu Jitsu

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Lots of good thoughts already mentioned here. The truth is, you won't know until you see what the instructor has to offer.

He won't have the amount of experience that the 4th dan has. But, given a chance, he might have some very good experiences of his own to pass on to you. Will your growth be hindered? No, I don't think so. Will your progress by different? Likely, but that could happen by switching to another 4th dan, as well.

What will hinder your progress, though, is not training at all. So, if it were me, I'd opt for the brown belt to teach me for a while.


Thank you for this. I appreciate the insight. I've researched this instructor, and he's one of those teachers who has black belts (or the equivalents thereof) in multiple martial arts, so he seems exceptionally competent. I also spoke with my current head instructor, who said his student's school wasn't quite as well versed as his own, but he still recommended him. I'll likely be with my current school through the end of this year, but I feel much better about transferring when the time comes.
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tallgeese
KF VIP

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6856
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should be just fine for where you're at. If you're happy with your current instructor and the organization then it's an easy transition to the new club. Good luck and keep us posted on the transition!
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vergil96
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 02 Sep 2021
Posts: 16

Styles: Karate Shotokan, Judo

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends, ranks don't always reflect skills, there are 1 dans who can lose a fight with someone with 2 years of experience and brown belts who are impressive. It also depends on the progress made in those two years, if you are a beginner or have a medium rank by now. With medium, I would say even a weak 1 dan won't be a good teacher, it was my experience, the instructor seemed to have forgotten more advanced techniques and wouldn't teach them at all. He also had little "artistry", didn't seem well versed in the techinques compared to my current sensei, who has 4 dan and who is truly amazing in my opinion and there is a lot to learn from him. The previous instructor seemed quite brown belt in my eyes, however, I feel like I know people with brown belts who seem better than him, and who just don't have the pressure to *get the black belt*, and I also learn a lot from said brown belts.
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