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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6335
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 2:45 am    Post subject: Online gradings Reply with quote

Similar to online teaching, what are your thoughts about online gradings?

With COVID-19, a lot are now teaching online and some I know are even doing colour belt gradings online. Thoughts?

Personally this is where I draw the line as I do testing days where everyone is on the floor and we cover all their syllabus including testing their application of techniques in sparring.

I know Gracie University has used video testing for some time but curious to know if anyone would consider it?

I think if COVID goes on for a really long time, I might award some provisional ranks (9th and 8th kups) so we can move on in the syllabus but they would have to test in person to get this confirmed.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15162
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 5:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Online gradings Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
Similar to online teaching, what are your thoughts about online gradings?

With COVID-19, a lot are now teaching online and some I know are even doing colour belt gradings online. Thoughts?

Personally this is where I draw the line as I do testing days where everyone is on the floor and we cover all their syllabus including testing their application of techniques in sparring.

I know Gracie University has used video testing for some time but curious to know if anyone would consider it?

I think if COVID goes on for a really long time, I might award some provisional ranks (9th and 8th kups) so we can move on in the syllabus but they would have to test in person to get this confirmed.

Solid OP and question; thank you for it.

Teaching on-line is one thing, but an on-line Testing Cycle, for me, is another. I've a friend who's now a Kudan, and from time to time, he's submitted video tapes, including for his Kudan, to his Sensei in Okinawa of whatever his Sensei demanded. Yes, he's been to Okinawa countless amount of times for training as well as Testing Cycles in the past; his Sensei passed away in 2013.

My thought on this is that if the CI can teach, then the CI can grade as well, no matter if the Testing Cycle is In-House or Remotely. After all, the CI knows what they demand, as well as the requirements of said Rank. Therefore, the CI can see the noted improvements from said student, no matter if face-to-face or not; watching/viewing In-House or Remotely shouldn't be no different because, once again, if one can teach, then one can grade.

I myself, am like you; I want all my Testing Cycles In-House; that's what I prefer. Albeit, it's the preference of the CI as to how they decide on a numerous topics, including grading.

On Provisional ranks, I'd not entertain that because provisional ranks are not my cup of tea. However, I do like how you're wanting to conduct your provisional ranks once you can get your Student Body back In-House once again.

We conduct Testing Cycles 4 times a year, which means, at the current rate of this pandemic, it might be as late as the last week of September before I can conduct a Testing Cycle at the Dojo.



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Last edited by sensei8 on Thu May 07, 2020 8:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Lupin1
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1633
Location: Texas USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Online gradings Reply with quote

The instructors at my school are all of the opinion that kyu ranks are mostly meaningless and are motivational and instructional tools to help move a student through the basic introductory curriculum to black belt (we don't tell the kids that, of course-- we make sure they're proud of every rank they achieve). We're not currently doing any sort of online anything right now-- we're just stopped for the year and we'll hopefully pick up again in the fall. But with our philosophy of kyu ranks, we're very flexible with grading the kids. We want them all the earn each rank and actually learn and we do get a bit more strict as they work their way into the higher kyus, but we're very flexible. And so if I were to do online training/grading, I don't think I would have any problem with awarding provisional ranks via online testing to keep students motivated and progressing through the curriculum with the condition that they have to demonstrate the material in person once we come back together.

I think the whole world is trying to be flexible right now and to me the difference between a green belt and a blue belt or whatever is so negligible in the grand scheme of things that if it gives a person something to keep them motivated and training through a pandemic and makes them feel they're accomplishing something in this time when all of life feels like it's standing still, that plays to the greater good and I wouldn't hesitate to do it.

That said, I would only do that for the kyu ranks. Dan ranking is much more involved and standardized and a dan level practitioner should have the self motivation and patience to not be so concerned with rank. It's also so long between gradings for dan ranks at my school that an extra few months is absolutely nothing.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15162
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Online gradings Reply with quote

Lupin1 wrote:
The instructors at my school are all of the opinion that kyu ranks are mostly meaningless and are motivational and instructional tools to help move a student through the basic introductory curriculum to black belt (we don't tell the kids that, of course-- we make sure they're proud of every rank they achieve). We're not currently doing any sort of online anything right now-- we're just stopped for the year and we'll hopefully pick up again in the fall. But with our philosophy of kyu ranks, we're very flexible with grading the kids. We want them all the earn each rank and actually learn and we do get a bit more strict as they work their way into the higher kyus, but we're very flexible. And so if I were to do online training/grading, I don't think I would have any problem with awarding provisional ranks via online testing to keep students motivated and progressing through the curriculum with the condition that they have to demonstrate the material in person once we come back together.

I think the whole world is trying to be flexible right now and to me the difference between a green belt and a blue belt or whatever is so negligible in the grand scheme of things that if it gives a person something to keep them motivated and training through a pandemic and makes them feel they're accomplishing something in this time when all of life feels like it's standing still, that plays to the greater good and I wouldn't hesitate to do it.

That said, I would only do that for the kyu ranks. Dan ranking is much more involved and standardized and a dan level practitioner should have the self motivation and patience to not be so concerned with rank. It's also so long between gradings for dan ranks at my school that an extra few months is absolutely nothing.

Solid post!!



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28559
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with you, Danielle, in that doing online testings would be quite tricky. In order to pull it off, I'd want to have each student submit testing videos, or get online and do the testing over Zoom or something like that, on their own, so I can focus on that student and not try to squint around and check what every student is doing on a small video screen. If I decided to try it, that is.

There is also the issue of the partner practice, like one-steps, sparring, and self-defense that is very difficult to determine the efficacy of without a partner. This is where family members that train together could benefit, but not every student may have that opportunity.
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PerKr
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 23 Sep 2020
Posts: 5

Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see online practice and ranking work for kata and kihon. The problem comes when the grading syllabus includes formalised sparring. Could work if you had someone to spar with and I suppose this could be solved even for me if there was an online dojo with members within a reasonable distance. If it was me judging someone else, I wouldn't really be satisfied with just one camera angle though. Easy to miss details.

Personally, I would love it if online tutoring and grading was considered legit up to 1st DAN. Perhaps with VR tech evolving we will see that in time for my 60th birthday or so
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6335
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So we just did our first COVID grading in-person but following social distancing. We had been due to run our grading in March when the pandemic kicked off, in fact Britain went into lockdown two days before the grading date.

Having taught online all summer and been back in-person since August, it was time to move everyone on. This pandemic could last another 6 to 12 months and all the students have more than done their time and met the requirements, we just can't do paired work.

Lowest grades were easy as they only test with fundamentals and very basic forms. But for a good proportion there is a sparring element, breaking, and self defence component. So we kinda had to run it as a halfway house between what some would do for Online grading and a full grading. Fundamentals and forms were as normal. "Sparring", both step and sport sparring, was done at distance. It sounds stupid but they had to keep a 2m gap between them and "spar". This allowed us to make a reasonable assesment of their movement, timing, understanding etc. even though they weren't hitting each other. Breaking and self defence were out of the window as there wasn't a way for us to test this. If this goes on much longer I will need to invest in a stand for the boards so students can break with social distancing.

Not my preferred way to run a grading but if we don't move people on they will stagnate.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15162
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solid post!! Congrats on completing your first Covid19 Testing Cycle; I respect greatly how you conducted it across the board.

Congrats on your students with both their grading as well as enduring what we're all living through in this pandemic.



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28559
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can only hope this all ends soon, Danielle, and we can get things back to normal. Kudos to you getting something put together for your students, by making the adjustments. In time, things should get back to normal.
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aurik
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 146
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our CI has modified the kyu requirements to eliminate the two-person drills, and he has added additional requirements to make up for their omission.

For students who are testing for dan grades, he typically runs a 3 month test prep cycle. What he is doing now is assigning each student a partner to train with, getting a signed waiver from each student (or their parents), and allowing those designated partners to spar against each other and do 2-person drills against each other.

This does put the brown belt students (sankyu & nikkyu) in a bit of a pickle, since sparring is required on their tests. What he is doing is teaching them material in advance (ie, seisan kata & bunkai) so that when requirements ease up enough that students can touch each other again, he'll be able to modify the time-in-grade requirements -- if a student spent extra time in sankyu or nikyu, then he can reduce the time-in-grade requirement from ikkyu->shodan.

Now for students who are members of the same household, he allows them to do 2-person drills with each other (of course). So that does give them a bit of an advantage.
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