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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2350
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Question About Being Promoted Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
sd.bombon wrote:
when should you get your promotion?


When your Sensei promotes you.

sd.bombon wrote:
How will you know when you are ready?


When your Sensei tells you your ready.

sd.bombon wrote:
Should you take promotion when encouraged by your seniors and sensie?


This is partly up to your Sensei and partly up to you. I have turned down promotions when I did not feel ready and there is nothing wrong with this but must be done in a humble manner so as not to make it seem that you are questioning the instructors decision. Kind of a touchy subject and should be approached only if there is a good reason you feel you are not ready.

sd.bombon wrote:
Is there a number of months you should wait before you get your promotion?


Most modern dojo/schools have a time in grade component to their grading. However, NO, there is no set time. Everyone learns at their own pace and everyone has different abilities. To say that everyone should test at a given time is IMHO not practical. Some will be ready sooner than others and others will take more time than average. Minimum/ Maximum grading time is based on an average. That does not cover everyone. Your Sensei is the deciding factor of when and if you test.

sd.bombon wrote:
Should I focus on skill or belt?


Focus on skill. Belts can be bought. They are only as good as the person wearing them.

sd.bombon wrote:
Cause I have been reading online it is important to be a black belt not have a black belt. Are belts even important in kyokushin? Please enlighten me where should I focus? Thank you in advance.


Being a BB is different than having a BB. Again you can buy a belt or can even be given a belt. However it means nothing if you get destroyed by a Hachikyu.

The belt is only as good as the person wearing it. You focus should be on obtaining the knowledge and skill. The belt does not represent you. You could be a black belt and be wearing a white belt. If the belt defines who you are then do you loose the knowledge and skill you already had obtained to earn the black belt? On a different note, if you are given a black belt and get beat by a schools green belt are you truly a black belt?

You define the belt not the other way around. Concentrate on skill and knowledge and the belts will come. If you hold value in the belt, what happens if you change styles and are forced to start over?

Belts mean nothing. As Sensei8 likes to say, "proof is on the floor". It's not around your waist.


See my Royce Gracie quote above. Fits exactly what you're saying, IMO.

You reminded me of when I first got my black belt during my first stint in karate in my mid 20s...

I spent 4 years chasing a black belt. I trained hard, and was in class 4-5 days a week, and multiple classes every day. I helped teach and taught on some classes myself. My sensei was a great guy who truly believed in my ability and my potential to teach.

I had black belt on a pedestal. I thought I'd be some amazing karate machine once I earned that belt. I was awarded it on a Saturday, and came in for my first black belts only class on Monday night. I finally felt like part of the club (no, we didn't have a "black belt club"). I didn't walk in thinking I was going to show everyone what's what, but I stupidly thought I could hang with those guys; the guys who'd been beating me down (in a good way) all those years. They were glad I was there and the ones who couldn't make it for my test congratulated me before class started.

After we bowed in and got going, it became painfully obvious (figuratively and literally) that despite the shiny new belt around my waist, I was still JR. Not some new and improved JR, but the same guy I was the night before my shodan test.

I was like the dog who finally caught the car he'd been chasing - now what am I supposed to do with it? It put the whole rank thing into perspective. Now when my teacher invites me to test, I still get excited. Not for the promotion, but the test itself. I like the intensity of it and being pushed out of my comfort zone; the promotion and new belt are just more or less good side effects.
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sd.bombon
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 17
Location: Philippines
Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you guys for all your wonderful responses, you have hardened my resolve with the decision I have made. The formula I have come up within my head to get my promotion is as follows.

*if I am to get promoted to 9th kyu.
-my knowledge of skills and terminology should be of that of an 8th kyu.
-kumite should be able to handle myself with higher levels.
-stamina level should be sublime

Least now I know it's only right to do so and it ain't about thinking to high of myself. It's just that when I go to a certain level, I wanna be able to do all things right. Like the simple act of making sure to tie my belt properly. Which am proud to say I really took the time to learn the proper way of doing so no matter how long it took me and how many tries I had to do it.

Am really glad to have found this forum, as one of my boss at work said. It is good to have knowledge from work, but it is always good as well to have mentors outside as it gives you a different perspective as always. So am pretty sure in the coming future will have tons of questions here and there.

Our Branch Chief/Sensie from our branch is cool with it thou, take your promotion at your own time. Am glad, thou now I have to find ways to respectfully decline the other sensie from the other branch from time to time.
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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 Sep 08, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137,

Yep too many think that the belt somehow elevates us to a level just because we wear it. However there was a time when if you wore the belt you actually earned the belt and the belt represented more than it does today.

You can see this in CI's who weigh 300 lbs and can not sit in Seiza much less Anza, can barely lift their leg past the height of their knee (not saying you really have to but it illustrates the lack of flexibility) and can not go 20 minutes teaching their own class with out sitting down to catch their breath. Or worse in those that are given the belt without having the skills, knowledge and ability to maintain the integrity of what the belt represents (or used to represent).

A belt by itself is just a piece of cloth worth nothing more that what you or your organization paid for it. What it symbolizes is different than just having it. Which is why being a BB is different than just having a BB.

One should strive to improve and maintain the integrity of what the belt symbolizes. This is what modern Karateka fail to understand when they say it's just another belt or just another grade. To this I would say. "Yes Mr. obvious, it is just another belt in terms of it's cloth and is worn the same way that every belt before it is worn", however it's not the belt but what it means that differentiates it from those that preceded it. You and what you know, your skill and knowledge is what makes the belt what it is. If your standards are low, then yes, the belt means less. The belt is supposed to represent the culmination of the years, hours, blood, seat and tears that it took to get it. It represents the improvement of skills and knowledge that translates into one that can handle themselves. Your skills and knowledge should exceed those below your grade. By this I mean if you are beaten by those below your grade you do not deserve to wear the grade. It's really quite simple. Those that degrade the meaning of the grade do so to cover inadequacies and deficiencies. And thus they claim it's "JUST" another belt.

However the belt in and of itself does not represent or define the wearer. The person wearing it defines the belt and as such the belt is only worth what knowledge and skill the wearer has. If the wearer of the belt can't defend themselves against lesser grades then the belts meaning is degraded. The belt in and of itself is nothing more than colored material. Whether in the dojo or on the street, it's your knowledge, abilities and skill that defines what the belt represents.

You are judged by what you say and what you do by most. In that if you state you are a Yudansha and can't defend yourself against a child (you're a wimp wearing a BB), then the belt now represents to those that see you get your collective tail beaten what you represented it as, worthless and yes, Just another belt.

How does that happen? How does one "earn" the grade of Yudansha when you can't fight? Doesn't make a lick of sense to me.

Those that get caught up in the belt for the sake of the belt miss the entire picture. What good is it if you get the belt but can't fight your way out of a wet paper bag? I can give a student a black belt but it means absolutely nothing without the knowledge, abilities and skill that it is supposed to represent. Those that seek to degrade the standards so that they can pacify the fast food mentality of their students and justify it by saying that is just a stepping stone or just another belt probably got their BB the same way with minimized standards. It's just a belt but what it stands for, or at least use to stand for, is so much more. I feel that one should strive to elevate rather than degrade the standards that represent a person who wears the belt. By doing so you produce better Karateka that can actually handle themselves in a fight. Imagine that, BB's that can actually fight.

I'm sorry but I have no patience for the new generations of instructors that give belts away for attendance or for meeting the minimal requirements and make excuses for why their students can not defend themselves. This is part in parcel why others say Karate is not a good self defense art and that you should turn to MMA. Its also why no one puts much credence into a black belt, no matter the grade. But then what do you expect from those that give a black belt away if you can do 20 push ups, 200 sit ups and perform Kata that your students have no idea of why they are doing them or what they represent? Kinda makes sense.

So yes, now days, a belt is just a belt and it you must measure the wearer rather than the grade. Proof is on the floor, not around your waste. However this was not always the case.

It is sad that what use to hold a prominent place is now just another grade, belt and step along the way to achieving Kudan at the age of 30. Yes that is huge sarcasm. Or is it? Just take a few minutes to surf the web and you'll find a hundred unqualified, phony, unworthy frauds claiming to be Soke or Hanshi of 20 different arts between the ages of 20 to 40 years old, some with the credentials to back their claims which is even more disturbing. I wonder why their students (that came from other arts) teach their classes? It's a mystery for sure. Ok that was some more sarcasm. Couldn't help myself.

But it makes the point. Requirements and expectations have been minimized to the extent that older guys like me hold no respect for the belt until we confirm that the wearer is actually worthy of it. That they are black belts and not just wearing black belts. Sad!
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Bulltahr
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 603
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The almighty dollar and ego are both to blame for what you talk about there MatsuShinshii, I believe anyway. And yes, in the public's eye Karate has been lessened thanks to those McDojos and 300 LB CIs.
When did the rot start to creep in? I don't know, but I suspect pretty soon after Karate made it to the western world after WW 2. Western "culture" and beliefs (I.E. our priorities for gauging success, Money, fame) have a habit of screwing up some of the beautiful arts and culture from other parts of the world. What say you, when did the rot set in in your opinion? There have been Charlatanes in this game since well before Frank Dux I am sure....
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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: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bulltahr wrote:
The almighty dollar and ego are both to blame for what you talk about there MatsuShinshii, I believe anyway. And yes, in the public's eye Karate has been lessened thanks to those McDojos and 300 LB CIs.
When did the rot start to creep in? I don't know, but I suspect pretty soon after Karate made it to the western world after WW 2. Western "culture" and beliefs (I.E. our priorities for gauging success, Money, fame) have a habit of screwing up some of the beautiful arts and culture from other parts of the world. What say you, when did the rot set in in your opinion? There have been Charlatanes in this game since well before Frank Dux I am sure....


Honestly I did not see much of this in the 70's and early 80's. There was one that I can recall in the late 80's, funny story - one of our Ikkyu students took an "introductory class" and told the guy he was a fraud in front of the class. The guy took a swing and he floored the so called Godan and he refused to get back up and cried a little to boot. You would think that his students would hit the exit door like a heard of wildebeests crossing a river full of crock's but to my surprise and many others he didn't end up loosing anyone and was turning out "black belts" after two years of so called study. They couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag but they had their black belts.

The 90's is where I feel the McDojo concept really took off and we started seeing this as a common theme. Yes it was probably around in the 60's, 70's and 80's but it wasn't as prevalent.

IMHO this is due to one factor. In those years it WAS about fighting and learning to defend yourself. This kumbayah nonsense of philosophy, staying in shape and let's all hold hands with our aggressor, you know what, would have never flied in those early years.

As I have said before, if you were wearing a BB everyone knew you could fight because you did not earn it any other way.

Now days these frauds are a dime a dozen and anyone with a printer that has a minimal knowledge of computers can print out all the phony certificates they want and buy all the phony belts they want and claim to be a MA god and most will except this without question. The days of expecting your Sensei to mix it up on the floor are long gone thanks to these wimps that hide behind their students. "I can't fight you because my technique is too deadly and I would hurt or hospitalize you". Sorry I just threw up a little just typing that. So instead they have their so called senior students teach classes. Even worse, IMO, they have students that have earned their legitimate BB in another art teach their students.

To be honest there have been frauds since the dawn of time. I think the difference is the new politically correct lay of the land where these idiots can hide behind the peaceful guise of modern day arts rather than putting there skill on the line and proving that they are what they are.

Walking out of a Dojo with bumps, bruises and even a black eye or broken nose was just part of training then. Now kids would have an emotional melt down if they trained the way we did. Why? because society has deemed this type of training as barbaric. Maybe it was but students walked out of class KNOWING they could handle themselves. Can this be said of students today? Because of this recent trend of no contact fraudulent teachers can go for years, even decades without ever being discovered.

When exactly did McDojo's surface here in the states? Who can tell. All I know is if we brought back the days of challenging head instructors and testing someones so called skills (I'm showing my age), barbaric or not, would put a speedy end to these creeps. I for one am all for it.

And no this is not fiction. I was a kid and witnessed several of my instructors take challenges. Funny thing... no cops, no lawyers, just one person won and the other walked away with their tail between their legs. Our instructors routinely would take on each student to gauge their progression and sometimes many of the students. If you were a Yudansha you got to find out just how good your Sensei was on a regular basis. You knew your Sensei could fight. Now... not so much. Now it's papers hanging on the wall and a very colorful belt around their waste. Take my word for it, so to speak. "Look at the pretty certificates that say I am what I'm claiming to be, It's in writing so it must be true right?".

Well that's it for me. Between getting aggravated at the mere thought of this topic and throwing up a little while trying to make their excuses for them, I have to end this or I fear my monitors life is in jeopardy because I feel like punching it. What can I say I'm cheap and monitors are expensive.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1710

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue of so-called "mcdojos" or frauds proliferating also makes it very difficult for those hoping to teach or learn tangible martial arts skills. The dominant social mentality revolves around over-protection. Instructors cannot do anything without at least considering the risk of being attacked in court at the drop of a hat.

What else can one expect from generations of people who have been molly coddled their entire lives? In this respect, a dojo is a lot like a school. Teachers are bound by the pressure on them. Breaking away from it completely is possible but very difficult to accomplish. Martial arts was never meant to be "for everyone" and "non-contact" is an absurdity.
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sd.bombon
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 17
Location: Philippines
Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW!! I am definitely proud to share, our Sensie spars with our high Belts from time to time full contact and anyone who dares to spar with him. Who really wants a challenge and those prepping for competition.

He even encourages good sparring between ranks, thou closely monitors to avoid any injury. Thou, of course he takes caution and makes sure he know what you are getting yourself into and if you are hurt itís your fault and you really wanted this so you can learn.

Guess, on muuaah side I just really wanna go over and beyond of the Belt am about to get. So no one questions the belt and rank I am at. So am planning again the skills first for that rank then get promoted.
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