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XtremeTrainer
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 20 Feb 2018
Posts: 89


PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Questionable instructor ranks Reply with quote

Ronin72 wrote:
Just a word of caution to those who might be thinking of joining some national and international martial arts organizations..There are a number of instructors advertising memberships to unsuspecting instructors and students....some of these organizations advertise that their head instructor to be 10th degree black belts.

While this is certainly possible ( not likely ) , they are often self promoted , or promoted by their own instructors.

If you think this doesn't happen, I will estimate that at least half of all high ranking instructors 8th degree and above , got their rank this way.

How can you know this? Only through careful investigation!


Since there is no law about claiming to be whatever degree you want, whether or not you've earned it, instructors can get away with it although sooner or later they will be exposed and smart students will not train under them. As you said, careful investigation and good research is the key. An experienced martial artist usually would know the difference between a real instructor and a fake one but for somebody just starting out it is easy for them to be duped.

As for me, I don't really care much if an instructor has a high dan rank or not as rank at that point just becomes political. Having good skills and being a good teacher is what I judge an instructor on.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you read "A Killing Art," it indicates that there were cases of self-promotion, as well as political-promotions-on-demand early on in Tae Kwon Do.

Ranks are relatively arbitrary. Some schools give black belts away after only 2 years of training. Someone training in those schools could reach 2nd or 3rd dahn by the time I reach 1st in my style.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14265
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ranks mean something to someone somehow somewhere; being honest, especially with others and themselves, well, that means everything!!




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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14265
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've mixed feeling towards Senior Dan Ranks being branded/labeled political!! To a point, I do agree, but to the other point, I don't agree.

In Shindokan EVERYONE has to earn rank UP TO, AND INCLUDING, HACHIDAN without any exceptions!! The rigorousness that surrounds any Testing Cycle and the like, are quite serious and unforgivable.

That's the part that I don't agree with.

Our Kudan and Judan are political, and based on and through our By-Laws in the regard of how one might "earn" them. There's just one important basis of entitlement, and that is having been elected to Kaicho, for Kudan, and being elected to Soke, which has been eliminated all together, therefore, Judan is unattainable whatsoever!!

That's the part that I agree with.

My Kudan was earned because I forced the SKKA/Hombu to bring me before a Testing Cycle panel for the sole reason of testing me for the rank of Kudan. Not just any test, to fulfill their selfish needs, but a test that I most assuredly should fail. However, I passed, in which I earned my Kudan.

I wasn't interested in the slightest of ever earning Kudan because I'm not my Sensei/Dai-Soke, and his Kudan when he was Kaicho was between him and Soke. I never ever wanted to equal my rank with him because that, to me, was a sign of disrespect to him, even though he insisted that I do so whenever his Dai-Soke and Judan was bestowed upon him by Soke!!

Politics leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth, except those who seek out Senior Dan Ranks. Their's shall, in time, be the bane of themselves, and the innocent student body!!



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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you mean by your last two posts, Sensei8.

Rank in the classroom, amongst my peers does mean something, as it helps provide some structure. That's all fine well and good.

Rank outside the classroom means much less to me. Just as degrees outside the (college) classroom mean very little to me, as well. I've never understood why folks insist on being called doctor after earning a PhD. That degree was a personal achievement, and more often than not, took a tremendous amount of work. But again, it's personal. If a master instructor demanded to be called "master" outside of class, I'd probably not attend his/her school.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27636
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
If you read "A Killing Art," it indicates that there were cases of self-promotion, as well as political-promotions-on-demand early on in Tae Kwon Do.

Ranks are relatively arbitrary. Some schools give black belts away after only 2 years of training. Someone training in those schools could reach 2nd or 3rd dahn by the time I reach 1st in my style.


This is such a good book. I can't recommend it enough, to all TKD practitioners. I recently picked up the revised edition, and look forward to checking out the differences.
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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: Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
I've mixed feeling towards Senior Dan Ranks being branded/labeled political!! To a point, I do agree, but to the other point, I don't agree.

In Shindokan EVERYONE has to earn rank UP TO, AND INCLUDING, HACHIDAN without any exceptions!! The rigorousness that surrounds any Testing Cycle and the like, are quite serious and unforgivable.

That's the part that I don't agree with.

Our Kudan and Judan are political, and based on and through our By-Laws in the regard of how one might "earn" them. There's just one important basis of entitlement, and that is having been elected to Kaicho, for Kudan, and being elected to Soke, which has been eliminated all together, therefore, Judan is unattainable whatsoever!!

That's the part that I agree with.

My Kudan was earned because I forced the SKKA/Hombu to bring me before a Testing Cycle panel for the sole reason of testing me for the rank of Kudan. Not just any test, to fulfill their selfish needs, but a test that I most assuredly should fail. However, I passed, in which I earned my Kudan.

I wasn't interested in the slightest of ever earning Kudan because I'm not my Sensei/Dai-Soke, and his Kudan when he was Kaicho was between him and Soke. I never ever wanted to equal my rank with him because that, to me, was a sign of disrespect to him, even though he insisted that I do so whenever his Dai-Soke and Judan was bestowed upon him by Soke!!

Politics leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth, except those who seek out Senior Dan Ranks. Their's shall, in time, be the bane of themselves, and the innocent student body!!


Your organization is somewhat of an exception.

The organizations that I have belonged to stop actual testing between Rokudan and Nanadan.

The last tested grading in my organization is Godan. All subsequent gradings are "given". That is not to say that there are not requirements but there is no formal testing.

To be honest the word "Political", IMHO, is a fair word to use. Often times instructors are promoted based on who's in favor with the board rather than purely based on merit. When my Shinshii was in charge these grades were given based on his assessment alone and had to be earned, at least in the sense that Shinshii felt they had been earned. Now the board awards based on different requirements and guidelines and often it's based IMHO on who is in their favor versus who is deserving of the grade based on tangible documented requirements or rules.

Personally I like your system of everyone tests to Hachidan. That cuts to politics out and bases it on merit, knowledge and ability.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1703

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of having some kind of evaluation if test for every grade is a very good one. Only a few people may relate to this or understand it fully, the fact that a rank, title or grade is given away cheapens it. Ranks etc may not mean much outside of the group that gives them, but they mean very little within it as well if given away too easily.

It is very easy to falsify or forge a grade. It is much harder to demonstrate knowledge and skill which one has never acquired. The value and pride people attach to things is proportional to the time and efforts made to obtain them.
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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: Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
The idea of having some kind of evaluation if test for every grade is a very good one. Only a few people may relate to this or understand it fully, the fact that a rank, title or grade is given away cheapens it. Ranks etc may not mean much outside of the group that gives them, but they mean very little within it as well if given away too easily.

It is very easy to falsify or forge a grade. It is much harder to demonstrate knowledge and skill which one has never acquired. The value and pride people attach to things is proportional to the time and efforts made to obtain them.


To the bold - I agree 100% that grade should not be just given.

Question; what do you expect to see at the Kodansha grade tests? Do you expect to see a display of abilities above the previous grade? If so by how much? Are you considering the amassed injuries incurred over a 40+ year period and the normal aging issues that start to rear their ugly heads?

I agree that their should be a test of skills and knowledge past Rokudan in my art. However what does that test consist of? Should it be a day or two day long experience? Should they fight every grade two below and two above their own as the previous grades do? Should they demonstrate every Kata and its applications, and demonstrate all knowledge up to that point?

How extreme should it be? At that age and grade what more should they prove?

The reason I ask is by the time you reach Rokudan/Nanadan you have been tested and maybe even punished and tormented a bit to earn your grade. If additional testing is required what should that testing consist of. What if anything should you be required to prove that you haven't already?

Food for thought; does not your students (their knowledge and skills) reflect your abilities as a teacher? Does your instructor not know your abilities and knowledge? If you still train with your instructor that is. Do you not take part in the testing those of your grade, a grade below and two grades below during their gradings?

Have you not then already been tested and have you not then already proven that you are capable? Considering that every Yudansha and Kodansha is required to participate during testings of others and that your students and your students students are tested and thus are a reflection of your teachings and thus a testament of your abilities and knowledge, what more must you test for?

I already know that a student is worthy of a grade before they test. The test is to test their endurance, resolve and determination and to put them under duress and pressure to see if they are capable of getting through it. The test is less about their skills and knowledge than it is to see if they have the heart and resolve to get through it without quitting.

So I have to ask (keeping in mind that I agree that one should earn their grades) what should the test be for higher/senior grades? What should it look like and what should be tested?

Personally the ability to teach and pass on the art at these grades would be the area I would be looking at more so than any other area. Obviously their knowledge of the art would take center stage.
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