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LastKing
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 07 May 2015
Posts: 69


PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:45 pm    Post subject: Realities of keeping belt when changing club (UK) Reply with quote

Hi guys, little help with a question, please.
I come from a little, rural club which is about ro fold. I've always been told that my, and all the other members' belts, will be recognised in other clubs because our sensai is a national grader affiliated with the AMA. When I started belts were not that important to me - I was only doing it to keep my daughter company - so I didn't give the matter much thought. Now I'm first kyu, and a few other of the kids in the group similar. Are our belts transferrable to any club, or only ones in the AKA (only 2 in the whole county), or will we have have to start from scratch whichever club we join?
I ask that last question because I've never known of anyone from another club who's joined ours being allowed to keep their belts, and I also note that our katas don't seem to match any with the same name on Youtube, and our syllabus, while having all the usual shotokan blocks, kicks and punches, seems at odds with others I look at online.
I suppose, what I'm asking is, have we all been sold a pup with the promise that in our club our belts will transfer automatically should we change clubs
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What typically happens is this.

You explain from the outset that you have this level of experience and this grade in this style, but you are there to learn their style which you acknowledge is new to you, but you hope that if they agree, they will fast track you based on their observations of your ability within their style.

Then you start off right at the beginning as a white belt. But if the club is fair, you will be invited to grade after a few weeks. They may not bump you straight up to 1st ku. They might give you a green belt or something, then watch you again, so how quickly you assimilate any new material, and grade you again and so on.

So if the club you join is a very similar style, you might be set back by a year or thereabouts. Of course if it's substantially different, then chances are you'll just go through their normal grading cycle with no 'honorary' promotions.

But perhaps most important, grade means very little in the right club. Some clubs will hold back knowledge until certain grades, regardless of your ability. In those clubs your belt colour is your passport to new material. But decent ones will train you at the level you are ready for, regardless of what colour belt is holding your jacket shut.
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LastKing
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 07 May 2015
Posts: 69


PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that.
Seems like our sensai was at best mistaken in his belief that his grading of us and our being in the AMA conferred great significance to our belts should we ever seek or have to seek another club.
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LastKing wrote:
Thanks for that.
Seems like our sensai was at best mistaken in his belief that his grading of us and our being in the AMA conferred great significance to our belts should we ever seek or have to seek another club.


Sadly there is a huge dollop of erm, egotism within the martial arts. It seems every instructor believes their way is the best and most revered.

The truth is grade counts for nothing outside of your association. In ours, it's even in the wording of the formal declarations and oath when you reach black belt that it only applies to our association.

Don't be downhearted though. You've achieved a lot to reach one grade short of black belt. Any decent instructor will recognise that and take it into account when assessing you. And there are only so many ways the human body can move, so your current skill will count. Even if you choose a style that places emphasis on something other than your current style emphasises, you'll surely know by now that techniques are just the application of core principles, and those core principles are common to all styles, because they are core to human movement. Any decent instructor will see the same. Anyone that fails to recognise this is in my opinion not worth giving time and money to.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14370
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any Governing Body, wait, scratch that, I'll get back to that in a moment, any CI worth their salt would never ever grant permission to any prospective student any other belt than a white belt IF you're not remaining with THAT AMA sanction.

Why??

If you're a new prospective student seeking to join another style of the MA, as well as a new dojo, then by all facts, you're a beginner, thus, a white belt under their brand/flag.

IF you're switching dojo's yet remaining with the AMA Governing Body, then that shouldn't be an elephant in the room type of decision for the CI to make, or for the AMA Governing Body to accept.

Same this and that!!

Moreover, rank is totally immaterial across the board. It [MA] shouldn't ever be about rank whatsoever; knowledge and experience through the betterment of the MA.

If you were to come to my dojo as a prospective student, with absolutely no Shindokan tenure, and even if you're have an earned Ikkyu from the AMA, I'd welcome you with open arms without any reservation. However, I'd present you a white belt. And if after I present you with a white belt, and you hem and hawed about the white belt, I'd ask you to leave, and to not return until rank means absolutely nothing to you.

As you being an Ikkyu in AMA, you should already realize that within the MA world, ranks mean nothing outside ones current Governing Body AND ones current dojo. A BB in one style is a Green Belt, for example, in another dojo and/or Governing Body.

Even if I was in the AMA Governing Body, and I was a CI of my dojo, and you wanted to join my AMA dojo from another AMA dojo, I'd, more than likely, present you with a white belt, until you meet my strict expectations.

Why??

My dojo is my dojo, and the AMA Governing Body has absolute no authority over the comings and goings of my AMA affiliated dojo. If the AMA Governing Body insisted that I accept your approved rank of Ikkyu in my dojo, I'd seriously contemplate leaving the AMA because no one dictates how I operate my AMA dojo.

This, what I've posted, I believe you already know that per your opening post.

Transferable?!?!? I'd make a call to the AMA Governing Body AND your current CI AND the AMA dojo you're wanting to transfer to...in that order. Transferring should be an easy enough process, but that's where the politics make the tangible into the intangible because one wants to dictate, the Governing Body, while one wants to rule, the current AMA dojo's CI, while one wants to possess; it's hard for them all to see eye to eye because they demonstrate just how important they are, and just how unimportant the student is.

Imho!!



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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: Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've had a few students relocate successfully and maintain their rank. Some needed a month or so of classes before the rank they earned at my school was reinstated, however.
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LastKing
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 07 May 2015
Posts: 69


PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input, chaps.
The big irony is that I don't really care about belts. I know enough that standards vary tremendously, as do requirements. Some belts are effectively bought, some worked for so hard they should be gold, some are judged primerily on kata, others self defence, other still on precision of kihon, or physical endurance, or bunkai, some are not even graded but rather granted due to continuous assessment and a feeling the student is ready. No one syllabus seems the same as another, and as such, a black belt is not an item or stage of a journey which is easily quantifiable.
And, honestly, I don't even mind starting again. I quite enjoy the process. The problem is, I suppose, that there are a lot of members of our club, kids especially, who will feel very disappointed at having to take a hit on their belt, or worst of all start again.
I could take the club on, I suppose - I'm a teacher by profession, and have taken the club in the past when the sensai has been away, but I wouldn't be confident attracting new members, as a black belt is the universal badge of success in the martial arts, not brown with black stripe. Also, I'd have no one to grade me to black, save for joining another club, and starting the whole process again, just so I could get a belt I am now once step away from.
The ultimate irony is that I know the syllabus like the back of my hand and, given that I know exactly what is entailed in grading to black (I have actually done it once for my current belt, save for one kata, which I now know) I am more than confident I could get black if graded tomorrow, but I won't have the opportunity.
The more I think about it, the more I feel our sensai has left us in the lurch, trading on a bunch of promises that when shined on by a bright light don't hold true.
Oh well, you live and learn.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2368
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rank really only means something within the dojo and/or organization granting that rank. Iím a 2nd kyu in Seido Juku. Iím quite sure my 2nd kyu would only directly transfer to another Seido Juku dojo if I left my current dojo for some reason. Unless I was kicked out or somehow I was given it fraudulently, I donít see why another Seido dojo wouldnít honor it. But outside of Seido, nope. And I wouldnít expect it.

Iíve seen CIs address students with prior experienceís ranks a few different ways. And theyíre all at the CIís discretion...

The student starts at white belt and earns every rank like everyone else. They more often earn ranks faster because of their experience, but it usually settles out to a normal pace eventually.

The student wears a white belt for a time period until the CI has a full grasp of their abilities and promotes them to where he/she feels they fit curriculum and ability-wise.

The CI allows them to wear their belt, but basically keeps them at that level until theyíve earned a promotion in the current school. So if youíre allowed to keep your brown belt, youíd wear that until youíve learned everything in the curriculum and met all standards of being promoted to the next rank, which is usually shodan. Thatís not very common though.

All of those approaches are fine if it doesnít hinder the school and the student. Any approach that hinders whatís truly important isnít good.
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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: Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may not seem fair after years of study but you must realize that your new Sensei doesn't know you and it takes time to assess ability, skill and knowledge and thus, if the Sensei is worth his/her salt will place you at White belt. This is true within the same organization moving from one school to another.

In the case of changing arts, your old grade means absolutely nothing. You start at the beginning like any other new student.

Tell your new Sensei about your experience. If your skill, ability and knowledge is on par with a specific grade it is possible that they will elevate you based on this. Having said this there are no guarantees.
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mushybees
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 16 Nov 2014
Posts: 198
Location: UK
Styles: Wado ryu

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I'm being honest, based on what you've said in this thread and the pinan nidan thread, returning to white belt sounds like a great opportunity.

You're training isn't for nothing just because aspects of it differ from other schools. You should have plenty of valuable experience and skill that could expedite your future grading.
It will mean you have more faith in your art going forward.
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