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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28545
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, too, have questions about how the change affects the curriculum and the students that currently hold one of the "tweener" ranks that got dropped.

As far as the belt systems in general go, I'm usually in accord with whatever each school decides to do for themselves. I'm not going to get too wound up over a "tradition" that is really not much more than 100-120 years old. I believe Kano Jigoro is credited with coming up with the belt system.

Our system does kind of a hybrid of the older color belt system:

White
Orange (lo and hi)
Green (lo and hi)
Blue (lo and hi)
Brown (lo, middle, and hi)
Black (a recommended "skunk" belt followed by full dan rank).

So, each color is divided into two ranks, and each rank has a separate form and one-step requirement (except brown, which has three).

So, in the spirit of stimulating the conversation further, Bob, what kind of discussions did you and the board have in regards to the pros and cons of maintaining the 8 belt system and dropping to the four belt system?
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The Pred
Green Belt
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 350

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Reorganized Rank Structure!! Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
For us, it's a rank structure, no big deal, really.

After months of meetings, we've, the SKKA have decided to trim the fat away from our ranking structure. Why? A rainbow looks only good in the sky, and not on our students.

This is us, and we hold no judgement to those who do have a lot of different belts.

Our Rank Structure use to be:

White [Beginner]
Yellow [Beginner]
Orange [Beginner]
Green [Intermediate]
Blue [Intermediate]
Purple [Intermediate]
Brown [Advanced]
Black/Junior Black [Advanced]

8 different ranks...8 different colors!!

Soke, once he and Dai-Soke, moved to the USA, they cooperatively decided through some painstaking research and good old trial and errors, they went to the 8 ranking structure, from their original 4 ranking structure because they both believed that students in the USA needed recognition of their achievements, no matter how minute or unnecessary it might appear.

They both really hated the 8 ranking structure because it went against what they had done in the past, but they felt that change was good, no matter how much it went against their all the believed. In time, they warmed up to it, and they never looked back. They never showed outwardly that this deeply troubled to anyone; they wore a brave face.

So, we, the SKKA, are going back to what they originally wanted...

White [Beginner]
Green [Intermediate]
Brown [Advanced]
Black/Junior Black [Advanced]

It is said, the best way between two points is a straight line. Well, I believe that we've straightened out our line.

Announcements to the Student Body across the SKKA network is being made while I type this post.




For the old structure was the time in rank for kids and adults different pre black belt?
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15151
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:27 am    Post subject: Re: Reorganized Rank Structure!! Reply with quote

The Pred wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
For us, it's a rank structure, no big deal, really.

After months of meetings, we've, the SKKA have decided to trim the fat away from our ranking structure. Why? A rainbow looks only good in the sky, and not on our students.

This is us, and we hold no judgement to those who do have a lot of different belts.

Our Rank Structure use to be:

White [Beginner]
Yellow [Beginner]
Orange [Beginner]
Green [Intermediate]
Blue [Intermediate]
Purple [Intermediate]
Brown [Advanced]
Black/Junior Black [Advanced]

8 different ranks...8 different colors!!

Soke, once he and Dai-Soke, moved to the USA, they cooperatively decided through some painstaking research and good old trial and errors, they went to the 8 ranking structure, from their original 4 ranking structure because they both believed that students in the USA needed recognition of their achievements, no matter how minute or unnecessary it might appear.

They both really hated the 8 ranking structure because it went against what they had done in the past, but they felt that change was good, no matter how much it went against their all the believed. In time, they warmed up to it, and they never looked back. They never showed outwardly that this deeply troubled to anyone; they wore a brave face.

So, we, the SKKA, are going back to what they originally wanted...

White [Beginner]
Green [Intermediate]
Brown [Advanced]
Black/Junior Black [Advanced]

It is said, the best way between two points is a straight line. Well, I believe that we've straightened out our line.

Announcements to the Student Body across the SKKA network is being made while I type this post.




For the old structure was the time in rank for kids and adults different pre black belt?

Kyu ranks, for all ages, do not have rank tenure whatsoever; only Dan ranks. The JBB has no rank tenure, just a restriction based on age. It's been that way since Shindokan was founded by Soke.



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Lupin1
Black Belt
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Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1633
Location: Texas USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've restructured our rank system before, but only for children.

The ranks for adults remain:

White
Yellow
Blue
Green
Brown
Black

For children it's slowly expanded over the years. First white belt was split into three belts for children. Previously it took kids about a year to get through white belt. In the 80s they were fine with this, but as the decades wore on and kids started expecting more immediate rewards, that didn't work anymore and kids would get frustrated and quit before they ever got to yellow belt. So for kids it became:

White
Purple (equivalent of adult white)
Orange (equivalent of adult white)
Yellow
Blue
Green
Brown
Black

Around 2000 my instructor started noticing a huge attrition for yellow belts and thought it was due to going from a belt every 3-5 months to staying the same for over a year. So he split yellow into two and added a yellow belt with a black stripe. That didn't do much, so it only lasted a few years (coincidently, when I was in middle school I dropped out at yellow with a black stripe).

In 2010 he made the latest change to our children's rank system. He noticed all the other schools around here gave kids black belts after just a few years and that our blue/green belts were better than the kid black belts at other schools in the area. He wasn't usually one for changing things based on what others were doing, but he was noticing a lot of kids quitting or getting picked on because they were only blue or green belts while all their friends who had been studying for less time than them were black belts. He held the belief that everything under shodan is meaningless anyway, and the entire point of the colored belts was to give people motivation and keep them coming, so he had no qualms with changing around pre-shodan belts, as long as the standards for shodan and above remained the same.

So he added a junior black belt rank that was the equivalent of adult green and brown belt. Now it takes kids 4-6 years to get to junior black belt and then another 4-5 years to get to shodan from there (longer if they start younger, shorter if they start older). It takes an average adult about 5 years to go from white to shodan. Here's the current kids' ranking system with the adult equivalent in parenthesis.

White
Purple (white)
Orange (white)
Yellow (white)
Blue (yellow)
Green (yellow)
Brown 1 (blue)
Brown 2 (blue)
Jr. Black 1 (green)
Jr. Black 2 (brown 3+2)
Jr. Black 3 (brown 1)
Shodan

Honestly, I can't say how much all those changes have affected retention rate. I think it's more of a change in demographics of who we serve than anything else. We work out of a Boys and Girls Club. When the karate program started in the 80s, the club served mostly pre-teens and teenagers and so that's who did karate. They had longer attention spans and moved up the ranks more quickly-- often starting in middle school and getting to shodan by the time they graduated high school. Now the B&GC serves mostly elementary school kids with a few middle schoolers. The majority of our students now start in 2nd or 3rd grade (we won't take younger than that) and so learn much more slowly. A kid starting in 2nd grade will still take until around graduating high school to get shodan, but now that's stretched to 11 years! That's a long time for a kid to wait for black belt, so it makes sense to add a Jr. Black Belt. There's also the problem that high school kids never go to the B&GC anymore, whereas they used to be the primary demographic. So we lose most of our students once they hit middle/high school and stop going to the club. Very few stick with us once they get into high school. We just have one high schooler now and she works part time at the club. If it weren't for her working there, we would've lost her along with everyone else. But for the rest of them, they at least have a chance to get Jr. Black Belt by the time they finish 8th grade so they leave with a sense of accomplishment.

We don't charge tuition or have any testing or belt fees, so we're not trying to retain students to make money. We want to retain them and keep them coming so they can learn and benefit from studying karate. All our changes have been based solely on what's best for our students and what will motivate them to try hardest and stick with it for as long as possible. In the end, though, we lose them all.

So those are our reorganizations and our challenges.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28545
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a rough setup, Lupin. When your student body is that transitional, I can see how its difficult to keep things consistent.

I hear a lot about the changing/adding of ranks for kids because they have short attention spans, want to see more results more often, etc, but I wonder if that truly is the case or not. I say this because of my exposure to wrestling. We seem to consistently have the same kids coming out every year for wrestling, and they stick with it throughout the season. And there are no belts, no ranks given out.

More than the ranks we pass out, I think as instructors we have to consider our curriculum, as well. If it stagnates and becomes monotonous, then that can become a problem. Its important to keep challenging our students, and helping them to learn something new every day if we can.
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JR 137
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2442
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
That's a rough setup, Lupin. When your student body is that transitional, I can see how its difficult to keep things consistent.

I hear a lot about the changing/adding of ranks for kids because they have short attention spans, want to see more results more often, etc, but I wonder if that truly is the case or not. I say this because of my exposure to wrestling. We seem to consistently have the same kids coming out every year for wrestling, and they stick with it throughout the season. And there are no belts, no ranks given out.

More than the ranks we pass out, I think as instructors we have to consider our curriculum, as well. If it stagnates and becomes monotonous, then that can become a problem. Its important to keep challenging our students, and helping them to learn something new every day if we can.


I like and agree with pretty much everything you’re saying, but I have one thing to add...

The inherent difference between wrestling and karate (and pretty much every belted MA) is while there’s no belts/ranks in wrestling, there’s a lot of competition. Wrestlers will use their competition as a measure of progress and success. And there’s an off-season. If karate had the same amount of competition and off-season, I think the belts could easily go by the way-side for kids. A record is a quick and tangible reminder/indicator of progress. Take away the whole or almost the whole competition aspect from wrestling where all they’re doing is practicing against each other week in and week out, and a lot of kids are going to get bored with it, regardless of how fun the coach makes it, how much they’re actually improving, etc. Adults like to see tangible and measurable progress in pretty much any endeavor. Kids significantly more so. Furthermore, kids in wrestling, and pretty much any other sport, who don’t see any success don’t stick around very long. How many kids willingly and excitedly come back after an “0-for” season? How many kids would come back to karate without being promoted for a long time? In their minds they failed.
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JR 137
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Posts: 2442
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Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lupin1 wrote:
We've restructured our rank system before, but only for children.

The ranks for adults remain:

White
Yellow
Blue
Green
Brown
Black

For children it's slowly expanded over the years. First white belt was split into three belts for children. Previously it took kids about a year to get through white belt. In the 80s they were fine with this, but as the decades wore on and kids started expecting more immediate rewards, that didn't work anymore and kids would get frustrated and quit before they ever got to yellow belt. So for kids it became:

White
Purple (equivalent of adult white)
Orange (equivalent of adult white)
Yellow
Blue
Green
Brown
Black

Around 2000 my instructor started noticing a huge attrition for yellow belts and thought it was due to going from a belt every 3-5 months to staying the same for over a year. So he split yellow into two and added a yellow belt with a black stripe. That didn't do much, so it only lasted a few years (coincidently, when I was in middle school I dropped out at yellow with a black stripe).

In 2010 he made the latest change to our children's rank system. He noticed all the other schools around here gave kids black belts after just a few years and that our blue/green belts were better than the kid black belts at other schools in the area. He wasn't usually one for changing things based on what others were doing, but he was noticing a lot of kids quitting or getting picked on because they were only blue or green belts while all their friends who had been studying for less time than them were black belts. He held the belief that everything under shodan is meaningless anyway, and the entire point of the colored belts was to give people motivation and keep them coming, so he had no qualms with changing around pre-shodan belts, as long as the standards for shodan and above remained the same.

So he added a junior black belt rank that was the equivalent of adult green and brown belt. Now it takes kids 4-6 years to get to junior black belt and then another 4-5 years to get to shodan from there (longer if they start younger, shorter if they start older). It takes an average adult about 5 years to go from white to shodan. Here's the current kids' ranking system with the adult equivalent in parenthesis.

White
Purple (white)
Orange (white)
Yellow (white)
Blue (yellow)
Green (yellow)
Brown 1 (blue)
Brown 2 (blue)
Jr. Black 1 (green)
Jr. Black 2 (brown 3+2)
Jr. Black 3 (brown 1)
Shodan

Honestly, I can't say how much all those changes have affected retention rate. I think it's more of a change in demographics of who we serve than anything else. We work out of a Boys and Girls Club. When the karate program started in the 80s, the club served mostly pre-teens and teenagers and so that's who did karate. They had longer attention spans and moved up the ranks more quickly-- often starting in middle school and getting to shodan by the time they graduated high school. Now the B&GC serves mostly elementary school kids with a few middle schoolers. The majority of our students now start in 2nd or 3rd grade (we won't take younger than that) and so learn much more slowly. A kid starting in 2nd grade will still take until around graduating high school to get shodan, but now that's stretched to 11 years! That's a long time for a kid to wait for black belt, so it makes sense to add a Jr. Black Belt. There's also the problem that high school kids never go to the B&GC anymore, whereas they used to be the primary demographic. So we lose most of our students once they hit middle/high school and stop going to the club. Very few stick with us once they get into high school. We just have one high schooler now and she works part time at the club. If it weren't for her working there, we would've lost her along with everyone else. But for the rest of them, they at least have a chance to get Jr. Black Belt by the time they finish 8th grade so they leave with a sense of accomplishment.

We don't charge tuition or have any testing or belt fees, so we're not trying to retain students to make money. We want to retain them and keep them coming so they can learn and benefit from studying karate. All our changes have been based solely on what's best for our students and what will motivate them to try hardest and stick with it for as long as possible. In the end, though, we lose them all.

So those are our reorganizations and our challenges.


I’m glad you brought this up. IMO there’s a major difference between kids and adults in karate. For the kids, especially the younger they are, the true aim is to get them to love karate, not to turn them into the adult definition of karateka. Keep them motivated and give them a foundation for when they become adults and take the training seriously. If a rainbow assortment of belts, games, parties, and the other quote-unquote McDojo stuff is what’s going to get them to stay, so be it. They’re kids. The more kids growing up loving and training karate, potentially the more kids will stick with it as adults. My only condition to kids training that way is that it ends at late adolescence at the earliest. 10th grade seems like the right time where all that stuff is a distant memory, with the kids stuff becoming less and less up to that point.

Just my opinion.
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Lupin1
Black Belt
Black Belt

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

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
My only condition to kids training that way is that it ends at late adolescence at the earliest. 10th grade seems like the right time where all that stuff is a distant memory, with the kids stuff becoming less and less up to that point.


I definitely agree. Our one high schooler is in 10th grade right now and is a Jr Black Belt. She still primarily attends the kids' class, but she acts more as an assistant instructor during that class. She helps with the games rather than plays them and helps hold bags and work with the younger students. We've invited her to start attending the adult class and she's started staying for a bit, but she doesn't usually stay for the entire thing since she has to get home and do homework. It's enough to get her working more seriously on more advanced stuff, however I don't think she'll make it to shodan before she graduates high school. She's just not working consistently enough to make solid progress.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28545
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
That's a rough setup, Lupin. When your student body is that transitional, I can see how its difficult to keep things consistent.

I hear a lot about the changing/adding of ranks for kids because they have short attention spans, want to see more results more often, etc, but I wonder if that truly is the case or not. I say this because of my exposure to wrestling. We seem to consistently have the same kids coming out every year for wrestling, and they stick with it throughout the season. And there are no belts, no ranks given out.

More than the ranks we pass out, I think as instructors we have to consider our curriculum, as well. If it stagnates and becomes monotonous, then that can become a problem. Its important to keep challenging our students, and helping them to learn something new every day if we can.


I like and agree with pretty much everything you’re saying, but I have one thing to add...

The inherent difference between wrestling and karate (and pretty much every belted MA) is while there’s no belts/ranks in wrestling, there’s a lot of competition. Wrestlers will use their competition as a measure of progress and success. And there’s an off-season. If karate had the same amount of competition and off-season, I think the belts could easily go by the way-side for kids. A record is a quick and tangible reminder/indicator of progress. Take away the whole or almost the whole competition aspect from wrestling where all they’re doing is practicing against each other week in and week out, and a lot of kids are going to get bored with it, regardless of how fun the coach makes it, how much they’re actually improving, etc. Adults like to see tangible and measurable progress in pretty much any endeavor. Kids significantly more so. Furthermore, kids in wrestling, and pretty much any other sport, who don’t see any success don’t stick around very long. How many kids willingly and excitedly come back after an “0-for” season? How many kids would come back to karate without being promoted for a long time? In their minds they failed.


I think competition is a part of it, but I don't think its all of it. I've seen some pretty mediocre kids that just love it and keep coming back. The off-season could be part of it, too.

But, with that said, Karate typically has plenty of competition available, and it doesn't really have a season, so tournaments can be found year round (the same can be said for Wrestling). Perhaps rotating MA seasons would help kids out?
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15151
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warning: Long post in order to address much in one post; sorry!!

Great questions as well as responses; fair enough, and I respect you all wholeheartedly!!

I'll address each and every question/comment, if necessary, directed to me in this one post. You will not agree with everything I post because our ways may be contrary to your ways; that's completely understandable across the board.

Our By-Laws have to reflect this change; that was up to our Legal Department with the assistance from four different departments; you know, cross the 't's' and dot the 'i's'!! That was finalized two weeks before the official announcements were made network wide.

Please, before I address each question, I just want to clarify this one simple thing or two. The Reorganizing of our Rank Structure will be a testament for them as to their MA maturity...Are they here for Rank or not?!?!?!?

If they're here for Rank, then I bid them a friendly farewell. If they're here for knowledge and experience, then I bid them to train hard, and train well!!

To the questions/comments...

Nidan Melbourne wrote:
Quote:
Interesting but totally fair enough.

What will occur for those students who are on one of those ranks that got the chop?

I assume it will just be phased out progressively as people grade?

And what is going to happen with the stock of belts for the ranks you have removed?

We stressed over this concern the most because, rank is forever, and can't be taken away. So, for example, we didn't take the rank away, can't do that; we simply took the colored belt away.

Those ranks that "got the chop" will join the most appropriate rank, whether it be Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. For example, Yellow and Orange are Beginners, and they will be merged into White, with one exception; White with one stripe will represent Yellow, and White with two stripes will represent Orange. So, on and so forth.

Green already, and has always, had two stripes because Green, Shichikyu (7th Kyu) and Rokukyu (6th Kyu) are where our Intermediate levels begin, and Brown has three stripes, Sankyu to Ikkyu. Our Kyu's are Jukyu-Ikkyu (10th-1st).

These reorganizing Rank Structures are immediate!! There will be no phasing out whatsoever through a Testing Cycle. All ranks are to absorbed by the new Rank Structure immediately and with no exceptions, by any and all dojo's within the SKKA network. Conformations are commencing immediately through a duly appointed representative of the Hombu via dojo visits. All dojo's within the SKKA network have been instructed to complete their Rank Structure Reorganization by March 23, 2018. If any dojo within the SKKA network fails to comply, their Shindokan Seal of Affiliation will be removed, and made void until further notice.

If I understand your last question, the stock of remaining belts, which will have no value to us anymore, will be sold to interested parties. However, we'll get with our supplier to request a return; sell back the belts we no longer use for the belts we will continue to use, kind of like a trade-in....1 for 1, so to speak.

Wastelander wrote:
Quote:
Like Nidan Melbourne, I'm curious as to how you are going to reconcile the belt discrepancies this creates. I would guess you would bump everyone down to the remaining color below what they currently have, if their rank is not remaining on the list? Or re-test?

We don't view any belt discrepancies with our on-going Rank Structure Reorganization because the existing ranks will simply absorb the appropriate rank structure, depending on their current rank; a student is either a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.

There will be NO RE-TEST, whatsoever; we see no value in that!!

mushybees wrote:
Quote:
Surely their rank would just translate over. So a purple belt on the old scale would become 2/3 of the way towards grading for their advanced brown belt.

A Purple would merge into Green, which will now have four stripes, and NOT two stripes. Both Blue and Purple will be merged into Green.

JR 137 wrote:
Quote:
I like the approach. If I had to cut colors out, I’d leave the eliminated colors alone and just test for the next rank when it was time, basically phasing them out rather than having a lot of people wear new belts. I mean how long would a now defunct belt color be around, 6-12 months max?

The most important question IMO is how does the curriculum change. Does it in essence stay the same, only the student doesn’t test and promote often? i.e. if there was 1 kata each at white, yellow and orange, do they still learn all 3 kata and get tested when and how they would’ve previously been tested at green belt?

The "defunct" belts will be completely removed network wide by March 23, 2018; no exceptions will be tolerated!!

Curriculum changes are a simple matter of changing the title of the document. Instead of it reading, for example...ORANGE BELT 9TH KYU CURRICULUM...it'll read...9TH KYU CURRICULUM. Yes, that means, within the White belt Rank, there will now be three Kata's, and not just one.

Future Testing Cycles have NOT been, and won't be, affected by this change. Within the official announcements, as well as the detailed Testing Cycle Amendments, that were sent network wide via certified mail, concerning the Candidate Testing Cycle Request, these confusions were laid to rest.

Students within White, per the up and coming Testing Cycle for their Green, will have to execute three Kata's, and not the one Kata for Orange. Testing Cycles are once every three months...Q1 = end of March...Q2 = end of June...Q4 = end of Septmember...Q4 = end of December!!

That's why, March 23, 2018 is imperative that the Reorganization of Rank Structure be completed by then; it's one week before Q1 commences. IF, the Reorganization of Rank Structure isn't completed network wide, there will be NO Q1 Testing Cycle. For those candidates that have already been approved to attend said Q1 Testing Cycle will have to resubmit for Q2 Testing Cycle in a timely manner per that particular deadline.

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Quote:
We were similar in that starting we had two belt colors (white and black) then they added two additional colors (exactly the same as you, I think they got this from the Matsubayashi Ryu system) and then Shinshii went a little bit hay wired and added yellow, orange and blue to the mix. Before he retired many of us attempted to convinced him to return to the four belt system for which he removed the orange and the blue but kept the Yellow.

After his retirement I dropped the yellow and have the exact arrangement you speak of.

White - Hachikyu thru Shechikyu, Green - Rokkyu thru Yonkyu, Brown - Sankyu thru Ikkyu.

We do however look at beginner, intermediate and advanced differently than you.

Beginner is Hachikyu thru Yonkyu, Intermediate is Sankyu thru Nidan, Advanced is Sandan on.

It doesn't exactly follow our levels of Mudansha - Hachikyu thru Ikkyu to Yudansha Shodan thru Yondan to Kodansha - Godan thru Kudan but it works for us.

Nice familiar break down, for the most. Yes, we do view beginner, intermediate, and advanced differently, but just how boring it would be if we were ALL the same. Or maybe boring is necessary for commonality...maybe.

We would stress out concerns with Soke and Dai-Soke, and he/they would take our advice/concerns/questions in consideration about Rank Structure, and then he/they would make a final decision. Sometimes, he/they would tell us in no uncertain terms where to take our advice/concerns/questions...in short, we can pound sand, for all they gave a darn, AND POUND THAT SAND NOW!! They both were so sensitive at times!!

LLLEARNER wrote:
Quote:
Good for you. Having a lot of ranks seems like revenue generation. It also seems to be to many baby steps, especially when you factor in stripes.

We use 6.
White
Yellow
Blue
Green
Brown
Black

Adults are not striped until brown. And that is to visually see how close you are to test for black.

From having known Soke and Dai-Soke as well as I did, I can assuredly state with confidence that revenue generation wasn't the reason for leaping, and I do mean leaping, from a four Rank Structure to an 8 Rank Structure, but for the reasons I stated in my OP.

Now, the striping we did in the past, Green with two, and Brown with four, were to announce the Intermediate and Advanced Kyu level within the Kyu structure. Not for revenue generation, neither is the more usages nowadays of the new striping. So, White will have to have the CI or the approved representative add three stripes, which had none in the past. Green will now have to have the CI or the approved representative add four stripes, which had two in the past. Brown, well, no change there, so the CI or the approved representative won't have to do anything extra or new in that regards.

Poor hard working CI or approved representatives; bad Hombu...bad meany Hombu!!

strangepair03 wrote:
Quote:
That is the same rank structure that I came up in. White, green, brown and black. Always preferred it over the rainbow.

I was always keenly interested in the four Rank Structure for as long as I can even remember; maybe a little jealous of those who trained in that structure. Well, now, I get to train it and in it first hand; I'm excited...like a kid with a new toy.

singularity6 wrote:
Quote:
Our rank system goes as follows:

10th geup - white
8th geup - Yellow with green stripe
7th geup - yellow with 2 green stripes
6th geup - green with blue stripe
5th geup - green with 2 blue
4th geup - blue with 1 red
3rd geup - blue with 2 red
2nd geup - red with 1 black
1st geup - red with 2 black

1st dahn - black with 1 yellow
2nd dahn - black with 2 yellow
etc...

I asked why we have a stripe right away. Color belts without a stripe are awarded in 2 different scenarios.
Our master instructor will do a probationary passing of a student if they under-perform on a test (testing only happens when instructors feel the student has learned enough and performs well enough in class.) They must "retest" at the next testing to earn that stripe. Students who got double-promoted to a the next color belt also get a stripe-less belt, and must retest to earn the stripe.

When it comes to my opinion on belt colors, I'm fine with the 2 color system. White belt all the way to black! But this only works with small classes that don't have a lot of instructors. Having several colors and/or a stripe system helps better-communicate what level each individual student is to all instructors, so I can see a need for a lot of rank indicators.

Funny you say this, singularity6, because, when Greg, our past Kancho, and I first talked about this one weekend, and before we introduced the idea to Reorganize the Rank Structure to the other Hierarchy members, some time in the past, we two greatly liked this concept. Unfortunately, that idea was quickly tabled because of some narrow minded opinions; couldn't get the votes at all.

Spartacus Maximus
Quote:
That sounds like the best and simplest progression. It also was the original or earliest system before the rainbow of belts became popular for commercial and cultural reasons. Very few instructors or associations use so few ranks/colours. In some there isn’t even a common system.

There are central dojo that have a different system from what the others in their association use. It can get somewhat confusing when members get together to train. Then again that is not such a big issue because it only happens every so often and when it does, it quickly becomes clear who can do what and how well they can do it.

Personally, the system used is white, green, blue, brown and black. Other instructors belonging to the same organization use their own system and none have fewer belts between white and brown. Having no more than 3 or four belts is a good way to get people to focus on their own personal training and emphasize skill progression instead of percieved status or rank.

It is the next best thing to dropping the belt system altogether, which would probably be extremely difficult to implement since the belt system in one form or another has been used in karate for as long as the familiar white dogi. Nowadays the majority of people who remember training without belts or gis are Okinawan and over 70 years old. Some of these karate folks trained for many years before they ever put on a belt.

Solid post!!

That's why SKKA manages the way it does; consistency!!

Having this and that and ten other ways of doing this and that and who knows what else is beyond confusion. Shindokan dojo's within the SKKA network can do it anyway they want to, and they can teach Shindokan any way they want to, but if they go Rogue, then they can do it one their own; they've that right. But a ship without a solid port is a ship with no direction, and will flounder forever without a secured anchor.

bushido_man96 wrote:
Quote:
I, too, have questions about how the change affects the curriculum and the students that currently hold one of the "tweener" ranks that got dropped.

As far as the belt systems in general go, I'm usually in accord with whatever each school decides to do for themselves. I'm not going to get too wound up over a "tradition" that is really not much more than 100-120 years old. I believe Kano Jigoro is credited with coming up with the belt system.

Our system does kind of a hybrid of the older color belt system:

White
Orange (lo and hi)
Green (lo and hi)
Blue (lo and hi)
Brown (lo, middle, and hi)
Black (a recommended "skunk" belt followed by full dan rank).

So, each color is divided into two ranks, and each rank has a separate form and one-step requirement (except brown, which has three).

So, in the spirit of stimulating the conversation further, Bob, what kind of discussions did you and the board have in regards to the pros and cons of maintaining the 8 belt system and dropping to the four belt system?

Which board?? Past board or current board??

With the past board, it all started over a weekend when I was over at Greg's house, with his family and mine, enjoying some chit chat and BBQ and all. Then the following Monday, him and I introduced our ideas about eliminating the eight Rank Structure back to the original four Rank Structure, to honor Soke and Dai-Soke, to the other Hierarchy.

Our conversation that weekend began over us looking at some of Greg's picture albums, and he had a picture of a large group of students standing in front of the Hombu, circa, 1982, and on the very next page, he had a picture of an old Hombu class, circa, 1959, and written on the very bottom of that page, was, Students Train Hard. It was noted about that page on those particular pictures, 1982, the students rank, and those ranks listed were part of the eight Rank Structure. and on the 1959, those ranks listed were part of the then four Rank Structure.

Both Greg and I wondered out loudly to each other what it must've been like to have trained under that four Rank Structure; it's possible pro and cons.

Greg, being Greg, suggested to me that we go back to that four Rank Structure, to honor Soke and Dai-Soke. That started the desire within us two, even though the rest of the Hierarchy weren't so thrilled; it was tabled.

It was forgotten, however, when while returning from a trip to Mexico, tragedy struck when our SKKA's Kancho, Greg Forsythe, as well as SKKA Regents, Thomas Stillwater, Jonathan Plouge, Ben Stevenson, Giichi Tanaka, and Yoshikazu Tanaka were all killed in a head-on vehicle accident in the very early morning of July 11th, 2016.

Not long ago, maybe, last late October, one of our current members of our Hierarchy came across all of those meetings in a box that was being stored in one of the unoccupied offices on the 2nd floor, marked...MEETING STUFF.

Curiosity killed the cat. That rekindled the conversations once again whenever that box was brought to my attention, and I explained to them all about it. The rest is history!!



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