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Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 891
Location: MK in the UK
Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:


Then I'll favorite saying...Proof is on the floor!!

Gradings I have always felt are a matter of demonstrating a set/defined collection of standards, and via consensus and senior grade agreement (by senior I refer to Dan grades) and awarding of the rank being sought?
[Dan Grades:They at least have worked to such a standard, as such they alone can judge the same.]

Sorry I can only offer my own experience with gradings and then only form one Ryu, for all the Ryus I have worked with, I never graded with them, I've only ever graded with Kyokushinkai!

A general rule is the grade being sough can only be 'judged' by a person who's own rank is at least 3 levels higher. If no such rank is available a BB panel is set up, where at least one is 2 ranks higher sitting on it.

When seeking promotion to ShoDan (1st grade) a panel is always setup to test you!
[As I'm in the BKK this means Hanshi Arneil himself will be running the grading!]

BUT!... for all the ceremony, honor, politics Ps and Qs, the student/person when they are awarded the rank there name is 'added' to 'the book'!
(Historically it was a real book, nowadays its a dB! The modern world has so much to answer for)

My own 1st kyu grading certificate makes reference to my name and new rank 'being added to the book'.

I assume/guess other systems do something like this?
That said, these guys appear to have no knowledge of this and its meaning to there future!?!?
A human life gains luster and strength only when it is polished and tempered.
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama (1923 - 1994) Founder of Kyokushin Karate.
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 430
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my best instructors in Kenpo during my childhood and teen years was self graded to 5th Dan because he devised his own system. Even now, after meeting many other martial artists he still survives into the top ten I have met in my life.

Saying that though; I do think the grading systems should have quality control. I believe so because they are meant to help a teacher understand what a student needs to study, plus it should be representative of each individual awarded a belt. It is all about honest representation, self grading takes away from this.

Really though; I do think that those among the high graded peers of the martial arts are as much to blame as those who self grade. There is only so much hoop jumping, and adherence to traditions without real explanation any ones ego can take. There is so much desire in many high grade circles to 'preserve' and have their own methods copied as a form of flattery that it alienates many of their most talented students. Those students who take ownership of their practice and want to evolve it, and pass on this evolution which might not always please or appeal to the higher ups. These students then see the need to break away, and because they were raised in a system dictating that high grade equals power they then lay claim to the higher grade to try and get power.

It's symptomatic of problems in both the grading system we have imported from the Japanese, as well as how we approach and teach martial arts.
R. Keith Williams

A Rarely Used Blog:
An Uncertain Path
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 12 Oct 2005
Posts: 1084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Styles: Taekwondo Chung Do Kwan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once trained under a guy who received 4th Dan under his master then had a falling out. After the two had a falling out, he opened up a school directly across the alley (not even across the street!) from his former master & instantly became a 6th Dan (& added a 6th Dan in another Art the old master did not teach). His ego was so huge that he called himself the "state Director" of a worldwide organization, while having the actual State Director of that organization come in & do many seminars for us.

For the decade this guy did this, he badmouthed his former master (sometimes within earshot of him; being so close in proximity) often to us. None of this came to light until he & his wife (also our instructor) divorced him.

As talented a MAist as he was, he missed the lessons on character & integrity.
Being a good fighter is One thing. Being a good person is Everything. Kevin "Superkick" McClinton
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