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karatekid1975
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Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 4588
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: Tang Soo Do/TKD/jujitsu

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:00 pm    Post subject: Starting Over Reply with quote

I wanted to discuss a topic that has come up here on KarateForums.com a few times. I wanted to talk a bit about starting over when you change styles.

In my experience with this, I had mixed emotions about it. In Tang Soo Do, I was brand new to the martial arts. But we had other stylists join our school. What my instructor did was, if you were a black belt in your previous style and it was similar (as in TKD, Karate, or another TSD school), he would let you keep your rank. He would give you time to learn our requirements. If you were a color belt - you would start over, but you would be allowed to test faster than most until you reached your previous rank. If you did a grappling art previously, he would make you start over for the fact that it wasn't similar.

When I moved to New York, I joined a WTF TKD school. I had to start over. This school being sport, I wasn't happy about it. I was, however, allowed to test faster than most.

When I joined a TKD MDK school, which I did to learn more self defense, I was allowed to keep my rank. But at this school, I wanted to start over. My instructor knew I did TSD (which is similar to TKD MDK) and WTF TKD (I knew the sparring game) and he wanted me to keep my rank of blue belt. But, all of the requirements that I had to catch up on from white to blue were overwhelming to me. This school teaches more than the previous two put together, in my opinion. I was feeling "pressured." I talked to my instructor. I asked him if I could downgrade. He agreed, but he wouldn't let me go back to white belt. We agreed on green belt.

Here's a quote I posted on a topic here at KarateForums.com:

Quote:

I rather do it right, than go through the motions just to stay where I was. It's not about rank to me. I'm there to learn self defense. And I want to take my time and learn each move thoroughly, instead of rushing through them and not giving them my full attention.


Here are two answers that I got on the topic which I totally agree with.

SaiFightsMS wrote:

If you are into the art for the sake of the art and what you can get out of it and for yourself, I think that was a really good decision. Sometimes those who get caught up in the chase for the next belt can't understand why someone would rather wait to test than stay on a skill and really work with what you should be learning for the rank. Does that make sense? And those who get into the belt chase don't always realize that they have.


shotochem wrote:

Good for you! Since you are not hung up on rank and colors, you will be better than ever. It's a shame that some people place too much emphasis on rank and too little on learning and enjoyment. It's better to walk slowly and enjoy the scenery than to speed past and miss it all.


The way I feel about rank now is the same as my TSD instructor felt. In my experience, if you change styles and you are a color belt, it is so much easier to start over in the new style. This way, you will be able to start from scratch, instead of "rushing and just learning the motions" to catch up. Start fresh and learn every technique properly. Forget about rank. If you are a BB, you should have the choice of keeping your rank or dropping it. BB's should have enough experience and "basic training" to make that decision on their own. But that, also, depends on your new instructor.
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Patrick
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Joined: 01 May 2001
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Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the submission.
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stl_karateka
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 18 Sep 2003
Posts: 645
Location: O'fallon IL
Styles: Shorin Ryu & Isshin Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points Laurie! You know my experience already...I was brown in IsshinRyu and crossed into ShorinRyu --- I was allowed to keep my brown because I got a strong foundation in NY and my instructor didn't have to spend time re-teaching me basics.

Its always tough when switching schools! Good on you for not losing site of the priorities!!!
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karatekid1975
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Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 4588
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: Tang Soo Do/TKD/jujitsu

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kita. Actually you were one of the people I thought of when I wrote this, because you went through the same thing after I did. You know where I am coming from. As a friend, you helped me through this. Moving from NJ to NY, you are the first person I talked to. You helped me alot. I wanna say thanks

Now that I finally reached brown belt, I don't wanna give it up LOL. But yet, I have to move on. In two weeks I go for my red belt, and I will dedicate it to you *bows respectfully*
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gheinisch
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Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 2140
Location: Newnan, Georgia
Styles: Hon-Shin-Do - Shodan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice article Laurie, I agree with you 100%. More people should pay more attention to skill and techniques of the Art they are learning instead of the color around their waist. In changing schools the final decision should be left to the instructor but I don't think most would mind if you wanted to step back a couple ranks to better understand and learn the style that he/she is teaching.
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ninjanurse
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Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 6154
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: TKD;Shotokan;JuJitsu;Tai Ji

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It speaks to my heart Laurie! As you know I have experienced the same thing, not once but twice. The first time from Shotokan to TKD-started at white belt and tested into blue; the second time to a different TKD system-kept my rank.
I think that both times my master instructors knew what they were doing even if I didn't !

Keep up the good work-you WILL be an awesome Black Belt!!!!



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aefibird
Black Belt
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Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 4416
Location: UK
Styles: Past and present: 2 styles of Karate, TKD, Aikido, Wing Chun, some Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great article! There's some very good points in there about switching MA schools.

Good luck with your grading for red belt, I'm sure you'll pass it with flying colours - and your black belt too!!
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karatekid1975
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Joined: 26 Mar 2002
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Location: Upstate NY
Styles: Tang Soo Do/TKD/jujitsu

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all

EEkkkkk I don't wanna think about my BB test yet LOL. Probationary BB is next ...... yipes I'm getting nervous.

Anyways, thanks for the encouragement (sp?). I'll need it LOL.
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stl_karateka
Brown Belt
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Joined: 18 Sep 2003
Posts: 645
Location: O'fallon IL
Styles: Shorin Ryu & Isshin Ryu

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

karatekid1975 wrote:
Thanks Kita. Actually you were one of the people I thought of when I wrote this, because you went through the same thing after I did. You know where I am coming from. As a friend, you helped me through this. Moving from NJ to NY, you are the first person I talked to. You helped me alot. I wanna say thanks

Now that I finally reached brown belt, I don't wanna give it up LOL. But yet, I have to move on. In two weeks I go for my red belt, and I will dedicate it to you *bows respectfully*


Awww....that's so sweet!! I know you're gonna rock that red belt test!!!
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karatekid1975
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Joined: 26 Mar 2002
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Location: Upstate NY
Styles: Tang Soo Do/TKD/jujitsu

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kita. I hope I do as well as you did in sparring the last time I saw you. Hiedi, too. Both of you have been an inspiration (sp?) for me. We all have to go to Caki rollin (Kita knows what I'm talking about) next time all three of us are up here in snow country at the same time
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