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GS718Trek
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Joined: 08 Oct 2014
Posts: 138


PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:47 am    Post subject: teaching combined Karate styles Reply with quote

How would you instruct and explain your karate to students if you held numerous karate degrees?



What if a student under your tutelage inquires about the exact style they are practicing?



Would it have the most influence on prospective students if you combined the best characteristics of each style you know?




Imagine that the student is seeking legitimacy and wants to know which organizations you are affiliated with.


However, you do not teach this method directly under the organization with which it is linked.
instead you only incorporated its parts into your own Karate
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Zaine
Black Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1952
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How would you instruct and explain your karate to students if you held numerous karate degrees?


I've seen this done a few ways. My current dojo combined two styles and awards ranks in both at testing. My first dojo eventually added enough other things that they felt it warranted calling it a new system and just created one with Shorin Ryu as a base. I've seen others do something similar and still just call it what they learned first. There's a great dojo near me that teaches Goju Ryu and also adds ground fighting into the mix.

For me, I eventually want to start my own system. I have a lot of variety in my experience and I want to take what I know and create something that is greater than its parts. Will I be good at that? I sure hope so.

Quote:
What if a student under your tutelage inquires about the exact style they are practicing?


In my first dojo, after the switch, the CI explained the history of the system whenever he talked to new people about it. Essentially, he was very upfront about what the system was made of, and why he had made the decision. I imagine that if I get the opportunity to design my own system, I would do the same. Lineage is still very important, even if you are the beginning of a new one.

Quote:
Would it have the most influence on prospective students if you combined the best characteristics of each style you know?


Yes, and I think that we do a disservice not only to the students, but to ourselves, when we don't. Karate, like many things, is meant to evolve and grow. There's a reason new systems keep popping up.

Quote:
Imagine that the student is seeking legitimacy and wants to know which organizations you are affiliated with.


I think that a mistake that a lot of people make when starting their own system is that they cut themselves off from organizational support. Sometimes, this is because their previous organizations want nothing to do with new systems. Sometimes, it's due to that very human tendency to want to strike out on our own with no help. My first teacher was in the latter, but networked with other schools in the area to hold tournaments and seminars, creating his own organization. At the end of the day, as Bob likes to say, the proof was on the floor. It didn't matter who his lineage was, people could see clearly the effectiveness and legitimacy of the system.

For me, I have a desire to maintain contact with the people and organizations that I've built relationships with. I'm a millennial, and therefore love freely accessible information. I think that, at the very least, any non-classified information should be readily available. In that, I love the idea of Martial Arts organizations, especially inclusive ones. I want to learn and help others learn. My biggest problem with organizations, as they stand now, is that they often gatekeep knowledge and information. Not just things like kata videos, bunkai demonstrations, etc., but things like histories and philosophical information.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15804
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: teaching combined Karate styles Reply with quote

GS718Trek wrote:
How would you instruct and explain your karate to students if you held numerous karate degrees?

Offer and teach them separately; gives your customer base choices. If not that, then I'd teach the style that I'm ranked the highest in, especially if it's the core style.

GS718Trek wrote:
What if a student under your tutelage inquires about the exact style they are practicing?

If I offered different classes per question #1 above, I'd enform the student that I offer an eclectic curriculum, so, whichever class the student enrolls into, I teach exactly that style. If I offer only my core, then I'd inform the student exactly what the core is. Point being, I'd be honest in my answer(s); credibility depends on it.

GS718Trek wrote:
Would it have the most influence on prospective students if you combined the best characteristics of each style you know?

Yes!! Prospective students are much more concerned with effectiveness, and in that, they might care if the style was a Baskin Robbins style...or not.

GS718Trek wrote:
Imagine that the student is seeking legitimacy and wants to know which organizations you are affiliated with.

Tell the student the truth. Nothing better than the truth. Credibility ends at the first lie.

GS718Trek wrote:
However, you do not teach this method directly under the organization with which it is linked.
instead you only incorporated its parts into your own Karate

Don't let any Governing Body define you, your dojo, and your students. Teach whatever you want however you want to; it's your dojo...you're the CI. If the Governing Body throws a fit, then let them. Can't serve two masters...pick one and defend your principles. The Governing Body can only do so much to an affiliated dojo, like remove their authority over your testing cycles and the like.

Reminds me of what Abraham Lincoln said about pleasing people.

Just be honest and yourself; integrity means everything!!

Imho.



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GS718Trek
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Joined: 08 Oct 2014
Posts: 138


PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I consider organization dues and the fact that testing must go through the organization's official panel, which is comprised of higher dan ranks, teaching them separately appears to be difficult.


I am a 1st degree in the systems that I am trained in, but I can say with absolute certainty that I am a very experienced 1st degree. Therefore, I believe it would be best to combine and form my own association.

The only disadvantage is that I cannot promote beyond brown belt unless I achieve a higher rank in the future.


I have my own occupation outside of martial arts, so I'm not looking to make a living from it, but I figured, why not teach what I know as a hobby and possibly to earn some extra cash?



The enjoyable part is actually constructing a system from the stockpile I possess, and of course I would test it in live sparring.
If I have a student who wants to challenge or test me as a teacher for legitimacy, I must be able to hold my own or demonstrate that it works.


What do you think of this proposal?
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GS718Trek
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How would you proceed with Kata? is a second question.
I hold a 1st degree in okinawan and japanese systems in which the katas are similar but with slight variations.
But I am more familiar with the official bunkai of the Okinawan system.


I would simply refer to the entire system as "Karate."


my ranking system would be white, yellow, green, purple, blue, and brown belts.
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Zaine
Black Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1952
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What do you think of this proposal?


I have a couple of friends who do something like this. Teaching karate very, very rarely is a viable full-time job. I've trained with a lot of people in the past 20 years, some of them with very successful dojos, who still had regular jobs. My first Shodan is a guy who started teaching me and a few people in the community center of the trailer park he lived in. From there he grew.

I wouldn't worry to much about being only a Shodan. If you're still attending your other school(s), you will likely hit Nidan before you able to promote someone else to Brown Belt, much less Shodan. New people take roughly 3 years on average to get to Brown belt, and then another 2 from there for Shodan.

Quote:
How would you proceed with Kata?


You could either just pick your favorite variation, which is something that I am planning to do, or teach them all and let the student decide which one they are going to focus on. I would suggest just picking your favorite variation; too much choice for someone new to Karate can be too overwhelming.

I like to collect kata, and I find different variations fascinating. For example, the version of Pinan Shodan I learned is incredibly different from anything I've seen anyone else do, but my favorite version is the Shotokan version, which is not even a style that I've ever done but I've watch videos of Shotokan Pinan Shodan enough that I can do it. On the other hand, the Naihanchi I learned first uses Uchi Hachiji Dachi and I don't like doing versions with Horse Stance, but I'm currently going through a system that does a version with Horse Stances.
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Zaine
Black Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1952
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
white, yellow, green, purple, blue, and brown belts.


That only accounts for 6 kyu ranks. Assuming that Brown is going to be three of those ranks, that's still only 8 kyu ranks. Are you doubling up on other belts?
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GS718Trek
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Joined: 08 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before Dan, I'm considering an 8 kyu system hypothetically.


white unranked, then 8th kyu on first test (I would still keep them at white for 8th kyu), yellow 7th kyu, green, 6th kyu, purple 5th kyu, blue 4th kyu, solid brown 3rd kyu, brown with one bar 2nd kyu, brown with two bars 1st kyu.


Im putting more emphasis on the white nad brown as I consider them pivotel points in training. The true beginning versus the period of solid understanding of foundations.

referring to a previous thread I posted, I was also considering having stricter time proficiency requirements similar to BJJ. I was previously considering shortening the belts similar to BJJ and spending more time at each belt. I also thought of White (8-7) blue (6-5) green(4-3) brown (2-1)

There are Shoto orgs that actually still just use White, brown, black with the kyus in between which I highly admire.

To emphasize, this is all brainstorming; still daydreaming.


However, I'm leaning more towards the belt system I proposed initially.


Last edited by GS718Trek on Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15804
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GS718Trek wrote:
When I consider organization dues and the fact that testing must go through the organization's official panel, which is comprised of higher dan ranks, teaching them separately appears to be difficult.

Difficult to separate the two because they're often hand in hand.

GS718Trek wrote:
I am a 1st degree in the systems that I am trained in, but I can say with absolute certainty that I am a very experienced 1st degree. Therefore, I believe it would be best to combine and form my own association.

Nothings stopping you. Nonetheless, what credibility would a Governing Body have under a Shodan?? Still, one can do with whatever they want across the board with their own Governing Body. The masses say that one should be a Sandan to start a dojo and teach and having been in the administrative side of a Governing Body, running a Governing Body can be quite difficult.

GS718Trek wrote:
The only disadvantage is that I cannot promote beyond brown belt unless I achieve a higher rank in the future.

That is the consensus, and the preferred rank is Sandan, as a minimum. However, help of a Sandan can add some credibility to your testing panel. Either way, you can still promote to Sankyu, which is of no shame. After all, by the time your students earn Sankyu, you should be Sandan.

GS718Trek wrote:
I have my own occupation outside of martial arts, so I'm not looking to make a living from it, but I figured, why not teach what I know as a hobby and possibly to earn some extra cash?

Many CI's only run their dojo at night while their main source of income comes from a full-time job during the day. So, why not!?!

GS718Trek wrote:
The enjoyable part is actually constructing a system from the stockpile I possess, and of course I would test it in live sparring.
If I have a student who wants to challenge or test me as a teacher for legitimacy, I must be able to hold my own or demonstrate that it works.

Things are not a simple as night and day when it comes to constructing a system. Testing a system requires a lot of hand holding with the MA communities. Securing goodwill isn't that cut dry within the MA communities.

GS718Trek wrote:
What do you think of this proposal?

Seems possible yet quite challenging. Good luck!




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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15804
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GS718Trek wrote:
How would you proceed with Kata? is a second question.
I hold a 1st degree in okinawan and japanese systems in which the katas are similar but with slight variations.
But I am more familiar with the official bunkai of the Okinawan system.


I would simply refer to the entire system as "Karate."


my ranking system would be white, yellow, green, purple, blue, and brown belts.

Stay with what you're more familiar with. Remember, effectiveness needs to be at the Nth degree. Live resistive training is key.



_________________
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https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-robert-mitcham-fight-cancer
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