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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27636
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first belt system was put in place by Jigoro Kano, so I think it is an Eastern invention.
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mal103
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 21 May 2011
Posts: 559


PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a few thoughts on the below:
1) You don't need a licence to practice martial arts in the UK unless you are a professional fighter. Their existence is by product of a myth.
Used by large orgs as a membership fee
2) You don't need independent insurance to practice martial arts. It is a choice, your club's policy should cover you. You may be sued as an individual for negligence, so it is a good idea. A child cannot hold any as they are not a legal entity.
Most kids have insurance, not sure they should be without it and the company knows their ages?
3) Most of the martial arts in the UK bear no resemblance to their parent style. They carry the name of the style, but seldom resemble the original.
Hate to think how many fall into this category, some have watered it down, others have made changes, most syllabus is only a small percentage of the whole
4) The belt system is a Western invention. To ask a student to achieve 20 or more belts before reaching Dan grade is a revenue builder, nothing more.
The 10 kyu system was in Judo and borrowed by Funakoshi and the rest, anyone adding to this is purely making money.
5) The existence of Child Black Belts trivialises what the status of a Dan grade is.
I think the 10 Kyu system should be stretched out until they are at least teenager, then only 1st Dan until 21, everyone has their own ideas on this though
6) If someone tells you that they achieved a Dan grade in 2 years, try not to laugh.
One of the reasons I left my old club!
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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't realise the status of children in martial arts until I was married. My wife's father is a Judge and he owns a law firm. My wife has been brought up in legal circles. She said; "A child can't have their own insurance policy, they just can't. Because, in any legal dispute or question of rights, a child is not deemed legally responsible. They are not a legal agent until they are 16. You can have a policy for them, but it must be yours or the instructor's, not the child's own." How many clubs claim that the fee you pay represents the child's own insurance? Ask to see the policy document, see who's name it is in. Don't be surprised if they don't have one.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6118
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harkon72 wrote:
I didn't realise the status of children in martial arts until I was married. My wife's father is a Judge and he owns a law firm. My wife has been brought up in legal circles. She said; "A child can't have their own insurance policy, they just can't. Because, in any legal dispute or question of rights, a child is not deemed legally responsible. They are not a legal agent until they are 16. You can have a policy for them, but it must be yours or the instructor's, not the child's own." How many clubs claim that the fee you pay represents the child's own insurance? Ask to see the policy document, see who's name it is in. Don't be surprised if they don't have one.

I think most people would recognise that the parent is taking out insurance on their child and not the child taking out the policy. Throughout the whole tuition process the parent is signing their child up not the child signing for themselves.
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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that's true, then ask to see the insurance document, I bet most clubs ask the name of the child and not the parent. At the end of the day, the club should be insured for the cover of all its students. What they should do is be honest and call the membership fee what it is. Why do they need to use terms like "insurance" and "licence" when they don't exist? Usually, membership or whatever you call it in the UK costs between £10 and £20 a year, yet to register each student with a governing body costs about £3 a year, this is a massive short fall and with grading and tuition on top, you can see why martial arts clubs go into business. I'm not calling for little huts on the top of Snowdon with little men with white eyebrows to be the only valid masters. Profiteering has destroyed martial arts, there is no doubt about it. Masters have always wanted payment, but it was to live, not to exploit through fear. "Join our Club or your Child will not be safe." "Women, be empowered, be street lethal in three months." "We are a Black Belt School - the Number 1 martial arts school in the UK!" If you can afford it, go for it; but take a hard look at what you are being taught.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6118
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harkon72 wrote:
If that's true, then ask to see the insurance document, I bet most clubs ask the name of the child and not the parent. At the end of the day, the club should be insured for the cover of all its students.

I have seen my own insurance documents and saw them when I was a child and my parents signed for me.. Don't know about your club but on any form I have ever had to sign for TKD related things, there is always a box to check if the named person on the form is under age and you are signing on their behalf. 9/10 you have to state your relationship to the child and fill in some contact details.


Harkon72 wrote:
What they should do is be honest and call the membership fee what it is. Why do they need to use terms like "insurance" and "licence" when they don't exist? Usually, membership or whatever you call it in the UK costs between £10 and £20 a year, yet to register each student with a governing body costs about £3 a year, this is a massive short fall and with grading and tuition on top, you can see why martial arts clubs go into business.

"License" is just a case of semantics, I wouldn't get too hung up on the word. As has been discussed, in most cases it is a membership fee to the club and organisation + any other yearly fee an instructor wants to include like insurance. It is just a word. Widely used practice in the UK and in other countries. Our school's license fee includes membership to my club, my national association, the BTC (UK TKD governing and insurance body) which also includes Personal Accident Insurance for injury to myself, Liability Insurance for damage of third party property, Membersí Professional Indemnity for anytime I assist in class or teach under guidance and also Tournament Insurance for competitions covered by the BTC. For a whole year the £25 my instructor charges is hardly a lot of money and I personally don't mind if my instructor is making a measly tenner off of me over the course of a whole year. It goes some way to pay his overheads on hall hire and so on.
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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are very lucky Danielle to have transparency in the financial aspects of your association. There are many that are not so fortunate. Parents know very little at times about the structure of martial arts clubs and how the money is spent. They believe what Sensei says with no question. Some see no paper work at all. I have seen licences and grading certificates that mention affiliated bodies that don't exist and a few that when you inquire have never heard of the club. One common trick is to let your Dan grades register with a governing body, they go on national courses and compete on a national level, but the body of the club has no affiliation at all. They use the logos, wear the hoodies, but your children have nothing to do with the main body, insurance or otherwise. I've had a very bitter experience with a local instructor. He saw me come to his club as a Dan grade from another style. He gambled that I would not stay. He then deliberately left me unregistered and uninsured, hoping that I would quit. Not only did I pay him all my dues, but he graded me and left me liable fraudulently. When I enquired with the head of his association, he was initially interested but then I was faced with a wall of silence. Can you see where my concerns are coming from? I have found that this practice is not unheard of. I'm sorry if I sound negative, but the situation is real. I have landed on my feet now with real martial artists and I'm not looking back.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6118
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^sounds like you've had some unfortunate experiences Gareth, I wouldn't wish it on anybody and I would agree that it is hard for parents and even new adult students to be aware of what the right questions are and not to just take the sensei's word. Unfortunately the industry is not regulated and often suffers because of that. Sounds like you have found somewhere to make up for your past experiences with your new Aikido teacher though
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ShoriKid
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 14 Dec 2007
Posts: 897

Styles: Matsubyashi-Ryu, Okinawan Kempo, wrestling, bits of BJJ

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
We don't use grading/licensing books over here, so that's new to me. From what you mention, though, it definitely sounds like something worth looking into as far as fraud goes.

Yeah, I concur with you, Brian!! Maybe, it's the beginning of having a one central governing body...maybe!!


I doubt it will ever happen.

Me too, but I can dream!



Can I be the odd man out and say I don't want a single governing body? While it sounds good, and may be convinent in some ways, I just can't be for it. Would you want my head instructor telling you what is good karate Sensei8? I would think not. No more than he would want you telling him what is good karate. Or a karateka telling a judoka how things should be run. Perhaps it is my natural distrust of large organizations tainting my judgment, but I would rather deal with my tiny organization where I know most of the instructors/higher ups, and they know me, than a large group who gets me discounts on insurance, but tells me how I should teach by PDF and email.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2202
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harkon72 wrote:
I shall name no names or identify the club.

I started training in a Dojo 3 years ago. I was a new style for me, Shukokai Karate. I liked the Sensei, he seemed a good man. As I trained I reached my 3rd Kyu grading this year. I knew that the style was meant to be Shukokai, but I could see that it was much watered down and geared mainly for the instruction of juniors. I had 25 years of Karatedo before stepping through the door, I knew my karate was sound and as I progressed, so did the Sensei and his Sempai. On the night of my 3rd Kyu grading, I did my Khihon and four very powerful Kata, now it was time for the Kumite. The Sempai, a shodan, flatly refused. Now it was up to the Sensei himself, a supposed 5th Dan. He made a lame excuse and he too refused to fight. At the end, this so called Master gave me a 3rd Kyu belt that I hadn't earned and a certificate. I walked out in disgust, shamed and dishonoured. I left my licence behind. 8 months later, I found my licence on the door mat. I had paid for my grading, also for another year's membership, but there was no record in the book. I showed the licence to a friend who is a police officer and a genuine karateka. "That's not a real licence, it's a forgery. They have written out the insurance ticket themselves, that governing body does not exist, and they have no association with the organisations that they claim to have. You were unlicenced and uninsured." This is a true story. The club still runs in our village.


I understand that you don't feel like you had earnt it because you didn't spar either of them. But did the grading feel alright to you as a whole and did you spar people that pushed you?

It is unusual that they wouldn't want to fight you. but does show that they believe that if they fight you they will be showing others that they aren't very good.

And what makes a genuine karateka for you? For instance we give GKR flack for not being very good but many of their students do still train hard to be the best they can.

It is hard and frustrating when you can see that the curriculum has been watered down and aimed at the juniors. I am continually frustrated by that when instructors do that.


Quote:
In the UK, most martial art schools give you a licence book. Therein are your details, your next of kin's contact number for example. Also there is a record of your gradings and any courses you have attended. In the book there should be a licence ticket or certificate that is issued by the governing body every year. This has a number on it, your registration number. Not only did the Sempai fraudulently fill in this ticket herself with a name of an association that does not exist, there was no registration number on the licence ticket or the book itself. Basically, they take your money for grading, registration and insurance but do not pay it to anyone. It is basically an uninsured and unaffiliated club. The grading certificates have various organisations listed as governing bodies, but the club is not registered with any of them. As for the sparring, as I said, the Sempai and the Master refused. I have never hurt anyone while sparring, I have done it for many years in Dojo's and competitions, no-one has ever had reason to fear me, I have good control and I know my boundaries. Why a 5th Dan would give me a grade without a proper test, I don't know; but it goes to show how much respect he has for me as his student and the art of Karatedo. If you ask me, the man is a fraud. Shukokai? It's nothing of the sort; Sensei Kimura would turn in his grave.


Having a Licence book is different between schools. At my dojo we don't use them, but sensei keeps a record of all gradings and events that you attend on behalf of the dojo and when it comes to registering with our state and national federations every year we provide them with a list of the updates.

Maybe even if you have good control and haven't hurt anyone, there may be a chance that you might hit too hard but they don't want to tell you.

Also being unaffiliated can occur when a club doesn't associate with an association of the same style. Because they may want the freedom and not feel restricted. But does often show how sketchy their training is.
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