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Himokiri Karate
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 325

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:37 pm    Post subject: What is a tangible criteria of karate black belt? Reply with quote

I have been contemplating this question and going over and over as well as over it again.

I want to know what it truly means to be a karate black belt. My answer comes in three parts:

1. Skills: Technique has to be sharp and karateka must have full range of techniques and exercises to strengthen said techniques that can be sharpened to a higher degree. Also to competent in boxing and grappling.

2. Physical: Fast, strong, powerful, flexible, agile. A super athlete. A karateka who follows physical culture from yoga to strength training as well as plyometrics and any type of training that leads to increase athletic prowess. Also not to get Hojo Undo and bone conditioning. I will also take the global approach of teaching them ballet exercises.

3. Fighting: This is psychology of an individual. A karateka who has aggression but also courage and tenacity to fight back on top of the first two criteria as his support system to not just be a street brawler but a true karateka known for their fierceness.


I am going to teach soon and my BIGGEST worry is to not prepare them for the real world. I do not want them to just be confident but to also be able to protect themselves outside. God knows my hometown is getting more and more dangerous and the last thing I want is an insecure student gaining confidence that was built on unrealistic training.

Another worry is the fact that if my students want to do MMA and they get trashed around by kickboxers and other stylists. This can lead in to feeling betrayed and so I am planning to have an open door policy. They are not only welcomed to try other styles but are encouraged because I want my style and my teaching to survive and thrive against other styles.


I am open for any suggestions or anything else I missed. I thought about character and morality. I plan on making sure they use the Japanese etiquette but aside from that, a bad person will be a bad person regardless if they practice yoga or Tai Chi. Only thing I can do is, train them so hard that they are too exhausted to act on their malicious nature.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15511
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A black belt is one who accepts the honest truth that first and foremost, they're a student of the MA. After that, that that black belt treats rank with very little concern whatsoever.

Character...Integrity. These are the staples of what a black belt is.

Yes, I agree that a black belt should possess the effective and necessary skills across the board. Yet, it goes much further than that. Knowledge and experience are important embraces of that black belt. Having said that, what a black belt is in one school, doesn't hold any water at another school.

As far as teaching is concerned, and let me state this once again, and I believe that it bears to be repeated over and over...Not all black belts can teach. The black belt better have every iota of control in and off the floor.

What's tangible about a black belt?? Not much in the wrong hands!!



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29040
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: What is a tangible criteria of karate black belt? Reply with quote

Himokiri Karate wrote:
I have been contemplating this question and going over and over as well as over it again.

I want to know what it truly means to be a karate black belt. My answer comes in three parts:

1. Skills: Technique has to be sharp and karateka must have full range of techniques and exercises to strengthen said techniques that can be sharpened to a higher degree. Also to competent in boxing and grappling.


I agree with the fact that technique needs to be sharp and the Karateka needs to be able to demonstrate their skills with them. I tend to agree with Bob in that not all black belts can teach, but I do think that when asked, a black belt should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and an ability to relate that knowledge to some extent. As far as being competent in boxing or grappling goes, I don't necessarily agree. Those are two different disciplines, and to spend too much time trying to hone boxing and grappling skills takes away from honing Karate skills and methods. I think you allow them to explore those things on their own. But, I do think that some exposure to them, based off your own knowledge, training, and experience, can be beneficial to their training.

Quote:
2. Physical: Fast, strong, powerful, flexible, agile. A super athlete. A karateka who follows physical culture from yoga to strength training as well as plyometrics and any type of training that leads to increase athletic prowess. Also not to get Hojo Undo and bone conditioning. I will also take the global approach of teaching them ballet exercises.


If you want all of your Karateka to be super athletes, then you'll have to be selective about the kinds of students you train. You'll want to train natural athletes, those who are explosive and fast. Personally, I wouldn't do yoga, even for free. I do strength training on my own, because I find value in it. But I don't force those things on my students, especially as black belt requirements, because not all of them have the time or desire to put the time into doing those things. For sure, they are beneficial, but forcing them on students will probably end up limiting the student pool you get. And the fact of the matter is that not everyone can or will become a "super athlete." Especially the older population.

Quote:
3. Fighting: This is psychology of an individual. A karateka who has aggression but also courage and tenacity to fight back on top of the first two criteria as his support system to not just be a street brawler but a true karateka known for their fierceness.


This is admirable, but again, I don't think attainable by everyone. There are people who, talented as they may be physically, just aren't geared that way psychologically. It's the whole sheep, sheepdog, and wolf principle. But, I do think it is possible to train this to an extent, yet mileage will vary depending on the individual.


Quote:
I am going to teach soon and my BIGGEST worry is to not prepare them for the real world. I do not want them to just be confident but to also be able to protect themselves outside. God knows my hometown is getting more and more dangerous and the last thing I want is an insecure student gaining confidence that was built on unrealistic training.


This is admirable, and is what I think all styles should be working towards. Our school has been taking steps to work on more self-defense oriented things, and I think it is going to pay dividends. The students seem to be enjoying it, and seeing applications and discussing actual situational issues stimulates the students in thinking about their techniques in different ways.

Quote:
Another worry is the fact that if my students want to do MMA and they get trashed around by kickboxers and other stylists. This can lead in to feeling betrayed and so I am planning to have an open door policy. They are not only welcomed to try other styles but are encouraged because I want my style and my teaching to survive and thrive against other styles.


This is a tough one. I think it's important for students to understand coming into it that Karate and MMA training are two very different things. MMA is much more focused on things like pad work and drilling with partners, moving in the ring, etc. I think encouraging students to go experience that kind of training would be very beneficial.

I like the thoughts behind the path you want to put before your students. Just putting in writing shows that you have a plan, and shows that it matters to you what and how your students do and perform. I think it's great.
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Himokiri Karate
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 325

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: What is a tangible criteria of karate black belt? Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
A black belt is one who accepts the honest truth that first and foremost, they're a student of the MA. After that, that that black belt treats rank with very little concern whatsoever.

Character...Integrity. These are the staples of what a black belt is.

Yes, I agree that a black belt should possess the effective and necessary skills across the board. Yet, it goes much further than that. Knowledge and experience are important embraces of that black belt. Having said that, what a black belt is in one school, doesn't hold any water at another school.

As far as teaching is concerned, and let me state this once again, and I believe that it bears to be repeated over and over...Not all black belts can teach. The black belt better have every iota of control in and off the floor.

What's tangible about a black belt?? Not much in the wrong hands!!




True I agree that a great fighter is not a great teacher or a even a good one. I agree that one black belt in one school may not hold water in another. This is correct because great technique is truly transcending regardless of style and rank.


Also there is a human aspect involved. I mean someone may not be a good fighter with good technique but if they have excellent character then we can or we tend to have a rosy view of them and we tend to look at their best aspect. I believe its called a halo effect in respect to seeing the best aspect of someone you take a liking to as a human being.

Of course honesty, compassion and fairness of a person's character makes them or should I say adds to their status. A black belt at your school maybe someone you work or train alongside with. Someone can be a fantastic black belt but a bad person and that can really be a bad scenario if you have to deal with them on daily basis.




bushido_man96 wrote:
Himokiri Karate wrote:
I have been contemplating this question and going over and over as well as over it again.

I want to know what it truly means to be a karate black belt. My answer comes in three parts:

1. Skills: Technique has to be sharp and karateka must have full range of techniques and exercises to strengthen said techniques that can be sharpened to a higher degree. Also to competent in boxing and grappling.


I agree with the fact that technique needs to be sharp and the Karateka needs to be able to demonstrate their skills with them. I tend to agree with Bob in that not all black belts can teach, but I do think that when asked, a black belt should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and an ability to relate that knowledge to some extent. As far as being competent in boxing or grappling goes, I don't necessarily agree. Those are two different disciplines, and to spend too much time trying to hone boxing and grappling skills takes away from honing Karate skills and methods. I think you allow them to explore those things on their own. But, I do think that some exposure to them, based off your own knowledge, training, and experience, can be beneficial to their training.

Quote:
2. Physical: Fast, strong, powerful, flexible, agile. A super athlete. A karateka who follows physical culture from yoga to strength training as well as plyometrics and any type of training that leads to increase athletic prowess. Also not to get Hojo Undo and bone conditioning. I will also take the global approach of teaching them ballet exercises.


If you want all of your Karateka to be super athletes, then you'll have to be selective about the kinds of students you train. You'll want to train natural athletes, those who are explosive and fast. Personally, I wouldn't do yoga, even for free. I do strength training on my own, because I find value in it. But I don't force those things on my students, especially as black belt requirements, because not all of them have the time or desire to put the time into doing those things. For sure, they are beneficial, but forcing them on students will probably end up limiting the student pool you get. And the fact of the matter is that not everyone can or will become a "super athlete." Especially the older population.

Quote:
3. Fighting: This is psychology of an individual. A karateka who has aggression but also courage and tenacity to fight back on top of the first two criteria as his support system to not just be a street brawler but a true karateka known for their fierceness.


This is admirable, but again, I don't think attainable by everyone. There are people who, talented as they may be physically, just aren't geared that way psychologically. It's the whole sheep, sheepdog, and wolf principle. But, I do think it is possible to train this to an extent, yet mileage will vary depending on the individual.


Quote:
I am going to teach soon and my BIGGEST worry is to not prepare them for the real world. I do not want them to just be confident but to also be able to protect themselves outside. God knows my hometown is getting more and more dangerous and the last thing I want is an insecure student gaining confidence that was built on unrealistic training.


This is admirable, and is what I think all styles should be working towards. Our school has been taking steps to work on more self-defense oriented things, and I think it is going to pay dividends. The students seem to be enjoying it, and seeing applications and discussing actual situational issues stimulates the students in thinking about their techniques in different ways.

Quote:
Another worry is the fact that if my students want to do MMA and they get trashed around by kickboxers and other stylists. This can lead in to feeling betrayed and so I am planning to have an open door policy. They are not only welcomed to try other styles but are encouraged because I want my style and my teaching to survive and thrive against other styles.


This is a tough one. I think it's important for students to understand coming into it that Karate and MMA training are two very different things. MMA is much more focused on things like pad work and drilling with partners, moving in the ring, etc. I think encouraging students to go experience that kind of training would be very beneficial.

I like the thoughts behind the path you want to put before your students. Just putting in writing shows that you have a plan, and shows that it matters to you what and how your students do and perform. I think it's great.



Great points, one thing to add about athletes and its good point that you mentioned lowering the talent pool of a dojo. This is valid and it ties in to my self defense aspect.

See when its all said and done, and I mean at the very end of the day where I go to sleep and lie in bed waiting to fall asleep. I have a recollection of my days and the actions that occurred.

For me, as a boxing/karate specialist ( low level sambo/grappler) I can live with the fact that I go out there in sparring or what have you, I employ my moves and I end up coming up short. But if my students learn my moves and they fall short, then I end up with a guilty conscious of leaving a stone unturned and that somewhere in their training, neglect took place on my part since my students got hurt under my training. Hence I contemplate that if I keep a tight ship, I end up limiting my students to natural athletes of sort but it also absolves me of over promising results like lots of dishonest martial arts masters that promise things they cant deliver.


Yet another conflicting side of me is, I should be able to take a feeble and weak student and turn them in to very strong karateka ( with well rounded skills) that can fight. To that end, I am studying recovery tactics from brutal training like cold/hot showers, meditation, yin yoga as well as other recovery methods and nutrition so students are training super hard but they are out-recovering their hard work which leaves them with a healthy motivated spirit.


I appreciate the kind words man, I really want what's best for my students and teammates. If this was pre-Covid this thread wouldn't have been made. I joined this forum in 2009 and by that time I was deep in MMA and boxing. Belts meant nothing to me at that point. But now I see how much it means to other people and I see how people "buy" their belts and end up with supreme confidence. This is not bad because their confidence allows them to do well in business, employment, family and social situations and so that McDojo black belt gave that individual a metaphoric purpose of becoming a more well put together individual. But mother of mercy, right now it feels like purge, people are getting sucker punched, yesterday 4 people got stabbed from a place that is a 5 minute walk from my usual route. Yet this violence is not slowing down and I listened to Jordan Peterson and he talked about becoming a "monster" to deal with other "monsters" and I feel like that is the case with my situation.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29040
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's easy to focus on the all the bad things happening in the world right now, and I truly understand your point of view in regards to not wanting to leave your students wanting. As an instructor, I think it's important to be real with them, and not to promise anything other than what you can deliver (which is what I believe you are doing).

In the long run, I'm not so focused on my students "winning" fights. I want them to survive and get away, or protect their loved ones if necessary. Not all of that is synonymous with winning, at least not in the sense of an MMA match, a Wrestling match, a Boxing match, etc. I think that is where the big differences lie.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2284
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest thing for me that a Black Belt should hold is Attitude.

Yes Non-Black Belts can carry themselves in a way that exemplifies a Black Belt. But when those around them come to them, even when not teaching shows that there is something different about them.
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Himokiri Karate
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 325

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
It's easy to focus on the all the bad things happening in the world right now, and I truly understand your point of view in regards to not wanting to leave your students wanting. As an instructor, I think it's important to be real with them, and not to promise anything other than what you can deliver (which is what I believe you are doing).

In the long run, I'm not so focused on my students "winning" fights. I want them to survive and get away, or protect their loved ones if necessary. Not all of that is synonymous with winning, at least not in the sense of an MMA match, a Wrestling match, a Boxing match, etc. I think that is where the big differences lie.


Truth is, if this was Pre-covid, I could care less, I would do what I always do when I train in boxing and karate, which is teach them the move and then have them perform it many thousand of times until its muscle memory.

Of course I would teach them the foundation of stance and footwork but endless reps is something I aim for. No belts, no nothing but truth is, belts hold a lot of water. I also had few instructors who trained me well but their business and organization went under before I could get ranked properly.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29040
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you've accumulated some great experience and knowledge, and have a plan for incorporating it into your brand of training. I think this is a fantastic thing, and I highly encourage it.
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Himokiri Karate
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 325

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
It sounds like you've accumulated some great experience and knowledge, and have a plan for incorporating it into your brand of training. I think this is a fantastic thing, and I highly encourage it.


I appreciate it, I plan charging an extremely small fee or donation for people I know. The goal is to teach them what I learned and I insist they train at other places so they feel like what they are learning is of value to them. This clears my conscious of knowing that no one is getting ripped off.

Another thing is that today, I had an incident with a random person. Both were walking, we cam close, he stepped on my shoes, I looked on instincts alone, he started going off on profanity and I stood my ground letting him know if he wants to make a move that I am here and he walked away cursing.

Today I was able to apply psychology of not being able to look like a victim and get pushed around. This was in a rough area which is where my boxing gym I train at is and this stuff never really happened all that much until Covid. Now afterwards I was pretty shook up, boxing workout helped but I was pretty livid and this is where breath work came in handy. But it also opened my eyes that in my dojo I wish to incorporate profanity training.

This revolves around real life situation with an assailant screaming and yelling with profanity, tons of top martial artist get shook up and this incident opened my eyes to not just skill, conditioning and fighting but also psychology of combat and becoming immune to someone yelling and screaming the nastiest words in the loudest tone. This can be scene with UFC star Conor McGregor who used to resort to these tactics early in his career. The Diaz brothers of the early UFC era also did possess this type of edge to them that would fluster athlete based fighters.

Today, I realized that I still have ways to go in street psychology. Some folks can and have a knack to say things bizarre or acting in a way that throws the opponent off. I am not sure if I have the affinity for it. My thing is, I for some reason can raise my voice extremely loud and in a very hostile manner like some steroid freak hopped up on street drugs despite having a meek appearance. For my students, I have to discover what they possess that they can use as a psychological weapon to make themselves more formidable but today was extremely eye opening.

Sorry for the rant but long story short, I now have to add psychology to the mix of my three original criteria.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15511
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Himokiri Karate wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
It sounds like you've accumulated some great experience and knowledge, and have a plan for incorporating it into your brand of training. I think this is a fantastic thing, and I highly encourage it.


I appreciate it, I plan charging an extremely small fee or donation for people I know. The goal is to teach them what I learned and I insist they train at other places so they feel like what they are learning is of value to them. This clears my conscious of knowing that no one is getting ripped off.

Another thing is that today, I had an incident with a random person. Both were walking, we cam close, he stepped on my shoes, I looked on instincts alone, he started going off on profanity and I stood my ground letting him know if he wants to make a move that I am here and he walked away cursing.

Today I was able to apply psychology of not being able to look like a victim and get pushed around. This was in a rough area which is where my boxing gym I train at is and this stuff never really happened all that much until Covid. Now afterwards I was pretty shook up, boxing workout helped but I was pretty livid and this is where breath work came in handy. But it also opened my eyes that in my dojo I wish to incorporate profanity training.

This revolves around real life situation with an assailant screaming and yelling with profanity, tons of top martial artist get shook up and this incident opened my eyes to not just skill, conditioning and fighting but also psychology of combat and becoming immune to someone yelling and screaming the nastiest words in the loudest tone. This can be scene with UFC star Conor McGregor who used to resort to these tactics early in his career. The Diaz brothers of the early UFC era also did possess this type of edge to them that would fluster athlete based fighters.

Today, I realized that I still have ways to go in street psychology. Some folks can and have a knack to say things bizarre or acting in a way that throws the opponent off. I am not sure if I have the affinity for it. My thing is, I for some reason can raise my voice extremely loud and in a very hostile manner like some steroid freak hopped up on street drugs despite having a meek appearance. For my students, I have to discover what they possess that they can use as a psychological weapon to make themselves more formidable but today was extremely eye opening.

Sorry for the rant but long story short, I now have to add psychology to the mix of my three original criteria.

Solid post!!

The bold quotes above are quite telling about you as well as your teaching abilities and concerns for your Student Body.



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