Grading in various martial arts

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Lexxorcist
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Postby Lexxorcist » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:48 pm

What about her grading card, did they sign that, because I've always thught the certificates are really something for kids parents to stick on their fridges. It's my understaning the grade is only recognised if your grading record card has been signed by an examiner. You did the right thing finding her a new dojo in my opinion. Telling someone they're unworthy of a belt but giving them it anyway just sounds crazy. Then again, how old is she, because if these are the junior 9th kyu gradings, they're not really that important.
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Postby darkhobo » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:28 pm

wtf? wrote:yeah, thats pretty basic stuff. the idea is that is covers most area's. its not so important that its all perfect, just that you have the principles... on the topic of gradings, and their uses/principles... i believe this to be the most important.

a feel for everything, and the right principles are paramount to combat arts, which is all im really qualified to comment on. sports are another thing.

My sensei told me once that the reason the belts count down is because you are actually in the negatives. When you hit black belt you then begin to count up (positive numbers) because that is when your training has actually begun. He says that all the belts before that are simply teaching you the things you must have in order to begin training.
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Postby Hatamoto » Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:59 am

That makes sense, really.. I mean, it takes till black belt to learn all the stuff, so it makes sense that you can only really train properly once you know it all. I've oft heard the whole "training begins at 1st Dan" bit, but never really thought of it like that before.
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Lexxorcist
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Postby Lexxorcist » Fri Jul 28, 2006 4:47 am

I don't know about all martial arts, but in karate, kyu = boy and dan - man. So yeah, your kyu (8th boy; 7th boy etc.) grades are just learning the stuff.
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Postby wtf? » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:35 am

ive always considered it a pointless act for adults. martial arts as a hobby, or artform dont require testing.

for sport arts, it makes a little more sense. but gradings for sport arts should be centred around compititions so that certain grades can be matched easily.

for combat arts. well... that is just pointless. purely combat arts dont need belts or grades. just periodic testing of the techniques learnt. so having to do a grading, without recieving an actual grade would be perfect. but i guess the onus would come off the grading, and move into a testing arena. where certain things (like breakfalls, and overly advanced techniques) would get dropped in order to focus on more combative measures, and fitness.

the only place i think it makes 100% sense, is in childrens classes... they need belts to keep them interested. we've also introduced badges, like you used to get in scouts, for various things.

i think most people will find that gradings change massively from class to class. some will give belts out like candy to keep students. some will sell them, some wont care about them, so will train religiously to attain them, and others might hover anywhere between these extremes. thats what makes the arts so fun... mucho's variation.
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Postby Lexxorcist » Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:07 am

If you just do it as a hobby or to keep fit, there isn't really any point. I don't think you should be pressured to take (and pay for) gradings if they don't matter to you. Most things you learn with a syllabus have some kind of certificate system, but it should be optional.
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Postby wtf? » Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:31 pm

darkhobo wrote:
wtf? wrote:yeah, thats pretty basic stuff. the idea is that is covers most area's. its not so important that its all perfect, just that you have the principles... on the topic of gradings, and their uses/principles... i believe this to be the most important.

a feel for everything, and the right principles are paramount to combat arts, which is all im really qualified to comment on. sports are another thing.

My sensei told me once that the reason the belts count down is because you are actually in the negatives. When you hit black belt you then begin to count up (positive numbers) because that is when your training has actually begun. He says that all the belts before that are simply teaching you the things you must have in order to begin training.


sorry... just seen this bit...

thats quite a strange way to look at it. considering the first belts as prep means that your instructor is (basicly) of the opinion that only blaclk belt holders should have all the answers.

martial arts in the combative sense is about basics. the begining techniques, the basic principles, and the manner you train the rest of the art. i think that regardless of skill, you should be tought as much as possible, as soon as possible within reason.

i HATE places, or people that limit certain principles, or techniques... even whole sections of the art untill a certain belt is reached. this is why the belt system doesnt matter to us much. were shown all we can be, and theres no reason to progress in belt colour, as it wont 'unlock' any new information.

for example, knifework, and weapon work is usually only introduced to 1st dan and above. (very generally speaking) so for the normal student (generally) you NEED to get to black before you can start to learn it.

with us... we have a newsletter every month that tells us that on certain days, normal training will be set aside, and 'specialist' training will be touched on. could be knifework, a grappling workshop, role play, anything on earth really. and on that day ANYONE can turn up. 90% of the time, complete beginers turn up expecting to be enroled into the normal class.... but are thrown into a knife class.... so like i said, we dont NEED to unlock future training. (when i say thrown into a knife class, i mean their included into it, with no real regard to previous experience... all practive weapons are provided). for the advanced students, we can play, or disregard this lesson in favor of something were working on, or need to practice. were also free to use live weapons as are 'medium' practitioners if paired with a more experienced user.

so for gradings... their there if you want them, and you need it to become a full instructor.... but otherwise, its just something extra. its not right, its not wrong... its just the way we do it.
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Im not sure what weapons will be used to fight WWIII, but i know that WWIV will be waged with wooden sticks.

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Lexxorcist
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Postby Lexxorcist » Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:08 pm

we have a newsletter every month that tells us that on certain days, normal training will be set aside, and 'specialist' training will be touched on. could be knifework, a grappling workshop, role play, anything on earth really. and on that day ANYONE can turn up.


We have those on Sundays. They're open to everyone from beginners up. People preparing for dan grades are expected to attend them regularly from 6 months before they grade, and they'll be mainly focused on what those students need. Beginners aren't expected to understand the reasons for, and meanings of much of the stuff covered, and the sensei won't spend half the lesson explaining it, but nothing is deliberatly hidden. There are also other special sessions, sometimes at our dojo and sometimes elsewhere that are open to all.
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Postby wtf? » Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:19 pm

those are just open sessions, it sounds like. where anything can be done. its basicly saying you have a free house.

ours actually have instruction. but its not paramount to take it.

just saying in case you (or anyone reading this at a later date) missed my point.
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Im not sure what weapons will be used to fight WWIII, but i know that WWIV will be waged with wooden sticks.

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Lexxorcist
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Postby Lexxorcist » Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:40 pm

I'm not sure I follow. They're generally lessons focusing on one aspect of training, though near dan gradings they revolve more around that. Students of any grade can request specialised lessons on any area of training on the sundays. Say if you feel you're weak in a certain area, you ask for a lesson on that one area. All lessons include stuff from the entire syllabus as the classes aren't divided by grades. What do you mean by 'free house'?
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Postby wtf? » Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:57 pm

i mean that your provided with a training hall, and left to your own devices. its possible i missread, or missunderstood your post.
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Im not sure what weapons will be used to fight WWIII, but i know that WWIV will be waged with wooden sticks.

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Lexxorcist
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Postby Lexxorcist » Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:13 pm

Ah no, it's still a proper lesson like any other lesson. It just differs from the usual lessons in that, after a warm up, the entire lesson is dedicated to one thing. It could be anything from a particular kata, to kicks, or (if some masochist suggests it) an exorcise lesson, or practical self-defence moves. Anything someone asks for really, of if there are no requests, then the sensei will decide. It's not different people doing different things. Sometimes a normal lesson may be geared towards one area, but the sunday lessons are entirely dedicated to one area. The relevant thing I was trying to get across though, is that if the lesson is dedicated to black belt stuff, it doesn't exclude beginners. I also don't like the idea of people being told "no, you can't do that 'till you're such and such grade. If you want to have a go, why not? :D
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Postby Frodocious » Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:39 pm

The gradings in my Ninjutsu class are awarded when my Sensei thinks you deserve one. There is no formal test, usually at the end of the class, he will just make a small announcement and hand out certificates. I think this is a very good way of doing it as it means that you are continually assessed and a bad performance on the day does not necessarily ruin your chances of getting a grade. The 1st formal test is the 5th Dan test which has to be taken in Japan.

I agree with those who reckon that the Kyu grades are very much about the basics and understanding doesn't really happen until the Dan grades. The stuff you learn doesn't vary depending on your grade, i.e. everyone in class does the same training, there is no splitting of the session into beginners and advanced grades. If the class is on weapons work, everyone does weapons work. Although obviously the instructor will emphasise different aspects of the techniques being taught, depending on the grade of the individual student. However, there are certain basics that have to be covered to advance in the grades.

My only experience with grading in Iaido was horrible. I was incredibly nervous and slipped on some tape on the floor at the start of the test which threw my whole test off. Needless to say I didn't pass and was really annoyed as others, who I had seen practising and knew where no better than me did pass. Consequently I made the decision that, as I do Iaido for relaxation purposes and really am not bothered about certificates, I won't bother grading again.
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Postby darkhobo » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:12 pm

I think you may have misuderstood, or possibly i said it the wrong way.
What I believe he meant wasn't that you can't learn certain things until certain rank. Only that the first belts are more like learning vocab, and then once you reach your higher belts you are ready to fully understand how to use what you have learned.
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Lexxorcist
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Postby Lexxorcist » Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:53 am

darkhobo wrote:Only that the first belts are more like learning vocab, and then once you reach your higher belts you are ready to fully understand how to use what you have learned.


That sounds more like my understanding of it. One thing common to all our gradings right from the start is that we're driven into the ground before the gradings start. The idea is we're tested under extreme physical and mental conditions - legs like jelly and a little disoriented. Is this the case in any other styles, or are our examiners just sadistic? :evil:
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