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  1. CrackFox is offline
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    You have to work the look.

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 5:46pm

    supporting member
     Style: Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    How many people are under you?
  2. GoshinAiki is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 5:49pm


     Style: Nihon Goshin Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by slamdunc View Post
    I've heard this said before and couldn't agree more. Since martial arts is plagued with egos, politics and bureaucracy, some things are unavoidable.
    My instructor is a sixth dan and has been such since 1985. A guy that I trained with under this same instructor earned his third dan legitimately. Since that time, he has convened panels of (his own) students, and they have promoted him to a seventh dan. IMHO, this reeks of cross-ranking and quid pro quo internal politics.
    I guess it is nice to have a piece of paper to hang on one's wall and a bunch of stripes on the tip of one's belt if someone has truly earned it. What I find to be the case now is that what really matters when you are on the mat with someone, or even more importantly, when you are forced to use yous skills in the real world.
    I agree, entirely. That's why I am so conflicted about this. I know that, for many serious students, the ability to get to "black belt" is important for a time, so I need to make room for them to do so (hence, I can't just stay forever at shodan). I specifically reduced the number of ranks (both student and instructor) to eliminate some of the bureaucracy, while retaining the benefit to new students (they can easily group others into "like me", "some experience", "been here a while", and "fully competent and instructors").

    I almost feel like maybe I'm trying too hard to keep my ego out of this - is that even possible? If I could figure a way that would suit students well, I'd be just as happy to go "rankless", but I don't know how I'd explain that when folks asked about the ranks in the mainline versions of the art (those still following the NGAA curriculum).
  3. SteveM is online now

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 5:51pm

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     Central Texas Combatives Training Group Style: AMOK!

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I dunno. Having had to deal with this sort of thing twice before as a student, I'd say go ahead and just rejoin the original governing body for their sakes (unless you think that would be detrimental). Just stick the original governing body until such time as you have enough students/blackbelts under you that the "Senior Instructor" rank is de facto instead of assumed. If your stuff is that great they will happily go with you to your new organization, and you won't be deciding for them.
  4. GoshinAiki is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 6:14pm


     Style: Nihon Goshin Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by CrackFox View Post
    Just keep it simple - make yourself the lowest rank that will put you above everyone else in your system. If/when you expand to the stage where you genuinely need it, pop yourself up one rank and open the lower ranks for your students.
    This was my initial thought. However, I can't help wondering what I'd have thought of an instructor who promoted himself up. But I do keep coming back to something of this nature.

    As for the reason for the ranks, I think it helps new students, and most folks (not those who train the most, but most students out there) perform better with some intermediate goals to reach. I've reduced the number dramatically because I just didn't like the constant focus on "the next belt." So, I guess I essentially agree with your comment about bureaucracy, but want to have the ranks in place to allow for expansion. It is not my intent for my branch of the art to die when I do (hopefully very many years from now), so I want to set up some structure from the start.
  5. GoshinAiki is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 6:20pm


     Style: Nihon Goshin Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
    I dunno. Having had to deal with this sort of thing twice before as a student, I'd say go ahead and just rejoin the original governing body for their sakes (unless you think that would be detrimental). Just stick the original governing body until such time as you have enough students/blackbelts under you that the "Senior Instructor" rank is de facto instead of assumed. If your stuff is that great they will happily go with you to your new organization, and you won't be deciding for them.
    That seems an easy answer, but to do that I have to use their curriculum, which I consider flawed. I don't want to malign the folks who did a lot of hard work and put in a lot of years growing the art, but I dislike the habits students develop under that curriculum, and I believe it actually delays their progress. I'm toying with the idea of offering to teach students the testing curriculum of the NGAA so they would be able to easily reach an appropriate rank if they changed schools. I taught that curriculum for years, so I'd have no trouble training students to pass the relevant tests.

    It's interesting that the responses I'm getting seem to follow my own (conflicting) paths of reasoning. I have votes for pretty much all of the options I've considered.
  6. GoshinAiki is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 6:26pm


     Style: Nihon Goshin Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    How many people are under you?
    At present, just one. I haven't started the program under the new curriculum yet, and have been just offering some private lessons and cross-training lately to pass the time and keep my development moving. I want to have this settled before I start the new program.

    I could probably just start without defining any of this, but I'm accustomed (yes, just my own old habits) to introducing the structure to the student as they join, so the goal/event-oriented ones know where they're headed (which best motivates them to make progress in their learning). I've had some obstacles (mostly business/financial) that delayed this program, so I've had plenty of time to ponder these issues. I find them running circular patterns in my own head, so thought I'd do better getting some feedback from others.

    In the end, this is the least important part of the change, and the one that has been most annoying to me, personally.
  7. GoshinAiki is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 6:30pm


     Style: Nihon Goshin Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tetsumusha View Post
    As I said--it's your school, so you should do what you want to do, and you don't necessarily need to be beholden to an organization if you don't agree with their curriculum. If people call your old instructor and he says that he graded you to black belt in 2000, even if he doesn't explain any further, that should be sufficient to confirm that you were trained to a sufficient level to teach, and the implication of a further 12 years of training is that you would be significantly more skilled and knowledgeable than you were when he graded you. If people want clarification on what you have been doing between your black belt test and now, all you have to do is tell them and that should explain why you were not given a higher rank by the governing body of the organization you used to belong to. That seems to be the root of your issue--you seem to be concerned that because you never tested for a rank higher than shodan that people will think you are not qualified to formulate your own curriculum. If it bothers you that much, see if you can get a few people that outrank you to give you an informal exam and even if they don't give you a certificate they can act as references to support your level of skill to others.
    Maybe you've hit on the root of the issue. I sort of feel like, whatever I do, I'll end up promoting myself. I hadn't really thought about the option of having a group of high-ranking instructors do an informal assessment. I'll have to think about that and whether it's feasible. It would be a handy way to not feel like I was self-promoting (in the non-marketing sense).

    This sort of idea is why I posted here.
  8. Permalost is offline
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 6:39pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I actually quit teaching for similar reasons- I didn't agree with the curriculum I was teaching, so I wanted to branch off on my own. My issue was that even if I didn't agree with the style I was learning, was I qualified to teach any other way? What I finally decided on was quitting my style, hanging up my black belt and starting over again under a teacher I really respect in a style that meshes with my understanding of martial arts. I didn't want to teach a mishmash of things I only dabbled in. Sometimes I miss teaching, but I think I made the right choice, and if I teach again it will be on my own terms.
  9. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 7:24pm

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     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    it seems to me that by nature of it being a JMA, you are burdened with a lot of issues with this. to have broken from the governing body, and changed the way that the material is being taught, do you really have the right to call what you are teaching "nihon goshin aikido"? by this i mean according to your sensei and the governing body.

    if not, are you not forced to change the name of what you teach? that's how i have seen similar issues handled in the past.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
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  10. GoshinAiki is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/07/2012 9:15pm


     Style: Nihon Goshin Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist View Post
    it seems to me that by nature of it being a JMA, you are burdened with a lot of issues with this. to have broken from the governing body, and changed the way that the material is being taught, do you really have the right to call what you are teaching "nihon goshin aikido"? by this i mean according to your sensei and the governing body.

    if not, are you not forced to change the name of what you teach? that's how i have seen similar issues handled in the past.
    There have been others who broke away from the original association (now including three of my previous instructors, one of whom was the senior active instructor in the art). All have continued using the NGA nomenclature, with no fuss from anyone, so I don't expect it to be any issue.

    There is, in fact, a valid question as to whether what I'll be teaching is NGA. However, given that the current curriculum of the NGAA was created entirely by Mr. Bowe when he came to the US (in other words, it's not the format of the curriculum that was taught to him - he did then what I'm doing now), I don't think there's much support for the idea that I'd be breaking tradition in a way that makes it not NGA.

    Did that make sense?
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