Posted On:1/13/2006 11:31am
Style: Tae Kwon Do
I'm looking for a school in my area, and reading some of the other threads.
I'll try to keep my question focused, so I won't be asking about belts, or kata, or workout equipment, although those things are on my mind.
I come from a TKD background where there were forms and board-breaking at each test.
I've never heard of a sparring test, but I'm probably just ignorant.
What kind of testing should I expect from a "good" school?
My goals are mostly self-defense oriented since I can get in shape on my own, I think.
Posted On:1/13/2006 11:38am
None. The only 'testing' would be in the ring, on the mat, etc., on a regular basis.
Posted On:1/13/2006 11:39am
Style: Isshinryu Karate
I'd suggest sitting in on some classes, advanced ones if possible and watch the students. You say that your goal is real-world self defense so when you are watching the students you want to ask yourself "is this someone that looks like they can take care of themselves on the street?" "Are they teaching techniques that work?"
Also, how "real world" are you looking to go with this. Do you want to learn knife-fighting? How to use a gun? Or are you just looking for a good way to defend yourself with your hands?
Posted On:1/13/2006 11:46am
no weapons for now. maybe later.
Posted On:1/13/2006 11:56am
Style: chung do kwan tkd
My tkd school had heavy-contact sparring with takedowns, in addition to forms and breaking at the tests. That's the kind of testing you might expect if you go to a good school that does the whole 'belt testing' thing. Of course, if they wait 'til your belt test before they kick your butt (as I've seen in some places), then you're not learning a whole lot from the training and the test just becomes a demonstration of your ability to 'take it', as opposed to a true demonstration of your martial prowess.
Posted On:1/13/2006 7:13pm
That type of testing is in Kyokushin Karate and also in Isshinryu Karate. At my school, we do that type of sparring test at both brown belt and then again at black belt. Not only must you display good technique and skill but also heart and toughness--the desire to fight through the pain, frustration, and exhaustion.
A fellow karateka puts it thus: "If I don't trust that you would have my back against all odds when the **** hit the fan, then I'm not passing you for black belt."
I think that those kind of rough physical tests are a testiment to both the students and the school. If you are looking for something self-defense and realistic fighting oriented, a school that tests in that way might not be such a bad idea.
Posted On:1/17/2006 12:08pm
thanks for the responses.
I'll be posting back with more info on the schools in my area when I get a chance.
Posted On:1/17/2006 3:02pm
Here's what I do, from the other side of the aisle.
First night of class, everybody new rolls with me. Not necessarily very long or very hard, but long enough that I can demonstrate what I can do to them, without brutalizing them. And what I can teach.
It's about trust - can you trust me, can I trust you, both with myself and my other students? Best way to find out is a little roll.
As far as testing for promotion, I don't do it much. I'm rolling with my students ever class. No excuse for me not to be aware of my students current abilities, and whether they should be promoted. Only reason I do a formal test is to make the students get up and demonstrate in front of the group for the sake of demonstrating in front of a group - I'll already know if they pass or not.
Of course, I've not promote to black belt level, yet; that may be more formal.
Posted On:1/17/2006 5:39pm
I was never ok with the testing for belt, I think the instructor should be aware of the student skills and know when to pass them like dakotajudo said, imagine somene with enough skill to pass to the next belt, but for some reason doesnt perform well in the testing day, they should still have the belt, the Sensei knows what he can do and what he cannot do, the bad performance could be due nervs, injuries, tiredness etc...
Posted On:1/17/2006 5:40pm
Also, Dakotajudo, your avatar is sexy
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