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  1. 9chambers

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    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 12:04am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    [I was just reading a post on the JKD thread about how Bruce Lee didn't have any rank and that maybe that is why he felt like he needed to create his own art, to kind of make himself more legit. I am not going to comment on that because I wasn't there. Bruce liked to shake people up, he did study philosophy and it was the 60s/70s. I am sure he wanted more respect but it could have been his own personal revolution as well. Either way I like the guy. Kareem Abdul Jabbar put him right up there with John Wooden as a teacher/coach so that's enough for me to think he was cool. Anyway, enough about that.]

    I need advice..

    I have been in the martial arts for 20 years now and I still don't have an official rank in anything. I never really minded that because it was my own private hobby. I wasn't trying to make a career out of it or impress anyone. I just liked it.

    I do have one black belt certificate from an instructor I trained with, I keep it in my closet buried in a folder. I was embarrassed when he gave it to me. I avoided rank because of the ethics I learned from reading Tao of JKD, Book of 5 Rings and even Masaaki Hatsumi. (Ninjutsu never had rank until the late 80's) I liked being an underdog, outlaw rogue ronin type with no regard for rank. :P

    Anyway, I had slacked off a little in the past 4 years until I recently revived my training regime. College, work and family/friend issues; I had other stuff I needed to devote myself too. I did a lot of research in those years and learned maybe more than I did when I was training hard .. but there is no substitute for being in good shape and prepared. I love training so much. Starting up again has really made me happy. It means a lot to me and I will never give it up again for anything.

    QUESTION:

    Anyway, I went to a Hapkido brown belt testing the other night and sat there dumbfounded at how basic it seemed. (I was first exposed to Hapkido in Jr. High school, researched it over the years and then got into a club in college - it was never my primary art) It was like being in a 3rd grade math class. They did breakdowns, all the forms, kicks and punches, defences, all the forms they had learned so far, bla bla .. multiples, defense against baton and knife .. all of it was stuff I learned so long ago that it seemed like when you visit grade school again and try to sit in one of those little chairs.

    Most everything I see in movies, the UFC, books or online is the same way. I have been studying for a long time and .. not being in a conventinal dojo setting, I was able to go at my own speed (rather than only testing once a month so the instructor could keep me there longer and make more money) and so .. I covered a LOT more ground than most people who have studied as long as I have. - - - BUT I HAVE NO RANK. I HAVE NO RANK.

    Being 31 now, I regret my attitude as a youngster. I wish that I had certificates across my wall so I could open an academy and make some big money. I wish that I had the sense of belonging and respect that others get. I kind of want a rank now.

    WHAT SHOULD I GET RANK IN?

    The only schools here in town are ATA TKD, JKD and BJJ. Those don't seem that attractive to me.. the ATA school for obvious reasons. The BJJ school is the only one around so it's really expensive and black belt rank in BJJ would take me another 20 years to get. As for JKD .. what does rank really mean there? .. I am not sure. I like the stuff but rank in it is just .. it's too political. I want something that says, hey I can teach this one art and it's legal and legit. I also want it to be legit. I am prepared to work hard to get it. I don't expect a free ride.

    I am still checking around for other stuff. The more I read up on Baji (inspired by Asia) the more interesting it sounds. The few moves I have picked up seem to fit in well with what I do. The footwork is different but it's easy for me to transition into.. it's just really freaking cool, okay. I want to find a Baji school. Call me a nutrider, fine. I don't care. I would even commute.

    I live in Indiana.

    * My other two options aside from obtaining a rank in a cool style I haven't studied yet are:

    1. Testing for rank in something I have already studied in front of someone who can give it to me .. maybe showing them recommendations from people I have studied with and proving myself in competition.

    I really doubt anyone does that sort of thing anymore.

    2. Starting my own version of the martial, like Bruce Lee did .. or like every other martial art was started really.. only longer ago.

    I have sort of done this. I've been writing a book and setting my style up into a curriculum so I can teach it in an official way. I feel kind of dumb about this though. Should I give it a Japanese name? Should I really call it a style or just a concept? Is it going to be hokey and McDojo-ish sounding? Is it a McDojo? How would people feel about it?

    I mean, there are so many guys starting their own style now and so many of them are reruns or just stupid. I believe mine has really good things to offer but is that really what people need.. another style? If it is all published in a comprehensive book for evaluation (my plan) then that could be cool .. but is it really necessary to start a new style? Why not just make it a commentary? I don't want to be like all of these SCARS and ACDC or whatever people. I just want to teach and be a part of things. I spent a lot of time on this stuff.. I want it to mean something.

    But .. I don't want to be some kind of a dork. so really.. I want a rank. What should I get it in?

    Baji?
    BJJ?

    3. There is a third option, I could train hard, compete in the UFC and start a school like Pat Militech. But there are so many good records out there already that a guy would have to win 20 fights just to get noticed. I don't want to make a career out of that sort of thing. I am a nice person. I'd feel bad even if I won. If I lost I'd need to buy new teeth and stuff.

    Besides, I don't have the money to support myself and everything for 4 months while training 8 hours a day for fights. I can't afford it. It would also make my parents upset. They don't need that, they are old.

    Not that I am claiming to be sure I would win. Maybe I'd get pounded. I am not the king of fighters. Just me. I don't want glory. Just my own little place where I could teach people to wrestle and kick one another in the head. *sigh*

    >> Perhaps it was because I had an inherent skill for the science and never deviated from natural principles. - Miyamoto Musashi 1643
  2. IndoChinese is offline

    AKAKTK

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    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 1:49am


     Style: Liu Seong Gung Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    9chambers,

    imho certificates mean squat. and what's more, nobody cares. a certificate is no guarantee of skill. i have 30+ yrs. in ma and no rank either.

    anyone who judges on the merit of some piece of paper or belt as opposed to your knowledge and skill is a numbnuts.

    in my experience, students who are concerned with your rank, are actually looking out for their own interests. they desire 'rank' under a 'ranking instructor'. bragging right essentially. badge wearers. they are more interested in the reputation rather than the actual skill.

    EVERY MARTIAL ARTIST MAKES THEIR OWN STYLE. when the 'head master' dies, the federations fracture and all the senior students make their own organizations. who is to say at that point who is the proper lineage carrier.

    dont change stroke mid-stream. keep doing what you are doing. write your manual, continue to improve your art, and teach it. **** rank. go buy a belt if you want to. you may need it to get the more shallow students to accept your instruction.

    how long have they been bestowing belts on people anyways? not that long. and it is a practice that has spread to arts other than the one it originated in(judo).

    i wouldnt even bother, i dont wear any belt, and no one questions me. i have often had black belts from other arts attend my class. rarely impressive.

    your skills speak for themselves.

    peace.

    "Now why would you just stand there and watch him do that!?"
    -teacher
  3. 9chambers

    Guest

    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 3:29am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it.

    I guess my goal really is just to share what I've learned with people who are actually interested in martial arts and not interested in rank .. and I want them to judge my book by the content. But right now when money is really tight .. I wish that I had rank. It would help out. In the past I have had private students from time to time. I taught a small class in a dojo once for a few months. Do you think it would be okay for a guy in my position to start a small school? I could call it MMA or unconventional self-defense or just call it by the name I have now: "9 Chamber Ko Ashi" .. Ko Ashi meaning small step in Japanese. 9 chambers .. don't symbolize chambering but just 9 ranges or 9 goals.

    Chamber 1: establishing a paremeter and controlling distance
    Chamber 2: closing the distance and initiating your lead attacks

    (and so on)

    Do you think "Ko Ashi" is too McDojo sounding? I am not Japanese, I'm actually Greek. I was inspired by Japanese philosophy and technique but also Chinese arts and wrestling, boxing, Hapkido .. I don't know if I want to identify it with Japan exclusively. I don't want to sound like I am trying to pretend to be an established system centuries old. Honestly, I want it to be American, multi-cultural. Just about the art. Just about the work.

    Edited by - 9chambers on May 03 2003 03:43:27
  4. JKDChick is offline
    JKDChick's Avatar

    Senior Administrator

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    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 3:36am

    staff
     Style: JKD, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Call it a boxing gym and have the martial arts stuff called "supplemental training" or something.

    "I'm willing to bet I could **** up an emu real good, if I got the drop on the bastard."
    -- KC Elbows, my new hero.
    Monkey Ninjas! Attack!
  5. 9chambers

    Guest

    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 3:54am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    JKDChick,

    I edited that post slightly while you were posting yours. I just wanted to stay on the subject. I rambled too much about my life. That is a good suggestion about the boxing school. If people ask for sport boxing instruction I could explain that it's not quite what we are about. I think a lot of the combinations that I teach would work in sport boxing but the focus isn't quite the same.

    Still, sport boxers or people interested in that could use the facilities. I'd need to get a few bags and everything anyway. Hmm.. rent and stuff. I wonder how much start-up would cost. Also, insurance.. I don't want to get sued if some guy comes in and pretends like he broke his leg at my school.

    This guy did this at a church flag football league
    I was in with some friends. He came in and his first game acted like his leg was broken and tried to sue the church. I think his leg was already broken and he wanted someone to pay because he didn't have health insurance
  6. The Wastrel is offline
    The Wastrel's Avatar

    Such as thou art, sometime was I.

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    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 8:52am

    supporting member
     Style: Brazilian Jiujitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Dump "Ko Ashi" seriously.

    "I'm devastating, looking for some refreshment!"

    Courtesy of flubtitles.com
    Normally, I'd say I was grappling, but I was taking down and mounting people, and JFS has kindly informed us that takedowns and being mounted are neither grappling nor anti grappling, so I'm not sure what the **** I was doing. Maybe schroedinger's sparring, where it's neither grappling nor anti-grappling until somoene observes it and collapses the waveform, and then I RNC a cat to death.----fatherdog
  7. The Wastrel is offline
    The Wastrel's Avatar

    Such as thou art, sometime was I.

    Join Date
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    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 9:22am

    supporting member
     Style: Brazilian Jiujitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    9Chambers,
    If you seriously want to teach through a business, you're going to have to find a way to establish SOME sort of independent legitimacy.

    Maybe you should try the JKD school. I'm sure they encourage ronin operators such as yourself.

    "I'm devastating, looking for some refreshment!"

    Courtesy of flubtitles.com
    Normally, I'd say I was grappling, but I was taking down and mounting people, and JFS has kindly informed us that takedowns and being mounted are neither grappling nor anti grappling, so I'm not sure what the **** I was doing. Maybe schroedinger's sparring, where it's neither grappling nor anti-grappling until somoene observes it and collapses the waveform, and then I RNC a cat to death.----fatherdog
  8. Chuck is offline

    Registered Member

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    Feb 2003
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    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 9:26am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    OK, everybody do the "Bruce Lee" thing and show disatifaction with established TMA. I have read that Lee had an Instructors rank in Wing Chun from Yip Man. I have also read that while Lee did not take rank seriously, he respected Black Belts because of the discipline it took to earn one. Look to his associates: Norris, Lewis, LeBell, Parker...a list right out fo the Black Belt Hall of Fame.

    You can knock the Belt, but you have to know what it took to earn it before you can say it isn't worthwhile. Mine took 7 years. Thoose of you who don't have any formal ranking, no certification...how many of you would see a doctor who taught himself, or an accountant?

    9chambers, you said you have a certificate. Use it to break into one of your available schools. Bring your abilities and knowledge out for others. Think about it. Maybe you could improve even an ATA school.
  9. The Wastrel is offline
    The Wastrel's Avatar

    Such as thou art, sometime was I.

    Join Date
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    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 9:38am

    supporting member
     Style: Brazilian Jiujitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Chuck,
    The reality is, you go to a black belt and you may still be learning from someone who taught himself...AND there is NO independent review or quality control in MArts. In fact, in just about every other profession, your reputation can be quite easily destroyed by other practitioners if you do bad work. MArtists, as tough as they're supposed to be, are some of the most protected of professions. Why? Because of the nature of the test. Litigation looms...

    We can blame people who mock belts all we like, but it doesn't change the fact that the MA community brought the problem on itself. And unless we stop blaming peoples' perceptions and start policing OURSELVES, we deserve what we get.

    "I'm devastating, looking for some refreshment!"

    Courtesy of flubtitles.com

    Edited by - The Wastrel on May 03 2003 09:39:34
    Normally, I'd say I was grappling, but I was taking down and mounting people, and JFS has kindly informed us that takedowns and being mounted are neither grappling nor anti grappling, so I'm not sure what the **** I was doing. Maybe schroedinger's sparring, where it's neither grappling nor anti-grappling until somoene observes it and collapses the waveform, and then I RNC a cat to death.----fatherdog
  10. Skummer is offline

    Welterweight

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    Posted On:
    5/03/2003 9:57am

    supporting member
     Style: Taiji/Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    A black belt means exactly *dick*.
    Many, if not most schools today will give you one just for learning forms after about 2 years.
    I have a black belt and it means nothing. I learned more independantly than I ever did at the school I have a dan ranking from.

    Of course there are many people in america who think that a black belt equals a high level of skill and the right to teach. <sigh> Don't let their faulty perception change your practice.


    - Skummer -

    If you think you can speak about Tao, it is clear you don't know what you're talking about.
    -Lao Tzu
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