Minor point re BJJA, it was the British Ju Jitsu Association, set by James Blundell and eventually Robert Clark. Everyone fell out with him and set up on their own, its successor, British Ju Jitsu Association Governing Body (BJJA GB).
I have heard Sensei Kenny Blundell tell how Robert Clark would take a sample of syllabus techniques and then pass the student. That's one reason why everyone fell out with him.
I can see the obviously acronym confusion with BJJ so hope this helps.
BTW, I never graded under Clark, as I came to "Trad JJ" some years later and at every Grading I had to do every technique with full application. I don't think I could do all that again.
I did a grading under Sensei Clarke in '03. It was a 1st Dan in JuJutsu, it cost me £130 (£30 for the correct badges for my gi!). Unfortunately it was the only club I could find near me at the time.
Originally Posted by Eddie Hardon
Sensei clarke showed up at the venue with his wife and 2 dogs, and set out his stall with books, badges, bags, tracksuits etc.
He was wearing Association Blazer and never got changed, apart from to take his Shoes off to step on the mat.
My 1st Dan Grading took less than 45 minutes, including asking the most ridiculous anatomical quetions. Nobody hit me, I didnt get to hit anyone, apart from when 'demonstrating a technique' and I didn't break a sweat. Nobody else taking the same grade was anywhere near the level I was at (I was approaching my 2nd Dan with my original club)
I went twice more, but was so appalled at what passed for a blackbelt I packed in-especially when they mentioned giving a guy his own club when he couldn't demonstrate an ankle lock or perform half the throws on me
Originally Posted by leec123
My 1st Dan grading took over 2 hours. I was drenched in sweat from the first section of 30 Throws. I had 23 sections to follow.
I started on the mat overseen by Sensei Terry Parker 8th Dan plus a visiting 6th Dan. There were 4 mats and at least 4th Dan at each on each of two sides and I finished under a 6th Dan with another 4th Dan invigilating. All marks were accounted etc.
I qualified for the Dan Grading by completing Level 5 weapons (Kobudo) in Nuns, Tonfa, Bokken, Bo, Sai and, separately, showing White to Brown Pre-Dan in a 2 hour slot. That was an exhausting experience and I was pretty fit.
Few now speak of Clark, and despite his apparent elan on the mat, if they do, it includes a disparaging reference to his concern for money.
For interest, apparently prior to the split, Sensei Parker was asked by Clark to attend a meeting held to determine the way forward internationally. He reported back that everyone had decided to leaver Clark. His reply was along the lines of "what do I do now" and the reply from another sensei was - and I quote - "Well, I suggest you Retire".
I'm glad I was never under his auspices. I'm also glad I never had your experience.
My best wishes to you.
There were no test fees in Korea for white through red belt. I had been paying $30 a month for lessons going twice a day on average, seven days a week. The black belt test was $300 (quite a hefty sum for an Airman in 1988). I asked me teacher if he thought I would pass, he said "Oh, easily". That's good enough for me, $300 saved.
I do have an agreement with you on that one. Wty too many people think that what they see in the movies or on TV is what the Martial arts is about. I used to get asked all the time in Middle School and high school about if I could break the bleachers in half, or what I would do if someone did a certain technique to me. I usually just ignored those people and kept to myself.
Originally Posted by TehDeadlyDimMak
I never paid for testings up until 1st dan, and that was only $60, and the monthly fees were $34. The testing was 2 hours of demonstrating everything I had learned, (yes, katas were involved), and sparring both my instructor and the guest judge, who was a 4th dan.
I do have to say that the American culture has painted a "mystical" picture of how the martial arts are viewed. I have to admit that I was guilty of that, which id why I became involved. What kid doesn't want to be a ninja? But as I got involved in ITF TKD, I quickly realized that it's not all about levitation and fireballs. Although I do own a copy of the first Mortal Kombat movie (all the ones after that are crap).
But I've been to a McDojo before. I've witnessed bullshido. And I honestly think that the earlier post is correct: if America had gone through the 80's the same as the rest of the world, we wouldn't be in this mess, although Delta Force and Gymkata were what got me started on the whole martial arts kick.
Just my 2 cents.
It wasn't the best haha. However, I was training for free(cos I was an instructor) and it as the only training I was getting, I was posted to the sticks in Naaarfolk at the time
Originally Posted by Eddie Hardon
The ridiculous questions I got included
Q) what is the rate of blood flow to your brain?
A) why should I care?
(slightly annoyed Sensei Clark)
Q) OK then, what type of tyres do you have on your car
A) Quoted tyre make, size and rating
Q) So you know more about your car than your body?
A) I should do I was a qualified car mechanic for 7 years.
Q) So what is atmospheric pressure?
A) 1,013.25 milliBars at sea level, but at this altitude and and in these conditions you are looking at about 1,005-1008 millibars. And before you ask, I am now a fully qualified Aircraft Technician, and its my job to know this stuff.
(sensei Clarke moves on)
still makes me smile when i think about embarrassing him on his mat
I've heard that Korea has a big problem with black belt mills and lots of kiddie belts as well as the states though- was that the case with what you saw? (I've never been there personally). I just find it funny that recently when I looked at an online dojo directory for tokyo I got hundreds of hits for kickboxing, kung fu, MMA, fencing, etc, but only three hits for places claiming to teach 'ninjutsu'. Meanwhile in the states ninjers are all over the place as opposed to japan where they are supposedly from.
Originally Posted by Vorpal
I live in China... There is definitely a unique brand of bullshido here. Especially in the countryside, CMA has been all but lost to airbags selling bullshido. There are always exceptions to this however, and it isn't AS bad in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. In the bigger cities MMA, competition sanshou and even western boxing clubs are popping up due to the rising popularity of their "Art of War" MMA competition.
Anyway, I find it Ironic that the countryside is where all of the "crouching tiger, hidden douchebag" LARPers think they are going to find their ancient master waiting for them with buckets of water they can carry. These are not just western LARPers either. Chinese kung fu soap operas and "wire fu" movies have perpetuated the "kung fu monk" myths amongst chinese martial artists as well.
Anyway, Because of the strict laws here about physical confrontations (serious prison time for a fist fight in some cases) and the difficulties involved in holding sanctioned full contact fights, etc... The bullshido has become so deep here that it's easy to drown in it. Add to that that especially in the provincial areas, full contact sanshou schools are regulated, and there is a HUGE difference between how Sanshou is taught to the police/military and how it is taught in civilian schools. (different rules, protective gear, etc)
These conditions have bred all kinds of nonsense that just never gets put to any kind of test. Consequently, the bullshido sold here gets more and more ridiculous with every new student or master that adds to the pot.
While I've got a pretty solid rant going, I'll also throw in my 2 cents on video lessons not being uniquely American. The self-instructional DVD/VCD section on Martial Arts at the "Xin Hua Shu Dian" Franchise (Think 5 story Chinese "Barnes and Noble") is usually about as big as the drama section at a decent sized blockbuster in the states.