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  1. Lv1Sierpinski is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 8:48am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Rank over time...

    While reading the Dern 'silly rank' thread, something occured to me.

    For those that questioned retaining rank after a break in training on principle, instead favoring starting over again, or staring at a lower rank equal with skill...how does that translate to aging/injury?

    If physical performance is the primary measure of rank, should people lose it as time passes them by, or they injure themselves permanently preventing them from, say performing acceptable high kicks, etc?

    I pose this as a hypothetical, looking for general thoughts, because we all know umpteen exceptions to the rule.

    I really see rank as an indicator of knowledge and experience first and foremost, and then the physical dependent on age/fitness. So, do I always expect to be beaten up by a higher rank? No. Do I expect to be able to learn from them? Yes.
  2. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 9:34am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Bajillion Joo Jizzu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well you could always argue physical performance matched against one's peers. For example in BJJ, which ranks people based on performance, older people would compete against people in their own division at tournaments.

    The simplest way to solve the dilemma about ranking people who are older or injured is to just abolish the whole damn thing alltogether. True belts have their value as an organizational and motivational tool, but I believe too much harm has been done with belts. For every one instructor that uses a belt system correctly, there are a hundred Derns opening belt factories with their own belt collection as credentials.
  3. glad2bhere is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 1:17pm


     Style: Yon Mu Kwan Hapkido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't mean to impair a productive thread so I will keep this short.

    I am very surprised at the various levels of influence and empowerment that keep being attached to rank and standing.

    I have yet to find a place in the Human condition where certification, licensure, education and even experience guarentees a behavior. There are still "bad cops", poor doctors, lousy lawyers, corrupt officials, lazy teachers and incompetent managers. I don't understand why it is so surprising that there would be bad, poor, lazy, corrupt or incompetent MA teachers.

    As far as I can tell, everyone who has made their way past the stage in life where they believe in Santa Claus knows that rank is not now-- if it ever was---- a reflection of the quality of one's personhood, let alone MA ability. What I hear is people going around and around about rank and standing and certification as though if they just go at it ONE MORE TIME Human nature and the answers will magically change. Further I don't hear anyone saying that they would be willing to do something different. Rather, what I hear is people asking that the "system" change, and preferably for the easier.

    Now as a vet of many of these threads may I say that the choice is this.

    Rank won't mean anything until you have to bust your butt for it.

    If you don't bust your butt for it, Rank is not going to mean anything.


    Its just that simple. What part of those two sentences don't you understand?

    Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
  4. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 1:25pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: Bajillion Joo Jizzu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Its just that simple. What part of those two sentences don't you understand?
    Well I don't think just putting in hard work can cut it. You can put alot of hard work into dead training methods and still end up with mediocre skill. It's like being in a college class and busting your ass off studying all the wrong things and then bombing the final because of it - doesn't matter that you worked hard, you will still get that F.

    It's a question of what do we gauge, the means or the ends? Most TMAs tend to judge the means, awarding rank based on how well you do a form, or one steps, or any of the other facets of training that are meant (or at one time meant) to increase fighting skill. Systems like BJJ tends to judge the ends - whether you can tap out belts at your level and above your level.

    If we had to have a belt system, I'd say gauge the ends against your own peers (ie age and weight), like BJJ. But I think the best thing to do is abolish belt systems completely. Just get rid of that ****. MMA gyms do fine without them. It's a good organizational tool, but if you have a competent teacher who's not taking on like hundreds of students at once, then there's no problem.
  5. jtkarate is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 1:38pm


     Style: karate,judo,JJ,Aikido,TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    But I think the best thing to do is abolish belt systems completely. Just get rid of that ****. MMA gyms do fine without them
    Good idea but that would cut into to many "instructors" money. They have got to have the belts to keep the kids and some adults motivated enough to stick with it so that they can get more money from them.

    If you had no ranking system and kept the same curriculiam how long do you think someone would stay just doing the same thing over and over again without the satisfaction of getting a new colored belt?
  6. HonkyTonkMan is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 1:57pm

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     Style: TKD, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by EternalRage
    The simplest way to solve the dilemma about ranking people who are older or injured is to just abolish the whole damn thing alltogether. True belts have their value as an organizational and motivational tool, but I believe too much harm has been done with belts. For every one instructor that uses a belt system correctly, there are a hundred Derns opening belt factories with their own belt collection as credentials.

    This is pure fucking gold.

    Very well put, I would plus rep you if I could.

    A BB used to mean something. When people ask me what belt I have in BJJ I gladly tell them "White". Their next question is, "How long have you been doing it?"

    6 months, and they get a shocked look on their face. I then tell them that I dont expect to get a blue belt until probably 2009. Doesnt bother me, because when I get it, I will have earned it.

    Not saying that I didnt earn my BB in TKD, but I will be as proud of my BJJ blue belt as I am my TKD BB. Simply because of the people I see that are the same rank as me, but cant even kick above their waist.
  7. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 3:00pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: Bajillion Joo Jizzu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by jtkarate
    Good idea but that would cut into to many "instructors" money. They have got to have the belts to keep the kids and some adults motivated enough to stick with it so that they can get more money from them.

    If you had no ranking system and kept the same curriculiam how long do you think someone would stay just doing the same thing over and over again without the satisfaction of getting a new colored belt?
    It'd kill the mcdojo belt factories, and it will also isolate those who truly want to learn it. Instead of being so hung up on testing requirements and belts, students might actually pay attention to what the instructor is teaching - might see some reduction in bullshido as well as mcdojos.

    Abolish it all. Of course, this is just a dream and totally impossible in reality, but hey maybe one day, one school at a time...
  8. Lv1Sierpinski is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 10:03pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Bruce, I completely agree with you that rank (in MA or otherwise) does not always indicated skill. However, general rankings provide a framework that often tells people a lot about an individual. If I have a choice between two doctors, I may not know which is better, but I can reasonably assume that they both went to med school (and passed) and that it's a better bet to go to one of them than to a plumber.

    I really like what ER said about what we guage, the means or the ends. And you can really tell that my first exposure was in TKD in that I tend to identify knowledge with rank, as opposed to physical skill. Now that I'm in BJJ, it'll probably be both in the future (at the moment absolutely everyone is better than me, so I have a hard time distinguishing between blue and purple and even some of the white belts, etc.).

    Having done wushu for several years, I can say that I'm perfectly happy to train in a no-rank environment. Everyone did the same warm-ups, and once you'd learned a form and really polished it, you'd move on to another form (and not always the same one your buddy the week before moved on to). On the other hand, I certianly won't pass it up when, far down the line, my coach thinks I've reached a blue belt level.

    Quote Originally Posted by EternalRage
    Well you could always argue physical performance matched against one's peers. For example in BJJ, which ranks people based on performance, older people would compete against people in their own division at tournaments.
    This aproach of no absolute measure seems fine, but what do others think? While this apprach absolutely destroys most TKD/Karate/etc. BB who are young males...does it support the 40/50+ McDojo students who, despite shockingly back fighting skills, may in fact have a leg up on their peers?
  9. timjitsu is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/30/2007 11:06pm


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    *looks around in a dumbfounded and amazed manner*

    WTF?? I closed this thread days ago! do I have to go over the Mr. Miyagi principle again?
  10. glad2bhere is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/31/2007 10:38am


     Style: Yon Mu Kwan Hapkido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "....Having done wushu for several years, I can say that I'm perfectly happy to train in a no-rank environment. Everyone did the same warm-ups, and once you'd learned a form and really polished it, you'd move on to another form (and not always the same one your buddy the week before moved on to). On the other hand, I certianly won't pass it up when, far down the line, my coach thinks I've reached a blue belt level......"

    And THIS IS THE PIECE that many, many KMA practitioners don't seem to be able to get their heads around. The fact is that for generations this was how Koreans learned their MA and MT. It was only when a person decided to seek out a job in the Korean government/military that they took a Civil Service exam for some level (at least until the 1800-s). Until that happened a person simply trained exactly as you pointed out. And when a student had exhausted what one teacher knew, that teacher would often make an appropriate referral to another teacher he knew to further the student's training.

    The way I see it now, unless a kid has some rank to work towards, they lose interest. To me thats like saying the only reason to learn to play the piano is if you have a recital to work towards. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
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