Yes, I know I am necroing several threads here, and that QJJ has been discussed before, and I apologize. However, I have slightly new information on it and I didn't know which of the (several) existing threads to put this in. I go to Penn State where QJJ has a club (started originally by Jeremy Corbell), and firstly their video/picture page is here: http://www.clubs.psu.edu/up/quantumjujitsu/picvid.htm. Second, the club just recently (10/20/07) held their first black belt test in their 8 years of existance for a member named Dave Light. A friend of mine trained with QJJ very briefly back when the club was in its infancy, so he was invited to come watch. His impressions:
"Some of the things I liked, some of the things I totally disagree with.
Yes he did have to dodge a live sword. That started the test. It was more symbolic and ritualistic than anything. He knew what attack was going to be initiated in advance, and there was a loud kiyai preceding each attack. All he had to do was get out of the way. This was to symbolize dedicating your entire self to the test... basically it was just to put him in a life or death mode.
The next part of the test was the candidate (Dave) going through series of yoga vinyasa (which is the yoga equivalent of a hyung or kata). This seemed REALLY easy for him. It wasn't too difficult. It barely qualified as a warm-up. Dave wasn't even sweating.
One of the concepts that I found really cool about the QJJ test is that there were 5 black belts judging him. Each of them had a trial. They had an area of expertise that they were particularly skilled in and they had a challenge for him based on that.
The first black belt tested him on an advanced form of yoga that was intensive on strength and flexibility. He passed that with little difficulty.
The next part of the test was standing grappling. One of the things that separated the QJJ test from other BB tests is that there seemed to be plenty of time to rest. The testing panel would frequently explain the purpose of a given test to the audience, which sometimes provided a 3-5 minute rest for the candidate. Dave had to demonstrate several throws, one after another, but there was a relatively substantial pause before announcing the next technique. I supposed they were looking more for technique mastery rather than endurance at this part.
Shortly thereafter, he selected an opponent from the QJJ club audience, and they did standup grappling (randori) at about 50%. The trial of the next black belt was to face him at the end of the section.
The same procedure followed with the submission grappling part, again with the candidate facing one of the testing panel.
Then there was a striking section. Same format, but the opponents faced off with 6oz open fingered MMA gloves and really not much else of any other gear. The testing panel kept yelling at them to strike, take down, and "make it real" but both people seemed to be reserved about going all out with such little gear on.
The next black belt's test was balance. He required the candidate to spin around until totally dizzy...and then proceeded to attack him all out while he was confused. Dave got really defensive...but then got his equilibrium straightened out and started to fight back. He did this really well.
The next part I REALLY disagreed with. Dave had to disarm a live knife. The attacked were full force, but he knew what they were going to be in advance. He got cut.... there was some blood shed...they had to tape his hand up. He also had the restriction of keeping the knife under control at all times. It was not acceptable to send the knife flying out of his attacker's hand as there was an audience close by. This is an unrealistic expectation in a street fight.
JJ students typically don't break wood. Dave had to break 2 boards with a downward palm heel. Rather easy. But the final black belt's test was the test of teaching. He had to pick a student and explain to THEM how to break the boards better than the instruction he was given. He was judged based on if his student could break the boards. Of course, they both had no problem breaking.
There was a lot of ceremony related to accepting his black belt. It seemed like if the ceremonial stuff was cut out of the test, it would have shaved an hour off of it.
Dave's teacher, Cory Wimberly, also got promoted to the first 2nd degree QJJ black belt. It was a big day for both Cory and Dave. It was very significant to them. I've known Cory since he started the club up here in 1999, and he's really a stand up guy. He's now a philosophy professor in Texas I beleive.
So overall they had some really good ideas for the test and things that I consider questionable.
I've got to give them mad props for the trials of the black belts. That was a really cool idea. Each black belt had their specialty, and he had to pass all of them.
On the other hand, it wasn't anywhere near as intense as a TSD BB test. Dave was in no danger of passing out. I think a full hour passed before he even broke a sweat. There was plenty of time to rest as the panel explained sections of the test to the audience, and paused between techniques. Mid test they even paused for a 5 minute break.
Worst of all was the defense of the live knife with restrictions. If he has the intent to attack you with a live knife, it is unfair to place restrictions on what you can do to disarm him. If someone had the unmitigated gall to attack you with lethal intent, you have the right if you so deem it necessary to shove that knife right up his ass until he shits stainless steel for a month. To say restrict disarm techniques to only that which keeps the knife under your control is unfair. Worse, my fear was more for the attacker. If he fell on that knife during a disarm, someone could have been really hurt. Not just cut...I mean rushed to the hospital.
Anyway, that's what you missed. It was a good test and I really like the QJJ club...they had a lot of good ideas....but I've really gotta question some of those points I've mentioned. "
Note: TSD refers to Tang Soo Do; he and I are in the same Tang Soo studio.