Posted On:1/12/2011 1:12pm
Style: KUGB Shotokan Karate
I was speaking to someone recently who is doing GKR and they said they had to wait for their instructor to learn the next kata before they could learn it. This to me suggests that the instructor is the same grade or even lower. This in its self raises a few questions. If the instructor has no knowledge of the kata, how can they be teaching it correctly, or be sure that they are? If they are only very recently learning said kata, what about bunkai? If I were to ask my sensei questions, he can answer. He has been doing karate for over 25 years.
A few quotes from http://ilovegkr.com
What grade is my instructor?
It's generally considered impolite to ask, any more than you would ask a school teacher to prove their credentials.
A grade up to third dan is primarily an indication of a martial artist's physical ability, not their knowledge or teaching skills.
Now I agree, just because someone holds a high grade doesn't mean that they posses the communication and people skills required to pass on the knowledge. However, how can someone with these qualities pass on knowledge that they don't posses?
Are GKR grades recognised outside GKR?
It depends what you mean by recognised. There is no universal repository for martial arts grades across all styles. The grade of a student in one style is not valid in a different style. Each has different grading criteria and different syllabi.
This is not entirely true. I originally started training in Shukokai Karate and got to 2nd Kyu. After a break of some years, I decided that I wanted to train again and moved to Shotokan. I was told by my sensei that I could be assessed to see what grade was suitable for me given my ability. ie, A new style and I didn't have to start as a white belt.
This one particularly concerns me:
GKR students do not hit each other, or work on real-world combat conditioning.
Basically, my feeling is, if you want to take up GKR, take up Karate aerobics instead. The instructors are probably more qualified, it will cost you a lot less and will be as much use, if not more, in a self defense situation.
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