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The Coach
10/16/2004 6:04pm,
http://boards.gamefaqs.com/gfaqs/genmessage.php?board=212&topic=16764604

WOW....can you believe this guy? I don't think he's trolling, but damn... he says it's ok for kids to get black belts at the age of 12...and says doing that won't boast their egos but make them more confident...-_-

some of his comments...


I've been in martial art for 10 years. I have been helping my instructors teach since I was a blue belt, and I have been teaching classes as a Junior Instructor since I became a black belt 6 years ago. Last year I turned 18 so I changed over from Junior Instructor to an Instructor. I have lots of experience in training an individual and am very capable of it. As a person who hasn't rose above brown belt I don't see how you can criticize me.

Telling someone else who's a lower rank than him can't criticize him tsk tsk.


Secondly it would be a very bad idea to not let any individual attain their black belt until the age of twenty. I would have to say the majority of people would still be waiting for their black belt. Theoretically speaking, I'm only 19 so I wouldn't have it yet! In that case I wouldn't be where I am today until I was 26! That's ridiculous! There would be no Grandmasters of any martial art left! They would all die before they got the chance to reach 10th dan! If anyone were to put an age restriction it should be somewhere around 12 years old IMO.

Well, waiting long teaches them patience...not only that, but the belt is nothing more the a piece of cloth....

What do you guys think of this cracker?

Sam Browning
10/16/2004 6:15pm,
Based only on the exempted quotes it shows that he has the preconception that he must reach a certain dan rank by a certain age which is only true if he needs to be a 7th or 8th dan in order to successfully advertise his school in the yellow pages. If this is his goal, to achieve parity with the other McDojos he has a very cynical point.

stillkicking
10/16/2004 6:21pm,
The dude is a wanker. BIG TIME. As it's been said before: a lot of TMA guys are the real ego maniacs and bullies - not the MMA guys. I love when they "pull rank". As if having a black belt INSURES that you are better than say, a blue belt. Wanker. HUGE wanker.
"No I don't run a mcdojo! That's a very ignorant comment."

Prissy, jedi wuss.

SK.

sherekahn
10/16/2004 6:35pm,
The guy does come across as an ass from what is shown, but there are a few interesting points.

First, if a curriculum and path advancement to reaching a black belt or what have you is dictated by completing and having technical understanding of certain kata, etc...then obviously it is not going to be hard to reach a black belt ranking pretty quickly. Even requiring tournament competition alongside this does not make things too difficult since most competitions are point-based.

Secondly, belt ranking is pointless in any case if the person can't fight. It's a tired point and it goes a long way towards outlining so many problems with McDojos and bullshido type stuff in general. It's also a huge problem teaching children in general since that's where the money ends up being in the most for those who want to make MA an actually viable career, etc.

I was just telling a friend of mine the other day that I figured the best plan for running a decent school would be to have a kids program for the revenue teaching TKD or something...basically as a filler. Sure, let the kids reach their TKD black belt at young ages, have them point spar and all that kind of stuff. I guess I would assume that this should occupy the kids up to say age 13 or 14 or so. Then provide the option for them to start training in a real martial art (whatever the instructor wanted to teach), where real contact sparring, etc were practiced, and let them advance normally. If nothing else the kid program would provide aerobic conditioning, coordination, and a good foundation to work from.

I do not mean to knock TKD so much, but I don't see it as much more than exercise with a very dilluted martial art as it's foundation. Since parents probably don't want their kids getting trashed in any case, it seems like a good overall solution.

Just curious as to what some of the more experienced people out there and especially the instructors that frequent these boards think about that in general?

The Coach
10/16/2004 6:40pm,
I was thinking about something like that too, since my bro is opening a school in San Diego and is allowing kids to join if they want. I'll probably tell him to teach kids class separately from the adult class.

DngrRuss1
10/16/2004 6:50pm,
Less ego among the MMA guys? That's another thread entirely.

As far as giving younger students a black belt goes, I understand why the knee-jerk reaction is to assume that the school in question is a mcdojo. At my school, however, my kids have the same requirements as my adults rank by rank. I do not make anything easier for the younger students (with 2 exceptions- I am not as picky about thier choking and weapon-sparring skills- for what should be obvious reasons), so why shouldn't I award them with the rank I would an adult who's doing the same work?

Obvoiusly, with most kids it does take longer to go through the ranks, but if I have a kid who has been with me since he was 5 and is now 11- that's 6 years for you MMA guys :D - and has passed all his tests, shown the tenacity and maturity to be awarded his black belt, why shouldn't I?

I try very hard to promote humility along side rank at my school. Perhaps I am the exception to the mcdojo-black-belt-kids rule (I do understand that the exception makes the rule), but let's not use words like "every" and "all" when making bold statements. Sometimes these statements just aren't accurate.

Punisher
10/16/2004 7:13pm,
I was just telling a friend of mine the other day that I figured the best plan for running a decent school would be to have a kids program for the revenue teaching TKD or something...basically as a filler. Sure, let the kids reach their TKD black belt at young ages, have them point spar and all that kind of stuff. I guess I would assume that this should occupy the kids up to say age 13 or 14 or so. Then provide the option for them to start training in a real martial art (whatever the instructor wanted to teach), where real contact sparring, etc were practiced, and let them advance normally. If nothing else the kid program would provide aerobic conditioning, coordination, and a good foundation to work from.


I don't see anything wrong with teaching martial arts for the purposes of recreation and fitness. I look at it like any other sport, especially when kids are involved. I also don't think that rankings should necessarily be indicative of fighting skill. Most martial arts schools don't teach fighting, and rankings should be indicative skill in what the school does teach.

This gets back to the other tired question on whether martial arts are the same as fighting. To me they are not. You can argrue that they should be, but they aren't now, haven't been for a long time, and maybe never were the same thing.

I think kids shouldn't start training to fight until around highschool age and as a rule of thumb have restricted levels of contact and techniques until 16 or so. But if a black belt at your school simply means a kid can move well, break some boards, or do a couple of back flips and you don't pretend it means anything more, I have no problem with giving one out whenever you want.

Red Elvis
10/16/2004 7:28pm,
Interesting thread...

I remember training at the Gracie Acadamy back in the day and all of Rorions sons being orange and yellow belts. Now those kids had been in gi's training since the day the were old enough to walk and talk and they weren't even part of the traditional bjj ranking system until years after I left. Now if anyone should have been a black belt by the age of twelve it was them because they were raised in an environment where all their brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents etc were grapplers and they lived and breathed the stuff. However, they just lacked the ability to put it all together like a older experienced person would who was fully developed as far as coordination, strength, maturity, life experience etc. Why is it that we feel we must reward people with the almighty black belt? It's interesting that we as consumers need to receive rewards such as this or we feel as though we are wasting our time/money etc.

Where I train there was no ranking with adults until just recently. Now there are phase classes and people wear different colored shirts to indicate their level of expertise as they go from one level of class to the next. In a way it's good because it seperates the noobs from the experienced but I imagine it slows down the noobs learning curve. IMO it's best to get your arse handed to you as it helps you grow faster. On the other hand I don't complain because I'd hate to do basic crap all day long.

And the kids classes... they're a nightmare. (They actually have belts) The kids feel they need to be promoted if their buddy/classmate does regardless of skill and get upset if someone gets promoted ahead of them. Add parents to the equation and it's compounded. Soccer moms and dads just love to tell their co-workers about little johnny being a (insert color here) belt.

I guess if it all comes down to it being just a symbol of knowing techniques it's one thing but I think the common misconception from non martial artists is that it also pertains to competancy in either competition or on the street. IMO a black belt worth their salt in any art should have the ability to actually be able to defend ones self if need be or to be able to compete with others regardless of age etc. I just don't see the 12 year old black belt being able to do a damn thing against even an untrained attacker and I'd consider that dangerous. Just my opinion though.

Khun Kao
10/16/2004 8:28pm,
There was a discussion on another message board I was participating in, and the subject of "McDojo's" came up. Someone chimed in with a definition of McDojo's that I think is very relevant....

"McDojos - When a recent dictionary came out defining McAnything was meaning inferior or substandard, McDonald objected, and rightly so. In relation to cuisine, is McDonald inferior or trash? The answer is neither. McDonald serves a purpose--fast, relatively inexpensive, not the most nutritious or haute cuisine. Who among us has not eaten at a McDonald's? And for some guys I know, it's haute cuisine.

So too do McDojos serve a purpose. Again, you have to define your terms. If you mean a school owned by a teacher with fake credentials, or teaching trash, that is not a McDojo. That is a criminal enterprise. If you mean a dojo that is not top-shelf in terms of quality or standards, then it could be a McDojo.

Some of you correctly gave the reasons when McDojos might be appropriate-- kids, newbies, people in transition ("it will do for now"), executives who cannot train any rougher than McDojo standards, time constraints, "only place I can bring the whole family to train",etc. Probably the only one we can fault is the guy who realizes he is in a McDojo but is too lazy or does not have balls to get out of his comfort zone.

I have never owned or trained in a McDojo, but I have taught in a few of them. It is no dishonor. Up till two years ago, I taught kids classes in a McDojo, because I thought that was the only saving grace for a McDojo like that.

I have done everything except the commercial dojo--garage dojo, school program, community center, adjunct to a traditional dojo. Am I nobler than the commercial dojo? Nope. I just chose to go that way, for other than monetary rewards.

The commercial dojo however is a business. It has to operate as a business. It is meant to turn a profit. Just like any business owner, he has to balance the quality of his product vs. his bottom line. If the owner was losing money on his dojo, then he's a lousy businessman, just like any economic unit. If he is gouging his students, then the market laws should catch up with him. His consumer should realize he is delivering a shoddy product, and go somewhere else. Why are some dojos more successful than others? Same as why some businesses are better than others. Better product, better advertising, better service, better location, etc."

Punisher
10/16/2004 10:29pm,
I agree with Khun Kao. In a recent thread I called a school a McDojo, and someone seemed to take offense. This was my response:


Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-McDojo. Far from it, considering I train at one. To me "McDojo" isn't automatically negative. It simply means that a school is set up to make martial arts accessible to everyone, with a primary focus of fitness and recreation instead of maximizing fighting ability. I actually like training at a place where my girlfriend and I can train together and I don't have to worry if my face will be all messed up when I go to work the next day.

I like the term "McDojo" because I think the fast-food analogy really applies. Both are designed to cater to the general public, and there are similarities between the two products. Fast-food is designed to taste good, and many McDojos are designed to make a person feel good. Home cooked food might taste better, but takes a lot more effort, sit down restaurant food usually tests better but is a lot more expensive. Putting more time and effort into martial arts can make you feel better by giving you true confidence in your abilities, but there are only so many hours in a day. Paying extra for things like private lessons can make you better, but there is only so much money in your wallet.

When people start pretending to be what they are not is when they cross the line from McDojo to Bullshido. I don't think too many people would confuse McDonalds, Burger King, or Taco Bell with fine dining or health food, and for the most part they don't promote themselves as such. I don't confuse the place I train with a fighting gym for serious fighters, and the school isn't marketed as such. Now sure every once in a while some new thing pops up that blurs the line a little bit. At that point it's up to us a consumers to make educated decisions about what we are buying and why? Is that 1/2 lb bacon burger really magically good for you now that itís wrapped in lettuce and not on a bun? Will that new technique the instructor is showing me really shatter someone's arm if I need it to?

Martial arts training, like most things in life, is highly dependent on the effort you put into it. Fast-food places don't have to be unhealthily, and training a McDojo doesn't have to be worthless. If you spend a little time researching the nutrional information, you can usually find at least a couple of things on the menu that aren't quite so bad for you.

Shuma-Gorath
10/16/2004 10:40pm,
I've been in martial art for 10 years. I have been helping my instructors teach since I was a blue belt, and I have been teaching classes as a Junior Instructor since I became a black belt 6 years ago. Last year I turned 18 so I changed over from Junior Instructor to an Instructor. I have lots of experience in training an individual and am very capable of it. As a person who hasn't rose above brown belt I don't see how you can criticize me.

If that isn't a troll it makes me want to weep for way too many reasons.

VD
10/16/2004 11:24pm,
This gets back to the other tired question on whether martial arts are the same as fighting. To me they are not. You can argrue that they should be, but they aren't now, haven't been for a long time, and maybe never were the same thing.
Sorry to wreck your common misconception but martial arts is about fighting. The spiritual growth bullshit (a.k.a. bushido) was slapped on much later and has nothing at all to do with neither combat nor the feudal samurai. Yet you see legions of martial artists today imposing the "strict samurai code of honor" on themselves and thinking they're better than everyone else. Well guess what - they're not. I train traditional martial arts where I regularly come across these muppets, and modern martial arts where I meet normal people. The only difference is that the pious wannabe-samurais are harder to reach, because they hide behind some impenetrable mental shield, scared to death of revealing their true nature. Anyhow, the bottom line is that martial arts is about surviving in a combat situation. Ethics is an entirely separate thing and belongs in the philosophy class. Don't try to mix the two and justify sucking in one by claiming to be good in the other.

Wounded Ronin
10/17/2004 12:44am,
thats why kung fu doesnt have a belt system....


From the bottom of the first page.

Wounded Ronin
10/17/2004 12:47am,
YES!

IT'S ARFOO!

ARFFOOOOOO, FROM SHAOLIN WOLF!



Man...teach your students to sparr well. I'll sparr with your students if your dojo or wherever you guys are is near me. I live in Montery California. If your lil 7and 13 year olds are good enogh to put up a fight, and their punches and kicks actually hurt, i think their good enough for black belt. However, if their punches and kicks don't hurt me in anyway, i suggest you teach them well how to fight.

Here is some of the stuff i am:
5'2 125 pounds.
Can side kick with right leg up to 5'3
can hold side kick horizontal for 11 sec.
I practice shadow boxing and kicking at home.
I train in Wushu.
I used to play football with my friends(tackle) in 5th grade. I was 4'6 and 70 lbs.


Quick, someone with a gamefaqs account post some of the idiotic quotes he made from shaolin wolf onto that thread in order to humiliate him! One of them is in my sig...

Wounded Ronin
10/17/2004 12:56am,
The spiritual growth bullshit (a.k.a. bushido) was slapped on much later and has nothing at all to do with neither combat nor the feudal samurai.


I would argue that bushido existed at least in concept during the medieval times. It is portrayed as an ideal in the classic literary work heike monogatari.


Secondly, I would point out that bushido has little to do with spiritual growth in the sense that we understand the term "spiritual growth" today.

Shuma-Gorath
10/17/2004 1:05am,
Sorry to wreck your common misconception but martial arts is about fighting. The spiritual growth bullshit (a.k.a. bushido) was slapped on much later and has nothing at all to do with neither combat nor the feudal samurai. Yet you see legions of martial artists today imposing the "strict samurai code of honor" on themselves and thinking they're better than everyone else. Well guess what - they're not. I train traditional martial arts where I regularly come across these muppets, and modern martial arts where I meet normal people. The only difference is that the pious wannabe-samurais are harder to reach, because they hide behind some impenetrable mental shield, scared to death of revealing their true nature. Anyhow, the bottom line is that martial arts is about surviving in a combat situation. Ethics is an entirely separate thing and belongs in the philosophy class. Don't try to mix the two and justify sucking in one by claiming to be good in the other.


Shumagorath:
I believe Funakoshi meant that you need to become a skilled fighter, but use your skills responsibly. There are about as many views on moral teaching as there are schools, and some take it to ridiculous extremes.

As for realistic fighting, TMAs are as the name implies traditional, and they have traces of things like someone attacking you with a sword. Not relevant in the context of modern day, but they do teach you the same basic principles that are present in all combat, armed or not. It's not nearly as realistic nor efficient as going to MT class, but that's a conscious choice. Over time you will develop street fighting skills, but it takes longer because you're learning other things as well. It wouldn't be much of a traditional art if it ditched all the traditional stuff...
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=15269&page=2&pp=40