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Brutal and gruelling 6th dan test

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    #76
    Originally posted by gold_ax666 View Post
    TBH I was somewhat surprised by the reply but there you go. Strange things do happen. Superfoot advocates Crittenden.
    A man has to make a living somehow, eh ?

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      #77
      Originally posted by BKR View Post
      A man has to make a living somehow, eh ?
      I dunno. Something doesn't feel right about all of this simply based on that video but whatever standards we set for ourselves there's nothing fraudulent, illegal or untoward going on. Fuck it. Onwards and upwards.

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        #78
        What I get from this video is that all that was more of a formality.

        The guy seems to be the owner and teacher at the school, and he got someone with higher rank at some organization to come in, watch him perform light demos, and then award him a higher rank for enriching-curriculum purposes. The breadth of skill ranges in display is quite at odds with the extremely light pressure and demand. So it looks more like his own students helping and going along with the demos at moderate speed and strength just for the formality of it, since no one would want to make their own teacher look bad.

        The guy probably trained harder before he became a teacher, but in my experience, a lot of people once they have their own schools as a business concern, drop most serious sparring and stop growing or forcing themselves to keep up. Either they feel they paid their dues already and can now focus on teaching others, or they feel insecure about showing their decreasing abilities under hard pressure.

        A friend I know teaches karate about eight hours a week, mostly to children, does one hour a week of tai chi, lifts weights seriously, and has not done ANY sparring in the last decade that I am aware of. He had TKD and kung fu training in his youth but now trains exclusively thru kata and did his fifth dan test a couple years ago under the head of the Murayama association, who teaches him two days a year at best. I saw the test and I would have flunked him for first dan since his neko dachi was sloppy as hell and he got winded halfway thru.

        HE recently had a guy do a first-dan test, and asked for 11 katas during the test. Kumite was restricted to limited point fighting drills.

        So I am not surprised at all. At least Crittenden seems to keep reasonably capable of doing the drills at relaxed pace and does cover many ranges and skillsets. That is more than 50% of the high ranking guys I know here.

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          #79
          Originally posted by gold_ax666 View Post
          I dunno. Something doesn't feel right about all of this simply based on that video but whatever standards we set for ourselves there's nothing fraudulent, illegal or untoward going on. Fuck it. Onwards and upwards.
          I haven't been able to find anything about the Superfoot "franchise", but then I didn't look very carefully. So I don't know what's involved. I imagine you have to contact them to inquire.

          Comment


            #80
            Originally posted by BKR View Post
            I haven't been able to find anything about the Superfoot "franchise", but then I didn't look very carefully. So I don't know what's involved. I imagine you have to contact them to inquire.
            The website is quite vague about how to be a superfoot school and yes you are right; you need to enquire accordingly. As for standards to represent Superfoot I personally would feel that someone should be better than I saw on that video.

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              #81
              Originally posted by gold_ax666 View Post
              The website is quite vague about how to be a superfoot school and yes you are right; you need to enquire accordingly. As for standards to represent Superfoot I personally would feel that someone should be better than I saw on that video.
              Lets be honest Superfoot isn't exactly all that relevant anymore, so a relaxing of standards may happen in order to ensure the mortgage can still get paid.

              Comment


                #82
                Originally posted by ksennin View Post
                What I get from this video is that all that was more of a formality.

                The guy seems to be the owner and teacher at the school, and he got someone with higher rank at some organization to come in, watch him perform light demos, and then award him a higher rank for enriching-curriculum purposes. The breadth of skill ranges in display is quite at odds with the extremely light pressure and demand. So it looks more like his own students helping and going along with the demos at moderate speed and strength just for the formality of it, since no one would want to make their own teacher look bad.

                The guy probably trained harder before he became a teacher, but in my experience, a lot of people once they have their own schools as a business concern, drop most serious sparring and stop growing or forcing themselves to keep up. Either they feel they paid their dues already and can now focus on teaching others, or they feel insecure about showing their decreasing abilities under hard pressure.

                A friend I know teaches karate about eight hours a week, mostly to children, does one hour a week of tai chi, lifts weights seriously, and has not done ANY sparring in the last decade that I am aware of. He had TKD and kung fu training in his youth but now trains exclusively thru kata and did his fifth dan test a couple years ago under the head of the Murayama association, who teaches him two days a year at best. I saw the test and I would have flunked him for first dan since his neko dachi was sloppy as hell and he got winded halfway thru.

                HE recently had a guy do a first-dan test, and asked for 11 katas during the test. Kumite was restricted to limited point fighting drills.

                So I am not surprised at all. At least Crittenden seems to keep reasonably capable of doing the drills at relaxed pace and does cover many ranges and skillsets. That is more than 50% of the high ranking guys I know here.
                I'm not trying to be pedantic but I've been teaching now since September 2013 and since then I've busted a gut to get in as much mat time and sparring/ training as possible. This is because I have a responsibility to all of my students to be the best that I can be, lead by example and continue to gather knowledge to pass on to my students so that they get value for their hard earned money.

                I get your point though and I am sure many teachers find it hard to find time to train like they used to. God knows I find it hard. Instead of getting up at 7am I get up at 5am or 5.30am to train. Or I run after the family go to sleep etc. It's tough. Really tough. But the day I stop leading by example is the day I don't consider myself worthy of the right to teach.

                Comment


                  #83
                  Originally posted by gold_ax666 View Post
                  I'm not trying to be pedantic but I've been teaching now since September 2013 and since then I've busted a gut to get in as much mat time and sparring/ training as possible. This is because I have a responsibility to all of my students to be the best that I can be, lead by example and continue to gather knowledge to pass on to my students so that they get value for their hard earned money.
                  Good for you and your students. I think this is particularly important in these days when cross-training and live testing of the arts via more realistic and flexible combat sports are introducing great advances in both the technical arsenals and the training methods. Some people have had trouble adapting to this new paradigm, though.

                  I used to be able to outgrapple most of the karate people here with just the less than a year of irregular judo training I had had some years past and the regular informal rolling I did with friends to work things out from books by Tegner and Kawaishi. But now any decent blue belt in BJJ is much better than I ever was, and if I did not add BJJ to my regular training I would be more of a dinosaur than I am.




                  Originally posted by gold_ax666 View Post
                  I get your point though and I am sure many teachers find it hard to find time to train like they used to. God knows I find it hard. Instead of getting up at 7am I get up at 5am or 5.30am to train. Or I run after the family go to sleep etc. It's tough. Really tough. But the day I stop leading by example is the day I don't consider myself worthy of the right to teach.
                  I do think that at some point your ability to spar hard will decrease by sheer physical deterioration and that does not mean you cannot still be useful as a teacher or training partner. You would just need assistants able to take on the roles you can no longer fulfill at 100%. And you have to adjust your own training accordingly and shift your priorities to make the most of what you know and can still do.

                  I have been training for over 3 decades, and I have busted knees and ankles, and three crushed, necrotic disk in my backbone, plus broken nose, dislocated clavicle, cracked rib and over a dozen stitches in my face. I still fight regularly, but I simply cannot fight at the same level I did even five years ago. Yet I think I fight better in many respects, since my grappling is technically better, and I have improved my head movement and the keeping of a high guard while striking. But my speed and agility are much reduced, and I mostly serve as sparring partner for the competitive fighters, since they can hit me full power and I can take it better than most others.

                  Still, as you mention, there IS a responsibility, a burden of expectation by taking on the role of "teacher". Since I have problems keeping my weight down despite the regular training, I do not make a good representative for any arts. Thus my generally backing from participating in demos, or taking any visible roles. I do not run a school, and mostly help out in the schools of former training partners, where I give whatever help I can in terms of advice, observations/suggestions, running drills, and sparring with whoever wants to spar as hard as I can. I refuse to be called "sensei".

                  But many do not share this philosophy. Many friends no longer feel interested in sparring, or were never that interested, and slant their teaching acoordingly, like my friend who asked for 11 different katas in a shodan test but no free sparring. I do not agree with him, but it is his school.

                  I remember the documentary where a former Kyokushin karate champion, who had won first place in Japan five times, and was admired as a fighter, has given his back to competition and now teachers mostly kihon and kata. We cannot doubt his credentials, even if I do not share his new point of view.

                  Comment


                    #84
                    Originally posted by ksennin View Post
                    Good for you and your students. I think this is particularly important in these days when cross-training and live testing of the arts via more realistic and flexible combat sports are introducing great advances in both the technical arsenals and the training methods. Some people have had trouble adapting to this new paradigm, though.

                    I used to be able to outgrapple most of the karate people here with just the less than a year of irregular judo training I had had some years past and the regular informal rolling I did with friends to work things out from books by Tegner and Kawaishi. But now any decent blue belt in BJJ is much better than I ever was, and if I did not add BJJ to my regular training I would be more of a dinosaur than I am.






                    I do think that at some point your ability to spar hard will decrease by sheer physical deterioration and that does not mean you cannot still be useful as a teacher or training partner. You would just need assistants able to take on the roles you can no longer fulfill at 100%. And you have to adjust your own training accordingly and shift your priorities to make the most of what you know and can still do.

                    I have been training for over 3 decades, and I have busted knees and ankles, and three crushed, necrotic disk in my backbone, plus broken nose, dislocated clavicle, cracked rib and over a dozen stitches in my face. I still fight regularly, but I simply cannot fight at the same level I did even five years ago. Yet I think I fight better in many respects, since my grappling is technically better, and I have improved my head movement and the keeping of a high guard while striking. But my speed and agility are much reduced, and I mostly serve as sparring partner for the competitive fighters, since they can hit me full power and I can take it better than most others.

                    Still, as you mention, there IS a responsibility, a burden of expectation by taking on the role of "teacher". Since I have problems keeping my weight down despite the regular training, I do not make a good representative for any arts. Thus my generally backing from participating in demos, or taking any visible roles. I do not run a school, and mostly help out in the schools of former training partners, where I give whatever help I can in terms of advice, observations/suggestions, running drills, and sparring with whoever wants to spar as hard as I can. I refuse to be called "sensei".

                    But many do not share this philosophy. Many friends no longer feel interested in sparring, or were never that interested, and slant their teaching acoordingly, like my friend who asked for 11 different katas in a shodan test but no free sparring. I do not agree with him, but it is his school.

                    I remember the documentary where a former Kyokushin karate champion, who had won first place in Japan five times, and was admired as a fighter, has given his back to competition and now teachers mostly kihon and kata. We cannot doubt his credentials, even if I do not share his new point of view.
                    I seriously don't see what your point has to do with the 6th dan test. It was a highlight video tape that is supposed to feature his skills. Many of us are saying that this is not the skill level of what we would expect of a 6th dan. In my opinion it has more to do with age than rank.

                    He doesn't look like he's over 35. I could be wrong. Does anybody have the guys age?

                    Comment


                      #85
                      Oh, the age comments were more a digression after what Gold_axe66 said. You are completely right to say that it is not what one would expect for a high rank test.

                      As I said in my other post before, what it does look like is a very light, mostly compliant demo, and not much of great showcase of skill indeed. It does not look as a REAL TEST, but more of a demo done as a formality to acknowledge the rank increase from some organization, done in as complaint a fashion as most of the drills shown.

                      When I said I have seen even worse, it is not to excuse this, but to say that it doesn't surprise me. This sort of thing is very widespread, and even people who at times did train harder and test themselves hard can slack off and just go thru the motions later.

                      Trying to link my digressions together so it makes a bit more sense, I personally do not try to test for a higher rank, precisely because I think my current decreased physical capabilities mean that I cannot perform as a higher rank practicioner SHOULD. Obviously that is not what we are seeing here. I do not see him even pushing himself to any personal limits, really. Guess they feel a high level teacher should not be shown to sweat or strain doing stuff.

                      Comment


                        #86
                        You know, to be totally honest - my initial reaction watching that video (with the sound off) was that it was really heartwarming to see a developmentally disabled guy working so hard to do a dan test, and we shouldn't make fun of him even though his techniques aren't that great.

                        And then someone posted the link to the school that this guy owns, so presumably my armchair diagnosis of this guy was pretty off-base. And now my reaction is, dude, I don't think I'd have passed my HKD 1st Dan test with a performance like that.

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                          #87
                          You don't THINK?

                          Forget dans, I wouldn't have got my yellow belt in judo if I had displayed such a lack of skill in my grading.

                          Comment


                            #88
                            Minor point. I've read the thread (OK, I skimmed some lengthy posts) but a simple review of the vids does not indicate someone of 6th Dan ability. At least not to my admittedly dodgy eyesight. He shows a modicum of knowledge and that's about it. Although I quite liked his pseudo-escrima but then I like 'talking hands'...Perhaps if he aggregates the various styles he's dabbled in (there isn't enough time to gain expertise in much more than a couple) then he might make - at best - 2nd or 3rd Dan BUT there is no intensity in the excerpts shown. There is no-one trying to punch his Head off forcing him to show a reasonable Block and Control....

                            I just can't see it at all. I'm also somewhat puzzled by the endorsement of Dave Turton, although I only know him through past articles in Martial Arts Illustrated and COMBAT.

                            In my experience, you can see someone of 6th Dan standing; it permeates their being and they frequently seem to be beyond Technique. Effortless, Efficient, Control and you've nowhere to go except where they decide to put you on the mat. This chap doesn't meet that which I've seen in others of high status. He is also too young and needs another 15 years of training, teaching etc. THEN he might come close. For now, I would assess him by the one qualification I understand: 1st Dan in Trad JJ but even then I'd want to know who taught and graded him 'cos it doesn't show here either.

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