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Bullshido made Kung Fu Black Belts: is this up to standard?

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    #31
    Damn, I wish I could train at Omega's gym. That test looks seriously grueling. Anyone that passes is clearly not someone to be fucked with.

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      #32
      Hours-long tests of calisthenics, forms, pre-set self-defense responses, and light sparring are par for the course for TMA/bullshido/non-alive/McDojo/whatever schools' black belt tests. That's not to say they're bad. It's just entirely normal for in light-contact karate/kung-fu schools.

      I'm with NeilG. The hours of conditioning and demonstration is largely fluff, because what we're doing is trying to formalize and complicate a pretty straightforward procedure: instructor thinks you're ready, so here's the rank. I prefer the casual approach ("here you go, you earned it"), the competition approach ("you won that tournament, here you go"), and the judo approach (zero-sum shiai plus kata). I don't particularly *mind* the conditioning element--physicality is important--but to tout it as some sort of newfangled Bullshido-approved amazingness is eyebrow-raising.

      I feel like a Bullshido.net black belt test would involve an amateur ring fight, a judo-style zero-sum shiai, and a weightlifting meet, and at the end you don't get a black belt, you just get the experience of having fought in a ring, fought in a tournament, and lifted weights.
      What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates

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        #33
        Originally posted by 1point2 View Post
        Hours-long tests of calisthenics, forms, pre-set self-defense responses, and light sparring are par for the course for TMA/bullshido/non-alive/McDojo/whatever schools' black belt tests. That's not to say they're bad. It's just entirely normal for in light-contact karate/kung-fu schools.

        I'm with NeilG. The hours of conditioning and demonstration is largely fluff, because what we're doing is trying to formalize and complicate a pretty straightforward procedure: instructor thinks you're ready, so here's the rank. I prefer the casual approach ("here you go, you earned it"), the competition approach ("you won that tournament, here you go"), and the judo approach (zero-sum shiai plus kata). I don't particularly *mind* the conditioning element--physicality is important--but to tout it as some sort of newfangled Bullshido-approved amazingness is eyebrow-raising.

        I feel like a Bullshido.net black belt test would involve an amateur ring fight, a judo-style zero-sum shiai, and a weightlifting meet, and at the end you don't get a black belt, you just get the experience of having fought in a ring, fought in a tournament, and lifted weights.
        The whole problem started with the erosion of the black belt idea because you had money driven trainers that for marketing reasons gave away black belts to kids, and to undeserving adults. So the idea of a standard for a black belt is actually a good quality assurance protocol. Why diss having a fight experience? why diss physical ability? It's not like those caveats of the test are instead of good technique and the regular black belt trad MA stuff.

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          #34
          Originally posted by 1point2 View Post
          Hours-long tests of calisthenics, forms, pre-set self-defense responses, and light sparring are par for the course for TMA/bullshido/non-alive/McDojo/whatever schools' black belt tests. That's not to say they're bad. It's just entirely normal for in light-contact karate/kung-fu schools.

          I'm with NeilG. The hours of conditioning and demonstration is largely fluff, because what we're doing is trying to formalize and complicate a pretty straightforward procedure: instructor thinks you're ready, so here's the rank. I prefer the casual approach ("here you go, you earned it"), the competition approach ("you won that tournament, here you go"), and the judo approach (zero-sum shiai plus kata). I don't particularly *mind* the conditioning element--physicality is important--but to tout it as some sort of newfangled Bullshido-approved amazingness is eyebrow-raising.

          I feel like a Bullshido.net black belt test would involve an amateur ring fight, a judo-style zero-sum shiai, and a weightlifting meet, and at the end you don't get a black belt, you just get the experience of having fought in a ring, fought in a tournament, and lifted weights.
          Sounds like you're in a much better area than me for MA schools, or maybe I just had bad luck and went to the wrong places. Over many years of MA practice, including practice at three light contact karate schools, and in years of taking my kids around to different schools, the 15-20 minutes testing time per candidate was what I saw. Maybe we're talking about different things -- the time testing an entire group collectively might have taken an hour or longer, but to the extent each candidate was scrutinized separately, breaking, sparring, etc., it took no longer than about 15 minutes each.

          I don't have a problem with the casual approach you described, if the instructor prefers it (tho at least for kids, I think it doesnt amount to as much recognition or reward). But IMO, if you're going to hold a formal test to award a black belt, each candidate deserves individual attention, it should test a variety of skills and take more than a few pro forma minutes each, and when its over there should be no doubt it was a challenging test. I'd say the testing shown in these videos meet those requirements.

          Question -- if you don't think testing aerobic fitness is worthwhile then why have them lift weights? Potentially, each candidate can demonstrate a high level of aerobic fitness, but not every candidate will be able to lift heavy weight regardless of effort.

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            #35
            Originally posted by CapnMunchh View Post
            Sounds like you're in a much better area than me for MA schools, or maybe I just had bad luck and went to the wrong places. Over many years of MA practice, including practice at three light contact karate schools, and in years of taking my kids around to different schools, the 15-20 minutes testing time per candidate was what I saw. Maybe we're talking about different things -- the time testing an entire group collectively might have taken an hour or longer, but to the extent each candidate was scrutinized separately, breaking, sparring, etc., it took no longer than about 15 minutes each.

            I don't have a problem with the casual approach you described, if the instructor prefers it (tho at least for kids, I think it doesnt amount to as much recognition or reward). But IMO, if you're going to hold a formal test to award a black belt, each candidate deserves individual attention, it should test a variety of skills and take more than a few pro forma minutes each, and when its over there should be no doubt it was a challenging test. I'd say the testing shown in these videos meet those requirements.

            Question -- if you don't think testing aerobic fitness is worthwhile then why have them lift weights? Potentially, each candidate can demonstrate a high level of aerobic fitness, but not every candidate will be able to lift heavy weight regardless of effort.

            I am glad you quoted 1point2. I have him on my ignore list because he's generally full of shit. I'm glad nothing has changed.

            I am sure that the reason him and NeilG down play this type of testing is because they themselves are incapable of participating in a test because it would show their true character or lack there of. Why either of them are here is beyond me.

            What they call fluff I call a sense of achievement. As I told each one of the candidates "Pass or fail nobody can take this day away from you." and they were happy about that. In the past we've complained about fat, overweight and generally non skilled people who've gotten their blackbelts. People who couldn't kick over their head. People who knew nothing of self-defense. Some arts specialize in specific areas. They have ways to test. I've even been on the receiving end of the "Hey, you're skilled enough, or you won the competition here's your black belt" end of things. That always left me empty inside. That's how I obtained my first blackbelt.

            So I took the complaining that I've seen so many times on these boards and I put it to the test. Like normal we have the mixture of opinions. I did not expect it out of two supposed instructors.

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              #36
              Originally posted by 1point2 View Post
              I can't speak for the entire forum but I believe if Bullshido could give some criteria to what a "Black Belt" test might look like I believe this might be it.
              Now, explain where you got bullshido approved from.

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                #37
                Originally posted by Omega Supreme View Post
                I am sure that the reason him and NeilG down play this type of testing is because they themselves are incapable of participating in a test because it would show their true character or lack there of.
                That must be it, It couldn't possibly be that I merely disagree with you. Or maybe your panties are in a twist because I criticized your student's weapons work?

                In the past we've complained about fat, overweight and generally non skilled people who've gotten their blackbelts. People who couldn't kick over their head. People who knew nothing of self-defense.
                Well, then you test that they can kick over their heads, if that's part of your requirements. You test that they know self-defence. That's why I said the test should involve evaluating their skills, and evaluating they can apply the skills against an opponent going for the same rank. If they don't have sufficient fitness to apply the skills, then they are going to fail, aren't they? No need to make them run stairs except for a sense of accomplishment, as you stated. Fluff, ego-boost, nothing to do with the skillset they are taught.

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                  #38
                  I think the physical conditioning testing is almost as important as the technique stuff. All the technique in the world is useless if you are collapsed on the floor wheezing 30sec into the fight.

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                    #39
                    NeilG who shit on your doorstep? I expect this asshattery from Crackfox and 1Pokemon2, but when did you stop being able to take what you dish out? You took a jab at his teaching and he returned the favor.

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                      #40
                      Originally posted by ghost55 View Post
                      All the technique in the world is useless if you are collapsed on the floor wheezing 30sec into the fight.
                      I suppose you could make that a condition of the test. If they collapse 30 seconds into a fight - flunk them. You could even make them go several rounds if you felt that would provide a good assessment.

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                        #41
                        Originally posted by 1point2 View Post
                        I prefer the casual approach ("here you go, you earned it"), the competition approach ("you won that tournament, here you go"), and the judo approach (zero-sum shiai plus kata).
                        I have one issue with the zero-sum approach: Say I manage to get my points early on in the competition. I still have to take matches to give other people their opportunity to collect some wins. I don't have as much motivation to win as they do which could affect how the fight goes down.

                        Also it kind of sucks to kill someone's chances of grading when I don't need the win, which kind of takes the shine off getting my promotion. Even worse, I've heard of one guy being accused of throwing one of his fights so his friend can win. I don't particularly believe those accusations, but I can't help but feel that there is a chance that someone could make that accuation about me if I was fighting someone I knew after I got my points and I lost.

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                          #42
                          Originally posted by NeilG View Post
                          That must be it, It couldn't possibly be that I merely disagree with you. Or maybe your panties are in a twist because I criticized your student's weapons work?

                          Well, then you test that they can kick over their heads, if that's part of your requirements. You test that they know self-defence. That's why I said the test should involve evaluating their skills, and evaluating they can apply the skills against an opponent going for the same rank. If they don't have sufficient fitness to apply the skills, then they are going to fail, aren't they? No need to make them run stairs except for a sense of accomplishment, as you stated. Fluff, ego-boost, nothing to do with the skillset they are taught.
                          I don't give a crap that you down played their weapon's skill, you never saw it. That being said, if we were to be testing them on say a black belt in swordsmanship then only one of the would come close to qualifying.

                          I question your scruples, not whether you disagree with me or not. This is why I point at you and ask you why you're here? You apparently don't understand the statement of the post or you're to stubborn to want to.

                          You say it has nothing to do with the skill set they are taught. Since you are so knowledgeable on the skill set they are taught why don't you explain it to us? Do you know the tenets at which that have been drilled into their head? Do you understand what the exercises are for? You must have, because you disagree with them. So enlighten us.

                          I'm loving your arrogance in this matter. The funny thing about this is that Erezb has contributed more to this discussion than the supposed instructor's here.

                          Originally posted by NeilG View Post
                          That must be it, It couldn't possibly be that I merely disagree with you. Or maybe your panties are in a twist because I criticized your student's weapons work?

                          Well, then you test that they can kick over their heads, if that's part of your requirements. You test that they know self-defence. That's why I said the test should involve evaluating their skills, and evaluating they can apply the skills against an opponent going for the same rank. If they don't have sufficient fitness to apply the skills, then they are going to fail, aren't they? No need to make them run stairs except for a sense of accomplishment, as you stated. Fluff, ego-boost, nothing to do with the skillset they are taught.
                          I don't give a crap that you down played their weapon's skill, you never saw it. That being said, if we were to be testing them on say a black belt in swordsmanship then only one of the would come close to qualifying.

                          I question your scruples, not whether you disagree with me or not. This is why I point at you and ask you why you're here? You apparently don't understand the statement of the post or you're to stubborn to want to.

                          You say it has nothing to do with the skill set they are taught. Since you are so knowledgeable on the skill set they are taught why don't you explain it to us? Do you know the tenets at which that have been drilled into their head? Do you understand what the exercises are for? You must have, because you disagree with them. So enlighten us.

                          I'm loving your arrogance in this matter. The funny thing about this is that Erezb has contributed more to this discussion than the supposed instructor's here.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Originally posted by It is Fake View Post
                            NeilG who shit on your doorstep? I expect this asshattery from Crackfox and 1Pokemon2, but when did you stop being able to take what you dish out? You took a jab at his teaching and he returned the favor.
                            Odd, I thought we were having a discussion on testing methods where I disagreed.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Originally posted by CrackFox View Post
                              I have one issue with the zero-sum approach: Say I manage to get my points early on in the competition. I still have to take matches to give other people their opportunity to collect some wins. I don't have as much motivation to win as they do which could affect how the fight goes down.

                              Also it kind of sucks to kill someone's chances of grading when I don't need the win, which kind of takes the shine off getting my promotion. Even worse, I've heard of one guy being accused of throwing one of his fights so his friend can win. I don't particularly believe those accusations, but I can't help but feel that there is a chance that someone could make that accuation about me if I was fighting someone I knew after I got my points and I lost.
                              I agree. My old judo coach told me stories of watching players take falls for their friends. A kohaku shiai format avoids most of this problem by using a non-bracketed matching system, but there's often one or two matches at the end where someone fights a round that matters for their opponent for not themselves.

                              Capnmunch-- I don't mean to diss cardio. I actually liked seeing the 5k in Omega's plan. Having some bare minimums is a fine idea. I was merely pointing out that "let's do X hours of calisthenics all in 1 weekend" is fairly well-recognized as a popular testing approach in light contact TMA schools:
                              • "20 hour black belt test" of a 10 year old in Don Jitsu ryu or something:


                              • Yahoo Answers
                                gives us an 8-hour test, an overnight test, a 5 hour test...
                              • Jo Kwon Chi style has a similar test with forms, breaking, a mile run, calisthenics, sparring...
                              • My old karate school has an overnight test, approximately 22 hours.

                              I get it: people sweat, it's hard, so they figure it means something. But I bet if any of these schools above popped on BS.net's radar there would be pointing and laughing. I'm not trying to point and laugh at these guys nor at Omega's school. I'm not even saying it's bullshido. But isn't it weird that when Omega has his students do some some forms, push-ups, and one-step self-defense it's a revolutionary Bullshido-approved testing modality that produces people "clearly not to be fucked with"?

                              As to your (Capnmunch's) other point, "not everyone will be able to lift heavy weights", well, setting bodyweight-scaled standards avoids that problem. Just off the top of my head you could require 3 pull-ups and 1xBW squat. That's about on par with a 30:00 5k. But again, the question is why you're having them do all this stuff. If it's to prove their fighting fitness, well, what's wrong with sparring or competition? Then we don't need to make up a bunch of arbitrary fitness benchmarks. (Don't get me wrong, I love arbitrary benchmarks, I ponder fitness benchmarks a lot.)

                              Originally posted by Omega
                              I have him on my ignore list because he's generally full of shit. I'm glad nothing has changed.
                              Aw, love you too. Smooches.

                              Originally posted by Omega
                              In the past we've complained about fat, overweight and generally non skilled people who've gotten their blackbelts. People who couldn't kick over their head. People who knew nothing of self-defense. Some arts specialize in specific areas. They have ways to test. I've even been on the receiving end of the "Hey, you're skilled enough, or you won the competition here's your black belt" end of things. That always left me empty inside. That's how I obtained my first blackbelt.
                              Part of the point I was trying to make is that the training, not the testing, should prevent out-of-shape and incompetent people from attaining rank. If someone is training and it's still not coming together, they're not ready for whatever reason, then don't recommend them for the next rank. Tell them what they need to improve, whether it's kicking above their head, being fat, whatever. Then the test can remain quite simple.

                              But, and I'm quite serious here, if the casual "hey here's your belt" approach didn't make you feel good, then I entirely understand you choosing the more formal and complex approach for your students.
                              What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Originally posted by Omega Supreme View Post
                                I question your scruples, not whether you disagree with me or not.
                                I'm not clear on why my scruples are in question, I merely joined the discussion and disagreed with you.
                                You say it has nothing to do with the skill set they are taught. Since you are so knowledgeable on the skill set they are taught why don't you explain it to us?
                                The key is in the name, "skill set". You teach them skills which require a certain level of fitness to execute. So why not just evaluate them on that execution? I guess you can argue that being fit is simply a requirement for the grade, and as you set the requirements I can't argue with your particular test. But the question you posed is, should your test serve as an example for what a test should be according to the general standard of this forum. So that's just where I disagree, and I've already stated what I think should be in a test, so I'll leave the argument there.

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