Moving up in ranks

General discussions on Wado Ryu karate and associated martial arts.
majin29
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:53 pm

Moving up in ranks

Post by majin29 »

I'm currently a green belt and have no problems with taking my time to get to black belt. There's so much to learn and I want to learn it well. A friend of mine does Goju and in less than 2 years is already up to his brown belt. I find this puzzling. I know with our curriculum there's no way in hell anyone could move that quickly through belts even if they were training 3 times per week every week for 2 years. I want to support my friend but part of me cannot endorse a school that allows its students to progress so fast. Do I sound petty or envious? I always thought of myself as a fairly altruistic person....

Thoughts?
David Coscina
kyudo
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:00 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Moving up in ranks

Post by kyudo »

Belts are just that, belts.
A Goju grade can hardly be compared to a Wado grade. A kyu grade in my dojo can hardly be compared to a kyu grade in the next. You may be right that you won't be able to move through the ranks fast in your dojo. It just depends on the criteria for the grades.
That said, learning Wado takes many hours of practice. If, in my dojo, someone puts in a lot of practice hours every year, I don't see why he wouldn't be able to get a brown belt in only a few years.

If it were the years that counted, I should be nearing Wado perfection by now. Alas...
Igor Asselbergs
http://kyudokan.nl/
Gusei21
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:43 am

Re: Moving up in ranks

Post by Gusei21 »

If you are athletic and if you come to class 4 times a week or so I expect you to get your brown belt in 2 years.
One year from 10 to 6 kyu. One year from 6 to 3 (brown). Why not?
In Japan we get our blackbelt in 2 1/2 or 3 years.

Caveat: Most people are not athletic.......
Bob Nash
majin29
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Moving up in ranks

Post by majin29 »

I usually go to class 2 to 3 times per week. I've had to amend my training a little due to health concerns but it should clear up shortly in the New Year and will resume my training.

I got together with my friend and he's a pretty dedicated fellow. It's not surprising that he's moved up quickly in his school (incidentally, I used to train there too but I found it a little McDojoish and subsequently left) but I saw a LOT of blackbelts there who couldn't execute waza to the standard of what I would expect out of a shodan.

In our Wado classes, our chief instructor has changed the tone of our classes to much more contextual (I think in part after sensei Wicks' visit up here in Sept). All of my instructors have noted that there needs to be more emphasis on "hitting things" rather than the air. I totally agree and have discovered an even greater interest and enthusiasm for Wado as I learn better when I know the context of a move.

Anyhow, I digress. Our school goes up belts in half degrees (or advanced degrees) so I'm not expecting to get near a shodan for literally years. But my instructors ARE teaching me kata and waza beyond my green belt level so, frankly, I'm not too bothered by it.
David Coscina
oneya
Posts: 857
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:31 pm
Location: Mornington Victoria Australia

Re: Moving up in ranks

Post by oneya »

majin29 wrote:
. All of my instructors have noted that there needs to be more emphasis on "hitting things" rather than the air. I totally agree and have discovered an even greater interest and enthusiasm for Wado as I learn better when I know the context of a move.
I take it this is not 'Kihon waza' we are talking about David..?

oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
Gusei21
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:43 am

Re: Moving up in ranks

Post by Gusei21 »

majin29 wrote:
I got together with my friend and he's a pretty dedicated fellow. It's not surprising that he's moved up quickly in his school (incidentally, I used to train there too but I found it a little McDojoish and subsequently left) but I saw a LOT of blackbelts there who couldn't execute waza to the standard of what I would expect out of a shodan.
Sometimes my world is rather small. What constitutes a McDojo?
And why would they have more blackbelts?
I know a lot of traditional dojos that have crappy instruction.
It is possible to get good instruction at a McDojo?
Or does a McDojo by definition have crappy instruction?
Just curious...
Bob Nash
kyudo
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:00 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Moving up in ranks

Post by kyudo »

Gusei21 wrote: What constitutes a McDojo?
Perhaps Americans are in a better position to comment on this, but here's my (European) take:
A McDojo is a place where profit and revenue are put before quality.
Which doesn't mean a regular dojo can't be crappy. Sure it can. I could also imagine a McDojo with good quality. But when looking for quality specifically, I'd avoid McDojo.
Igor Asselbergs
http://kyudokan.nl/
Gusei21
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:43 am

Re: Moving up in ranks

Post by Gusei21 »

kyudo wrote:
Gusei21 wrote: What constitutes a McDojo?
Perhaps Americans are in a better position to comment on this, but here's my (European) take:
A McDojo is a place where profit and revenue are put before quality.
Which doesn't mean a regular dojo can't be crappy. Sure it can. I could also imagine a McDojo with good quality. But when looking for quality specifically, I'd avoid McDojo.
Ok. Understood. But if you do karate as a business then you have to consider profit and revenue generation otherwise you will have to close your doors. As a programmer I want to make as much money as possible...so if I were a professional karate instructor I would want to do the same.
I just could not do karate for a living. I would lose my mind. I have tremendous respect for people who can teach day in and day out for 5 or 6 hrs a day. I could never do that.
Bob Nash
kyudo
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:00 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Moving up in ranks

Post by kyudo »

Gusei21 wrote:But if you do karate as a business then you have to consider profit and revenue generation otherwise you will have to close your doors.
You sound exactly like the investors in my company. ;-)
However, after running my own businesses for most of my life, I learned there's a difference between aiming for quality, with profit and revenue as a prequisite, or aiming for maximum profit, and not caring about quality.

As it happens, I just watched an impressive documentary about 'el Bulli' in Spain, which was often considered the world's best restaurant. The chef at el Bulli is extremely strict on quality. Yet, I'm sure he made a heck of a lot of money as owner of the place. They had 2 to 3 million(!) 'applications' for a meal each year. Even their menus became bestsellers. El Bulli's revenue might not match McDonald's, but it sure was profitable. The restaurant closed down recently, to turn into a cuisine laboratory. I guess that's the chef's idea of retiring...

BTW,
One of the most impressive things (and lessons to learn) about el Bulli was the chef's high regard of crap. The kitchen was a huge place, which looked like a laboratory with all kinds of high-tech kitchen gizmos. Tens of cooks worked silently and very concentrated as if they were surgeons in a difficult operation. The chef would sit at a small table, tasting and checking. Nothing ever left the kitchen without the chef first checking the quality. The interesting part was when things went wrong. Eventually something is bound to go wrong, el Bulli was no exception. Most of the time the cook in charge got rectified for messing up by the chef in no friendly way. However, sometimes the crap turned out to contain gold and the chef would accidentally come across a new combination, a new taste and he would be delighted. "I had never thought of this! Keep it this way", he would tell the dumbfounded cook.
Igor Asselbergs
http://kyudokan.nl/
Gusei21
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:43 am

Re: Moving up in ranks

Post by Gusei21 »

kyudo wrote:
Gusei21 wrote:But if you do karate as a business then you have to consider profit and revenue generation otherwise you will have to close your doors.
You sound exactly like the investors in my company. ;-)
However, after running my own businesses for most of my life, I learned there's a difference between aiming for quality, with profit and revenue as a prequisite, or aiming for maximum profit, and not caring about quality.
And I call that focusing on kihon.....and you know that. Correct kihon. Perfect kihon. What I get after you about again and again and again.
Last night I did the best kihon I had ever done up until now. Totally different in content from anything I have done in the past. But hopefully today's will be even better. And it still sucks.
Bob Nash
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