Author Topic: "Junior" Black Belt  (Read 27257 times)

Offline Nagi

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2003, 09:37:58 AM »
Quote
I dont think any person under 18 should be promoted to black period. Even though having a black belt means being proficient in your art, would anyone on the post here let a 16 year old with a doctors degree in surgery let that person work on them?


I been teaching my nephew since he was 3 1/2 and he is going to 8 years old in Oct and he will have 4 1/2 years of training under his belt, he is looking at aleast another 1 to 1-1/2 years before his Jr BB so lets say he will be 10 by the time. When he is 16 he will have 12.5 years of training and will have to wait 6 years for an adult BB I think that is a long time to wait for an adult  black belt don't you think? He will have double the years training if not more than a adult student.

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« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2003, 10:17:15 AM »
Quote
would anyone on the post here let a 16 year old with a doctors degree in surgery let that person work on them?

I can't believe you don't remember Doogie Howser!  The kid doctor!    ;D   I think he was only 16!





« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

sleddog

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2003, 10:36:43 AM »
I will state categorically, that I have never seen a youth practitioner with the very real ability to be a black belt under the age of 15 - 16 years old, and those are the exceptions.

We go on about how they have been "training" for years. Well then how many hours per week? How many times per week? If it was piano playing, and after many years of a-tonal practicing they decided to play Carnegie Hall we would some how find the voice to disuade them if only to save their egos.

Tournaments are full of well meaning little kids with black belts on and no abilities to speak of. I don't think lifting your leg up to head level to execute a half dozen round kicks in a circle as an ability. I can see no reason to add to this junk. I honestly don't care if junior has been training for years, we always tell our adult students that it isn't the destination but the journey.

Thankfully I don't have to worry if I will ever regret this decision because I will never have to make it. If you feel that to keep the little ones coming to your school that you have to sell this symbol then go for it. It just adds to the devaluation that has been going on for years, anyway.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Karazenpo

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2003, 11:00:29 AM »
I too, stand by the 16 year old rule. However, it is also not just any 16 year old, despite ability I also look for the mental aspects. I know someone at 16 is still maturing but there is a scale of 1-10. If I feel the 16 year old isn't close enough to the high end of that scale,  then I will have reservations about putting that student up no matter what their physical abilities are at that time. Nothing sickens me more in the martial arts than to go to a tournament, pick up a magazine or turn on the TV and see little kids prancing around kiaing with a black belt on. Wait a minute, there is something worse.......the black belt has a whole bunch of red stripes on it! >:(      Shihan Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline Nagi

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2003, 11:50:47 AM »
Quote
I will state categorically, that I have never seen a youth practitioner with the very real ability to be a black belt under the age of 15 - 16 years old, and those are the exceptions.

We go on about how they have been "training" for years. Well then how many hours per week? How many times per week? If it was piano playing, and after many years of a-tonal practicing they decided to play Carnegie Hall we would some how find the voice to disuade them if only to save their egos.

Tournaments are full of well meaning little kids with black belts on and no abilities to speak of. I don't think lifting your leg up to head level to execute a half dozen round kicks in a circle as an ability. I can see no reason to add to this junk. I honestly don't care if junior has been training for years, we always tell our adult students that it isn't the destination but the journey.

Thankfully I don't have to worry if I will ever regret this decision because I will never have to make it. If you feel that to keep the little ones coming to your school that you have to sell this symbol then go for it. It just adds to the devaluation that has been going on for years, anyway.

Let me re-state my opinion after reading my post I see you can take it a couple of ways. I absolutely agree with the 16 year rule (see my previous post's) I was commenting on Sigungjoe 18 year rule. I agree I would never hand out an adult black belt to any student under 16 years old. I meant from the time he is 10 to age 16 to test for adult BB is six years and at 18 would be 2 more years for a total of 8 years from JR. BB to an adult BB . Sometime's it hard to understand one writings compared to what they really mean and if I misinterpreted this again I will recomment sorry for the confusion on my part    

1st comment
At the school that I own & teach at the rule is 16 years of age for an adult black belt and we except students into the adult program at 13 and it takes 7-9 years to obtain a black belt. The adults class is different from the kids class due to all the joint locking (Hapkido) and the kids can't with stand the the rigorous joint locking tech's. So in turn im only talking about our kids program and any child under 13 receives a skunk rank (Jr. BB) and then they would stay a Jr. BB and be moved into the adults program at 13, and then they would learn the adults program. When the adult program is learnt then they will be tested for an adult Black Belt while remaining a Jr. BB. at 16. I havent promted any JR BB at my school yet but Im getting close and I will adopt Shihan Joe Shuras policy with either a black belt with a white stripe or, half Black & half white  
 
 
      
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:05 PM by -1 »
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Karazenpo

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2003, 12:18:46 PM »
So there is no misundersatnding in my policy: The half black and half white belt is worn ONLY in the dojo and denotes where the student is going and where they are coming from. The student's rank is still brown belt and this dojo rank is not to be worn for any reason at any event period outside the school and even then there is strict criteria for awarding such a belt. I've never had any little kids running around the dojo with these belts, usually they are early teens, maybe 12 if they show exceptional character and ability. ;)  Shihan Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

sleddog

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2003, 06:31:31 PM »
My problem is not the age but the ability. Benny Urquidez was promoted at 14 years old (his brother wanted to him wait untill he was 16 or 18) after the overwhelming insistance of most of the instuctors in his area because he was so much better that his peers. History bears out that it was a good move. as I said, exceptions prove the rule.

An old family friend called me recently and was happily recounting her recent training with her two kids where she told me about their advanced training. She is a dan holder in a Japanese system. I started to feel strange and asked how they did. She informed me that her son (13 yrs old) had been promoted to junior 3rd degree black belt and that her daughter (12 yrs old) has been promoted to junior 2nd degree. This was done in a purportedly "traditional" Japanese system. I didn't say anything at the time but my lack of enthusiasm for their advancement may have conveyed my feelings.

I never thought that I would consider myself too old. Oh well.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

sigungjoe

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2003, 06:55:55 PM »
I too have started my training when i was 4 years old. I still had to wait till i was 18 to get my black belt. In my school, we felt and still feel that 18 is the proper age to start on your adult journey in the martial arts. Taken for granted that there are some teens that are mature for their age, and can hold that rank with dignity and honor. Those individuals would know and understand the reasoning for the minimum age requirements. As my instructor Grand Master Ted Sotelo once told me, " there are too many people giving black belts to kids that  are to immature to hold that rank. The result is, it sometimes makes the actual rank mean less and less."
 As with most schools, the black belts produced are signatures of  the instructors skill level, and or knowledge level.
This is just my humble oppinion and I hope I have not offended anyone with my views.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline John Bishop

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2003, 10:48:05 PM »
Sigung Joe:
 It is not just your opinion.  It is Kajukenbo policy.  
I was always taught that we don't promote people under 18 to black belt.  And when I started my own school I asked Sijo himself about the rule wondering if he had changed his opinion with the passage of time.  His answer was "18".  
But I know some Kajukenbo instructors who promote junior black belts, and it gets embarrassing at times.  I've always been up front about it to parents and youth students: the highest rank they can get under 18 is Sr. Brown.  And then you have to listen to the stories about their 11 year old friends who are second degree black belts, as if they were on par with my adult 2nd degree black belts.  
 To my embarrassment, last month I attended a tournament in Riverside County where there was a Kajukenbo school from San Diego.  This school is a branch of a well respected Kajukenbo school in Hawaii.  Well, I introduced myself to the Sifu and then had my students come down from the stands and pay their respects to him.  When he called his students to come over their was a 12 year old black belt amonst them.    
That is when you have to explain to your kids that "not everyone follows tradition".
So when someone outside of Kajukenbo says that they have black belts that are kids, I take the opinion of "so what".  If they feel that a black belt in "their" system is something a teenager or child could obtain, thats OK with me.  
Myself, I would have a hard time telling a adult that he will have to put in 4-6 years of hard work and pain to obtain something that a 12 year old can also get.    
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Offline Sifu Julian

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2003, 02:25:03 AM »
Aloha!

This has been a great thread---had no idea this was such an issue.

As a rule I support the 18 year old Black Belt rule. There are always exceptions to every rule as several of you have already pointed out.

When I started class with my Sifu---I was 21 and a Brown belt. His daughter was 15 and a Black Belt. I looked at this "little girl" when he told her to spar with me and couldn't bring myself to hit someone smaller than me---much less a girl. Then she did an AT&T ("reach out and touch someone") with a toe kick to my groin  :o (did I mention that we trained without cups!) :o

Well, from that point on I was a believer! I never let up on her from that point on. I gave her just as hard as I would give anyone else, and she responded in kind. Again though, she is one of those exceptional cases.

So, now to answer the question:  I nor any of my instructors have used "dojo rank." A Black Belt is a Black Belt---period. If a student younger than 18 can distinguish themselves in learning techniques, class leadership, ettiquette, conduct, teaching skills, etc. then they wear the Black Belt. If they cannot distinguish themselves in all areas expected of the rank then they don't get the rank.

About curriculum --- maybe I am not the smartest guy on this forum (that was rhetorical  ;) ), but I couldn't keep track of 2 or 3 curriculums --- so we teach one program to everyone. Needless to say, I have never taught children under 11 or 12. So, I guess that also plays into the student Black Belt issue. If the younger kids cannot handle the material due to maturity issues, then let them study something else and come to me when they want to learn to defend themselves. I always recommend people take their little ones to gymnastics to learn flexibility, coordination, tumbling, etc. JMHO.
All that to say --- I still have a written rule of age 18 for a Black Belt and I agree with most everyone that has given reasons for that age being a good cut-off point. I do allow for exceptions to the rules (see above.) Rules are guides and not laws that are unchangeable and unbending.

I hope that adds some food-for-thought!

Mahalo & Aloha!

Sifu Julian
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:05 PM by -1 »
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sleddog

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2003, 06:13:00 AM »
Another problem that keeps coming up is the issue of "dojo black belts". These are students that for some reason the instructor does not wantr to promote to black belt officially, but will let them wear it at a tournament (with great success), or to run a class, or even a school. Then the inevitable problems arise between the teacher and the black-belt-wearing non black belt and then the original teacher wants everyone to "not" recognise this person as a black belt anymore.

This happens all to frequently. I run across it often as the keeper of the Kajukenbo family tree. And I wonder, if this becomes such a problem, why do people do it to themselves?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2003, 06:31:15 AM »
At my school I have yellow belts, and youth yellow belt, orange belts and youth orange belts, purple belts and youth purple belts, and so on.  The youth belts always have some white in them to show they are not full ranks.

At my school all youth ranks are lower than all adult ranks.  No matter what the color.  

I've seen other schools in which you must kneel down to show respect when a student who's your senior kneels down to put on their belt.  This gets kind of out of control when 10 year old blue belt causes an entire beginner adult class to stop so they can show this kid respect.

I have also seen when a youth student graduates from the kids class to the adult class that they have one of two choices.  They are either re-evaluated for the proper adult rank, or forced to wear their youth belt until they can test for the same color again at the adult level.

So I think youth black is ok, as long as the black belt isn't a solid black belt.  I like keeping half of it white.  Of course when they switch to the adult class you have to figure out a way to denote what adult rank they are.  I don't have any youth black belts, but what I've seen before is having them put a yellow stripe on their belt if they are considered adult yellow.  Or a blue stripe, or green, etc.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

sigungjoe

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2003, 06:49:57 AM »
Thanks Sigung Bishop,
I wonder why people still promote the kids in Kajukenbo to black, regardless if its a dojo belt, or a youth belt , or even a junior black. Like you said, Sijo said the rule is 18. That should be the bottom line right there.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2003, 07:05:44 AM »
Quote
I wonder why people still promote the kids in Kajukenbo to black, regardless if its a dojo belt, or a youth belt , or even a junior black. Like you said, Sijo said the rule is 18. That should be the bottom line right there.


I do it at my school because I don't teach Kajukenbo and don't trace my lineage back to Sijo Emperado.  Those who do will have to decide whether they wish to let someone else dictate policies within their own dojos.  

Are the Kajukenbo schools franchised?  Or just mainly owned and operated by the individual instructors?




« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline John Bishop

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2003, 07:48:34 AM »
Quote


I do it at my school because I don't teach Kajukenbo and don't trace my lineage back to Sijo Emperado.  Those who do will have to decide whether they wish to let someone else dictate policies within their own dojos.  

Are the Kajukenbo schools franchised?  Or just mainly owned and operated by the individual instructors?





I don't really know of any Kajukenbo franchises.  I don't think the "McDojo" franchise idea appeals to most Kajukenbo instructors.  From day one many of the kajukenbo schools have been run thru YMCA's, Boys Clubs, City Recreation Depts, etc.  
The one's who do run commercial schools ussually do not follow the chain school practices like "excellerated black belt programs", selling franchises to 1st degree black belts, jr. black belts, etc.

As to  

" Those who do will have to decide whether they wish to let someone else dictate policies within their own dojos."  

I don't know who you consider the head of your system; if you do have one.  But, Kajukenbo is a traditional martial art with a founder and creator who is still alive, and who has set down traditions and policies for the art .  It is not up to the "dojo owner" to change the policies and traditions of Kajukenbo just because he owns his own school.  
In Calif. I have seen the Fred Villari's Studios and United Studios chains where traditions and policies come from board meetings and marketing research.  Where they have 6-12 month "Black Belt Colleges", and instructors have "Regional Manager" or "Marketing Director" on their business cards.  Where they have put profit and expansion first and martial arts a far second.  
I welcome the idea that Kajukenbo is still a "Ohana" (family) where Sijo is the head, and martial arts and tradition is still the main purpose of our role in Kajukenbo.  

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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