Author Topic: How long should a black belt test be?  (Read 21776 times)

Offline badsifu

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2007, 11:54:24 PM »
Spot on.
Dan Tyrrell

Sigung_Pat

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2007, 12:30:04 AM »
Actually, the first black belt runs started because Sifu Lee Hart was having us do the Bay to Breakers and Professor Reyes thought that was cool.  The runs got longer over time.  I started doing marathons to get ready for the black belt runs.  And then Professor Reyes started having us do the Vacaville-Fairfield run that Dan described.    :)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 01:03:12 AM by Pat Tyrrell »

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2007, 02:25:41 AM »
Actually, the first black belt runs started because Sifu Lee Hart was having us do the Bay to Breakers and Professor Reyes thought that was cool.  The runs got longer over time.  I started doing marathons to get ready for the black belt runs.  And then Professor Reyes started having us do the Vacaville-Fairfield run that Dan described.    :)

Only a superbly-conditioned athlete can run 20 miles and then do a multi-hour black belt test.   So, your explanation is sound with me, although that is a REALLY impressive test.  My club runs a hard four miles once a year for the summer  belt ceremony, and even so, most of the older instructors and quite a students decline for this reason or that.
"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
Baltic Dog, Dog Brothers Martial Arts

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2007, 02:37:24 AM »

I personally hate testing.  Watching testing.  Sitting on a panel and watching basics.  Watching pre-prescribed ceremony of attack and defense.  Only done after the person is tired, broken, and can't defend themselves anyways.  Believe me, it is more painful for the people that have to watch than it is for those that are doing.  I am never out exercising for 5 hours and then get jumped.  I am not so un coordinated from drinking that I can't throw down.  Testing should be everyday.  Your rank should be re-affirmed everyday.  You step onto the mat and you earn your spot - from beginner student to master instructor - everyday.


I agree with your testing philosophy.  In my club, there is no explicit test.  The club is small, so the head instructor monitors his students every class.  The Belt Ceremony is just that:  a long workout followed by any promotions.    Tests are generally to demonstrate your skills to be judged by others that aren't in touch with your daily progress.   That's impresonal yet completely practical.

As for the length of a Black Belt test, I think it's a good idea to make it long and hard.  There is something to be said for time straining the mind.  Even just sitting on the ground for six hours isn't easy.  So, longer tests tax the mind.   One you complete that task, others pale in comparison.

Up until about 1999, water (neither in or out of the body) was not allowed in any of our Belt Ceremonies.   This discussion was held on this forum 3-4 years ago.  The net effect of dehydration is lower athletic performance.  So, after the introduction of water, the athletic effort increased because people didn't try to conserve water.  With all of those plastic water bottles, the experience of dehydration and physical endurance has been lost.  "Wait. Wait.  Lemme get a sip of water first."


"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
Baltic Dog, Dog Brothers Martial Arts

Offline cirillo

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2007, 07:39:06 AM »
I hope people are not getting confused.  My statements regarding WHKD test length were for 'informational purposes', not bragging rights.  The long tests in WHKD are a 'tradition' in WHKD and the need to have such long tests is still being debated by all of the WHKD instructors.  In general, each instructor must decide for themselves.

I think that what is currently driving the long tests is the students.  Since the test is for the students, not the instructors anyway, this makes sense.  Students in WHKD have stated to me that they would feel 'cheated' or that they had not had the 'opportunity' to prove themselves, if their tests were different than the tests of most of the instructors.  In other words the test length is perpetuating itself currently.

The positive of the test is similar to the accomplishment that people get from running a marathon.  They feel that they have really accomplished something.  This increases confidence and the value that the student feels for the belt that they are receiving.  Since we in WHKD consider the black belt very important, we value things that make the students value the belt.  This is why some instructors don't mind that the test has become so long and significant in WHKD.

The negative of the test is that the instructors have to sit through long tests and some tests become unnecessarily long or brutal.  In terms of the instructors, they are there for the students anyway, so they give their time to the student at that point.  I don't think that they mind much, particularly since black belt tests are pretty rare in WHKD.  As for unnecessarily long or brutal tests, that is when the senior participants on the panel usually step in and, in general, the student hasn't minded the test being ended somewhat prematurely.

At present, the instructors are debating the issue within WHKD, but I don't think it is going to change greatly in the near future because all of the students know that the instructors' tests were long and brutal.
Sifu Jeffrey D. Cirillo,  7th Degree Black belt in Wun Hop Kuen Do under GM Al Dacascos and 3rd Degree in FaChuan (Blossom Fist) under Sifu Bill Owens with over 35 years experience in the martial arts.
College Station, TX

Offline badsifu

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2007, 10:21:55 AM »
Not confused Jeff.  Just like the discussion. 

I don't think I saw you pulling anything out of your pants to brag anyways.  It is just really a common way for martial artists who don't really fight to brag - at least that has been my experience.  Maybe it is just because that is the pinnacle of their martial arts experience.  A really long test of survival.  Nothing wrong with that I suppose; bragging about surviving that is.  I guess I and some others are more turned on by watching a good fight as opposed to watching someone survive.  Training to win and take names baby!
Dan Tyrrell

Offline NYKaju

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2007, 10:26:09 AM »
Not confused Jeff.  Just like the discussion. 

I don't think I saw you pulling anything out of your pants to brag anyways.  It is just really a common way for martial artists who don't really fight to brag - at least that has been my experience.  Maybe it is just because that is the pinnacle of their martial arts experience.  A really long test of survival.  Nothing wrong with that I suppose; bragging about surviving that is.  I guess I and some others are more turned on by watching a good fight as opposed to watching someone survive.  Training to win and take names baby!
That's why for my first dan grade I had to FIGHT three (3) bears who had boxing gloves strapped to their paws. That's right....this is real...not for the street but for the forest where it really counts! All about fighting AND survival.... *busts out tape measure* did I win?

« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 10:53:22 AM by Sifu Sin Bin »
Sensei/Coach James Mayors
Ronin Martial Arts
Kajukenbo under Dan Tyrrell
BJJ under Matt Serra
Judo under Mark Staniszewski
"You don't rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your training"

Offline Jason Goldsmith

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2007, 12:18:25 PM »


I have had this discussion with Goldsmith already about 6 hour long tests.  I am not sure what the point of having a test that long is other than perhaps comparing the size of one's phallus.  He sites the wisdom of GM Dacascos.  I am sure there is some wisdom that I have yet to understand in my limited experience.

I personally hate testing.  Watching testing.  Sitting on a panel and watching basics.  Watching pre-prescribed ceremony of attack and defense.  Only done after the person is tired, broken, and can't defend themselves anyways.  Believe me, it is more painful for the people that have to watch than it is for those that are doing.  I am never out exercising for 5 hours and then get jumped.  I am not so un coordinated from drinking that I can't throw down.  Testing should be everyday.  Your rank should be re-affirmed everyday.  You step onto the mat and you earn your spot - from beginner student to master instructor - everyday.

Part of the of reason we have such long tests is because we test non "pre-prescibed" motions, as you put it.  We have the students develop and test new techniques.  We make them spar outside, we make they fight in awkward situations, etc.  Additionally, we like to see people do all of their techniques under pressure, at heavy/full contact (for black belt), and make sure they know all of it, on the spot.  Our curriculum is large, so that is hard to do in a regular class at that intensity; it takes too long and produces too many injuries to occur everyday.  However, I do agree with your point that a person's skills should be re-affirmed everyday.  I just don't think long tests and that philosophy are mutually exclusive.
Sifu Jason Goldsmith
5th Degree, Wun Hop Kuen Do Kung Fu
Under GM Al Dacascos
Instructor--WHKD
Durham NC and Philadelphia PA
www.tkfmma.com

Offline Jason Goldsmith

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2007, 12:19:19 PM »
I hope people are not getting confused.  My statements regarding WHKD test length were for 'informational purposes', not bragging rights.  The long tests in WHKD are a 'tradition' in WHKD and the need to have such long tests is still being debated by all of the WHKD instructors.  In general, each instructor must decide for themselves.


Ditto.
Sifu Jason Goldsmith
5th Degree, Wun Hop Kuen Do Kung Fu
Under GM Al Dacascos
Instructor--WHKD
Durham NC and Philadelphia PA
www.tkfmma.com

Vala Au

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2007, 12:48:06 PM »
Not confused Jeff.  Just like the discussion. 

I don't think I saw you pulling anything out of your pants to brag anyways.  It is just really a common way for martial artists who don't really fight to brag - at least that has been my experience.  Maybe it is just because that is the pinnacle of their martial arts experience.  A really long test of survival.  Nothing wrong with that I suppose; bragging about surviving that is.  I guess I and some others are more turned on by watching a good fight as opposed to watching someone survive.  Training to win and take names baby!
That's why for my first dan grade I had to FIGHT three (3) bears who had boxing gloves strapped to their paws. That's right....this is real...not for the street but for the forest where it really counts! All about fighting AND survival.... *busts out tape measure* did I win?


[/quote

Is that why you flinch so much, James?

Offline NYKaju

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2007, 12:55:21 PM »
Is that why you flinch so much, James?

Nah, that's just from anticipating a surprise beatdown throughout that entire ceremony, "just because." ;)

*edit* Those bears were wimps, I think they were sedated actually.
Sensei/Coach James Mayors
Ronin Martial Arts
Kajukenbo under Dan Tyrrell
BJJ under Matt Serra
Judo under Mark Staniszewski
"You don't rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your training"

Offline cirillo

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2007, 01:42:58 PM »

OK, now this just needs to be moved to the 'Trash Talking' section, if we are going to continue it right. lol.  ;D
Sifu Jeffrey D. Cirillo,  7th Degree Black belt in Wun Hop Kuen Do under GM Al Dacascos and 3rd Degree in FaChuan (Blossom Fist) under Sifu Bill Owens with over 35 years experience in the martial arts.
College Station, TX

Offline jensad

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2007, 01:49:28 PM »
The beauty in Kajukenbo is its diversity.  I believe that when one trains and how one trains over the years to get to the level of black belt is a critical issue in the school, but more importantly on the street.

My teacher, GGM Charles Gaylord in in the early 60s had just openned his first school in San Leandro.  We trained like he was taught in Hawaii.  Indeed, there was blood on the lanolium floor until we actually got to fall on mats.  I cannot speak for others, but my body has endured a lot of injuries, which were a part of my "learning" Kajukenbo.  This is the legacy we all inherit as we learn the Kajukenbo way.

Point here is, just for me, it is not so much an issue as how many hours one must demonstrate his/her expertise or abilties at test time, as it is a test of character and resliency in being able to meet the standards set by his/her instructor, but more importantly, for him/herself.  And this standard is set the first night that the new student starts this journey in Kajukenbo.

I believe  that it is most important at the black belt testing level to have all of the senses working together, ergo  the five sense plus that "intuition" that guides the candidate to finish what he/she had started probably four to five or more years ago.  Kajukenbo is not an "if you can afford it, we will award it" system.  We donot have to be arrogant, but we can be proud of our knowledge, and good in its application.

Lastly, I have seen a lot of promotions, and I used and my students still use about 2 to 2.5 hours of continuous testing at black belt tests.  No breaks.

I have also seen other Gaylord schools promote the candidate and then all of the black belts get to hit him/her.  That was also handed down early on.  I felt sad one night as one candidate got punched in the stomach about 100 times after being awarded his black belt.  But he got through it - he met his goal.

Good luck to all and stay strong and safe.

jensad

Jim Nordlie
Since 1963 a student of Great Grand Master Charles H. Gaylord.

Offline RizZ

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2007, 02:12:03 PM »
My color belt tests have been about 1hr.-1.5hr......dont know about the black belt test though.....Hopefully within a couple of years I can get back to you guys.
Scott Goldstein
Kajukenbo Black Belt - 1st Degree
Under Sifu Victor Ballesteros & Sifu Virgilio de Carvalho
Frontyard Fighting Arts - Nyack, NY

Lakan Isa
Pekiti-Tirsia Kali

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: How long should a black belt test be?
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2007, 02:17:41 PM »
Lastly, I have seen a lot of promotions, and I used and my students still use about 2 to 2.5 hours of continuous testing at black belt tests.  No breaks.

While there is something to be said for a multi-hour tests/ceremony, there is more to be said about intensity.   If the final part of Prof. Bono's Black Belt test were at the beginning, the test would be no more than 1-2 minutes.  Heh heh.

I have also seen other Gaylord schools promote the candidate and then all of the black belts get to hit him/her.  That was also handed down early on.  I felt sad one night as one candidate got punched in the stomach about 100 times after being awarded his black belt.  But he got through it - he met his goal.

This is not as uncommon as we'd believe.  I've seen kicking, punching and even belt-whipping.  Some schools do this at the end of very class with the tradition of "The teacher has the last word."
"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
Baltic Dog, Dog Brothers Martial Arts