Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I (like to) Believe that the majority of student's don't really care about what level of "rank" they attain, but they are concerned with what they are able to do (while being aware of what they can't do).
My initial goal with my student's, is to make them qualified to test for Shodan. Once they have that yudansha ranking, it's my hope, that they continue their study and improve upon what was shown to them. The desire for higher rank, is not something that I promote.
Once a student has received their Shodan, they (either) begin training to better understand what they've been shown (and thereby become more proficient at it),... or they quit.
Surprisingly, the majority quit. At least of those that even stick with it to their Shodan test. The majority of those, will quit at brown (3-1st kyu). Whatever motivated them to begin their study, evidently dissipated.
At no time in my instructional experience, Have I ever pushed for a student to test (beyond Shodan). It's not that I believe that having that rank makes one any better than any other student, only that it dispels those attitudes that accompany it's acquisition. Once that rank has been attained, a student's eye's are routinely opened (to a lot of the BS that's attached to rank in general). What one will commonly realize, is that much of what they presumed to be correct or accurate,... isn't.
Soon thereafter, they begin to see that 95% of (so-called) “Black-Belts” aren't even that skilled (if at all). The dispelling of the Rank Illusion is one that every yudansha will have to confront, and come to terms with.
The (sad) truth is, is that the vast majority of martial arts instructors, are existing solely on only (their own) claims that they have the knowledge (much less having the ability) to teach students (correctly).If one is attending the strip-mall dojo (type of) instruction, they are rarely going to begin teaching (at least outside of their little circle of strip-mall students). For myself, that type of instructor I could care less about (it's not my venue or interest).
Those that I will comment on (here, on this Blog), are those that promote that they are teaching something beyond the strip-mall dojo curriculum. Having thereby entered my realm of instruction, I feel they are fair game, for commentary/critique.
Even when reading some of the blogs written by these individuals, I am amazed at their lack of knowledge, about even the history of Te. As well as the (extremely) common misuse of Okinawan and Japanese words. It would serve these people (and their students) much better to not even attempt to use the language (any more than necessary, if at all).
Technique wise, most of what is being taught (by those people), is for sparring purposes. That (in turn), means that what's being taught will rarely work against anyone with (either) Strength, or Size (mass). Conversely, what is taught will only work for those who already posses those attributes (as if they needed additional training, LOL). What I teach (and critique), are techniques that disregard those factors as being the primary concerns (as to whether or not the technique will work).
I have (some) students that still participate in sparring. They're usually injured and/or incapacitated to some degree as well. They pursue this whim on their own (I'm not their freakin' mother). I seem to be pissing into a fan as far as convincing them otherwise, so I don't bother (any more).
At the very least, they provide the class with examples of what training in stupid practices does to your techniques (and your ability to train in meaningful practice). For every hour of training in that nonsense, it requires 3-5 hours to unlearn it. Nothing was achieved from that practice, yet people believe that it teaches them “something” (and it does, just nothing good).