Friday, August 17, 2012


  When Taika began teaching RyuTe® (as opposed to Ryukyu Kempo), He was teaching (even more so) his own system of life protection. Keep in mind that Taika taught only Yudansha level students. All Mudansha training was left to the (his) Yudansha students to oversee (each in their own manner).
  Mudansha were considered to be the concern of each of the Yudansha students that trained with Taika. When they (the Mudansha student) came to him to test for their Yudansha grading, they were expected to be familiar with all of the Mudansha requirements. This was not always the case.
  It was a well understood fact, that the testing student's would be expected to perform Naihanchi Shodan for Taika (Taika felt he could tell more of a students ability's by watching them do this kata, than by any other means). A few of the more questionable schools/instructors would have their student's (who were often conversion Yudansha ranked students, from other systems) study the (3) Naihanchi kata, then send them to test (in front of Taika) for a Yudansha ranking.
  In addition to performing kata, testing students would be given an assignment (of sorts, LOL). Usually this would be some form of exercise/motions, that the testing students would work on for the few days of the summer conference, and would (then) receive their Yudansha certificate at the dinner on Saturday evening.
  I've heard of numerous testing protocol's that are utilized in various schools/systems. The majority amount to being Hazing ceremonies (more than being any manner of “test”). Just how (exactly) does standing in regiment for 2 hours (in a Horse stance), performing punches, equate to meeting the qualifications for a Yudansha ranking?
  The really sad part being, the majority of the people overseeing these types of “tests”, couldn't perform those same (physical) requirements if their life depended on it (all the while, Ignoring the fact, that the ability to do so, has nothing to do with one's ability to protect themselves, and/or demonstrate the knowledge/ability to instruct others in the basic requirements of the system).
  Many of these tests are more endurance competitions than any manner of testing procedure. The standard test, is really no more than a review of what the student can remember (spur of the moment). An actual Test, would be a categorized review of the systems entire syllabus (very time consuming, not cost effective, and actually kind of pointless, LOL).
  Any instructor worth their salt, can tell you exactly how well any of their student's are doing (overall). They may be unaware of individual (student) difficulties and/or knowledge levels, but I've yet to see an instructor that was oblivious to their student's ability level.
  The dominant questions regarding your system's Yudansha testing requirements are, what does your system require to be a (Shodan) Yudansha rank student? Will you be considered qualified to teach the (basic) system's requirements? Are you only required to be able to perform certain motions? Do you have to explain any of your system's theory's, or methodology's ?
  Regardless which (if any) of these would be similar to what your system may require, what are those minimal requirements? You may be surprised at what and how minimal those “minimal” requirements (often) turn out to be.
  I have heard that the RyuTe® association's testing committee is going to (begin) requiring any/all of the testing student's instructors to also be present at their student's testing (albeit outside of the actual testing room), “on-call” if you will (to answer to/for any major deficiency's). It was determined that the student should not be held accountable for the instructor's mistakes (whether it was in improper instruction, or in poor judgment for submitting the student to test).
  I believe this to be a supreme idea. Having witnessed students being chastised for things that were beyond their control or knowledge (in the past), I believe the instructor should be held accountable for their student's performance. I also believe there should also be consequences for having (obviously) unjustly submitted applicants for testing.
  I've been frustrated with the whole dismissal of any personal responsibility regarding one's students for some time now. At least in theory, student's attend a class in order to (actually) learn something. How about instructor's doing their job (teaching), that their being payed by those students to do.
  Student's attend a class (at least usually, LOL) to learn the subject that the class teaches (or at least what it advertises to teach). One would hope that this was discussed between the student and the instructor before having began the class.
  If/when those expectations aren't being met, there should be some form/manner of inquiry in place so that (both) the student and the school/instructor are able to establish an explanation (if not the ability to negotiate a solution).
  As instructor's, we are (only) a service provider (much like an Ice Cream Shop, there's plenty of other Ice Cream Shop's in town, they may not sell the exact same Ice Cream, but most people neither know the difference, or care).
  RyuTe® provides instruction in Taika Oyata's system of Life Protection. The majority of student's are happy with their “kicky-punchy” krotty.
 RyuTe® will only (ever) appeal to the technical geeks of the martial arts world. The vast majority of student's are not those (types of) student's. 
  Those that choose to consider/call us elitist's are not orientated towards achieving that same level of technical ability. We may not reach it either, but We won't just settle for achieving the lower levels of our abilities, or spend our time chasing after stupid mythological pursuits (to explain why whatever their doing doesn't work). Our goal, is to evolve our ability's to the highest level that we are able to. Not to drop those standards in order to meet the lower expectations of those not committed to learning, and understanding the teachings of Taika.


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