Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Menkyo, Shmenkyo...

  In the effort to further prostitute themselves, one of the popular “fad” groups has chosen to (now) provide their own (supposed) master, grand-master, grand-pooh-bah, etc. members with (their own) "instructor" certifications (ie. A “Menkyo”). A reader of this blog forwarded me their proposed "testing" requirements (which can evidently be found on some "blog". I've provided a condensed listing of the main points here.
 As a side note, anyone in those organizations with a rank of 4th-6th dan (and higher), is already considered to be a “master” (WTF ?). (note* present “Grandmasters” are considered to be “Grand-Fathered” in this venture). 
 It's bad enough that they offer "rank" in (several) subsections of martial arts (face it, it's pathetic), but now (at least one of) these groups is proposing a "Menkyo" for them as well.
  They've posted their proposed requirements (and who/what qualifies as/for their “testing” curriculum/examiners) and it amounts to being a (self-monitored) circle-jerk. Amongst the testing “description” (requirements would be a bit too “strong” for the wording that's been provided), is the following. “Each candidate will organize his/her presentation in whatever manner best suits them, and they should not expect to field any questions or comments from the board”. Errr....? OK, so what are they being “tested” over? (presentation?).
  Each testing candidate must provide 3 uke who will be part of an uke pool (uke will assist by rotation in the testing for two or three candidates during a one hour period). One of those 3 uke may be the candidate him/herself.
  Additionally, “Those approved by the Board will receive a special patch, together with their promotion to the next dan grade” (oh, boy...). Though not “finalized” the proposed requirements include the following listed descriptions.
Each candidate will have up to 20 minutes to demonstrate mastery (it is not required that the candidate utilize the entire 20 minutes).
 And why would it? "20 minutes" is more than enough time to "establish that your a Master", uh, right?

This is a test of competence, not content, so candidates will be expected to show competence in the following areas:”
 a. Perform Naihanchi Shodan and provide application (at least 3 techniques). (considering that applicant's will generally be 4th dan and higher, I would Hope that they could do Naihanchi Shodan, LOL).
 b. Demonstrate safe and effective kyusho-jitsu based on sound application of the principles (uh, is this their “10 tuite principles” that amount to being vaguely stated ideas?)

  c. Demonstrate safe and effective tuité-jitsu based on sound application of the principles (and again with the reference to their vague “principles”).
  d. Demonstrate an accurate understanding of practical bunkai and real-world application (evidently, being based on the individual's understanding of what constitutes "real-world"? or “practical” for that matter)
  e. Demonstrate proper revival methods (WTF? Instead of their useless/pointless kyusho "revival" techniques, wouldn't a REAL First-Aid certificate be a LEGITIMATE asset?)

  f. Demonstrate full integration of ******* Method into all aspects of the candidate’s art (and again, WTF? Their "claim" is that they don't promote any "style",...well, except for just theirs? evidently). 
 g. Demonstrate other appropriate areas of research or competence which further attest to the candidate’s mastery (essentially, Sell yourself as being...”The Master”, LOL). 

  The following was (probably, LOL) my favorite line from these proposed “requirements”,
Each candidate will organize his/her presentation in whatever manner best suits them, and they should not expect to field any questions or comments from the board.” (Nice....shouldn't have to respond to any pesky "questions" over what your being "examined" over, LOL).
  The following general guidelines should be followed.
  a. During the exam, the candidate will be expected to direct the uke in the attack, and give a brief description of the technique.(meaning, the candidate will “choreograph” the entire technique that they're being graded on) Then the candidate is to demonstrate the technique, with proficiently, against an attack delivered with intent (uh, of a choreographed “attack”, LOL).
  b. Candidate’s may demonstrate additional kata and bunkai (beyond Naihanchi) or organize the presentation in any manner which is appropriate to their art or practice. (uh, don't leave anything to “chance”, LOL).
 c. Candidates are encouraged to keep explanation to a minimum in favor of demonstration. (yeah, don't explain anything your attempting to demonstrate, your only supposed to be being examined as being a “master” in order to receive a “menkyo”).
 d. The board will be looking for incapacitation and/or domination of the attacker/uke by means of joint manipulation, pressure points, and superior positioning.(or basically, performing any technique that a kyu-rank student should be able to perform). One or two knockouts are sufficient to allow the board to evaluate revival skills. (Soooo, just allowing an unconscious uke recover naturally, which is what they will do anyway isn't sufficient. They have to perform some manner of a “show” while the uke regains consciousness, i.e. your being graded on showmanship?).
 e. The board expects some techniques to fail,(from what I've observed of their demonstrations, a wise choice of action, LOL) Mastery includes the ability to recover from failure and maintain, or reestablish, control over the attacker/uke.(now there's a “CYA” line. This ability is essential to anyone who might be doing a videotaped seminar, LOL).
  f. Injuring an uke is evidence of a lack of control and mastery, and will generally result in a fail.(Aw, Gee, and “what” constitutes “injury”?)
  Now, to be “tested”(?) at their annual summer camp, it will only cost the candidate $400 (for a “test” that they, themselves arrange the contents of). If they should "fail", it's only $100 for the "re-test".
 Having observed what these guys do (for "technique" application), it's obvious that they need to get this aspect of their show arranged. They needed to get their number of "masters" and "grandmasters"  restricted (because damn near all of them already are of this level). They're running out of "titles" to give themselves!
  What amazes myself the most, is the inability (for other people) to understand my own lack of concern (if not growing contempt) for titles, and rank. These (types) of people exemplify that dis-concern.


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