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 Obsession with Rank

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Chris
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PostSubject: Obsession with Rank   Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:01 am

What do you think makes people so obsessed with rank.

Everyone wants to be a black belt, an instructor, a coach.

Once they have those things they want to be a 2nd Dan, A Senior Instructor or a Head Coach.

What's wrong with just training and being a student? Surely, the capacity to teach others should only come once the time has been committed as a student. It should be a by-product of study, not the goal?

The "best" guys I know are the ones who show up as students time and time again. They are there learning at every opportunity and taking that knowledge to add to their own. They aren't hunting status, that comes as a result of their committment not their dedication to their own advancement.

Agree or disagree?
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Jagunco



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:43 am

There's a lot of grey area in that statement.

While obsessing after a grade of blackbelt or what ever is clearly wrong there is not reason why you can't be keen to want one.

A goal should be there to make you train harder to reach that level of course. There's the difference between someone who's set his or her sights on something and works tirelessly to attain it and someone else who does the same and so manipulates, talks shit, put others down and accepts a grade that he knows in the back of his or her mind he really isn't worth.

For me training was always for trainings sake but I did long after my next grading. I wanted it as something achived however, I never trained JUST for the grading. I don't mind admitting that I was dissapointed when I didn't get them and I flatter myself that if I thought I was given a grade that I wasn't 100% sure that I deserved I would refuse it.
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Dave



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:55 am

I often think about how many people join Martial Arts clubs to learn to 'fight' as a result of a school fight, victim of a robbery or an assault. Or because they think that they will need to be able to look after themselves after witnessing a violent incident or being threatened by someone.
Then after a while the assault, robbery or school fight doesnt re-occur or the threat never materialises and that individual now feels less frightened. By this time their training has taken a turn from the need to know the basics to protect themselves to that of gaining rank and belts be it for self confidence or to be part of the club culture or to feel like they are actually achieving something.
How many people in combat sports who join for this reason lose track of why they join in the first place. Also how many actually think that if they gain rank or belts it makes them more able to look after themselves in a violent street situation.

I rate boxers highly (not a perfect system but what is?) for all the obvious reasons they have very good conditioning, they train to hit bloody hard and they are used to taking a few knocks. Why have they never had a belt / rank system?
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Wayne Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:21 am

I see parallels in Chris's post and the view by society that seems to favour qualifications above real life experience.
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tonyk



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:09 pm

Wayne Harrison wrote:
I see parallels in Chris's post and the view by society that seems to favour qualifications above real life experience.

Or rather qualifications gained after five minutes "tuition".Its always been a standing joke that NVQ stands for Not Very Qualified.

Back in the seventies it was unusal for anyone to want to be an instructor,the reason being that the instructor was obliged to fight anyone who came through the door offering a challenge.Of course things have changed and if someone with that intent walked through the door today the instructor would probably call the police!
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Jagunco



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:32 am

So I have to ask... there are a lot of instructrs in here... didn't any of you want to be instructors?
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Wayne Harrison



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:17 am

tonyk wrote:
Wayne Harrison wrote:
I see parallels in Chris's post and the view by society that seems to favour qualifications above real life experience.

Or rather qualifications gained after five minutes "tuition".Its always been a standing joke that NVQ stands for Not Very Qualified.


With ya on this Tony. Question is why would any skills being taught not be useful. Perhaps because the person teaching has little or no experience outside of training. Maybe the lineage has no real combat experience in at least decades. Hollywood movies brainwashing society into their ego's assuming any training fits any combat arena automatically.
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David Turton
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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:14 am

I am not too sure I WANTED to be an instructor, it kind of came with the territory

When I was a green bet our instructor had to come late for 3 or 4 sessions and as I was the highest Kyu grade at the time, he asked me to take the classes until he arrived. That gave me a 'taste' for it

Then in Feb 1975 when I finally achieved my 1st Dan in Goshinkwai (after 15 years training in various arts) I was asked by our head to open a club in my area
Our H/Q was in Pontypool South Wales, and I lived in North Manchester at that time.

So I opened a club, and it kind of went from there, but did I set out to be an instructor NO, it just seemed the logical step/progression

standards etc will always be a bone of contention and knowing Chris he has opened this debate by not being too precise so that we can jump in
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GOVINDA



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:01 am

I went through the process but didn't really grade, I was mainly looking for tips for the street if you will, no black belts here but am an Instructor with the BCA (some might say isn't everybody Very Happy )
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roadkill



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:54 pm

I run into the rank obsession a few times a year with people. Which has created some interesting issues with people. I have a testing twice a year, if your qualified and have the tenure, you can have a shot at it. But, every time, I have 1 or 2 people approach me that haven't been training, they only have the tenure. Then the get all pissy when I turn them down, they actually get pissed off a bit.

For me, the rank was never top priority, but a goal of sorts, until probably 2nd dan and then I really didn't care anymore. Now I care even less, but maintain it because of people under me that want their ranking.

Funny, when I go to uniformed seminars, I don't wear rank and try and pair with as many different people that I can. Usually the ones with all the stripes and the petty uniform, suck the most.

Hell I don't wear rank in my own school.
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David Turton
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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:10 am

well I do a kind of 'when in Rome' thing

for example this morning (and just about EVERY tuesday morning) I have a private tuition session with two of my 4th Dans in my system... I rarely do anything other than kick off my shoes to get on the mat

However when I am invited to teach on seminars I always ask the 'host' what they wear in their club and turn up dressed appropriately

on gradings I usually wear a Gi if I am to be on the floor, but a jacket and tie if I am on a panel

sometimes (only sometimes) people feel 'cheated' if their 9th Dan head looks like he's out shopping and dressed in jeans etc.

other times people compliment me on my more 'relaxed' code of dress....

you have to flexiible about grades, uniforms etc etc
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Ade
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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:24 pm



I respect rank, legitimate "earned the hard way" rank that is,but it is not something i lust after anymore.
I've beaten Black belts and been tapped out by ungraded students,so it's all academic to me.


i am quite content and honoured to hold the simple rank of "SDF bloke".
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combatnige



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:49 am

well didnt we all start in martial art as kids (Judo in my case), and the belt system was ingrained in us at an early age as something to strive for and desire?

When I was a teenager I started in karate and always wanted to get my bleck belt, black belt 1st dan was all i cared about. Now I am older and (somewhat) wiser it doesnt interest me anymore, either for myself or for any instructors I choose to train under. Are they any good, does their stuff work, are they good enough to get the best out of me, and then ask for a little more so I am pushed and stretched into being better than before.

I am ranked and graded by my instructor, and he has authorised me to teach, as his representative in my area, my rank to me is irrelevent, but my right (and his blessing) to teach isnt.

hope that makes sense (if not at least I know what I am on about, I think?)
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nw



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PostSubject: Re: Obsession with Rank   Fri May 10, 2013 3:48 am

There's nothing wrong with striving for rank but I think a lot of people put the cart before the horse and try to rush through gradings, courses etc as fast as possible without a real solid base of experience. If you are reasonably capable you can often push through assessments by applying yourself and get the tick in the box. The problem is you are lacking the foundation.
MA are not uniqe in this, it applies to most things. I am into Sea Kayaking and somebody I know of has rushed through the 'Star' awards to four star as fast as possible and is now confused as to why he keeps failing his 5*. There is a big jump from four to five and five also involves leadership. A lot of wise people have told him to go away, forget about assessments, paddle a lot and come back when he has reached the level where the assessment is just a confirmation of what he can already do. He doesn't want to hear this though and is all fired up on 'I can do anything I set my mind to' so keeps banging his head against the wall.
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