Rank me or not?

Sensei Canna offers insight into the real world of self defense!

Moderator: Van Canna

Re: Rank me or not?

Postby paulg » Fri May 25, 2018 10:36 am

I like this discussion about rank, a topic near and dear to many of us. I hope I am not romanticizing the past too much when I say that I remember a time when rank was not automatic, or nearly so, and when students wouldn't ask for or lobby for a promotion. We were told explicitly, by GEM and other senior teachers, that they would let us know when we were ready to test for a rank.

Asking or pushing was seen as poor form (socially, that is). In my experience, there has been a slow and subtle deterioration in the standard, so that now the idea holds that one is almost automatically ready for advancement because they have accrued time in grade, or because someone else with whom they compare themselves has been promoted.

When students do test they tend now to be given a lot of breaks, in the sense that mistakes are overlooked or they are given the option to 'do over' when they have made a major mistake like freezing in the middle of a kata or kumite because they momentarily forgot what comes next.

And in those situations where they were not passed because of a mistake or several mistakes they go away mad and indignant. Imagine what it would be like if a candidate bowed out politely and ended their test after a major mistake, or even said a formal 'I am sorry' to the board.

I have never seen this done, but what an advance it would be! They would certainly earn the respect of their teachers and fellows. Because we are all dojo friends we tend to wish all candidates well and want to pass them.

We don't want to embarrass them in front of their peers (or even their families, in those settings where family members are invited to watch a promotional) so we cut them a lot of slack.

We allow candidates to test who are not in good physical shape. We promote people to high ranks who cannot do fundamental moves because of disabilities or injuries.

Imagine what it would mean for the standards of the organization if a student demonstrated some perspective and self-awareness (example:"I cannot kick anymore because of a permanent injury, so I will content myself with my present rank and be proud of it.

And continue to study.") I remember Gary Khoury once commenting that not everyone can get a Harvard degree, and likewise not everyone should expect to get a high rank. I entirely support that sentiment.

Paul
paulg
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:26 am

Re: Rank me or not?

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri May 25, 2018 3:28 pm

I do not know Paul, if you have been reading my posts on rank and testing. If you have I thank you. If your post is entirely your views, I also thank you. The way people receive their rank today is automatic and ultra disrespectful. The actual test is a farce.

It does not matter what their ability is and how their performance is. I do not attend promotions any longer because of sheer embarrassment. I've seen belts and diplomas made out prior to the actual test. This holds true for higher grading as well.

I try very hard to hide my disappointment in certain people being tested. If I had the final, and only decision, a good number would not pass. That's never going to happen by the way.

People seem to have phantom teachers as well. I remember some years ago when a candidate wrote my name down as his teacher. I never saw this person in my life. I think he did not know I was there. I won't tell you what happened but no one has ever seen this person again.

The actual physical ability of certain people should be in question. I sat and watched people doing their kata for 7 - 8 - 9th dan. There is no way in hell that these individuals should pass their test.

I do not believe it was ever intended to be an actual test. Just an appearance to receive their automatic rank.

You would need to have a serious death wish in my dojo if you ever asked about rank.

Well, I think you get my point. Sorry about getting worked up on this ever present issue. We've got grading coming up and I know who the candidates will be. They look good and will no doubt do a good job.

There may be some others that always slip in with out stretched hands. Looking for their rank and expecting it. Here we go again.
Art Rabesa
Art Rabesa
 
Posts: 797
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 9:25 pm

Re: Rank me or not?

Postby paulg » Fri May 25, 2018 6:02 pm

Arthur, yes, I have been reading your posts and I am sure they have tickled some brain cells and got me writing about this.

Regarding the high rank promotions... we are, as an association, currently in the unique and wonderful position that all of the current tenth dans are people of very high quality and proven ability as both teachers and practitioners. Let us not squander this in the future by making even ninth and tenth dan automatic ranks. Let those very few who make tenth dan in the future be given very careful and thorough vetting.
.
paulg
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:26 am

Re: Rank me or not?

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri May 25, 2018 9:27 pm

I've been teaching for many decades. I'm happiest when I'm teaching those that want me to teach them. I still enjoy a good workout. To see people getting promoted to higher ranks just because they feel entitled makes me very disappointed. I don't see any end in sight for this. So I'll be content teaching my small private group of students and working out. There are those that have earned their rank and deserve it. Then there are those that everyone knows do not deserve it. That's just the way it is. I'm tired of it. Carry on.
Art Rabesa
Art Rabesa
 
Posts: 797
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 9:25 pm


Return to Van Canna's Self Defense Realities

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests