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 Post subject: Hoodlum ranking
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 1998 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 311
Location: Washington DC area, USA
On the way home from class one night, don't ask me why, but an interesting question came up for me to ask the Instructors on this forum, and my own teachers when I go to class this week. The question is: If you had to assign a belt rank, JUST IN TERMS OF FIGHTING ABILITY to the typical rough types out there, what belt level would you say these types fighting ability equal. If it's at the black belt level, then what particular DAN rank, and why:

1) your average teenage troublemaker

2) your average gangmember

3) a ticked off biker type weighing 250lb

4) a seasoned streetfighter

5) your average jail inmate/career crook

Please answer me. I'm dieing to know. I'm sure there are no absolutes, but I thought it would be interesting.

Peace

Cecil The Questioning


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 Post subject: Hoodlum ranking
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 1998 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 157
Location: Evansville, IN, USA
Osu!

1) your average teenage troublemaker

9th Kyu

2) your average gangmember

9th to 3rd dan

3) a ticked off biker type weighing 250lb

1st Kyu

4) a seasoned streetfighter

1st Dan

5) your average jail inmate/career crook

6th Kyu

I used the kyu system as opposed to color
because belt colors are so different from
style to style but I think most of us use
a 10th kyu to 10th dan system.

What do my answers mean?

Well, my rankings are based on who is most likely to want to hurt you and has the skills
and tactics to back it up.

So the streetfighter is highest because:

a) they are fighters (it is after all in
their name). They got da' rage (i.e.
mindset)!
b) they have tried and true skills and
tactics

Gangmember. They actually deserve more of
a range. Some gangmembers are tough-guy-
wanna-be's. They get 9th Kyu. However,
some gangmembers are equivalent to
streetfighters (1st dan). And then gangmembers are likely the most to be
carrying a weapon so they get a couple more
dans (3rd). If I were to average it all out
I would say they get 1st dan.

Biker. He has size. Period. And if you
think size doesn't count, you are right,
unless they guy you are fighting is bigger
than you then it counts! :-) However, his
mindset is based on anger as opposed to a
constant desire to bust somebody/anybody
up (the streetfighter and the gangmember).
So he drops to 1st kyu.

Your average crook is likely just a thief
who just wants your valuables. However,
he is more willing to tap his dark side then
most of us so he gets a few kyus.

Lastly a teenage trouble maker. Really
isn't better than a common nobody. Only
get one kyu because he is a troublemaker.

Your average person is a 10th kyu.

Your average martial artist is a 6-5th
kyu.

Good martial artists are whatever rank they
are.

Osu!
Jason


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 Post subject: Hoodlum ranking
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 1998 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 311
Location: Washington DC area, USA
Jason,

Thanks for your response. I got pretty much the same response from the assistant instructor at our dojang.

I think it's interesting to think of these types in terms of ranking. Judging from the big room of leeway you may have to give a type of opponent, it makes you not take some types of people too lightly just because you've learned a few martial tricks.

I like to think of people's fighting skills like musical skills. There are some natural singers, dancers, and musicians who have never had any formal training yet are great performers. There are others who have only been able to perform what they have learned in school and can't think outside of that box. However, in music, I have found that the greatest ones (except for Louie Armstrong) have a combination of natural talent, lots of training (be it formal or with high-caliber musical artists as mentors), and LOTS OF PRACTICE, with practice appearing to be the main ingredient of proficiency. I suspect the same to be true for the best of the best MARTIAL artists as well.

I'm hoping I'll become one of the great ones, or at least, a heckuva lot better than I am today,

Cecil


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 Post subject: Hoodlum ranking
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 1998 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 157
Location: Evansville, IN, USA
Cecil,

It is my pleasure to answer your call.

Keep in mind though that any such ranking
is shaky at best. Just like martial arts
ranks.... ever been to those tournaments
where the black belts look like they could
get worked over by your school's yellow
belts?

Everybody can be a significant threat to
you under the right circumstances (i.e. the
women who stabbed her attacker in the back
after he went after her kids, but did nothing
to safe herself). We did a little game
about two weeks ago. We lined up a big
guys, a medium sized guy, a woman, a
teenager and a 9 yr old kid. We asked some people who they though the biggest threat was. We went through seven people before the
eighth asked if any of them were carrying
a weapon! You see the woman had a gun. And the kid had a knife. Changes things, no?

Bottom line. Take any conflict seriously.

Osu!
Jason


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 Post subject: Hoodlum ranking
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 1998 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 311
Location: Washington DC area, USA
Jason,

One of the gunnery seargents I knew while in the Reserves worked his day job as a member of the SWAT team. He'd always preach to us that "even a ten year old kid is dangerous with a knife!"

Sounds like that sentiment was echoed in your dojo.

Also, remember in "The Gift of Fear" where the toddler shot the guy who was beating his mother!

Makes you think, huh???

Makes me look over my shoulder whenever I go to my son's daycare! (Just kidding). Seriously, I've found that the more I train in the martial arts, ironically, the less martial I become. As I learn how to make other people more vulnerable, I also learn about the vulnerabilities in myself.That may not be true with others, but that's true for me.


Cecil


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 Post subject: Hoodlum ranking
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 1998 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 5991
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Interesting topic. However, I don't agree with ranking the individuals described, using martial art ratings.

I'd give them credit for having fighting skills of differing levels, but their abilities were developed in a manner that contradicts traditional martial art beliefs.
Skills created through and used in such illegal behavior are not skills that should be rewarded with a belt.

I'm not saying that people who learns to fight on the street are not capable, nor are their abilities less than their martial arts' brothers. But I would like to believe that the belts awarded to a person who learns his art in the dojo, represents more than the simple ability to bully, threaten, intimidate and perhaps kill another human being.

I, like Van and others, would like to see more realistic training in the dojo, but I would never subscribe to a program that recommends picking fights on the street in order to gain this experience. Perhaps we will soon see our dojo training include such realistic instruction that Van has been recommending here, and I'd certainly approve of including it in our curriculum and rank tests. However, I'd like to believe that those of us who practice our art will continue to defend it while improving it. And certainly would not like to lend credibility or approval to those who simply enjoy fighting and are good at it. There are Octagons available to test one's true fighting abilities without having to beat up on helpless citizens.


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 Post subject: Hoodlum ranking
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 1998 5:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 157
Location: Evansville, IN, USA
Cecil,

You are quite correct. The Martial Way
is just that. Making personal discoveries.
Agatsu, my friend. Victory over self. I
believe that is one of the greatest flaws
of the large proportion of modern schools.
The idea is victory ... but only the victory
of having the highest jump kick, the most
trophies, the biggest trophies, etc. A lot
of schools do not emphasize that internal
struggle to overcome our weaknesses. And
I firmly believe that it is that internal
struggle that leads to the superior martial
mindset. I believe that your average street
fighter has a better mindset then your
average person, but I also believe that
through martial study a martial artist can
gain a mindset even superior to that of
you average street thug. If it were not so
then why is that I (and MANY others) have
stared down a street thug? Because we have
developed that glare, that window to our soul
that say "Abandon hope all ye who enter
here." This is why many martial artists will
always just be a piece of meat, and others
will be victorious in and out of the ring.

Sorry a bit of a ramble there.

Osu!
Jason


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