The right thing?

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The right thing?

Postby Joe Sullivan » Mon Apr 23, 2001 9:04 pm

Pomfret

I have a dilemma that I knew I would encounter sooner or later at my school.

I have already spoken to Van, G Koury, and Jim D., but am in search of further input.

My dojo has been open for five years and I am about to promote my first batch of blackbelts.

My students have expressed concern that they will be tested in front of a board that they have never met before.

My students are concerned because they know that they will be tested by traditionalists and have not been training in a traditional manner. They know that while other schools are doing three of each kata, and all of the bunkais and kumites, they are doing 50% of the kata\kumite\bunkai and the rest of the time they are training in takedowns, ground holds and escapes, submissons, and free sparring.

Now I have students that do not have the classical Uechi training that we are used to, but are complimented by takedown, ground-control, submission, and lots of free fighting experience.

Is it fair to put them in front of a traditional testing board where they run the risk of failing because they spent 50% of their training time on non-Uechi curriculum? I mean…I wouldn't change the way they were trained for the world. I think they are much better off than the average Uechi Joe is.

Opinions?



[This message has been edited by Joe Sullivan (edited April 23, 2001).]
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The right thing?

Postby RA Miller » Tue Apr 24, 2001 11:27 am

Joe sensei-

Congratulations on promoting your first crop of the "next generation". It's a great accomplishment.

Opinions? Don't sweat the boards.

There are three groups involved.

You, and you said it all. "I wouldn't change the way they were trained for the world. I think they are much better off than the average Uechi Joe is." You trained them to where you think a shodan should be.

Your students, and they will be nervous no matter who is on the board. They trust you, they trust your training. If they move as they fight the kata will be natural and fierce, which is rarer and more valuable than simply technically correct.

The board. Unless you somehow picked people to judge your students who will actively hold your training methods against you, they will be judging your students on their merits, the same merits you considered when you decided they were ready.

I wish I could be there to see it.

Again, congratulations,
Rory
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The right thing?

Postby Van Canna » Tue Apr 24, 2001 1:24 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
If they move as they fight the kata will be natural and fierce, which is rarer and more valuable than simply technically correct.


Beautifully said. And very true..think about it.

The problem I see , Joe, is, what makes up the board. Is it a closet clump mired in the muck of "tradition" or a progressive bunch belonging to a progressive organization with progressive thinking.

And remember that there is no such thing as "this is the way is done in Okinawa".. because even in Okinawa there is no agreement as to what Uechi Ryu should look like, or be performed like.

Then again, remember that your students must reflect the Uechi template to a certain standard...the so called compulsories, if you will.

I am sure they will do well.


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The right thing?

Postby Jake Steinmann » Tue Apr 24, 2001 1:37 pm

Joe,
While I've seen very little of your students Uechi, if it's half as good as their groundwork, I think they should be just fine.

"I mean…I wouldn't change the way they were trained for the world"

Like Rory said...that's all that matters, man! The rest of it will sort itself out.

Be well!



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The right thing?

Postby Raffi Derderian » Tue Apr 24, 2001 6:37 pm

>>>Is it fair to put them in front of a traditional testing board where they run the risk of failing because they spent 50% of their training time on non-Uechi curriculum? I mean…I wouldn't change the way they were trained for the world. I think they are much better off than the average Uechi Joe is.

Opinions?<<<<
In my opinion Joe, don't worry about it. I have only seen you in action a twice, once competing and once teaching. I am pretty sure your students are well trained. I teach non traditional programs as well. Most of the IUKF testing board (if not all) cross train or teach non Uechi material to their students. They would be more than able to judge your students. Are they testing for IUKF? I presumed so.
At any rate, congratualtions on having a new group of black belt candidates. It should be an exciting test.
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The right thing?

Postby Joe Sullivan » Tue Apr 24, 2001 8:28 pm

Pomfret

Thank you for your valuable input.

I guess my dillema stems from knowing I am presenting these students, trained in non-traditional methods, to be scrutinized by traditional, classical, eyes.

It seems so strange though...I have been their instuctor for EVERYTHING they have learned to date, and now, I am simply giving them over to a group foriegn to them, for the most important martial assessment of their careers!

It seems...strange.

I feel as if this is a problem that more and more instructors are going to face.

Joe P.
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The right thing?

Postby Steve » Tue Apr 24, 2001 8:28 pm

ok - as one of your students, it's not politically correct for me to respond. But as a teacher, my answer is simple: teach the test.

You already cover everything in class on the BB test anyway, so this is a moot issue, but for those not familiar with the components of the test, they are:

1. Sanchin
2. Designated kata (Seisan for shodan)
3. Exercises
4. Dan Kumite
5. Seisan Bankai, and
6. Sparring (continuous, not point)

I can't think of anything that my classmates cannot do from the above list. And, because you lead by example, I think that they will have fun during the continuous sparring, especially if takedowns are allowed/encouraged!

Having visited many Uechi-ryu dojos over the past three years, and observing 3 or 4 BB tests, I don't think the people testing from our dojo will have a problem. I know that you are ultra conservative in awarding rank and that you won't send anyone who is not prepared.

And that's not to say the test is easy - I've seen many people fail. The true test of character, however, is to look within after failing and to come back better prepared. That is, a good karate-ka should accept responsibility for not performing up to par and not blame his or her instructor for a sub-par performance during his/her BB test.

Congratulations on reaching this milestone. Now you have to think about scheduling black belt classes! Image


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The right thing?

Postby f.Channell » Wed Apr 25, 2001 1:40 am

Joe,
Knowing you those students will rock the dojo. Best of luck to those going up! I bet some members of that board are not as traditional as you think, at least 3 who I know, Like to get down and grapple.
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The right thing?

Postby mikemurphy » Wed Apr 25, 2001 5:18 am

Joe,

Interesting dilemma. I guess the question is do your students know the material that is on the shodan test? If they do, then what's the problem? I think the board (as I see it) wants to see diversification and some imagination from the candidates, but not so much as to change the form, etc.

Mattson sensei, Van sensei, and others have spent the last couple of years putting together standards for a shodan test with IUKF. Beginning in October, those standards (as far as I know) will be implemented. So, the question here is, do your students plan to test in front of an IUKF board or someone else?

One of the new standards is for candidates to go through a pretest. Perhaps the best way to answer your question is to have a board member or two look at your students and give you an honest opinion about their Uechi.

This does not mean that they are not "black belt material." On the contrary, but if they are going to test for Uechi ranking, then they should know the requirements for the ranking? True? I'm not saying they don't know the material, I'm just going from you initially wrote.

Does this make any sense??

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