T Nation

Am I training in a McDojo?

As a TMA karate guy with over 20 years I found this funny and spot on.

Any comments?

Seems relevant to that “martial arts frauds” thread.

I personally take issue with #51 though. I think telling students that certain techniques are appropriate/more safely applied for sport, but can get you in trouble in “the street” is an important distinction to make. Jesse may not train or have experience training in a legitimate system that does this though.

Good find.

[quote]Josann wrote:
As a TMA karate guy with over 20 years I found this funny and spot on.

Any comments?[/quote]

Thanks, good read and unfortunately very true. I actually saw a instructor with a “chain store” dojo demostrate number 81 and in another dojo billing itself as the “authentic Korean arts” the practice of teaching number 80. Just unbelievable.

didn’t Joe Lewis get his black belt in under 2 years? BJ Penn??

but yeah, a lot of that stuff is bad…

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:
didn’t Joe Lewis get his black belt in under 2 years?
[/quote]

7 months actually, and under some of the best Shorin Ryu teachers and practitioners no less. But, Joe was an exception to the rule. He prided himself in training harder and longer than anyone else, had a natural fighter’s spirit, and was a genetically gifted athlete.

Plus, while he was still alive, I would’ve dared anyone to tell him to his face that he didn’t deserve that black belt. :wink: In other words, he not only had the belt, but the skills to prove that he deserved to wear it.

But, I’m sure your comment was tongue in cheek and you know the difference between most people who get their black belt in 2 years and someone of Joe or BJ’s caliber.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:
didn’t Joe Lewis get his black belt in under 2 years?
[/quote]

7 months actually, and under some of the best Shorin Ryu teachers and practitioners no less. But, Joe was an exception to the rule. He prided himself in training harder and longer than anyone else, had a natural fighter’s spirit, and was a genetically gifted athlete.

Plus, while he was still alive, I would’ve dared anyone to tell him to his face that he didn’t deserve that black belt. :wink: In other words, he not only had the belt, but the skills to prove that he deserved to wear it.

But, I’m sure your comment was tongue in cheek and you know the difference between most people who get their black belt in 2 years and someone of Joe or BJ’s caliber.[/quote]

ha! i knew you’d know about Joe!

yeah, i was kinda being sarcastic… there’s always exceptions to the rule, of course.

oddly, i found BJJ in my area holds on to belts for a really long time…

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:
didn’t Joe Lewis get his black belt in under 2 years?
[/quote]

7 months actually, and under some of the best Shorin Ryu teachers and practitioners no less. But, Joe was an exception to the rule. He prided himself in training harder and longer than anyone else, had a natural fighter’s spirit, and was a genetically gifted athlete.

Plus, while he was still alive, I would’ve dared anyone to tell him to his face that he didn’t deserve that black belt. :wink: In other words, he not only had the belt, but the skills to prove that he deserved to wear it.

But, I’m sure your comment was tongue in cheek and you know the difference between most people who get their black belt in 2 years and someone of Joe or BJ’s caliber.[/quote]

ha! i knew you’d know about Joe!

yeah, i was kinda being sarcastic… there’s always exceptions to the rule, of course.

oddly, i found BJJ in my area holds on to belts for a really long time…
[/quote]

Yeah, some BJJ schools/teachers are super strict with their ranking systems and really make you both earn and wait for them. Pretty sure Ceasar Gracie is notorious for this.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:
didn’t Joe Lewis get his black belt in under 2 years?
[/quote]

7 months actually, and under some of the best Shorin Ryu teachers and practitioners no less. But, Joe was an exception to the rule. He prided himself in training harder and longer than anyone else, had a natural fighter’s spirit, and was a genetically gifted athlete.

Plus, while he was still alive, I would’ve dared anyone to tell him to his face that he didn’t deserve that black belt. :wink: In other words, he not only had the belt, but the skills to prove that he deserved to wear it.

But, I’m sure your comment was tongue in cheek and you know the difference between most people who get their black belt in 2 years and someone of Joe or BJ’s caliber.[/quote]

ha! i knew you’d know about Joe!

yeah, i was kinda being sarcastic… there’s always exceptions to the rule, of course.

oddly, i found BJJ in my area holds on to belts for a really long time…
[/quote]

Yeah, some BJJ schools/teachers are super strict with their ranking systems and really make you both earn and wait for them. Pretty sure Ceasar Gracie is notorious for this. [/quote]

Forced sandbagging.

I’m curious how people feel about that. I always figured if you consistently (2-3 times) win your div., or even place (depending of the depth if the tournament) it pretty much meant you were ready for your next belt, at least for purple and below.

Some of those are so true. Except for number 40. It is an honor to be sensei’s Uke. :wink:

The practice of awarding black belts in one year needs to be understood in it’s historical context. When US servicemen like Joe Lewis were stationed on Okinawa they may only have there for about a year before they rotated out. A lot of these students weren’t to be seen again for many years. If ever. The idea in giving a black belt so quickly then was that it would allow them to be able to teach at their own school. with the expectation on the part of their teacher that they would grow into that rank.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:
didn’t Joe Lewis get his black belt in under 2 years?
[/quote]

7 months actually, and under some of the best Shorin Ryu teachers and practitioners no less. But, Joe was an exception to the rule. He prided himself in training harder and longer than anyone else, had a natural fighter’s spirit, and was a genetically gifted athlete.

Plus, while he was still alive, I would’ve dared anyone to tell him to his face that he didn’t deserve that black belt. :wink: In other words, he not only had the belt, but the skills to prove that he deserved to wear it.

But, I’m sure your comment was tongue in cheek and you know the difference between most people who get their black belt in 2 years and someone of Joe or BJ’s caliber.[/quote]

ha! i knew you’d know about Joe!

yeah, i was kinda being sarcastic… there’s always exceptions to the rule, of course.

oddly, i found BJJ in my area holds on to belts for a really long time…
[/quote]

Yeah, some BJJ schools/teachers are super strict with their ranking systems and really make you both earn and wait for them. Pretty sure Ceasar Gracie is notorious for this. [/quote]

Very strict, at least for schools that have instructors who had their belts given to them by a Gracie or follow IBJJF rules. Some instructors are very anal on what you need to know in order to move up by having detailed belt promtoion tests. I know that alot of Pedro Sauer (Rickson Gracie) schools are like this. Others will base it on mat time. We are under Royler Gracie and my instructor promotes mostly on mat time but we do follow the Gracie Humaita curriculum. The IBJJF actually gives guidelines for belt promotions.

When I first got into BJJ, I was told that a Blue Belt is the equivalent of a Black Belt in other martial arts in time spent earning it.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Some of those are so true. Except for number 40. It is an honor to be sensei’s Uke. :wink:

The practice of awarding black belts in one year needs to be understood in it’s historical context. When US servicemen like Joe Lewis were stationed on Okinawa they may only have there for about a year before they rotated out. A lot of these students weren’t to be seen again for many years. If ever. The idea in giving a black belt so quickly then was that it would allow them to be able to teach at their own school. with the expectation on the part of their teacher that they would grow into that rank. [/quote]

Interesting.

Also probably helped that men like Lewis and Bill “Superfoot” Wallace were training 8+ hours a day 7 days a week. Both men were all time great athletes and training that much with a great teacher resulted in two outstanding Karateka (evidenced by the fact that they were both winning national Karate championships back in the states within a couple/few years of beginning their Karate training. They also both modified and adapted what they had learned, added skills from other disciplines, and ultimately developed their own signature fighting styles and won full contact titles (and were two of the sport’s greatest fighters).

So, sure maybe this was a more common practice at that time, but it in no way makes either Lewis or Wallace common martial artists, nor suggests that they didn’t actually deserve black belts, but only got them due to time constraints.

[quote]MWP wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:
didn’t Joe Lewis get his black belt in under 2 years?
[/quote]

7 months actually, and under some of the best Shorin Ryu teachers and practitioners no less. But, Joe was an exception to the rule. He prided himself in training harder and longer than anyone else, had a natural fighter’s spirit, and was a genetically gifted athlete.

Plus, while he was still alive, I would’ve dared anyone to tell him to his face that he didn’t deserve that black belt. :wink: In other words, he not only had the belt, but the skills to prove that he deserved to wear it.

But, I’m sure your comment was tongue in cheek and you know the difference between most people who get their black belt in 2 years and someone of Joe or BJ’s caliber.[/quote]

ha! i knew you’d know about Joe!

yeah, i was kinda being sarcastic… there’s always exceptions to the rule, of course.

oddly, i found BJJ in my area holds on to belts for a really long time…
[/quote]

Yeah, some BJJ schools/teachers are super strict with their ranking systems and really make you both earn and wait for them. Pretty sure Ceasar Gracie is notorious for this. [/quote]

Very strict, at least for schools that have instructors who had their belts given to them by a Gracie or follow IBJJF rules. Some instructors are very anal on what you need to know in order to move up by having detailed belt promtoion tests. I know that alot of Pedro Sauer (Rickson Gracie) schools are like this. Others will base it on mat time. We are under Royler Gracie and my instructor promotes mostly on mat time but we do follow the Gracie Humaita curriculum. The IBJJF actually gives guidelines for belt promotions.

When I first got into BJJ, I was told that a Blue Belt is the equivalent of a Black Belt in other martial arts in time spent earning it. [/quote]

Makes sense. In my experience, the founders of a (legitimate) system are generally more strict with their promotions of rank and tend to really care about the quality of their students’ skills. Some systems, like BJJ, have done a good job of passing down/continuing these standards for quality and thus, for the most part, if someone has a black belt in BJJ, they tend to be skilled martial artists. BJJ isn’t the only system this applies to though. It took me 10 years to get my black belt (and I’d consider myself a decent athlete who picks things up relatively quickly) and they didn’t just give it to me when I hit the 10 year mark (or however many hours of training that equated to), but instead I had to prove myself by testing for it (and oh boy was it a test) before I was awarded it. But, I was training directly with the system’s founder(s), so they are very particular and strict about awarding the rank of black belt.

Other systems/schools, like the ones mentioned in this article, really only care about making money (which obviously has to be part of the equation) at the complete expense of quality.

Still other systems/schools are somewhere in the middle.

Finally, it seems like when the founder of a system dies without having set up a really solid hierarchy, ranking regulations, or curriculum you wind up with a crap shoot in terms of the skill quality of the system’s practitioners. You also leave room for the “showmen/show women/charlatans” to come in and mess things up even more. JKD is a perfect example, Aikido and Small Circle have also fallen victim to an extent.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Some of those are so true. Except for number 40. It is an honor to be sensei’s Uke. :wink:

The practice of awarding black belts in one year needs to be understood in it’s historical context. When US servicemen like Joe Lewis were stationed on Okinawa they may only have there for about a year before they rotated out. A lot of these students weren’t to be seen again for many years. If ever. The idea in giving a black belt so quickly then was that it would allow them to be able to teach at their own school. with the expectation on the part of their teacher that they would grow into that rank. [/quote]

Interesting.

Also probably helped that men like Lewis and Bill “Superfoot” Wallace were training 8+ hours a day 7 days a week. Both men were all time great athletes and training that much with a great teacher resulted in two outstanding Karateka (evidenced by the fact that they were both winning national Karate championships back in the states within a couple/few years of beginning their Karate training. They also both modified and adapted what they had learned, added skills from other disciplines, and ultimately developed their own signature fighting styles and won full contact titles (and were two of the sport’s greatest fighters).

So, sure maybe this was a more common practice at that time, but it in no way makes either Lewis or Wallace common martial artists, nor suggests that they didn’t actually deserve black belts, but only got them due to time constraints.

[/quote]

I guess I could also add that my teachers lineage is almost the exactly same as Joe Lewis. We can both trace our lineage back to Shobayashi Shorin Ryu, grand master, Chotoku Kyan. His top student was Tatsuo Shimabuku, who founded the Isshinryu system. Because of that, when Kyan died, Tatsuo’s younger brother Eizo Shimabuku became the Shobayashi grand master instead of Tatsuo. Eizo Shimabuku was Joe Lewis teacher so he had one of the very best teachers on Okinawa.

One of Tatsuo Shimabuku’s students convinced the Marine Corp. to put him on the payroll to teach his karate to the Marines. Some of those early students were combat veterans, fresh out of Korea and later on Vietnam. So they weren’t run of the mill McDojo students. Also Grand Master Shimabuku had served with the Japanese army in China and had fought hand to hand against Chinese soldiers who knew Kung Fu. Just about all of those men really were killers.

So it wasn’t outlandish to give them high rank quickly. Not like it is today with kids who have never been through anything, let alone combat, getting multiple degrees of black belt before they are even eighteen.