Posts Tagged ‘Black belt’

What, if any, is the relationship between philosophy and Martial Arts in today’s society?

Written by Sue. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013

Philosophy & Martial Arts

Susan Pogmore

SIXTH REPORT – OCTOBER 2013

 

What, if any, is the relationship between philosophy and Martial Arts in today’s society?

 

Sophie and I recently attended an England Squad training session in Loughborough with Bryan and Lindsey and several other members from Shin Gi Tai. We were both incredibly nervous, not knowing what to expect. It certainly was hard work and an incredibly opportunity to watch and learn from other members of the England squad. I was fortunate to work for a short while with a lovely girl, called Maddie Moore. She was lightening fast and very good, she was also very humble and gracious.

Turned out that this young woman is something of a superstar – she won the Junior European Championships in the Female Cadet Team rotation category and the bronze medal for Female Cadet Kumite team Sanbon in 2011. In 2013 she is ranked 1st in Senior Kumite, open weight; 2nd in Senior Female Kumite U60K and 7th in Senior Female Ippon Kumite, open weight. She is seriously impressive and yet there was no hint of an ego, no arrogance about her at all. She was kind, friendly and encouraging.

 

An Excerpt from Modern Bushido: Living a life of excellence

By Bohdi Sanders

 

It’s not about getting a black belt; it’s about being one.

To so many people, getting their black belt is their ultimate goal, and once they accomplish that goal, they are done with the martial arts. Their black belt is basically no more than a trophy or a certificate of participation for them. They worked hard to get their black belt and now they are happy.

This is wrong thinking. For the martial arts to really be what they are meant to be, they have to become a part of who you are. Martial arts are not really about winning trophies and getting belts. True martial arts are a way of life. In the same way, your goal should not be to GET a black belt, but to BE a black belt.

 

Any fool can go online and buy a black belt for very little money. I understand, people who just want a black, don’t want to buy it, they want to earn it and that is admirable. But hopefully, their instructor will instil the love of the warrior lifestyle into them during their quest, and it will become more of a quest to BE a black belt, than to get a black belt and put it in their trophy case.

So what does it mean to be a black belt? It means different things to different people, but to me it means you have shown perseverance and dedication to the martial arts and are ready to continue your learning, along with helping others who are just starting their journey. It means greater responsibility to both your dojo and the lower belts who train at your dojo.

New students in the martial arts look up to the black belts. As a black belt you have a duty to set a good example for the novice martial artist. You are a mentor to these students and should show the honour and character that once were considered a part of being a black belt. You represent your martial art, your instructor, and you organisation. And you represent yourself. Do so with honour, character and integrity.

Once you are a black belt, people have greater expectations of you. These traits and expectations should have been taught to you during your training to become a black belt. Character training is a vital part of martial arts training, but has fallen to the wayside over the past years. Maybe it is time to bring back honour, character, and integrity back to the dojo and produce real black belts instead of just presenting trophy belts.

 

The relationship between philosophy and martial arts in today’s society is as varied as it has ever been. When Karate was in its infancy there was a very strong moral code of conduct. The Japanese culture, especially at that time, was full of tradition. Times have changed and even in Japan, standards have lowered. Honour and chivalry are not valued as they once were.

Once karate made the international journey, it travelled away from these traditions and was in some ways corrupted by other cultures. Karate then made the transition into a competitive sport, where for some the acquisition of trophies is the primary focus.

There are clubs all around the world that operate on a franchise basis and there is no quality or experience within the dojo, just the desire to make money.

Then there are clubs like Shin Gi Tai, where the quality and experience of the coaches is WORLD CLASS. The dedication from the coaches is second to none. The students, both young and old, learn the values of the ancient warriors. There is a strong feeling of comradery, friendship and loyalty.

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Martial Arts, is it just a physical skillset?

Written by Sophie. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013

Kids Martial Arts, Kids Karate, Kids Judo, Basingstoke, Kids Kung FuBlack Belt Research Project 2013 Introduction by Sophie Pogmore 

My Research Topic is 

a)      Learning a Martial Art is a physical skillset. What other things do we need to train and learn as a Martial Artist?

b)      What is your biggest fear as a Martial Artist, how are you working to overcome it?

c)      Everyone is different both physically but also emotionally. Some are shy, some are confident, others are passive and some are aggressive. Looking across a range of different types of people how can a study of martial arts bring balance to someone’s life and describe how that study could have both a positive or a negative effect on them.

 

To be able to do my project for my grading I am going to research my facts in books, on Google and I will use my own knowledge. I will also talk to friends and family about their knowledge and about their experiences. My projects are about my greatest fears and how I will over come them, what other things we need to learn as martial artists and how martial arts changes people. I will also present my information and findings by making essays. I might also make a short power point for the viewers to watch. This will explain in detail about one of my project but it will make it more interesting to read.

I personally hope to get more information and facts about karate and about how it can change someone, from doing my project. I want to find out more from other people and what karate means to them. How does it change you emotionally and what benefits can you get out of it? It will hopefully help me with my understanding for it and for others.

I also hope that my work will help other children to carry on doing karate and not give up. It will also help them work on their fears so that they can eventually over come them. They can take away information and facts that can help them in classes and so that they can develop their skills. They will be able to know when to defend themselves. I hope they are able to take on board some of these things to help them in karate.

When I plan my sixty minute talk I will probable make another power point showing different parts to my talk and how I will separate some parts of information to my other facts and knowledge. I also might do a rough plan to show where I want people in the room and how many minutes I will talk about one thing and then move on from it.

To be able to do my 5 minute talk to friends, I will write myself a plan of what I will say and when I will say it. I also might make a booklet or something to show my findings and information. I will also tell them where I got my facts from. I will also prepare to answer any questions people may ask.

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The differences between Beginners and Advanced practitioners.

Written by Jess. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013, Coaching


Beginners Karate Club, Karate club in Basingstoke, Karate in Old Basing, Karate in Hatch Warren, Karate in Brighton Hill, Brighton Hill Karate, Karate in KempshottThe differences between Beginners and Advanced practitioners.

Beginners- White, Orange and Red belts

By Jess Muller

I feel that beginners should spend the majority of their lesson time working on their fundamentals. This should include: the stances, the blocks, kicks and punches. Also, correct positioning of the body should be taught (weight distribution,) as well as how to correctly execute the moves.

So, in a 90 minutes lesson, 60 minutes should be spent on basic training, with the rest spent on warming up and cooling down. This will ensure that good power, skill and precision is learnt early on without overloading the brain with trying to learn a form as well as basic moves.

Once they have gathered some knowledge on the basics, and can complete each move without assistance, fighting can now be introduced. This is because they have now developed good skill, precision, control and concentration, due to the time spent learning the basics. Now the blocks, kicks and punches can be incorporated into the fighting. This is far more effective (I feel,) because it is easier to develop as they can see the moves being put into practice. Also, there is a smaller chance of injury as they have more knowledge on how to execute the techniques carefully and correctly. Therefore, rather than going into a fight blind with no previous experience, they will be prepared with some moves. By having good fighting skills the individual can gain good power, skill, precision, strength, control and timing, which can be incorporated into the basics and then katas/forms.

Once the basics have been further improved and the individual can now fight with relative skill and competency, it is time to introduce kata and/or forms. Heian Shodan is the first kata that is taught in Shotokan Karate. It encompasses the basic head and stomach height punches, as well as the downward block (Gedan Barai.) This is all the kata includes so it requires the very basic moves to be correct otherwise this won’t allow the kata to look good and be good. By having a good kata the individual can gain good balance, precision, strength, skill, control and concentration. Thus making the basics better as these new found skills can now be used to improve their basics and fighting. If the club starts learning forms first instead of katas, then the first form they will learn will be the Kickboxing Form. This includes the basic punches (jab, cross, hook and upper cuts to the head,) and two of the basic kicks, front kick (mae-geri,) and roundhouse kick (mawashi geri.) From this you can then learn the same skills as katas, just in different ways.

Advanced Practitioner- Purple to Brown and two white stripes.

By the time that practitioners have reached this level, they are considered advanced grades.  The time should be split accordingly to their strengths and weaknesses. For example: if there are 30 people in the class, and 18 aren’t very competent at kata, and the remaining 12 need practice on their fighting, then the time should be split in half evenly. This ensures that everyone can improve in their certain weakness, but also improve in another area even more.  By improving your weaknesses, you are making yourself a rounded martial artist as you are good at everything and not just one thing.

In a 90 minute class, the time divide will probably not be equal. More time will be spent or fighting drills or combinations rather than the basic techniques. Or you may start off with the basics quickly (as a warm up for 15 minutes,) and go into kata for 45 minutes and then fighting for 30 minutes. This helps to make sure that everyone is improving in every area, and not just in one.

As advanced grades, they should be learning more advanced fundamentals like multiple kicks on one leg and combinations of moves. There shouldn’t be a long time spent on fundamentals (like there is for beginners,) but the focus should be on the fighting and kata.

In fighting, individuals should now be thinking about: the gaps for the techniques, the speed, precision, guard and the techniques. This is because they can fight at these grades, and know what they are doing, but they need to understand their opponent too. Also, it is about pushing the individuals so that they have to think about where they are going instead of aimlessly throwing techniques. By understanding your opponent, you can read them to see any tell-tale signs of movement, or to see what techniques they do the most.

In their kata/forms work, they should know at least 3-5 forms (kickboxing form, close quarter form, power hands, 16 gates and possibly 13 hands.) This is for purple belts – higher grades should know all of the forms. Or the katas: heian shodan, heian nedan, heian sandan, heian yondan and tekki shodan– if they are taught the katas and not forms. This will increase their memory bank of moves as the different katas/forms contain different moves. In addition, they also begin to show different techniques which advanced practitioners need to work on. For example, in tekki shodan, it begins to teach the action of moving the waist and not the hips to generate more power. Likewise the close quarter form teaches this too.

Differences between the grades

A beginner should spend most of their time repeating: basic moves, katas and sets of moves. This will make the muscles remember the move and also make their brains remember how to correctly do a technique, or kata/form or fighting. However, an advanced practitioner would spend their time on increasing the speed of a technique, or the precision of a move or kata/form. They would spend less time repeating the basic moves, just briefly going over them to make sure that everything is correct.

The attitudes should be different as lower grades should be trying to catch up with the higher grades, and trying to improve as quickly as possible. The advanced grades should be looking at improving everything to get to black belt standard as it is in their reach, and still trying to prove how much of a gap there is between them and the lower grades. This shouldn’t be a negative thing; it is a good way of improvement, when you have a target that you are desperate to reach as it is achievable.

Summary of differences

  • Lower grades should spend more time on their fundamentals than any other area to get a good basis for katas/forms and fighting. Advanced grades should split the time between the three areas, especially the area that they aren’t so good at.
  • More repetition of fundamentals is required for lower grades compared to advanced grades.
  • Advanced grades should be improving the speed and precision of the fundamentals whereas the lower grades should be focusing on doing the moves correctly.
  • Advanced grades should try to learn harder techniques (multiple kicks, or hard combinations,) compared to lower grades who should get the very basic moves correct first.
  • In Katas/Forms, lower grades should know one or two, and make sure that they can remember them and demonstrate them independently. Advanced grades should know multiple katas/forms all at a good standard.
  • Advanced grades should think about their body positioning, weight distribution and waist movement to generate power and make every move as strong as possible. Lower grades should think about where the target is for every move and think about what the moves could be used for (Bunkai– analyzing the moves within in a kata/form to see what they could be used for.)
  • In Fighting, lower grades should try and use a few basic moves that they know (blocks, punches, front kick and roundhouse kicks,) to the best of their ability. Advanced grades know more techniques, so they should put them into practice to see if they work well for them as an individual.
  • Advanced grades should think about the openings of the opponent, and throw suitable techniques for that gap. Lower grades should think about where they are aiming their technique – head, stomach or leg.
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Black Belt Gradings 2013

Written by bryan. Posted in Grading, Updates

Black Belt Project, Black Belt Grading, Adults Grading, ExaminationAs Martial Artists, we should all seek to constantly challenge ourselves to test our knowledge and skills every time we train. As Gichin Funakoshi (who is credited with introducing Karate to Japan) said “Karate is like warm water. If you don’t heat it constantly, it will cool.” Without this constant evolution, we cannot claim to be Martial Artists.

In line with this, we are making a significant change to how we run the Black Belt grading this year. In 2013, there will only be 1 Black Belt grading, this will take place during December on the weekend of Saturday 7th.

As part of their grading, candidates will have to complete and publish a given research project where they have to justify and prove all conclusions that they arrive at.

The aim of this is to challenge the individual on a personal basis to broaden and deepen their knowledge base over a longer period of time and ultimately with the goal to significantly improve their physical and non-physical skills.

The pieces chosen for each individual will be targeted to be challenging for them and although a stretch to complete will be achievable.

Adults will have to do the following

1. Produce an initial briefing by the end of February that will be published to explain

1.1. About their topic and what it encompasses

1.2. How they will be doing the research

1.3. How they will be presenting your findings

1.4. Some indications of their timetable during 2013 to achieve this

2. Between March and November to provide a minimum of six reports/updates on their progress and thinking.

3. Produce a short summary of findings and conclusions and teach a 60 minute class on that topic during November / December

Children will have to do the following

1. Produce an essay explaining

1.1. What the topic means to them

1.2. How they will be doing the research on the topic

1.3. What they personally hope to get out of their work

1.4. How they hope their work will help other children

2. Between March and November to write three essays on their topic. 

3. Prepare a short < 5 minute talk on their topic to discuss with the other children and be prepared to answer any questions that they may have on the topic

 

For all candidates regardless of age, they must still meet the necessary technical standards during 2013 to be invited to grade in December.

 

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Martial Arts Standards Agency British Judo British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body The World Union of Karate Federations Shi Kon Martial Arts British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body

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Telephone (01256) 364104.

Email: info@basingstokekarate.com.

Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy,
The Annex @ ITT Industries,
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Basingstoke,
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