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Old 11-16-2011, 09:22 PM   #48
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Re: how many back talk would you take?

Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Firstly, while things are seen differently in schools etc. the system of testing is quite different. In martial arts, the idea is that you attempt the test when you are ready. In school, you are expected to attempt tests at regular intervals. I think it is reasonable to fail a test if you attempt it when you are not ready, but I can't think why you would fail it if you attempt it when you are ready.
In your school of martial arts, that is obviously the case.

I'd say twice a year is regular intervals, btw.

Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Also, particularly when the person testing does not train with the tester, the results reflect on the person who is actually in charge of teaching. If a teacher consistently recommends students who are not ready, then it reflects very badly on them.
Many people have expanded on this view in this tread.

Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Obviously if you are in an environment where people regularly fail, then it is another matter.

Here's an interview with Kobayashi Yasuo in which he explains his view on the matter. He has very obviously chosen a different approach than the most common one.

Since I have many dojos I don't hold tests for individual schools. Instead I have all of my dojos gather together at Hombu. Three times a year I rent Hombu Dojo and hold a couple of tests at the same time. About 150 people attend each time. We hold black belt tests during the latter part of the sessions so that the lower ranks can observe them. I fail 30 to 40 percent of those taking the tests. I am quite strict. If I held tests in small dojos I would tend to create an atmosphere where students always pass. That is the reason I hold our tests at Hombu. In the beginning I regularly failed applicants about twice. This resulted in creating an atmosphere where failing two or three times is normal. So nobody has said anything about it.
But since the OP has stated the standard opinion regarding reflecting badly on the teacher etc. I guess we can assume it applies in his dojo, more or less.

If we assume the teacher is of the standard opinion, he is solving the solution by asking a senior student to help out, being unaware of the tension between these two people. They either have to work it out anyway, or speak up.

I think the second part of this thread is about the OP's agony since he is in conflict with himself, being asked to do something he finds very difficult and probably not will yield good results, and having problems speaking up about it. IMHO that is what he has to do, since not speaking up creates a situation which in his mind - and probably the rest of the training environment - reflects badly on the teacher. What he can't do is take responsability for the teacher's decisions. He can only speak up for himself.

How this other individual would handle not to be allowed to take the test, or taking it and failing, is simply not his responsability. The decisions and the consequences thereof are the teacher's responsability. If the student cares for his teacher he should provide adequate information - that's all he can do. He shouldn't try to solve his teacher's problems for him before the teacher even realised it is there, like kids of alcoholics whose role in the family it often is to amend, help out, make sure not bad things happen, make sure not bad things turn worse...
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