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Old 03-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
Zoe S Toth
Dojo: Seidokan Aikido of South Carolina
Location: Columbia, SC
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Do symbol Adult Ranks for Children

Hello all!

I'm rather curious about other Aikido dojo policies on testing children (think around 1st year of High School so I guess 'teenagers') for adult ranks. We've got a group of kids that last year made Gokyu, the first adult rank in our dojo, and they seem to be pretty excited about testing in a month or so.

Problem is how they act though. They stand around talking until someone prods them to actually do the tecnique but I guess kids by their nature have a problem keeping on task. I find it a bit laudible that they would test for yonkyu- serious adults have to train twice a week for a year to get that. Of course our Sensei is so spastic about testing you are never sure exactly what you are testing for.

I guess the question I'm curious in is, in part, what does a rank mean? Should these kids be held to adult standards now that they are out of the kiddie belt system?

Also, does a belt rank mean you have a certain amount of knowledge or are at a certain point in your journey?

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:54 AM   #2
philipsmith
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Birmingham
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

we have junior ranks and senior ranks in our dojo.

The juniors have to resit there current rank when they become seniors at age 18
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
Alic
Dojo: Sokushinkan Dojo, Vancouver
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

We have kids belts and adult belts. The kids have to exam for adult belt since the syllabus is different. However, if they stick it through it will feed into sankyu adult, and by that time would have developed discipline.

Your kids need to experience hardcore class. That'll humble them. Showing them how much they still haven't learned ia good too. Keep them grounded and working hard.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:31 PM   #4
Zoe S Toth
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Alic,

I fully agree about them needing to experience a hardcore class. Right now children come to the first half of the class (dubbed 'family hour'). After that we start breaking out harder stuff. I've never seen one of the kids take a breakfall and I doubt they know how. Also I've never seen one of them sweating after practice.

I think if they are in an adult rank, they should be doing adult technique.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:00 AM   #5
Alic
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

That's the nice thing I find about Yoshinkan: you can always count on the instructor to be hardcore!

We have seperate kids and adults classes, and we stress to them that their belt is not the same as the adults. The adults also occassionally help teach them with the sensei's, so the kids can see the difference. One time during ukemi lessons, the kids get too cocky, and my junior sensei chained about a dozen hiyaku ukemi (senshusei intensity), the entire class hushes up, and maybe one or two "whoa" around.

The adult class would sometimes demonstrate higher level stuff like jiyu-waza in front of them, and sensei even busted out a few aiki-wazas that he knew. I personally took a ushiro aiki-nage. That made the kids really get the impression of the difference in training quality, and subsequently they work much harder, aiming for entry into adult classes.

Gotta impress onto them that Budo is all about hardwork and determination man. If they think they can cheat their way in they will. Show them that rank means nothing in a battle, only true skills, and that can only be tempered through rigourous training.

True swords are forged from the hottest flames.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
lbb
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Teenagers (say 14-15 and up) train with adults at our dojo, not with kids. They are expected to meet the same standards for testing and for conduct in class: if they don't show signs that they're progressing under their own power, rather than needing to be dragged and prodded to train or to do techniques correctly (or at least try their best), they wouldn't be testing. Honestly, it is more than most teenagers are up for, but it's what's best for them if they're going to be training.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:13 AM   #7
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

I can not write about Korindo Aikido and kids in genral - I do not know.

My Sensei, always taught adults, even when he did let 12/13 years old to join the class, they joined as adults. This means they were to train and behave just like anyone else, and if they proved worthy of rank, they got it (since he normally only held 1st kyu and Dan ranking - the few who got that far were over 16 and almost 18 by then, and are great aikidoka lots of years after ).

In my opinion, the ranking should equate the training:

If they practice like adults, perform Ukemi like adults (often, much better, kids love to jump and fly), perform technique like adults (beware, at 15-17, they get strength multiplication and uke joints should feel it), and of course, behave like adults. They should get the same recognition as adults - same ranks, same tests and same respect for achievments.
If there is a different framework and they do less, the ranks, recognition etc. should be adjusted accordingly.

Amir
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:22 PM   #8
philipsmith
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Sorry to chip in again (I usually don't like revisiting my comments) but I am somewhat surprised by the negative tone of some of the posts.

Kids are kids, until ages 13-14 they just want to have fun; after that you can get a little more technical.
However I think comments like "its more than most teenagers are up for" or "Gotta impress onto them that Budo is all about hardwork and determination man. If they think they can cheat their way in they will" are really unhelpful and in fact disrespectful to the children.

If that's the reaction they get from their seniors it's a wonder they turn up to train at all!
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:01 PM   #9
lbb
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
However I think comments like "its more than most teenagers are up for" or "Gotta impress onto them that Budo is all about hardwork and determination man. If they think they can cheat their way in they will" are really unhelpful and in fact disrespectful to the children.
Unhelpful how? Disrespectful how? If they're up for it, they're up for it: the class will work for them and they'll be able to train and get something out of it. And if not, then not.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:09 PM   #10
Alic
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

You should see some of them shaolin kungfu boys. You wouldn't expect them to be 13-14 year olds based on how they uphold themselves.

Kids used to mature far earlier, because people didn't give them any excuses. I had to mature quickly because even when I tried to make excuses for myself, it didn't save me from the asskickings I got.

If you act like an idiot, be prepared to be treated like one - that's what I learned from high school.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:16 AM   #11
kewms
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
Kids are kids, until ages 13-14 they just want to have fun; after that you can get a little more technical.
However I think comments like "its more than most teenagers are up for" or "Gotta impress onto them that Budo is all about hardwork and determination man. If they think they can cheat their way in they will" are really unhelpful and in fact disrespectful to the children.
If they want to act like kids, they're welcome to stay in the kids' classes.

At our dojo, junior black belt is equivalent to adult 3rd kyu, and a junior black belt would need to transition to the adult classes to get further promotions. (That is, there is no junior nidan, sandan, etc.) The more senior kids are encouraged to train with the adults, but expected to handle themselves in a mature way if they do. Beginners who are 16 or older start on the adult track from the beginning.

Katherine
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:57 PM   #12
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
...
At our dojo, junior black belt is equivalent to adult 3rd kyu, and a junior black belt would need to transition to the adult classes to get further promotions.
...
I didn't know there existed such a thing as a junior black belt. AFAIK in the Netherlands there is a minimum age of 16 for black belt in judo. I tried to look up what it is in aikido and I found minimum ages varying from 16 to 18. So juniors are not tested for black belt in the Netherlands from what I can find.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 03-18-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:10 PM   #13
kewms
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I didn't know there existed such a thing as a junior black belt. AFAIK in the Netherlands there is a minimum age of 16 for black belt in judo. I tried to look up what it is in aikido and I found minimum ages varying from 16 to 18. So juniors are not tested for black belt in the Netherlands from what I can find.
It's just a rank that we award locally. Junior ranks are not registered with our national organization.

Katherine
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:26 PM   #14
Dan Rubin
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
If they practice like adults, perform Ukemi like adults (often, much better, kids love to jump and fly), perform technique like adults (beware, at 15-17, they get strength multiplication and uke joints should feel it), and of course, behave like adults.
At 16 years of age, even older and definitely anyone younger, the growth plates at the ends of bones are not hardened. If teenagers might be in a class the teacher should make himself or herself familiar with growth plates.

Here are two sites with information:
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00040
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Orthope...se/show/996787
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:09 AM   #15
Eva Antonia
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Thumbs up Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Hello,

in our dojo we have different kid classes, but not different kid ranks. They have to do the same test in order to get the same belt. A kid yonkyu would have to know the same techniques as an adult yonkyu.

There is a difference about wrist locks, but that's all of it. There is also a difference about ukemi - no one would really slam a kid into the tatami, but we ARE teaching them breakfalls. I taught them even the "falling leave" (I don't know if you call it like that in English, it's called "la feuille qui tombe" in French), and now all kids are able to do that one, but nearly none of the adults. In a neighbouring dojo I saw during a seminar a yellow belt, maybe nine years or ten years old, performing ushiro otoshi on irimi nage omote. That was impressing.

Kids need longer to get to a rank, so they get stripes in between. My daughters have, after two years and a half of aikido, two yellow stripes on their white belt. There are some limits, I think for shodan you need to be at least sixteen, and for 2nd kyu at least 12. But I'm not sure - there are so few kids ever getting to this level that awarding high ranks too early is not really an issue.

Best regards,

Eva
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:12 PM   #16
dalen7
 
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Zoe Toth wrote: View Post

I guess the question I'm curious in is, in part, what does a rank mean? Should these kids be held to adult standards now that they are out of the kiddie belt system?

Also, does a belt rank mean you have a certain amount of knowledge or are at a certain point in your journey?

Thanks!
As with anything... it all depends on many factors.

Take Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
Their kid program, Bullyproof, goes until your 16. [At least no test for blue belt, the first adult rank, until then.]

Their course basically starts off with making techniques/movements fun. [Games, etc. that are legit techniques/moves]
This is for ages 4-7 and up to 12. [You have to be around 6/7 before moving onto Jr. Combatives, which is basically the adult course for blue belt, but minus choking techniques.]

And there is a reason for this, as recently a 14 year old killed his 24 year old cousin by accident using the RNC. [Rear Naked Choke]
[No connection to them nor any dojo apparently for that matter - it seems they were horse playing with what they learned from tv.]
But this is why they have the structure they do... safety first.
[Gracies talking about incident]
http://youtu.be/QrsBlDDA0Lg

So many factors to consider and it depends on the individual and where they are at.

For kids, I personally think that Aikido is a waste of time.
Granted, I have not seen any kids class but ours, but the whole Gracie Game idea from 4-12 [if starting] is really a good way to keep their attention, etc.

Otherwise they go through motions, get rowdy, etc. as they get bored, and it just does not seem to work. The other thing really is that its best to have the parent involved at early ages.

As for rank in general... what does it mean? Nothing. Especially in Aikido, and I do not say that with spite.

You will find with Aikido that every dojo is different in ranks below dan rank.
And even after dan rank in some instances. [As for focus, etc.]
[i.e. We have Koshinage, for example, at 3rd kyu when most start at 1st kyu]

The rank, at the end of the day, is really a mark of your own personal milestone.

In my own dojo there is a gap within the same ranks.
Aikido makes this possible, especially when there is little to no resistance and is based on theories and ideas. [Best to have someone with a Judo or BJJ background teaching, though the latter may be hard to find.. as typically it seems people transition more into BJJ and Aikido is in the background.]

note: I still take Aikido

Peace

Dalen

Last edited by dalen7 : 04-06-2012 at 04:23 PM.

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Old 04-06-2012, 06:42 PM   #17
Chris Li
 
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Zoe Toth wrote: View Post

I guess the question I'm curious in is, in part, what does a rank mean? Should these kids be held to adult standards now that they are out of the kiddie belt system?

Also, does a belt rank mean you have a certain amount of knowledge or are at a certain point in your journey?

Thanks!
The question may be, then, should there be ranks for anybody, let alone children?

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:44 PM   #18
Henrypsim
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The question may be, then, should there be ranks for anybody, let alone children?

Best,

Chris
To most people, rank means everything. Such is life, eventhough rank means absolutely NOTHING except for one's ego. Dan Harden is not even a black belt in Aikido but I doubt any Aikidoka who met him in person would question his skill and abilty in Aikido. I have seen black belts being awarded to people that hardly know how to fall correctly. So what is rank. It is NOTHING. I personally respect abiltiy not RANK. Just like in the movie "Karate Kid"...... you want a black belt, buy one at J.C. Penny for $3.50.How many do you want? I can form my own dojo and promote myself to 11th Dan and call my art "Henry's Odikia Style Aikido". I might only have one Sensei and two students.......Me, myself and I. Who is going to stop me. So, what is rank? Answer......No rank, no money for many martial art dojos including Hombu. In martial arts there APPEARS to be a general correlation between how much you pay and how much you think you learn, meaning the more you pay, the less you really learn a "REAL" martial art and not just a martial exercises which is the same as any physical exercise except with a twist, no more than that.

When I was young in Hong Kong, most martial arts teachers could hardly make a living because they believe in the old ways and that is accepting a student is equivalent to accepting someone as a family member. Teaching and learning is primary. Money is secondary. Skill is not measured by rank. There were no rank. It is measured by one's ability judged by the teacher and the student himself. Respect is earned by skill and not by rank. Unfortunately, in this day and age, everything is commercialized and rank will stay regardless of its worth. Therefore, one has to carefully choose his sensei and evaluate what is being taught. In my OPINION, one good guideline is to judge the amount of muscle power required in the art that is being taught. The more muscle power required, the less it is worth. I saw a Kung Fu demonstration in China Town recently and the first thing the teacher said to the audience was that "No KI (Chi), no martial art". Please take it for whatever it is worth.

As for kids, consider it as martial exercise. It keeps them occupied and dissipate their over abundant energy. Rank is an incentive for them to keep going. Martial exercise prepares them for martial art later on. Having said that, I remembered that some of the kids in my own daughter's kids class were actually better than many adults. So, there are exceptions.

Bottom line, rank as we know it today, whether for good or for bad is never going to go away because of dojo survival (money) and people's ego. In my experience, I learned a lot more by wearing a white belt instead of my black belt. If nothing else, I learned humility. However, that is just me and only my opinion. Not intended to offen anyone or any dojo or any style of martial arts or the martial arts world in general.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:02 PM   #19
dalen7
 
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Henry Sim wrote: View Post
The more muscle power required, the less it is worth.
Frank Mir "Where horsepower meets technique"
http://youtu.be/Xn6XYIq4Y-Y

As one commenter pointed out, with most you will get choked out, with Mir you will go home with a shattered arm/leg.
Its not that power is required, its a 'finishing' move.

Point is that if you have your technique, add power to it and there is no stopping it.
[Of course there are counters, etc. - but many appear to put 'strength' to the side as if it were useless or not part of the overall picture... and that just isnt the case.]

Not saying that is what you were saying.

Belts... relative.
Great motivation for kids... and milestone markers for adults.
The key with kids is that they have fun, like with the Gracie Games... perhaps they need something like that in Aikido.
[Again, even in a dojo it can vary... its really ones own personal marker for the fun of it.]

Not sure people take it beyond that, though many do.
Like Rener Gracie said when he was teaching how to tie a belt and used a blue belt, he stated belt or no belt he is still "Rener".

Point is it is as it is and just be clear why you use or dont use it.
But for sure there are many black belts that could have their belts taken off by someone of lower rank from a sports art like BJJ, etc.

Peace

Dalen

Last edited by dalen7 : 04-07-2012 at 04:07 PM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:30 AM   #20
Henrypsim
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Re: Adult Ranks for Children

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Frank Mir "Where horsepower meets technique"
http://youtu.be/Xn6XYIq4Y-Y

As one commenter pointed out, with most you will get choked out, with Mir you will go home with a shattered arm/leg.
Its not that power is required, its a 'finishing' move.

Point is that if you have your technique, add power to it and there is no stopping it.
[Of course there are counters, etc. - but many appear to put 'strength' to the side as if it were useless or not part of the overall picture... and that just isnt the case.]

Not saying that is what you were saying.

Belts... relative.
Great motivation for kids... and milestone markers for adults.
The key with kids is that they have fun, like with the Gracie Games... perhaps they need something like that in Aikido.
[Again, even in a dojo it can vary... its really ones own personal marker for the fun of it.]

Not sure people take it beyond that, though many do.
Like Rener Gracie said when he was teaching how to tie a belt and used a blue belt, he stated belt or no belt he is still "Rener".

Point is it is as it is and just be clear why you use or dont use it.
But for sure there are many black belts that could have their belts taken off by someone of lower rank from a sports art like BJJ, etc.

Peace

Dalen
I was generalizing when I said "the more muscle power, the less it is worth". Concur with what you said "Point is that if you have your technique, add power to it and there is no stopping it.
[Of course there are counters, etc. - but many appear to put 'strength' to the side as if it were useless or not part of the overall picture... and that just isnt the case.]

Thanks for the clarification.
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