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Date Posted: 08:40:04 10/13/05 Thu
Good posts here. I agree with a number of you. Whitfield made a good analogy about the sprite/seltzer water issue. My opinion on that goes to the fact that it is the fault of the student. Yeah, I know it sounds bad, but it had to be said.
It's like buying a car. Just because it looks good on the outside, doesn't means that it runs all that well. The same goes for MA instruction. It is the consumer's responsibility to educate themselves on what they are buying. Just because an instructor wears a shiny black belt doesn't mean that they teach effective techniques. In a perfect world we wouldn't have the fraud that we have today. But that it not always the case.
In our chosen area of MMA & grappling arts, we have a litmus test of the competition arena. If we see that an person is effective in competition then we wanna train with them. Why would I train with Slim Goodbody when I can train with Royce or Shamrock for the same price? But it all goes back to me being educated about who these people are and what they can offer me.
Read Ses' post. He nailed it on the head.
On the case of guys like Matt Hughes, Frank Shamrock, etc. being white belts....they are. Plain and simple. They are white belts in BJJ, in Judo, in TKD, in Karate, so on and so on. But does that mean they are not effective? NO. They train just like anyone esle does. They just choose to not hold (or maybe publicize?) a ranking in any martial art. Maybe it is just not that important to them.
I think why so many people refer back to the BJJ system is because of Royce's involvement with the first UFC. He was crushing people from other arts who held black belts as well. Royce showed the real deal and no one can dispute that. So that is why so many people refer back to the BJJ ranking system. I don't think it is meant as a slam on BJJ, it is more of a respect thing. Because people know what to expect from BJJ.
My promotion system? Glad you asked. It is a simple program designed to teach basic foundational skills above all else. It is divided up into seven different stages with novice being a white belt level and master being a black belt level. The only required techniques are taught during the first 3 levels with the upper levels devoted to perfecting the techniques themselves. More importantly, the upper levels are devoted to learning how to coach and train others.
In order to progress to the next rank, you must have a minimum time requirement at each level as well as a solid understanding of the techniques required for that level. If you know all the techniques, but haven't put the time in...you don't progress. And vice versa. This weeds out anyone not really dedicated to learning the system. I don't want "fly by night" guys training with me. My goal is to develop a solid team. This is what I'm doing so far. That's why you can count my team guys on one hand. The same people who are with me now, have proven to be dedicated to training. This is where I'll pass on my knowledge and then they can pass on their knowledge to future students.
The key thing is that we are all still learning. We train whenever we can and with whoever we can. We have worked out with wrestlers, boxers, Judoka, BJJers, shootfighters, and karate people. It doesn't really matter as long as we learn something. That's what I look for in my club/team.
Within the system, it is required at the upper levels to cross train in different arts. Anything that will help you expand is permitted. Things like jacket wrestling, striking arts, and even self protection type styles are all good. I realize that different people are gonna be good at different things. It is my job to encourage that rather than discourage it.
In short, that's it. Now, I haven't gone out and bought a rank. But if I did, it really wouldn't matter. All it is is a piece of paper saying how good someone thought I was on a particular day. It's like a tournament win. I am happy to get a trophy to bring home and show to my sons. It means I worked hard to win. But in the long run, if I am not able to TEACH what I have learned to my students then I am no good to any of them.
People who know me or have seen me roll can tell you all about me. I ain't flashy, I ain't slick, and I ain't even very good! But I love what I do and I want to be the best that I can at it. I still have a lot to learn and will continue to train until my body is in the grave. And even then, my soul will be loosed and I plan on wrestling with some of those big angels in Heaven! I heard they know submission.
"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, let me go for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." - Genesis 33:24-26
God bless y'all.
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