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Thread: How "High" can you realy go???

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    Default How "High" can you realy go???

    In all the many different styles of kenpo, what is the HIGHEST belt one can achieve??? The highest I have ever nown anyone to be is 10th and I was just wondering is this the limit or is that just as far as the Master has gone???

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    The kyu/dan ranking system that has been adopted by many (most) martial arts was based off of a 10 and 10 ranking system. 10 beginner ranks and 10 advanced ranks. So most systems max out at 10, some do rankings that are higher (Judo issued a 12th for Jigoro Kano, Bujinkan apparently goes to 15, some Korean systems above 10) but at some point the whole ranking thing gets a bit silly.

    Regarding Kenpo specifically, Professor Chow at one point claimed a 15th, fortunately no one else has.

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    10th is pretty common- Although in many styles there can be only one individual who is 10th. Until a successor is chosen obviously...

    From what I understand, Professor Chow had students that left him (at low Dan levels if even BB) and claimed to be high ranking (10th for example) so he said if they are 10th then I am 15th.

    Another claim is that a bunch of Hawaiian masters bestowed the 15th on Professor Chow.

    This is just what I have read- John Bishop probably has this info. (I could ask Grandmaster Kuoha also if anyone is interested)

    James
    Last edited by Dianhsuhe; 02-02-2006 at 12:14 PM.
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside

    Regarding Kenpo specifically, Professor Chow at one point claimed a 15th, fortunately no one else has.

    Lamont
    Chow made a joke in an interview that since Ed Parker was wearing a 10th that maybe he should be a 15th.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    In kenpo 10th is the hightest indicated by two 5 inch red bars on the tip of the belt (in most cases.) In our organization, 3rd degree is the last level at which you have "required" material for testing. Is it the same for you?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    In kenpo 10th is the hightest indicated by two 5 inch red bars on the tip of the belt (in most cases.) In our organization, 3rd degree is the last level at which you have "required" material for testing. Is it the same for you?
    In the WKKA 5th degree is the last belt which you have to learn techniques and forms for.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    There it is--- Thanks Rob! Sounds right...
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Good question- I know that our top instructor (6th Dan) has material between 6th and 7th... I imagine it is designed to go all the way-

    I am going for Sandan and the material between 2nd/3rd, 3rd/4th, 4th/5th etc. is quite extensive-

    Our system opens up at Nidan- (up to Shodan we use "sets" 1-5 for each series) Then there are new "sets" 6-10's for Nidan/Sandan each including, Basic, advanced, grab, ground etc.. Then at 5th BB we have 11-15 techniques again basic, advanced, grab, ground techniques etc.

    james
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    This is in NO way meaning to be controversial at all, but out of curiosity, how does one become a 10th degree? Is it something an individual awards him/herself?
    -Camey

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    As I recall, Ed Parker awarded himself the 10th degree black belt. I seem to recall his reasoning behind that in one of the Insight Books. He claimed the rank because (as I recall) his categorization of, and application of scientific principles to kenpo. Additionally, his promotion of the system throughout the world, via the IKKA, the International Championship Tournaments and other promotional aspects of kenpo.

    Now, I wasn't around for any of that ... so others probably have more information on the topic.

    Others, who now wear a 10th degree black belt, have had that rank appointed to them by consensus of other senior members of the arts. I believe that is how Mr. Planas got his two bar belt (although I don't think I see him wearing that belt too often .... usually a tattered old black belt, with no stripes).

    Some also appropriate the rank for themselves. Buying a belt with two bars probably only costs a couple of bucks. Some just open a new school, add some unusual sounding syllables to their system and call themselves a Senior Grandmaster.

    I think, to a certain extent, those that claim a rank for themselves, may have missed a lesson in the humility of the martial arts.

    I think my goal is to always be standing, back row, stage right.

    Mike

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Personally, I like and respect the true Seniors of the arts that threaten to kick the ass of anyone arrogant enough to try and give them a 10th.
    Just because you do something one way, does not mean that everyone else does it that way, or that it is even the correct way.

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Does that mean I could open up a school, call my art Butt-Wup-Fo, and declare myself grand-poo-ba-supreme-potentate and get away with it???
    What have I been waiting for!?!?!
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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Does that mean I could open up a school, call my art Butt-Wup-Fo, and declare myself grand-poo-ba-supreme-potentate and get away with it???
    What have I been waiting for!?!?!
    Can I join? That sounds like just what I've been looking for!

    And can I treat you like a God?

    --Amy
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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    In Kara-Ho Kempo when Professor Chow died he "willed" the leadership to Grandmaster Kuoha and awarded him 10th degree- With a notarized letter from Professor's wife Patsy Chow and his friend and advisor Dr. Ronald Perry confirming this.

    This is just my system I cannot speak for others.

    Have a great day!
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    Can I join? That sounds like just what I've been looking for!

    And can I treat you like a God?

    --Amy
    How about a low-end diety? Being a full fledged god is too much responsibility.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    How about a low-end diety? Being a full fledged god is too much responsibility.
    Fine. sigh. Where can a person get a good Karate god around here anyway. Everyone taking short cuts!

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Here are my thoughts on this.

    As a student my teacher has told me many times that I must learn to be my own best teacher. I must learn to look at things differently so that I may see the truth in what I am doing.

    As a teacher I tell my students that one day they must learn to learn more from their own experiences and less from listening to me talk. One day they must truly become their own teacher - then they will not need me to be in that role any longer.

    I believe if the martials arts are to grow then we need to teach our students to teach themselves. I want my students to surpass me someday. I want them to take what I have taught and add it to what they already know. I never want my students to be a copy of me. A copy is never as good as an original. My students are working on becoming something unique unto themselves.

    So if this is the case, then when the time is right, I should expect to have a student go off and teach what they have become. Not what they have created. But what they have become. In some ways, who they are is what I created.

    If one of my students goes off and claims 10th dan as the teacher of his/her own style, then I say "great!" I wish them all the best of health and happiness in doing so. For if I don't then I must question where my disapproval is really coming from. EGO? Probably.

    Many will say how Ed Parker was justified in creating his own system. Of course Chow, at least at some point, didn't think so. That seems to be the real motivation of his comment about him being a 15th dan. However these same people will say that others today do not have the right to create their own systems. Why would they say this? Ego? Probably.

    Ed Parker didn't create anything that didn't already exist. He placed what he understood into a very detailed system and share that with many. Lots of people enjoy what he did, but that doesn't make it better than the guy teaching his own flare of Tai Chi in the park. Was Parker brilliant in doing what he did? Some would say yes, but others would say no. I never met him and haven't read enough about him to comment.

    My point is this. Your belt can become whatever rank you choose for it. But the real level of how high you have gone can only be measured by yourself through meditation and self-reflection. Others can judge you, but it's really pointless for them to do so. Unless they're just trying to fill some void in their own lives.


    With respect,
    John Evans

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Well said sir!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kosho-Monk
    Here are my thoughts on this.

    As a student my teacher has told me many times that I must learn to be my own best teacher. I must learn to look at things differently so that I may see the truth in what I am doing.

    As a teacher I tell my students that one day they must learn to learn more from their own experiences and less from listening to me talk. One day they must truly become their own teacher - then they will not need me to be in that role any longer.

    I believe if the martials arts are to grow then we need to teach our students to teach themselves. I want my students to surpass me someday. I want them to take what I have taught and add it to what they already know. I never want my students to be a copy of me. A copy is never as good as an original. My students are working on becoming something unique unto themselves.

    So if this is the case, then when the time is right, I should expect to have a student go off and teach what they have become. Not what they have created. But what they have become. In some ways, who they are is what I created.

    If one of my students goes off and claims 10th dan as the teacher of his/her own style, then I say "great!" I wish them all the best of health and happiness in doing so. For if I don't then I must question where my disapproval is really coming from. EGO? Probably.

    Many will say how Ed Parker was justified in creating his own system. Of course Chow, at least at some point, didn't think so. That seems to be the real motivation of his comment about him being a 15th dan. However these same people will say that others today do not have the right to create their own systems. Why would they say this? Ego? Probably.

    Ed Parker didn't create anything that didn't already exist. He placed what he understood into a very detailed system and share that with many. Lots of people enjoy what he did, but that doesn't make it better than the guy teaching his own flare of Tai Chi in the park. Was Parker brilliant in doing what he did? Some would say yes, but others would say no. I never met him and haven't read enough about him to comment.

    My point is this. Your belt can become whatever rank you choose for it. But the real level of how high you have gone can only be measured by yourself through meditation and self-reflection. Others can judge you, but it's really pointless for them to do so. Unless they're just trying to fill some void in their own lives.


    With respect,
    John Evans
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Very well put.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kosho-Monk
    Here are my thoughts on this.

    As a student my teacher has told me many times that I must learn to be my own best teacher. I must learn to look at things differently so that I may see the truth in what I am doing.

    As a teacher I tell my students that one day they must learn to learn more from their own experiences and less from listening to me talk. One day they must truly become their own teacher - then they will not need me to be in that role any longer.

    I believe if the martials arts are to grow then we need to teach our students to teach themselves. I want my students to surpass me someday. I want them to take what I have taught and add it to what they already know. I never want my students to be a copy of me. A copy is never as good as an original. My students are working on becoming something unique unto themselves.

    So if this is the case, then when the time is right, I should expect to have a student go off and teach what they have become. Not what they have created. But what they have become. In some ways, who they are is what I created.

    If one of my students goes off and claims 10th dan as the teacher of his/her own style, then I say "great!" I wish them all the best of health and happiness in doing so. For if I don't then I must question where my disapproval is really coming from. EGO? Probably.

    Many will say how Ed Parker was justified in creating his own system. Of course Chow, at least at some point, didn't think so. That seems to be the real motivation of his comment about him being a 15th dan. However these same people will say that others today do not have the right to create their own systems. Why would they say this? Ego? Probably.

    Ed Parker didn't create anything that didn't already exist. He placed what he understood into a very detailed system and share that with many. Lots of people enjoy what he did, but that doesn't make it better than the guy teaching his own flare of Tai Chi in the park. Was Parker brilliant in doing what he did? Some would say yes, but others would say no. I never met him and haven't read enough about him to comment.

    My point is this. Your belt can become whatever rank you choose for it. But the real level of how high you have gone can only be measured by yourself through meditation and self-reflection. Others can judge you, but it's really pointless for them to do so. Unless they're just trying to fill some void in their own lives.


    With respect,
    John Evans
    -Camey

    "You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword, and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people? "

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    Default Re: How "High" can you realy go???

    Dang long post and I got timed out and lost it---

    Great post there Kosho- but...

    Would you approve of someone who gets a Bachelors degree, then a year later awards themselves a Masters or Doctorate because they feel smarter?

    The ego is the person who trains until Shodan then breaks off and creates their own style claiming 10th deg. Soke etc. IMHO
    The above is just my opinion.

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