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Thread: this is a " what to do thread"

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    Default this is a " what to do thread"

    A thread over at Martial Talk about opting out of testing got me to thinking about a situation I am facing right now. Here is what I posted over at that site, I’m not sure if I am supposed to cite myself but I will place “ “ anyway just in case.



    “I am not a TKD student I study Kenpo but I am in a situation as we speak where I am supposed to test for my next belt on the 24th of this month. I can’t give you the gup rank as we have 18 belts in our system, I’ll be testing for purple belt or the 6th belt in our system. My big hang up I am having is that, if I pass this test I move up a rank but I also move into phase two of my training. We have four phases each being a year long. Anyway we have a set of techs, forms, and sets that we are required to know by the end of each phase. I know all the tech’s, I know short form one, stance set one, star block set, kicking set one, but some how I missed long form one. Last month I asked my instructor if I should skip this next test because I don’t have long form one. I was told that no I should go ahead and test and I will be able to pick up the missed form in private lessons soon after I start phase two. On the one hand that made me feel good that my instructor has enough confidence in me to pass this test and be able to pick up what I some how missed and learn the next form that we will be learning “ Short form two”. But on the other hand I feel like I don’t belong in the next phase since every one else was expected to know Long form one to get to that phase of training” (shortened and edited for content not important to this thread.)

    Well this is what is on my mind I thought I would run this by everyone here. I know most here have a lot more experience and some are instructors themselves so any input on your gut feelings would be a big help. Thanks in advance Phil, 2k4hemi
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    This is not as uncommon as you may think.

    There were times in the past I also felt the same way about testing and after I did test and passed I "stepped up to the plate" and really felt an evolution in my training due to it.

    The new material you will learn will help you to understand more what you have just learned. Make sense?

    I say test, do your best and don't sweat one element that you can and will learn as your instructor said in private or phase 2. Don't take this as don't bother learning it at all. You should and you will.

    Good luck with it, keep us posted on your progress.

    Salute,
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    I remember feeling like I shouldn't have passed my last test because I didn't do one of the forms very well. When I addressed this with my instructor and some other members of the Kenpo community, I received the same instruction from them. At the time of testing, it is not important to be perfect or even know all the material exact. It is used to measure progress, and if you pass the test, you've shown that you understand the basics for that rank. You can learn other parts further into your training.
    So, what I'm saying is... if your instructor feels you know enough to test, then by all means do so. You can pick up the other material while you work on what you already know.
    "Second chances they don't never matter, people never change
    Once a whore you're nothing more i'm sorry that'll never change
    And about forgiveness, we're both supposed to have exchanged
    I'm sorry honey, but i'm passing up, now look this way...*" --Paramore "Misery Business"


    (*this is where a punch would be landed)

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    It sounds like your school is using a rotating curriculum which means even though you miss an element right now you will come back to it in time and get caught up on it. Rotating curriculums are becoming more commnon they allow a smaller teaching staff to work with larger classes with out being over taxed.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    While In the police Academy, the firearms instructor told us that after our firearms training we will probably reach are best accuracy of our entire career because even though some of us had not had much previous firearms training, we may never practice and train as much as in the academy.

    I totally disagree with testing/promoting someone who has "missed" an entire form. In my opinion the most rudimentary requirement to being able to test or advance is REMEMBERING or at least having learned all the material for that rank- The fact that others took the time to learn and practice the form and you have not (and you may have good reasons for that hemi) yet you both are being tested for the same rank seems bizarre.

    In the public schools they push students to the next grade with the idea of them "catching up" on some subject(s) later and I think we all know how that is working out.

    Hemi- I enjoy your posts and your humility which is the only reason that I gave my .02 point blank. Remember I am not even in your style or system so my opinion honestly should not carry a whole lot of weight-

    How did you miss an entire form? And how did your teacher put you up to test when you do not have all the material?

    Take care Hemi-
    james
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    So is it going to be a full year before you can test again? Or can you test in say, a month or two after you know the form?

    If you would have to wait a year, I'd say test now and make it up.

    If you can test in a month or two, do that.

    Long one isn't that complex a kata, so you could get it pretty quickly.

    I, personally, wouldn't feel comfortable testing when I didn't have all the material.

    I did that once and I was embarrassed that I didn't know the material as well as I would've liked.

    --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: this is a " what to do thread"

    “Hemi- I enjoy your posts and your humility which is the only reason that I gave my .02 point blank. Remember I am not even in your style or system so my opinion honestly should not carry a whole lot of weight”

    Thank you I take that as a great complement.

    “How did you miss an entire form? And how did your teacher put you up to test when you do not have all the material?”

    Well as Mr. Broad, said our school has a rotating curriculum. Ours seems to be different than anything I have ever seen but that’s not saying much. We have semesters eight weeks a semester six semesters a year. You start in phase 1 and what ever semester you happen to start taking classes that’s the semester where you start. I started in semester 3 week one. I made it all the way through to the 6th and back around to the second semester 2 where I am now.

    Now for the part where I missed long form 1 well that is my fault I am sometimes a screw up and well this was one of those times. I missed two classes (I had Strep throat) It takes a lot to make me miss class but this did it. Anyway back on point I learned short form one early near when I started attending this school. Then due to the fact that I didn’t practice enough, and missing two classes I missed the classes that my instructor went over short one for those that did not have that form and went over long 1 for those that did not have that form. Then when we came back to that form I was so foggy on short one that I relearned that form when I should have been learning long 1. So as you can see I screwed my self up and it got me out of cycle with the rest of the class. That’s a mistake that I will not repeat in phase two.

    As for my instructor putting me up to test, well I had asked him last month if I should sit out this test and repeat a semester and he felt that I could pick up Long 1 in private lessons. He also said that he had two other students that “fell through the cracks” and missed long 1 but tested for purple and went into phase 2. It does bug me that I don’t have long one and that is part of what is expected to move into phase 2 but I also do not want to argue with my instructor. I know I will be attending this school until A- my instructor retires or B- my instructors tells me I have learned all he can teach, (Not likely). So I think I will be around a while and I will have time to learn what ever I missed along the way.

    I also wanted to say that I value everyone opinions, whether they are in my style or not they are still martial artists.

    And one last side note. My hats off to the Men and Women of Law Enforcement. I am thinking about testing for Garland and Mesquite PD.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    I've seen and visited schools with rotating curricullums, and I don't like it. In my mind Belt X means you know X much. If you don't know X much you shouldn't test. Blowing a form on a test is not the same as never having learned it.

    We only test a student after they have learned all of their material, there are no regularly scheduled test dates, each individual tests seperately and only when they are ready for it.

    Lamont
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    “He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.”
    ~William Drummond

    "This person is as dangerous as an IED."

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    The most important aspect of your training is to enjoy it. The bottom line is nobody on the street knows what rank you are.

    Train for your own reasons and feel good with who you are with and what you are learning.

    Passing a test allows the new student to access more material and develop a broader knowledge in the arts. That is the true reason to test, not a belt color.

    Salute,
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    I do a sort of modified rotating curriculum.

    Everybody works on a yellow move and an orange move (if there are white belts in the class).

    The white belts are not responsible for the orange moves, but it just helps for when they do 'actually' learn it.

    I wouldn't promote someone who didn't have their katas either.

    --Amy
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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    Hemi- Once again you left a great post... Your attitude and commitment are what Kem(n)po needs more of--

    That scenario actually makes sense now that I have been introduced to a rotating curriculum. Strep throat would knocked me out longer than 2 classes I bet, but then again I am 35+

    In Kara-Ho Kempo we test as needed, we usually only have 20-30 students at a time at Grandmasters house so when one BB feels you are ready for promotion (No test, a promotion) they put your name up on the board, then you need another BB to sort of second it, the following Wednesday usually it happens!

    That is the reason I was confused about your situation, with us you literally HAVE to have the info. to even get listed- Your situation "could" be considered your fault because you missed classes but it sounds more like the process needs work to me...

    "I know I will be attending this school until A- my instructor retires or B- my instructors tells me I have learned all he can teach, (Not likely). So I think I will be around a while and I will have time to learn what ever I missed along the way."

    I appreciate your loyalty and you probably will pick up that form and be no worse for the wear but I would not promote you as Amy said without all your material- Doesn't really matter what I think though eh?

    Just promise me if you are ever in Southern California you will come train with us!

    Keep us posted hemi and good luck no matter what happens!
    James
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    For anyone that might be interested in this thread I thought I would give an update. After class last night I decided that it would really be best if I just skipped the belt test next week and stay at my current rank and in phase one. I will get the opportunity to learn long one in this semester and it will only delay me two months. I just e mailed my instructor (I would have talked to him in person but he had a private lesson right after my class last night) I explained to him that even though I am comfortable with all the required techs and all but long form 1. It would bug me that I scraped by to get into phase two. It would also bother that it might be unfair to the other students in that phase that were required to test on long form 1. So in short I would rather be a good advanced orange belt than a crappy purple belt.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    I applaud your decision.

    I have been in somewhat similar situtuations myself and agree with your philosophy. I'd rather be good at the material at a lower belt level than have me or anyone else question whether or not I should be receiving the higher rank. (Especially me)

    So I say, 'good job'.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    You did what is best for you, and that is all that matters.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad
    You did what is best for you, and that is all that matters.
    That about sums it up!

    I also agree with Blindside about testing a student when they're ready. A "test" in my mind is just validation to the student that they have grasped and know the material.
    "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: this is a " what to do thread"

    Hemi- Did you get that form 'down pat" yet?

    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dianhsuhe View Post
    Hemi- Did you get that form 'down pat" yet?


    You know sometimes I look over older threads and I came across this thread and some even older threads I started when I first started in Kenpo and some a little after. As I was reading this thread and others a thought crossed my mind. I was thinking wow I wonder if I asked Mr. Hubbard would delete some of these older things I wrote due to how looking back they seem somewhat embarrassing.

    I guess I could fill in some of what’s happened since that time.

    I skipped that test and stayed in the phase one class. I ended up going back over the first set of techniques I ever learned and have to say that was more of a learning experience than I would have ever expected. Kind of like watching a movie for the second time, you catch all the little things you miss the first time through. I am so glad I chose to pass on that test. And to answer the original question yes I finally did learn Long form 1. (Now I still don’t have the guts that our own Amy Long does by that I mean I don’t think I will be posting a clip any time soon)

    Since learning long 1, I’ve picked up Blocking set 2, -- 2 Person Striking set, and I just about have Short 2, and will probably be working on Long 2 in Dec. (Wish me luck)

    I guess since I am kind of rambling on about bringing this thread up to date I ended up passing my Purple test, then my Advanced Purple test. The week of my Blue test my shoulder started giving me a hard time and I was ordered by my Doc to skip a week. Not real happy about that, but hey not the first test I missed and I am sure I will miss a few more in my mission to be come a Jedi Knight


    I was told by my instructor I would test at the half way point for Blue then again at normal test schedule for advanced blue.

    So that pretty much sums up where I am now.

    Oh and i Just got my Green Belt under Sifu Hubbard
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    That is awesome that you are progressing so well! Remember it is the journey not the destination that counts... take your time, learn as much as you can and enjoy every minute of it!

    I remembered how good of a thread this was so I wanted to bump it to the top where more people could benefit from your experience and maturity. There is absolutely nothing embarassing about this thread. In fact when you decided to not test and wait until you had all of your material instead, that was honestly a "sky opening-up" moment. Many students would not have had the maturity or fore-sight that you had in that situation. You mentioned back then how you would probably learn more from the review period and it sounds like you did, probably ten-fold! (Yes imagine watching Monty Python and The Holy Grail only once- most of the good stuff would be missed)

    Great, great stuff! I dunno Hemi but every time I read your posts it gives me hope about the upcoming Kempo/Kenpo Masters, of which I am sure you will be one. You remind me a LOT of a Kara-Ho black belt that I have gotten tight with--- Positive attitude, good KI (energy), humility and a seeming maturity beyond your years. He is constantly under the impression that he is learning from me when it is clearly the other way around! It is hard to judge or ascertain via the Web but I bet I am purty close!

    Adv. Purple and Blue is typically where it gets real fun! Again I admit that our structure is probably different than yours but close I bet- In Kara-Ho we always refer to the green belt students as the most dangerous folks around! Eager and motivated to hit the Brown/Black ranks, talented enough to give the BB's a run for their money, and reckless enough to concern anyone involved! LOL Good times Green Belt was, good times!!!

    Cheers Hemi! Keep rockin'
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    Wow, I don’t even know how to respond to those very kinds words Mr. Gibson. I can call ya Mr. because you’re a couple(not much) years my Sr.

    I really hope I am able to enjoy training in the future as much as I have enjoyed it up to this point. I also hope my body holds up and that my wife can put up with me always wanting to show her something new I picked up in class. (She cares about as much about Kenpo as I do with knitting)

    One last thing I guess I will add to this the other day in class I talked to my instructor about a clip from the net and I was doing that move before class. After class my instructor stood up there talking to all of us but I am just about positive he was directing his words toward me.

    While talking to the class he said we need to worry more about practicing the ideal phase has it down real good before entering the formulation phase. I know I have a bad habit of looking at what if’s and using the little I know if Kenpo to formulate new ways to try things. I am going to make a strong effort to stop doing that and spend more time on the ideal phase.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: this is a " what to do thread"

    Hemi,

    As posted above I'm also impressed by your way of looking at things. I just started on Long 2 and hope to "get it" soon. Hopefully I'll test for Green early next year. Congrats on your Kenpo Talk Green Belt!

    Salute

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