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Thread: Long winded question’ish post

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    Default Long winded question’ish post

    Here we go again with my “what if, hypothetical” type questions I seem to be fond of asking. But this is something that’s been on my mind and I wanted to run it by everyone here. I realize there probably is no one correct answer as this is more of an opinion in origin question.

    If a school was smaller in nature talking about the adult classes, but had been around long enough to have a range of students. By that I mean from beginner to close to black belt wide range. In this school most of the higher ranking students had been taught one way from the beginning of their training. But the newer students are being trained in a new way. I realize this is very vague so I will stop and go more into detail.

    First I am not attending classes right now but stay in touch with a friend of mine. He told me some of the forms and sets that we learned have been removed from the curriculum. And even others have undergone a drastic change in how they are being taught. Same material IE all the same moves but at a much slower pace. Some of the short versions of the forms have been removed in favor of spending that time in learning the long versions of the form. I know when I was a student many in class fell behind due to the (well to me very fast pace of the material given) I was one of those that fell behind due to just too much given at one time. A sponge can only soak up so much before the excess runs off and is lost. (A direct quote from my instructor)

    I know some here are very, very traditional in their ways and except no removal or deletion of material from the original way it was taught to them and passed down from day one. I can understand that they have paid their dues in a way and hope to preserve that and pass it on. I felt that to a small degree myself when I was told of some of the changes that have taken place in class.

    But I also see the other side of that coin, I was struggling to keep up and being forced to accept a lesser degree of understanding. I was not comfortable with the pace I was being feed information. And I opted out of testing weeks before the test on more than one occasion. I was stressed out in class and I was facing finance issues so I was stressed out at home, and work even threw its hat in the ring. Things were getting crazy at work and placing even more stress.

    I know I was not performing at a level I could be proud of. I was far from feeling like I could visit another Kenpo school someplace else and do justice to my instructor.

    Wow what a set up for a question, but to you, is it wrong to remove, material from the original curriculum? Couldn’t the students pick up any material that may have been passed over until later in training to help those of us that may not be able to retain bucket loads of information? Yes I understand that X school may require 154 techniques, 4 long forms and 4 short forms to reach 1 Dan. But does that make a student with 125 Techniques, and only 4 long forms less of a martial artist and kenpoist? Would that indicate that this person could not defend themselves with a few less techniques and forms?

    I hope this does not turn into a flame thread about why you MUST have X number of this or that or you’re not a decent martial artist. But I am working on getting back into class, I know I am way behind and have a lot of work to do if I am to catch up. I also know that I learned a fare amount of items that are no longer required in my old school. But I welcome the changes that were made they from what I was told would benefit me and the type of learner I am. Slow to learn and slow to forget.

    So what is your opinion on this have you faced a situation along these lines? Did it bother you that some may feel your training is inadequate since some things have been removed? Would that in your opinion be “watered down training”?

    While I was training in class I feel like I was on the tip of a large increase in understanding. Things were just about to come together and I have had a lot of time to reflect on that. I was able to see how so many of our techniques blend so well and can be changed and made to fit a situation for me not just the “ cookie cuter way” . So with that I don’t, in my opinion feel that some things being removed to help me learn and really be able to use what I learn vs. having a huge stock pile to draw from. I don’t think that waters down my training but makes it mine. I asked that question when I first joined this site. I think I am starting to see the answer to that question. Only now that I have been forced to stop inputting more and more and even more information, now I am forced to stop and reflect what I’ve crammed all this time. It’s amazing how much I‘ve been able to learn from a short break in training that I know I would have just passed over if I had not stopped.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: Long winded question’ish post

    First I would like to say this to you. Mr. Gorham is a great Teacher, ( I know because he was the one who took me to Black belt). The changes you see are due to the understanding of the teacher that is teaching you.

    Over time the cirriculums of a school may change based on the requirements of the associations that one belongs too. As we progress we learn patterns of motion, and how they transistion from non related to related groupings of techs.

    The ultimate goal is to be able to defend yourself. Just because there is 154 techs, or 10, doesnt define the quality of the student or the teacher. Your teacher is sharring with you the principles that he/she feels should be focused on within the cirriculm they are working at the time.

    Trust your teacher in their decisions on your training. Kenpo is a life time search, and we all get information at different times and in different ways.
    The material is yours,your training is yours,dont judge your progress by someone who stands beside you.

    I will also say this, it is your responsibilty to challange yourself, so get back to class when you can.

    My Respects
    Brad Marshall SP
    KKFI

    trgodbm@yahoo.com

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    Default Re: Long winded question’ish post

    I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I attended a school 20 years ago and had to quit because of a nagging wife.

    Now I am divorced and getting back into training and sought out the same school, but found a different school affiliated with my old teacher. His curriculum changed over 20 years and it is easier than 20 years ago in total amount to learn before 1st dan. Does this mean I am learning less? No because it is reorganized that eventually, I will get it all.

    This school has a hybrid curriculum and not EPAK only. However, my sensei knows all of the EPAK material, (we do all the forms, but not all the techniques) which has allowed me to learn the EPAK stuff on my own from the many resources online and after class (or before) I am able to discuss the techniques with my sensei and he will go over them with me.

    But even without me on my own, I think what the school has cut out in the earlyier stages, it has substituted with Arnis, Ju Jitsu and Kickboxing which overall I feel like I learn more overall. the only difference is that when I went 20 years ago, all of those were extras, now they are curriculum.

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    Default Re: Long winded question’ish post

    Your question has a lot of references to being 'behind'. This begs the question, 'behind what' or 'behind whom'?

    Then, I see the line in your signature

    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you
    I just can't seem to square these two items. Either you believe your signature, where it is 'soley up to you', or you are measuring against others in some sort of race. Personally, I think the former is the better way to go.


    Now, if your teacher is not willing to work at the pace of the student; if the expectation is that you will learn this quantity of material in this amount of time, I would suggest you find another teacher ~ or I expect he will ask you to do so.


    Lastly, you will reap what you sow. If you move like a black belt, if you understand like a black belt, and if you have the attitude of a black belt, I will not be offended by someone knowing (or not) 154 techniques. In fact, that will probably never come up. We'll know it by seeing it.


    I once attended a seminar a couple of states away, where I was working out with someone wearing a black belt, who did not know the material I knew as a second brown. And, he didn't move like it, either. He wouldn't have been wearing black at the school where I study. And I think he knew that from our time on the mat, too.


    One more post script ~ if your instructor is changing the curriculum, it begs the question, why. And, if you are student, you are entitled to know. Maybe he'll tell you, maybe he won't. But it is not an unfair question.

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    Default Re: Long winded question’ish post

    I think I gotta echo michaeledward a bit here and suggest that there is no "being behind", because it is not a race. I personally think that each student should learn at his own pace, and not be given new material until the prior material is solid enough to warrant it. For some people, this will mean that it takes a lot longer to progress thru the ranks, for others, it will be more quickly. But that shouldn't matter, and nobody should have their sights on the rank anyway. Learn what you can, as thoroughly as you can, and eventually, if merited, rank will be granted. Or not. It doesn't matter.

    But this philisophy can be at odds with a school where everyone is always taught in a group, and the group is expected to be at the same level. The problem is, that group is made up of individuals, and every individual has different strengths and weaknesses, so the group will never be together.

    Martial arts is, largely, a solo journey. Sure, you train with classmates and training partners and teachers so in that sense it is a collective effort, but it is a journey made by the individual.
    Michael


    de gustibus non disputante est.
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    Default Re: Long winded question’ish post

    A good system will be constantly reviewing the curriculum and making adjustments over time. There are techniques that I've learned that were slightly different than the same technique taught to someone a few years prior to me. There are techniques that have been added and some that have been removed. We're actually in the process of removing one of our kenpo katas from purple belt and adding a T'ien Shen Pai form. There are other TSP forms that are being added to the higher ranks, so that those who come after me will actually have more to learn to achieve the same level. As an instructor though, I still need to learn those forms to the level where I can teach them.

    Go with what others have already told you. How you feel about your own ability is what matters, not how many techniques you've learned in comparison to others.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Long winded question’ish post

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    Your question has a lot of references to being 'behind'. This begs the question, 'behind what' or 'behind whom'?

    Then, I see the line in your signature


    I just can't seem to square these two items. Either you believe your signature, where it is 'soley up to you', or you are measuring against others in some sort of race. Personally, I think the former is the better way to go.
    Sorry it took me so long to respond to this post, but I had to stop and think about that. I think part of the feeling of being behind does come from the pace that the class as a whole was taught. But I also think a larger part of my feelings of being behind comes from. The fact that I have been away from class for a while, the fear that time is against me in a way. I know that, is another topic on its own, but I am letting time that I should be traing slip away. I am also a very competitive person always have been and I know it’s about the journey and not the destination. But it does have some gravity that friends of mine that started after me are now a good ways ahead of me in training. I am not it a race but I do want to move forward and not just sit still.

    As for my sig, it to me has multiple meanings, yes when the heat is on and you are faced with a situation it’s all on you. You’re going “ALL IN” to use a TX hold’em term. But it also means to me that I don’t place all my stock in the belt I or anyone has around their waist. But in the level of skill they can exhibit.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: Long winded question’ish post

    Quote Originally Posted by hemi View Post
    Sorry it took me so long to respond to this post, but I had to stop and think about that. I think part of the feeling of being behind does come from the pace that the class as a whole was taught. But I also think a larger part of my feelings of being behind comes from. The fact that I have been away from class for a while, the fear that time is against me in a way. I know that, is another topic on its own, but I am letting time that I should be traing slip away. I am also a very competitive person always have been and I know it’s about the journey and not the destination. But it does have some gravity that friends of mine that started after me are now a good ways ahead of me in training. I am not it a race but I do want to move forward and not just sit still.

    As for my sig, it to me has multiple meanings, yes when the heat is on and you are faced with a situation it’s all on you. You’re going “ALL IN” to use a TX hold’em term. But it also means to me that I don’t place all my stock in the belt I or anyone has around their waist. But in the level of skill they can exhibit.
    There will come a time when you discover that you are your best teacher. Im not saying you dont need a teacher!!!!!!! Everyone has different reasons for being in the art, and different things they want from it. At your rank you have the keys to the system, however you have to put it together.

    Rock on
    Brad Marshall SP
    KKFI

    trgodbm@yahoo.com

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    Default Re: Long winded question’ish post

    We have changed a lot in the last 30 years. First of all we have a lot more teaching experience now. We also have the experience of teaching new things we have brought into the system. We are much better than we used to be. We have worked with hundreds of different students and seen how our teaching methods worked with them. We have developed new ways of teaching that work better. This has made it possible for us to add a lot of new things like Arnis and added weapons that are not taught in Kenpo. We have Added new Kata and taken away some old ones. Added a lot more than we have taken away.

    I think that any good school will always be seeking better ways of teaching and looking to improve their curiculum. If they have taken something out of the system they have probably added something new back into it. Before you decide you should go back and try a few classes and see if you like it. I doubt that they have taken away anything that was critical to the system.
    Give it a try., GOOD LUCK!!

    I am Most Respectfully,
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: Long winded question’ish post

    The only constant is change.
    "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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