Striking Techniques Beyond Black Belt

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by SummerStriker, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    I was just wondering if any of you that took a traditional martial art for a long time and got a 2nd or higher Dan rank, did you learn anything new?

    The formal school I trained, oddly enough, they started teaching a little sparring strategy. After about 4 years of doing forms and self defense moves, they would start showing you how to parry punches and how to set up a roundhouse kick, and maybe sparring harder.

    Another place I was at briefly, the higher black belts worked on tricks for demo team, like jump split kicks with punch to break three boards while hopping over a chair - stuff like that.

    What did you learn from your black belt training?

    Did anyone think that their karate / tkd / kung fu training was highly effective, and did you feel like what you were learning was still highly effective past black belt?

    With so many MMA people here, I have a feeling that there might be a lot of "no." The gym I'm at now has a lot of people, at least half a dozen, who got their black belts and bailed for a BJJ gym.
     
  2. Frode Falch

    Frode Falch Gold Belt Professional Fighter

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    I only got first degree black belt in a small and unknows kung fu style (hanmando kung fu). But it seems to me that most traditional arts got new techniques for every degree up to about 3rd or 4 dan black belt. Anything after that is a honour degree or something like that.

    You get it because you do alot of good things for your style.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. cms9690

    cms9690 Green Belt

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    At one of the local Taekwondo gyms in my area, the BIGGEST difference that I notice between ranked black belts and just upper colors is that the ranked black belts do more jumping spin kicks..

    (I don't train there, just speculate a friend who does.)
     
  4. DivineComedy

    DivineComedy Green Belt

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    Yes, I learned new things as I progressed through the ranks, but above a certain degree, you aren't really learning "new" things but rather you are awarded them based on your contributions to the art or what not. It's common across almost all belted arts.

    At the school I am at, I created the current curriculum. It was more haphazard in teaching method while I was going up through the lower ranks. I approach more like it university course, definitely more structured and cerebral in thinking.

    Now, my place is structured like a triangle progressing to a pyramid (adding depth). Spent a lot of time working on the foundation. Things like stances, footwork, weight distribution. Then, 5 linear strikes, 7 circular strikes, 8 leg techniques. <- The fundamentals. Then fundamental grappling defense. Clinching. 3 categories of leg sweeps/catchs. So on and so forth. Lots of development/conditioning there.

    By the time you hit black belt, 5-8 years average, you're trained to be very effective on your go to side and decent on your opposite side. You begin really focusing on developing your opposite stance beyond the basics training. Oh and a form or two per belt rank. You start working on the upper echelon of footwork. Since at 1st degree black, you are at a decent level using feints on one side, you learn to do it on the other, and then learning to integrate both at will. Go back and forth from orthodox to southpaw and vice versa and the tactics and strategy to go with them.

    My school just has more time for these kinds of things because there isn't a demo team, and its not competition-oriented at all. Before, jumping kicks and flying kicks were taught pretty early in the curriculum, but I've changed that in mine, where its taught near the end for some extra pretty stuff if you'd like to know them. (It's sad if you can do a flying kick, but you can't defend yourself from a bear hug properly.)

    To answer your third question, yes, I found that my karate school in particular was more effective and beneficial to me in making me a more complete striker after I hit black belt, than say boxing, or muay thai, where it becomes refinement past the technical learning period.
     
  5. peanut66

    peanut66 Green Belt

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    1st , 2nd , 3rd dan blackbelt is a learning blackbelt , it isnt until you hit 4th masters blackbelt that you are considered proficient in "teaching" your art , not applying it , but teaching to others and passing down what was taught to you .

    because a person obtains a black belt doesnt mean that they are good at their art , it only means they have succesfully met all the criteria of belt advancement ,

    ive seen 4th and 5th dan masters that could hardly walk , let alone perform any techniques , but they were excellent instructors with a wealth of knwoledge , and ive seen 4th and 5th masters that shouldnt have gotten past red belt.

    to answer your question , i learn things everyday , a person who wants to learn and approaches things with an open mind will learn , its the person who thinks they know everything that will never learn anything .

    your body will only last so long before it cant perform anymore , but it is still important to pass what you learned down to others , or else the chain ends .
     
  6. Bay Area

    Bay Area Silver Belt

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    My situation is kind of unique. I came into TKD as a late teen with the mind set of a fighter. I wanted to learn how to fight period. This was before the MMA craze. At the dojang I was in, which is true for most TMA places is in order to advance, you have to test with forms and stuff. But I refused to test for rank because I was only concerned with fighting and defending myself. So I spent years and years as a Whitebelt. Never advanced. But I used go to the advance classes and train with the black belts.

    So to answer your question, my training has proven to be invaluable. I go to a public gym and I get appoached constanty by people to help them with their kicking technique. Kicking with proper form is hard, and it can't be learned on YouTube. You gotta put in the time at a dojang or a MT camp, and im glad I did as a youth.
     
  7. wisemanrax

    wisemanrax Yellow Belt

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    I don't recall that kind of system being implemented in the TKD school I went to. I mean if you wanted to compete, they will teach you how to move around, counters, ring management, and etc. It also depended on how far you want to go. If you planned on making US National Team, your training regimen as well as diet become more serious.
     
  8. sotacram

    sotacram White Belt

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  9. KarateStylist

    KarateStylist Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    ^^^ this is the 'myth' of higher ranked black-belts. The karate black-belt belt curriculum teaches you 'sparring' all along.... including that "worthless "air punching" exercise....

    ^^^ Just listened to an YT audio lesson from Mike Winkeljohn's assistant striking coach.... He, interestingly, agrees 100% with me on a particular failing of boxers....
    He also has a traditional karate background... but has transitioned to boxing 100%, IMU. Karate apparently didn't ring true for him either....

    >>> MY POINT: standing in a horse stance is not a karate convention unrelated to 'sparring.' Practicing "air punching" is not a discrete exercise from karate 'sparring.' Doing the pre- arranged 1-steps is not separate from karate sparring.

    KarateStylist
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  10. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Thanks everyone.

    Sometimes it is difficult to get this sort of information from people.

    I was talking about it with two guys I trained with today, one TKD, on Akijitsu, and both said nothing new was learned after BB.
     
  11. KarateStylist

    KarateStylist Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    ^^^ Personally, I kinda agree for sure about my TSD.... Not having undergone any 'Master' level training,,,, my opinion is limited by that....

    ^^^ The absence of value on higher-level training beyond black-belt is not true for traditional karate proper.... Technically speaking, black-belt is a foundational program.... real application comes @ higher level black-belts....

    Our dojang's TSD curriculum, IMO, does not rise to that standard.... having said that, the truly dedicated TSD students seem to continue to progress to a high-level of ability within the black-belt level curriculum....

    KarateStylist
     
  12. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    No doubt.

    But doing what exactly?

    No doubt people can learn a lot past black belt. Everyone I know that I train with seriously either got black belts as kids, or got them years ago, and don't even care about them anymore. They were just a fond memory / stepping stone, and then they changed arts or started sport fighting, and consider what they were when they got the black belt really weak compared to what they became 5 or 10 years later.

    By saying this, I'm not trying to paint a broad - broad stroke, because I'm sure there are martial arts programs that are better than others, but the quality of martial artists I know who changed schools after getting their black belts is way higher than ones who stayed and got their 5th degrees. All the guys who went and learned judo or kali after getting their TKD black belts mop the floor with their old instructors or training partners who stayed behind. Why is it like that?

    The only thing I can think is that by changing schools, you keep learning as if you are a beginner, but when you stay, it is too easy to just cruise.

    One of the posters had some good ideas on what he teaches: get better at fighting, ambidexterity, feints. Good stuff. Beats the crap out of learning more forms and learning to teach forms.
     
  13. KarateStylist

    KarateStylist Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    There's 5 substantive points here & I've got to go.... let me throw out a few quick thoughts:

    A. Staying with a school or org, there's always the danger of inbreeding & excessive politics.... So your cross-training theorem at least brings in some fresh perspective.... ****

    B. Take SINISTER's boxing work here for example.... he may believe it's best for him to train students in his ways from the start. On the other hand, you could look at developing sound boxing basics as a "black-belt" program; then make SINISTER'S high-level sophistication the "higher, black-belt program."

    The latter has been my approach---rather than layer on more karate exotica, and I'm not ruling out there may be benefit there.... just making a strategic move to understand karate principles---"carrots, underlines, greater-lesser signs & all." :D

    Well posed coaching questions on your part.... thumbs up....

    KarateStylist

    **** Today's "Scientology" a prime example of some beneficial psychology & healthy social communion gone really wrong in practice---"Financial McDojoism" to the extreme, way off-the-deep-end....
     
  14. Azam

    Azam Brown Belt

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    Usually after Nidan (2nd Dan) in most TMA's - it's a matter of refinement from their onwards & improving techniques learnt beforehand & perfecting them.

    I know in Kyokushin Karate (which may not necessarily be labelled as a TMA by some, but according to the syllabus & from my own experience, just like most styles of Karate it is still largely traditional) - that grading requirements get tougher from 1st dan onwards - you pretty much stop learning stuff after 2nd dan except one or two kata for 3rd & 4th - but the grading requirements for the next Dan are much tougher - beside the kata testing, the kumite testing is a lot more severe - the 4th dan kumite test for the IKO1 kyokushinkaikan is a 40-man kumite. Above 4th Dan is just honorary grading for contributions to the art - this could be a significant number of years teaching, spreading the art or being a faithful ambassador to the art etc etc.
     
  15. KarateStylist

    KarateStylist Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    HERE'S MY CLOSER LOOK:

    1. Pass.... TBC /// EDIT: I spent more than 10 years on the 1st degree black-belt curriculum---and really feel I need to do more to get better @ the black-belt fundamentals.... So I'm not really interested in the 'master' stuff....

    The black-belt level foundation is more than enough challenge for me, and I choose to write a training manual rather than proceed up the ranks....

    2. If you truly understand challenge of traditional martial arts, it's a continuum, and the time frame for refinement is a very long one.... can stretch decades.... particularly if you are looking @ multiple styles....

    3. I can speak to that directly.... it looks to be from how you've framed your subject. The the TMA guys who stayed @ 1 school or in 1 style became too comfortable, rested on their laurels, then got into a rut.... could happen to anyone....

    4. Yeah, could well be.... Moreover, sometimes you have a dominating personality in the instructor(s), or even just a jealous ego problem.... that might make it best to move on.... you don't want to be 'competing' constantly, vying frequently against your mentor.... I left my 2nd TSD dojang just because of that....

    5. YEAH, WELL I hear that DICTA all the time here.... and it stems from the acceptance of the sport fighting approach, the physicality of athletics---the appeal of that.... There's a ton of 'experienced' TMA guys who 'can do' forms BUT AREN'T DOING FORMS....

    IN MMA, two guys come immediately to mind.... One is GSP, who started his training in karate, has been awarded a high-degree black belt. IN contrast, his form shown on YT {Thread re same here @ Sherdog} is something I'd expect from a karate Orange-Belt candidate.....

    The second is Machida.... his forms {Which are also showcased on YT & in T's here @ TSF} are mediocre @ best....

    If you don't get forms, they won't do anything for you.... and so in that case stick with the SINISTER / BOXING School....

    KarateStylist
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  16. Jemasu

    Jemasu White Belt

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    I have a couple friends who are 1st and 3rd Dan in a Karate club. Once they got into the black Belt class they started doing weapon (mainly stick) and grappling training. In the same way that someone would learn Muay Thai as a base for a couple of years then start doing BJJ or Wrestling, its pretty much as if the belts leading to black was just a striking base and they then start to learn to be more well rounded once they reach black belt.

    That probably wasnt worded the best
     
  17. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Jemasu, no, that makes sense. That's functionally the same as what I was talking about - going to kali / judo after getting the black belt.

    KS, I agree with you that pro sports fighters have bunk technique a lot of the time. I recently watched a video of someone teaching GSP to do a back kick, which confuses me, because isn't the back kick a white belt karate technique? He couldn't do it for shit. I don't understand his background.

    "The latter has been my approach---rather than layer on more karate exotica, and I'm not ruling out there may be benefit there.... just making a strategic move to understand karate principles---"carrots, underlines, greater-lesser signs & all.""

    No doubt. Sticking to first Dan material and getting good at it might not be a bad idea. After all, how much material does someone really need? It is probably a lot more functional to just get good at something.
     
  18. KarateStylist

    KarateStylist Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    1. GSP is a sport-fighter, notwithstanding his 'karate' base. His striking game is boxing reliant.... the back-kick is introduced for application @ the yellow-belt level in TSD my curriculum. Doing a standard back kick well, by my efforts, is not easy.... so I do not make light of it as a 'low level' technique....

    2. Good luck on karate principles.... a new ban cry has been raised for my efforts--so'es I don't blemish Sinister's striking book launch-ha ha.... Don't forget, the everlastingly popular 24 Fighting Chickens Shotokan Karate Guy says my beliefs are bunk, bunk, bunk.... :eek:

    3. Black-Belt Curriculum. The karate mental discipline base, that's the key. All that advanced BB / Master stuff is useless & worthless 'show karate' without the mental capability....

    Does Sinister realize, by his "Positioning / Posture T," he just validated my 1-steps that you guys have historically peed all over {Answer-Probably!}??? ON YT now, there's a former traditional karate teacher, 30-years, on the net that is saying 1-steps are stupid 'cause nobody PHYSICALLY fights like that.... should be dropped by orange-belt.... he's 'seen' he light.... :icon_surp

    :icon_idea Pip'pl: karate is a mental discipline, NOT: a physical, monkey-see-monkey-do.... cut 'n paste what big teacher showed me today.... OH BOY....

    KarateStylist
     
  19. BudoNoah

    BudoNoah Orange Belt

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    Well, I am not yet a black belt--my instructor just told me that I would probably be testing for it sometime in the first half of 2014, provided I pass my 1st degree brown belt test in the next few months--but I have trained with quite a few black belts, so I'll contribute what I've experienced and seen.

    In my previous dojo, the curriculum was very orderly and strictly segregated from white belt all the way through 5th degree black belt (that's the Master level rank in that style), so you learned new techniques and new kata at every rank and you weren't allowed to be taught them (and weren't supposed to learn by watching them) until you were the appropriate rank. At beginning levels (first half of colored belt ranks) I think this is perfectly fine, but after that I think it is counter-productive. You have people who have been training for a year to two years, who should have a fairly solid grounding in the basics, but aren't allowed to grow at their own pace because they aren't the right rank level yet. That said, it does provide some incentive to keep training, if collecting techniques and kata is motivational for you. Of course, aside from that, at every rank you learned strategies and concepts associated with the techniques and kata you were learning, so it wasn't as if they were feeding you empty practice.

    In my current dojo, my instructor requires you to learn the entire curriculum of techniques and kata before you reach black belt, and sparring and self defense concepts and tactics are taught the entire way. His reasoning behind this is that he doesn't want to be teaching you new individual techniques or kata after black belt--you should already know them by then, and be ready to start your more advanced training. This does mean that we have more variation in skill level and knowledge amongst students of the same rank, because everyone gets to grow and learn at their own pace, and that can be a little confusing for some people. Once you reach black belt, he likes to spend a lot of time on breaking down kata application, refining all of your technique to be as effective and efficient as possible, and cross-training to broaden your horizons. Essentially, he wants black belts to be constantly improving everything they know and deepening their knowledge of martial arts, but he sees no point in "saving" any individual techniques for later ranks just to have something to teach you. There is enough to learn in karate to last you a lifetime, if you have the right teacher.
     
  20. Lone Coyote

    Lone Coyote Green Belt

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    IMO, a blackbelt on a MA creates a solid base, in your journey to the blackbelt, you learned what things work for you and what doesnt...

    With this in mind, you make your own fight-style and create your "to-go" techniques, take Judo, for instance, you master and enjoy 1 or 2 techniques at the most per side (front, back, pushing, pulling, etc)... All the other techniques are learned, but not used as often, or not trusted enough...

    Afterwards, you start expanding your arsenal to suit your needs, for example, a TKD blackbelt who enters a MT class to learn the clinch, uses of knees and elbows... After learning them and knowing if the work for you or they dont, you search for another hole in your game.... Boxing, to add dexterity to your punching skills, or BJJ to learn how to move on the ground, etc.

    Now, if you find an art that you love, you can stay there, but if you dont, you can keep learning things that can add up to your game...

    The experience and knowlegde that you gain as a blackbelt is super useful to understand techniques faster and to be able to differintiate bullshit from a legitimate technique... But this is just my opinion.

    Cheers!

    Lone Coyote
     

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