Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by route12, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. route12

    route12 New Member

    I wonder if some of you might give me an opinion on how to proceed with something.
    I'm currently a 3rd Dan (trained 14 years) and run a kickboxing club which I rescued a year ago and have pulled it out of the doldrums, now starting to flourish with some improvements that my students have pointed out. This has meant though that there's no-one effectively 'above' me to issue me any further grades.

    I do still train, but following on from the organisation I began with, traditionally grades above 3rd Dan were 'honorary' (ie no grading exam required, but more a question of what you did to help improve the club and help its students, etc). I've stuck with that system, and strictly speaking my 4th Dan is due this year.

    I'm not desperate to add more stripes (e happy to stay as I am really) but I'm aware my students expect that I will continue as they do- but I feel uncomfortable awarding myself, even if I make nothing of it and just add the stripe.

    The question is- is it OK for me to award my own honorary grade? Should I ask my students what they think? Is there a protocol I'm missing?
    I have been a 3rd Dan now for 4 years so I'd not be jumping any guns- I just wonder what you think and value your input.
  2. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member

    Why? Better just to make the best kickboxing club you can. Promoting yourself or even getting promoted would be gratuitous imo :/
  3. aikiMac

    aikiMac boxing is fun Moderator Supporter

    No. It doesn't mean anything if you gave it to yourself.
    It's a bummer that presently there's no one else who could award it, but (1) maybe that will change in a few years, and (2) if the next rank isn't a test of skill anyway, then it doesn't matter for purposes of advertising your school.

    BTW, well done for turning your school around. Sincere " :happy: " to you. :)
  4. MI_martialist

    MI_martialist Valued Member

    Self-promoting? Really? Would you like your child's teacher to self-give their certification or advanced credentials? Why not add a Master title to it as well?

    DO NOT DO THAT...find a legitimate way to advance in a real sense.
  5. route12

    route12 New Member

    Thank you.
    I agree with all of you- the question came from several students asking when I'd be getting my next grade.
    The only problem I can see is not being 'qualified' to promote a 3rd dan to 4th in a few years- but that is a few years off.
    I do promote the club as being one that sees enjoyment and learning as taking precedence over the importance of when the next belt's due- but having been thrown in at the deep end in some ways, I'm still tryng to work out how to run some things- this being one of them.
    Thank you for your advice- any more is welcome too :)
  6. MI_martialist

    MI_martialist Valued Member

    Find a legitimate organization that can work with you.
  7. route12

    route12 New Member

    Yes, I'll ask my insurers if they can help- they have a grading board, now you mention it. Thanks.
  8. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member

    Haha, chill man. She was asking and we are here as a positive and open forum. Relax xD
  9. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member

    I couldn't imagine all-of-a-sudden being head coach after just training. Well done :)
  10. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    Why not just stop your own grade where it is and promote your students to the levels you think they should be at when they're ready? If it's your style, you don't need to have any higher grade than you already hold.
  11. route12

    route12 New Member

    Thanks- I'd been running classes for a few years anyway but essentially most of the business side i've had to pick up quickly. Good fun though:)
  12. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    So... you get your next grade just for waiting a set amount of time, or why is it just due?

    I mean - I do get you run the school and such, which is great.
    But why should this be a guarantee for the next Dan? And why would it be that just after the four years and not after five? Or ten? Or...?

    When your students ask just tell them, that the next Dan would be a honorary Dan and that you would have to awarded with it and don't just get it for waiting.
  13. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth

    If your with your original organisation, you'll have to wait untill you fullfill their criteria, if your with another org, they should have their own criteria, and if your not with any org, you can grade as you please.
  14. route12

    route12 New Member

    The way our system works is that there's a minimum period of training during which time you must train regularly and towards your next syllabus- and cannot grade before that time.
    This is the case with all kyu and dan grades- the time increases with rank and is meant as a guideline based on 'if you train this many hours it's possible to know and be able to perform well what's on the syllabus for the next grade'- students are graded when ready etc, of course, outside of that time.

    The minimum period of time between 3rd and 4th Dan is 4 years, and then 4th Dan (the first honorary grade not requiring a skills test) is awarded automatically, on the assumption that as a student you've a) trained regularly and b) contributed something beneficial towards the club and mentored other students etc.
    So, had I still been with my original club who's system I've carried on, I would have automatically gained another dan bar.
  15. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member

    I can definitely see your point when you put it like that. Certainly very understandable. However the problem would probably still be that nobody respects the the grade and it may in fact, backfire.

    What sffiliation were you with originally?
  16. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    There are plenty of good independent martial arts organisations that offer support, insurance, syllabus assessment and structure and access to other high grades to keep up with personal gradings.
    Personally I'd try to find one of those and get a 4th dan that actually means something. You might even get some help with the other organisational aspects of running a club.
  17. route12

    route12 New Member

    The original club which we split from was associated to BNMAA (for insurance only I think) but I have no idea beyond that.

    Now my Instructor's and students' insurance is held with MAGB.
  18. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    Okay, I understand.

    We have six to 12 months between gradings of kyu grades and years for Dans as well.

    It's times that have to be "waited" (I hate that term in this context!) at the very least though.

    And you certainly don't have the right to get an honorary grade later on, but you might get it, if you have done "enough" (whatever that is) and if someone recommends you for it.
    You don't get it just because you keep training and might train others.
  19. route12

    route12 New Member

    Well I think it's more than that really. It says you must train regularly because obviously there are going to be shirkers who think because they turn up every few weeks to keep their hand in, that that will do.
    Also that they help improve their club, promote it, help it grow, improve the experience of the lower and higher grades, help come up with new exciting ideas... so that they become a part of what's happening and an instigator of development somehow rather than sitting by, letting someone else do the hard work and just turning up to spar every Thursday.
    That's how I see it anyway.
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I agree with this advice above.

    If grades are 'important' enough that you have your students earning grades and that you have a grade, then you probably should show its importance by continuing to advance as well... even if only to be able to grade your students higher.

    Otherwise, you could change to something simpler, like white belt = student, brown belt = senior student/assistant instructor, black belt = instructor.

    There are a lot of good independent groups that offer assistance through learning, seminars, publications, and offer other people to work with and grade under.

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