Black Belt Children

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Sandninjer, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Sandninjer

    Sandninjer Valued Member

    I've seen numerous children with black belts in various arts. By child, I'm referring to pretty much anyone 12 and under. What are your thoughts on children receiving black belts so young?
  2. melbgoju

    melbgoju Valued Member

    I must admit, I don't care very much. What other people do and how they run their schools is their business. At that age, karate school is much like ballet school or a pirate playground - keeping the kids fit and letting them have a play-fantasy. And black belts are part of that if the company wants to make a bit of extra money from the kiddies' parents.

    Just remember, black belts don't mean anything, anyway.
  3. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    If it's done on merit, it's fine. If they know everything they need to know and can do everything they need to do to meet the grading requirements, then why not?
  4. KaliKuntaw

    KaliKuntaw Valued Member

    It is not appropriate in my opinion but then again it isnt my school so my opinion doesnt carry much weight.
  5. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I equate blackbelt to having good fighting skill.... Can a twelve year old do that?
  6. KaliKuntaw

    KaliKuntaw Valued Member

    Many adult black belts cant fight worth a damn.
    I equate a black belt with being able to teach the fundamentals and execute them as well.
  7. raaeoh

    raaeoh never tell me the odds

    My 7 yr old put me in an arm lock with such skill I actually had to say ow. He then kicked me in the shin so hard I am still bruised a week later.

    My 4 yr old racked me in the no no zone and brought me to my knees. She ran off and hid. So in short yes.

    I would never let them test for a black belt. There is a lack of maturity. Now my3 yr old on the other hand already has one from Halloween. :eek:
  8. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Sure, if they can, say, consistently submit another person of their approximate build, then their martial arts are probably good enough for a higher grade.
  9. Sandninjer

    Sandninjer Valued Member

    It depends on the style. You won't see a 12-year old in BJJ with a black belt. You can, however, occasionally see kids in TMAs walking around in public, proudly wearing their black belts. Keep in mind that traditionally, a black belt was just a rugged (white) belt. I agree that a black belt doesn't necessarily equate to one being able to fight well. It will often mean the ability to perform kata (forms/postures) at a theoretically higher level. I believe that it SHOULD equate to one having trained intensely for quite some time, as well as mental and emotional discipline, a strong understanding of the world around them, the ability to effectively teach regular students, and a mature and developed mind.

    In my eyes, an ordinary child is too young to have developed so well so fast. Not saying it's impossible or that it has never happened in history, but we live in a different world today where children are often coddled.

    To me, it comes off as a reflection on the legitimacy of their school. Either the school is there solely for money (or a fun, afterschool sport), or it's serious about training serious martial artists.

    I don't believe the belt itself a great measure of skill in today's world, but that's because modern day arts have ruined it (and can even argue that the belt system in general is a modern day invention).
  10. mattt

    mattt Valued Member

    Just like in a BJJ comp, weightclass and age factored in, yes.
  11. KaliKuntaw

    KaliKuntaw Valued Member

    I think no child under 16 should have a black belt.
    I would say there are some exceptional people that are better than others but on average i dont think kids can handle the responsibility of teaching and the false sense of security some people get with a Black Belt.
  12. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    I agree on the teaching. If a school treats the black belt as a teaching grade, it should be 18 years and older, in my opinion.
  13. Travess

    Travess The Welsh MAPper Supporter

    There are no real issues with Child/Junior Black belts as far as I see it, provided the Context of the Grade is made Clear to them. As has already been mentioned in this Thread, if it is solely about meeting a list of preset requirements, as in following a syllabus that is specifically designed for the age group in question, then so be it. Also to be taken in to account is the main driving force behind the Club, be that if it is Sport orientated, reality Based or even that of just a 'Black Belt Factory'...

    ...However, if you are Grading Children to this Level, and then filling them with a Belief that their Belt represents a True, tried and tested competency that will translate out in to the Street, then yes, I do start to have an issue with it.

    For the record, my little girl is just 3 years old, and her 'Training' (more sowing the seeds of interest really) is already under way, but even so, I have no wish for her to be even thinking about going for her Black Belt, until just at least 18...! (How on Gods green earth I am going to be able to convince her of this, I have absolutely no idea!!!)


  14. LemonSloth

    LemonSloth Laugh and grow fat!

    Personally I can't stand it.

    I equate people having a BB from their chosen school as representing not only a reasonable level of theoretical knowledge (how the techniques should be performed) but a good level of practical knowledge (actually doing them) and the ability to perform them, be it sparring or otherwise.

    [EDIT: By their school's standards, anyway.]

    No kid I have ever seen fulfils all three parameters.

    Nothing wrong with giving kids "junior grades" on the understanding that they aren't at the same standard as the adults in the club despite having the same colour to their belt. But I am a stickler that a "full" BB should be an adult.

    But that's just me.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  15. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

  16. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Not sure I follow this?

  17. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    I think he's getting at the story that a black belt (as in the belt, not the person wearing it) was just a white coloured belt that had been scuffed and stained enough to turn black.
  18. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Which I think is fallacious?

  19. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    The very same!
  20. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Like some arts having 15th Dans because it sounds tougher/sells more belt tests? :D

    As a general point I'm pretty chilled about it because I stopped thinking that belt = skill outside a narrow set of parameters a long time ago.

    Can a child be a black belt by demonstrating skill appropriate to their age/size? Why not?

    Does that make them able to beat an adult in a fight? Dude, seriously...

    The problem is in the minds of people who see the black belt as some mythical fighter standard where you can no longer be killed by conventional weapons and have attained enlightenment.

    The list of fighters of any discipline who have been beaten in fights or behaved like eejits in any number of situations is all the proof you need that it isn't so.


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