One problem that I come up against in martial arts, is the problem of a lack of standardisation. What I mean by this, is that as Bruce Lee once said (or was it Andy Murray?) "a punch is just a punch, a kick is just a kick". Going along to a new style after a long time in another style can be highly frustrating. Imagine, for example, putting someone who won several semi-contact trophies (no, I am not talking about myself!) in another style into a beginners class for sparring (after 3 months of basic training!). It is like putting Pete Sampras into a begginers 'Lawn Tennis' class as the rules of this are different from regular tennis. I feel that perhaps the belt system is the problem, in that the new member would have to work their way up through the ranks before being allowed to perform certain Kata / Forms / Sets or sparring. Perhaps though, there should be a standard belt system across all arts which would indicate a level of understanding of the arts or proficiency in certain areas. Would this be too difficult as there are huge differences between many styles (Judu vs Karate vs Kenpo?). Has anyone experienced a club that teaches on a merit, as opposed to a 'length of service' system? What about allowing high grades from other styles to join at a higher grade? The closest I have come is a Thai Boxing club that judges purely on fitness and ability once the basic training (3 months) is done. This seems a reasonable approach as it ensures the basics of the style is learnt first to prevent injuries during sparring / training. Any views on this lengthy rant?