E-Judo

Judo network and forum


    What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Share
    avatar
    Stevens

    Posts : 108
    Join date : 2013-07-18
    Age : 24
    Location : Europe

    What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Stevens on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:00 pm

    In the Netherlands we have rules for danexams, but nothing is written or said about how to judge about older candidates.
    Sometimes older judoka passes their danexams with a less/bad performance than their failing younger candidates.
    Í have a problem explaning this to failing candidates. Can somebody tell me/us what de rules are in other countries/federations?
    avatar
    nomoremondays

    Posts : 122
    Join date : 2013-01-03
    Location : Looking for Stars (sort of)

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by nomoremondays on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:36 pm

    I will leave more knowledgeable members to speak for their federations and countries but to me the explanation seems simple;
    "You are younger, hence more is demanded of your bodies and abilities"

    r12477

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2013-07-04
    Location : Melbourne, Australia

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by r12477 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:40 pm

    The grading criteria employed in Australia explicitly recognises three primary methods by which Dan gradings are awarded, reflecting the long-term career of a judoka:


    • Contest Points and Knowledge, or
    • Knowledge and Service Points, or
    • Knowledge only.


    These different means are intended to recognise the active contribution and further involvement which Dan grade judoka generally make to the sport of Judo.  Such contribution and knowledge may take the form of club, state and national coaching appointments, refereeing and/or team management.  Similar, knowledge examined in such assessments may include refereeing theory, practical and theoretical teaching of techniques.  In this way, the specifics of individual performance in Dan grades may be explained to differ - and still constitute a passing Dan examination - based on contributions made and knowledge acquired off the mat.

    If you are interested, the current Judo Federation of Australia grading manual can be downloaded from https://assets.imgstg.com/assets/console/document/documents/JFA%20Grad%20Pol.pdf
    avatar
    Cichorei Kano

    Posts : 1948
    Join date : 2013-01-16
    Age : 858
    Location : the Holy See

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:18 pm

    Stevens wrote:In the Netherlands we have rules for danexams, but nothing is written or said about how to judge about older candidates.
    Sometimes older judoka passes their danexams with a less/bad performance than their failing younger candidates.    
    Í have a problem explaning this to failing candidates. Can somebody tell me/us what de rules are in other countries/federations?

    I think there are a couple of avenues to approach the problem you raise. You say "less/bad performance", but I think you need to describe in what terms their performance is bad or worse. Certainly, as someone's body gets more frail, or ailments interfere, one may not be able to perform certain techniques with the same force or speed. But, force and speed are only two circumstances that apply to jûdô techniques. If you watch the Mifune videos taped when he was in his early 70s or some of teaching videos by Marcel Clause you can clearly see that these (exceptional men, true) excel in debana, kuzushi, control, coordination, use of the hara and tai-sabaki, which really are at a higher level of proficiency in jûdô than power and speed. In fact, you do not even have to know jûdô to be able to apply a lot of force and speed, and novices have force and speed, but they do not generally master debana, coordination, use of the hara or kuzushi. There is no reason to lower your expectation with regard to these latter characteristics due to age. In general, a jûdô promotion is not a reward just because it is your birthday or because you have been around for a long time. At the Kôdôkan one special promotion is possible on the bases of accomplishments. This is not unreasonable, and if such is included in your promotion regulations, then well, OK, but we are talking one and only one promotion.

    I also notice that the ranks you are inquiring about is 1st-5th dan, which are technically labeled as "competition ranks". However, in reality and in the West there is a considerable proportion of people who are candidates, especially for 3rd-5th dan who are long past "competitive age", as this concept is understood in the West. It is indeed not common, with the exception of specific masters categories, for 70-80 year olds to particiapte in shiai. Therefore there it is probably not very meaningful when dealing with people who are clearly not active in competition to insist that these are just competitive ranks. The West for some reasons fortunately for others unfortunately, is not Japan.

    In any case, we are coming back to transparency in precisely what you think, decide is less or bad about their performance. If you have a 75 year old who due to his bad back can't properly perform ura-nage does this make his nage-no-kata inadequate ?  You have to consider what it is that is the purpose of these exercises, and especially on a jûdô promotion exam. The purpose of showing jûdô exercises on a jûdô exam is that one exhibits a technical level consistent with the rank one is applying for. Is the inability to perform ura-nage due to a bad back any evidence that one does not have an overall technical level proportionate to the rank ?  No, it is not. In fact if the action is outright dangerous to the person (for example, imagine he has a steel rod implanted in his spine) it would be irresponsible to have him show ura-nage. Why would you ?  All because a list on a sheet of paper says that it comes between tomoe-nage and sumi-gaeshi ?

    Daigo-sensei once said that by the time a person had made his initial bow, and initial opening step of 'Tai', the first movement of koshiki-no-kata, he knew what the level of the person and his kata would be. I agree. Of course one needs to collect a wider array of evidence so that one can document and justify one's scores so that everything is sufficiently transparent and can withstand scrutiny, but the principle is the same.

    I am not trying to provoke anybody, but playing the devil's advocate, I would also wonder what a person would be doing as part of a jury if he or she does not have the ability to see or distinguish between those things. The question then arises why these people are part of a jury ?  Just because they have a higher rank ?  It would be nice if people in jury's also understand something about teaching, since exams are still part of the whole educational experience, and not something outside of that. So, you as a part of your jury have as a duty to educate examinees.

    The second approach to the problem is whether the federation has the same program for people of all ages. In one of my federations the programs for all ranks up to 6th dan were different depending on the age, i.e. plus or minus-45 years. I was critical of it, not because I have problems with the concept but because the two programs were disproportionate. You can't reasonably argue that when a <45 year old has to show 3 kata and the entire gokyô while a >45 year old only has to show 10 throws of his choice, that were are talking about comparable knowledge and skill that has to be known and shown for the same rank. I can understand that if the >45 year old has bad knees, that dispensation should/could be given for the idori series in kime-no-kata, but I don't see why he/she could not perform the tachi-ai series or replace the kata by jû-no-kata or goshinjutsu unless the person's knees are so bad that he has to walk with a walker or ride in a wheel chair in which case, we really have an entirely different situation. A hemiplegic for example resulting from a recent accident may have accomplished sufficient things to show he has achieved the technical and educational level proportionate to the rank applied for. Assume that he achieved 10 shiai points before his accident and that he obtained his previous ranks all with 10 shiai points. Clearly you can't argue that the person has no technical level, unless he is some kind of giant with unearthly force. He may achieve other aspects in an alternative way, for example through teaching, research, lectures or other educational aspects of jûdô. But the same principle that unfortunately is continuously violated in the West should apply: you can't keep promoting someone over and over each time for the same achievement he already received a previous promotion for. Promotions in jûdô should build on previous achievements but eligibility should primarily be evaluated on basis of achievements since the last promotion.

    Finally, there is another, less pleasant aspect about your question. If I take you face value and literally accept what you are writing, namely that the elderly person's exam was poor or bad and how you would need to explain that to younger people who did a good exam, it seems to me that you (not you personally, but the jury) are part of the problem. If the exam is truly bad, then why did you let the person pass ?  Because he is old ?  But, if being old is sufficient for getting a next rank, then why even have him or her participate in the exam ?  You could easily establish that he or she is old on the basis of their national ID card or passport or other official government-issued document. So, do you understand the part absurdity of your question ?  I have never had the problem you mention and I also know that I will never have it, because if the exam is truly poor, irrespective of age, I will vote the person down if I am member of the exam jury. In theory, it is possible that I vote a person down, but that other members of the jury give a score high enough for the person to pass. In that case the person passes. That is then the hopefully fair result and the jury's decision. This is possible if one is really on the fence regarding a person's performance. However, it is also possible that this reflects a far deeper problem, namely incompetence of the jury, or worse. In that case the committee should discuss and evaluate its functioning apart from the candidates' results. If jury members are so incompetent then they don't belong in a jury. When I teach at university, my syllabi have a clear explanation about grading criteria. They will explain what a good exam is and what a bad exam is and what a medium level exam is. This should be the case in judo too, but if the products of the federation in terms of high rank holders are merely so due to nepotism or being subservient then there should not be any surprise that one is ending up with the problems I just mentioned.

    You can train people in how to judge, but one has to be careful. Kata judges are being trained too, but we see the same problem. Some still act politically against or in favor of people and the system ir rotten from an educational and psychometric point of view since it assumes that the more one deviates from the median the more wrong the judgement is, which is not true. Also, there is pressure that if you disagree with the person who teaches the course or who evaluates you, even if you are right, you will eventually get sanctioned by not being elected for promotions or not being chosen for future duties. In judging a jûdôka's level I would also recommend to give positive scores for all the things you like instead of subtracting marks for everything you dislike especially if we are thinking kata.

    I hope I addressed some of your concerns.


    _________________


    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
    avatar
    Stevens

    Posts : 108
    Join date : 2013-07-18
    Age : 24
    Location : Europe

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Stevens on Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:07 pm

    nomoremondays wrote:I will leave more knowledgeable members to speak for their federations and countries but to me the explanation seems simple;
    "You are younger, hence more is demanded of your bodies and abilities"

    Thank you for your opinion, but where is the age turningpoint of young and old?
    Even when somebody is (to) young (16-17), it's possible that he is not as ready (his body) as in his 20's, what can give a negative result at his exam. What can i say as he sees a candidate of 37 with a less/bad exam passing?

    My opinion is 1-3th dan empathy by the jury for candidates above the age of 45. Fourth dan and higher empathy above 50.
    In my district are no dates of birth on the exampapers for the jury. I have a problem with people 30-40 years who get empathy of the jury because they look old or have grey hair.

    I like transparency and clarity. I know this is not always easy, but i'm curieous about other countries and federations, maybe we can use new insights.

    Guest
    Guest

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Guest on Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:15 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    In any case, we are coming back to transparency in precisely what you think, decide is less or bad about their performance. If you have a 75 year old who due to his bad back can't properly perform ura-nage does this make his nage-no-kata inadequate ?  You have to consider what it is that is the purpose of these exercises, and especially on a jûdô promotion exam. The purpose of showing jûdô exercises on a jûdô exam is that one exhibits a technical level consistent with the rank one is applying for. Is the inability to perform ura-nage due to a bad back any evidence that one does not have an overall technical level proportionate to the rank ?  No, it is not. In fact if the action is outright dangerous to the person (for example, imagine he has a steel rod implanted in his spine) it would be irresponsible to have him show ura-nage. Why would you ?  All because a list on a sheet of paper says that it comes between tomoe-nage and sumi-gaeshi ?

    I felt your entire post was informative and I had similar thoughts on the question at hand prior to reading it. I wanted to expand a little on what you wrote in the section I quoted above. Many grading tests are conducted in the manner of having a Judoka demonstrate certain techniques that are on a sheet of paper. Do you think this is a proper way to test one's Judo ability when talking about dan ranks at any age? Do you think a sandan should have to demonstrate o soto gari to a promotion board because it is on some check list?
    avatar
    Stevens

    Posts : 108
    Join date : 2013-07-18
    Age : 24
    Location : Europe

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Stevens on Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:49 am

    Thank you for your wide opinion! I'm agree with almost all the things you write.


    My opinion is 1-3th dan: empathy by the jury for candidates above the age of 45. Fourth dan and higher empathy above 50.
    In my district are no dates of birth on the exampapers for the jury. I have a problem with people 30-40 years who get empathy of the jury because they look old or have grey hair.


    Daigo-sensei once said that by the time a person had made his initial bow, and initial opening step of 'Tai', the first movement of koshiki-no-kata, he knew what the level of the person and his kata would be. I agree. Of course one needs to collect a wider array of evidence so that one can document and justify one's scores so that everything is sufficiently transparent and can withstand scrutiny, but the principle is the same.

    I believed in this principle too, maybe it's ok for your example of koshiki-no-kata, but i changed my mind after my experience of the last years. I've seen different danexam-candidates who started superb with shoulder -and hiptrows, but had a much lower level with ashi-waza and renraku-waza.


    The second approach to the problem is whether the federation has the same program for people of all ages. In one of my federations the programs for all ranks up to 6th dan were different depending on the age, i.e. plus or minus-45 years. I was critical of it, not because I have problems with the concept but because the two programs were disproportionate. You can't reasonably argue that when a <45 year old has to show 3 kata and the entire gokyô while a >45 year old only has to show 10 throws of his choice, that were are talking about comparable knowledge and skill that has to be known and shown for the same rank.

    I know a culturele budo federation (cjjf-Netherlands/Belgium) with the same rules. Very strange, indeed!



    You can train people in how to judge, but one has to be careful. Kata judges are being trained too, but we see the same problem. Some still act politically against or in favor of people and the system ir rotten from an educational and psychometric point of view since it assumes that the more one deviates from the median the more wrong the judgement is, which is not true. Also, there is pressure that if you disagree with the person who teaches the course or who evaluates you, even if you are right, you will eventually get sanctioned by not being elected for promotions or not being chosen for future duties.

    So true! I try to keep my mouth shut, but that's not easy for me! I like people who are honest and talk with respect. It's a shame that we almost always have to be so diplomatic to make further steps instead of just working hard. I like transparency and clarity. I know this is not always easy, but i'm curieous about other countries and federations, maybe we can use new insights.


    In judging a jûdôka's level I would also recommend to give positive scores for all the things you like instead of subtracting marks for everything you dislike especially if we are thinking kata.

    Can you explain this for me? As i judge an danexam, for example, 40% positive than must be 60% not be positive and the candidate won't pass for kata.
    avatar
    Stacey

    Posts : 554
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : your worst nightmares

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Stacey on Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:22 am

    can a person with only one leg ever attain a dan rank?

    can a person with only one arm ever attain a dan rank?

    While there's uniformity of knowledge, is there really an expectation of uniformity of performance?

    When a person starts judo later in life, are the expectations the same as the kid who starts at 6-8?

    I thought the rank represented a personal progression through judo. Mifune at 70 was Mifune at 70. If Mifune at 70 started judo at 70, we'd see an entirely different judo, even if he was the same Mifune.

    So, to the kid trying for shodan and not making it and comparing his sentence to some 45 year old who does make it with a performance that's not up to an 18 year old's standards, I say this: this is about your performance, not his. His performance is about his performance, not yours. Don't compare: you are not 45, nor is he 18. If he wasn't able to bend his knees deep enough for a tsuri komi goshi that you'd expect of yourself, then you understand something of what's expected of you, but you don't understand what's expected of a 45 year old.

    It's the individual's journey that is recognized. Comparisons are pretty pointless. Either the persona has the knowledge AND waza appropriate for his age, or he doesn't.

    Nobody expects the Olympic gold medalist from 30-40 years ago to beat the Olympic gold medalist from the last Olympics - but we don't deduct grade because a person ages. As s/he ages, so does his/her judo.

    Same thing with disabled judoka - the standards are different because the judoka is different. Or, are you telling me that to participate and rank in judo one must have 2 legs and 2 arms?
    avatar
    Neil G

    Posts : 117
    Join date : 2013-01-23
    Age : 56
    Location : Saskatoon, SK, Canada

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Neil G on Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:01 am

    I haven't sat on any judo examination boards but I have sat on kendo ones, usually with main judges who immigrated to Canada directly from Japan.  I can tell you that a key difference between the Canadian/US attitude and the Japanese one is that we are usually looking for reasons to fail a person whereas they are looking for reasons to pass someone.  It is a hard thing to wrap your Western head around.  Especially when people get older, allowances are made for their age; their spirit, attitude and even the fact of them still practicing must be recognized.

    Dan are milestones on your own path.  You can't compare a 20 year old shodan to a 50 year old one.  But you can judge each persons ability as a reason to award them their rank.
    avatar
    Stevens

    Posts : 108
    Join date : 2013-07-18
    Age : 24
    Location : Europe

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Stevens on Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:24 am

    Stacey wrote:can a person with only one leg ever attain a dan rank?

    can a person with only one arm ever attain a dan rank?

    While there's uniformity of knowledge, is there really an expectation of uniformity of performance?

    When a person starts judo later in life, are the expectations the same as the kid who starts at 6-8?

    I thought the rank represented a personal progression through judo.  Mifune at 70 was Mifune at 70.  If Mifune at 70 started judo at 70, we'd see an entirely different judo, even if he was the same Mifune.

    So, to the kid trying for shodan and not making it and comparing his sentence to some 45 year old who does make it with a performance that's not up to an 18 year old's standards, I say this: this is about your performance, not his.  His performance is about his performance, not yours.  Don't compare: you are not 45, nor is he 18.  If he wasn't able to bend his knees deep enough for a tsuri komi goshi that you'd expect of yourself, then you understand something of what's expected of you, but you don't understand what's expected of a 45 year old.

    It's the individual's journey that is recognized.  Comparisons are pretty pointless.  Either the persona has the knowledge AND waza appropriate for his age, or he doesn't.

    Nobody expects the Olympic gold medalist from 30-40 years ago to beat the Olympic gold medalist from the last Olympics - but we don't deduct grade because a person ages.  As s/he ages, so does his/her judo.  

    Same thing with disabled judoka - the standards are different because the judoka is different.  Or, are you telling me that to participate and rank in judo one must have 2 legs and 2 arms?

    Thank you for your opinion! I agree with your post, but it's just as C. Kano is writing: it's all about the knowledge of the jury and how they are educated from above (the board). Is your opinion the way the jury in your area operates?
    avatar
    Stacey

    Posts : 554
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : your worst nightmares

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Stacey on Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:34 am

    Stevens wrote:

    Thank you for your opinion! I agree with your post, but it's just as C. Kano is writing: it's all about the knowledge of the jury and how they are educated from above (the board). Is your opinion the way the jury in your area operates?

    Depends on the organization. We're able to grade to within one of our own grade in the early dan gradings. I've only bothered with nidan for myself. There are national rank examiners, and some dojo will use those national rank examiners. There's a whole committee in my org. dedicated to national rank examination, and another dealing with syllabus. My understanding is that the sensei or chief instructor for the student does talk to the board before examination and anything that needs to be taken into account is taken into account by the board. These things include age, physical condition, and the like. The points on tests, shiai, and service are taken into account, too. For the most part, the dojo I've been to don't send people to national rank examination until they are more than ready, i.e. can blow the test away for who they are and their ability.

    imho, a 20 year old who thinks that he's doing better and performed better than a 50 year old is the kind of person who's of the mindset that one actually wins at randori. It's a personal journey, and while that 20 year old might do exceedingly well by 50 year old standards, it's how he's doing by his own standards that matters.

    DougNZ

    Posts : 405
    Join date : 2013-01-28

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by DougNZ on Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:48 am

    Stacey wrote:imho, a 20 year old who thinks that he's doing better and performed better than a 50 year old is the kind of person who's of the mindset that one actually wins at randori.  It's a personal journey, and while that 20 year old might do exceedingly well by 50 year old standards, it's how he's doing by his own standards that matters.

    From my hazy recollections, the entire universe is measured using a 20 year old yardstick at that age. Rolling Eyes 
    avatar
    Stevens

    Posts : 108
    Join date : 2013-07-18
    Age : 24
    Location : Europe

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Stevens on Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:59 am

    Stacey wrote:
    Stevens wrote:

    Thank you for your opinion! I agree with your post, but it's just as C. Kano is writing: it's all about the knowledge of the jury and how they are educated from above (the board). Is your opinion the way the jury in your area operates?

    Depends on the organization.  We're able to grade to within one of our own grade in the early dan gradings.  I've only bothered with nidan for myself.  There are national rank examiners, and some dojo will use those national rank examiners.  There's a whole committee in my org. dedicated to national rank examination, and another dealing with syllabus.  My understanding is that the sensei or chief instructor for the student does talk to the board before examination and anything that needs to be taken into account is taken into account by the board.  These things include age, physical condition, and the like.  The points on tests, shiai, and service are taken into account, too.  For the most part, the dojo I've been to don't send people to national rank examination until they are more than ready, i.e. can blow the test away for who they are and their ability.

    imho, a 20 year old who thinks that he's doing better and performed better than a 50 year old is the kind of person who's of the mindset that one actually wins at randori.  It's a personal journey, and while that 20 year old might do exceedingly well by 50 year old standards, it's how he's doing by his own standards that matters.

    Sounds like the independed budo federation were i trained in the 80's. Nobody failed after 1984!
    In our area within the Dutch NGB (JBN) only 60% passes.
    avatar
    Cichorei Kano

    Posts : 1948
    Join date : 2013-01-16
    Age : 858
    Location : the Holy See

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:21 pm

    Stevens wrote:
    Stacey wrote:
    Stevens wrote:

    Thank you for your opinion! I agree with your post, but it's just as C. Kano is writing: it's all about the knowledge of the jury and how they are educated from above (the board). Is your opinion the way the jury in your area operates?

    Depends on the organization.  We're able to grade to within one of our own grade in the early dan gradings.  I've only bothered with nidan for myself.  There are national rank examiners, and some dojo will use those national rank examiners.  There's a whole committee in my org. dedicated to national rank examination, and another dealing with syllabus.  My understanding is that the sensei or chief instructor for the student does talk to the board before examination and anything that needs to be taken into account is taken into account by the board.  These things include age, physical condition, and the like.  The points on tests, shiai, and service are taken into account, too.  For the most part, the dojo I've been to don't send people to national rank examination until they are more than ready, i.e. can blow the test away for who they are and their ability.

    imho, a 20 year old who thinks that he's doing better and performed better than a 50 year old is the kind of person who's of the mindset that one actually wins at randori.  It's a personal journey, and while that 20 year old might do exceedingly well by 50 year old standards, it's how he's doing by his own standards that matters.

    Sounds like the independed budo federation were i trained in the 80's. Nobody failed after 1984!
    In our area within the Dutch NGB (JBN) only 60% passes.

    When I obtained my shodan failing rates of 65% were standard. From a pedagogical point of view this is a problem. However, one also got the impression that some people of the jury in those days to some extent got a kick out of these high failing rates which essentially placed themselves far above the level of the candidates and gave then near-unlimited power. Even today, judo federations know well how to use the power of dan-ranks to control others. I have known several cases in a not too distant past where people or club presidents were threatened by their federation that they would not allowed to sit exam for their next dan-rank over the next couple of weeks if they didn't do this or that. And of course when we say 'federations' it is really a facade which in reality usually is about one person who holds some federal executive or leading position in a relevant technical committee and who has a problem with someone else and who uses the name of the 'federation' to provide legitimacy to whatever shenanigans he or she wants to pull off. It happens everywhere, still today, and still with regularity.

    Oftentimes there is no transparency in judo exams, no appeals heard by a truly independent committee, no verifiable justification of scores, successes and failures, in this way providing a powerful tool for abuse of others by those inclined to do so. However, to get back to the pedagogical issue of high failing rates ... I would hope that before a candidate can enroll or apply to sit a promotion exam that he or she needs the approval and signature of his/her sensei. I also would hope that these sensei take their job seriously. THEY carry a responsibility, even more so than the examinee. A sensei should NOT allow anyone to sit an exam who is not ready or where there is serious doubt the candidate will pass.

    There is a story of a very experienced pilot who together with a friend-pilot walks along the tarmac and sees private plane where the owner-pilot below the cockpit canopy painted the words "with God's help" Upon seeing these words the experienced pilot shook his head and told the other junior pilot "Any goddamn idiot who needs the help of God to successfully pilot a plane does not belong in a cockpit". I could say the same about judo. If you need God's help to make it through a judo exam, you do not belong in that judo exam !

    Your sensei should know this too and should not be sending people to promotion exams who can only pass with God's help. When I did my judo exams I could not imagine failing them caveat some serious accident, yes, that might force discontinuation. Of course I had nerves, but these were the usual erratic nerves where you think some idiot in the jury will grasp the occasion to settle some longtime score with your sensei due to something that happened between the two of them 30 years earlier and of which you know nada, but anyhow. Point is that if sensei only sign off on people who they have fairly judged to be ready for the exam, then failing rates should not be anywhere the rates you mention.

    The other potential problem is when there is a discrepancy between the judgment of your sensei and that of the jury, not because one is incompetent but because there is no good awareness of the evaluation criteria and what exactly represents a good score, a medium score and a failing score. I will say this again, a jury in a judo promotion exam has an educational objective and duty. The criteria for passing and failing should be unambiguous, reproduceable, and verifiable. Consequently, the fact that 95% or 100% of the candidates pass their exam should not mean that the exam is rigged or the expectations very low. That being said, in my own experiences both at the kyû- and dan-rank level I have over the past years frowned and wondered how some could have passed the corresponding exam, but let's not get into that as it's an old issue in jûdô people of different federations and different sympathies and antipathies towards each other saying bad things about ranks and level. After all this is not about X or Y, but simply if a system is sound, fair, transparent and apolitical, then this problem should not and cannot exist. But even if that all is true, the problem still exists because cross-comparisons between federations show that there is no consistency among federations in exams, and not in terms of rules and not in terms of how these rules are applied. You just have to look at the 10th dan ranks, because that is relatively easy given the scarceness of those ranks. Despite IJF rules that award the prerogative for such ranks to the IJF only (apart from the Kodokan which is a private organization), we see that continental organizations (at least the EJU) but also national organizations have awarded such ranks and usually on basis of totally obscure and nontransparent rules clearly adhering tot totally different criteria resulting in the background, quality, and standards to be erratic and not truly comparable, and heavily politicized.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correction of typos)


    _________________


    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
    avatar
    Stacey

    Posts : 554
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : your worst nightmares

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Stacey on Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:40 pm

    Hey, I was part of one very misogynistic club where no women were allowed to take a dan test. A collegiate national champion was a green belt before collegiate nationals and for 4 years after collegiate nationals. The sensei was a twerp, but boy he counted each and every half point towards his own next best rank. Couldn't do a single kata, but if he had the points, he was getting that rank.

    Disparities occur. When they're that rank (excuse the pun) it is up to the NGB or governing organization to set them straight or kick the sensei out. You want your godan? then how come you haven't promoted a single woman to shodan? You want godan? Demonstrate the kata, even if it mans modifying for your plethora of injuries that don't prevent you from teaching, coaching, and reffing, but do prevent you from even teaching the basics of nage no kata.

    There are disparities from the top down, just as there are disparities from the bottom up, and 20 year olds will always feel discriminated against when they view their performance in the light of a 45 year old testing for the same rank.

    The question is, are these people learning and understanding judo in the larger sense? The other question is, who's being hurt? If the 20 year old's ego is being hurt, fine - he has a lesson to learn. If the misogynistic sensei is harming his students, and therefor judo by having different standards for different genders, then there's a real problem.

    Personally, I think that sensei who know the problems female mudanshaka already have should be sensitive to rank promotions of males just because they can get a lot more shiai points with a lot fewer tournaments. But, that's another subject entirely.

    In the OP's case, it's the 20 year old's ego being hurt because he's being held to the standards that suit his 20 year old self, and not the standards of a 45-50 year old aiming for the same rank.
    avatar
    Cichorei Kano

    Posts : 1948
    Join date : 2013-01-16
    Age : 858
    Location : the Holy See

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:29 pm

    Stacey wrote:Hey, I was part of one very misogynistic club where no women were allowed to take a dan test.    A collegiate national champion was a green belt before collegiate nationals and for 4 years after collegiate nationals.  The sensei was a twerp, but boy he counted each and every half point towards his own next best rank.  Couldn't do a single kata, but if he had the points, he was getting that rank.

    Disparities occur.  When they're that rank (excuse the pun) it is up to the NGB or governing organization to set them straight or kick the sensei out.  

    Stacey,

    Unfortunately, no matter how logical your argument, it does not apply in reality, because what you term " the NGB or governing organization" is nothing but a facade used by individuals. From the moment your paperwork arrives at the federation (or even before that) you are at the mercy of the "individuals", and nonsense can happen at every level, from the secretary that opens the envelope (and who might be an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend or worse) to the person in the promotion committee, exam board, pedagogical committee or whatever the relevant committee is called in that particular federation that deals with eligibility of candidates. People are time and time again screwed not by "the federation or NGB" but by a particular person of flesh and blood who uses "the federation or NGB" as a facade to officialize their actions. Since positions in federations rarely are a result of advertizing and objective selection of the best by an independent third-party organ, but rather of nepotistic actions or grandfathering in, the system is self-supportive with a strong urge to protect itself from any demand for justification or transparency as such would offer only arguments for its own demise.


    _________________


    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
    avatar
    NBK

    Posts : 1193
    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by NBK on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:51 pm

    This week I had a long discussion with a 67 yr old, brand new Kodokan shodan (1dan).

    He'd started judo a couple of years ago in Pigthrough Chiba and failed to make progress. So, he joined the shodan program at the Kodokan and fought his way through, learning everything.

    A very well educated medical professional, more than double the age of most people at the table, he humbly and sincerely called them 'sempai' though he is their senior in multiple dimensions (age, status, income, profession, etc).

    I asked him why? he said that judo gives him the energy to stay 'switched on' (my words) during long professional medical engagements, as he found himself fading. Now he tackles it with gusto.

    So, not much of a break for him in there.

    NBK
    avatar
    Steve Leadbeater

    Posts : 193
    Join date : 2013-02-26
    Age : 62
    Location : Sydney Australia

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Steve Leadbeater on Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:36 pm


    Disparities occur.  

    From the moment your paperwork arrives at the federation (or even before that) you are at the mercy of the "individuals", and nonsense can happen at every level, from the secretary that opens the envelope,  to the person in the promotion committee, exam board, pedagogical committee or whatever the relevant committee is called in that particular federation that deals with eligibility of candidates.

    people are time and time again screwed not by "the federation or NGB" but by a particular person of flesh and blood who uses "the federation or NGB" as a facade to officialize their actions.

    Since positions in federations rarely are a result of advertizing and objective selection of the best by an independent third-party organ, but rather of nepotistic actions or grandfathering in, the system is self-supportive with a strong urge to protect itself from any demand for justification or transparency as such would offer only arguments for its own demise.

    There is so much truth in what is written here.
    avatar
    Jonesy

    Posts : 1035
    Join date : 2013-01-02

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Jonesy on Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:15 pm

    All ranks in judo should in the main reflect knowledge and skill.  Performance in the physical aspects of contest and technical demonstrations and/or kata is but ONE element of skill, for all ranks, - as CK said there are others, debana, kuzushi, compactness, even elegance......  As one progresses higher up the kodansha ranks, more nebulous elements such as "demonstrating judo principles in everyday life", services/contribution to judo etc. come more into play. It is these aspects that are most of manipulated by NGBs and/or NGB promotion committee members who use kodansha rank promotions  and the promise of future ones to reward the faithful and punish the independent of mind.  (Services to judo is usually equated with services to a NGB, which is not the same at all).

    I agree that Japanese sensei tend to look for reasons to pass candidates whereas Westerners, almost always, look for reasons to fail them - they for some reason want to deny people high rank, (particularly kohaku ones). They want to minimise the number of people "in the same club" as themselves, thereby making the club more exclusive and elite.  If you read the Kodokan promotion guidelines, they even say for the shiai element of promotion tests, even defeats can be considered for promotion if something positive can be found in them.

    When I examine, I regarded the tick box forms as administrative guidance only, and look to pass or fail on the compete package of the individual before me.  My late great sensei, a wise 7 dan once told me, "everybody knows who can dance" - that is how he approached promotion exams, and I thought it was a good mindset to have.  And no, I would not expect a 40 year to do techniques like a 20 year old, but I would expect a level of skill and knowledge compatible with the grade in both cases.

    Sponsored content

    Re: What about (old) age and exams for shodan-godan?

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:23 pm