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    Judoman

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    New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Judoman on Sat May 11, 2013 1:56 am

    I just read through the new USJA rank requirements. Does anyone know why they decided to take promotional recommendation authority away from nidans. It used to be that you could submit promotion recommendations for one rank under your own. As a nidan of a small club in an area with not much Judo, this really makes things difficult for us.
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    genetic judoka

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by genetic judoka on Sat May 11, 2013 2:12 am

    so, how much fun are you having with the page numbers in the new book?


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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Guest on Sat May 11, 2013 2:31 am

    I just went to the USJA web site. I saw their address is Tarpon Springs, FL. That is about 15 minutes up the road from my job. Has the USJA offices always been there? As far as the promotion issue I think it's unfortunate. One of the best and knowledgeable Judoka I have ever seen in my life is a nidan. He's just one of those guys that, for whatever reason, has not been promoted. Sometimes guys fall through the cracks of promotions I guess. That said, in those instances there really should be exceptions made especially for people in Judoman's situation. If the USJA is supposed to support the so-called "grassroots" of Judo then how does this change support that?

    Judoman

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Judoman on Sat May 11, 2013 2:51 am

    Yes, the page numbering is a little off. Overall I don't think the actually testing requirements are too bad (actually they seem a little easy for the lower belts). The new rule is that only a sandan can recommend students to shodan. As for me, I know I will most likely never rank to sandan (age, promotional points, etc) so I guess I will never be able to recommend my students to shodan when they get to that level. I was flirting with going independent as a club. Not sure if this will push me in that direction.
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    genetic judoka

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by genetic judoka on Sat May 11, 2013 3:01 am

    judoman, where are you located?

    it used to be a rule that if a student was to test for shodan the test should be carried out by someone other than that student's sensei, such as to keep things impartial. I thought it was always a rule that you had to be at least a sandan before you could promote someone to shodan, but you can recommend someone for promotion up to one rank below your own. is the new rule that you can no longer recommend someone for promotion?


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat May 11, 2013 5:26 am

    You can also bring in a higher ranking person or two to do your promotions. You shouldn't really be promoting your own black belts anyway...some sort of promotion board or panel is better.

    I'm a sandan and I cannot promote anyone beyond ikkyu. I CAN reccomend for shodan or nidan, but the provincial promotion board does the grading/promoting, not me.

    It's a matter of quality control.


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    Judoman

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Judoman on Sat May 11, 2013 6:08 am

    Sorry Ben, but I have to disagree. If I am qualified and capable of teach my students, I am certainly qualified and capable enough to promote them. The common assumption that local club instructors are incapable of upholding “quality control” is something I’ve actually found insulting over the years.
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    genetic judoka

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by genetic judoka on Sat May 11, 2013 7:04 am

    you are welcome to disagree, but there's nothing insulting about it.

    many (not to be misread as "all") judoka I've met from 'independent' clubs seem to me to often be over graded. I've met unaffiliated nidans with almost non existent ukemi, brown belts who get tossed around by smaller yellow belts in randori, etc. quality control is important. so I personally think this rule is a good rule. many countries force you to fight for your promotions (again for the sake of quality control), I would not be against this being done in the states.

    also, should this be in the 'promotion and gradings' subforum?


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    Steve Leadbeater

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Steve Leadbeater on Sat May 11, 2013 10:15 am

    In NSW a Shodan can promote to 2nd Kyu if they are a holder of a State Grades Examiners Stamp, A Nidan may promote to 1st Kyu if they hold a State Grades Examiners stamp, for Dan gradings the Candidate must attend a Formal Dan Grading examination before the Panel of Examiners appointed by the Blackbelt Register and JFA (NSW) Inc.
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    Heisenberg

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Heisenberg on Sat May 11, 2013 10:28 am

    Dave R. wrote:I just went to the USJA web site. I saw their address is Tarpon Springs, FL. That is about 15 minutes up the road from my job. Has the USJA offices always been there?

    Pretty sure they moved to FL from CO in 2011. I believe the reason given was to save the organization money. It had been in CO since sometime in the 1980's.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat May 11, 2013 10:37 am

    Steve Leadbeater wrote:In NSW a Shodan can promote to 2nd Kyu if they are a holder of a State Grades Examiners Stamp, A Nidan may promote to 1st Kyu if they hold a State Grades Examiners stamp, for Dan gradings the Candidate must attend a Formal Dan Grading examination before the Panel of Examiners appointed by the Blackbelt Register and JFA (NSW) Inc.

    Aussies are such control freaks!
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    Heisenberg

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Heisenberg on Sat May 11, 2013 10:38 am

    genetic judoka wrote:
    many (not to be misread as "all") judoka I've met from 'independent' clubs seem to me to often be over graded. I've met unaffiliated nidans with almost non existent ukemi, brown belts who get tossed around by smaller yellow belts in randori, etc. quality control is important. so I personally think this rule is a good rule. many countries force you to fight for your promotions (again for the sake of quality control), I would not be against this being done in the states.

    Don't the modern NGB's (in the USA, anyway) emphasize technical knowledge over fighting ability? Nearly to the point of over-emphasizing the technical knowledge. Someone can pass a Shodan grading with time-in-grade and knowledge of the NNK, Gokyu, holds, escapes, etc. without being able to randori their way out of a wet paper sack.

    Conversely, does a judoka that throws for ippon and wins nationals but only knows 3 throws have a greater claim to a kuro obi than the aforementioned technical player? I realize that these are the extreme ends of the argument and most fall somewhere in the middle.


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    BillC

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by BillC on Sat May 11, 2013 10:46 am

    Do you feel the ground shaking just a little under your feet ... a tiny light coming over the horizon?

    Could it be that we are about to be treated to a FULL BLOWN FLAME WAR ABOUT PROMOTIONS?

    Pull up a chair, this could be fun!
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat May 11, 2013 11:33 am

    Heisenberg wrote:
    genetic judoka wrote:
    many (not to be misread as "all") judoka I've met from 'independent' clubs seem to me to often be over graded. I've met unaffiliated nidans with almost non existent ukemi, brown belts who get tossed around by smaller yellow belts in randori, etc. quality control is important. so I personally think this rule is a good rule. many countries force you to fight for your promotions (again for the sake of quality control), I would not be against this being done in the states.

    Don't the modern NGB's (in the USA, anyway) emphasize technical knowledge over fighting ability? Nearly to the point of over-emphasizing the technical knowledge. Someone can pass a Shodan grading with time-in-grade and knowledge of the NNK, Gokyu, holds, escapes, etc. without being able to randori their way out of a wet paper sack.

    Conversely, does a judoka that throws for ippon and wins nationals but only knows 3 throws have a greater claim to a kuro obi than the aforementioned technical player? I realize that these are the extreme ends of the argument and most fall somewhere in the middle.

    How about the judoka who basically bought their rank?

    S
    Why don't you look at the rank requirements for shodan from USJA, USJF, and all the USA Judo SGBs and find out?

    quality control varies, unfortunately. Shodan (and other ranks) cover a range of ability, not a single standard. I think of them as a bellcurve (or whatever districbution might be most appropriate).
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat May 11, 2013 11:35 am

    BillC wrote:Do you feel the ground shaking just a little under your feet ... a tiny light coming over the horizon?

    Could it be that we are about to be treated to a FULL BLOWN FLAME WAR ABOUT PROMOTIONS?

    Pull up a chair, this could be fun!

    I just started heating the oil in the pan and have a cup of kernals ready to drop in when the oil starts to smoke...

    jocolor
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    Heisenberg

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Heisenberg on Sat May 11, 2013 12:11 pm

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Why don't you look at the rank requirements for shodan from USJA, USJF, and all the USA Judo SGBs and find out?

    quality control varies, unfortunately. Shodan (and other ranks) cover a range of ability, not a single standard. I think of them as a bellcurve (or whatever districbution might be most appropriate).

    USJA Shodan- 1 yr. Time in grade minimum, 30 promotion points. Pass the written and skills exam. Demonstrate 20 throwing techniques. Points can be earned through service or shiai. Pay $125.

    USJF Shodan- 3 yrs Time in grade for non-competitor all the way down to 6 months TIG for Batsugun. Demonstrate skills including NNK. Demonstrate 3 each throws, combos, and counters. 75% on exam. Pay $45

    USA Judo Shodan- 3 yrs. Time in grade for non-competitors all the way down to 6 months TIG for Batsugun. Demo skills including "increased proficiency in lower level rank requirements and in contest record" and "minimum knowledge and skills in both randori and nagekomi practice". Know NNK. Pay $150

    It looks like USA Judo is the only one that really pushes the contest record. The rest really just make it take longer for non-competitors to get there. It makes sense, since USA Judo is the governing board for the Olympic team.
    Of course we Westerners (at least people not seriously involved in MA) have this silly idea that a black obi means that someone is a master when all a shodan traditionally means is that you are serious and have made it to the "beginning step".


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    Judoman

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Judoman on Sat May 11, 2013 12:29 pm

    Since I started this thread, I will say I don’t want a “flame war.” This is my last comment on the matter:

    Although I am a USJA black belt, I have no problem running my club as an independent club. I would even go so far as to say that if the new USJA policy prevents me from recommending my students up to shodan, I will most likely go independent. The fact is, almost no one that comes into the club has any aspirations of going to the Olympics and those that do typically go to other clubs with higher ranked senseis. In my opinion as long as you uphold high standards, don’t self-promote yourself, and are honest about your skills, there is nothing wrong or shameful about running an independent club with club ranks (despite what some people from the big associations might have other believe).
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    Jonesy

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Jonesy on Sat May 11, 2013 6:42 pm

    Judoman wrote:Since I started this thread, I will say I don’t want a “flame war.” This is my last comment on the matter:

    Although I am a USJA black belt, I have no problem running my club as an independent club. I would even go so far as to say that if the new USJA policy prevents me from recommending my students up to shodan, I will most likely go independent. The fact is, almost no one that comes into the club has any aspirations of going to the Olympics and those that do typically go to other clubs with higher ranked senseis. In my opinion as long as you uphold high standards, don’t self-promote yourself, and are honest about your skills, there is nothing wrong or shameful about running an independent club with club ranks (despite what some people from the big associations might have other believe).
    Agreed. All that is needed to do judo are a kitted out dojo, a knowledgable teacher, like minded individuals to train with and appropriate insurance in place. Governing bodiy membership can bring some benefits - an expanded judo universe to explore, but unless you want to enter championships, they are not strictly necessary.
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    BillC

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by BillC on Sat May 11, 2013 8:53 pm

    Judoman wrote:Since I started this thread, I will say I don’t want a “flame war.” This is my last comment on the matter:

    Although I am a USJA black belt, I have no problem running my club as an independent club. I would even go so far as to say that if the new USJA policy prevents me from recommending my students up to shodan, I will most likely go independent. The fact is, almost no one that comes into the club has any aspirations of going to the Olympics and those that do typically go to other clubs with higher ranked senseis. In my opinion as long as you uphold high standards, don’t self-promote yourself, and are honest about your skills, there is nothing wrong or shameful about running an independent club with club ranks (despite what some people from the big associations might have other believe).

    And when you raise up a crop of ikkyu and shodan and they leave town for the big wide world ... assuming you live in a town where people are allowed to leave ... what about their rank then? It will be essentially meaningless no matter how good their judo is. "Sorry, start over" will be their fate. Not fair, but that is exactly what I would tell someone. I wouldn't go so far perhaps as to call him fraudulent but I would certainly note "your sensei did you no favors."

    As messed up as judo rank is, it is at least a reference point. And while certainly not every registered kuro obi goes around someone who knows thing one about judo, the opposite is true. I have never met a storefront black belt that knew the first thing about judo.

    Why don't you phone up JudoGary and discuss the problem with him. Ask him if there is a workaround that accommodates both parties. Goodness knows the workaround is a long-held USJA tradition.
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    Jonesy

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Jonesy on Sat May 11, 2013 10:39 pm

    I thought the rank validation process was designed to ensure that competent people with "dojo rank" did not have to start again.


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    Heisenberg

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Heisenberg on Sun May 12, 2013 12:30 am

    USJA does have a validation system. If you can demonstrate the skills, pass the test, and pay $250 (for Shodan. Kyu ranks are cheaper, higher Dan ranks cost as much as $450. They doubled pricing last year- I don't think they believe in incremental increases) you can have unrecognized rank validated and registered by a rank examiner.

    It certainly doesn't seem like good policy to make someone "start over" just because their rank wasn't properly recorded. It isn't really fair to your students, either, to put a 10 year veteran with an unrecognized Nidan at Rokyu.



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    Hanon

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Hanon on Sun May 12, 2013 2:23 am

    Judoman wrote:Sorry Ben, but I have to disagree. If I am qualified and capable of teach my students, I am certainly qualified and capable enough to promote them. The common assumption that local club instructors are incapable of upholding “quality control” is something I’ve actually found insulting over the years.

    With respect and care for your opinion I would counter your point by saying its not about you as the sensei but a grading is about your students and how they perform on the day.

    I know VERY few truly genuine impartial sensei. I am certainly not impartial, I would be far to hard on my pupils at a grading, I would expect too much from them. I know them know their problems and difficulties. This is NOT a good thing at a graduation because when the pupil who is wearing his new dan grade, or whatever, flies the nest it is that pupil who has to face what the judo world throws at him. We cant be there to have other things taken into consideration. To this end I am with Ben on this, to me its all about quality control and maintain a national standard free from a club teachers likes and dislikes etc. I don't grade my own pupils, have not done so for well over 40 years or so. That has been a conscience decision.

    May I place this notion to you for a thought? A sensei should take care of his pupils at club lessons, teach them, prepare them then, I respectfully suggest, let them go and stand up for themselves and be on their own. To me this is a major part of ensuring personal growth in ones pupils.

    Just some thoughts I am certain you are a VERY capable teacher and very capable of examining judoka.

    Mike


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    Hanon

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Hanon on Sun May 12, 2013 2:41 am

    Jonesy wrote:
    Judoman wrote:Since I started this thread, I will say I don’t want a “flame war.” This is my last comment on the matter:

    Although I am a USJA black belt, I have no problem running my club as an independent club. I would even go so far as to say that if the new USJA policy prevents me from recommending my students up to shodan, I will most likely go independent. The fact is, almost no one that comes into the club has any aspirations of going to the Olympics and those that do typically go to other clubs with higher ranked senseis. In my opinion as long as you uphold high standards, don’t self-promote yourself, and are honest about your skills, there is nothing wrong or shameful about running an independent club with club ranks (despite what some people from the big associations might have other believe).
    Agreed. All that is needed to do judo are a kitted out dojo, a knowledgable teacher, like minded individuals to train with and appropriate insurance in place. Governing bodiy membership can bring some benefits - an expanded judo universe to explore, but unless you want to enter championships, they are not strictly necessary.

    WE both know there is practice and theory. Would you employ a Ph.D candidate for a job with you who received his qualifications from 'Dingbut county' university? Oxford or Cambridge and you would at least give them an interview?

    WE both hold dear to our hearts that judo must be a free practice that cuts across boundaries. I have trained and taught all my life in every dojo I am able regardless of affiliation and will continue to do so. We both know there are shocking official dan grades and brilliant unofficial dan grades. Unfortunately there are far too many poor dan ranks today from all areas and associations. In theory at least the official associations should monitor and have in place quality control.

    I am all for the independents but it does make life tougher for the pupils if they move on. Simple fact of life.

    Best wishes,

    Mike


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    vabeachjudoka

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by vabeachjudoka on Sun May 12, 2013 4:48 am

    Hello all this is my first post to this site and this thread.

    i dont hide behide the blanket of anonymity or arrogance. i am a usja shodan tested and promoted fairly and upto the standards of who signed off on my paperwork. I take it upon myself to train my students to my best abilility and i myself train to my best to be a true judoka. i am sure some of you here have many more years in judo than i do,therefore alot of these rank panel issues(due to connections and/or location)dont apply to you.

    I am an educator as well as a coach. it is completlely fair that a "teacher" proctor a final exam for a students "graduation". i do not expect a random person experienced or not to come test my classes there fore its an unreal expectation to me in Judo. If I am not qualified to teach and test as a blackbelt why give it to me?Why and how have any club outside of a judo rich area? is Judo to die when its difficult to coordinate big 3 testings or clinincs(in US)? these are rhetorical questions for you to dwell on.

    As far as my students "flying the nest" i have never seen a bird panel teach the little ones as they leave (moment of levity).i am for self accountabilty. my students represent me and my training. not everyone will be olympic calibre and some may love judo as much as Kano himself and teach at a higher level than they perform and that would be doing Judo no favors to punish these people and keep them from spreading Judo.

    At this stage in the slowly fading life of Judo in the US we should be doing everything in our power to get people interetsed in Judo not regulate them out of a Judo Dojo. To all i say safe training and ask we all do our part to introduce people to the gift of Judo
    J
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    Heisenberg

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    Re: New USJA Rank Requirements

    Post by Heisenberg on Sun May 12, 2013 4:51 am

    Welcome, J. Great first post.


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