Friday, December 7, 2012

Yellow Belt Tests Today

I hate those clubs where a student has come to class for three months or six months and then one day the instructor says,

"Hey, Sid and Johnny, come to the front of the class. Now you're yellow belts."

I think there should be an actual test demonstrating your knowledge. People should know what is on the text, practice it and them show they know it. What should you know for your first belt rank? There are some VERY rigorous systems where people say,

"Oh, our yellow belts all know 14 throws, 11 pins and can climb the Eiffel Tower."

As my highly intelligent friend, Bruce Toups says,
A. Those people are lying and
B. What the hell are they trying to do, preserve the sanctity of the yellow belt?

I think people should know several throws that they can demonstrate reasonably well, how to fall, a turnover to a pin and a couple of pins. To document that they know that, I either ask another black belt to come watch the test - which is usually easy in LA where you can find a black belts every mile or two - or, as today, I videotape it and have another black belt watch it with me and agree, yes, those people have progressed beyond the point of complete beginner.

Today, we did yellow belt tests. Mr. Gonzales, history teacher and our school sponsor, and Mr. Sanchez, humble assistant and paraprofessional, demonstrated first to give the middle school students a little confidence after seeing their teachers do it. You can see the beginning of the test here.


Sylver said...

Very nice. Especially the Ko Uchi

One thing that caught my attention is that most (all?) throws were done with Tori falling on Uke.

Is that by design or did it just turn out that way?

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Yes, I am a big proponent of TRANSITION, that is following your opponent right to the mat. I practice what I teach, encouraging that transition every day.

AnnMaria said...

Funny you should ask that. We worked on those exact drills today. I'll post some videos later.

Sylver said...

Sweet! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ann Maria, any commentaries on your part regarding the recently announced rule changes?

I started judo after the ban on leg grabs, which didn't seem logical to me, and now this... it's as if they were trying to force people into practicing a specific type of judo.

Don't take me wrong, some of the changes really seemed the right call (e.g. no hantei, no running from osaekomi)... others, though, kinda sucked - a lot, actually. Penalizing breaking grips? Penalizing one-handed judo? Completely banning leg grabs? What's up with that?

Anyway. Would love to hear your opinion on the matter.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

My opinion is that the new rules are stupid. They are going to have opposite of the intended effect of making judo more of a spectator sport and they are going to make judo less transferable to grappling, wrestling and mixed martial arts.

Fritz said...

What about Ukemi?
Why they can't do Ukemi properly and
need a crashpad?

Best Regards