Yesterday, I held a grading test for students from 3 of my dojos, while before hand I knew that the bulk of them would be fine, I had some concerns with some of them (which I voiced before hand to the members) that more effort was required. In my book, simply going through the motions is not good enough in a test, you have to show me you want it and can perform the techniques strongly under pressure. Anyway, I failed five of my own dojo members for basically being lazy in the test, have any of you had to do the same? I still feel bad about failing people but if the standard is to stay I have no choice.
I wouldn't feel bad as if it has to be done it has to be done , I was failed when attempting my first go at greenbelt for which I felt terrible and my head instructor felt bad but it had the great effect of turning what was a good student into an exemplary one as it refocused my dedication as I never wanted that to happen again and my instructor knew he did the right thing ( which of course he did ) and subsequently when I look back being a greenbelt was a special grade for me .
Everyone has a plan until they get a punch in the face !
I am not sure how to measure laziness in the context of a karate grading. Did the students in question fail to do a required number of push-ups, so maybe a strength issue? Maybe their sparring was flatfooted, so an issue of conditioning? Kata was not sharp, lack of focus? Maybe lazy is a catch phrase for not being prepared. I suppose any real test will have some test takers not passing, otherwise it wouldn't be a test. Don't be hard on yourself. If betterment is the aim of practicing karate, it is up to the student to make the effort. You can only show them the way.
Thanks for the support guys, its just not nice telling kids they haven't passed. In this case it was no effort in the techniques, no focus... I had my concerns before the day and I had even spoken to some parents of the younger ones, I told them I didn't think they were ready, but they still turned up, sometimes you get a pleasant surprise and the ones you are worried about pull it out of the bag on the day... not this time I'm afraid.
In response to the wording used... I also never tell them that they have failed... just that they have not passed.... I never like to label someone as a failure Purely a psychological thing.
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2015 9:40:21 GMT -5 by senshido
Some organizations use the word "pending" instead of fail. At my dojo, we don't let them test if they're not ready. This is usually the case with many of the younger students, especially if they don't show focus and improvement throughout the stages of their promotion.
As I said before...I don't normally let those that are not ready test, some of the kids in question were advised before not to turn up... unfortunately they did, thinking they were good enough. We live in a fairly rural area where some of the people travel two and a half hours to get to me, if they have made the effort to come (even when advised not to) I am not going to turn them away on the day, I let them try and see how it goes.
Osu! If you had already told the students (and their parents) that you didn't think they were ready to grade, and they still turned up... Well don't think you should feel bad at all. They weren't up to scratch before hand, let alone on day and they were aware of it. If they or their parents decide to travel and take the chance they pull it outta the bag, cool. But they were pre warned, so it is their choice to turn up an give it a go! Perhaps gives you a chance to praise their dedication at making the effort, and re highlight what they need to work on to achieve grade next time.
Maybe provide a checklist/studyguide. Sometimes seeing things on paper enables people to understand where they are and how far they have to go. It may serve to wake up the delusional, or inspire those who want to succeed but don't have a plan.
Post by powerof0ne on Jul 18, 2015 12:44:12 GMT -5
I do something similar to what Gary does except I only approach them to grade when I know they're ready to grade.
In the past, some years back I did typical scheduled gradings where people could sign up. I remember having a few parents of younger students asking why their kid didn't pass and I told them why. The students were never back at the following class. I even once coincidentally had one of the moms who was single try to get me to date her "coincidentally" before her son graded (I think I was 22-23 and seeing somebody my age, not 30-35). I don't know if it was because I was young and looked younger than I was but I had about a third of the parents question my judgement.
Probably around 9-10 years ago I decided to only grade those that I approached and asked to grade. I have slowly over the years reduced the amount of belts there is to shodan. I did all of this because I wanted students to focus on improvement instead of the color of the belt around their waist.
I do want to note I enjoy teaching children, teens, and all ages that are physically able to do karate. I don't necessarily enjoy some of the parents though . Osu!
p.s. realized how hypocritical I looked with my belt in my profile lol. I have no plans of ever grading or being graded for the rest of my life. I may at some time just wear a kuro obi with no gold dan bars.
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2015 12:47:18 GMT -5 by powerof0ne
The Testing Cycle will take care of itself!! Nothing, especially rank, is guaranteed!! You pass...you pass! You fail...you fail!! I run the testing cycle, not a parent/spouse/friend/neighbor/etc...ME!! I'll even hold the door open for them whenever they assume a position that they don't possess; NO ONE will demand anything in my dojo!!