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Jen >> Testing...


6/2/09 7:22 PM
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Bolo
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Member Since: 1/1/01
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Testing for promotions is a controversial topic in BJJ. Some instructors do it and some instructors do not. Personally, I used to do it, but now I do not.

What I found to be interesting was BJJ black belt Roy Dean's approach in which, when the student is at the level to be promoted, the option of simply receiving the belt promotion or doing a demonstration. The demonstration is not required, so it is seems like of like doing a voluntary test. What was extremely interesting was that Roy said 90% of his student choose the option of doing the demonstration. Personally, I think giving students such an option is a great idea.

I do not know if all schools would have the same high percentage if students were given the option, however, I think the very high percentage of people at Roy's school who choose to do it says something about the whole "testing" process and what it means to the student.

There are many people who oppose testing, but I wonder if those people consider that many student may actually want to be tested. Opponents of testing often bring up reasons that often portray the instructor in a negative light, but what about the idea that the instructor is simply giving the student what they want?
6/8/09 3:07 AM
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laqueus
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Member Since: 11/29/08
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I think that's pretty cool. I know some people are into it, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both automatic promotions and testing. It's good to see that flexibility, and not surprising to see it coming from Roy Dean.
6/8/09 5:03 AM
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Bolo
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Edited: 06/08/09 5:11 AM
Member Since: 1/1/01
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I used to do testing for students because, when I used to have a regular school, I came across many students who were extremely stubborn with not working on the things I told them they needed to know for their level. Testing was an effective way to force them to work on those things. Later, when I stopped teaching the general public, those kind of students eventually disappeared or left, so I didn't feel that testing was necessary anymore.

As a student, I prefer the low key, just hand me the belt, kind of promotion. Heck, Joe told me I was due for my 2nd degree back in 2007, but I didn't really bother in getting the promotion until Joe happened to my area a year later. My feeling about this kind of thing isn't just isolated to BJJ. I didn't attend my college graduation and just had them mail me my diploma. If I had a choice, I would have skipped my junior high and high school graduation as I really don't like all the fanfare.

Like I said, I think Roy's option is great, but it surprised me that such a high percentage of people opted for it. Roy also mixes in the traditionalism from his Japanese jiu-jitus background into his BJJ, so I wonder if that is a contributing factor to that percentage or would that high percentage exist in other schools who didn't have such traditionalism if the option was given
6/8/09 2:57 PM
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laqueus
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I'm the same. I skipped my high school graduation and I think the only reason I'll do my university one is my mom really wants to see it. Good enough reason to do something that really doesn't cause me any discomfort.

I don't think I'm that surprised that so many people opted for it. For people who don't compete, there isn't really another opportunity to show what you've learned with a bunch of people watching you. I suppose that might tie in with the traditional background and less people being interested in competing and more people being interested in the art and personal development.

That might also have nothing to do with it, since you're not interested in competition and you also don't care for the belt fanfare yourself.
6/8/09 3:23 PM
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Bolo
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Well, I do BJJ for my own personal development and, for me, the enjoyment comes from encountering a problem and then figuring out the solution to that problem. So demonstrating technique to other people (in a non-teaching situation), doesn't really give me much satisfaction. I tend to be pretty pragmatic, so if I do something for a certain reason, I tend not to want to bother with things that I don't feel have a direct contribution and benefit toward that reason.
6/9/09 12:58 AM
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cincibill
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Member Since: 5/21/06
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Laqueus,

IMO go to your graduation. Its an experience, and you paid a large price for admission. Congrats.

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