Originally Posted by NYC Drew
- What discipline are you a student under?
- What is the level of training required to be fully recognized as an "instructor", a "master"?
- What is that level of training required to attain the higher tier/ranking? Is it number of years studying? Number of years studying + teaching? Or some combination of other things?
- What are the requirements for testing, and / or promotion for a higher rank?
- How is your discipline set up to absorb someone else from another discipline, with or without rank?
- Is your martial arts discipline recognized by some national or international council? If yes, what is that council?
It takes on average, 2000 contact
hours to gain a 4-yr college degree (1hr/week * 16 weeks = 1 college credit; 120 credits to graduate = 1920hrs). Of course, it is assumed that for every hr in the classroom, another 2-3hrs of non-classroom study/research/work is required, which means a year of college (if done right) is ROUGHLY equal to a year's worth of employment (1920 hours /40hrs week = 48 weeks) using a 1:3 ratio of class time : study time ()
How many hours on average, does it take for you - in your discipline to progress from "non-ranking" to the 1st rank? For each successive rank?
If you're learning martial arts for self-defense, then you're asking the wrong questions. Rank, testing, number of hours studied, styles, etc. ... it sounds like someone more interested in colored belts than in learning to fight.
I've studied martial arts since I was a teenager. My observation :
Size and physical conditioning is number one. In any kind of prolonged fight (more than a few seconds), the bigger guy or the guy in better condition usually wins, regardless of training. Maybe Bruce Lee could take out someone a foot taller and 100lbs (of muscle) heavier, but that's very rare.
I studied at one karate school where new students were required to do the following for their first belt :
1. Run a mile in under 8 minutes
2. 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 deep-knee bends
3. Punches/kicks against a bag for 5 minutes, each hand/foot
4. THEN you did the part of the test where you demonstrated "techniques"
Most of their mid-level students would have kicked the *** of the strip mail "masters" at other local schools.
Yes, there is a LOT of value in learning joint locks and other self-defense moves taught in many martial arts schools, BUT you'll also spend a lot of time and money learning a lot of crap that's worthless in a real fight.
You also have to be able to take a hit (or several). If you crumple when you're punched in the face/gut, it doesn't matter what belt you have.
I think martial arts are VERY valuable in many ways, but if you're just looking to defend yourself, I would be less concerned with hours, ranks, and styles and more concerned with general fitness and "toughness".