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Thread: what's required to be a GM in martial arts?

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    Default what's required to be a GM in martial arts?

    Hello everybody.I am new here,coming back to martial arts after a long time(I quit cos of health).1st of all,Happy New Year to everybody.
    I am not an expert so,plz,bear with me,as the question may be trivial.
    I was wondering what's required to get the GM title in martial arts and if all of martial arts award this title,if not,which ones do.Being a chess player where they also have a GM title,I am curious.Thanks for helping.Good site!

  2. #2
    Lee Marsh Guest

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    Well, buy yourself a black gi with a lot of patches and some red or gold trim, a fancy belt with lots of red stripes on it, some of those little kung fu shoes, develop a beer gut or a food belly that flops over your belt, grow a goatee, claim a lot of rank and titles...it doesn't matter what they are, just make them up, and open a BS website with funky music, dragons, and a lot of stuff about ninja and secrets. Hell, you'll be a Grand Master in no time. Oh, and post some pictures of yourself in strange looking stances or holding weapons incorrectly. A gold chain or two around your neck also helps.

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    I'll make you one for only 19.95 USD plus shipping.
    David F. Craik

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    Originally posted by Soulend
    I'll make you one for only 19.95 USD plus shipping.
    ahh thats too much $10 on ebay

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    My certificates are way cooler, and I guarantee a squad of Astral Spies who will be at your command.
    David F. Craik

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    Haha.my Q was serious anyway
    Did I understand well?Does it take a red belt in kung-fu(wu shu)?
    Massimo Viti

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    Sorry to be having a bit of fun. None of the arts I've studied had such a thing as a grandmaster (or at least no one used or was called that title that I know of), so I dunno.

    Welcome to the forum though, Mr. Viti!
    David F. Craik

  8. #8
    CIM-BA Guest

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    Grand Master in TKD years ago was 6th and up. It may have been only our school, but this is what we were told.

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    From my relative insignificant experience in the martial arts, I have observed that few arts actually have a real "grandmaster" as we Westerners have come to understand. The GM, as you put it, the keeper of the arts inner sanctum and the personification of the art itself is something that I've seen in only the most ancient extant arts. The newer arts mainly have a GM in name only. Usually, the GM is the founder of the art and in most cases never really mastered any art prior to his creation of his own art. His grand mastership really places him/her as the administrative leader of the organization. The problem with so many GMs is that there seems to be no way to standardize credentials. In my line of work, for instance, it takes some really stringent, and quantifiable / verifiable, credentials to stand-up (create) a Close Quarters Battle school and then teach it to no-nonsense professionals in the same field (those than can "call your bluff").

    I've found that in many cases, arts that require physical performance, such as full-contact sparring and / or grappling, are much harder to "bluff" in this regard as the teachers have either a very verifiable record (sanctioned bouts, etc.) and / or readily engage their students on the mat (as is the case with grappling). In this sense, it is much harder to "fake the funk", as they used to say in my native Brooklyn. I've rarely seen a GM in kickboxing (they don't use that title anyway) or in grappling that has not earned the title. Those that didn't don't stand up to the scrutiny that they are subjected to. Are there exceptions? Sure there are. Anyway, that's my neophyte opinion.

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    We only have one 'Grand Master' and it is a term that is used between members only, I've never seen it in any official material. We have two 10th Dan, one is senior and promoted the other.
    Respectfully
    Mark W. Swarthout, Shodan

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    Hello everybody.Thanks for welcoming me,I am proud to be here.
    Thanks for all the answers.I read that Grandmaster was only an onorific title somewhere else,but I recently bought a videomagazine(called black belt)where there were 3 Grandmasters,all of them practising ,so,I got confused.GM is short for Grandmaster in chess,I was not sure they use it in Martial arts,but I think it's understandable.When asking I really forgot chess is one game and martial arts are many,so,having no steady rule makes sense.I hope I will be able to take up aikido,but in my zone it's hard.People only know karate,and I may have to go 50 km from where I live to find one aikido dojo.As for having fun at my Q,it's ok,I didn't take it personally,as the smiley next to my reply might show.I think Anglo-Saxons have a lot to teach Italians in this respect,cos we think we are too important,over here.
    Massimo Viti

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    Where are you exactly Mr. Viti? Man, I miss Italy. Well, except for Naples.
    David F. Craik

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    CIM-BA Guest

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    Originally posted by mawashi geri
    I think Anglo-Saxons have a lot to teach Italians in this respect,cos we think we are too important,over here.
    No way There is too much ego out there - We can all learn from each other.

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    Ciao Massimo

    To answer the question; lots of Arts, lots of titles, too many self-appointed Grand Masters.

    You're right, there is no governing body that can award the title of GrandMaster, unlike the Chess world. Often the title "Grandmaster" is likely to raise suspicion among the more serious Martial Artists, as it has come to represent those who begin their own style and create an empire (without the skills to do so).



    If you're looking for Aikido, perhaps you may wish to consider Shorinji Kempo. Look here for the Italian Federation Website (there's another Italian site here). As your English language appears so fluent, you may wish to check the British site and the English language version of the Japanese site for additional info.

    Welcome to E-Budo
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Lightbulb

    Both the term "master" and "grandmaster" were coined after the 1960-s and as such the parameters for defining these titles are still very plastic. Both titles share the qualities that have come to be associated with other popular marketing ploys such as "new and improved", "only available through" and "accept no substitutes". This is only made worse by the misuse or misrepresentation of legitimate terms such as "soke", "hanshi", and "shihan" in Japanese arts and "sifu" in Chinese arts. As far as connotations go, the titles "master" and "grandmaster" are indicative of a leadership role with the suggestion that leadership proceeds from accomplishing some extraordinary level of technical skill in the specified art. While this is certainly possible, in reality it is almost never the case. More recently there is now the title "supreme grandmaster". In this latest entry the suggestion is that the individual identified is the leader of a circle of "grandmasters" each of whom, in turn, is the head of his own circle of "masters".

    For those with a penchant for exotic titles I recommend the York Rite of their local Masonic Lodge. The titles have greater historical provenence and the monies go to a greater good than simply lining someones pockets. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Bruce W Sims
    www.midwesthapkido.com

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