Unique system of Karate-do classification (U.S.K.C):
categories vs ranks?

  4th Dan Karate-do
President of the Scientific Council and Research and Promotion Offices
Juan Abrantes Stadium, Habana University (Cuba)
Prof. Ray Haramboure
(Roberto González Haramboure)



http://www.efdeportes.com/ Revista Digital - Buenos Aires - Año 7 - N° 38 - Julio de 2001

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     My master is 7th Dan, and yours? I am browm belt, and you?

     This topic of conversation, in any measure is always present in martial sphere, no matter the speciallity on each particular case. Besides, for almost all kind of análisis, selection, or any other way of event that demands the neccesary initial discrimitation of presonnel, is every time less unusual to hear prases such as: “only for color belts”, “for black belts ahead”, only for explain some examples.

     From the point of view officialy stablished it is fare, but in the same way that exists persons and “persons”, also exist karate practitioners and “karate practitioners”, and black blets and “black belts”.

     It is very usual to hear that “anybody loose a fight”, nevertheless in any time we have also heard that “this green belt has defeated all the black belts whom has figth with“. With trainers happens the same, if we compare their time of pedagogycal activity and their rank, in relation with the competitive results reached by their students. It points to the system of evaluation used in karate-do cant take it count only the rank, because by this way it is not possible to meassure, or meassure correctly, many other factores.

     For that reason, the problemic situation detected by it research is that the karatedo classification system only by ranks presents several troubles about objectivity, equality and extension among others, being the scientific problem the search of the correspondeding solutions. The objetc of study is the karatedo classification system, and the field of action is the personnel involved on that classification (athletes and trainers).

     The objective of it work is to design, prove experimentaly, and proposse a new unique system of karatedo classification, without the troubles observed in the classification only by ranks.

     In order to make posible this objective, are neccesary the following tasks:

  1. Bibliographic search about the karatedo classification system.

  2. Search any other classification system in the rest of the sports.

  3. Select the elements to be includded in the new classification.

  4. Create a data base with the neccesary informations to the new classification.

  5. Prove experimentaly the validity of the new classificación.

  6. Proposse the first versión of the new classification, in order to be systematically improved and completed.

     Those tasks was done by the following methods:

     The new scientific aspects of it work is the use of the meassurement experiences from other sports, improving the sport metodology and mainly the sport metrology. The practical signification is the definition of all the categories in wich is possible to classify the karatedo personnel, as well as the possibility to use this classification system to dyagnostic, and discriminatiry process.

     The first sport that used a classification system was Chess, by the coeficient designed by Arpad Elo. Based on that experience, Baiko A F, propossed a new sport classification system in the ex URSS, and about it said: “The USSR athletes reached a great success in the last Olympic Games, it success was thanks to the improvement of the organization of the metodologycal work, the increase of the training experience, and the selection of young talents. The use of the sport classification ruled the activities of both trainers and athletes”. After that many sports as Judo, Fencing, Beisbol, Gimnastics and Athletics, began to design their own classification systems.

     Karatedo and martial arts was the only sport tha from the begining has their classification system (by ranks). In this system only can be meassured the age, time of practice, and technical level (with a great subjectivity). We know about other classification system in wich a person can received the tittles of Renshi, Kyoshi and Hanshi, but we have not found the requeriments for that.

     We think it is very important to meditate about it, with the neccessary explanation that it is not our intention to question neither the evaluators nor evaluated ones, we just want to share our practical experience of observation, that the rank is better involved with age and time of practice, than the quality and carrer of the persons.

The main troubles with the classification system only by ranks are as follws

  1. Little integrity: In the rank exams is controled the ageand time of practice of the candidate, and only after is evaluated the technical level.

  2. Big subjetivity: The rank exmas are based on a “general feeling”. It aspect is also present when is necessary to take in count the trayectory of the candidate.

  3. Very much diversity: Because of the amount of styles and their corresponding lines.

  4. Less similarity: Becasuse the great diference of level between persons in the same rank.

     For all tose reasons, we think it is neccessary the use of a better karatedo classification system, with the following advantages:

  1. It does not matter the age or time of practice to promote, being more dynamic the process.

  2. Provides independence, because the promotion can be reached by personal and invididual efforts.

  3. Provides a work in many other directions, that improves directly or indirectly the karatedo.

  4. Allows a promotion deeper, equal and complete, becuase the rank is only part of many other elements to take in count.

  5. Can be used as a discriminatiry or dyagnostic instrument.

  6. The desire of being classified, will make posible the aproach of much people.

     For chieve that, the metodology designed will allowe several ways to receive the category:

  1. In the case of athletes, there are two ways:

    1. Because of the competitive resulst: By a pointing system score related to the competitions of the year.

    2. Because of the competitive shape: By the prestablished norms of effectiveness achieved all the year. (by sex, age, and división of weigth)

  2. In the case of trainers, there is only one way:

    1. By the integral evaluation of a questionnarie,in wich era taken in count several subjects as:

    • Scholarity level (general y specífic)

    • Time giving classes

    • Competitive results of the athletes

    • Profesional categorization

    • Scientífic categorization

    • Scientífic events

    • Publications

    • Tutorships

    • Curses given and received

    • Stablishment of records

    • Relevant recognitions or medals

     The diferente categories are:

  1. International master of sport

  2. Master of sport

  3. Candidate to master of sport

  4. 1th. Category

  5. 2th. Category

  6. 3th. Category

  7. Candidate to Category.

     This classification is related with the competitive categories, in the following way:

  1. Adults (Over 20 years)

  2. Junior (between 16 and 19 years)

  3. Kids I (between 13 and 15 years)

  4. Kids II (betwwen 7 and 12 years)

     We know about different competitive categories in other countries, and in those cases is possible the arrangement of the classification.

     The emblems correspondent to each category will be a square of different colors and lines, to be used in the left part of the karategi. You can see it in the dyagram at the end of the arthicle.

     From that moment, the ideas to talk will be about: “I already know wich are the ranks of your master and yours, but... wich category both of you have?"

Emblems correspondent to each category


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revista digital · Año 7 · N° 38 | Buenos Aires, Julio de 2001  
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