I agree with Sifu’s decision to increase the red standards. Nothing he stated is unreasonable. I admit there have been points where I felt it was easy for guys to fly in earning rank, or disciples disregarding my effort to get them involved with the blog. Therefore, I appreciate the regulation to be involved on here, and to attend FMK for a minimum of one year & one time a week in order to test. Not only does this rule work you up physically for testing, but it’s a test of your seriousness to the school. The phase of being a Todai for one year is a test of your commitment, and should be a reflection of what you’re willing to contribute, especially if you chose the path of rank.
Based on my current status with earning rank, I’m glad these rules are implemented now for the future. I can contest that one year really does make a difference in knowing what you want out of FMK for yourself. I came into FMK with no experience from other schools, and just wanting to get fit. Although, in time my reasons for joining changed, Sifu gradually introduced me to martial arts, and I surprisingly grew more interest in wanting to take my knowledge further. I may have rank, but I’m aware and admit that I have a lot to learn.
I would not take it personal if I were to have my rank taken away, because I know there would be a specific reason as to why Sifu felt I didn't deserve it. Sifu has always made it clear that your rank must always be maintained, so if I were to lose it I’d have no one to blame but myself. The difference in Todai- Simui is not a drastic stretch for me to feel defeated. Who knows? maybe I say that because I've been a Todai longer then I have rank, but the way I see it... The kwoon does not give special priority to those of obtained rank or not, we’re all learning the same things so why would I feel demotivated? (it should actually be the opposite, in being a kick in the ass) Having rank or not, never changed who I was. There’s been instances when newer disciples apologize not addressing me “Simui”, or apologize correcting me in class because their only a “Todai”, and I'm always like "really? don't worry about it!" I greet and talk to everyone equally, never any less because of our rank.
Now, this is not to say I don’t care about my rank, because I definitely do! I wear and promote them proudly! There was a point in which I thought it was impossible for me to earn, but it’s points like those that make you appreciate where you are now. I merely have the mindset “do not get attached to the rank”, because that to me is EGO. Our bodies are ever changing within age, and we need to accept that we will have our setbacks in life. For instance, Jenny constantly reminds me to appreciate my body now before I have kids (lol) and I sure do! Let alone will it ever be a demotivation for me .
In the end I would like to continue with rank because it personally motivates me. Rank to me represents the healthiest & strongest I’ve ever felt in my life, and that’s the direction I want to continue to grow. Even before Sifu’s decision to increase the standards, as soon as I earned red I immediately felt the pressure to uphold FMK’s standards; to me that’s a good thing, and how it should be for everyone. “To be greater than the person you were yesterday.”