Post by D. Nonymous on Jun 23, 2016 14:37:46 GMT -5
Coming from a martial arts background, this is a title that I hate to see again. In the Chinese martial arts the title "grand master" is tossed around quite a bit. The title in an of it's self has been used to describe great practitioners through out the years. But it has also been given to the unskilled, unscrupulous, and/or inexperienced. I have come to have a very adversarial relation ship with this term.
And for all it's popularity. It's complete bull****. The baggage associated with the term is plentiful. While in it's most benign form, it is a term of respect and adulation used for a specific teacher. However, the title has no objective meaning.
Add to this that I had learned that "master" is used in Kung fu as a verb, not a noun. Trying to master something. The term Sifu or Shifu does not translate to "master". Nor does Laoshi, Sigung or any other of the terms most associated with Kung Fu. A master is what you call another person. For face, respect, etc. But the true terms are terms of family (Father, brother, uncle...). Grandmaster doe snot fit well into that paradigm.
But, what is your view? Are there true grandmasters out there? If so, when does one start using the title? Is it ever ok to use the title yourself?
Not a fan personally. Also from Chinese martial arts, my view is that many, many people claim the title of Master to bring in students, so then other schools start calling their own teacher a grandmaster, to try to place them in a hierarchy. It's all PR and BS, essentially. I've met or trained with a few what I would consider top of the game practitioners. Usually they are the humblest you'll ever find. My first teacher, who I've seen called a grand master in tournament promotional materials, only let us call him shifu or coach.
That aside, just to argue semantics...how can a skill be grand mastered? If you've mastered something, aren't you kind of done progressing? Most real "masters" admit that they are continually learning, and will be until they die. To say that you've mastered something like a martial art is a bit preposterous and / or arrogant. Then to say you've grand mastered it?
Last Edit: Jun 23, 2016 18:35:06 GMT -5 by Wingrave
Post by Nero Attoru on Jun 24, 2016 8:40:13 GMT -5
I'll bring a little SW lore into this, the title of Grandmaster is actually the head of the Jedi Order at various points. Yoda held the position for many years... and I always thought it was incredibly stupid. The humble little Jedi Master we met in ESB would never put himself above the rest of his Order. Everything he teaches is completely against the concept. And what was the point, all in all? It's not like it gave him any weight in deciding matters - his wisdom was what did that. The other Masters respected him because of his experience and intelligence, not because of a title. In the end, they all worked as a Council anyway.
There are other titles that I find fun which have more function, but Grandmaster as a rank just seems silly for anyone in our hobby. Plus it's always hard to use a title like that and not sound like you're full of yourself...
Personally, I think the title of Grandmaster should be simply a formality. It makes sense to have a face for an organization, and to have some form of tie breaker in case of indecision by the organization. Giving a special title to the one this honor is awarded to makes sense, rather than having implied leaders or something even sillier.
For the Jedi, The Grandmaster title is almost entirely an honorific. Yoda was a respected individual, but ultimately was just another Master in terms of Knights and Padawans. In terms of his peers, however, he was considered to be the one best suited to run the council. He was the eldest of the Jedi and he had a lot of experience in terms of the force, its applications, and how to be guided by the force. Those qualities would be those looked for in a Master, and thus a Master of Masters.
I would be willing to speculate that the Grandmaster title is a democratically elected or selected individual among the council, just thanks to the structure of the Jedi and the ideals they stood for.
Taekwondo background here. The rank of Master in Kukkiwon TKD can be earned around 4th or 5th dan (it's possible to earn it at 4th dan and more expected at 5th dan that you are a Master). At 7th Dan you can become a Grand Master.
My understanding is that the rank of Grand Master and the higher Dan ranks are more about politics than understanding of the art (because by 5th and 6th Dan you should have a pretty firm understanding of the art, as you've been a black belt for a minimum of 10-15 years by the time you're at that rank). The title of Grand Master gives the elders, those with more wisdom and responsibility, a title above that of Master. It's sort of how in the Army you have Officers and General Officers. The General Officers (O7 and up) are comparable in terms of time-in-grade and necessary education and politicking to be considered senior officers in the Army, a Taekwondo Grandmaster is a Taekwondo practitioner with the necessary education and achievements to be considered a senior leader in the worldwide organization.
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