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  #11  
Old 04-10-2011
AWP AWP is offline
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I'll embrace any distinction so long as it's a positive one. I probably won't distinguish myself as one, but it's nice to be thought of as a part of a great process with no real apparent end to the experience and learning.
In keeping with the Asian influence I guess I can say
"Shou gai gakushu(sha)", a lifelong 'Minarai' (apprentice)
Perhaps always seeking the path of Masuta (Master).
All sounds wonderfully new and inspiring.

Best,
Alan
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2011
mjm mjm is offline
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Default Simplicity

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
2) You've mastered Balance, Streamline, and Whole-Body Propulsion.
Anybody want to look Neptune (or pick your god of the watery universe) in the eye and claim you have MASTERED these elements?

What's wrong with beginner, intermediate, advanced?

If someone googled "black belt" would they really want to find a swimming blog?

Pick you favorite quote about simplicity:

Plato – “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.” (evidently Plato was a TI swimmer)

Leonardo da Vinci – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Albert Einstein – “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Henry Wadsworth – “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”

Hans Hofmann – “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

E.F. Schumacker – “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”

Eleanor Roosevelt – “A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”

Charles Mingus – “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” (my favorite)

mjm

Last edited by mjm : 04-11-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm View Post

Plato – “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.” (evidently Plato was a TI swimmer)

Leonardo da Vinci – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Albert Einstein – “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Henry Wadsworth – “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”

Hans Hofmann – “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

E.F. Schumacker – “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”

Eleanor Roosevelt – “A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”

Charles Mingus – “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” (my favorite)

mjm
To these I might add one (or two) from the sphere of rubber-powered stick and tissue aircraft modeling:

"Simplicate and add lightness"
"There's no part lighter than no part"

I'm not sure exactly how these apply to swimming or the colored belt system that is prevalent in Japan (and not just for martial arts, I think). In Judo the first grade of black belt is 1st dan, which would be perhaps equivalent to good club level in swimming. Olympic judoka would be 4th or 5th dan and teachers (sensei) would be grades above that, up to 10th dan, who would be highly esteemed elder statesmen of the art.

I'm not sure how highly Terry would be ranked but he definitely qualifies as a sensei, as does Shinji.
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  #14  
Old 04-11-2011
roates roates is offline
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roates
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm View Post

What's wrong with beginner, intermediate, advanced?

If someone googled "black belt" would they really want to find a swimming blog?

Pick you favorite quote about simplicity:

Plato – “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.” (evidently Plato was a TI swimmer)

Leonardo da Vinci – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Albert Einstein – “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Henry Wadsworth – “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”

Hans Hofmann – “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

E.F. Schumacker – “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”

Eleanor Roosevelt – “A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”

Charles Mingus – “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” (my favorite)

mjm
I'm with you on this MJM, nothing wrong with the obvious..............

beginner, intermediate, advanced

I have a pretty good idea where I stand with these definitions and I'm sure a lot of other people do to, why complicate it.

Roger
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  #15  
Old 04-11-2011
LBRoberts LBRoberts is offline
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I agree with Roger and others re: keeping things simple and I personally don't really like the idea of borrowing a ranking system from another discipline.

I'd prefer something like

beginner, intermediate, advanced;

or maybe something linked to swimming / Olympics:

Bronze, Silver, Gold
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  #16  
Old 04-11-2011
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I believe the 'gist' is to create a bit of inspiration as well as distinguish TI practitioners from one another's skill levels and experiences. There's nothing overly inspiring about beginner/ intermediate/ advanced, however, something like the belt system could fall under sections with those headings (?).
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  #17  
Old 04-11-2011
LBRoberts LBRoberts is offline
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Different things inspire different people. What inspires me is the process of mastering skills. I have goals and I set myself little milestones along the way; whether they be swimming a distance in a certain time, or succefsfully mastering a new skill in my swimming. So whether it be belts or labels, for me, the inspiration is being able to measure myself against a certain ability level.

Last edited by LBRoberts : 04-11-2011 at 09:56 PM.
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBRoberts View Post
I'm not clear whether the black belt in your definition, is a measure of proficiency or an attitude/approach to practice. I think you mean the latter, but the former makes more sense to me
LB I appreciate your interest in this and thanks for your thoughts. You surmise correctly that my intent in proposing a Black Belt level of TI Swimming is intended more to suggest an especially keen and targeted intensity of focus and purpose, and less to suggest we might include a proficiency measure.

My reasons are twofold
1) The benefits we are most interested in promoting are health and happiness and the reading I've done in Positive Psychology, Flow, and the latest research into how to optimize brain function in middle age and beyond all point to the importance of Mastery, Purpose and a sense of being in control of one's life.
2) Proficiency is hard to measure in many of the areas in which we might encourage people to pursue a Black Belt. And I'm not sure who we'd designate as judges of proficiency and -given that I hope ultimately to see 1000s of adult swimmers decide to pursue a Black Belt, necessitating potentially 100s of belt judges - how to ensure a consistent judging standard.

The most important effect I'm seeking is to inspire more people to pursue Continuous Improvement. By coming up with many different areas of specialization, I think we'll be able to keep renewing interest and motivation.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 04-12-2011 at 11:59 PM.
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  #19  
Old 04-13-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWP View Post
There's nothing inspiring about beginner/ intermediate/ advanced.
As well, they're highly subjective.

Nonetheless, the Belt designations won't be the first means of helping someone newly exposed to TI to figure out where on our web site or what self-help tool or workshop/class will best suit them. The Belt designations will have their own page and be intended as a simple way of emphasizing our strong belief in Kaizen.

Here is sample language I've already drafted that is far more specific in identifying the range of needs among people who find their way to the TI site. I wrote this for our Coaches' Manual but would adapt it for the public.


Phobic/Beginner Swimmers

Who: Their impediments range from crippling fear to pronounced discomfort. The most extreme have high anxiety about entering the pool or immersing the face. The water-bowl-breathing techniques illustrated on O2 in H2O are effective in coaxing them into the pool. At the other end of the spectrum, they may almost be ready to learn TI drills.

Their Needs: Essentially they fear two things: Choking and Sinking.
• You’ll recognize these fears by:
o They can swim only a few strokes -- up to barely surviving a pool length;
o They swim with the head out, or lift/swing it wildly to breathe.
• They dream of: experiencing simple comfort, feeling at home, able to move freely, venturing into deep water.

“Human” Swimmers
Who:
Historically TI’s bread-and-butter. The spectrum ranges from those who can barely complete 50 yards to accomplished/experienced/fast swimmers with traditional technique. Triathletes make up the majority. Among fitness swimmers, we draw people who are intellectually curious or look for a higher purpose or more excellence in things that interest them. Our ironclad promise is that they will:
• Swim with more ease and enjoyment.
• Swim in a way that inspires compliments.
• Be confident they’re practicing the right way.
• Feel energized by swimming – physically and mentally.
• Love swimming.

Their Needs
• Understanding: What they ‘know’ about swimming is wrong: They think technique is about pulling and kicking. They think improvement comes from more and harder.
• Skill: Most lack balance, create excess drag and turbulence, and use arm-driven propulsion. They kick wastefully. Breathing hurts balance, streamline and propulsion even more.
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Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #20  
Old 04-13-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Six Sigma Black Belt

I found some interesting confirmation of how Black Belt has infiltrated general consciousness to signify something broader than proficiency in particular martial arts.
ASQ, the American Society for Quality offers what they call the Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
(Six Sigma is a manufacturing quality process developed by Motorola and widely popularized by GE during the Jack Welch era.) Here's language from the program description:

The Certified Six Sigma Black Belt is a professional who can explain Six Sigma philosophies and principles, including supporting systems and tools. A Black Belt should demonstrate team leadership, understand team dynamics and assign team member roles and responsibilities. Black Belts have a thorough understanding of all aspects of the DMAIC model in accordance with Six Sigma principles. They have basic knowledge of Lean enterprise concepts, are able to identify non-value-added elements and activities and are able to use specific tools. Review the different Six Sigma belts, levels and roles.

Seems pretty pallid stuff next to Kaizen Swimming.
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Terry Laughlin
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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