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#307274 - 12/12/06 08:07 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: harlan]
Mark Hill Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
Quote:

Hey, BF, do you think that the 3 out of 4 who seem to support belt rankings...might actually be personally invested in the practice?

P*r*o*t*e*c*t*i*n*g their E*g*o*s?

(or income)




You got me. I own 43% of century martial arts supplies. We are trying to get Shihans to adopt coloured gis matching belts, my accountant "Phil" tells me that our sales revenue can grow about 700%!
_________________________
It takes a village to stone somebody to death.

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#307275 - 12/12/06 08:23 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: Mark Hill]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
If one day, you went to your school, and informed your students that you had rethought your philosophy...and would now offer teaching for free...but with no belts...how many would leave? How many green, blue, brown and black belts do you think would lay aside their belts, and consider themselves equal to the lowest kyu, in order to train personally...with you? How many would leave...in order to 'keep' their 'rank'?

If we go by the poll...maybe 1 out of 4 would stay with a good teacher.

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#307276 - 12/12/06 08:25 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: Mark Hill]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
I really don't understand why the belt ranking system in the martial arts takes such a beating, when it is clear that the ranking system itself is not to blame.

It is not possible to have any kind of system or organization without some form of hierarchy, whether that hierarchy is explicit, such as with the belt ranking system, or implied, by reputation or skill level alone.

If it is excepted that some kind of ranking system, as described above, is inherent in the organization, then does it really matter what that ranking system is? It seems clear from the posts on this thread that the problem is not with the ranking system itself, but more with the individuals and egos that function within that system. That, and the fact that there is no broad-based standardization for such rank.

The way I look at it, it is the instructor's job to ensure that, as far as is possible, the ranks are earned according to the criteria specific to each school, and that the egos attached to each belt are kept in check.

Are we all agreed that if ego is kept in check and worthiness of rank is insured, that the belt ranking system would have no more drawbacks than any other ranking system, remembering that some form of ranking (be it explicit or implied) is simply part and parcel of any organization?

Galen
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#307277 - 12/12/06 08:27 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: Galen]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
So...are you advocating humility as a prerequisite for ranking?

Quote:

Are we all agreed that if ego is kept in check and worthiness of rank is insured, that the belt ranking system would have no more drawbacks than any other ranking system, remembering that some form of ranking (be it explicit or implied) is simply part and parcel of any organization?

Galen



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#307278 - 12/12/06 08:40 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: harlan]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
Quote:

So...are you advocating humility as a prerequisite for ranking?




Absolutely!

The two things that bother me the most, at least in the school through which I received my ranking, was that inflated ego was allowed to fester in many of the high-ranking students, and that skill was not valued enough.

The three things I look for most when determining readiness for rank (especially among adults, and more so at the higher rank) are:

- technical ability
- humility
- integrity

Without all of these ingredients, in equal and effective measure, rank will not be granted.

Galen


Edited by Galen (12/12/06 08:41 AM)

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#307279 - 12/12/06 08:46 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: harlan]
stormbringer Offline
Extraordinaire

Registered: 04/04/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Florida
Quote:

If we go by the poll...maybe 1 out of 4 would stay with a good teacher.


I would likely be an exception. I voted yes because I feel the benifits outweigh the negatives. When I first started TKD, we never wore belts to class, we trained as equals, from the from the Black Belts down to the lowly whites. We still received the belt certifications when advancing, but you never saw them in class. These lessons were free too and very good quality. It took roughly a year of training to reach the next belt.
_________________________
Brown Belt. Should have my Black by Summer 2008. Jhoon Rhee system

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#307280 - 12/12/06 08:49 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: Galen]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
How do you measure humility? Or for that matter, any intangible...such as loyalty, integrity?

I say...take the money and the belts out of the equation...and you will see more clearly these aspects. Not saying that they aren't there...it is evident when students show up rain or shine, and work hard in a less than fancy dojo. But easier to see without all the slogans, tournements, fancy dress, belts...and money.

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#307281 - 12/12/06 10:20 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: MattJ]
JoelM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
I abstain from the vote. If used properly there is no problem with a belt ranking system.

The question is "Should belt rankings be used?"

It is up to the individual training or teaching what they prefer to do.
_________________________
We should all take ourselves seriously...and then crumple that image up and toss it out the window.

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#307282 - 12/12/06 10:21 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: JKogas]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<< What are you going to do with that belt, walk around with it? Wear it to the mall? >>

An Iaido belt is built different from a standard obi. It is wider (9 cm), more flexible and much longer (@ 12 feet long). The katana, real or practice, is carried thrust though/under this belt just over the left hip, where it rides horizontal and secure. A regular obi can be used but only if tied tight enough to strangle your middle.

When I go to practice Iaido at our local gym I wear the only Iaido belt I have ever owned. It happens to black, and was earned in Guelph in the late '90's. So, yes, I wear it in public, from the dressing rooms, the whole length of the facility, to the aerobics room with its high ceiling and hardwood floor. BTW, the sheathed blade is hand carried on the left side.

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#307283 - 12/12/06 10:47 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: harlan]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Yes. In fact the back of the ITF DoBok has a logo called the TKD Tree. The words Taekwon-Do are written along the shoulders in a drooping fashion. This is to symbolize humility, ofetn over looked, espeically at the higher levels. I think that is one reason why we have less than ideal masters.

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