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#307314 - 12/13/06 04:14 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: MattJ]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 921
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
With respects, I voted 'No' as blackbelt shodan is just the beginning and it keeps our Dan grades motivated and in tune with their techniques and new Kata. I know of a Tang Soo Do dojang where Blackbelt take a 'mini grading' every 6 months to make sure they keep on top of their Kata etc. for some of the 1st Dans thay could revert back to Red belt if they don't match the standard.

I know that some of the higher Dan grades with the 20 gold bands or those with the Red and Gold belts etc are a bit OTT, I don't think Dan Bars are required as with a decent belt the colour fads and returns to white with age, this is how to tell the longer serving Dan grades not a nice shiny belt with a new extra gold band on the end

Apppologies for offending any one, but my opinion is that we as Dan grades need to be humble and create a good example to our kyu grades not create a 'he's got more bands than me' ethos this is where the belt chasers come from, black should be the last belt not 'red and white' or 'blue and white' or 'red and black' etc

my respects

A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.


#307315 - 12/13/06 10:24 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: Dobbersky]
clmibb Offline

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 1035
Loc: South Texas, US
I voted in favor of belts because it does a few things (as long as they are used in the proper manor and not to line the instructor's pocket). For the student, it keeps them motivated and they have something to look forward to whether it be the next belt or a stripe on their belt. For the instructor, it helps keep track of what different students have learned. Example, we have about 30 kids in our beginner class and about 8 instructors. We break up into groups so everyone who started at the same time pretty much moves at the same pace. If you need extra help, we appoint a first degree or a high ranking red belt for 1 on 1 time. It may only be for 15 minutes or it may be for the rest of the class, it all depends on the student and the instructor. We had a large group of white belts start at the same time. A few struggled more than others. My instructor took those who needed a smaller group and has them moving slower than the other group. We've put different colored stripes on their belts to show where they are. He broke down the requirements for their first test into 5 little "mini tests" he doesn't charge for them until they are going for the last stripe. It helps build up their foundation which I think we can all agree is the most important part. It helps keep the kids motivated and they don't get frustrated with learning something new and complicated. I don't think that our school could be run with out ranks personally.

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."- Ronald Reagan

#307316 - 01/28/07 04:15 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: harlan]
ddoa01 Offline

Registered: 11/23/06
Posts: 18
Loc: WA State
Throw away the belts and throw away the uniforms. THey dont count in the real world. Why you ask just ask..

Mike- ex: 1st dan taekwondo korean WTF. 12 years of TKD training
Mike Senior Master Instructor Defensive Defense Options Academy

#307317 - 01/28/07 09:48 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: ddoa01]
Blackrainbow Offline

Registered: 09/14/06
Posts: 220
Loc: Brandon Fl.USA
My two cents. Just to answer Matt's question. I would do away with the whole system. The belt rank system was the biggest mistake our martial arts forefathers made. It is the very reason we have all of the hate and discontent in an art that is really about attaining a peacful state of mind. That said, yes I use them. Why? Because people have come to expect promotions and if I didn't I would have no students. I try my best (note TRY) to teach that they are only a symbol, like a grade school diploma and as such do not tell the whole story about a person's ability. I wish we could just do away with the whole mess. Ancient warriors wore a belt to hold up their pants or a sword. No one needed one to judge someones skills or ability.
You cannot defend against that which you do not understand

#307318 - 01/28/07 10:08 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: ButterflyPalm]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
I think I know what ButterflyPalm was saying, and agree with him completely. It IS a responsibility to live up to the belt, and a real martial artist has to keep up his skill level to match. Say you go to a school where most everyone has never seen you before. The obi gets you respect (maybe too much!) and there's nothing wrong with that, but unless you prove you deserved it, that can quickly turn around. How many of us have seen those red-and-white obi "generals" who are horribly out of shape and shun any significant effort or demonstration?

#307319 - 01/28/07 02:33 PM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: MattJ]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Matt:

Entirely 100% useful for the teacher, for the students likely debatable. Rank is a relative standard within a group, Some folks are "overqualified", others underqualified, but hopefully grow and fulfill the rank with effort.

<<Are they more trouble

Only where there is anger or tears because of them! Being subjective by nature, many have a bad perception what the "standard" means and how they/their child deserves greater ranking...

I have no idea what Matt's expectation is... no idea what Maryjane has done, or seems capable of to deserve promotion or its lack. Matt having taught her, I (whomever) will either see the basic standard met, or believe nothing more to be gained keeping me artifically at one place... still hone me, sharpen me, without making a barrier of it... merely keep me in the new rank a tad longer until I do grow into it

Rank-belts keep em...

#307320 - 01/28/07 06:53 PM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: Ronin1966]
DaDoN_1 Offline
twinkle toes

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 242
I voted yes, they really are important IMO because they are a representation of ones blood, sweat and tears. The hard work that went into obtaining that rank and keeps you motivated to work towards another rank. Certain things are taught to certain ranks it makes it loads easier for the instructor to decipher who needs to be taught what.
I think our dojo(well the one I used to belong to) has maybe "too much respect" for our belt?? We don't even drink water with it on, far less eat or anything like that. To us it's supposed to be a disrespect to the spirit within the obi
bah...too much to get into, even when i do move to the US and i do find another school, i think i'll keep that old habit with me

#307321 - 01/28/07 07:04 PM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: DaDoN_1]
Saisho Offline
more than just a pretty face

Registered: 06/26/06
Posts: 620
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I am sure I have said this before. My thought is that the belt serves only for incentive and a means of knowing who is who for beginners.

My teacher has done away with all of the stripes and such for blackbelts. He feels that there is no need to distinguish between 1st through 10th-Dan. By that point, you should know who is who and all lower ranks should respect any blackbelt regardless of what level. With the exception of MANY years worth of wear, my blackbelt looks the same as my teacher's.
Tony Partlow Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Minamoto Shibu Dojo

#307322 - 01/29/07 10:19 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: Saisho]
DaDoN_1 Offline
twinkle toes

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 242
All blackbelts are given respect no matter what level, just the repect is higher as the dan count increases, I'm sure you don't expect the same repect from the under-ranks that they give your master/sensei
I'm looking at it this way, why should your due respect be the same as some who's been in the art longer than you have been even if he/she is at the same rank, seniority is still there.....isn't it?

#307323 - 01/29/07 10:30 AM Re: POLL - Belt rankings [Re: DaDoN_1]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
I don't know if I respect a 6th dan more than a 3rd dan. I can say...I'm more wary of individuals with higher rank. Great respect from me is earned. I'don't 'give a dang' about rank, or belts. As anyone in the military knows...rank doesn't always indicate ability.

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