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#415465 - 02/05/09 08:18 AM Too Fat For a Black Belt
everyone Offline

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
A Black Belt means different things to different organizations and individuals. Even though the school I go to does not have belts for rank, it still bothers me to see a fat black belt (or a fat cop for that matter). To me, physical conditioning is part of the program.
Should there be a weight standard (fat ratio) for black belts
Only one choice allowed

Votes accepted starting: 02/05/09 08:09 AM
View the results of this poll.

#415466 - 02/05/09 08:26 AM Re: Too Fat For a Black Belt [Re: everyone]
duanew Offline

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 326
Loc: MN
Yes, but then what would all the fat masters do? No fat fees-no fat paychecks? No fat paychecks-no fat rent money. No fat rent money-no fat dojo. No fat dojo-no exercise-fatter unpaying students. It's a vicious fat cycle.
Don't get me started on fat cops......

#415467 - 02/05/09 08:35 AM Re: Too Fat For a Black Belt [Re: duanew]
stac3y Offline

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 42
If they're fat, but can still pass all the conditioning requirements, I don't have a problem with it, though I wonder how they managed to get through the testing when I see one. However, during my school's last round of BB testing, the one really skinny guy had a much harder time than the two who were carrying some (not a huge amount, but still some) extra poundage. I think he just didn't have any reserves to burn.
Stac3y Karate Moms have Brass Ovaries!

#415468 - 02/05/09 08:52 AM Re: Too Fat For a Black Belt [Re: stac3y]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
No, there should not be a 'fat standard' for black belts. There should be sufficiently vigorous training that even over-weight BB's are in good enough shape to earn their belts. Why you don't see fat muay-thai or BJJ high ranks.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#415469 - 02/05/09 09:29 AM Re: Too Fat For a Black Belt [Re: everyone]
Washee Offline

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 17
Loc: Beaumont, Texas - USA
I agree with MattJ on the vigorous training. As long as they can pass the test and perform on the level of the required rank then they earned it. Iíve seen people who were overweight kick higher than I ever could and others perform moves that would make me question the laws of physics .

All though as a whole I do question if someone of certain sizes can truly perform all necessary task as it relates to their job or MA. I know the ones who perform well are the exceptions and certainly not the rule.
I think I just ate a raw I going to die?

#415470 - 02/05/09 09:48 AM Re: Too Fat For a Black Belt [Re: Washee]
bo-ken Offline

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 1228
Loc: beaver falls, PA, beaver
Maybe there weren't fat when they got there black belt? I see this all the time but if you are training hard you wouldn't let yourself get too out of shape. I wouldn't want to train from an obese instructor.

#415471 - 02/05/09 10:01 AM Re: Too Fat For a Black Belt [Re: everyone]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Perhaps not a weight standard- afterall many professional athletes have a BMI that would be considered overweight or even obese. However, conditioning is hugely important in any physical discipline and if you're unfit in a team sport, you simply won't make the team. Likewise, it's silly to think you can achieve good results in a martial art if you are unfit. While I wouldn't want to set a standard measure for such things, because people can fall on the wrong side despite actually being fit, I definitely think that overly obese people are not the best candidates for Black belts. It boils down to the question of who would you prefer to train under- a thin or a fat instructor? I think that you'd be lying if you said it wouldn't effect your decision.

#415472 - 02/05/09 11:21 AM Re: Too Fat For a Black Belt [Re: Supremor]
Dereck Offline

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10416
Loc: Great White North
Definitely there should be NO weight standard. If anybody can pass all the required physical and technical requirements then weight should not hold them back. HOWEVER there also should be no leeway or forgiveness in either the physical or technical requirements. One standard for everybody and you pass or fail based on that.

I do understand however Everyone what you are getting at. I dislike seeing fat Police Officers or anybody in this field. I want somebody fit who can save my life or chase down a bad guy. But I have seen and know of people who are overweight and considered fat that perform better then those not hindered by this; that is why I would not put a weight standard in place. BUT when I do see those in these positions that CANNOT do what is necessary or I see a black belt student/teacher that cannot perform what is required then I 100% disagree that they should hold that rank. Again, one standard for everybody otherwise it dilutes things because if an Instructor cannot perform a technique there have no business teaching it ... and that goes not only for overweight Instructors but poor Instructors.

#415473 - 02/05/09 11:25 AM Re: Too Fat For a Black Belt [Re: Supremor]
tkd_high_green Offline

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
How fat is too fat? I am a second degree black belt and teach two nights a week. At 5' 6", 235 lbs, I am also considered obese.

My weight makes it harder to train. I can't jump as high as other students or move as fast, but my techniques are clean and strong, and my brain is all there. If I could get the excess padding to come off, I would.

As an instructor, it's what I know, and how well I can communicate that knowledge to my students that is important, not how high I can jump. Supremor, I am not the type of person to judge a book by it's cover. I judge instructors by how well they can TEACH, not by what they look like or what their physical handicaps are.

As our society continues to deal with this obesity epidemic, we will see more and more overweight students join our schools. As an overweight instructor, I can better understand the difficulties of these students and help keep them motivated and training and have the MA's become a part of their life and not just exercise.


#415474 - 02/05/09 11:38 AM Re: Too Fat For a Black Belt [Re: tkd_high_green]
imperial_crane Offline

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 26
Loc: Maryland, USA
I have a green belt, close to brown belt level student that is close to 400 lbs. He is a good student with effective and powerful technique. He has always been overweight but still moves well and I believe better at karate than many high ranking black belts I have seen. Granted there are some moves he cannot perform due to his carriage but he will make an awesome black belt some day.

His weight for the most part is not an obstacle but an asset.
Paul S.
Imperial Crane Martial Arts
Maryland, USA

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