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ashworth
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 495
Location: UK
Styles: freestyle, shotokan, IJR Karate, Iaido

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Dan graded visitors... Reply with quote

With Dan graded visitors I allow them to wear their own black belt, I couldn't imagine asking them to wear anything less. They have worked hard for the grade and they are only visiting every now and then for a class.

But I have a situation now where a black belt (2nd Dan in Shotokan, 4th Dan in Yong Gi Do) rather than just being a visitor is regularly attending class and pretty much changing over to our style, (which is very similar to shotokan)

We did have a little chat about grade, but since he is now joining us I feel we may need to have a more in depth chat, he has said that he isn't too bothered about grading, just wants to train, which I am fine with, I'm happy for him to keep wearing his black belt and get up to speed. But I do need put a grade down for him on official documents for his member and insurance book.

Just need to work out how I am going to approach the situation, have any of you ever been in a similar situation?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12576
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My short answer....

Wear a white belt: if the student is officially learning a new style!!

Visitor's are just that...VISITING!! In-House Students aren't visitors!! Be one or another, but not both...at the same time!!



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TJ-Jitsu
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 194
Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't matter if the style is similar or not, its not the same. I'm a black belt in BJJ and I've got fairly solid Judo and tend to do well against many (no so high level) Judo black belts. Everytime I do judo however, I wear my white belt.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2042
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:04 am    Post subject: Re: Dan graded visitors... Reply with quote

ashworth wrote:
With Dan graded visitors I allow them to wear their own black belt, I couldn't imagine asking them to wear anything less. They have worked hard for the grade and they are only visiting every now and then for a class.

But I have a situation now where a black belt (2nd Dan in Shotokan, 4th Dan in Yong Gi Do) rather than just being a visitor is regularly attending class and pretty much changing over to our style, (which is very similar to shotokan)

We did have a little chat about grade, but since he is now joining us I feel we may need to have a more in depth chat, he has said that he isn't too bothered about grading, just wants to train, which I am fine with, I'm happy for him to keep wearing his black belt and get up to speed. But I do need put a grade down for him on official documents for his member and insurance book.

Just need to work out how I am going to approach the situation, have any of you ever been in a similar situation?



If they are regularly attending class, you should speak to them about it and that they should wear a White Belt regardless of whether the styles are similar.

If your going to put a grade down for him in your books and insurance, make him a white belt because then there can be absolutely no confusion if you get audited.

I have visited several dojo over the last couple of years, and informed the Instructors of my Previous Training and that I will be wearing a White Belt unless otherwise instructed. The only time I wore my Black Belt, is if I attended another Goju School and if I got permission to do so from the Chief Instructor.

In my view you should approach it politely and respectfully, whilst reminding him that you are not trying to disrespect his years of hard work but there are differences between the styles.
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Lupin1
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1492
Location: NH USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:16 am    Post subject: Re: Dan graded visitors... Reply with quote

Nidan Melbourne wrote:

If your going to put a grade down for him in your books and insurance, make him a white belt because then there can be absolutely no confusion if you get audited.


I just want to say that coming from the US where martial arts is a completely unregulated market, I've never even considered that a school might get audited for what belt everyone is.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2042
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Dan graded visitors... Reply with quote

Lupin1 wrote:
Nidan Melbourne wrote:

If your going to put a grade down for him in your books and insurance, make him a white belt because then there can be absolutely no confusion if you get audited.


I just want to say that coming from the US where martial arts is a completely unregulated market, I've never even considered that a school might get audited for what belt everyone is.


I probably should have made my post clearer on that (my bad!!). When I say Audited, i mean that the Insurer may want to look into seeing what you have in terms of ranks in your books and in person.

As the insurer may want to see whether in the clubs best interest or theirs if the level of cover is to remain the same or adjusted purely based of what they have seen. Because some (who specialise in Martial Arts Insurance) require you to inform them of what ranks and how many you have at each level at your club.

Last year I visited a club, where they had a visit from their insurer to do a check because they [The Club] hadn't updated their records in several months and they had just expanded to a new location. And they were in trouble because they stated that they had more of a lower grade than they did when in reality they had mainly more senior students.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1288

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan or no dan, visitors ought to be treated like any other visitor or guest with the same expectations and rules that apply. When the person becomes a student, then it must be done with the willingness to learn what the instructor offers.

This means that one must be able to set aside or even forget everything that was done before. That is what is meant by "emptying one's cup". Even if the style or lineage is similar, one must make the necessary effort to take a beginner's mindset. Ego, pride and overeating one's skills can often be the greatest obstacles to improving or learning something new.
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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 460
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

White belt. If you, after a period of time, decide he is at a certain grade based on knowledge and skills you can grade him up at that time. But that is up to you and your organization. Extending respect to him by allowing him to continue to wear his belt as a beginner in your art is disrespect for your art. If it hasn't been earned he's not worthy of it.

The issue here isn't whether he is a Yudansha or not. It's whether he is graded as a Yudansha in your art/style/system. He is not. Issue him a white belt and allow him the courtesy and respect of learning your art just like any other student would so he can EARN the grade he wears. Being a Yudansha in another art does not make him any better or deserving of grade than any of your other students.

If he wishes to join your class he can join as a white belt and earn his grading just like anyone else would.

If I started a new art today I would wear a white belt out of respect and the fact that I am not a Yudansha in that art. To presume that a grade transfers is not a trait of a Yudansha/Kodansha. If he expects to maintain his grading then IMHO he is not worthy of teaching.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1288

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely agree. In many traditional schools, visitors are not allowed to train and are expected to only observe. If a visitor is allowed to join in, it must be as a novice ready to learn from the beginning. This can be done only if the visitor is able and willing to let go of superficial arbitrary things such as rank.
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tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6668
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Visitors should get to wear their rank.

I have no problem with this. Once they "switch styles" then they need to go to a rank appropriate to their skill in that art. This could be white belt (no previous relevant experience- such as a striking to grappling art) or a kyu rank (a proficient striker who largely does business the same but does not know specific kata, etc.)

It's entirely possible the second ranks in higher. It depends on the focus of the school. Even at that, BB requires some degree indoctrination into the system and shouldn't just be handed over.
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