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kiwiraka
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 05 Dec 2015
Posts: 5
Location: New Zealand
Styles: Wado-Ryu and Shotokan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 6:13 pm    Post subject: Attending new dojo with Shodan Reply with quote

Hi there,
I've been training in karate for about 7 years, the first 4 or 5 in Wado Ryu reaching 3rd kyu. I then moved and attended a Shotokan dojo, I wore a white belt until the sensei told meto wear my brown belt as he believed I was at 3rd kyu standard. I trained there for about 2 years and recieved my Shodan at 14 years old. I continued to train at that dojo for about 18 months until I moved again. I recently attended a new dojo of a different style of karate with a base in Shotokan. I was invitited to attend the first training wearing my black belt and training went well with the sensei and renshi both pleased with my skill level. Now the sensei is talking about sending the details of me and my previous sensei to his superiors and for them to decide what belt I will be allowed to wear.
I was always told that a black belt could only be stripped by the sensei that graded you? I thought that they might just want to check that me and/or my sensei are legitimate, but my previous sensei is quite well known in my country and the renshi at this dojo trained and was even graded by him a few years ago.
Do they have the right to make me wear a lower belt?
Cheers
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Lupin1
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1603
Location: NH USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A belt means you know the syllabus (the stuff taught) by the school you're at. When you move to another school that teaches different things, especially a different style, they have every right to ask you to wear a lower belt until you learn their syllabus, which will have different kata and different techniques to learn. That's not "stripping you of your black belt", but rather acknowledging that, at the moment, you don't know the material required for black belt at their school. You are still and will always be a black belt in your previous style, just not in this one yet.

Kinda like if you get a degree in History, but then decide you want to go back and get a degree in Writing. Your degree in history won't be stripped from you, but you'll need to start again in the beginning writing classes to get that degree.

At your new school you will learn new and different things. Think of this less as being demoted and more as starting something new. You'll move up more quickly of course (just like you did when you moved from Wado Ryu to Shotokan), but, just like your first move, your new school will teach different things and you'll have to learn the new different things before being granted a Shodan at your new school.

Short version-- belts are only good at the school you got them from. When you move to a new school, you start over unless the sensei agrees to let you wear your old belt. Even if the sensei does let you wear your old belt, you should still consider yourself a beginner in your new style, empty your cup, and learn the new stuff with a fresh mind.


Last edited by Lupin1 on Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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kiwiraka
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 05 Dec 2015
Posts: 5
Location: New Zealand
Styles: Wado-Ryu and Shotokan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I guess that's reasonable although a little dissapointing.
Thanks for the reply
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27701
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a word, yes, they do have the right to make you wear a lower belt.

That doesn't mean they will be stripping you of rank, either. They may just be trying to adjust to place you at the proper place in their school hierarchy based on their standards.

They may also be evaluating you to determine if your rank should be higher than it currently is, based on your skill level. Keep this in mind, as well.

At any rate, regardless of how this shakes out, what's important in the long run is that your training continues. And so long as they aren't removing you from the school, just keep up the training!
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kiwiraka
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 05 Dec 2015
Posts: 5
Location: New Zealand
Styles: Wado-Ryu and Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply
I should find out this week so I'll report back either way
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2357
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're correct in only the issuing person/organization can strip you of the rank you earned through them. But there's a disconnect somewhere here...

By not honoring a rank from another school, it doesn't mean that they're stripping you of that rank. It just means that you must wear whatever rank they assign to you in their dojo/organization. Allow me to elaborate...

Say you are a 3rd dan in judo. Then you go to a karate dojo and are told to wear a white belt. You're still a 3rd dan in judo and can keep your rank there if you're still training there too. But in that particular karate dojo, you're a white belt in their karate system.

You can promote yourself to 11th dan in Ameri-Do-Te if you'd like, but at the judo dojo you're a 3rd dan, and at the karate dojo you're a white belt.

Same can be said for being one rank in one karate dojo, and another rank in a different karate dojo.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2202
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At every school things will be different even if they are of the same style.

I know that if i went to a different Goju-Ryu School they would allow me to wear my current rank. But wouldn't allow me to grade UNTIL i caught up on anything i missed.

But like JR 137 said it doesn't matter what happens at the other school. Just what they think
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Spodo Komodo
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 24 Mar 2010
Posts: 291
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Styles: Wado Ryu, Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Belts are just there for the convenience of an organization, they don't have any intrinsic significance outside of that organization. I hold three different ranks with three different organizations within the one style of karate. That is entirely to be expected when dealing with something as subjective as a grading - one place recognizes my ability with kata so I hold a higher rank than at another place where the emphasis is on full-contact fighting, where my previous injuries hold me back significantly. Unless we homogenise all styles into one mishmash with a single grading standard then this is the way it has to be.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1714

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The belts is an arbitrary symbol endemic to the system that uses them. If the one practising is focused on developing and improving skills for their own sake, a belt as irrelevant and whatever else the person might be wearing. When a belt is not worn, acquired skills are still there.
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kiwiraka
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 05 Dec 2015
Posts: 5
Location: New Zealand
Styles: Wado-Ryu and Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies, it makes a lot more sense now. I was viewing all karate styles as a single form.
Again, thanks for all your replies, very helpful
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