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RW
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 327


PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:03 pm    Post subject: Belts question Reply with quote

I recall from my childhood that one of my friends did karate, but a different style than mine, sadly I never asked him what his style was. Yes, I am sure it was karate, his Gi said so

Anyway, I recall his school's headmaster had a black belt with a red stripe across it (like this: https://www.macho.com/black-belt-with-red-stripe ), while the guy right below him rank wise had a belt like that but it was black and white instead of black and red.

What style has belts like this? I've always been intrigued...
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1749

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the huge number of karate organizations, styles or schools it is very difficult to identify any of them with just a belt colour. Black belts with stripes down their middle are commonly used by several dojo’s as a transitional level before Shodan. The black belt with a red stripe is sometimes worn by 4th or 5th dan instructors in a few Okinawan Shorin ryu schools.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14609
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Given the huge number of karate organizations, styles or schools it is very difficult to identify any of them with just a belt colour. Black belts with stripes down their middle are commonly used by several dojo’s as a transitional level before Shodan. The black belt with a red stripe is sometimes worn by 4th or 5th dan instructors in a few Okinawan Shorin ryu schools.

Solid post!!



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1749

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add to what has been said previously, black belts with stripes of any colour down their middle are rare outside of North American(Canada and USA) karate dojos. In Okinawa and mainland Japan as well as anywhere else using the most traditional belts scheme, karate dan grades are solid black up to 6th or 7th dan. In many karate ryuha, these will be a red/white belt. 9th and 10th dan will have a solid red belt.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14609
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
To add to what has been said previously, black belts with stripes of any colour down their middle are rare outside of North American(Canada and USA) karate dojos. In Okinawa and mainland Japan as well as anywhere else using the most traditional belts scheme, karate dan grades are solid black up to 6th or 7th dan. In many karate ryuha, these will be a red/white belt. 9th and 10th dan will have a solid red belt.

Solid post!!

Funny thing about JBB obi's, as far as Shindokan was concerned, are there were no outward identifier at all in Shindokan, but in a very brief moment of time, by the time I earned my 6th Kyu, JBB obi's had the white stripe running down its entire length of a BB.

How were JBB's identified before that??

They weren't!! Only Soke and Dai-Soke knew whom they were by a glimpse. I distinctly remember seeing Brown Belts that had 4 stripes on their obi's in my infancy at the Hombu; and that was Soke/Dai-Soke's outward identifier for JBB's.



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1749

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a plausible reason that visually different black belts came into use with the higher number of people for an instructor to keep track of. Instructors with few longtime students can arguably tell how far along everyone is at a glance. The other explanation could be just business.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14609
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that Soke and Dai-Soke didn't need outward identifiers for any student whatsoever; and neither do I or does most CI's. As Spartacus Maximus points out, business had a lot to do with the advent of satisfying the business side of the school via the students, as well as parents, rank inquiry.



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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2388
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
It is a plausible reason that visually different black belts came into use with the higher number of people for an instructor to keep track of. Instructors with few longtime students can arguably tell how far along everyone is at a glance. The other explanation could be just business.

There’s another valid reason, too...

Seido didn’t have many titles and different “black belts” until relatively recently. As Kaicho Nakamura’s senior-most students got higher in rank and the organization grew, he wanted a way to honor his top students like Charles Martin and William Oliver from others. He did this with titles and “ceremonial belts.” All yudansha (including Nakamura) wear a solid black belt with kanji and dan stripes during regular training. During special events like testing, demonstrations, special workouts, et al., the people wear their respective ceremonial belts such as black with red, red with black, red with white, etc.

A second reason for this is to educate (in a sense) those who are new to the organization and don’t know who’s who. Seeing a person such as Charles Martin wearing a red belt with a white stripe through it can lead to questions about who he is, what he’s done to earn that, etc.
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RW
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 327


PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very informative posts guys ,thanks
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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 71
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my first school, anyone who earned the title "shihan" was entitled to wear a red/white belt, and upper level yudansha (9th/10th dan) wore a solid red belt, and our Soke wore a solid red belt with a gold stripe around the middle.

I've also seen other schools where you wear a roman numeral (1-IIII) for first-fourth degree, and stars to indicate "master" ranks (5th degree upwards).

My current style uses a solid black belt for first-fifth dan, a belt with one gold stripe on each end for renshi (6th dan), 2 stripes for kyoshi, and 3 stripes for hanshi. Of course, other organizations within our style do things differently.

Soooo, I guess as others has said, "it depends".
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