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DarthPenguin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 128
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2021 4:01 am    Post subject: interesting reactions to voluntarily deciding to regrade Reply with quote

I've recently returned to karate after many years and have decided that since i was away for so long it was inappropriate for me to just start again at my old rank. I was given the option of doing so or restarting and i chose to start from scratch at white belt.

I thought that it would take a substantial period of time to get used to the karate way of moving and regain some (limited) competency in the katas and that it would probably take the same time to just start again and make sure i was learning it correctly.

I have noticed though that people have been looking at me like i was mad for voluntarily doing this. I've always thought that it was more important to be at the skill level you are representing with your belt rather than display a skill level higher than yours (obviously allowing for age/injury related skill atrophy).

To paraphrase "i'd rather be a black belt in skill wearing a white belt than a white belt in skill wearing a black belt". I think it is the safer option and i always let people know i have trained before for safety reasons (when i started judo i let them know i had several years bjj experience so they paired me up for newaza accordingly etc)

I'm curious what other people think on this. Am i just really old fashioned?
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1907
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2021 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you old fashioned? Maybe, but I think that this is more common than you might think. In general, I find that it's difficult for people going through the ranks for the first time to understand decisions like this. They've worked hard for their rank and they don't understand why anyone would eschew theirs for any reason. In reality, the color of my belt doesn't really matter. As long as I am learning, then I am happy. It does not mean that I have not earned a rank previously, just that I am acknowledging the need to start clean and learn from the bottom.
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Martial arts training is 30% classroom training, 70% solo training.
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DarthPenguin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 128
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2021 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are probably right thinking about people going through the ranks for the first time and finding it tough to understand.

I think over time i have just gotten used to thinking of people's length of time spent training as being more important than their belt level (obviously there are exceptions)

Pleased to hear that it isn't as unusual as i thought though!
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2021 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been there. Regraded in the same stile from zero and nothing up to second Dan so far. Different instructors, different standards and different organizations. Logically speaking re-grading for third dan should have been possible a while ago, but itís the teacherís judgement and up to him to say when. Also Covid-19 restrictions has caused a lot of plans in that perspective
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15768
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2021 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that wanting to start from scratch after a real long time away from the floor is the honorable thing to do. Any CI worth their salt would acknowledge it respectfully. For anyone else aren't in agreement need to remember that you don't need their approval, just their respect of your decision.



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DarthPenguin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 128
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Been there. Regraded in the same stile from zero and nothing up to second Dan so far. Different instructors, different standards and different organizations. Logically speaking re-grading for third dan should have been possible a while ago, but itís the teacherís judgement and up to him to say when. Also Covid-19 restrictions has caused a lot of plans in that perspective


Sounds good, and i bet you were extremely pleased when you earned/regained your second dan. Feeling like you deserve a grade always feels a lot better, in previous styles i always liked waiting until i knew i should be a higher grade to go for a grading
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aurik
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 267
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2022 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At our dojo, a (adult) dan grade is considered a "permanent" grade. In other words, if you stop training for awhile (more than 3 months), you can still come back as a black belt. However, there is also the expectation that it will take a couple of additional years of consistent training before you can be considered for the next dan grade.

Kyu level students that leave and come back return as a white belt, but after a refresher period (depending on grade) are permitted to re-test for their previous kyu rank.

This of course only applies to students of our dojo. I'm not sure how it would apply to other Uechi-Ryu students.

We actually had a student (1st degree) who took 10+ years off and started training again with us. I remember the first time I trained with him -- it was his first or second day back. He was a bit overwhelmed by all the material he had to re-learn, but he is picking it up pretty quickly. He's definitely not as crisp or as sharp as he was back then (I imagine), but re-learning a skill goes much faster than originally learning the skill.
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5th kyu Shuri-Ryu, 4th kyu Judo, shodan Uechi-Ryu
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