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Lupin1
Black Belt
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Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1636
Location: Texas USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone know why Kyokushin chose that order rather than the more common "white, yellow, orange, blue..." scheme? I've always been curious about that.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes belt colour schemes make no sense. In most schools the colours are in some kind of order from lightest to darkest but in others it is just an arbitrary and totally random choice by the instructor or head of the governing body.
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JR 137
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2442
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most belt color order comes from the growth of plants. Orange being the sun (either before growth or after a period of growth), green meaning the plant has sprouted, brown is wilting or bark/stem strengthening, etc. Depends on the school.

Kyokushin (and usually its offshoots) colors nor order don't follow that trend. The colors represent different ideals or maybe milestones. Taken from http://www.westislandkarate.com/beltcolours.html

White - Purity
Orange - Stabilty
Blue - Fluidity and Adaptability
Yellow - Assertion
Green - Emotion and Sensitivity
Brown - Practical and Creative
Black - Achievement

Not sure if this was the original intent when Nakamura first devised it, or if it was made up to sound cool after the fact.

If I ever get to sit down and have a discussion with Nakamura, I'll ask what his intent is with the colors and order. I've got one or two other to ask too, but it's all interesting stuff. At least I think it is.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6443
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know the original reason for renshi ranks being red rather than another colour?
The more I think about it the odder it seems.

It's likely that belt colours themselves in all Eastern Martial Arts are heavily influenced by thea Five Elements as even s far back as 600 AD kingdoms in China, Korea and Japan were using these colours to denote rank:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_in_Chinese_culture

Wood = green / brown
Fire = red / purple
Earth = yellow / orange
Metal = white
Water = black

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Level_Cap_and_Rank_System

Black makes sense as the highest colour as it is the king of colours and is used in direct contrast to white. So why make red special?
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The Pred
Green Belt
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 385

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
Does anyone know the original reason for renshi ranks being red rather than another colour?
The more I think about it the odder it seems.

It's likely that belt colours themselves in all Eastern Martial Arts are heavily influenced by thea Five Elements as even s far back as 600 AD kingdoms in China, Korea and Japan were using these colours to denote rank:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_in_Chinese_culture

Wood = green / brown
Fire = red / purple
Earth = yellow / orange
Metal = white
Water = black

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Level_Cap_and_Rank_System

Black makes sense as the highest colour as it is the king of colours and is used in direct contrast to white. So why make red special?


Well, this isn't an original thought, read somewhere (forgot where), but you could say what makes red special is after a while your black belt starts to faded and become white in color, and the red represents the blood and sweat that now covers the black belt that turned white.
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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe a wild guess, but in many East Asian cultures(especially Chinese) red is the colour of reserved for celebrations, and prestigious things, positions and people. At ceremonies and events, high ranking and officials such as ministers or military officers often wore red as a dominant colour for the markings of their headgear or uniforms. Then again, maybe there is no reason in particular.
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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to Judo history, the founder Kano chose to recognize sixth dan and above with new belt colours in 1930. Red/white bars(kyoushi belt) for 6th to 8th dan and an optional red belt for 9th and 10th dan in 1943. Red and white are the national colours of Japan so one can assume that this choice was part of Kano's promotion of his art as the National sport of Japan. White for purity and red for intensity of effort in training.

Black has always been the standard and the new belts were originally intended for special occasions, not everyday training. Karate being new to mainland Japan at that time, most likely copied these from judo in order to fit in with the new Japanese martial arts ranking system. This trend eventually made its way to Okinawa through back-influence from the popularity of Judo and Karate taught on the mainland.

http://judoinfo.com/obi.htm
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15768
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well...it's Red because...that's what they selected!

ok...I'll shut up now!



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes they selected red and that is the way it has been for quite sometime. The question is "since when?" and "why red?" . It is doubtful that Kano or whomever it was randomly drew colours out of a hat and there must be a reason or an idea motivating the choice. Often the best answer is the simplest one and as the belt system is originally from Judo, the documented history of Jigoro Kano's kodokan is likely the best source to look.
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6443
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
According to Judo history, the founder Kano chose to recognize sixth dan and above with new belt colours in 1930. Red/white bars(kyoushi belt) for 6th to 8th dan and an optional red belt for 9th and 10th dan in 1943. Red and white are the national colours of Japan so one can assume that this choice was part of Kano's promotion of his art as the National sport of Japan. White for purity and red for intensity of effort in training.

Black has always been the standard and the new belts were originally intended for special occasions, not everyday training. Karate being new to mainland Japan at that time, most likely copied these from judo in order to fit in with the new Japanese martial arts ranking system. This trend eventually made its way to Okinawa through back-influence from the popularity of Judo and Karate taught on the mainland.

http://judoinfo.com/obi.htm

That sounds like an interesting theory. Would explain why Japanese (and Okinawan) styles adopt red and Korean don't.
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