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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2622
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:44 am    Post subject: Renshi Belts Reply with quote

I recently posted about my Sensei being promoted to Godan, and now that he has gotten back from Okinawa, I've been able to hear all kinds of great stories about his trip. Something interesting came up, though, that I was curious to get feedback on from others here on KF--that is the subject of "Renshi belts." For those who don't know, these are belts that are split down the middle with red on one side, and white on the other, like this one:

http://www.kataaro.com/Products/Renshi-Belt__4939.aspx

Different styles and organizations give the title of Renshi at different ranks, if they use it at all, and it isn't always connected to dan ranks. In our organization, though, the Renshi title is given to Godan and Rokudan instructors. That means my Sensei is now a Renshi. Most Renshi in our organization do not wear the above "Renshi belts," but some do. Interestingly, my Sensei's Sensei told him (and a Rokudan from our dojo) to wear Renshi belts instead of their regular black belts. It's a bit of a strange adjustment, but they agreed to do it. We know of quite a few Nanadan and Hachidan who don't wear their kohaku-obi (the "candy cane" belts used along with Kyoshi titles) for anything but formal events, so after the belts break in, that might be the route they take.

My question is; does your style/organization/dojo use different colored belts after black belt? When are they used? Do they denote ranks, titles, or both?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15712
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Renshi Belts Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
I recently posted about my Sensei being promoted to Godan, and now that he has gotten back from Okinawa, I've been able to hear all kinds of great stories about his trip. Something interesting came up, though, that I was curious to get feedback on from others here on KF--that is the subject of "Renshi belts." For those who don't know, these are belts that are split down the middle with red on one side, and white on the other, like this one:

http://www.kataaro.com/Products/Renshi-Belt__4939.aspx

Different styles and organizations give the title of Renshi at different ranks, if they use it at all, and it isn't always connected to dan ranks. In our organization, though, the Renshi title is given to Godan and Rokudan instructors. That means my Sensei is now a Renshi. Most Renshi in our organization do not wear the above "Renshi belts," but some do. Interestingly, my Sensei's Sensei told him (and a Rokudan from our dojo) to wear Renshi belts instead of their regular black belts. It's a bit of a strange adjustment, but they agreed to do it. We know of quite a few Nanadan and Hachidan who don't wear their kohaku-obi (the "candy cane" belts used along with Kyoshi titles) for anything but formal events, so after the belts break in, that might be the route they take.

My question is; does your style/organization/dojo use different colored belts after black belt? When are they used? Do they denote ranks, titles, or both?

Here's what we do...

http://www.karateforums.com/returning-to-the-ways-of-old-vt37058.html?highlight=returning+ways

I only wear certain obi's per the formality required per the occasion!! Informally, I can be found practically wearing any variety of obi per my mood. I do kowtow to what the Hombu dictates in this regards. Funny thing, I helped write the new rules and regulations that we're subscribed to through the SKKA.

Soke, therefore, Dai-Soke, were staunchly strict about the formalities across the board!!



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this time my dojo and the organization I belong to only use different coloured belts for 7-10th Dan. Anyone below that level wears a plain cloth black belt. No satin covered shiny belts or other foo-foo silly fancy belts. On Okinawa it is rare to see anyone wearing a different colour other than 7th to 10th dans. One exception is at seminars or other gatherings involving a larger number of karateka of different styles and organizations. Outside Japan and Okinawa, it seems more common for "renshi belts" to be worn regularly. Things may have changed in the last 15 years.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15712
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you pick out a Kyoshi...Renshi...Hanshi if they're NOT wearing their signified obi??




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cathal
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 20 Nov 2003
Posts: 2237
Location: Atlantic Canada
Styles: Shotokan (Ryukyu Kobujutsu, Iaido)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my system it's only black because they believe other-coloured belts are too flashy.



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If several karateka of Dan rank 6th and above had no belts or all the same belt it would be impossible to pick them out. Only seeing how they moved and how they carry themselves just might give an idea. If they were just standing or in any casual position, then no way.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2292
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At my dojo we don't do it purely because my sensei is still a 3rd Dan.

His instructor is a godan (hasn't bothered to grade in a long time because he is content where he is). and still wears his black belt which is in taters.

But he believes you should just wear a black belt no matter what your dan grade is
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Wasp
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 19 Apr 2015
Posts: 33
Location: Bruges, Belgium
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cathal wrote:
In my system it's only black because they believe other-coloured belts are too flashy.




I can get behind that line of thinking. Anything else than black (be it another colour or flashy embroidery) feels too much like showing off, I think.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2622
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having started training in karate under a hachidan who only wears a plain black belt unless it is a formal event, I completely understand the feeling that it is for showing off. My Sensei actually wanted to keep wearing the plain black belt--and he switches back to it if we record videos to be posted publicly--but he respects his Sensei enough to do as he asked and wear the Renshi belt the rest of the time. The fact that he was told to do this while he was in Okinawa, at the honbu dojo, makes it even more odd-feeling.
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Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage (RIP), Jeff Allred (RIP)
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker, Adrian Rivera
Karate Obsession | Arizona Practical Karate
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my experience in Okinawan karate circles it seems common for higher Dan grades operating a dojo to have a separate in-house policy about what belt to wear. Most will wear whatever their instructor has given them because that belt has a symbolic value as the sign that the instructor formally awknowledges the students skill level and ability to teach as they have been taught.
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