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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15919
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reorganized Rank Structure!! Reply with quote

For us, it's a rank structure, no big deal, really.

After months of meetings, we've, the SKKA have decided to trim the fat away from our ranking structure. Why? A rainbow looks only good in the sky, and not on our students.

This is us, and we hold no judgement to those who do have a lot of different belts.

Our Rank Structure use to be:

White [Beginner]
Yellow [Beginner]
Orange [Beginner]
Green [Intermediate]
Blue [Intermediate]
Purple [Intermediate]
Brown [Advanced]
Black/Junior Black [Advanced]

8 different ranks...8 different colors!!

Soke, once he and Dai-Soke, moved to the USA, they cooperatively decided through some painstaking research and good old trial and errors, they went to the 8 ranking structure, from their original 4 ranking structure because they both believed that students in the USA needed recognition of their achievements, no matter how minute or unnecessary it might appear.

They both really hated the 8 ranking structure because it went against what they had done in the past, but they felt that change was good, no matter how much it went against their all the believed. In time, they warmed up to it, and they never looked back. They never showed outwardly that this deeply troubled to anyone; they wore a brave face.

So, we, the SKKA, are going back to what they originally wanted...

White [Beginner]
Green [Intermediate]
Brown [Advanced]
Black/Junior Black [Advanced]

It is said, the best way between two points is a straight line. Well, I believe that we've straightened out our line.

Announcements to the Student Body across the SKKA network is being made while I type this post.

**Proof is on the floor!!!
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2314
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting but totally fair enough.

What will occur for those students who are on one of those ranks that got the chop?

I assume it will just be phased out progressively as people grade?

And what is going to happen with the stock of belts for the ranks you have removed?
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2646
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Nidan Melbourne, I'm curious as to how you are going to reconcile the belt discrepancies this creates. I would guess you would bump everyone down to the remaining color below what they currently have, if their rank is not remaining on the list? Or re-test?
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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Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 16 Nov 2014
Posts: 199
Location: UK
Styles: Wado ryu

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely their rank would just translate over. So a purple belt on the old scale would become 2/3 of the way towards grading for their advanced brown belt.
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JR 137
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2442
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the approach. If I had to cut colors out, I’d leave the eliminated colors alone and just test for the next rank when it was time, basically phasing them out rather than having a lot of people wear new belts. I mean how long would a now defunct belt color be around, 6-12 months max?

The most important question IMO is how does the curriculum change. Does it in essence stay the same, only the student doesn’t test and promote often? i.e. if there was 1 kata each at white, yellow and orange, do they still learn all 3 kata and get tested when and how they would’ve previously been tested at green belt?

Our progression is
10th kyu white
9th kyu advanced white (kind of an oxymoron, being an “advanced white belt” )
8th kyu blue
7th kyu advanced blue
6th kyu yellow
5th kyu advanced yellow
4th kyu green
3rd kyu advanced green
2nd kyu brown
1st kyu advanced brown

I wouldn’t mind at all if the “advanced” in-between ranks were eliminated and the material was absorbed into the corresponding rank, making 5 kyu ranks. So if brown (2nd kyu) and advanced brown (1st kyu) were combined and all there was was a single brown belt, yet all the 2nd and 1st kyu material was still taught.
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We were similar in that starting we had two belt colors (white and black) then they added two additional colors (exactly the same as you, I think they got this from the Matsubayashi Ryu system) and then Shinshii went a little bit hay wired and added yellow, orange and blue to the mix. Before he retired many of us attempted to convinced him to return to the four belt system for which he removed the orange and the blue but kept the Yellow.

After his retirement I dropped the yellow and have the exact arrangement you speak of.

White - Hachikyu thru Shechikyu, Green - Rokkyu thru Yonkyu, Brown - Sankyu thru Ikkyu.

We do however look at beginner, intermediate and advanced differently than you.

Beginner is Hachikyu thru Yonkyu, Intermediate is Sankyu thru Nidan, Advanced is Sandan on.

It doesn't exactly follow our levels of Mudansha - Hachikyu thru Ikkyu to Yudansha Shodan thru Yondan to Kodansha - Godan thru Kudan but it works for us.
The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 687
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good for you. Having a lot of ranks seems like revenue generation. It also seems to be to many baby steps, especially when you factor in stripes.

We use 6.

Adults are not striped until brown. And that is to visually see how close you are to test for black.
"Those who know don't talk. Those who talk don't know." ~ Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching

"Walk a single path, becoming neither cocky with victory nor broken with defeat, without forgetting caution when all is quiet or becoming frightened when danger threatens." ~ Jigaro Kano
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Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 312
Location: New Jersey
Styles: Okinawan Shorinji Ryu Karate-Do

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is the same rank structure that I came up in. White, green, brown and black. Always preferred it over the rainbow.
A punch should stay like a treasure in the sleeve. It should not be used indiscrimately.
Kyan Chotoku Sensei
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Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our rank system goes as follows:

10th geup - white
8th geup - Yellow with green stripe
7th geup - yellow with 2 green stripes
6th geup - green with blue stripe
5th geup - green with 2 blue
4th geup - blue with 1 red
3rd geup - blue with 2 red
2nd geup - red with 1 black
1st geup - red with 2 black

1st dahn - black with 1 yellow
2nd dahn - black with 2 yellow

I asked why we have a stripe right away. Color belts without a stripe are awarded in 2 different scenarios.
Our master instructor will do a probationary passing of a student if they under-perform on a test (testing only happens when instructors feel the student has learned enough and performs well enough in class.) They must "retest" at the next testing to earn that stripe. Students who got double-promoted to a the next color belt also get a stripe-less belt, and must retest to earn the stripe.

When it comes to my opinion on belt colors, I'm fine with the 2 color system. White belt all the way to black! But this only works with small classes that don't have a lot of instructors. Having several colors and/or a stripe system helps better-communicate what level each individual student is to all instructors, so I can see a need for a lot of rank indicators.
5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like the best and simplest progression. It also was the original or earliest system before the rainbow of belts became popular for commercial and cultural reasons. Very few instructors or associations use so few ranks/colours. In some there isn’t even a common system.

There are central dojo that have a different system from what the others in their association use. It can get somewhat confusing when members get together to train. Then again that is not such a big issue because it only happens every so often and when it does, it quickly becomes clear who can do what and how well they can do it.

Personally, the system used is white, green, blue, brown and black. Other instructors belonging to the same organization use their own system and none have fewer belts between white and brown. Having no more than 3 or four belts is a good way to get people to focus on their own personal training and emphasize skill progression instead of percieved status or rank.

It is the next best thing to dropping the belt system altogether, which would probably be extremely difficult to implement since the belt system in one form or another has been used in karate for as long as the familiar white dogi. Nowadays the majority of people who remember training without belts or gis are Okinawan and over 70 years old. Some of these karate folks trained for many years before they ever put on a belt.
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