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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15450
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:34 am    Post subject: Returning To The Ways Of Old... Reply with quote

Recent events within the Shindokan Karate-Do Association has brought us [Shindokan] back to the 'old ways.' Also, some policies/By-Laws have also been changed in order to protect Shindokan's future.

No more testing fees!

How valuable is rank/title if one has to pay for it? Rank/title is an honor/priviledge NOT a right. Testing fees have a tendency to lend itself to an expection of rank/title because ones paid for it through a testing fee. Therefore, in order to completely and totally eliminate any and all rank/title ambiquity, there will be NO testing fees, no matter the Kyu/Dan.

Elimination Of Yudansha Rank Identifiers!

What's more valuable to any martial artist, Rank or Knowledge? Knowledge!!!! Shindokan will only recognize the Okinawan system that only identifies the levels of teaching certification. Shindokan has always used the modern method of "striping" on the Yudansha to denote the practitioners rank. This "striping" method can only lend itself to pride, and pride, does comes before the fall. The "striping" method can also lend itself to allowing one to become vain in ones quest for rank and this vain is then placed on the 'front page' for all to see, therefore, rank becomes more important than knowledge. therefore, outward displays of rank will no longer be tolerated within the Shindokan system, and in this, all Shindokan Yudansha are hereby directed to remove any and all ranking stripes from their obi's immediately.

The only "striping" that will be permitted on any Shindokan obi's will be that of a Yudansha in order to denote the title(s) of Renshi, Kyoshi, and/or Hanshi. These "stripe(s)" will be gold in color and will be placed on both ends of the obi.

Teaching Certification:

Renshi = 1 gold stripe [Rokudan]
Kyoshi = 2 gold stripes [Nanadan]
Hanshi = 3 gold stripes [Hachidan]

Shindokan Advanced Level Obi:

Rokudan }
Nanadan } Red & White Panel Obi
Hachidan }

Advanced Senior Level Obi:

Kudan } Solid Red Obi w/Black Border
Judan } Solid Gold Obi


***Ranks from Shodan thru Godan will only be noted by a plain Yudansha obi!

***Junior Yudansha obi's will remain unchanged. Therefore, the white stripe is still centered and still runs the entire length of the Yudansha obi.

Furthermore on this subject, Chojun Miyagi Sensei made this statement once, and I believe that his words spoke for all, no matter ones style and the like...

"I believe that once dan ranks in karate are awarded, it will inevitably lead to trouble. The ranking system will lead to discrimination within karate and karate-ka will be judged by their rank and not their character. It will create 'inferior' and 'superior' strata within the karate community and lead to discrimination between people."

We, of the Shindokan, agree with and will thereby adopt those words of Miyagi Sensei in this manner; for Shindokan will never award OUTWARD indentifiers of rank...ever! Shindokan will, therefore, only recognize the following teaching titles OUTWARDLY on the obi; Renshi, Kyoshi, Hanshi!

Within the Shindokan Hombu, only the following titles will be recognized:

>Soke
>Dai-Soke
>San-Dai Soke (This title hasn't been determined as of yet, IF EVER!)
>Menkyo Kaiden (Only 1; Our Dai-Soke, has had this honor)
>Kaicho (Identified by the wearing of the Yudansha obi w/ red border)
>Kancho (Identified by the wearing of the 'White' Yudansha obi w/red border)
>Kaisho
>Sosai
>Soshi
>Meijin
>Shidoin
~~These titles will have NO outward identifiers, other than what's noted above, for these titles are for purposes ONLY within the Shindokan Hombu.



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Last edited by sensei8 on Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:43 pm; edited 8 times in total
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The BB of C
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 1264
Location: Orlando, Florida
Styles: Kuk Sool Won, Isshin-ryu, Capoeira, Brazillian Jiu Jutsu, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This list receives the BB of C's seal of Awesomeness and Win.
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tonydee
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 253
Location: Japan
Styles: 24 yrs kong soo do, 3 yrs hapkido, bits of others

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this up for us to see... quite thought provoking.

I also don't charge for testing fees (even the price of boards, belts etc) for gradings, but then I have another well-paid job so am spared the practicalities of a commercial operation. Still, I agree 100% with your reasoning... it's a privilege to be asked to grade, a recognition of potential, effort and character... much of the school's true "wealth" comes with the advancement of its members, and they should be wholeheartedly encouraged without any question of being "milked"....

Eliminating dan markings is also good I think. I don't wear any. I still haven't found a 100% comfortable resolution to the problem my old school grappled with 20 years ago: whether and how the instructors should be visually distinguished. The reason we considered this was so new prospective students could see at a glance which black belt they should probably approach, reassuring the head of the school that the reception they received would be as he directed (think he might have ordered a couple of those "how to grow your school" guides from Black Belt magazine ). Still, the instructor was typically pretty conspicuous for other reasons... where they were (behind a desk? apart from others while warming up?), interpersonal body language etc..

I am still a bit uncomfortable with having junior "active" instructors visually distinguished in a way that encourages juniors to perceive them as senior to old-timer non-instructors whose knowledge and practical ability may be far superior... that kind of situation requires mutual respect, and even if it doesn't happen in the junior instructor's dojo/dojang, it can happen when both are at a senior instructor's dojo. So, I'm kind of in favour of nobody showing rank/role, but that does mean that the most junior black belts have to be mature enough to make a good impression on new students and present them nicely to the dojo's instructor. Sometimes new black belts are so caught up in their warm up it's a bit of a shock to have to wind down, refocus, and handle an enquiry, but if the instructor makes them aware of the expectations and procedures all should be fine....

Cheers,
Tony
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Wa-No-Michi
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 643

Styles: JKF Wado-Kai

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post sensei8,

The group I train with is affiliated to the Wado-kai of the Japan Karate Federation (JKF) - (the JKF being national governing body for all Karate in Japan). To my knowledge, there is no "Rank Identifiers" within dan grade in the JKF Wado-kai (and never has been). I have trained on several occasions with 7th, 8th and 9th dan instructors from Japan and always they wear just plain simple black belts.

Also, "Shogo" (or honorary) titles like Renshi, kyoshi and Hanshi etc., don't typically tend to feature in the JKF - as all instructors are simply addressed as sensei. Some might be referred to as Shihan or Hanshi etc., (by a third party) but the title by which they are addressed is still sensei.

As I understand it these titles were "developed" by the Dai Nippon Butoku kai - who of course were the first national governing body for ma in Japan covering arts from Aikido to Okinawan Kobudo.

Each to their own of course but to me, titles like Renshi and Kyoshi don't sit into the karate ethos of things, they are just an extension onto the rank identifiers. If you are not going to differentiate between Shodans and Godans, why bother with Renshi Kyoshi and Hanshi? Surely when people get to that rank they are known by the students of the group (and their peers) as a result of their previous teaching ability, this doesn't need to be waved like a flag.

With regard to newbies being able to go to instructors rather than other bb's that are not ordained as instructors, well in my group at least, I would like to think that everyone with a black belt would offer good advice, and if they didn't know the answers they would know where to get it from.


WNM
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Last edited by Wa-No-Michi on Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28969
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wa-No-Michi wrote:

Each to their own of course but to me, titles like Renshi and Kyoshi don't sit into the karate ethos of things, they are just an extension onto the rank identifiers. If you are not going to differentiate between Shodans and Godans, why bother with Renshi Kyoshi and Hanshi? Surely when people get to that rank they are known by the students of the group (and their peers) as a result of their previous teaching ability, this doesn't need to be waved like a flag.


I agree with WNM here, as well. But to me, it sounds like if there are issues with one part of a rank system, then just ditching the entire rank system would be the way to go. Kind of like Pat Nakata's way of doing things...training in gi pants and a white t-shirt.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15450
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Wa-No-Michi wrote:

Each to their own of course but to me, titles like Renshi and Kyoshi don't sit into the karate ethos of things, they are just an extension onto the rank identifiers. If you are not going to differentiate between Shodans and Godans, why bother with Renshi Kyoshi and Hanshi? Surely when people get to that rank they are known by the students of the group (and their peers) as a result of their previous teaching ability, this doesn't need to be waved like a flag.


I agree with WNM here, as well. But to me, it sounds like if there are issues with one part of a rank system, then just ditching the entire rank system would be the way to go. Kind of like Pat Nakata's way of doing things...training in gi pants and a white t-shirt.

Yes, I concur with this wholeheartedly, therefore, I've very recently tried to do just that, and I'd love to ditch the entire rank system within the Shindokan, but, the problem is this. While I'm the Kaicho, the Shindokan is, for lack of a better word, a democracy, not a dictatorship, in which we've a governing body consisting of the Dai-Soke, Kaicho, Kancho, and the Council of Regents. In short, it's not entirely up to me, even if, God forbid, I became San Dai-Soke, my authority would only be beyond contestation within the Shindokan By-Laws in certain matters, for example, in the awarding of the Menkyo Kaiden.

The Shindokan WILL continue with the Shogo system! It's our way, therefore, it's our right! Is it right or is it wrong? As far as Shindokan is concerned, it is...for now! I must do whatever's necessary to keep the wheels from falling off the wagon...if you get my meaning!

I'm doing whatever's within my authority to lessen/eliminate the flag waving in any shape, way, and/or form concerning Shindokan rank/titles because knowledge is paramount and...PROOF WILL ALWAYS BE FOUND ON THE FLOOR!


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ninjanurse
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Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 6154
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: TKD;Shotokan;JuJitsu;Tai Ji

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dojo signified Shodan with white stitching on the belt and Nidan and up with Gold stitching-no stripes only name and system in kanji.


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pbc
White Belt
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Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 2


PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally can see the benefits of eliminating testing fees. Personally I'm OK with a small testing fee if the tests are being held at an abnormal time, or to share with outside help if it is needed. It's only fair to pay their transportation costs and maybe treat them to a nice dinner.

The one thing I am confused about is the inconsistency with the yudansha rank identifiers. It would make sense to me if all yudansha rank identifiers were being eliminated, but they aren't. The advanced ranked yudansha will be identified. My prediction -- and this is totally subjective and based on no experience -- is that unless the rule is applied consistently across all yudansha ranks, then it will be a total failure. The upper ranks still get to keep their vanity stripes and pride will remain there.

I do think that it is a good idea to identify the instructors though, as long as all yudansha are eligible to complete the instructor course.

I do think that this is a great start though!
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28969
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if I would refer to them as "vanity" stripes. Rank is rank, whether you identify the colored belts accordingly, or begin identifying your black belt ranks. If one is considered a vanity, then in my opinion, I think most of the system has a problem with vanity. Or, you could just wear your rank, find your spot in line, and just go with it. After all is said and done, where you stand in line shouldn't bother one to much; you still get to train.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15450
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The upper ranks still get to keep their vanity stripes and pride will remain there.

OUCH! Rank is important in the right hands, but in the wrong hands, "vanity/pride" take a front seat over everything else...this is wrong!

This is one of the reasons as to why I've authorized the removal of ALL Yudansha RANK indentifiers in Shindokan, no matter the rank.

Titles are, in Shindokan, a trillion times harder to earn than rank; titles are rare. That's why title indentifiers are the ONLY things that's allowed on any Yudansha.


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