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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 4:22 pm    Post subject: Then Why Promote That?!? Reply with quote

Nearly every single style of the MA has a belt system, and within that, there's the dreaded black belt; the only rank that receives unbridled constant resentment across the board.

The ridicule is nearly, if not completely, unforgivable to some degree from all walks of life in and out of the MA world. Doubt rears its ugly head without any facts to back them up just for the mentioning of the black belt. Of course, I do understand as to the why's and why not's because we humans are a suspicious creature by fault, but often not, by cause.

Deeply ensconced in the black belt rank lies the mitigated proponent: It's varying degrees!!

Please, if it's even possible, let's not talk about how the black belt degrees are a political tool, especially in the Senior Dan ranks, because that's a supposed myth; Shindokan tests all ranks up to Hachidan, for example.

For the most, there's Shodan-Judan; 10 degrees.

Usually, Shodan thru Godan are earned through Testing Cycles. Rokudan thru Hachidan are earned not through the physical efforts, but through the theory and philosophical betterment; what they positively contribute to the MA world, in which, they are expected to be leaders in the MA world. Time in rank is critical and important because maturity of rank isn't a whimsical thing whatsoever; over time!! Kudan and Judan are bestowed in this manner: Kudan is the current leader of the style...Judan is for the styles founder.

Let me speak towards that which I'm an authority of: Shindokan. As I briefly aforementioned before, Shindokan tests all ranks up to Hachidan. Only once, has the SKKA conducted a Kudan Testing Cycle, mine, and won't be repeated ever again. The SKKA, has abolished the Judan when the Soke types were.

If the black belt receives the disdain it has endured for so long, then degrees of the black belt have received that same disdain, if not much more, then why promote BB degrees at all??

Money?? That seems to be an easy answer, but the money was an unfortunate side effect because we humans can be greedy and morale inferior for profit.

White belt to black belt....then that's it. No degrees!! The ridicule of the black belt seems harsh enough, without the furthermore crucifying of the black belt degrees to no end.

Alarming to me is when those who have earned a black belt rightfully, speak ill-will towards either the practitioner or the style or both about the black belt. Even most alarming to me, is when those very same, speak vehemently about the black belt degrees. Why?? They wear a black belt and they wear a black belt degree TOO!! It's as though theirs, which they've earned, is so much better than anyone else!!

Imho!!

My question stands...

If the black belt receives the disdain it has endured for so long, then degrees of the black belt have received that same disdain, if not much more, then why promote BB degrees at all??



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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2373
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BB degrees do a lot of things and are very good in principle.

I look at the EARNING (bold for emphasis) of ALL ranks as a sign of respect. The student has put in the work, and all the stuff that goes with it, and has been elevated in standing within the dojo and organization. Yes, everyone deserves respect until it’s valid to take away said respect, but some have earned much more than that initial respect. My teacher deserves a world of respect more than I do within the organization. He’s run his own dojo for 30 years this year, and was teaching under his former CI for several years before that. All in, he’s closer to 50 years in than just about anyone else in the organization. And we’ve got over 20,000 members.

His rank, title, and stripes on his belt are a visual indication of the respect he deserves. Not in a shoved down your throat way, but in a way that when I meet someone of equal rank and don’t know anything else about him, I know he deserves significantly more respect than the norm. Until he does something to lose that anyway.

I look at Charles Martin. He’s just been honored for his 50 years as our Kaicho’s student. He’s done so many things for the organization. He’s help so many people along their journey. And I just know the very most tip of the iceberg. He deserves to be elevated above practically everyone in our organization. He’s earned that. Wearing the same belt and having the same title as everyone else in the organization doesn’t tell the unknowing anything. Sure, at the end of the day it’s just a belt, title and rank. But when said person has earned that, it tells people something. Especially when those things were bestowed on him by someone else.

If he wore the same thing and was called the same thing as everyone else who’s ever walked through the door, there’d be a lot of explaining to do for the people who didn’t know. With all that, there’s still some explaining to the newbies, but not as much. And they’re far more apt to show that respect to others who are equal rank or near it.

When you see that or a similar belt around someone’s waist in our organization, you shut up and listen closely and immediately. Without that, it takes you longer to figure out who’s who.

Just some quick opinions. I could keep going.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What JR speaks towards and about are solid points, for sure!!

If I can add to what JR has said, the degrees, like the black belt, are the outward identifiers that can be spotted at a mere glance. Still, I could tell a lot about Mr. Martin by observing him on the floor in a matter of minutes, and much more by the end of the session, and he'd earn my respect by what qualities he has while on the floor; he exhumes a great deal of solid information.

I'd not respect him more because of the degree identifiers on his obi, but his quality he displays on the floor. I'd like him irregardless of his outwardly identifiers because of the manner of which he carries himself. I don't need an outwardly identifier to like him, or like him more!!

Of course, I don't fault anyone who displays outward identifiers whatsoever. They serve a purpose. Unfortunately, the outwardly identifiers become a target of harsh ridicule, one on top of another...black belt AND degrees....two targets of ridicule and judgement from those who've not been on the floor with whomever is being ridiculed and judged.

Quality attracts, and I'd be attracted to Mr. Martin because of his quality on and off the floor.

We, the SKKA, have gotten rid of the outwardly identifiers. Check out this link...

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

However, since that article, the SKKA has also gotten rid of any and all Soke type titles!!



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1723

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When considering great and influential martial arts practitioners, it is easy to look past any titles, ranks or degrees. Much more impressive and respectable than these are their skills as well as their years dedication to their training and practise. They are worthy of awe and admiration because they are examples to aspire to for anybody who trains.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
When considering great and influential martial arts practitioners, it is easy to look past any titles, ranks or degrees. Much more impressive and respectable than these are their skills as well as their years dedication to their training and practise. They are worthy of awe and admiration because they are examples to aspire to for anybody who trains.

Solid post!!



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