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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15804
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps, if rank becomes more important than effective applications, then the art itself has diminished...as well as the practitioner.

Of course, staying at Shodan is the personal choice, of which, never should be questioned because ones MA journey, even though a shared experience from time to time, is quite private...personal.

Fumio Demura Sensei's very own Sensei pressed him to rank up, otherwise, they suggested that Demura's own students would begin to outrank him. Demura Sensei eventually did rank up, which is his, or any MAists, right to do so.



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The example of Fumio Demura is a good one. Grades and ranks will come eventually, but it is important to continue training and practising while staying focused on improving in skills, rather than gaining the next rank.

There are still quite a few people out there who are still training and/or teaching with many years since their last “recognized” formal rank/grade. And it absolutely does not make them any less skilled or any less of a teacher because of it.
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Montana
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 827
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Due to living in a small town in North Central Montana and not having the financial resources to travel to Seattle or Minneapolis to train with higher Sensei, I stayed a Shodan for 9 YEARS! I didn't care about rank, I just wanted to LEARN!

I finally came into contact with a 4th dan in my system, Sensei Greg Ohl, and took the train to Minnesota and trained with him for a weekend. He said I had stayed true to the art in what I was doing and gave me my Nidan. That sparked me to save my $'s and travel to Seattle a few years later and train with the visiting head of the system, whereas I got my Sandan. Quite a few years later I received my Yandan, then shortly afterwards my journey ended with physical issues that prevent me from continuing.

Rank shouldn't be your goal. Learning and improving is.
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KarateKen
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 12 Nov 2021
Posts: 23
Location: Dojo
Styles: Karate

PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: I feel like this post was made for me lol Reply with quote

KwicKixJ1 wrote:
I got my 1st degree black belt in taekwondo 2000. I never ranked up and never stopped training because my only reason for getting that rank was to compete in black belt division. I wasn't about to drop $400 for a stripe on my belt. As I've gotten older I started training in Shorin Ryu and started over at white belt, but don't intend to go for any stripes after shodan unless it's free, and I did brazilian jiu jitsu for 8 years and didn't really care much about the belt in that style either.

If a martial artist sizes a person up by their rank, or treats a person differently because of the color of their belt, then they don't get it. I've been training consistently since 97 and I can say this without hesitation, belt rank has NOTHING to do with skill.


Agreed. One instructor said to me "a belt rank simply means that the student has met the minimum requirements to reach that rank at that school."

No doubt that not all the same colored belts are created equal. They are different based on experience, ability, training style, who the student learned under, testing requirements, and more.
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KarateKen
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 12 Nov 2021
Posts: 23
Location: Dojo
Styles: Karate

PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Would you ever consider just staying a 1st degree for li Reply with quote

GS718Trek wrote:
Would anyone consider staying a 1st degree once its achieved and decline higher ranks for the remainder of your lifetime? Or do away with the dan system totally (jk)

I personally see more positives than negatives when really getting to think about it. I always thought it would be more impressive that a black belt alone can work and give higher dan ranks in trouble (if they had close to the equal amount of time training). The 1st degree would have nothing to lose and would actually give the term "Black belt" real meaning again..



Absolutely, but not in the way you are describing. If I ever get to black belt I will probably retire. Either way I am never testing again.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29367
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2021 9:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Would you ever consider just staying a 1st degree for li Reply with quote

KarateKen wrote:
GS718Trek wrote:
Would anyone consider staying a 1st degree once its achieved and decline higher ranks for the remainder of your lifetime? Or do away with the dan system totally (jk)

I personally see more positives than negatives when really getting to think about it. I always thought it would be more impressive that a black belt alone can work and give higher dan ranks in trouble (if they had close to the equal amount of time training). The 1st degree would have nothing to lose and would actually give the term "Black belt" real meaning again..



Absolutely, but not in the way you are describing. If I ever get to black belt I will probably retire. Either way I am never testing again.


Why? What is your reasoning behind this?
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Himokiri Karate
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 385

Styles: Boxing, Korean Karate

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just black belt alone for me is enough. I train in Tang Soo Do and Taekwondo without a ranking system. We do endless amount of cardio and conditioning to the point that I lose the notion of who I am in state of fatigue.

For business purposes, its good to have a black belt. A black belt with strong technique and power= good enough to get students walk through the door. I will say as a casual that, I never cared if someone was 3rd dan or 7th dan. It was more like "how good of a black belt is he?"

That was all the talk. After black belt, we only cared about their technique, special moves and physical attributes and fighting skills.


That being said, this is just my perspective. For all I know, people might care a great deal about Dans and not to mention it might denote seniority of ones lifelong endeavor in the style of karate. Either way for me, I got one foot in boxing and so I personally am not in to ranks nor would I have a high opinion of someone due to Dans. Character for me is far more important.
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KarateKen
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 12 Nov 2021
Posts: 23
Location: Dojo
Styles: Karate

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2021 3:32 am    Post subject: Re: Would you ever consider just staying a 1st degree for li Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
KarateKen wrote:
GS718Trek wrote:
Would anyone consider staying a 1st degree once its achieved and decline higher ranks for the remainder of your lifetime? Or do away with the dan system totally (jk)

I personally see more positives than negatives when really getting to think about it. I always thought it would be more impressive that a black belt alone can work and give higher dan ranks in trouble (if they had close to the equal amount of time training). The 1st degree would have nothing to lose and would actually give the term "Black belt" real meaning again..



Absolutely, but not in the way you are describing. If I ever get to black belt I will probably retire. Either way I am never testing again.


Why? What is your reasoning behind this?


Part of that might have been testing anxiety I was experiencing about the upcoming belt test I had, but I have been thinking that way for a while. First degree BB is enough for me to feel satisfied. Besides I hate testing. I don't see myself as a Karate lifer.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1952
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2021 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KarateKen wrote:
Part of that might have been testing anxiety I was experiencing about the upcoming belt test I had, but I have been thinking that way for a while. First degree BB is enough for me to feel satisfied. Besides I hate testing. I don't see myself as a Karate lifer.


Keep an open mind, my suspicion is that by the time you get to Shodan that you will feel differently. An adage that we like to repeat, both here and as Karateka in general, is that Shodan is just the beginning. Testing anxiety does suck, but we all feel it. I've been doing Martial Arts for 19 years and a I just tested for gokyu (green belt) and I was anxious. I've been a gokyu before, I've been a Shodan for over a decade, I practiced, and I new I had nothing worry about; but I was still worried. A good sensei does not test students who they don't know aren't ready to move up.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29367
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zaine wrote:
KarateKen wrote:
Part of that might have been testing anxiety I was experiencing about the upcoming belt test I had, but I have been thinking that way for a while. First degree BB is enough for me to feel satisfied. Besides I hate testing. I don't see myself as a Karate lifer.


Keep an open mind, my suspicion is that by the time you get to Shodan that you will feel differently. An adage that we like to repeat, both here and as Karateka in general, is that Shodan is just the beginning. Testing anxiety does suck, but we all feel it. I've been doing Martial Arts for 19 years and a I just tested for gokyu (green belt) and I was anxious. I've been a gokyu before, I've been a Shodan for over a decade, I practiced, and I new I had nothing worry about; but I was still worried. A good sensei does not test students who they don't know aren't ready to move up.
I agree. I still get nervous for testings, too, but I see it as part of the challenge to overcome. It is most rewarding afterwards.
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