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I have opted to voice my opinions here instead of continuing certain threads. I don't want to feed any fevered ego's or spark another redundant debate that never really goes anywhere. Instead I'm going to rant here, in my journal, where my opinion rules. HA HA HA!!! *evil laugh*
Ranks. Are they important? To a certain degree (no pun intended) yes. Obviously it is important to distinguish who is who in a dojo and in the m/a community. My problem lies with people focusing so passionately on how many Dans this Sensei is or how many Degrees that Sifu has achieved. This person was givin his rank by this guy who studied under such and such who once had a cup of coffee with this other guy who trained with a midget who once knew the hair stylist of the founder of *place style of MA here* All and all a lot wasted breath and it seems to be missing the point all together. Those who are the "real deal" have no need to flaunt it and like minded individuals are sure to follow.
The fact of the matter is any one can spend 6.99 get a black belt apply a bunch of red tape, make up some goofy ass name, become the founder of said goofy ass name, and proclaim themselves to be 20th Supreme Universal Allmighty Omnipetent Dan. They will, most likely, convince a few people and then....let the threads commence.
Perhaps this seems to sound a bit long winded....but I really don't see it as being that far off from the truth. Look what happened to Kenpo. My god what a colossal cluster **** that has become!!!
Other than keeping my pants from falling off... I don't like belts. I think they distract from the heart of the matter. When I first began Martial Arts I was tought to never disclose rank outside the dojo. When ever I see a guy wearing a "Black Belt Club" t-shirt stading in line at a starbucks, all respect fly's out the window. Most of my instructors all wore "red belts" regardless of rank. Which gave us the opportunity to focus on what they had to offer as Martial Artists and as people. I always thought that was neat.
One aspect that I truly enjoy about my dojo (and AIkido in general) is the lack of focus on rank. We are all students. Some more advanced than others, and the proper respect is shown, but students none the less. Those who diserve respect, get it. Everyone trains with everyone. Everyone helps everyone else. We listen to each other and learn from each other. I truly believe you should never stop learning.
You can't fake Aikido. Aikido will not let you pretend to be something your not. It forces one to be honest with themselves. Aikido does not allow one to cut corners or decieve. Those that try are quickly seen for what they truly stand for.
Oh yeah.... I had a weapons class on Saturday. Learned a 10-step Jo kata. Need to work on my right side. Math was cool. Have a great summer. Call me we'll hang.