Originally posted by Erik
Hi Jeremy and mj.
I don't know about this. Rank has been around a long time in Japan (certificates with kyu/dan a more recent innovation) so to say that it is a Western thing seems unlikely to me. We may have embraced it, but it wasn't created specifically for us in the West.
Though someone more certified can probably prove me wrong, I believe the game of Go (which, with its military strategy and frame of mind required, could loosely be called a "martial art") has been using kyu/dan ranking for a while...