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Old 08-08-2005, 11:50 PM   #3
Mr Greyhame
Dojo: Arkansas Aikikai
Location: Arkansas
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10
Re: History of Black Belt?

At the risk of being horrendously wrong and at making false generalizations, I will state things as I see them.

From what I hear and see the populace of the US has raised the level of black to an almost glorified level. Vast parts of the public particularly those without martial experience pay a great deal of regard to what a black belt signifies. They have placed a stigma that to attain a black belt is to be akin to having a mastery of the art, being a master fighter, or whatever is seen as being at the top of your training. which is in stark contrast to the meaning of the belt in Japan.

At least to my understanding (which is limited) in Japan the organizations and people(?) view the belt as a sign of becoming a serious student. A sign that you have developed a firm grip on the basics and are now capable of truly training and learning with the intensity warranted by the art.

It is as far as I can discern a difference of points of view of the two cultures. I think that nito is trying to ascertain what caused this difference in value of the belt(who what when where why how[reporter stuff]) and what would be an equivalency from Japan to America when accounting for "inflation" of ranks value that is rampant in the US, and most western nations.

Sadly I am not a great shakes at this kind of technical waffle and am hardly better a faking it, but now I wouldn't want to do that. However I do hope I have provided a starting base and perhaps clarified a few questions.

Nito please let me know if I am way off base interpreting you.

But FWIW I feel that the American value of the belt stemmed from the fact that we are a rewards based culture and as when the belt system was designed the black was the highest color we awarded it some special consideration. Since it was perceived as the top belt(color) it was also seen as the end of the ranking system and therefore a symbol of completed training, and I feel that this belief took firm root and has refused to leave. But it could be something much more deeply rooted in our culture, if it is then I am out of ideas.

Just a few ideas from me,

Last edited by Mr Greyhame : 08-08-2005 at 11:53 PM. Reason: Fix Paragraphing
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