Originally posted by Bill D
I want to point out that the kyuu system is prevalent in Japan, not just in the Butokukai, but in almost everything. You can become a 2kyuu in Aikido, flower arrangement, flute playing and even English speaking (I'm a "ranked" Japanese speaker). Therefore I think that the kyuu system may have been more natural to the Japanese founders of the art than it is to many of us, and that it may be more indicative of an overall Japanese tendency to "rank" peoples' ability in things than a political move.
Bill, Bill, Bill. Ya got it all wrong man. I know. I hang out in Aikido forums.
Rank was not created because of any obsessive compulsions on the part of our Japanese friends. Rank was created because worthless Westerners (it's a really big place too because it includes something like 3/4 of the globe) are so worthless, materialistic, devoid of spiritualness, vain and lacking in staying power that their sole motivation for consistently attending class is the honor of receiving a cheap colored belt. That it clashes with their stylish outfits and looks pretty dumb when you think about it never seems to bother anyone. That's because they are too busy in their materialistic pursuits.
Had the Japanese, in their infinite wisdom and honor, not shown righteous thought, generosity and a willingness to debase their whole culture and value system Aikido would never have flourished outside of Japan's borders. It is a universally accepted truth that without colored belts the only Aikido practitioners outside of Japan would be 2 guys in Castroville, California possibly the Artichoke capital of the world. I say possibly because lacking colored belts, it would be the Artichoke and Aikido capital of the non-Japanese world. I'm not sure how the Japanese feel about Artichokes and that's a topic for another thread.
So there, in a couple of paragraphs, is the real reason why we have colored belts in Aikido.