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Old 09-12-2000, 10:01 AM   #25
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
i think dan rank means essentially what kyu rank means (to me at least), a way for the individual to measure his own progress, not himself against others. i don't really think either set of ranks helps as a predictor of ukemi, for as we've discussed before, some reach shodan with woeful skills. Or they could be recovering from an injury, or just not be having a very good day...i try not to prejudge my partner, no matter posititve or negative. as for skill, well, when i first got to my current dojo, after a few classes i'd pretty much figured out the rank order, if not the rank, of those i'd seen---later found out i was 100% correct. as a beginner, i'm certainly no competent judge of someone's skill, but i know what i feel, and amazingly enough, how it feels when they've got my arm pretty much matches up with what their rank is. and if it didn't, i'd go with what i feel in terms of who to learn from, not what is written on his certificate. the same goes for choosing a school or teacher: i've been in a lot of them, different styles, and a shodan in one may surpass a sandan in another...the bottom line is, who cares....if you can learn from the person, then learn. i tend to watch someone's feet, not their belt, when i'm learning; and what i feel from them is more important to me than who they studied with, or what rank they reached. i'd say keep the rank, but for the individual's benefit, not that of anyone else.
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