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Old 10-29-2011, 01:26 AM   #2
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 406
Re: Get Over It Already!

Nafis Zahir wrote: View Post
Today we see so many people obsessed with getting their black belt. Something about the black belt makes many people over-train and then once they get it they think that it is something special and that now they are 'bad asses' or someone who has special powers. It has really gotten crazy. For the ones who are serious about training, they quickly realize that they have just reached the first plateau. So I have an idea for when I open a dojo. What do you think about this - A new students joins the dojo and he/she gets a gi and then I give them a black belt to wear. And when they give me that curious look I say to them "Take it, Wear it, Get over it already!" I want then to wear it so that the novelty of having a black belt will wear off very early in their training. I would like to hear what Aikidoka here think about this idea. Remember, it's just a belt and it doesn't mean you are a yudansha.
Better idea: everyone wears white belts, even you, and get rid of belt tests. Even better idea: nobody wears gis or hakama at all, just comfortable sweats. Of the martial arts environments I've learned in, those with no symbols of rank or fetishism about dress-code were always the best and most open, where everyone just trained with each other, even the teacher, as equal partners. It gets rid of this idea that progress is one dimensional, as it quickly becomes obvious people progress at different rates in different aspects and often even go backwards.
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