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Old 02-05-2011, 01:25 PM   #1
Cezar Tipa
 
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Belt color importance

Few years ago I participated at an international stage. In that time I was 1 kyu and accordingly with our Iwama's school regulation I was wearing an white belt. We were practicing jo suburi and a guy near me wearing a brown belt was doing very bad, pushing the jo without sliding but just gripping it very tight and moving it like pile driver. I told him in a polite tone that he is doing it in a wrong way. He looked at my belt and says " who the fuck do you think you are, a sensei??"
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:26 PM   #2
gregstec
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Cezar Tipa wrote: View Post
Few years ago I participated at an international stage. In that time I was 1 kyu and accordingly with our Iwama's school regulation I was wearing an white belt. We were practicing jo suburi and a guy near me wearing a brown belt was doing very bad, pushing the jo without sliding but just gripping it very tight and moving it like pile driver. I told him in a polite tone that he is doing it in a wrong way. He looked at my belt and says " who the fuck do you think you are, a sensei??"
A good example of belt blindness and too much ego - very sad, but it is everywhere to some extent.

Greg
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:28 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Belt color importance

On the other hand....Regardless of belt color, I don't know that at a large seminar working on solo weapons I'd be very open to a stranger telling me I'm doing things all wrong...

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:55 PM   #4
raul rodrigo
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Re: Belt color importance

He didn't ask for help or feedback, so in your shoes, I wouldn't have offered any.

RAUL
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:11 AM   #5
carina reinhardt
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Re: Belt color importance

I think the only one who should correct anyone is the sensei.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:13 AM   #6
Hellis
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Re: Belt color importance

No matter how well meant, it is not a good idea to correct a stranger on the mat...Many students go to a seminar to `see` something different, most have a mindset " thats not how we do it"...
It is wise to just let them `do` what they do, unless they ask.

Henry Ellis
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:56 AM   #7
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
On the other hand....Regardless of belt color, I don't know that at a large seminar working on solo weapons I'd be very open to a stranger telling me I'm doing things all wrong...
Me either.

Belt color is kind of nice when you are a beginner and looking for someone better than you to train with. That guy was a brown belt, likely the same or close to the same rank as you at 1st kyu. If he didn't ask, I wouldn't tell, if I were you.

I've often thought about adding blue and brown belts to our class ranking. But it's not really that important. It kind of makes students feel good, kind of helps new people judge who has a more informed opinion, but I also think colored belts are kind of silly.

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Old 02-06-2011, 10:09 AM   #8
Keith Larman
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Re: Belt color importance

I was helping teach a seminar and we had a student from our style but out of state attending. She was clearly not liking some stuff we were doing. Eventually she tells me that the way we were using the jo wasn't the same as Shindo Muso Ryu jodo. My response was "That's good to know so the next time I'm training at a Shindo Muso Ryu dojo I'll be sure to do it the way they do it."

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Old 02-07-2011, 12:35 PM   #9
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: Belt color importance

The guy was definitely rude. You do not talk like that to anyone, regardless of rank.
Still, he mistook you for a novice, that was not his fault.
As for offering advice to a higher ranked student - in the other guy's mind, this is what was happening, I suggest that you visit another thread called: Training With Others. It's in the "General" category.
Did you say that it happened a few years ago? Awww, come on, let go of it.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:00 PM   #10
Janet Rosen
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I've often thought about adding blue and brown belts to our class ranking. But it's not really that important. It kind of makes students feel good, kind of helps new people judge who has a more informed opinion, but I also think colored belts are kind of silly.
I've been a member of dojos that did the colored belt thing and dojos that didn't. I understand awarding colored belts in kids classes but overall I tend to go with the KISS principle when possible and would prefer the white-until-black.

Janet Rosen
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:01 PM   #11
Janet Rosen
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Eventually she tells me that the way we were using the jo wasn't the same as Shindo Muso Ryu jodo. My response was "That's good to know so the next time I'm training at a Shindo Muso Ryu dojo I'll be sure to do it the way they do it."

Janet Rosen
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:56 PM   #12
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I've been a member of dojos that did the colored belt thing and dojos that didn't. I understand awarding colored belts in kids classes but overall I tend to go with the KISS principle when possible and would prefer the white-until-black.
I kinda like that my dojo does white, brown and black. I think the brown belt at least gives you a better idea how far along a kyu ranked person is. Helps me know how to adjust my intensity. Not into rainbow colors and I certainly don't think that coping an attitude on someone at a seminar, who gives advice is wise. You never know just who you are training with. For instance suppose some yundasha forgot his belt and is wearing a white on loan for a day?

I hope I don't develop such an arrogant attitude as I progress. I'm all for the, nod and smile and either try out their suggestion or just keep doing what I'm doing until sensei comes to correct whichever of us is wrong.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:58 PM   #13
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Cezar Tipa wrote: View Post
We were practicing jo suburi and a guy near me wearing a brown belt was doing very bad, pushing the jo without sliding but just gripping it very tight and moving it like pile driver. I told him in a polite tone that he is doing it in a wrong way. He looked at my belt and says " who the fuck do you think you are, a sensei??"
1.) Maybe he was having an off day
2.) Maybe what he was doing was new to him (not everyone does weapon work the same way- even in the same affiliation)
3.) I wouldn't have said anything. I just would have let him do his thing and I would have done my thing. At the last seminar I attented, I wasn't sure of who was senior to me and there were times my partner was doing something wrong or insisting I do it wrong and I either said "Lets watch another group for a sec." or just kept doing it wrong until the sensei came around and corrected us. I didn't feel like it was my place to correct them because I had no idea where they stood in their training. Sure, I looked like I didn't know what I was doing, but I would rather that then put my foot in my mouth.
4.) If this happened a few years ago, why are you bring this up now?

Last edited by ninjaqutie : 02-07-2011 at 05:03 PM.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:18 AM   #14
lbb
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Re: Belt color importance

I think that in most cases, colored belts cause more problems than they solve. But then, you can argue that the same is true with white and black belts, I suppose.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:32 AM   #15
David Board
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
1.) Maybe he was having an off day
2.) Maybe what he was doing was new to him (not everyone does weapon work the same way- even in the same affiliation)
3.) I wouldn't have said anything. I just would have let him do his thing and I would have done my thing. At the last seminar I attented, I wasn't sure of who was senior to me and there were times my partner was doing something wrong or insisting I do it wrong and I either said "Lets watch another group for a sec." or just kept doing it wrong until the sensei came around and corrected us. I didn't feel like it was my place to correct them because I had no idea where they stood in their training. Sure, I looked like I didn't know what I was doing, but I would rather that then put my foot in my mouth.
4.) If this happened a few years ago, why are you bring this up now?
It can be rather amusing to watch this turn into a game of Aikido Telephone.

I wonder if you could incorperate that into a learning game for youth programs with the story line that everyone has the responsibility to watch Sensie when learning a technique. Hmm, might take some tweaking.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:40 AM   #16
Keith Larman
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
FWIW the student didn't catch on to the underlying irony. I eventually suggested she just might want to humor the Shihan and do what he was teaching.

Nothing more entertaining than enthusiastic mudansha who read a lot...

Belt color has nothing to do with any of this. It is simple politeness and common sense. Those two things are not affected by the color of the best worn.

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Old 02-08-2011, 11:58 AM   #17
Mark Freeman
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I think that in most cases, colored belts cause more problems than they solve. But then, you can argue that the same is true with white and black belts, I suppose.
Mary, I hereby award you with a neutral coloured belt, voila! no problems

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:09 AM   #18
Chris Farnham
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Re: Belt color importance

Within the Aikikai in Japan it seems pretty universal that 3rd and under wear white belts and 2nd and 1st wear brown, but some dojos seem to do it differently.

I am an Ikkyu but I wear white because I tested for Ikkyu through the USAF where all non yudansha wear white. I have had seniors tell me I could wear a brown belt if I'd like, but I feel like there's no point. My "white" belt with it's sweat stains, and flecks of brown and black has been with me from day one, and serves as a testament to my training. Besides, my white belt provides me with endless entertainment. I train at a number of dojos as a guest and I laugh every time a new nikkyu with a shiny new brown belt, who has been training for about three years, treats me like a beginner when I have trained almost as long as many of the nidan in his or her dojo. It usually takes five minutes before they realize that the color of the belt means nothing. I've also trained with people wearing white belts who I later found were nidan or sandan from non affiliated dojos. It didn't take me long to realize they had weren't beginners. Again, regardless of belt color, a person's ability becomes pretty clear once you lay hands on them.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:50 AM   #19
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Chris Farnham wrote: View Post
Within the Aikikai in Japan it seems pretty universal that 3rd and under wear white belts and 2nd and 1st wear brown, but some dojos seem to do it differently.
Hello Chris,

This might be true in university clubs, but I have not yet come across this in non-university dojos.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 02-09-2011, 08:50 AM   #20
raul rodrigo
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Chris,

This might be true in university clubs, but I have not yet come across this in non-university dojos.

Best wishes,

PAG
Chris, I didn't happen to encounter a single brown belt during the week I trained in Hombu dojo. Only white belts and people in hakamas.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:10 AM   #21
Ketsan
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Cezar Tipa wrote: View Post
Few years ago I participated at an international stage. In that time I was 1 kyu and accordingly with our Iwama's school regulation I was wearing an white belt. We were practicing jo suburi and a guy near me wearing a brown belt was doing very bad, pushing the jo without sliding but just gripping it very tight and moving it like pile driver. I told him in a polite tone that he is doing it in a wrong way. He looked at my belt and says " who the fuck do you think you are, a sensei??"
Oh the stories:

Beginner: "Oh good, we're all beginners, here. How many weeks have you been training?"
Me: "About seven years."

My mate, a Karate instructor: "Where's your belt?"
Me: "I'm wearing it"
Mate: "No, your brown belt"
Me: "I don't have a brown belt; there are only white and black belts in Aikido."
Mate: "Why's that?"
Me: "In okinawa belt mean no need rope hold up pants"

Beginner to me: "I don't take instructions from white belts"
Sensei: "You take instructions from 1st kyus"

Beginner: "Eight years and you're STILL a white belt?"

Me: "Actually I should take black belt next year......."
Beginner: "But you're a white belt?"
Mate: "He's a fast learner."
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:02 AM   #22
phitruong
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Re: Belt color importance

Endo sensei walked on the mat wearing a brand new gi and white belt with no hakama. he said (through interpreter) "i know a bit about aikido. i'll show you what i know." (his luggage didn't make it in time for the seminar). visitors were quite amazed that a while belt threw a bunch of black belts around like they were nothing.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #23
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Belt color importance

Hehe.... thanks for the humor Alex and Phi.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:04 PM   #24
Phil Van Treese
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Re: Belt color importance

Had someone talked to me on the mat like I just read, he'd be out that door amazingly fast. There is no room to be rude or just plain stupid. If you are not doing it correctly and there is someone who knows how to do the technique, regardless of rank, so what if he offers a correction??? When it gets to the point that "rank" dictates who can correct someone, then we all need to wear white belts. But "asking" someone "who the f**k are you" when help was offered is the fastest way to get throttled and put out of my dojo. No room for that garbage.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:03 PM   #25
Stephen Fasen
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Re: Belt color importance

Shoshin... heart of the beginner or mind of the beginner it is the foundation. Unfortunately everyone wants to be Sensei and there is always a "right way" to do things. Last time I checked however, the job of helping a student to a more efficient technical expression was the job of the designated instructor. If help is requested when that person is not aware... it should be honored and humbly offered. But, the instructor should be aware. If it is not requested (by someone doing something "incorrectly"), and they are only putting their own progress in jeopardy, it should not be "offered" unless you are the designated instructor. If they are putting someone in jeopardy... then it should be offered respectfully, immediately and then brought to the instructors attention. The confrontational language is never appropriate, but rude is as rude gets. Ignoring that stuff is far more effective. Too bad this crap is even an issue where a common goal is involved.
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