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Old 09-30-2011, 03:00 AM   #51
JJF
 
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Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Phil Van Treese wrote: View Post
In .... Never saw him again either. There is only 1 attitude to have in aikido---a good one willing to help others. Rank means zilch but skill and character are everything. Rank doesn't back up your knowledge-----knowledge backs up your rank. Your character speaks the loudest of all.
I agree Phil, that character speaks the loudest. Too bad yours made this guy leave aikido (as I read your post). He might have learned something valuable.

It's difficult not to look down your nose at somebody for having the 'wrong attituted'. I do it myself all the time. Hope to be able to let it be one day.

Back to topic: I believe in the white-black system with the hakama at 3. kyu. It works fine for adults. For kids klasses colored belts are a great thing to keep them going. For adults though.. if you need the colors to keep on the journey I believe chances are you are in it for the wrong reasons.

Also belts with colors tends to create those situations where one tend to feel superior to others. It is not a healthy way to practice. Hakama and black belt are not 'diplomas' or 'medals' to wear as a sign of your achivements. It is signs that you are ready to take the responsibility of a higher level of dedicated ability. The hakama tells your partner that you are able to take care of your self during practice, and that he can expect you to give an honest and dedicated attack and effort. The black belt indicates that you should be at a level where people can seek you out for help and guidance. Understand this and be humble about it.

Anyway.. that's how I see it.

- Jĝrgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:48 AM   #52
Edgecrusher
 
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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??"
I find it humorous that those with whom have achieved a specific rank and/or belt color designation (for some of us) feel a sense of entitlement and are close-minded when it comes to suggestion and/or correction of a technique from a peer or someone rank below. That says a lot about how that person was trained and how they learn. You have obviously been trained with humility and a sense of respect for those around you. Belt colors are meaningless and no matter what style we are training in, it is a lifetime commitment. When we go to seminars it is easy to tell the good practitioners from the bad. I am an Ikkyu in Tomiki and am in no hurry for Shodan. We wear colored belts because our Shihan (main instructor) tests and promotes with colored belts.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:29 PM   #53
LinTal
Dojo: Aikido Terrey Hills
Location: Sydney
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Re: Belt color importance

I'd like to just say I'm really enjoying this thread, thanks all.

Personally, I find them useful to get a feeling for how the other person moves if you don't usually train with them, but it doesn't take too long to figure it out anyway so perhaps there's not much point. In my own dojo those wearing the hakama/black belt combo are just marked as the partner I try to nab for practice. It seems to me, though, that there are so many strands that aikido works on, and the black doesn't serve as a blanket promise for brilliance at all of them. Some members are amazing at the clarity of footwork but need to stop relying on height, for example.

The world changes when you do.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:32 PM   #54
PeterR
 
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Kenneth Hannah wrote: View Post
I find it humorous that those with whom have achieved a specific rank and/or belt color designation (for some of us) feel a sense of entitlement and are close-minded when it comes to suggestion and/or correction of a technique from a peer or someone rank below. That says a lot about how that person was trained and how they learn. You have obviously been trained with humility and a sense of respect for those around you. Belt colors are meaningless and no matter what style we are training in, it is a lifetime commitment. When we go to seminars it is easy to tell the good practitioners from the bad. I am an Ikkyu in Tomiki and am in no hurry for Shodan. We wear colored belts because our Shihan (main instructor) tests and promotes with colored belts.
This was also one of my personal moments. At the Shodokan Honbu dojo there is a system of coloured belts which really does serve a purpose since some people train once a week and others train multiple sessions every day and it really is hard to remember all the faces. It is a good rough indicator of background skill.

The university clubs don't have coloured belts but they all enter the club together, train loads together and know each other well.

I still remember how cocky I was as a newly minted green belt and how shocked I was playing shihan to a mere white belt. One of these "Kinki girls" (Kinki Daigaku) shorter and lighter than I was broke my grip and tossed me with a perfect gedan-ate - I never even saw it coming. I was more careful after that.

Coloured belts have no more meaning than a tool to organize teaching. My general suggestion is that when you visit another club, even in the same style, you wear your white belt.

Last edited by PeterR : 05-02-2012 at 11:35 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #55
Edgecrusher
 
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Re: Belt color importance

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
This was also one of my personal moments. At the Shodokan Honbu dojo there is a system of coloured belts which really does serve a purpose since some people train once a week and others train multiple sessions every day and it really is hard to remember all the faces. It is a good rough indicator of background skill.

The university clubs don't have coloured belts but they all enter the club together, train loads together and know each other well.

I still remember how cocky I was as a newly minted green belt and how shocked I was playing shihan to a mere white belt. One of these "Kinki girls" (Kinki Daigaku) shorter and lighter than I was broke my grip and tossed me with a perfect gedan-ate - I never even saw it coming. I was more careful after that.

Coloured belts have no more meaning than a tool to organize teaching. My general suggestion is that when you visit another club, even in the same style, you wear your white belt.
I agree with you. I have visited another dojo while my shihan was away on vacation. I elected to wear my white belt. I received funny stares and could hear the rumblings from the main students for they felt I might have known something. Irregardless, I still maintained respect for their school and their teaching from their sensei. Bottom line, you represent your school and teacher when you walk and/or train somewhere else. I ever want to hear is that another instructor mentions to mine, I can see he was taught by you and you should be proud.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #56
Chris Li
 
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Re: Belt color importance

Reminded me of my latest blog post - "Something's Rank - Black Belts in Aikido".

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:10 AM   #57
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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Re: Belt color importance

Just to put a positive spin on belts and rank, for me it motivates me to be worthy of the belt. When I grade I do my very best to execute each technique with the required level of skill and finesse that would be deserving of the belt/grade. After I have been awarded my new belt/grade I feel a sense of duty and responsibility to act as one befitting and deserving of the grade. When I am in my club I try and be a positive role model to the lower grades, to help them where I can and to be respectful and humble towards my sensei and Shihans appreciating that I still have much to learn. I remember the first week I wore my hakama and how proud I felt but also how important it was that I take my training seriously and conduct myself in a manner worthy of the privilege of wearing it. For me the belts and rank keep me humble because I am constantly trying to prove myself that I deserve to wear the belt/hakama.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:53 AM   #58
amoeba
Dojo: Aikido Netzwerk
Location: Düsseldorf, NRW
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Re: Belt color importance

About the original post:

Sorry, but to me your behaviour seems equally rude as the guy's. I'd never, ever go around correcting random strangers in solo practice at seminars. Maybe (just maybe) when we train two on two and my partner is either doing a grave mistake continually or is just a confused beginner, I might make a humble proposition ("You know, I think it might work a little better if..." "Didn't sensei show it like...").

But in single training, a guy I've never seen before? Sorry, but there the only one supposed to correct me is the teacher. Or maybe someone from my dojo that I know. Or my teacher. But definetely no strangers. And that's not depending on rank at all...

(Although of course the guy was rude - I tend to go with "smile and ignore"...)

Anyway, we don't really have the belt colour issue here in Germany (or Sweden, or France), as it's mostly only black and white, apart from a few organisations we don't really have a lot to do with.
We do wear a hakama from second kyu though...
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