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Old 07-18-2003, 04:59 PM   #1
willy_lee
Dojo: City Aikido
Location: San Francisco, CA USA
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Smile Stealth white belts

I have been very slow about testing, so I wear a white belt, even though I should probably have graduated to a colored belt some time ago. It's always interesting when working with someone new, who assumes that I am newer than I actually am.

Sometimes I get some well-intentioned advice. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's infuriating; however, I usually try very hard to listen to it and try to apply it. Usually I do learn something from it, or it reminds me to do something that I could put a little more emphasis on.

Anyway, it was kinda funny a couple nights ago. I am a slightly stealth white belt, there was another guy there who has been coming for ages and could probably be shodan, but still wears a white belt. One of the yudansha had forgotten her kit so she was wearing a borrowed white belt. Same with a 2kyu, who normally wear brown belts at our school. And there was another 2kyu there who wears a hand-me-down brown belt, which is so faded that it looks like a slightly dirty white belt.

So be warned, sometimes appearances can deceive.



=wl
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Old 07-18-2003, 05:06 PM   #2
Sita Nanthavong
 
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Re: Stealth white belts

when at seminars or in another dojo, we are taught to wear our white belts. though, not everyone does. i do, though. so, i always get the extra lessons and advice. i find it frustrating at times, but also very informative.

it's also funny how new aikidoka and other students from other arts treat you. you're usually over looked because of the obi you wear. it's kinda sad.

i emailed my sensei the other night about this same topic. lol what a coincidence!
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Old 07-18-2003, 06:37 PM   #3
akiy
 
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I remember attending a pretty large seminar with a shihan at a dojo where I went "incognito" -- sans hakama and in a white belt. A few people recognized me, but most didn't.

It was interesting to me that the people who seemingly gave me the most attitude were folks at around 2nd or 1st kyu level. Some seemed all too bored having to work with a white belt even to the point of one whom I remember who was watching other people training as they were uke. Yudansha didn't seem to mind and some seemed to pick up that I was capable in ukemi; I got paired with a 5th dan whom I knew (although I'm pretty sure she didn't know me) during jiyuwaza and she proceeded to wipe the mat with me (including some great koshinage).

So it goes.

-- Jun

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Old 07-19-2003, 06:24 AM   #4
TomE
 
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Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
It was interesting to me that the people who seemingly gave me the most attitude were folks at around 2nd or 1st kyu level.
Meh... as far as humbling experiences go, taking one's shodan test *is* kinda hard to beat...

To do is to be. (Nietzsche) ... To be is to do. (Descartes) ... Do be do be do. (Sinatra).
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Old 07-19-2003, 07:36 AM   #5
GreyRonin
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I recently started training at my old dojo again after an 8 year absence. I was 1st kyu then and was a few months away from Shodan when I had to quit (personal).

So when I got back to the dojo I had a white belt on. Three reasons. I didn't want to assume that I was an automatic black even though it's back to the same school. Two, I wanted to come back with a beginner's mind. Three and most importantly, I can't find my black belt!

First few training sessions were fun. With my CI's permission I joined the beginners. Only 3 people knew me previously, my CI, Assistant CI and one senior instructor (he was actually my junior!). The beginner's class had already started when I joined so there were a few who thought they could teach me a thing or two. Some were nice but there was one or two who would actually teach me the wrong things!

There were also some "seniors" who'd help me/us, most of them are great but there's always the odd one who thinks his brown or black belt means a lot. I didn't assume that they can't teach me anything, I'm always open. I have after all been away for a long time and was a little rusty.

After a few sessions/weeks, my CI told me to join the advanced class (although I was still practising with the junior grades to get myself back to speed) and that was when many realise that I wasn't who they think I was. It was a nice feeling but I wasn't there to show off so I didn't rub it in, just went along with my training.

Finally found my black belt and now wearing it!
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Old 07-19-2003, 10:25 AM   #6
Jerry Miller
 
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Cool

I have recently started training again after a 32 year absence. I had studied for a couple of years in my teens under Walker Sensei at the YMCA then. I earned 3rd kyu under a 5 kyu system. The reason I left Aikido was a move to a town without Aikido.

I had been walking past a dojo in the the town I am currently in and finally stopped in. This dojo has a 7 kyu system and a different syllabus. The Aikido is good here or I would not be here. I am of course starting over again. What else would you do after a 32 year absence. I just tested for the 7th kyu at the new dojo. While I know more than others think I do not know as much as "I think I know". I am reminded every time I get on the mat. Every one has something to point out to help me. I listen to them and take for what I think it is worth after all averyone has something to contribute. When I am told I am doing something wrong I nod and go on because I might just be doing the technique differently. So I guess I am a stealth white belt but I just try to be humble and train.

Jerry Miller
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Old 07-19-2003, 11:59 AM   #7
Robin Walton
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Confused

Quote:
Zack Delah (GreyRonin) wrote:
I recently started training at my old dojo again after an 8 year absence. I was 1st kyu then and was a few months away from Shodan . . .

. . . Three and most importantly, I can't find my black belt! . . .

Finally found my black belt and now wearing it!
Maybe I missed something, but if you were 1st kyu when you left why would you need to find your black belt to come back?

Thanks

Robin
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:09 PM   #8
GreyRonin
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Quote:
Maybe I missed something, but if you were 1st kyu when you left why would you need to find your black belt to come back?
Hi Robin, just read your message.

When I quit, I stashed away all my Aikido stuff. 8 years on I can't remember where I put them! I had 3 gi when I stopped, I was only able to find one. I couldn't find my black belt at that time too. I was able to find a white belt while looking for my gi (you get them when you purchase your gi, I think you know that), so instead of waiting to find my black before I restart class, I just decide to wear the white one. I finally found my black belt weeks later but still no sign of the two gi. Purchased a new gi since. The belt had nothing to do with me coming back.
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:41 PM   #9
Joe Jutsu
Dojo: Currently relocating
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Zach-

I think Robin was asking why you have a black belt in the first place if you only attained 1st kyu, seeing as all schools I am familiar with award the black belt at the shodan level.

Joe.
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Old 07-20-2003, 04:23 AM   #10
Robin Walton
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Quote:
Joe Proffitt (Joe Jutsu) wrote:
Zach-

I think Robin was asking why you have a black belt in the first place if you only attained 1st kyu, seeing as all schools I am familiar with award the black belt at the shodan level.

Joe.
Thanks, that's exactly what I meant.

Robin
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Old 07-20-2003, 11:18 AM   #11
GreyRonin
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Joe & Robin

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

The dojo I train in awards the black belt from 2nd kyu upwards. We get to wear the hakama only after attaining Shodan. Don't ask me why, I didn't create the ranking system.

Hope that cleared things up!
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Old 07-20-2003, 12:25 PM   #12
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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That was extremely unusual! Not that I think it matters much.
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Old 07-20-2003, 10:05 PM   #13
Robin Walton
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Re: Joe & Robin

Quote:
Zack Delah (GreyRonin) wrote:
Sorry for the misunderstanding.

The dojo I train in awards the black belt from 2nd kyu upwards. We get to wear the hakama only after attaining Shodan. Don't ask me why, I didn't create the ranking system.

Hope that cleared things up!
Thanks, that helps. Out of curiousity, what school and what style do you train in? I've never heard of black belt being awarded to anyone but shodan. This isn't an attack on you or your school, I'm just curious.

Robin
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