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Old 05-21-2004, 04:54 AM   #1
kocakb
Dojo: Burhan Felek Sport Center-Istanbul
Location: Istanbul
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 110
Turkey
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Unhappy Colored Belt or White,

when I first started training aikido, we used to wear white belt until the first Kyu. I used to think that this is an exception for aikido. In Judo, KarateDo etc. They were wearing colored ones.

But a few months ago, our Sensei told us that aikidokas are also going to have color belts. Now, every Kyu has its color, like in other martial arts.

I wonder, is this in your country the same ? have you ever had color belts or are you still wearing white belts until you became 1.st Kyu...do you think it was a need, the change?
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Old 05-21-2004, 05:42 AM   #2
batemanb
 
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Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

It depends on the individual really. We went the other way, for years our club had coloured belts for grades, but when we changed associations a couple of years back, the new association only used white for mudansha and black for yudansha, the same as the Aikikai when I was in Japan. Personally, I prefer the white/ black for seniors but I don't think it really matters.

Coincidentally, I have been looking this week at doing something different for my juniors. Currently the association also uses white only for juniors, I believe that in my experience, juniors need a more obviously recognisable form of differentiation and something to progress to. I have stayed away from coloured belts but will introduce stripes on a white belt (1 red stripe = 6th kyu ichi, 2 yellow stripes= 5th kyu ni, 3 orange stripes = 4th kyu san etc.). We have three levels in each kyu for juniors (ichi, ni & san), basically so that a junior will be 29 years old before they reach black belt . We don't charge juniors or seniors for gradings, and I don't charge for the stripes. Does anyone know a good place to get stripes from, the only ones I have found so far are sold by Century, at an horrendous price of $12.99 for 10?

Rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 05-21-2004, 06:52 AM   #3
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
Location: New York
Join Date: Dec 2002
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

When my kids did karate and TKD, the stripes were simply black electrical tape.

My son does Aikido now in Woodstock; the kids have colored belts after the first test (yellow is 10th kyu, I think....he hasn't tested yet so he's still white). The adults, in WS and Kingston, only have white and black.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 05-21-2004, 07:12 AM   #4
ian
 
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Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

in karate, coloured belts were invented for children (before this it was just white belts). I think this has now carried over to aikido to some extent, though it seems very rare in the UK to have coloured belts in aikido.

I think for many karate clubs teaching is about profit, and therefore belts and additional grades for children is good for making money. I've never experienced this in aikido.

I'm sure this will break into should we/shouldn't we argument. As long as the purpose is honest and understood, in my opinion, it doesn't matter. Sometimes pride in not wearing coloured belts is the same as pride in wearing coloured belts. If I had my way we would scap the traditional japanese outfit and wear something more akin to normal clothes (but more durable!).

Ian

Last edited by ian : 05-21-2004 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 05-21-2004, 07:37 AM   #5
Yann Golanski
 
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Dojo: York Shodokan Aikido
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Hum, as far as I know the biggest Aikido organisation within the UK is the BAA. Sadly, I don't have more details than that. If anyone can correct or provide numbers that would be great. Anyways, the BAA uses color belts for kyu grades and have done so for as long as I can remember.

Color belts and hakama are very much a dojo specific thing. When in Rome, do as the roman.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-21-2004, 08:23 AM   #6
Nick P.
 
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Dojo: Sukagawa Aikido Club of Montreal
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Bülent,
It depends which federation or association your dojo is part of, not so much which country you live in (though I imagine some countries only have one federation/association, but those are rare, no?).

http://www.aikiweb.com/general/affiliat.html shows just how vast the Aikido world is. It would be interesting to know which ones have colored belts, hakama before Shodan (i.e. ASU), no hakama ever, etc...
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Old 05-21-2004, 08:29 AM   #7
Nick P.
 
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
Color belts and hakama are very much a dojo specific thing. When in Rome, do as the roman.
Yann,
Just re-read your post; do I understand you correctly? There could be one club with colored belts and one without, but both would be part of the same association/federation/group?
Interesting...
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Old 05-21-2004, 08:33 AM   #8
kocakb
Dojo: Burhan Felek Sport Center-Istanbul
Location: Istanbul
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Turkey
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

thanks Nick, think you are right, It depends on the federation. Unfortunately in Turkey, there is not an independent federation for aikido. Its name is Turkish Federation for Judo, Vushu, Kurash (not sure if I have written correct in English ) Aikido... 4 in 1...
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Old 05-21-2004, 09:24 AM   #9
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Quote:
Yann,
Just re-read your post; do I understand you correctly? There could be one club with colored belts and one without, but both would be part of the same association/federation/group?
Interesting...
Yup, I know in the USAF, although most dojos do the white/black and hakama after shodan for men and hakama for woman after their 5th kyu. I know some dojos vary and wear color belts, have a 6th kyu test, or wear hakama before shodan. There is no strict mandate that one has to follow but more of a recommendation.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 05-21-2004, 09:30 AM   #10
batemanb
 
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
Yann,
Just re-read your post; do I understand you correctly? There could be one club with colored belts and one without, but both would be part of the same association/federation/group?
Interesting...
That is true. When I was in Japan, at one of the dojo's I belonged to it was white until 3rd kyu, then brown for 2nd & 1st, then black. This club was part of the Aikikai, the kaicho is in fact a director of the All Japan AIkido Renmai, and the Tokyo AIkido Renmei, reporting directly to Doshu at hombu where they don't have brown belts in their syllabus.

rgds

Bryan.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 05-21-2004, 09:33 AM   #11
Yann Golanski
 
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Dojo: York Shodokan Aikido
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote:
Yann,
Just re-read your post; do I understand you correctly? There could be one club with colored belts and one without, but both would be part of the same association/federation/group?
Interesting...
Yes, you do understand correctly. It shocked me as well.

From Peter, I know that Japanese Shodokan university clubs do not wear color belts. Shodokan hombu does have color belts. We, in the UK, have a different set of color belts. However, everyone is within the JAA -- headed by Shodokan. Go figure.

At least, we all wear a dogi... apart from Tomiki-shihan who sometimes used to train in street cloths.

At least, no one wears the hakama... well, unless you decide you want to wear a hakama for embu competitions. At least we don't get too much of discussions how long your hakama should be and all other associated myths.

All in all, ask the sensei who's teaching about etiquette -- when in Rome do as the Goth... or something.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-21-2004, 10:13 AM   #12
Nick P.
 
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Huh.
As the expression goes, "Je vais me coucher moin niaiseux ce soir"
("I will go to bed less stupid tonight").
Very interesting.
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Old 05-21-2004, 04:37 PM   #13
Qatana
 
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Just Saturday i was at a seminar. My dojo is CAA. The guest sensei was CAA. The host dojo was CAA.. Apparently each school has its own colored belt system because i was constantly asked what a purple belt means- in my dojo 5th kyu.
Tonite i'm going to an ASU seminar. I bet i get asked a lot what purple means!

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 05-21-2004, 09:41 PM   #14
Joezer M.
 
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

A couple of years back I went to a seminar in another dojo (from the same organization), and suddenly realized that me and my friend were the only ones wearing blue belts... dark blue belts... and the room was also a little bit dark, so the guest sensei started asking why there were two black belts not wearing hakama
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Old 05-22-2004, 04:45 AM   #15
Bruce
Location: Sydney
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Australia
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Our club uses three colours for our kyu grades (white = 6th, yellow for 5th and 4th, brown for up to 1st). The club is somehow affiliated with Aikikai, ie. our yudansha grades are Aikikai grades as recommended by the head of the club's association.

My sensei explained to me long ago that one reason was a safety thing. As there are a bunch of dojos in our club in which w,e at times, do visits in between our dojos. A quick identifier to a partner who you haven't trained with or seen for a while is; don't toss around the white ones (newbies), the yellow ones are still learning ukemi (only a couple of years experience), the brown ones should be able to receive the techniques (more than a couple of years taking fall).

Otherwise, whenever I have travelled to a seminar or trained at a non-affiliated dojo, I carry/put on the white belt and humbly request to the senior student if I should wear my black one and hakama.
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Old 05-22-2004, 07:51 AM   #16
PaulieWalnuts
Location: Edinburgh
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

In Japan thw adults wear white and kids coloured, In my opinion if its good enough for the inventors of the system then its good enough for me
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Old 05-22-2004, 07:58 AM   #17
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

Steff - read a couple posts back and they tell you what happens in Japan. It varies and it really doesn't matter.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-24-2004, 04:45 PM   #18
Amassus
 
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Dojo: Aikido Musubi Ryu/ Yoshin Wadokan
Location: Hamilton
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

In little ol' New Zealand, there is an assortment of belt systems depending on style and dojo.
My dojo uses a coloured belt system starting at white, through a myriad of coloures to black, generally the colour gets darker as you progress.
I was training at another dojo a little while ago in my green belt (4th kyu) in a style that uses a white/brown/black system. One of the aikidoka there asked if I had done karate due to my strange coloured belt.
I found it amusing.

I think the lesson here is to open our minds and just accept things a little more, at the end of the day we are all doing aikido so the belts are simply there to look pretty and hold our dogi togther.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:42 PM   #19
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
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Re: Colored Belt or White,

I think our organization allows either system....resident sensei preference. As far as I know the ones that use color use the the same ones.

STORY--->
One of my students visited another dojo in our org. that uses the same color system. My student was wearing his purple belt. One of the junior students at the dojo he was visiting asked what style of aikido he did. When he answered Seidokan (the same as them) the junior replied "there aren't any purple belts in Seidokan". It turns out that dojo hadn't had anybody at yonkyu or sankyu rank since the junior had been training
<---END STORY

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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