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Old 02-28-2006, 02:13 PM   #1
pcallen
 
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What's in a belt?

The true answer to those that know me is my big b...body, yeah that's the b word I was going for.

The question of colored belts or no colored belts has been repeated ad nauseum, I'm sure, but I have noticed a big difference, even within a single organization, on when or if a brown belt is worn.

The different answers that I have recieved for my organization - ASU are:
1. sankyu - ikkyu

2. nikkyu - ikkyu

3. anyone teaching below the rank of shodan

4. No brown belt only white (kyu) and black (dan)

Is this true for other organizations as well? Please post organizations with your reply.

Phil Allen
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:19 PM   #2
Larry Feldman
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Re: What's in a belt?

Only Black and White. Shin Budo Kai.
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:27 PM   #3
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
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Re: What's in a belt?

White til Black. USAF-ER

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:50 PM   #4
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: What's in a belt?

Doshinkan dojo (IYAF)
9 kyu
colored belts
brown = sankyu to ikkyu

I think there are people who just wear white until shodan though.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:04 PM   #5
Michael O'Brien
Dojo: Nashville Aikikai
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Re: What's in a belt?

White till Black.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:16 PM   #6
Qatana
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

My dojo has a different belt system than our Parent dojo, but its Brown for 2-1 kyu. My current belt is green, which "technically" doesn't exist in any other dojo/seminar I've ever visited.Sensei just feels that we all deserve a tangible acknowledgement of our progress. I have a couple of kohai who are way beyond me in technical ability but they test less often due to attendance.
if a school Does have a colored belt system and somebody decided they want to wear their white belt I feel it is a pretension of humility and I find this type of person extremely arrogant and inconsiderate in their partnering, in general.

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 02-28-2006, 03:50 PM   #7
Toothpaste
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Re: What's in a belt?

At my dojo the order is white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, black. As a personal preference, I would prefer my dojo's current system to anything else, mainly because it helps new people know who to turn to for help (with their technique, for example) and, also, I think it's a great source of motivation for children.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:57 PM   #8
aikigirl10
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Re: What's in a belt?

Ours is
1. starting out - whitebelt
2. 5th kyu (1st colored belt) - blue
3. 4th kyu - blue "2nd degree"
4. 3rd kyu - brown "3rd degree"
5. 2nd kyu - brown "2nd degree"
6. 1st kyu - brown "1st degree" , plus you start wearing a hakama
7. shodan- black
and so on
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:59 PM   #9
tarik
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Jo Adell wrote:
if a school Does have a colored belt system and somebody decided they want to wear their white belt I feel it is a pretension of humility and I find this type of person extremely arrogant and inconsiderate in their partnering, in general.
That would be me, apparently, although I perceived my pretension of humility and arrogance as politeness.

Due to belonging to an independent dojo, my rank, though attained legitimately, is unregistered with anyone and the only proof of it is in mind and body.

I usually wore a white belt whenever visiting other dojo until I reached black, even though we wore various colors in my home dojo. Now I still carry a white belt and when it seems appropriate still ask at new dojo what I should wear before getting on the mat.

Regards,

Tarik

Tarik Ghbeish
MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:03 PM   #10
tarik
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Phillip Allen wrote:
The true answer to those that know me is my big b...body, yeah that's the b word I was going for.
Funny.. I was going to say cotton when I saw your question.

My dojo has white for noh-kyu-5th kyu, blue for 4th and 3rd, and brown for 2nd and 1st. There's the occasional rebel who tries to wear white all the time.

Tarik

Tarik Ghbeish
MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:11 PM   #11
bkedelen
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

ASU does not have written rules regarding brown belt to the best of my knowledge. I think that as far as ASU is concerned if your instructor presents you with a brown belt, wear it.
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:18 PM   #12
koz
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Where I trained originally: white until shodan, hakama at shodan.

When I went to Japan: white until shodan, hakama at ikkyu but only at the home dojo and not when training elsewhere.

Where I'm training now: White until sankyu, brown until shodan, hakama as soon as you can afford it.

As a personal feeling, I believe mudansha (if training elsewhere) should follow the general guidelines of the dojo they visit. If only their yudansha wear hakama, it's probably best that you don't etc.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.

Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching, Ch48
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:20 PM   #13
tarik
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Paul Kozlovskis wrote:
As a personal feeling, I believe mudansha (if training elsewhere) should follow the general guidelines of the dojo they visit. If only their yudansha wear hakama, it's probably best that you don't etc.
I think the best policy is always to ask what is permissible or expected. I've found that for short visits, people don't usually care what you wear, but it's always best to ask first.

Regards,

Tarik

Tarik Ghbeish
MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:38 PM   #14
James Kelly
Dojo: Glendale Aikikai
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Paul Kozlovskis wrote:
As a personal feeling, I believe mudansha (if training elsewhere) should follow the general guidelines of the dojo they visit. If only their yudansha wear hakama, it's probably best that you don't etc.
I've seen udansha kick visiting mudansha off the mat to remove their hakama in order to conform to the local standard. So the above is probably more than just good advice, it's sometimes the rules.

oh yeah, the two asu dojo i've studied at: white and black, hakama when the cho thinks you're ready (apocryphally when your ukemi is good enough that a half blind visiting sensei can see the skirt and call you for uke and not have to worry if you can take a fall).

Last edited by James Kelly : 02-28-2006 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:40 PM   #15
nathansnow
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

8th kyu = white
7th kyu = yellow
6th kyu = yellow
5th kyu = green
4th kyu = green
3rd kyu = brown
2nd kyu = brown
1st kyu = brown
Shodan = black

I think the colors are a good visual tool to know right away the ukemi ability of the uke.

Nathan Snow
Michigan
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:14 PM   #16
Qatana
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Hey Tarik, its really hard to see what color your belt is under a hakama! Now I hafta remember to check next time I see you!

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 02-28-2006, 07:41 PM   #17
Dajo251
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Re: What's in a belt?

A wise man once told me, it doesnt matter what color your belt is as long as it keeps your pants up

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:38 AM   #18
batemanb
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Daniel Hulley wrote:
A wise man once told me, it doesnt matter what color your belt is as long as it keeps your pants up
That would be fine if the obi one wears with a keiko gi was actually designed to hold the pants up. I'll lay odds that there aren't too many people out there who could keep their pants up with one of these belts as worn during practice


In the Lancashire Aikikai here in the UK, it's white until black. I am also a member of the Aikikai in Japan where it's usually white until black, however, the club I belonged to in Tokyo have white until brown (2nd and 1st kyu), then black, even though they are an Aikikai club.

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 03-01-2006, 01:41 AM   #19
PeterR
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

What's in a belt.

Cloth, dye, sweat and millions upon millions of bacteria.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:49 AM   #20
Michael Meister
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote:
Funny.. I was going to say cotton when I saw your question.

Tarik
My first thought either. And quite appropriate for a piece of clothing.

We do have colored belts: red (unranked beginners), white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black (shodan )... and I've seen a number of 6. Dans wearing red/white striped belts under their hakamas.
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Old 03-01-2006, 07:56 AM   #21
Ron Tisdale
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
if a school Does have a colored belt system and somebody decided they want to wear their white belt I feel it is a pretension of humility and I find this type of person extremely arrogant and inconsiderate in their partnering, in general.
Hmm, I haven't noticed that in the people I've seen doing it. They get on the mat and train like everyone else. There is also a custom in our dojo that if you've been off the mat for a while you wear a white belt (even if yudansha) until you feel up to snuff again. I wear a white belt when I train at Daito ryu seminars and some others...I also used to wear a white belt at our saturday morning basics class (the tradition there was mudansha all wear white, but I was fairly new to training at the hombu full time, and didn't want any misunderstandings to arise).

So no, I haven't noticed what you speak of.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:08 AM   #22
SeiserL
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Cloth, thread, and sweat.
That's what's in a belt.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:23 AM   #23
Robert Rumpf
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
ASU does not have written rules regarding brown belt to the best of my knowledge. I think that as far as ASU is concerned if your instructor presents you with a brown belt, wear it.
As far as there being no written rules at the general level, you're probably right... but then again, there isn't much in the way of written rules that are consistently followed. There's the ASU handbook, but you wouldn't know that it exists from many people's inconsistency in etiquette, attitude, etc.

Every different ASU dojo that I have trained in has had a fixed, unspoken expectation for when (or if) you wear a brown belt and has expected me to adhere to that standard. Those rules have always been treated as though they are the rules for the whole federation too, oddly.

That can be difficult to digest - your old instructor gives you a brown belt and your new instructor in your own federation makes you take it off, or your old instructor gives you a white belt and your new instructor in your own federation makes you put on a brown.

Who care, its only a belt, right? Giving it up or taking it up shouldn't mean anything.

But it DOES mean something in the sense that your new instructor or new peers may perceive you as putting on airs, or as acting needlessly humble, or whatever when in reality it is just a difference in how you were raised and that you wish to honor your old instructor and their decisions. They may even choose to do something about it to rectify the perceived problem. Or even worse, those instructors or peers may be correct and you just are putting on airs or pretending to be humble. Who can say?

To be honest, I think the farther you get in martial arts, the notion of being so observant and judgmental of your peers from everything on how they dress to how they bow to the way they tie their belt needs to be taken with a gain of salt - not everyone was raised the same way, and "different" is only equal to "wrong" in Japanese.. Judging someone by their exterior is very dangerous, and often misleading.

I guess what I'm saying is that if someone shows up in a pink gi and a neon green belt, you should take them as seriously as anyone else and train with them. They may just not know any better...

A general suggestion: use a large amount of caution when switching dojos (even in your own organization), as first impressions of these types of things mean a lot and can affect the tone of the relationships between students and teachers and students and students for a long time to come.

This is a touchy subject, and I'm not trying to badmouth ASU or any of the dojos I've trained at. What I like about ASU is its internal flexibility - but flexibility can lead to confusion and misunderstanding, too. I think its a price worth paying.

I'm sure that anything said about ASU would also apply to other organizations that are similarly flexible.

Rob
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:42 AM   #24
Ron Tisdale
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
A general suggestion: use a large amount of caution when switching dojos (even in your own organization), as first impressions of these types of things mean a lot and can affect the tone of the relationships between students and teachers and students and students for a long time to come.
While this is true, it should also be stressed that by having a bit of patience, and being willing to just train and learn as you go can make a difference. I am in a situation where I am now training at the hombu as opposed to the branch dojo I was ranked to yudansha in. I made (and still make some) a lot of 'mistakes' as far as ettiquite and procedure are concerned. But once people realize that you are there to stay, and not carrying an attitude about the way you used to do things, as opposed to how you do things now, people really do cut you a lot of slack as you catch up. Being open about the fact that you came up in a branch dojo and don't know everything goes a long way too. Just train hard, listen, and learn.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-01-2006, 10:34 AM   #25
Nick Simpson
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Re: What's in a belt?

White until black, hakama at first kyu (if you get it awarded to you). The kyu grades do have a colour attached to them, we just dont wear a coloured belt

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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