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Old 03-01-2006, 10:36 AM   #26
James Davis
 
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Dojo: Ft. Myers School of Aikido
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
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
Same with us, except anyone can wear hakama.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:38 AM   #27
Michael Zartman
Dojo: Three Streams Aikido/Twinsburg, Ohio
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Re: What's in a belt?

In the late 1970's, at my ASU dojo, the understanding was white until black and then white again (if you were Doshu), and hakama when you could take a high breakfall with ease (usually 3rd kyu). In the late 1980's, at my Aikikai dojo, the understanding was white until black, except if you were specifically asked by the sensei to wear brown only for teaching before shodan rank--hakamas for yudansha (or brown while teaching). In the late 1990's, at my ASU dojo, the understanding was white until black--hakamas were worn by anyone who wanted to do so, all yudansha did. Now, in the mid 2000's, my independent dojo uses colored belts, but permits white until black if preferred by the student. Most of us are (relatively) older, including our sensei, and we do not usually wear hakamas (unless there are special guests) because we get too hot and sweaty and tend to trip and fall with brittle bones--one of our students is a coroner, and we are afraid to give him any business. Actually, our aikido classes are mixed with judo techniques and the hakamas just get in the way of the pain.
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:57 AM   #28
Robert Rumpf
Dojo: Academy of Zen and the Ways
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
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.
Its amazing how much other people having a positive perception of your attitude helps in terms of them being flexible to your needs and differences. Or how true the converse is, if they perceive you as having a bad attitude.

Sometimes, that perception is even related to what your attitude actually is with respect to this issue, and not just a reflection of their perception of your personality in general..
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:04 PM   #29
Berney Fulcher
Dojo: Roswell Budokan
Location: Marietta, Ga
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Re: What's in a belt?

We're white until Nikkyu, the Nikkyu, Ikkyu brown. No Hakama until black belt.

Quote:
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).
I remember having a visiting ASU dojo in house and doing a technique with a breakfall in it. I thought I had killed the hakama wearer. After class I mentioned to sensei that "that black belt couldn't fall that well", and getting the response "what black belt?". Assumptions get you every time
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:41 PM   #30
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
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
I was just trying to make a joke ;-p

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:47 PM   #31
batemanb
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Daniel Hulley wrote:
I was just trying to make a joke ;-p
so was I

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, 03:06 PM   #32
Dajo251
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Re: What's in a belt?

I know I just couldnt figure out how to add the smileys into the post it self....damn my untech savvey ness

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:07 PM   #33
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: What's in a belt?

I came from a school that didnt used a colored belt until shodan, my current school has colored belts, and I really have no idea what color I should be at 6th kyu but I will stick with my white belt that is fine by me

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:12 PM   #34
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: What's in a belt?

at 6th kyu, you can safely hide with a white belt
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Old 03-02-2006, 04:36 PM   #35
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: What's in a belt?

I have no qualms with it...infact I'd be perfectly happy with it until I hit shodan.

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:36 PM   #36
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Daniel Hulley wrote:
I know I just couldnt figure out how to add the smileys into the post it self....damn my untech savvey ness
Just hit the 'go advanced' button and voila loads of smilies at your disposal.

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:19 PM   #37
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: What's in a belt?

thankya

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:46 PM   #38
justinmaceachern
Dojo: St. george
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Re: What's in a belt?

There is nothing in a belt. It is just there to hold up your pants. "Dereck Gaudet" I think people get to involved with what it is a person is wearing around his\her waist.
Fear not the belt, but the one whoi earned it.
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Old 03-03-2006, 01:47 PM   #39
bratzo_barrena
Dojo: Aikido Goshin Dojo
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Re: What's in a belt?

For what I've seen different associations/dojos have different ideas about the use of belt/hakama: white till black, different colors for different grades, hakama when shodan, anyone can use hakama, and so on.
What they all have in common is testing to 'earn' a degree.
I really don't agree with this testing. I don't consider that a one-day test can be used to evaluate your skills/improvement in Aikido. I think every class is a test and you just learn.
I specially don't agree with the testing system with the fact that almost no one ever fails the test, so you can see shodan, nidan, sandan, or higher degrees don't don't know what they do, and have less knowledge than a kyu grade (not all, but to many). But they passed the test...
I even find ridiculous that a teacher that watches his students all the time, all the classes, and--if he/she is a good teacher-- trains as uke and tori with them, needs one special day to see their students improvement.
Or this situation is worst, the sensei who comes once in a while, and who only watches the test and judges from watching. It doesn't matter how big a sensei one is, you can't judge just by looking.
Would be different if this sensei who comes once in a while trains with a person and then judges him or her. Then he/she can properly evaluate the student, but not from sitting in one corner and just looking at an exam.

So belts, degrees means nothing. What you do is what counts.
Now that I teach, I see three 'levels' (to call it some way):
1 you're just a student. (wearing white belt, because you have to wear something)
2 you're a student who teaches (at least one class), under the supervision of the "main" teacher of the dojo.
(wearing black belt and hakama)
3 You're ready to open your own dojo. (keep the black belt and hakama if you like. it's your dojo now. You make the rules)


I see my students every class, train with them every class (as uke and tori) and evaluate them every class. I won't need a special TEST/EXAM to see how are they doing. I'll see how they progress in every class.
When I consider he/she has achieved some advanced level, I'll ask him/her to teach at least one class in my dojo under my supervision. At that moment I'll also ask him/her to wear a black belt and a hakama. Once I consider he/she doesn't need my supervision to teach anymore, I'll let him/her know that under my judgment he/she is ready to open her own dojo.

Now in all these 3 'levels' you're always learning, even when you have your own dojo, you can learn from your students, from other instructors, from other students, from other arts. You never stop learning.

That's just my opinion

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor
Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral FL
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Old 03-03-2006, 02:58 PM   #40
Michael O'Brien
Dojo: Nashville Aikikai
Location: Nashville, Tn
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Bratzo Barrena wrote:
What they all have in common is testing to 'earn' a degree.
I really don't agree with this testing. I don't consider that a one-day test can be used to evaluate your skills/improvement in Aikido. I think every class is a test and you just learn.
I specially don't agree with the testing system with the fact that almost no one ever fails the test
So according to this policy we should stop all testing then, correct?

No need to ever test students in school because the teachers see the students every day and know their improvement, right? When they feel the student is ready they just tell them "Pack your bags and go to the next grade".

Testing allows teachers to see how students perform under a more stressful, on the spot, type of enviroment. Testing allows the teacher to evaluate how well a student has truly learned a technique by requiring the student to do something the student may not have had to perform in quite a while. Testing allows a teacher to evaluate how well a student truly understands and comprehends a technique by asking the student to perform the technique in a non-typical manner.

Testing has it faults and it isn't a perfect system by any means. Should it be abolished, not in my opinion.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:03 PM   #41
bratzo_barrena
Dojo: Aikido Goshin Dojo
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Re: What's in a belt?

MIKE,
and I respect your opinion.
Mine is just different.
Bratzo
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:01 PM   #42
Shoshin
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

White til Black. Centro de Difusión del Aikido de Argentina . Under YAMADA Yoshimitsu Shihan

Daniel "Shoshin" NEVES
Centro de Difusión del Aikido
Argentina
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Old 03-06-2006, 04:12 PM   #43
Michael O'Brien
Dojo: Nashville Aikikai
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Bratzo Barrena wrote:
MIKE,
and I respect your opinion.
Mine is just different.
Bratzo
Bratzo,
Being able to agree to disagree and go on with life as friends is what helps us all grow and learn.

If we were all identical life would become boring quickly.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:29 PM   #44
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: What's in a belt?

As far as what a belt means, it means what you want it to. As far as testing is concerned my sensei has found it very useful as a motivational tool for students to show up and train and while pursuing their goal of their next grade he always sees an improvement in their skill and abilities. At the same time rank isn't overly emphasized in our dojo - white until black and no lining up according to rank. I think the only time we do something by order of rank is when we practice jiyuwaza and that's only to determine who should go first and so someone junior can watch the seniors before it's their turn.

Also, what I've noticed the real "test" is sensei watching us getting ready to test, especially starting at the higher kyus and up. He only puts us up to test when he determines we are ready. The "test" is all the preparation we put into it, not the 5-10 minutes in front of Yamada Sensei or the 30-40 minutes for 1st kyu. Also, the thing is we have demonstrate our abilities in that short of a period of time. You don't have time to think about what to do. And I have seen people get failed.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:57 AM   #45
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
And I have seen people get failed.
Me too. Actually, I failed a test myself.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:01 AM   #46
bratzo_barrena
Dojo: Aikido Goshin Dojo
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Re: What's in a belt?

Just to clarify,
I wrote, and quote: "...almost no one ever fails the test,..."
I didn't say that everyone ALWAYS passes the test. So I have also seen a few people fail their tests, but the problem is that MOST people that pass the test are not ready, and don't have the technical skill to pass. At least from my point of view, which could be wrong for other people, but is my opinion.
This situation is even more troublesome from shodan up, where you see so may people not ready (technically, understanding of principles, madurity, etc..) to be a shodan or higher, but they pass the test anyway; thus so many high ranks with poor technique.
Also, I didn't say students should not be evaluated. I said evaluation is a process that begins on the first day of training. Every class, every technique should be an evaluation. Instructors should train with their students, as uke and tori, and evaluate his/her progress in every moment.
So if after, for example, 4 years of constant evaluation, in which the instructor have seen in every class the progress of a student, Why would it be necessary a 20-minutes, 30-minutes, or 1-hour test? You've evaluated him/her for 4 years, why would you need a test? I think you should already know what level/degree/rank (whatever you wanna call it) he/she is in.
Now the idea that a test puts 'pressure' on the student, and he/she needs to work under that 'pressure'. Which is true, but I think is a 'meaningless kind of pressure', just to show that you can comply with some 'requierements', but is not the kind of 'pressure' that is going to make you a better martial artist.
I think training, not with the goal of achieving a belt, or passing a test, or having a rank, just training to be better, wiithout expecting other kind of reward but the fact of improving your technique, and the fact taht some day you'll be ready to share what you have learned with others, that makes you a better martial artist.
But that's just my opinion.

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor
Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral, FL
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:27 AM   #47
James Davis
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Bratzo Barrena wrote:
I think training, not with the goal of achieving a belt, or passing a test, or having a rank, just training to be better, wiithout expecting other kind of reward but the fact of improving your technique, and the fact taht some day you'll be ready to share what you have learned with others, that makes you a better martial artist.
But that's just my opinion.
Mine, too.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:51 AM   #48
justinmaceachern
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Re: What's in a belt?

Ok guys a couple of things i dont agree with here. For one I dont think it is up to the instructor to advance aperson soley to keep them interested. What i mean is, an instructor is to pass on knowledge to a nother. It isnt his job to run around and say are you still interested, what could i do to make you more interested? A person is only going to be interested if they want. In the end it will always be the person showing interest. We should't put to much faith in a belt. We keep talking about belts the way western society does. Remember over seas you are still just a beginner at black belt. they dont put too much thought into what is a belt, and we shouldnt either. You should just be there to train.
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:58 PM   #49
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
to be a shodan or higher, but they pass the test anyway; thus so many high ranks with poor technique.
Shodans a relatively lowly rank isnt it? Beggining and all that?

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 03-07-2006, 01:21 PM   #50
Chris Li
 
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Re: What's in a belt?

Quote:
Justin MacEachern wrote:
Ok guys a couple of things i dont agree with here. For one I dont think it is up to the instructor to advance aperson soley to keep them interested. What i mean is, an instructor is to pass on knowledge to a nother. It isnt his job to run around and say are you still interested, what could i do to make you more interested? A person is only going to be interested if they want. In the end it will always be the person showing interest. We should't put to much faith in a belt. We keep talking about belts the way western society does. Remember over seas you are still just a beginner at black belt. they dont put too much thought into what is a belt, and we shouldnt either. You should just be there to train.
Just "being there to train" is a nice ideal, but how many people can do that right off the bat? My guess would be very few adults, and almost none of the children.

When my daughter went to public elementary school in Japan they awarded the children kyu ranks in the swimming classes. A big part of the rationale was to keep the children interested. Another part was to make a daunting task seem less formidable by breaking it down into bite sized chunks. They seemed to make both goals work pretty well, from what I could see.

Best,

Chris

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