A school without rank belts: would you train there?

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by Daniel Sullivan, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    Oh, that is right, Hapkido. My Hapkido techniques would be limited to kick, punch, bite, blind, stab or shoot, escape, etc. which ever chance best presented itself. I always wear loose comfortable and light clothes, never anything tight or heavy, so it's a moot point.
     
  2. dortiz

    dortiz Black Belt

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    "bite, blind, stab or shoot, escape, etc."

    In my book those are most excellent techniques Sir : )
     
  3. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    With respect, it isn't a moot point. Do you ever wear a suit? A heavy jacket in the winter? How about your students? Do they ever wear a suit, dress, heavy jacket in the winter? Many things need to be seriously and thoughtfully considered when teaching SD in any martial art.

    Again, with respect, do you even know Hapkido? While MSK Kong Soo Do does indeed teach combat shooting, I haven't seen an Hapkido schools doing so. And while kick, punch, bite, blind, stab can be effective in some circumstances, you've eliminated a myriad of Hapkido techniques that are used for less-than-lethal altercations.
     
  4. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    Me too. I think training in street clothes is an overrated concern.


    I have never seen nor have I been a part of a taekwondo or hapkido dojang that did not have a rank structure. I went to a hapkido school where the students stopped wearing rank belts for some reason, but still everyone knew everyone's rank and still followed the protocols that are associated with rank and seniority.
     
  5. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    As far I am concerned you either are or are not a poom or dan holder. I don't really concentrate all that hard on the infinite minute differences between the different guep levels.
     
  6. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I don't wear jeans. I wear loose comfortable clothing in general. Right now I am wearing shorts and a t shirt.
     
  7. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    A lot of people don't realize that you have hapkido dan rank.


    Why would anyone wear anything else? The closest I come to wearing uncomfortable clothes is suits, but even those are comfortable. Every time I visit korea I get two custom made suits, which fit perfectly and therefore are extremely comfortable.
     
  8. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    My evil plan is to blend the various types of Korean martial arts and create my own style. I have come up with several names, but last night while at a hankuk-sik-dang, enjoying pap, panchan and podicha the name of this, the world's most effective self-defense, no sport based moo-do came to me, in the form of a deuk-paeki ~~~~ bibimpap! But I don't want sport, so no "do".

    So keeping with the variety of Korean soup, I will have to choose from the following. It will be a sort of Kajukempo name thing.

    Should it be "Bibimbap-sul"? I like sul because it covers the general - soupyness - of the full blended style and denotes skill. Maybe "Bibimbap-tang"? I like tang because because of it's formal, traditional Confucius sound, and tang from old tangsoodo. Or, "Bibimbap-kuk" because the style will be meaty, with substance, and because kuk comes from Kukkiwon. And possibly, "Bibimbap-Jjigae" because it will be a thick, spice killing art! and I like that Jjigae sounds like hitting!
     
  9. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I don't think the point is uncomfortable clothes, rather clothing that limits a persons range of motion. I understand your in shorts and a T-shirt in Hawaii, I am as well in Florida. But not everyone lives in a climate that allows shorts and a T-shirt in the winter. I understand that not everyone teaches from the perspective of SD, but those that don't should understand the perspective of those that do as well as the scope of the suggestions made and not automatically discard them due to personality conflicts. Professionals in the area of SD, whether it is a martial art or another type of SD system advocate, with verifiable justification, at least occasionally training in the clothing you are likely to be wearing if attacked outside the dojang.

    Some would do well to respect their seniors in this area, if not for their own sakes, for those that they may teach.
     
  10. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    Are you planning on adding techniques or training on how to defend yourself wearing tight street clothes or slippery shoes? I know you live in northern ohio and are facing snow right now but that doesn't seem to stop you from wearing comfortable clothes.
     
  11. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Used to be that jeans were much more restrictive, but now, they seem to be cut differently and I find little practical difference with regards to mobility and flexibility. Even my suits allow for kicking. Only the jacket is more restrictive.
     
  12. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Nor I, though eschewing rank is not within the scope of this thread; only the subject of belts for the purpose of displaying one's rank, whatever it may be.

    This is what I was talking about. We do not wear them in kendo either, but likewise, everyone knows who is who and who is senior to whom.
     
  13. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    Yes, it is very snowy and ice here. I was thinking to organize those techniques into 3 special kata; Kochujang Chodan, Eedan, and samjang (paste). The idea is these kata have bunkai of how to counter attack an attackers - attack, while wearing super tight jeans, especially painfully tight in the crotch area forcing one to walk and stand in a wide, stable stance, and with slick bottom shoes and a huge Alaskan Esskimo Parka. The bunkai has it roots in ancient Koreans use of kochujang hot pepper paste for soups and bibimbap (name of my style). The idea is to get the hot spices kochujang paste in their eyes, or even in warm weather, you attack the kochu with the kochujang. Yeooooweee!
     
  14. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    Here is the actual quote from Mattson Sensei's book: "When I was studying on Okinawa in 1957 or 58, often I would be working out or sparring with obviously very strong, advanced students who wore white belts. Later my instructor informed me they had fifth degree black belt ratings. They just never got around to getting a black belt and they just didn't think wearing one would improve their workout. Today, however, students wear their belts proudly and would not think of working out without one. The Uechi-ryu Karate Association now issues a ceremonial belt along with a Shodan diploma. Master Uechi explained to me that the ratings should be important to a student, and should be worn with pride."

    You omitted the back end of the quote, which is the point Mattson Sensei is trying to make, that "Today, however, students wear their belts proudly and would not think of working out without one. The Uechi-ryu Karate Association now issues a ceremonial belt along with a Shodan diploma. Master Uechi explained to me that the ratings should be important to a student, and should be worn with pride." In that regard, your paraphrase of the beginning of Mattson Sensei's quote from his 1974 book is misleading.


    Incorrect. When Funakoshi Sensei went to Japan in 1922, he went as a 5th Dan. When he demonstrated in Japan he wore a white gi and black belt. There is a picture of him demonstrating techniques in the June 3, 1922 issue of the Nichinichi Shinbun newspaper, in which he and his partner are wearing white gi and black belts. And in his book, Toude Jutsu, published in 1922, Funakoshi Sensei is again wearing a white gi and black belt, demonstrating techniques. Funakoshi Sensei did award shodan to his first students in 1924, after about 18 months of training. Perhaps that is what you are thinking about.
     
  15. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    History looks a lot different when one takes a complete and accurate look at it :)
     
  16. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I've had the book for decades so I'm familiar with the quote, which is why I added it to the discussion. And unfortunately in your haste to cut and paste a retort you've once again missed the point. To properly train, one needs proper training. A belt and uniform are not needed as is evident from what I quoted, martial history and common sense. They are a modern addition that add nothing to the training itself. It is unfortunate that some can't see beyond them however. I see this as a lack of maturity in the arts.

    By the way, Mattson Sensei offers a factual statement and then follows it up with an opinion. The factual part is that in Okinawa they would very often not wear uniforms or belts (there are photos in the book we've both referenced above). The opinion that follows is that belts are always worn in today's training. This is an incorrect opinion, not based upon fact. I have trained in a modern Uechi Ryu dojo as it is technically equivalent to Pangainoon in skill sets and 3 of the 8 kata. Frank Gorman Sensei is an 8th Dan in Uechi Ryu and most often did not train or teach in a full uniform or with a belt. In fact, outside of photos, I've never seen Gorman Sensei in a full uniform or wearing his belt. This translated to his students as well. I would suggest that if your going to hunt around for a quote for a quick retort that you do a little more research into the art in question. Or better yet, don't make a hasty retort like you're trying to score points. Read what is offered by me and others and thoughtfully consider it even if you may not initially agree or if it differs from what you've done.

    For someone to say they wouldn't train in a TKD school, even if the training was great, because they didn't wear uniforms and belts is a demonstration of mixed priorities. You both may want to thoughtfully consider rereading this thread in its entirety and learning from it.

    As far as clothing, no one said anything about uncomfortable clothing except you and Al. And once again, you've allowed the personality conflict you and Al have towards me to interfere with your ability to learn from someone who could teach you much in the area of SD. This is a shame.

    With respect intended.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  17. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I don't know. I would be hesitant to train at a taekwondo school that didn't utilize the traditional dobok and dde.

    It isn't that the attire isn't important, but that it is the appropriate attire for the environment. Mastercole also explicitly said why; he felt that if they dropped the uniform that it signaled other potential problems, not that the uniform itself was a priority.

    It is kind of like going to a wedding or a funeral and wearing jeans and a tee-shirt. The attire does not inherently alter the occasion, but it is the appropriate attire, and would raise questions about one's judgement, deserved or not.
     
  18. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I respect your opinion Daniel, even in disagreement. Let me touch on a couple of points you brought up;

    It isn't appropriate for the environment out of necessity, but of what has come to be expected. Referencing the book that both I and Glenn have quoted from, one can see Uechi Kannei Sensei (and senior students) in the short pants (akin to a type of adult diaper worn there because of the hot climate) on pages 10, 11, 12 and others. We can see just the bottoms in more pages than I can list. Most of the kata demonstrations by Uechi Kannei Sensei are in just the pants. In fact, you only see him in full uniform and belt in a few photos throughout the entire book and those are photo op pictures and not training pictures. Sanchin kata is never trained in full uniform, particularly when it is part of the promotional testing portion. He was far more senior than anyone in the Korean arts, the same with all of Uechi Kanbun Senei's senior students. This is how they trained on a regular basis.

    GM Dunn, who originally received his first BB on Okinawa rarely wears a uniform and belt. At our annual seminar coming up it is a running joke among those of us in the TAC if he'll be wearing one :)

    The bottom line is that it is a nicety, but by no means a necessity.

    This is an opinion, not fact. Not wearing a particular outfit in no way, shape or form indicates the level of the training. As evident from my commentary on Uechi Ryu and the seniors in that art (and others to be sure), they rarely wore a full uniform and that philosophy was passed down to others that became seniors. Rather than 'signaling other potential problems' as he surmises, it may signal a move that training is priority and uniforms and rank symbols aren't. It may signal that one's skill is directly related to what they can do and teach rather than what is on their waist or what type of uniform (if any) is worn.

    Not patting myself on the back (so it should not be taken as such please), when I had a commercial school I had students coming from the surrounding four counties to receive training with me. I very rarely wore a uniform, the same with them. We trained exactly as I have described in various threads such as my Self-defense Training Methodology. These included high liability professionals as well as private citizens. They were there for what I offered, not for what they could wear. Now that I teach privately, I still don't wear a uniform and I have to actually turn down new students due to lack of time. I offer to put them on a waiting list and they accept. To me, and this is my own personal/professional opinion and no offense intended to anyone, that is proper training mind set. If one needs a particular uniform and a particular belt to be able to train then they are there for entirely the wrong reason.

    Of all the people that I taught while not wearing a uniform...no one ever had to wonder who the 'Sensei' was in the school. When a new student walked into the school, they never wondered who the Sensei was or the level of skill the other students had. It was evident by watching them train.
     
  19. cushingkungfu

    cushingkungfu White Belt

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    Not sure about Belts, but Sashes are important.
    The color matters not, and My Sifu in fact did not use a ranking system for the first couple of years I was with him, we were all students and we knew our Si-Hing's and Si-Di's without the need for color on the belts.
    However, Like I said, the Sashes were important. Hung Gar (and many other arts) use a dynamic tension type breathing in training which puts a great deal of pressure on the intestines. The sash serves the purpose of holding your intestines in place during training.
     
  20. Twin Fist

    Twin Fist Grandmaster

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    dont be biting attackers if you dont know where they have been, thats nasty ....lol123
     

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