A school without rank belts: would you train there?

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

  1. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,378
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've also had the book for decades, which is why I clarified Mattson Sensei's true point being made, which incidentally goes directly to the original topic at hand. See post #72 for clarification.


    So are you saying that Master Uechi lacks maturity in the arts, because it was he who apparently told Mattson Sensei: "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."


    Incorrect. Mattson Sensei says that in the past 1957, 58, two students did not wear belts that reflected their rank but "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."


    Is Gorman Sensei your Uechi Ryu teacher? When did you train with him? I ask because he has a webpage for his school, and everyone seems to be wearing gi and belts.

    http://jitekijyuku.ning.com/


    You might wish to do the same, so you can understand the original topic and why the complete passage from Mattson Sensei's book is relevant to that.


    I'm glad that you feel you can teach both Al and I much in the area of self defense. Unfortunately, the topic isn't self defense, but rather whether the wearing of rank belts which show one's rank is important or not. To that, I leave you with Mattson Sensei's words on that topic:

    "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." -- Sensei George Mattson
     
  2. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,378
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Maybe in the past, but not since 1974 when Mattson Sensei's book was published. The book is 492 pages long, and in the overwhelming majority of the photos, the students are wearing uniforms and belts. But over and above that, there is the quote from Mattson Sensei's book which tell us Master Uechi's wishes on the matter.

    "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 Uechi Ryu, the bottom line would be if you are going to listen to Master Uechi's wishes on the matter, as told to us by Mattson Sensei in his book, or not.
     
  3. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Longboat Key over looking Sarasota Bay, at least u
    :)
     
  4. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Longboat Key over looking Sarasota Bay, at least u
    Puunui, thank you posting this quote. The more I read it, and I am sure the more others read it, the more they will begin to see the value of wearing the uniform and belt. After time, and hopefully inspired by intelligence, those who wear the uniform will search out and begin to understand the profound philosophy of the East inherent in the uniform and belt. After more time, and serious training in the uniform and belt hopefully they will find the application of that philosophy which is inherent in their uniform and belt applies directly to the technique they are learning.

    Martial arts is not just about technique, it's about everything else that goes with martial arts and I am happy to see that Uechi Sensei, and disciples agree.
     
  5. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,472
    Likes Received:
    268
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    Olney, Maryland
    Necessity it may not be, but as I said, it is appropriate. I suspect that if I taught kendo in a Speedo, I'd have no takers. I may wear the garment well, but people would not accept it. Even if Musashi himself had worn one, I'd have no takers.

    Regardless of how it was in the olden days before belts, we have to deal with how it is now, regardless of how we may feel about it.

    What is an opinion? What he said or that he said it? It is not my opinion that that is what he said (Mastercole, if I have misrepresented you in my paraphrase, please say so). It is of course how he feels about a taekwondo school where belts are not worn. It isn't a question of right or wrong, or even of fact. It is factual that that is how he feels.

    Nor did he indicate that it did.

    I would be hesitant to train in a kendo school where nobody wore a hakama. Not because of the training level but because in kendo, the hakama is appropriate attire. Also, the pleats in the hakama each represent one of the virtues of kendo. The purpose of kendo stated by the ZNKR makes it clear that kendo is not about being a better swordsman but about being a better person who can contribute to the collective humanity and promote peace between the people of the world. Thus the symbolism of the attire becomes more important.

    I think, and again, Mastercole can correct me if I am off base, that his reason for not training in such a place is similar to why I would be reticent to train in a kendo school with no hakama.

    All fine and good, but if you, Glenn, and Master Cole wish to debate the historicity of Uechi Ryu Karate attire, please start a thread on the subject in the appropriate section.

    There is no historical significance to this topic: I started the topic at a time when there was a lot of heat regarding belts going on in other threads. All of the arts that currently use belts use them for various reasons. But the question is, 'Would YOU (the reader) train at a school that either displays no rank whatsoever, or one that only differentiates between kyu/geub grades and dan grades?' There is no right or wrong answer.:)

    Of course not; if you're not the person up front directing the class, you are not sensei. Nor has anyone on this thread, near as I can tell, suggested that a lack of belt would be needed to tell who is sensei and who is not.

    There are plenty of arts where belts are not utilized and everyone knows who the instructor is. But.... to train or not to train at such a place?

    That is the question.

    :)
     
  6. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Longboat Key over looking Sarasota Bay, at least u
    Exactly. The dobok symbolically relates directly to our philosophical study, and, directly to our physical techniques. Of course one would have to understand Taekwondo to know that, like I never knew that about Kendo until you mentioned it.
     
  7. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,378
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't really wish to debate that, although I do believe that Master Uechi's thoughts (as described by Mattson Sensei) does fit the original subject about rank belts and how one should feel about them. That's why I thought it was strange that Kong Soo Do would choose to omit the end part of that passage, since it was directly on point. That's all.
     
  8. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    328
    Trophy Points:
    143
    If Daniel will permit me a moment to address my Uechi Ryu reference, I feel that it does relate to the topic. First Glenn, you're not understanding the point I've made in regards to the experience Mattson Sensei had in Okinawa. What I quoted was a factual event. This factual event relayed information that many practitioners (as evident by the story he relayed as well as multiple photos in multiple books on and about Uechi Ryu) did not put much stock in wearing full or traditional uniforms or wearing a belt or even the correct belt. The quote from Mattson Sensei that you followed with was his personal opinion, one that is not supported by fact. As I relayed, I've trained in several Uechi Ryu dojos as it is very similar to Pangainoon, with the exception of the five katas later added by Uechi Kannei Sensei. Since I was there personally, I can relay firsthand information that disputes Mattson Sensei's opinion. We quite often did not wear the full uniform, nor our rank belts. This is simply, as I've stated, factual firsthand information from someone there. So the mindset that the training was primary and attire a non-consideration carried on from Okinawa to many of the dojos here in the west. I cannot authoratatively speak for every Uechi Ryu dojo, but I can speak authoratatively on the ones I have trained in which include several of the most senior Uechi Ryu instructors in the U.S.

    This lends itself to the topic of this thread. The senior Uechi practitioners that I've trained with, as well as those I've talked with are very serious martial artists. Anyone that knows them will attest to this fact. Yet they don't often wear the unform/belt and this translates to their students and those that train with them. I was often without my belt and top during training, more often than with it.

    Now to link it with the OP question of training without rank belts at all; there is no legitimate reason not to train there. Many of the seniors in Okinawa began their training prior to Uechi Kannei Sensei adopting the Dan/Kyu system in 1954. And they were serious martial artists. They did not require rank belts to be serious martial artists. That came later, and still wasn't needed to be a serious martial artist. I feel that comments such as;

    ...shows a priority on having rank and wearing it for all to see, than the actual training in and of itself. No disrespect intended towards the person I've quoted. But I have to seriously consider the mindset and priorties of someone that would pass on training, that in his own words is 'great' for the sole reason that belts aren't used. The use, or non-use in no way indicates the level of training, and if the training is 'great' then it would be a high level school anyway.

    So with this in mind, I stand by my comments and original statement that a serious martial artists would train at a school that has 'great' training for the training itself without regard to whether or not they would/could/should wear a particular colored piece of cloth around their waste.

    That is my professional opinion, with respect.
     
  9. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    328
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Not to mention the possibility of blood born pathagens.
     
  10. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,472
    Likes Received:
    268
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    Olney, Maryland
    I guess that it depends on what you mean by 'legitimate reason.' If I am truly bothered by the lack of belts, for whatever reason, and am clear about that if asked about the school, that is legitimate, though it may be a trivial reason in the eyes of some.

    It would not be a legitimate reason to speak negatively of the school.

    I refuse to buy an imported vehicle or a vehicle of foreign brand that is manufactured in the states. I will not recommend an imported vehicle or a vehicle of foreign brand that is manufactured in the states to others either.

    If asked why I recommend against purchasing a Mercedes, I will tell them that I do not believe in buying foreign made goods or from foreign companies when our own industry is suffering so greatly. Yes, a Mercedes is a great car. But I am legimately against purchase of imported vehicles when domestic vehicles are just as good and we have thousands of people out of work. And in making my recommendation against a Mercedes, I am telling you my legitimate reason for such counsel.

    It would not be legitimate if I were to recommend against the Mercedes on the basis that it is a bad car. That would be not be legitimate because it is simply not true.
     
  11. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    328
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Fair enough :)
     
  12. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,378
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What part of this quote do you not understand?

    "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." -- Sensei George Mattson



    You mentioned one senior, Sensei Frank Gorman, but visiting his webpage, it seems everyone is wearing a uniform and belt.

    http://jitekijyuku.ning.com/

    Anyone else you care to mention?

    PS: I believe that UECHI Kanei Sensei spells his first name with only one n. You've spelled it "Kannei" several times, which leads me to believe that it wasn't a typo.
     
  13. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    328
    Trophy Points:
    143
    I understand it in its entirety, which is why I don't understand why you don't. One part is a factual event. The other part is an opinion, unsupported by fact. You're clinging to the unsupported opinion to provide evidence for your position. This is faulty logic. It cannot be explained to you any clearer than what I've tried to do several time Glenn.

    And you don't realize the difference between a photo op and actual training during a normal class session? I've trained firsthand in a Uechi Ryu dojo Glenn, I can therefore relay how we trained as well as relay how other Uechi Ryu practitioners trained. One of which is a Sgt. and former academy student of mine that trained under Rick Martin Sensei, whom I also know and have trained with. If some schools wear a uniform in class, or for a photo op, it does not take away from the points that I've made. One does not need uniforms or belt rank for serious training to occur.

    And I've seen it Kanei and Kannei, I've seen Kammei and Kamei (the grandson). If it will make you happy, I'll use Kanei. Because I want you to be happy :)
     
  14. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,378
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, let's look at it then:

    "Today, however, students wear their belts proudly and would not think of working out without one." This is a fact.

    "The Uechi-ryu Karate Association now issues a ceremonial belt along with a Shodan diploma. " This is a fact.

    "Master Uechi explained to me that the ratings should be important to a student, and should be worn with pride." This is a fact. It is not Mattson Sensei's opinion that ratings are important and should be worn with pride, it is Master Uechi's teachings. Now if you are saying that Uechi Ryu students all over the world disregard Master Uechi's instructions on the matter, then that is another thing.


    Not in that webpage, no. Looks like they are in class. Why would he advertise that on his school webpage if that isn't how it is?
     
  15. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Longboat Key over looking Sarasota Bay, at least u
    It's just more Orwellian double speak, similar to "our grandmaster is a member of the WTF, but, we don't like sport martial arts" when if fact the so-called grandmaster was NEVER a member of the WTF. On top of that the WTF's only function is to run competitions for Taekwondo - Sports! LOL!

    That's why I would never train, or recommend anyone ever train in a school that did not have uniforms and belts, did not maintain relationships with their seniors and hid away in their own little "Village" (see the movie), then for double speak, see the movie 1984, or better yet read the book.
     
  16. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    328
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Sigh...

    Once again, this is an opinion. One that is not supported by fact. I have given you firsthand information that belts (as well as full uniforms) are not worn in class at all, or the majority of the time in the Uechi Ryu dojos I have personally trained in that are run by Uechi Ryu seniors. As such, we did train without one, as did the seniors. As did seniors in Okinawa after the implementation of the Dan/kyu system. Accept it or not. I'm not going to go any further with this as it is getting rather silly.

    Bottom line, those that would never train in a school that did not have uniforms and belts (where the training is great) are not serous martial artists. I truly feel sorry for them and more so, I pity their students.
     
  17. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,472
    Likes Received:
    268
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    Olney, Maryland
    I don't know; I have no dog in this race, but you kind of furnished the source, so how can you say that it is opinion?
     
  18. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    328
    Trophy Points:
    143
    I honestly don't see how you can see that it isn't an opinion. Okay, one more time for grins. Mattson Sensei stated;

    So according to the quote, students WOULD NEVER THINK OF WORKING OUT WITHOUT ONE. Now, I am telling you, FIRST HAND BECAUSE I HAVE ACTUALLY, IN REAL LIFE, TRAINED IN TWO UECHI RYU DOJOS AND KNOW OF A THIRD, JUST IN MY AREA, RUN BY UECHI RYU SENIORS THAT CONDUCTED TRAINING WITHOUT WEARING THEIR FULL UNIFORM AND WITHOUT WEARING BELTS AND THE STUDENTS DIDN'T WEAR A FULL UNIFORM OR BELT EITHER. I have seen photos of real workouts in other schools as well as discussions with REAL PEOPLE THAT REALLY TRAINED IN REAL UECHI RYU DOJOS THAT DIDN'T WEAR A FULL UNIFORM OR BELT IN THE WORKOUT.

    So, it would appear that Mattson Sensei's statement, as much as I respect him, is NOT FACTUAL, IS NOT A FACTUAL HAPPENING IN REAL LIFE IN UECHI RYU DOJOS THAT I AM PERSONALLY AWARE OF ON THIS PLANET. Therefore, since it isn't a factual statement...it is not fact. Therefore it is an opinion. Opinions don't need to be based upon facts, though it would be nice if they were.

    Someone could state that the sky has pink polka dots and purple ribbons but one glance upwards at a blue sky will show this isn't factual. Someone can state students in an art ALWAYS WEAR THEIR UNIFORMS AND BELTS AND WOULD NOT THINK OF WORKING OUT WITHOUT THEM but glancing into a school/schools were the seniors and students aren't wearing them during the workout would show this isn't factual.

    Has this been cleared up? Seriously, has this been cleared up? Do we really need to fill the thread with more commentary on what is a factual event and what is an opinion that is not based upon fact?
     
  19. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,472
    Likes Received:
    268
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    Olney, Maryland

    First of all, do not shout at me. It is unnecessary and disrespectful.

    Secondly, I disagree with your perspective; seems pretty factual to me, if a bit of a generalization. Kind of like saying that 'nobody listens to disco anymore.' Yes, somebody does, but as a general rule, disco is out of date and it is not being consumed by the masses outside of a niche. Thus the statement is factual, but generalized.

    You see it differently, which is fine, as even experts can disagree (and I am no expert:)). As I said, I have no dog in this race.

    If you and Glenn wish to continue debating Uechi Ryu and it's uniform practices, I will ask again that one of you start a fresh thread, as the part of it that was related to the topic (that they trained without uniforms at one point and did just fine) has been touched on several pages back and at this point, its just you and Glenn going at it with each other again. Which is why I made that request in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  20. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    328
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Daniel, I was more than content to let it rest. You asked the question in post #97, I followed up with my answer. Don't ask a question if you don't want an answer. The caps weren't designed as a 'shout' but so the point(s) I was making would not be lost. Take it as you wish.

    This concludes my interest and/or involvement in this thread. I have stated my thoughts on the matter, and I have stood behind those thoughts. They may be taken or left as the individual desires. See you in some other thread, on some other topic.123
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

all in the trsin kochu is goibg tight

,

balintawak rank certificates