black belt purchase

Discussion in 'Karate' started by ahmad abou taleb, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've been thinking the same thing. I can't quite grasp it from the OP's comments, but it's not that different from situations many people here deal with, as far as the money. If the instructor's actually saying the physical belt costs $300, that's beyond weird. If it's the belt grade that costs $300 (filing fees, after-the-fact testing fees, etc.), then that's not all that unusual.
     
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  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    What about street belts?

    [​IMG]

    So you can show your black beltness off everywhere.

    Anyway looking isami. They do make a pretty belt.

    [​IMG]

    But according to the web site you cant buy them. You have to go through your school.
     
  3. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Anybody can buy any belt of any color they want including a black belt. However, that's not earning it.
     
  4. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    I wholeheartedly agree.
     
  5. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    To the OP you could check out awma.com as they sell all sorts of martial arts supplies including belts.
     
  6. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    That's what I said
     
  7. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    But thats not what he is saying.

    The instructor charges $300 for the belt that he awards because the belt is expensive. He wants to purchase the black belt and give it to the the instructor to award to him after the text to save money.
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    And if the $300 is truly just for the belt (cost of the belt), then that is reasonable. If, as I suspect (but do not know), there are other fees built in there, rather than charging for the testing and filing, those fees would still be necessary. It's something the student needs to take up with the instructor before he goes looking for somewhere else to purchase a belt.

    If the belt is, in fact, very expensive, the instructor ought (in my opinion, for what that's worth) to have an alternative available for students who don't want a $300 belt. Mine cost me about $40. It has no embroidery, because we don't typically use that. I bought it myself (we had a common belt that was used for BB promotions, then you swapped it out for your own after that class), because that's how we did it.
     
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  9. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I'll give the benefit of the doubt here. I'll assume the OP's friend has passed his shodan test, and can't afford the physical belt from his instructor and is therefore looking for an alternative. I'll also assume the instructor is fine with it.

    Isami is THE Kyokushin brand. Mas Oyama was reportedly friends with the head/founder of Isami and they developed the specifics for Kyokushin gis and belts together. If you see someone wearing a Kyokushin gi or belt, there's a 99% chance (not literally, although it seems that way) it's made by Isami. From what I understand, Choke Sports is the international distributor of Isami.

    Now here's the issue...
    After Mas Oyama's death in 1994, Kyokushin has splintered heavily. His last will and testament have been contested since the day it surfaced. It's been through the Japanese court system since, and still is. One of the most recent rulings was Oyama's daughter is the rightful holder of the Kyokushin trademark and kanji. Anyone using that has to (rightfully) pay royalties. Isami/Choke Sports will no longer sell stuff with Kyokushin kanji to the general public; they'll only sell it to authorized purchasers. Hence why the OP's friend is having a hard time. Going through the instructor keeps the appropriate channels of copyright/trademark intact. The instructor probably has to order it through his IKO, adding middlemen.

    I know several families from Lebanon, including my father and his siblings were all born and raised there. People want to go back and visit, but they all say the cost of everything has skyrocketed the last few years and no one can comfortably afford to do anything there. The $300 price for the belt itself seems like a case of that.

    To the OP - buy a black belt locally or online, find a local embroiderer, bring your belt, and have the embroiderer copy the kanji on the proper side, and have his name in kanji on the other side.
     
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  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    When this sort of thing happens people look for ways of making money to top up wages so I imagine the instructor could well be trying to make money. I wouldn't blame him in that situation but it's hard on the students.
     
  11. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Could also be the instructors parent organization and that the cost of the "belt" is the physical belt + association fees to register and make it official.
     
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  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    That's what I was trying to say earlier. I think you said it more clearly.
     
  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Just doing a little research, an Isami F-700 (Kyokushin's favorite) with one stripe (shodan) is about $65 USD. Add $4 per kanji character, and there's a lot of those, let's say 20 characters between the organization name and the karateka name, and you're talking $145 USD. Taxes, duties, shipping, exchange rates, etc. all thrown in there, and the $300 doesn't seem so astronomical. Excessive, yes, but not completely absurd.

    I've seen videos of their belts being made. Isami hand embroiders, and embroiders before the belt is all sewn together. The belt is about as handmade as it gets with today's technology. And they're made in Japan.

    I think it's hard to justify the cost of Kyokushin black belts. My reason why is that they get a new one at every dan promotion. At the higher dan ranks it obviously takes longer, but shodan to nidan is typically 2 years minimum, and nidan to sandan is typically 3 years minimum. If I'm spending $300 for a black belt, I want to wear it at every dan grade; just add a stripe. One of the reasons why I love Seido so much - you get promoted to the next dan rank, and they take your belt and add a stripe instead of giving you a new belt. The old belts have character IMO.
     
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  14. Human Makiwara

    Human Makiwara Yellow Belt

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    We were awarded standard black belts on test day. Same make as all the other kyu rank belts. There was an option for the Shureido belt if you so desire. $$$ I absolutely love mine.
     
  15. Human Makiwara

    Human Makiwara Yellow Belt

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    That cost breakdown is about right. We don't have to get a new belt each Dan in Uechi. So mine will be with me for a while.

    I never wear the actual black belt I was awarded. It's brand new. My Shureido it starting to wear through a little.
     
  16. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    Or it gets stolen.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Or that's just the expectation (none of my NGA instructors actually provided them - we all bought our own).
     
  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Or if it doesn't fit anymore.
    Or in a friend's case when it burned in his house fire.
     
  19. jim777

    jim777 Master Black Belt

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    Do you study at the Honbu?
    Do you study at the Seido honbu on 23rd St? :)
     
  20. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    No. I study at Adirondack Seido outside Albany, NY.

    Do you train at honbu?
     

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