For those who don't care for ranks

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by PhotonGuy, May 17, 2015.

  1. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    For people who don't care for belt ranks or any type of ranks in the martial arts or those who think that having a belt or rank as a goal is missing the point how about considering this, training in a style that doesn't use rank. Just a thought.
     
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  2. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    There is always rank whether belted or not. Anyway what is the point, people don't live up to you're standards?
     
  3. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    I for one did not chose a martial art on the basis of whether it had ranks or not.
     
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  4. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    Me neither. I chose Taekwondo because I like Taekwondo.
     
  5. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Quoted for truth.

    In my experience, those most concerned with belts are those with the least actual experience.
    I know for a fact I can go to the dojang in street clothes and it makes zero difference in how I am treated.
     
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  6. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    Another reason: as an instructor teaching large groups, I can easily split exercises by level.
     
  7. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I do that too. "Front leg double roundhouse. First to the waist, then the head. Greens belts and below can touch the foot to the floor between kicks if they need to."
     
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  8. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    When a person first starts Martial Arts, or has already started and is looking for a different school, or is looking to start training again after a considerable lay off, or is now living in a new area and looking to continue training - they are all limited to what is actually around them - and that they can realistically get to on a regular basis.

    I don't think the idea of belts or no belts will be something most would factor in.
     
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  9. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow, you sure seem pretty fixated on rank. Belts, levels, colored shirts, whatever....all it is, is a method of giving the student a visual idea as to where they are. While it should also be an indication of skill, sadly, in many cases, it is not. I've seen some upper belts, ie: green, brown, even black, that certainly don't perform to that level.

    My current teacher is very old school, very traditional. You don't put out in class, you don't show up for class, you don't show signs of improvement, you're not getting a new belt...period! It's that simple. All of his students, especially the higher ranks, are worthy of the rank they have on.
     
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  10. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Exactly! Neither did I. :)
     
  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Is this a statement we are supposed to agree with or are you going to report us for taking it 'off topic' if we express a different opinion?
     
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  12. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Okay, time for bluntness again.

    PG… with all your posts about this topic (over and over and over again…), I honestly don't think you have any firm grasp on what rank actually is, or what it relates to. You seem to want to apply a single template to every art, thinking rank is the same thing in all arts (when applied)… and frankly, all that tells me is that you don't have any real understanding of the topic in the first place.

    Rank is individual to the system/organisation/school. The achievement and application of rank is only applicable in that context. It is as important as the system makes it, and has relevance only as pertaining to the way that system chooses to apply relevance. It's not about skill, it's not about experience, it's not about time, it's not about knowledge, it's not about spirit, it's not about courage, it's not about growth and development, it's not about dedication… except it could be about any and/or all of them.

    But, to give you some idea, typically, in traditional systems, rank was used to indicate a position within a hierarchy of a school (not skill)… the idea of skill-based rank came about later (most notably with Judo and competitive systems).

    The point is that there is no single concept of "rank"… there is no single idea of it's importance… so I'm going to make a suggestion here, along the lines of your own.

    Don't worry about what any other arts or practitioners do with regards to rank. You think it's important.. great. You were concerned about when you would get your black belt… fine. But here's the thing… your personal concept of rank is just that… yours. It's applied within your school, and your school alone. It represents absolutely nothing outside of your school. It applies to absolutely nothing outside of your school. It has no relevance outside of your school.

    So… when you think you've come up with yet another suggestion for how everyone should behave and think… don't. Recognise that your situation is only yours… telling people what they should or shouldn't do, according to your limited understanding of what's going on, isn't something you're in a position to do.
     
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  13. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I think Chris' comment is absolutely fair. It also applies to my opinion about rank. It is only my opinion, and is only valid within the context of KKW TKD in my dojang.

    I would still say that a preoccupation with rank is damaging to true progress in martial arts, regardless of the art. I can support that view, but that is just my opinion.

    When all is said, PG, you are still absolutely free to do and say whatever you like regarding rank. We might not agree, but I would hope that you afford the same right to freedom of opinion to me as I do to you.

    Discussion and difference of opinion is healthy and helps us to understand all sides of an issue.

    Try a thought experiment to determine what really motivates you...3 situations as follows:

    A club that does not use rank of any kind and just trains hard, and will turn you into a quality martial artist.

    A club that doesn't actually train martial arts well, but will give you a belt to wear and the accompanying status in the club hierarchy if you stick around long enough.

    A club that will make you into a quality martial artist, but also does not use a belt ranking system. They do award praise and hierarchical status in other ways, though.

    Which of these clubs would you prefer to attend? What is it that attracts you so much to conversations about rank? Is it the skill, the praise and status, or the belt itself that you are fixated on?

    Just to clarify: if rank were nothing to me, would I have bothered to progress? Rank is useful for structure and for instructors, but not as a status symbol. At least not for me. Just my opinion.
     
  14. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    When I got out of the military I had attained the rank of Sergeant. Went to work with for a security company and my rank meant nothing even though my experience and skills were superior to the person who was my supervisor. Rank attained was of little value elsewhere. In time with them I gained a higher level of ranking. I left that job having gone back to school and began working with a different company where I again started as the new guy (my previous 'rank' again meant nothing within this company). Rank means only what it means to you and the particular school, group, company, etc that has given it to you and nothing more.
     
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  15. zzj

    zzj Blue Belt

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    OP's obsession with the topic of ranks is more telling than anything else.
     
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  16. Zero

    Zero Master Black Belt

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    You just took this post off-topic : )
     
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  17. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    if a person can not go into any school and have all the students, instructors, etc. take off their belts and preform through out class and be able to tell who is higher rank than their is something wrong or different in the grading system. All schools have a ranking system of some sort and those with the most experience and knowledge should be able to be seen even by a novice by they way they preform if they wear rank or not.
     
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  18. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Why would I care if people live up to my standards or not with this?
     
  19. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think it's more of a crutch for the instructor to assign adequate exercises without pulling files out.
    Much fun when you have from greens through black everything present!
     
  20. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    There are some really good styles out there that don't use rank beyond instructor/student. The style of JKD was created by Bruce Lee and I believe it does not have rank. Also styles such as Muai Thai, western boxing, certain forms of wrestling, and other styles don't use rank.

    Anyway, if you are training in a style that does use rank and you don't care about rank, staying at a low rank for too long can cause complications. At high ranks its not such a problem but at low ranks it can cause complications with your training.
     

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