Getting back into it.

Discussion in 'Karate' started by jsbrown205, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. jsbrown205

    jsbrown205 White Belt

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    Hello all. New member here and wanted to get a feel for how others felt about getting back into karate after a long hiatus.

    I studied into my early 20s and earned by Shodan in Goju Ryu under an affiliate Sensei under GM Tearney in upstate NY.

    Well, then life happened, joined the military, had a family, etc. I found myself grwing away from the art. Well no my kids are getting into it, and I feel the draw to get back into it. I am proud of the hard work I put in to earn by black belt, but I am not sure it is proper to claim it anymore. Is the off and on practicing on my own enough to keep the rank....should it be? Is not studying formally under a Sensei for ~15 years enough for me to strip myself of the rank and no longer claim it? I know I earned the belt, but also feel after being gone for so long, trying to put it back on is borderline fraudulent.

    Thoughts from the interwebs???
     
  2. Deafdude#5

    Deafdude#5 Green Belt

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    What style are you thinking of taking? Is it the same style that you studied before?

    Some schools will let you keep on the condition that you seriously train for a year with the intention of testing to “prove” your rank within that particular school.

    Or you could start over as a white belt but the instructor will see the difference in you.
     
  3. jsbrown205

    jsbrown205 White Belt

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    I am moving into BJJ. But the instructor trains in karate (Shotokan) as well, and holds a black belt in that as well. I have not found any goju schools around here to even attempt to formally get back into it. I have spoken with my instructor and he respects and recognizes my prior rank, and if engaging in karate training I am allowed to strap the black belt on. At BJJ class, I am a newbie white belt and will only wear that, as it should be.

    I was always told once a black belt, always a black belt. Whether or not it is recognized at another school is a different story. I guess it was my own insecurities after being gone for so long if I should even really consider myself a black belt any longer.
     
  4. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Welcome to MartialTalk, Jsbrown.

    Glad to hear you're back into training. :)
     
  5. dvcochran

    dvcochran 3rd Black Belt

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    Always, always look back on your past accomplishments and be respectably proud or them. They are your past and, if needed, something to look back on and motivate you back to get back to that place. A BB can never be taken away. Be up front with your potential instructor and let him know your level of experience. They should be able to communicate how they wish you to proceed. Personally, I would not be offended if putting on a white belt allowed me to work out with my children.
     
  6. jsbrown205

    jsbrown205 White Belt

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    Nope, I don't mind putting on a white belt again. Especially in a completely different style/environment. My karate Black belt is always there, but it means nothing as I learn a new art. BJJ is humbling to a point where you are like, "why is this so hard". I have found myself telling myself that I should be better at it because of my past training, but then I quickly remind myself the the vast see of difference between them. My daughter got a kick out of being the same class as me and watching me get my butt kicked.
     
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  7. jsbrown205

    jsbrown205 White Belt

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    Thanks. It has been a long time coming and I am enjoying it.
     
  8. Deafdude#5

    Deafdude#5 Green Belt

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    Oh yeah! Welcome!

    Have fun & good luck!
     
  9. CrazedChris

    CrazedChris Green Belt

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    Welcome. :)
     
  10. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Welcome to Martial Talk and back to training.
    Enjoy your journey. Train, have fun, share, have fun, work hard, have fun, be forever a student no matter what color belt or rank you attain.
     
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  11. jsbrown205

    jsbrown205 White Belt

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    For sure. They always told me black was the beginning. I didn’t know what they meant until I attained it. I always want to learn, although I don’t seem to pick things up as quick as I used to.


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  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Just think of it like starting a new style. I’m actively teaching and training, but if I went to that school, my rank wouldn’t matter. I’d start as a white belt with everyone else. And I’d prefer it that way. No pressure to perform, and it’s easy to impress if my previous training helps me progress faster.

    Edit: Now ai see that you are, in fact starting a new style. Same thought applies.
     
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  13. jsbrown205

    jsbrown205 White Belt

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    Yep. I am definitely a white belt. My black belt matter not there during Bjj class. There are some other karate practitioners that I might spar and such with to get some karate practice in outside of BJJ class.


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  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Don’t sweat the new belt and former belt. It was a long time ago. And you mentioned a few things I had in mind when I restarted.

    I trained from 18 - about 25 years old. I left because I was offered a graduate assistantship about 5 hours away from home. I was preparing to test for my 2nd dan in a Kyokushin karate offshoot when I got the offer, and had to leave before testing.

    I started dating my wife during grad school. Then I started my career, got married, relocated again, had 2 daughters, and moved back to my hometown. Almost 15 years later, the stars aligned just right and I was able to start training again. My former teacher closed his dojo near my home to focus on his dojo near his home. It’s about an hour away and his schedule doesn’t coincide with mine, so it was out of the question.

    My current teacher and my former teacher both had the same teacher, although my former teacher left that organization. The syllabi are about 90% identical to each other up to 2nd dan. I rememberd practically everything I learned previously.

    I started out as a white belt again. When I first inquired about training there, my current teacher told me I couldn’t wear my old belt because it wasn’t earned under the same organization. I told him I wanted to start over again from the beginning, as wearing my old belt wouldn’t be much more than a glorified Halloween costume at that point. We both chuckled.

    3.5 years later, and I’m a 2nd kyu (brown belt). I’ve been promoted to that rank a lot quicker than the norm (and took a few months off here and there while I had Lyme Disease), but I earned every promotion, although I was double promoted twice early on.

    I was chasing rank and had black belt on a pedestal during my first stint. This time around, all I care about is getting better. Been there, done that with trying to attain a rank that doesn’t change who I really am and what I’m really capable of. If there’s no health or personal setbacks, I’ll probably test for shodan in about 1.5 years. The rank genuinely doesn’t matter much to me, but I look forward to the test. My previous shodan test was easily the most physically difficult thing I’ve ever done, and this one probably won’t be much different. I guess I’m a sucker for punishment :)

    Forget about the rank. Enjoy the process. Enjoy training alongside your little one(s). Chase improvement rather than chasing a belt.

    Just some food for thought.
     
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  15. jsbrown205

    jsbrown205 White Belt

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    Solid. I am more about learning now than what I have on my waist for sure.


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  16. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    When all is said and done, that’s really what it’s all about. I miss doing some of the stuff I did at black belt like Seiunchin kata and bo kata and kumite, but I’ll be doing those again after shodan, so it’s all good.

    I also competed about 2 years ago, which was the first time I’d done so in about 20 years. The shift in my mentally going into it was surprising. I only did it because my daughters (5 and 3 at the time) wanted to see me do it.

    Aside from all that, the best days I’ve ever spent in the dojo were watching my oldest daughter train. She was 5 when she started. Tying the belt on her and giving her a kiss before she lined up for the first time was a real high point. She trained for about a year, then got bored like a lot of 6 year olds do. Hopefully she’ll pick it up again. Hopefully my now 5 year old will give it a try, but she’s a different type altogether.

    Aside from gushing about my little ones...

    Where are in upstate NY were you? I’m in the Albany area. I went to Niagara University for grad school, then moved to Westchester for about 8 years before moving back. I came back after my oldest daughter was born.
     
  17. jsbrown205

    jsbrown205 White Belt

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    I am no longer in upstate ny. I am now in Los Alamos, NM. But, I grew up and trained in a small town named Seneca Falls, NY. I travel back from time to time to visit family. My school is no longer around but the main school we were affiliated with is still around in Camillus. I was stationed for a few years over that way though, up at the Navy nuclear training facility in Ballston Spa.


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