Go Belts and Other Gi Items

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Rusty B, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    So... here's how I'm perceiving what you're saying:

    I'm new to a particular community and don't know the etiquette/protocol, and I ask questions that are offensive to the community that I'm new to.

    That must mean that I'm some socially awkward dork that can get easily get sonned, right? But because everyone here ended up finding out that that's not the case, they're mad at me for "not knowing my place."

    I say "good."

    But drop bear is saying that if he was in my position, he would allow himself to get sonned and is suggesting that I do the same.

    Not happening.

    Anyhow, as an update... I did buy three new gis.

    I bought two 14 oz Fuji gis; they ended up being WAY too heavy (they feel like body armour), but I ended up keeping one (I'm sure I'll have a use for it) and sent the other one back. I then followed up by ordering two 9.5 oz Ronin gis, and I'm happy with them. The white belts that came with them are of much better quality than the one that came with the free gi - not that it matters now, because I made gold last night. And the gold belt that was given to me is of good enough quality that I won't be seeking to replace it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
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  2. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    i do think your taking an irrational level of offence, it just means your an outlier in this community, at least as far as sartorial elegance goes,, the forum is a full of pointed disagreements on all level of things, just not usually the importance of embroidery

    i used to frequent a mountain bike forum, where i was very much out of step on the clothing front, when i suggested that people who spent many hundreds on clothing, so they looked smart whilst getting very wet and muddy, were both shallow and had more money than sense, they got very antagonistic and angry explained that 200 dollar shorts improved the whole sense of well being and they weren't at all just gullible fools for spending 194 dollars more than me

    but then they got equally annoyed when i suggested you can have just as much fun on a 500 dollar bike as you could a 3 thousand dollar bike
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  3. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    No. I would be a duche bag about it. But I just wouldn't pretend to be the victim.

    Anyway if you were going for a grappling style gi. (And I think they are the better option regardless of style)

    Look at the hyperfly hyperlite. They are the ducks nuts.

     
  4. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    LOL, pretending to be the victim? If I do say so myself, I say I'm doing a pretty good job of staying on the offensive.

    Anyhow, when it comes to grappling martial arts... I'm looking at adding one in the future. As I move up the mudansha ranks, where the testing intervals are wide enough so that I can attend a lower number of classes per week and still have the required hours by the next testing opportunities... only then will I add something else. And this probably won't be for another year.

    I'm eyeballing Judo. BJJ is out of the question for me. Four ranks, spread over 12 to 15 years, before making black belt? If I can't see needles moving to the right, I'll lose interest. I might as well watch pots boil. No disrespect if you're BJJ; in fact, quite the opposite. You've got the patience that I don't have.
     
  5. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    So basically you only care about the belts? Just because you don't get a piece of coloured fabric it doesn't mean you're not learning. Bjj is probably one of the best styles to see your own real improvement within yourself not from a belt. Because you can last longer in rolling you can defend things you couldn't before and you can react better. And you can add your own attacks In. To me ability and improvement is way more important than a belt.

    You seem to care more about your belts and your gis and how good you look rather than what you're actually learning I mean you're already saying when belts have a wider gap your going to train less and just do enough to get your hours in for the belt.

    I mean I don't know you but I've seen that type of mentality before. One example is a guy who started Muay Thai and after a week was spending all his time looking at gloves and shorts and shin pads etc...he quit after a month.

    Not saying you'll quit but you need to focus more on what you're learning but hey right now maybe yeah you think the belts mean a lot. But the more experience you get the more you'll realise the belts really don't mean much at all. It's about what you learn to get those belts rather that the belt itself.

    An exercise I've done with students before is I take off my black belt and go and put on a white belt and I ask the class. Does this mean I've now forgotten everything I've ever learned and now I know nothing? The answer of course is no.

    Then I give a black belt to a white belt and tell him to put it on. I then ask him does that mean you can now teach a class and can compete and hold your own against black belts? Again the answer is no.

    The point is the belt is nothing more than symbolism. You can dye it bright pink and put glitter all over it and it'll still mean the same. It's about what the martial artist knows not what his belt is.
    I've seen great black belts and I've seen useless black belts and they know in themselves how good they are belt or no belt
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  6. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Unfortunately pretty much every grappling art is being stuck under a sweaty guy for the first 6 months or so. Being basically useless

    Lack of progress is one of the big factors as to why people quit.

    6 months of Krav and I would be able to ninja the whole room. And here I am unable to escape side mount.

    I can't even hip throw some dudes without getting suplexed.
     
  7. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    Jesus Christ, man, y'all are really stuck on "all you care about is [insert trivial thing here].

    I was talking about quality of items up until this point.

    Here, I'm talking about tracking progress. It doesn't even have to be a belt, it could be a certificate on the wall that no one else is going to see. At least aikido does something similar - all mudansha wear white belts, but still have kyu ranks that they get promoted through.

    If I'm going to college, paying tuition, and busting my *** with all of the studying and academic work, I'd BETTER see some credits accumulating on my transcript; or I won't be staying very long. I wouldn't expect anything different from anyone else.
     
  8. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Well the question is: are you training to get belts and certificates or are you training because you want to learn a style? Either answer is fine as its your own choice. But as I say the belts and certificates really mean very little when it comes to skill as a martial artist
     
  9. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    The fact the new material is being taught to you as you progress through the ranks debunks the pseudo-philosophical notion that "belts don't mean anything."

    Just as you wouldn't teach calculus to a first grader, you wouldn't teach material introduced at the brown belt level to a white belt.

    Belts don't mean anything? If that's the case, do this: go sign up for a martial art (other than BJJ); and put in well past the minimum required hours for the next belt, but don't test. Tell me whether or not you get asked questions about not signing up to test, or otherwise poked and prodded to do so, with increasing impatience from the instructors as time goes by. Better yet, when approached, tell them you don't care about belts because they don't mean anything.

    Then report back here and tell me how it all worked out.
     
  10. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    I knew you were going to ask this very question, so nearly 4 years ago (;)) I started tkd and kickboxing - with the same club, to ensure the attitude wasn't affected by different club structures...

    There are 3 metrics used to determine whether you receive an invitation to test:
    Firstly is ability.
    Then if that is met, is time in grade (3 months each grade to start, 6 months for a few, a year for the last one before black).
    And if those are both satisfied there's minimum attendance in each time period.

    In tkd, I far exceeded the attendance for each grade and my ability was deemed to be satisfactory (or better) so I have tested and passed (or better) every time - my next test (in about march if I meet the ability requirements, that'll be the minimum time and I think I already have the attendance) will be to 1st Dan black.

    Admittedly, had I not tested in tkd I'd still be doing the same technical work and fundamental exercises as the other white belts - we all still do that btw, but that's all I'd be doing.

    In kickboxing, I far exceeded the attendance for each period, and have received invites for every test, but through my own choice have only tested twice out of a theoretically possible 9.

    I have had no pressure to test, have had no "prodding or poking" - I've had discussions about it with the instructors (instigated by me, they haven't approached asking why I'm not testing - they've only asked if I am or not) and pretty much expressed the opinion that getting another belt isn't very important to me at all.

    I still train with the higher grades - on the same material, I still spar with the higher grades - I've jokingly said to some of the black+ belts "go easy, I'm only an orange belt" and had "yeah, right :p" in reply.

    There's a small financial incentive for them to get me to test too - there is a fee for each test (not a huge amount, but still), but I pay no extra for training time. The payment structure is that there is one amount to pay for one session per week in either discipline, or another, almost double fee for as many sessions as you like in either or both. So, I pay the same if I do two tkd per week as if I do 6 tkd and 4 kickboxing.

    Some of the aforementioned black belts were red or orange when I started and have tested where I haven't - yet I can't have been left behind all that much in ability or technical competence as they still choose to partner with me.
     
  11. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Depends how you look at it really.

    As far as I'm aware, most bjj schools stripe the belts as you go through - 4 stripes on each belt before getting the next?

    So technically, that's like 20 ranks (plain plus 1-4 stripes per belt) - white, white 1, white 2, etc...

    Purely on numbers, that's more ranks to get to black than it's possible to test through in something like tkd which has 10 kups and 9 dans. There's nothing like milking those ranks eh? :D

    It also depends on what you think a black belt actually means, if anything. On whichever basis you choose, black in one school may equal blue in another and green somewhere else and brown in yet another.

    Basically, a black belt shouldn't really be a target or an end goal - it's just another step on the way.
     
  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    FWIW Rusty, I have had to learn that this is a worldwide forum and that some of the responses are just different from what I would normally hear from my part of the world. Part of the challenge (and fun for me) is translating what is sometimes said so that I fully understand it.
    Then, just like in every forum I have been on there are some folks that are sad and unhappy and are going to try and rain on everyone's parade. I suggest ignoring generous amounts of what you may read from these folks and try to find the stuff that is really relevant to you.
    One thing I really like about this forum is that it is not a rah, rah forum. You will get Everyone's honest, and most importantly, informed opinion. There is a Lot of knowledgeable people on here. Also, since it is not specific to one style or system the base of information is very broad.

    So, to the OP. Is there anything wrong with wanting to look 'good' at whatever you are doing? Of course not. If it is important to you to walk into your dojo/dojang looking good and it is not affecting any other facets of life, go for it. IF you are leaving your dojo/dojang floor Still looking better than everyone else, that would indicate a problem.

    I interpret most of your posts as someone wanting to find out if/how to get a good deal on a uniform. Smart. Hopefully, over time spent training, you will come to realize certain things you have mentioned really are not important; even to the point that some of them have been used with negative impacts in the MA's. It rubs some of us old timers wrong and likely why you have received some of the comments. Along with what I mentioned above.

    Keep up informed on how your journey progresses.
     
  13. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Lol no need, already done it. No one cared. I got asked I said I wasn't interested and that was that I carried on my training they carried on theirs no one cared.

    A number of martial arts don't do belts. Boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, Mma and some Krav Maga organisations just to name a few.

    Look your new to martial arts so you think belts are the be all and end all of training. Fair enough loads do. But when you get more experienced you'll see what I'm saying. The more experienced the martial artist the less they usually care about belts. Not always but in my 35 year martial art career that's mostly what I've seen.

    In fact in kenpo in every belt test your given the option not to take the belt. Once your given the belt you have to make the letter L with your old belt and your new. The L stands for loyalty, longevity, love.....and lie. That means that if you feel you don't deserve the belt and don't want it you don't have to accept it. Now yes most people do take it. But I've seen people who haven't taken it. Myself included. I was in a bad head space to much stress in my life and couldn't focus went in for a test I did terrible but for whatever reason was given it (this was at an event I travelled to not my club) so when I got to that stage I stood up and didn't accept the rank and put my old belt back on.
     
  14. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    Well, this is a lifestyle change for me. I'm not looking at this as a school that I've graduated from upon attainment of a black belt. I've got 20 years worth of adult sedentary life, poor dieting, and alcohol to undo (I quit alcohol a week into starting karate).

    That being said, after black belt, there's still checkered belt, and finally red belt. However, however, having started at the age of 40, those aren't going to happen for me. Basically... I'm going to keep doing this until I can't do it anymore.
     
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  15. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    A black belt won't make you healthy. It's your training that will do that
     
  16. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    What art is it you're talking about with chequered and red after black?

    If shorin-ryu, there is usually more than one level of black, so you'd test and not necessarily get a new belt...
     
  17. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    yes it seems eminently possible at a lot, maybe most clubs to get to black belt level without being anything other than very averagely fit

    in fact its a prerequisite for the business model of handing out promotions to make money, that you cant insist on anything approaching a reasonable fitness level or the money stops
     
  18. Rusty B

    Rusty B Green Belt

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    No, but you need to be healthy to make black belt.

    If I were to have all of the knowledge of everything needed to pass the black belt test suddenly downloaded into my head right now, I could not physically complete the test at my current state of physical fitness.

    Completing the gold belt test was a task for me. This is letting me know that I need to supplement my martial arts training by hitting the gym.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
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  19. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Have you seen some black belts? Loads of them are very much in the category of unhealthy
     
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  20. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    If it's truly a lifestyle change then why does the belt matter at all?

    People make a lifestyle change by going to the gym, I've never seen anyone with a black belt in stairmaster. Or they take up cycling or running - you'll be there forever waiting for your pedalling black belt.

    Black belt in not eating too much chocolate?

    You've said bjj wouldn't suit because it takes too long to get a black belt - what about fat loss and strength/fitness gains? Do they only occur in direct proportion to the colour of a strip of cloth tied around your waist?

    You're really being quite contradictory.


    Now I'm perfectly happy to say that my progression through the tkd belts means something to me, I have attached a personal importance to it.

    If it took longer per belt, then so what? It'd still have the same meaning to me.

    And whether it's done fast or slow has no bearing on what anyone else thinks of me.

    My lack of progression through the kickboxing belts is because I haven't attached any personal importance to it - I go and train for fitness, which changes (hopefully improves) irrespective of what belt I'm wearing. In fact, I rarely actually bother putting a belt on.123
     

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