No wonder SGM Parker went to the bars...

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by stone_dragone, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. stone_dragone

    stone_dragone Senior Master

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    Just tooling through youtube and I found this. I don't bring this up as a critique of skills or anything other than a demo of what too many stripes looks like.

    It's no wonder EP chose to use a single bar for fifth degree and 2 bars for tenth...two sets of ten stripes is just too distracting, regardless of the skill of the wearer.

    Then again, on percocet, I get distracted by shiny things...
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    aye, do doubt. I prefer to eliminate all stripes altogether. I think they're kind of tacky and unnecessary.
     
  3. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Much like EPJr. who just wears a plain ole' black belt. :D
     
  4. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    I agree
     
  5. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    The only reason for the candy striped belts with tassels and faked aging is to let everyone know that yours is bigger than theirs.
     
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    if ya got it, flaunt it! :rofl:
     
  7. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are going to wear a belt at all I like the nice even look of a plain black belt. [​IMG]
     
  8. DavidCC

    DavidCC Master of Arts

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    my teacher wears a black belt with 5 black stripes embroidered on the side (so they sit at his hip, not hanging on the tongues). Black on black they are hard to see. Sortof like "if you can count these stripes you are too close" but we have some 1st and 2nd's who wear thin red lines (thinner than the AK stripes) on the right tongue, last name on the left. moew than 5 stripes and you can't even count them visually. maybe that's the goal :)
     
  9. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    For our BBs, stripes are embroidered, so only about 1/4" wide, and some people have belts with their names embroidered on them, which usually have Roman numerals instead of stripes. I have one of each, but I usually only wear the one with my name on it for events, like tournaments and testings, where I wear my best dobok (the one that's middleweight instead of lightweight and doesn't have sweat stains on it); I wear the one with the stripes for instructing and working out.

    To make it easier for students to differentiate between ranks, I Dan through III Dan have white stripes, IV Dan through VI Dan have gold stripes, and VII Dan through IX Dan (our highest rank) have red stripes. Which belt people wear (with stripes only or Roman numerals with names) is up to the person wearing the belt. My embroidered belts were all gifts from my sahbum, and I follow the same tradition, buying embroidered belts (one with the name and one with the stripes) for my own students. The only exception is I Dan, who get one plain black belt and one with their name and a Roman numeral. I also have a plain black belt for when I visit other classes; as a visitor, I am always junior to that instructor's BB students, no matter our relative ranks, unless the instructor chooses to place me elsewhere relative to his/her own students' ranks.
     
  10. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    If you look at the original way belts were done this all seems like a lot of bother. There were white belts for beginning students. There were black belts for teaching ranks. Pretty soon there were brown belts for advanced students who weren't quite at black belt rank. Eventually there was a couple extras for Grand Old Men. Kano-sensei invented the whole thing. Eventually he thought it was all a little much and went back to wearing a white belt. According to the Kodokan that was the only reason, not because he thought it represented some mystical return to the beginning but because he thought people were making too much of the rather smaller set of belts.

    Green belts with two brown stripes, white belts with three black stripes, black belts with embroidery. Black belts without embroidery. Black belts with pictures and arrows and a paragraph of each one. It's all barnacles stuck to a simple way of being able to tell at a glance who is a real beginner, a more advanced student or at the level of an instructor. I honestly don't see the point.
     
  11. Steel Tiger

    Steel Tiger Senior Master

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    I think that a good quality belt with your rank on it is a nice gift from a teacher in recognition of your effort. But it really shouldn't be much more than that.
     
  12. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Definitely! Two of the things I cherish most are a puuko knife and an old Portland State University t-shirt. The knife was a gift from my teacher. The shirt, which is even dearer to my heart, was a thank you gift from a women's self defense class after a couple of the members had gotten out of bad situations using things we'd taught them.

    I can get a better knife or a newer t-shirt. But what they represent is beyond price.
     
  13. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Personally, I like the looks of the bars rather than the stripes. After a while, or in the case of the video in question, it just doesn't look good IMO. Of course, an art like Kajukenbo doesn't seem to use stripes or bars at all, with the exception of student thru 4th black. Taken from Mr. Bishops book:

    5th: Black Belt with red trim.

    6th: Half red/half black.

    7th: Half red/half black.

    8th: Red belt with black trim.

    9th: Red belt with silver trim.
     
  14. stone_dragone

    stone_dragone Senior Master

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    I have two belts that I wear with any regularity. One is the plain black belt that I bought and wore while I was teaching in Iraq...no stripes, embroidery or anything.

    The other is a plain white belt. I've worn it more than the other recently. I always take both with me when I visit a class and ask the instructor what he is comfortable with me wearing (except when I go to MT member "shiho"s Aikido class---he's my father in law) where I definitely wear my white belt. the black belt would lead to much harder ukemi...ouch!

    Down in alabama, I would wear my embroidered ATA black belt when I helped with testings, but I wore my plain belt whenever I was teaching.
     
  15. ewhip

    ewhip Yellow Belt

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    From an intellectual perspective I agree with you - and I lean towards a bit of a traditional attitude when it comes to things like this. However, I will admit to having a fondness (weakness?) for things like colored belts and stripes - but for me it is because it gives me something to look forward to, even if it's just a silly little stripe. I think we've all hit plateaus or times of frustration in any endeavor, and sometimes just that little step can make a big difference and jump start my enthusiasm again.

    Still though, all of those stripes on the video are a bit silly.
     
  16. IWishToLearn

    IWishToLearn 3rd Black Belt

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    I wear whatever belt is appropriate for my surroundings at the time.

    If I visit my first instructor - I earned a Sandan from him, he expects to see the belt with the stripes and the gold fan embroidered - since I'm the only one who ever received that particular style belt.

    If I visit my IKCA brethren for IKCA events, I wear my 3rd degree stripes as it is expected.

    If I visit my new SL4 family, I wear my white as it's the only color I feel comfortable wearing in that knowledge base.

    When I teach at my own school I wear my plain no frills no embroidery 100% cotton black belt cause I like the fit and feel. For promotions my students expect me to wear the pretty striped one for pictures. Eh. Could be worse.
     
  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    My current kenpo teacher actually has the Chinese characters for the five animals embroidered onto the ends of the brown and black belts in gold thread, and that actually looks kind of nice. I think it's really an option, not mandated, but it's one that I can appreciate. I haven't seen anyone affiliated with him wearing stripes on their belts, tho.

    I think in the Tracy lineage, wearing stripes seems to be less common than in the other EPAK lineages. I have seen Tracy people do it, but it just doesn't seem so common.
     
  18. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Plain black belt; our basic pattern is white, green, brown, and black. For kids, different schools so far do different things. Most add a yellow belt between white and green, and some form of tabs or stripes. But, for me... I like simple. After all, if I'm above a 1st level, it should show in my movement or behavior, without any stripes or the like.

    But -- I also like the simple white humility rbelt, made of a thin rope that we've used on many occasions for group clinics.
     
  19. bushidomartialarts

    bushidomartialarts Senior Master

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    There is one other reason. People will insist on pooling money to buy a pretty new belt whenever I promote. I wear it from time to time, the way you would wear a sweater gramma made you when you go visit her. My sensei has the same problem.

    You also see a lot of the stripey belts coming out at tournaments, demos, public spaces. Probably related to the idea that it lends authority/ credibility when you're out in front of folk. Of course, I find this sort of silly. The general public doesn't really get what the stripes stand for, so it doesn't actually lend anything.
     
  20. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    And that's why I wear my embroidered belt - all of my black belts have been gifts from my instructor, and he expects to see me wear them... therefore I do. Other than that - my students know who I am, as do many of the other TKD'ers I'm likely to work out with, so if I didn't have the embroidered belts, I wouldn't wear them, and it really wouldn't bother me - I know what I've learned, and that's what's truly important.

    As far as wearing the embroidered belt with my name on it at events - that's as much because it has my name on it (rather than my rank) as anything else - it makes it easier, at larger events, to find people you may not know if their name is embroidered (as ours are) in large block letters, fairly easily read from a distance - certainly more easily read than doboks with names embroidered on one side of the front, where the letters are less than 1" high, often in script, and often difficult to read.123
     

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