respecting a persons black belt from a diffrent style

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by KARATEKA007, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    It also looks wierd when a black belt doesnt know the forms/katas in a system where they wear a black belt.
     
  2. harlan

    harlan 2nd Black Belt

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    In my opinion, that is rather foolish...and I've seen it interpreted as false humility.

    The reality is, if one has trained (belts and rank notwithstanding) it is going to show. You don't know the new kata, stances may be a kerfluffle for a bit, but the way you move, power generation, ability to analyse bunkai...all this is going to differentiate you from a true beginner. And make them feel stupid.

    As for the offer of jumping a few belts, I tend to think that when a sensei suggests something...it's not really a suggestion. :0

     
  3. jasonbrinn

    jasonbrinn Purple Belt

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    I was always taught to wear a white belt when visiting other schools, even within my own style. I think this is best as it prevents needless confusion and in my opinion shows respect. What if someone took a picture or was visiting and saw you there in a black belt all kinds of misunderstandings could follow.

    Also, if I started studying another system I would insist that I start at their beginning rank and progress as fast or as slow as I could from that point. Previous experience and rank may help but should not be converted or relative outside of this I believe.

    An empty cup can be filled.


    Jason Brinn
     
  4. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    True. Actually my kenpo instructors rule was that you could keep your old rank, but then you need to wear your old uniform or plain gi rather than the school gi. That showed that you were somebody's else's student. I went back to white when I joined his school.
     
  5. KARATEKA007

    KARATEKA007 White Belt

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    I was just given his schools patch , hes like throw this on your gi " , I asked em if it would cause any problems or be disrespectful to anyone , he said no " that he will vouch for me if anyone got something to say , he also wants me to start sharing kenpo techniques with his greens browns & blacks , the teacher also has a black belt in judo and a black belt in taekwondo , I took judo for 2 years and jujitsu for one and done boxing since I was 13 years old on and off till now , so I think he sees me as an asset to them ...
     
  6. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    I have seen in both styles I study, ( both are Okinawan Karate styles of Shorin Ryu ) that black belts and high brown belts are evaluated and then often told to wear their belts, line up at that rank, but they learn the system just like every one else.. from the same white belt kata on up. I think its a mark of respect to your maturity and the hard work and blood and sweat you gave to get to that rank in that other system. I have seen some told to go put on a white belt to, again because they were not learning what was being taught and or were not mature in their actions.
     
  7. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Attitudes and customs regarding rank vary widely from system to system and from instructor to instructor. Within my system (NVTO Ving Tsun) I tend to be somewhat informal. Our system has no belts, so students start just wearing a plain white T-shirt and shorts or sweats. Before their first rank test, they need to get the school uniform -- a white T-shirt with the school's logo and black "kung-fu" pants. Intermediate ranks wear a grey shirt, and advanced students wear black. A "guest" student would wear sweats or black "kung-fu" pants and a plain white Tee. If you join our school, you follow our dress code. No black belts or insignias from other systems ...even other Wing Chun schools.

    In the DTE eskrima system I study, we all just wear sweats. It would be seem pretentious to wear belts or a gi covered with patches. Most of us have been in the martial arts for a good while and could all claim instructor rank in something, so there's no point in showing it off. We are all students in this system of Escrima, and our instructor knows what each of us knows.

    So, regarding appropriate dress and symbols of rank, I'd go along with whatever your instructor recommends. Personally, when in doubt, I'd err on the side of humility. But that's just me. Enjoy your training.
     
  8. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Bottom line is do whatever the instructor wants you to do! :)

    Having trained in a lot of different systems through the years I pretty much always showed up with a white belt to start training. I let them know my past experience and then we trained. Always seemed to work out okay. Now I have also been in a lot of systems where in semi private or private lessons we wore sweats or bdu's or whatever. Belts certainly were not an issue and only became weird if there was a huge seminar with people from all over the place wearing uniforms. Still I either wore a white belt or bdu's, etc. and trained. As someone who has never been interested in rank in any manner it did get a little weird in one system when I had been training for over ten years and was everyone but the instructors senior and had no rank. So they fixed that and we just continued to train. ;)

    In IRT most people do not buy a uniform for awhile
    . I do not push it until they exhibit that they want it or have been with us for almost a year and testing is around the corner. If they show up early on with a lot of experience and have a uniform I usually ask them to wear a white belt so that there is no confusion as to wear they stand in the progression of their training. Never have I had a black belt come in and not be proficient in what they do. I have never also ever had a black belt walk in and be comfortable with the type of training that we do. There has always been an adjustment period! Typically if they were a traditional striking person they did okay in sparring when it was standing up. However, we spar where you can kick, hand strike, elbow and grapple. So inevitably if they were better at striking they were seeing a lot of time on the mat grappling because that is where the other practitioner took the match and vice versa. We also do a lot of weapons sparring and that usually is some thing that few people have had the opportunity to do so once again they may be out of there element. (particularly when it is knife sparring, stick both short and long) So in IRT I usually have them wear a white belt with their uniform but I have had people train all the way till their first test before ever wearing a belt!

    One thing though that I do account for is their individual skill sets
    . If they are individually skilled and a quick learner I never hold anyone back. No, instead I push them forward and they can advance at a quicker rate. It is all about the skill. I have had several people with ten or even up to fifteen years experience and their previous skill helped them to advance at a faster pace. They had to know and be able to do everything but they moved along faster based on their previous training.


    In the end it comes down to the instructor and it sounds like your instructor and you have figured it out! ;)
     
  9. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    I have to say that when I started the second style of Okinawan Karate I wore my old white belt and was told to put on my brown belt from the other system. The Sensei knew all about me and what my rank had been and knew me from in the past. that said he has told others to wear their belt if it was a high brown or black. the one exception was a teenage kid with a TKD black belt who wore it at first and then was told to go to a white belt. I think it was an age and maturity thing.
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Some of this depends upon how foreign your new style is to your old. Experience in a striking art is completely irrelevant to grappling.
     
  11. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Even within arts that function at the same range and modality the differences can be so great that experience in another art can be more a hindrance than a help. In the "soft" variety of WC I practice, people with a background in "harder" systems of karate or TKD often adapt more slowly than students with no experience at all.

    A grappler, by contrast, comes from such a different place that he has no conflicting habits to unlearn. In fact, grapplers already have a highly tuned sense of feeling and exploiting an opponent's energy, which is very helpful in things like Chi-Sau. As I've said before, grappling might be seen as a kind of "whole body chi-sau" (and, IMHO a very good complement to WC).
     
  12. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Wear what the sensei says to wear. Going in as you did, you wore your kenpo gi and belt. Everyone knew you were not a shito ryu dan. They all knew you were the kenpo guy. They also knew that you were not a novice, even if your training was in a different system. There are many different views on what a black belt is and what it represents. In the end, we're all there to train. If the sensei/sabeom/maestro/sifu says, 'wear this' then it is his/her school and his/her rules.

    As for what I would make you wear, we don't use belts in kendo. To offer a hypothetical analogy, if a Haidong Gumdo yudanja came to my kendo class, I'd be fine with him or her wearing their HDGD dobok and black belt. They'd stick out because in kendo, we don't wear belts and our uniforms are different. But the HDGD dobok is appropriate to the activity and I'm not going to ask them to purchase a new uniform just to come try out the class or to drop in and train periodically. If he/she became a regular student, then I would ask that they purchase the appropriate attire.

    Really, the belt is unimportant. It represents your kenpo grade. Everyone as the shito ryu dojo knows you're a kenpo guy and the sensei has instructed you to continue wearing it. That is the tone of the school.

    I see less of a question about the belt when you're wearing your kenpo gi; it sets you apart as being from another tradition. Once you're wearing the dojo's gi, patch and wearing your black belt, you won't be visually distinct. But I suspect that everyone there knows who the yudansha are and aren't and that you aren't (yet). Train and enjoy yourself. That is what everyone else seems to be doing. :)
     
  13. rframe

    rframe Green Belt

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    It rarely makes sense to me for someone to wear a belt from one style to a class for another style.

    The exceptions I see is for a guest instructor from another style, sharing information and techniques with a class by invitation.

    When styles are fairly similar it might make a little more sense. My primary art is Shotokan, and if a karateka from another style joins us, the chief instructor will spend some evaluation time with them. If their general movement, awareness, and reactions seem solid and it's just some stylistic differences, they may be offered the privilege of wearing their belt as an "honorary belt holder" until they complete testing (generally accelerated as they learn the differences in style). The instructor clearly explains this in front of the entire class. This helps junior students understand what is going on, so they understand why a black belt might be drilling with them when ranks are being split up by group. Many of these karateka simply prefer to start with a white belt and represent their actual rank in this new style. We've had other styles join us where things are so different or the quality of movement is so far off they are not given the option of wearing an honorary belt in our class. Some styles seem to be very liberal with their promotion standards and our chief instructor will not extend the privilege in those cases. If someone has a problem with that, it's a pretty big red flag about their attitude and there's no loss if they choose not to participate as a result.
     
  14. shihansmurf

    shihansmurf Black Belt

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    This is how I do it when I get new student from another system. Century makes those cool white striped belts. It allows them to retain the rank that they worked hard to earn and prevents any confusion on rather or not they know the material I teach up to that level. Once they test for the equal rank I award the appropriate color rank then they progress as normal.

    Seems to work pretty well.

    Mark
     

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