Restrictions on who can award black belts

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Oldbear343, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Oldbear343

    Oldbear343 Orange Belt

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    Well, it happened. I have just been asked if I will join a new Association practising the same style. Apparently 100+ people have already jumped ship from AKSP to GSKK-P. Both are based in Portugal, reporting to the Seigokan Hombu in Himeji, Japan....
     
  2. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    I guess I'm a little confused. Is the Seigokan Hombu a different entity than the Japanese Seigokan organization that you mentioned in your first post? If it is not then it seems that non-Japanese would still not be allowed to issue dan grades. Is that right?

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Are those two associations actually under different rules? When you say "reporting to", what does that mean?
     
  4. Oldbear343

    Oldbear343 Orange Belt

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    Hi Chris. the Hombu us the headquarters of the same Japanese Association. I do not know whether the situation on dan gradings has changed. I do know, however, that a newer branch of Seigokan in Portugal, the GSKK-P, is wooing members of the older AKSP....
     
  5. Oldbear343

    Oldbear343 Orange Belt

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    Both are calling themselves Seigokan. Seigokan as I understand it has only one governing body, SAJKA.
     
  6. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    If the non-Japanese instructors believe they aren't being treated fairly, and I would agree with them on that, then they perhaps should break off and start their own Goju Ryu association.
     
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  7. Oldbear343

    Oldbear343 Orange Belt

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    That's pretty much what I thought. What has happened however is a little different: there is now a breakaway association formed by some of the instructors, but they are trying to remain within the Japanese umbrella - it seems their main reason for splitting off is one of personality issues....
     
  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    It has been my experience that "personality issues" are the main reason for that kind of split.
     
  9. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    It's not like the Japanese people have a slight history of racism and elitism.

    That sort of ugly truth being said, and I know that just about any people have a similar sort of history, I think the "attempting to stay on top" theory described above is most likely accurate. Pretty much the same thing fractured the ATA in the early to mid 90s, and another variation of it happened in the Tomiki branch of aikido via the JAA, which had a split off of the JAA-USA, which then broke again.... etc etc.
     
  10. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    It has been my experience that "personality issues" are often more accurately described as "ego issues."
     
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  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Then add money to the mix.
     
  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Oddly, I've yet to run into that being much of an issue. Maybe because the associations I've dealt with were fairly small.
     
  13. Fuhrer Drumpf

    Fuhrer Drumpf Orange Belt

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    I stopped caring about belts long ago. When Funakoshi awarded the first black belts ever in the history of karate, he himself had no belt or rank.

    Let that sink in.
     
  14. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Which sentence? :)
     
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  15. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Were did you get that information from?
     
  16. Fuhrer Drumpf

    Fuhrer Drumpf Orange Belt

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    Funakoshi borrowed the belt concept from Judo. In those days, there were no ranks in karate. The first black belts were awarded by Funakoshi in a private ceremony.

    Where did I get that from? Hm. My memory is fuzzy, but I'm certain I read it in Funakoshi's autobiography.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I seem to remember it being in there, too.
     
  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Sorry, I was replying to something else somewhere else and the website was glitchy. Somehow it quoted your post.

    Here's the article you're probably remembering from...

    How the masters got their ranks: the origins of karate ranks – Judo Info

    But if you think about it, Jigoro Kano did the same. He didn't give himself a black belt before giving his first black belt students one. As far as I know, Kano's invention of the black belt came about unintentionally. He brought a group of students to another judo school. The person running that school asked Kano which were his top 3 (I think 3) students so he could pair them up with his top 3. Kano tied a black strip of cloth around their waists to easily identify them. Then he allegedly began the kyu/dan system shortly afterward, taking from the game go and possibly swimming.

    The kyu/dan system origins history is pretty muddy, but that version of history seems most credible to me. I think it was a judo teacher in Europe who expanded the kyu standards, but it was started by Kano and the other teacher's work was approved and further refined by Kano.

    Sources? Several on the internet and books. All of which escape my memory.
     
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  19. Spaceman10

    Spaceman10 White Belt

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    Definitely sounds either cultural or political or both. Politics have always had a big part in the world of martial arts especially when it comes to big organizations. Something similar happened with my organization. My sensei split from the Ueshiro Shorin-ryu Karate USA organization in the early 90s. Basically what happened is she was married to her Sensei who was the CEO of the organization. When they got divorced she was basically excommunicated. So she ended up forming her own organization which she is now Hanshi of. Exact same style, just a different organization. It all boils down to politics.
     

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