A question of belt etiquette

Kacey

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In talking about Belt etiquette....Do you kneel down to put on your belt? Does this vary by style of art or does it vary by school?
I have always knelt down placed the belt folded before me bowed (forehead to floor) said a prayer put my belt on then stood up....
What are others doing?

I keep it in my gym bag, and I put it on standing up. No prayer involved unless sparring is coming in the very near future.
 

Miles

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I still wear my black belt that I got when I was 1st Dan and I just got my 6th Dan.

Congratulations Brandon!

I still have my first black belt too (am not a 6th dan, but it is 27 yrs old). My students get an embroidered belt at each dan testing. However, at 2nd dan, in addition to a new embroidered belt, they get a plain black belt-a heavy duty one which we pretty much wear for every day training.

Miles
 

tshadowchaser

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The one that was given to me upon my reaching Black, I gavwe to a true friend upon his reaching black. we had a surprise test one night and hour instructor had no belt to award so I took mine off and offered it to a friend and deserving student.
If I still had it it would be displayed on a rack in my house not the school along with nmme other rank belts. I feel these are mine and not to be used or seen/used as promotional trophies but as a reminder of the journy I have traveled

sporr if there are spelling mistacks I am working without a spell check on tis comp
 

shiho

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Hi, I Am Soon To Be A Brown Belt In Aikido , Wich I Will Probably Have For Another Three Years. As For Black Belts I Would Keep My Black Belt Till The End. When I Go To Seminars And See Yudansha With Grey Frayed Belts , Theres Something Too Be Said About That . I Don't Know What Would Be Proper I Guess It Depends On Your Ma And Peronal Preference. Thanks
 

Kyoshi71

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The whole belt/obi thing is nonsense. Every Asian master I've ever met couldnt care less about their belts. However, I do know a master who was one of the first Americans to be ranked in Korea who kisses his belt before and after wearing it. Is this guy nuts or what!!!!! After a recent conversation with the unbelievably nice folks at Shureido, it's a fact; we make much more of a fuss over belts than they do.
 

Kyoshi71

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Congratulations Brandon!

I still have my first black belt too (am not a 6th dan, but it is 27 yrs old). My students get an embroidered belt at each dan testing. However, at 2nd dan, in addition to a new embroidered belt, they get a plain black belt-a heavy duty one which we pretty much wear for every day training.

Miles

That's because he was a 1st Dan about 5 years ago. The belt is so new he's still paying the interest for it on his Visa card!!
 

Shaderon

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I keep it in my gym bag, and I put it on standing up. No prayer involved unless sparring is coming in the very near future.


:lol:

Our belts seem to be the only really important peice of the uniform, you MUST have it to train, I don't know what would happen if I turned up without mine and I don't realy want to find out. I'm frit!!!

We do seem to have the tradition of wearing the belt you are presented with at EVERY occasion, training, seminars, gradings... all of them. (Unless you are an instructor at a grading wearing a suit). But I think that's individual pride which has filtered down rather than general club standard. I haven't seen any GTUK person wearing a plain belt, ever.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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To me it is just a piece of cloth to keep your top closed. When I need the top open I take it off. (throw it in a corner) Any belt will really do. While I have no problem with anyone placing alot of emphasis on their belt and certainly they can do whatever they want with it. For myself sometimes I wear it and sometimes I do not. Overall it is an insignificant factor on a quest to polish the stone.
icon6.gif
 

tellner

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Ye gawds. It's just a freakin' piece of cotton. It's not a deity. It's not a spirit. It doesn't contain your soul. It's worth about $5.95 retail or $.03 wholesale.

So what's going on here?

This stuff is foreign and unusual. "Exotic wisdom from the Mystic Orient" or is it "Mystic wisdom from the Exotic Orient". It makes people feel special, important and outside of normal experience. So they invent little superstitions to go with it, explanations and rituals to attach personal significance to the whole thing. This is reinforced by the group and the leaders of the group. It becomes a source not just of individual but collective identity. Each generation adds a little of its own. Pretty soon the whole thing becomes absolutely ridiculous.

A couple other things are at work. First, it represents increased status and skill. Having a new colored ribbon around the beer gut represents initiation into mysteries and increased levels of power. Such things always have ritual and superstition attached to them. Superstition in this case is goes to the etymological roots of the word - that which or one who stands over, one who has witnessed. This increases until one reaches the exalted status of Black Belt. This is supposed to be the culmination of the initiation, resulting in deadly fighting skill, a change in consciousness, acceptance by the Elders and Masters as having arrived and the ability to transmit the magical essence of the thing to others.

Yes, yes, yes. There's always talk about "humility" and how the Black Belt means "You are finally ready to learn". These are also typical of the initiation/ritual process. Almost required really. It means nothing for the most part.

What are the consequences of violating the superstitions? Nobody ever says, which is typical for this sort of thing. There's talk about how it violates "etiquette" or "tradition" or "honor". Does it? Not really. Most of this was added later by successive generations outside of the original culture. Even within the original context these things are often leftovers or served purposes for the people of that time and place but no longer do. By default, when they are emptied of their original meaning these practices become self-perpetuating for their own sake or to the default goal of control over the students. Get them to do one strange arbitrary thing. Then get them to do another. Pretty soon they will do anything.

Sometimes these are important. The military teaches unthinking obedience to create new group and individual identities that will turn regular people into efficient soldiers who will do insane things for a greater goal. The ritual process and initiation are powerful parts of the deep structures of the human psyche. Get them involved and you can bring about useful transformations. Eventually the state you are trying to induce becomes automatic and the need for the ritual goes away except as a reminder.

But a lot of time it's just inchoate nonsense that borders on neurosis. Sorry, kids. That's just the way it is :shrug:
 

tshadowchaser

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There's always talk about "humility"
true but I see more strutting and hear more crowing by those wearing black belts tyhan I do the lower ranks.

If youtake the belts off in class by the end of class you should be able to tell who has knowledge and who dose not. A new belt. an old worn belt make no difference in the knowledge the person wearing it has
 

kuntawguro

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after 34 years of wearing my first black belt- i retired it to a shadow case in my office. This was out of respect to the instructor that gave it to me.
 

IcemanSK

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This is one of the few etiquette issues regarding a belt that I haven't heard even rumblings about. I'm thinkin', if it needs changing....change it.
 

jks9199

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In talking about Belt etiquette....Do you kneel down to put on your belt? Does this vary by style of art or does it vary by school?
I have always knelt down placed the belt folded before me bowed (forehead to floor) said a prayer put my belt on then stood up....
What are others doing?
Sounds to me like that's either your personal practice or a school practice...

Me? I just put the belt on. Sometimes cursing because I knew I shouldn't have had that extra serving a time or 12...

Our tradition is not to let the belt touch the ground, as in lay it carelessly about, not never fall, etc.
 

fnorfurfoot

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Different schools have different policies regarding belt etiquette. Like a few others here, students should kneel when putting on or removing their belts and it should not touch the ground (obviously it brushes the ground if your kneeling to put it on. It shouldn't be laying on the ground).

At the school I'm going to now; students do not put on their belt until the head instructor has given them permission to do so.
 
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