Back Belt Pride or showing off?

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,699
Reaction score
5,655
Location
Pueblo West, CO
Meh. I kinda don't care.

At one point, I had kept all the belts I'd ever earned. When I was young I thought I'd make a display case or rack or something and display them in my man-cave or room or something. Then, years later, I donated all of them to the club I was in because I didn't care any more. They no longer meant a lot to me. I just brought in a big double armload of belts I'd earned in various martial arts. It was awesome because now they weren't taking up storage space any more.

I get being proud of your accomplishments. I also get if it's not that important.

I've decided to make a leather bomber's jacket with patches for all the martial ranks and certifications I've gotten over the years. Everything from back in Tang Soo Do through Judo, Bowie, and even my firearms certifications. Why? Because I like bomber style jackets with patches. :)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
Much the same... I had a ton of belts. I did pass one of them to Mrs Dog when she earned her 1st Dan. The rest I gave to random students.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,959
Reaction score
2,253
Location
Southeast U.S.
Much the same... I had a ton of belts. I did pass one of them to Mrs Dog when she earned her 1st Dan. The rest I gave to random students.
Same here. My green belt and three TKD red belts I gave to students who still workout. That would have been around 1985.
The belt I have worn for the last 10 years was made from half of my first black belt and half of my GM's 9thTKDDan belt.
Sort of full circle thing.
 

Instructor

Master Black Belt
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
1,364
Reaction score
265
Location
Harpers Ferry, WV
For the answer, you only have to read the line you quoted just before. For your convenience, I have repeated it below:

I think the Olympic Rings qualifies as an organizational symbol and something beyond the individual athlete.

Good! I think (hope) it's a crime in the US, but not pursued as aggressively as it should. The offender should be publicly humiliated. I take it personal as an American, and have not even been in the service! Had I actually served and came across one of these low life thieves, he would be more than publicly humiliated. I would see it as my duty to my brothers in arms.
I did my 20 and retired. I've met a few blowhards over the years that I doubt actually served. I usually just ignore them..
 

Ivan

Brown Belt
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
487
Reaction score
208
I see there are threads already about tattoos in martial arts. Not against tattoos as I have some myself but is getting belts put "on your arm" taking it a bit too far? Or is it simply pride?
View attachment 27615
Pride, and not the good kind. If you were secure in your ability and identity, you would not feel the need to show off that you are a black belt. Martial arts are centered around humility and I strongly believe that black belts should not only be strong in technique, but strong in character as well.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
21,069
Reaction score
5,938
Pride, and not the good kind. If you were secure in your ability and identity, you would not feel the need to show off that you are a black belt. Martial arts are centered around humility and I strongly believe that black belts should not only be strong in technique, but strong in character as well.

Either stance is vanity though.

Either you are bragging about having a black belt by having a tatoo. Or you are bragging about your humility by not having one.
 

Ivan

Brown Belt
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
487
Reaction score
208
Either stance is vanity though.

Either you are bragging about having a black belt by having a tatoo. Or you are bragging about your humility by not having one.
I completely disagree. Staying quiet is not a form of bragging about humility. Its about not drawing attention to yourself. That tattoo screams Look at me!. Staying quiet says nothing, its why its called staying quiet.
 

Cynik75

Blue Belt
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
203
Reaction score
91
... Martial arts are centered around humility...
Nope. Martial arts are centered around beating, choking, throwing and kicking other people. Many of best fighters you can call in many way but not humble.
.... black belts should not only be strong in technique, but strong in character as well.
Why? It is unrelated.
 

Ivan

Brown Belt
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
487
Reaction score
208
Nope. Martial arts are centered around beating, choking, throwing and kicking other people. Many of best fighters you can call in many way but not humble.

Why? It is unrelated.
Fighters and martial artists are not one and the same. Not all fighters are martial artists, and not all martial artists are fighters.

It is not unrelated at all. Its why for example, there are so many records of wise quotes and actions of martial arts master. More so than you can find from fighters
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,959
Reaction score
2,253
Location
Southeast U.S.
Nope. Martial arts are centered around beating, choking, throwing and kicking other people. Many of best fighters you can call in many way but not humble.

Why? It is unrelated.
I suspect this will be hard for you to understand but the best fighters have a mental switch. Outside the ring they are humble, until they absolutely have to Not be. This should be true for anyone taking MA's. The greatest skill learned, and most difficult for some, is how NOT to fight.

Early in my fight career I had trouble controlling my emotion. Not anger perse, but an insane drive to win. I would literally seethe before a match. Sometimes that led to me gassing because I was burning some much energy mentally.
After a year or so of matches I got this under control. I learned when/how to turn it on and off and to use it at varying degrees as needed. On a day when you have 4-5 three 3-minute round matches that means a ton.

Possibly harder for you to understand is that the switch I am talking about works just the same for self-defense. You never want to have to go on the offensive and should be learning a number of ways (SA, etc...) to avoid this but when you absolutely have to, the switch is turned full on. No this does not necessarily mean some kind of 'death strike' but it does mean you make damn sure to get your point across.
 

isshinryuronin

Master Black Belt
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
1,112
Reaction score
1,064
Location
Las Vegas
Nope. Martial arts are centered around beating, choking, throwing and kicking other people. Many of best fighters you can call in many way but not humble.

Why? It is unrelated.
This is what sets TMA apart from simply "fighting." Character is, and historically was, not only related, but an essential quality. Students were originally handpicked, not for their capacity for brutality, but for their worthiness in character, dedication and judgement in applying the skills they learned. These were the prerequisites for being accepted as a student in this "secret" art. As karate evolved from jutsu to do and became more public, these qualities became more of the goal.

While TMA was certainly centered around fighting, and should still be IMO, its practice is not only used for fighting, but as a vehicle to concurrently develop oneself as a person. These two sides are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they reinforce each other.

Chimpanzees are fierce fighters - they beat, kick, claw, bite and rend limbs. An angry 100 lb chimp can destroy any human fighter. Would you call them martial artists? Herein is the proof - there is more to true (T)MA than fighting.
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,699
Reaction score
5,655
Location
Pueblo West, CO
Pride, and not the good kind. If you were secure in your ability and identity, you would not feel the need to show off that you are a black belt. Martial arts are centered around humility and I strongly believe that black belts should not only be strong in technique, but strong in character as well.
People get tattoos for a lot of reasons. I have two tattoos. Big ones on my arms. One is MA related, the other is SCUBA. Why? Because these things have played major roles in my life. And because I wanted to get them.
You deciding that you know why people get tattoos, and you deciding that you get to determine if those reasons are valid is way, way more arrogant than someone getting a MA-based tattoo. So I guess you fail your own humility standard.
 

Ivan

Brown Belt
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
487
Reaction score
208
People get tattoos for a lot of reasons. I have two tattoos. Big ones on my arms. One is MA related, the other is SCUBA. Why? Because these things have played major roles in my life. And because I wanted to get them.
You deciding that you know why people get tattoos, and you deciding that you get to determine if those reasons are valid is way, way more arrogant than someone getting a MA-based tattoo. So I guess you fail your own humility standard.
MA-based tattoos are not the same as a tattoo that actively represents what rank you are.
 

mograph

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
1,471
Reaction score
525
Sure they are. I see you're still failing at your own humility test. Good luck with that.
I suppose the issue is not getting the tattoo, but why the wearer got the tattoo.

If it was to show off their rank to others, then that's not humble, pretty much by definition. It doesn't fit how I see martial arts.

But if they got it as a way of marking a significant life event on their body, without regard for who sees the tattoo, then humility could still apply.

I suppose that not all tattoos are meant to evoke a reaction in others.

Personally, it's not something I think about much. YMMV.
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,699
Reaction score
5,655
Location
Pueblo West, CO
I suppose the issue is not getting the tattoo, but why the wearer got the tattoo.
Neither is an issue. Because both are entirely up to the wearer.
If it was to show off their rank to others, then that's not humble, pretty much by definition. It doesn't fit how I see martial arts.
How you see martial arts has little or nothing to do with how someone else sees them. If the tattoo fits their vision, then that's all that matters.
 

lklawson

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
4,666
Reaction score
1,357
Location
Huber Heights, OH
Pride, and not the good kind. If you were secure in your ability and identity, you would not feel the need to show off that you are a black belt.
That's largely a cultural norm that you're discussing and not one necessarily shared by everyone. The maori, for instance found it quite important to bring home trophies of their successes, the heads of their enemies, and then brag about their skill. It got them status and mating privileges.

Similar traditions occurred in many of the native American tribes. Counting coup is one example. You could get bragging rights and therefore status. The more people in your tribe or organization who knew about your successes the better off you were and the higher your status. Different cultures may have different ways of representing this and in some cultures tattoo was one method of advertising your successes.


Martial arts are centered around humility and I strongly believe that black belts should not only be strong in technique, but strong in character as well.
Except when they're not.

Peace favor your sword (mobile)
 
Last edited:

lklawson

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
4,666
Reaction score
1,357
Location
Huber Heights, OH
Fighters and martial artists are not one and the same. Not all fighters are martial artists, and not all martial artists are fighters.

It is not unrelated at all. Its why for example, there are so many records of wise quotes and actions of martial arts master. More so than you can find from fighters
Um... what? Perhaps you need to recall the etymology of the term "martial." In fact, the term "martial arts" comes from a western origin, not oriental and was specifically intended to refer to the arts of mars, i.e.: the arts of war and fighting.
 

Latest Discussions

Top