Bodan

Dirty Dog

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Depends on the organization that issued it. In our system, Chodanbo wears the belt red over black.
 

Balrog

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We do black on top. Your goal is to become a Black Belt, not fall back to a Red Belt. ;)
 

MI_martialist

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How long has this different belt been around for Bodan? I remember Bodan in the 80's when I was training and it was a plain black belt with no embroidery. When you tested for Il Dan and passed, you were presented with an embroidered belt. Instead of the ideas of "not falling back" and stuff, could it just be a way to get a student to pay for another belt?
 

TrueJim

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...could it just be a way to get a student to pay for another belt?

Our school has many students (sometimes 50 or more in a class)...so having visually distinct belts is useful for knowing which students should be working on what. I'm not saying you couldn't teach with less distinct belts...just that it's easier (less wasted time) when you can quickly scan the room and see what's what at a glance.
 

MI_martialist

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Do you ever wonder what they used to do before we came up with the bedazzled multi-colored belts?


Our school has many students (sometimes 50 or more in a class)...so having visually distinct belts is useful for knowing which students should be working on what. I'm not saying you couldn't teach with less distinct belts...just that it's easier (less wasted time) when you can quickly scan the room and see what's what at a glance.
 

Azulx

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Our system uses Red on top. All our second levels are two-toned belts. You wear the color you are on top and what you are striving for on the bottom, because you are NOT that rank yet.
 

dancingalone

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Do you ever wonder what they used to do before we came up with the bedazzled multi-colored belts?

No need for them in the old days when you had only a small group of students training - often under self-direction with the sensei only offering occasional correction.

Some large schools I am familiar with even have their students' names embroidered across their uniform tops. It makes sense when you have hundreds to keep track of.
 

TrueJim

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Some large schools I am familiar with even have their students' names embroidered across their uniform tops...

We don't embroider the names at our school...just Sharpie...and only for the geup students. English-alphabet version of the name written downward on one side of the collar, then Hangul version on the other side of the collar (so that our Korean interns can more easily know how to pronounce the name). By the time a student is poom/dan, it's assumed that everybody knows the students name by then.

The kids like it, because they get to see what their name looks like in Hangul.

It is handy when you have a class of 50 students and want to call-out some student's name...even if you already know their name, sometimes it takes a moment to recall (especially for newer students) and this completely solves that problem.
 

dancingalone

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[QUOTE="TrueJim, post: 1758646, member: 32472"
It is handy when you have a class of 50 students and want to call-out some student's name...even if you already know their name, sometimes it takes a moment to recall (especially for newer students) and this completely solves that problem.[/QUOTE]

It works the other way too when it's a large school with multiple instructors and the students need a reference other than the generic 'Sir' address. I used to think special uniforms and lettering and such for the higher dans were a little ostentatious, but it makes impeccable sense under the right circumstances.
 

MI_martialist

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So, let's take a larger Samurai clan from Japanese history, are you saying they were self training and there was no need to understand seniority?

Bedazzled belts and multi-colored always changing based on special program uniforms are a result of marketing and not a need for distinction of seniority in training.

No need for them in the old days when you had only a small group of students training - often under self-direction with the sensei only offering occasional correction.

Some large schools I am familiar with even have their students' names embroidered across their uniform tops. It makes sense when you have hundreds to keep track of.
 

TrueJim

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So, let's take a larger Samurai clan from Japanese history, are you saying they were self training and there was no need to understand seniority?

It's a fair question, but I don't know if that's a good analogy? A clan of Samurai would presumably know each other over a period of many years? ...as opposed to a suburban taekwondo school where there's always a steady stream of new students. But who knows...I was never a medieval Samurai, so maybe there was always a steady stream of new students there too, just like a suburban taekwondo school! Maybe Samurai were constantly struggling to remember each other's names as they came and went. :)

...are a result of marketing...

Even if that were true (which I'm not sure it is), there's nothing wrong with marketing! Those attractive photos of food on the cover of the restaurant menu are "just there for marketing", and the pretty pictures of hairstyles at the salon are "just there for marketing".

Marketing is good. Marketing is your friend.
Marketing is how you get new students.

But let's go back to the larger point...

Bedazzled belts and multi-colored always changing based on special program uniforms are a result of marketing and not a need for distinction of seniority in training.

So at our school geup rank have solid-white uniforms, and dan rank have black-trimmed collars. I think that's pretty typical of Kukkiwon/WTF-style schools. I don't think that's really marketing, but I'd be curious to know if you consider the black-trim collars for the dan rank to be marketing-motivated?

Likewise we also have a Poomsae Team, so they get the white-top / colored-bottom uniforms that you see at poomsae competitions in tournaments. The Poomsae Team students are allowed to wear those uniforms to class as well if they want. Again though, I don't consider that marketing so much as just being in accord with common tournament attire.

And we also have a Demo Team, so like most Demo Teams they get a special uniform to wear at tournaments as well. Likewise our Demo Team is allowed to wear those uniforms as well to class if they want.

(It should be noted that we're a school that likes to compete often in tournaments.)

I don't think any of these uniforms were chosen for "marketing" -- they're just in accord with the guidelines of the types of tournaments that we attend. But you're right...it is four different types of uniforms for the students. But they're each in-place for a reason...just like the 10 different belt colors for the 10 different geup -- I don't think that's done for marketing purposes, so much as convenience.
 

dancingalone

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So, let's take a larger Samurai clan from Japanese history, are you saying they were self training and there was no need to understand seniority?

I'm alluding more towards karate as trained in the Ryukyu islands pre-WWII, specifically through accounts of what it was like to train with Chojun Miyagi in his garden dojo where students came and went according to their individual schedules and there wasn't really a concept of a set 1 hr block for training where tuition was given by a single teacher. In that situation, where the numbers are low and there is no set 'bow in' time, training tends to be more individual.

Dunno about samurai as karate was never a pursuit of samurai, but I would venture to say that seniority as is typically discussed on a TKD board is probably a relatively modern concept.
 
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BrothersMA

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I was told it was black over red because in rank black is over red. But then i saw our Master (my instructors instructor) tie one on red over black. Perhaps they changed it over time? The Master is not one to make such a mistake i think he is 8 or 9th degree bbelt. Im just gonna ask him next time i see him.
 

MI_martialist

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Now there is some confusion. Of course, we know that KARATE is a modern invention that was brought from Okinawa. Karate did not exist in Okinawa, so it is important to use proper vocabulary at appropriate times.

Of course Samurai did not pursue studies in Karate. Karate is a modern Japanese adaptation of Okinawa fighting. In Japan before Budo, there was Bujutsu. My reference is to what happened before modern martial arts schools invented all of these belts, ranking, etc...what was done at that time?


I'm alluding more towards karate as trained in the Ryukyu islands pre-WWII, specifically through accounts of what it was like to train with Chojun Miyagi in his garden dojo where students came and went according to their individual schedules and there wasn't really a concept of a set 1 hr block for training where tuition was given by a single teacher. In that situation, where the numbers are low and there is no set 'bow in' time, training tends to be more individual.

Dunno about samurai as karate was never a pursuit of samurai, but I would venture to say that seniority as is typically discussed on a TKD board is probably a relatively modern concept.
 

MI_martialist

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The progression of these colors is an arbitrary modern invention...who says black is over red? Who says white is first? Where did that come from? Was it always that way? If so, why? If not, why was it changed? What was originally done to denote seniority...never rank?

I was told it was black over red because in rank black is over red. But then i saw our Master (my instructors instructor) tie one on red over black. Perhaps they changed it over time? The Master is not one to make such a mistake i think he is 8 or 9th degree bbelt. Im just gonna ask him next time i see him.
 

Dirty Dog

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When I say where did it come from, I am not talking about the last 100 years or so. No one just woke up and said...hey colored belts for ranking...it had to come from somewhere...where is that? What was done?

Actually, that is pretty much what Kano did. He decided Judo needed some rankings, so he swiped the system used by GO players.
 

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