Dan Ranks: A Comparison of Ideologies

J. Pickard

Orange Belt
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I agree with a lot that is here but really think rank is arbitrary and ultimately meaningless if you aren't focused on improving and getting better and helping your students get better. I take a very "put up or shut up" approach to it all. I don't care how many stripes you have on a belt, or what title a piece of paper says you have. The mat doesn't lie. Get on the floor and show me, explain things to me, share with me and I will share with you. Not all black belts are equal and that's okay. Fun fact; Vovinam, a martial art heavily influence by Korean arts, has no black belt. The highest rank is white.
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
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I agree with a lot that is here but really think rank is arbitrary and ultimately meaningless if you aren't focused on improving and getting better and helping your students get better. I take a very "put up or shut up" approach to it all. I don't care how many stripes you have on a belt, or what title a piece of paper says you have. The mat doesn't lie. Get on the floor and show me, explain things to me, share with me and I will share with you. Not all black belts are equal and that's okay. Fun fact; Vovinam, a martial art heavily influence by Korean arts, has no black belt. The highest rank is white.
I actually agree with most of this concept. Rank is just a milestone marker on your journey and people get too hung up in it. There are uses for rank (in a rank-based system such as Taekwondo) in order to be able to attend certain courses (Handmadang referee course is only open to 6th Dan+, starting as a provisional course), as well as promote people to higher dan so that they can promote others etc.

There are often times when you can make an assumption on what people know/don't know based on their rank so you can plan/pitch a lesson. It's not necessarily set in stone, you can get some real impressive 1st Dans and some terrible high dans, but it gives you a starting point.

There are too many paperwork-only dan applications processed though without going on the floor, and that saddens me - but hopefully that will change in the future (and if Kukkiwon continues down the route they're going down I think it will help).
 
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