Honorary Black Belt

Nevada_MO_Guy

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How do you feel about the "honorary black belt"?

I'm not talking about paying a certain fee and after puting in 'some' time getting a black belt.

I'm talking about receiving a black belt based on your contributions to a certain association, job title, political alignment or even your health.

Below are a few pieces I've found out of many. But you can get the idea.

REDONDO BEACH, CA - Kate Adamson, stroke survivor and noted author of the motivational book "Kate's Journey" was recently presented an HONORARY 1st degree Black Belt in Taekwon-do and a lifetime membership to the Progressive Taekwon-do and Budo Alliance (PTBA) by the PTBA founder - Sr. Master Monty Hendrix, the PTBA V.P. - Ellen Hendrix, and West Coast PTBA Director - Prince Loeffler at the Academy of Judo and Karate.
http://www.katesjourney.com/blackbelt.html

Mayor Awarded Honorary Black Belt
The Mayor received an honorary black belt, as the citys chief executive officer, and he witnessed the presentation of this award by the Olympian Master coach Najem.

http://riroads.com/news/20050125blackbelt.htm

Russian President Putin Gets Honorary Black Belt
SEOUL, February 27 (Xinhuanet) -- The head of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Tuesday awarded Russian President Vladimir Putin an honorary seventh grade black belt during his visit to Seoul.

http://202.84.17.11/english/htm/20010227/378780.htm

I presented to Dr. Scott after my daughter's first surgery an "Honarary Black Belt" in my style of Kempo Jujitsu. The document is also notorized making it an official document. The chinese charactors for black belt and Quality are the same.
http://www.moyamoya.com/board/posts/656.html

In recognition of his commitment to improving the quality of life in our community, and especially in honor of his work to protect and educate our youth, The Instructors and students of Oom Yung Doe in the Boston area presented Representative Peter J. Koutoujian with an Honorary Black Belt at the annual New Years Banquet on January 15, 2005.
http://www.8martialarts.com/communityinvolvement.htm

During the World Cup Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama awarded the major sponsor of the Word Cup - Mr. Ryszard Krauze - Chairman of the Management Board of Prokom Software with the Honorary Black Belt.
http://www.karate.pl/ps2003e/
 

Drac

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Me. I don't see a problem with it..If the Founder,Sensei, etc..etc.. of a certain discipline feels that a person deserves it so be it...
 

MJS

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Looks to me, like everyone that received this had made some positive contributions, so sure, as long as the person receiving it does not run out, open their own school, and bill themselves as actually having official training in said art, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Mike
 

matt.m

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Yeah I agree, it seems to me that the people getting the award did something of high caliber. I don't see anything wrong with it.
 

Grenadier

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I do not necessarily disagree with giving honorary black belts, provided that the title is purely honorary, and conveys no real rank within the system that awarded it. The honorary degree holder would stand at the end of the line, unless he chose to test for the actual rank, plain and simple.

I do not like idea of giving someone an honorary shichidan (7th degree black belt)... To me (and probably the bulk of you folks out there), someone who has the rank of shichidan should be someone who has not only demonstrated his abilities as a martial artist to an exceptional degree, but also given back a lot to the system.

As callous as this sounds, the previously mentioned honorary degree holders really haven't put in that much to the style itself from a martial arts perspective.

If someone really holds that much value in an honorary black belt, then he should study the art "for real" and earn the rank.

I would basically say this: An honorary black belt should convey no real ranking, just as an honorary law school degree or an honorary medical school degree does not allow someone to enjoy the privileges of the said degree, nor does it allow (thank God!) someone to practice in the field!
 

michaeledward

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These instances seem like cheap publicity stunts, designed to draw attention to the presenter, rather than the recipient.

For the presenter, it has major positive benefits, like getting your name in the paper, with little negative benefit, .... like, oh, cost.

While there may be a degradation of what it means to be a 'Black Belt', it is probably minimal, and already under way in society anyhow. (Do we have any Six Sigma Black Belts in the house?)
 

Drac

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I think its similar to when certain outlaw motorcycle clubs use to present honorary club colors to someone who has done them a service..There was the understanding that it was strickly for "show" and to pass themselves as a "real" member would certainly invite a butt whipping...
 

stone_dragone

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Personally, I think that "Honorary Black Belt" presentations, similar to honorary Doctorates or memberships in clubs or even sport teams are harmless given that the person thoroughly understands the meaning and reason for this presentation. In some situations, it might even spark an interest in the MA for the person recieving the honor. Anything that sparks an interest in the MA is good in my opinion, as long as there is someone there to approptiately fan the spark and make it a productive fire instead of a meaningless flash.

Presenting the honorary rank of anything above 1st degree is, however, inappropriate without having trained in the art.

I know, nothing new here. I just wanted to support the statements before mine.
 

Last Fearner

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This is an "Honorary Post." It is not an actual post, and has no bearing on, or authority over the other posts here. lol :boing2:

I agree with the other Honorable people here. The term "Honorary" attached to the Black Belt means that it is not a genuine Black Belt, and has not ranking status whatsoever. It is an "Honorary Black Belt Degree," not an actual Black Belt Degree.

To present one to a person who has sacraficed many years of support to the Martial Art without actually training, or a political dignitary who has openly supported your particular school, organization, or system of Martial Art is typically an appropriate gesture.

I, personally, participated in the presentation of "Honorary Black Belts" of Kukkiwon recognition that was arranged by a Korean I worked with in the past. One of them, I presented to Indiana Congressman Tim Roemer, and the other to Muhammad Ali (although Muhammad had actually trained in Taekwondo with Jhoon Rhee during his Boxing career).

I support the concept, as long as it is not abused.
CM D. J. Eisenhart
 

DeLamar.J

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I f someone meets the standard that the head instructor set, then that instructor has every right to issue that rank. Also, if you can hit the center of a blow pop in 5 seconds, they can also give you a black belt.
That just shows how much a black belt means from that school.
 

Kacey

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An honorary black belt means exactly the same thing as an honorary college degree - it is a sign of esteem and accomplishment from the giver, but does not necessarily represent the learning or demonstration of a specific body of knowledge, and should be treated as such, in a category separate from those earned from the particular organization or institution.
 

tshadowchaser

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I did it once to someone that i thought had less than 6 months to live. Well he stayed alive and started strutting around like he had earned the damn thing. My instructor informed me their was no such thing as honorary black belt in the association
.
I'll never do it again. I'll put the belt on the casket but no one will ever get one from me as hoonorary again they will all earn it the hard way
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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I have several questions on this...

Is there really any honor in an honorary Black Belt?

If I receive an honorary Black Belt, it probably wouldn't be appropriate to call me "Sensei". But would it be appropriate to call me "your Honor"?

If you receive an honorary Black Belt, is there any dishonor in promoting yourself to an honorary 10th degree?
 

IcemanSK

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I agree with Last Fearner, its an honorary title. Like an honorary doctorate from a university, or the key to a city. Its an honor bestowed on someone to recognize them for service to the organization, school, etc. Someone would be a fool to try to "use" an honorary black belt just like they'd be a fool to try to "use" the key to a city, somehow. Or to call themselves "doctor" if they've not earned that degree. Its an honor...so everone shouldn't be given it. JimBob at the service station doesn't have a honorary Ph.D from University of Nebraska cuz he's got "Go Huskers!" mud flaps on his pick-up.

Ok, I went a bit overboard. But my point is, its an honorary degree given for service to the Art, that all.

JMO
 

Drag'n

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anybody can go out and buy a black belt. But that would be meaningless.
Its not something that can be given. Its something which is earned through years of blood ,sweat and dedication.
Whats the point in having one if it means nothing? Honorary titles in anything make no sense to me. You dont have to give someone an unrelated title to show that you appreciate their services.
These days Black belts are handed out way to easily as it is.
 

Brother John

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I don't see a problem with it.
A rank, I think, boils down to being an outward sign of your instructors (or the rank awarders) opinion of you.
It's THEIR rank to give, for whatever reasons they deem important.
IF they want to give them out frivolously (sp?) then that's something they'll have to live with.
I know of a school that gives Black Belts to almost anyone w/in 2 years!! They can give their 'reasons' for doing so in almost every case: due to dedication, commitment, great attitude....etc. BUT: If the student cannot perform the curricula of the art with excellence...then it's their own school's and art's reputation that's on the line...and that's Their choice.

Kind of a "By their fruits shall ye know them" kind of deal...

Your Brother
John
 

Drac

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Drag'n said:
anybody can go out and buy a black belt. But that would be meaningless.
Its not something that can be given. Its something which is earned through years of blood ,sweat and dedication.
Whats the point in having one if it means nothing? Honorary titles in anything make no sense to me. You dont have to give someone an unrelated title to show that you appreciate their services.
These days Black belts are handed out way to easily as it is.

Too True...You can go on eBay and buy almost any rank in almost any discipline imaginable...
 

IWishToLearn

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Honorary black belts and certificates are awarded by affirmation of a panel at the school I train with. The verbage on the certificates is wholly different from a full fledged promotion document; the normal certs have verbage that decrees this person has acheived proficiency at ____ level...here's the verbage from the honorary cert:

By Authority of the UMASDA Headquarters, the following Honorary Ranking is granted in recognition of the contributions and support this person has provided.

This certificate confers no inference of rank, skill, knowledge, or authority. The bearer of this certificate is recognized for his/her contributions to the UMASDA organization.
 

still learning

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Hello, A few years ago an Instructor who was to test for his next rank..die in a motorbike accident.

Our Professor promoted him to his next rank..(Honorary) 3rd.Black belt to his family.
 
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