How the Japanese view of the black belt

Gyakuto

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I didn't look it up. I don't need to. It's an everyday word I used at work in Japan.
I wasn’t questioning your undoubted perfect, almost native-like Japanese language skills, Hyoho 🙏🏽 The screenshot was for the benefit of those few following the thread who are not deeply entrenched in all things Japanese
Yes. But sadly Westerners have the word belt meaning dan as in rank rather than an item of apparel.
When I hear someone say they’re a ‘karrody green belt’ or a ‘third degree black belt master’ I inwardly cringe a little. Just state the kyu grade (as belt colours vary between arts) and Dan level.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Not sure where the confusion was.

Jigoro Kano took the IDEA of colored ranks/belts FROM swimming and applied it TO Judo.

Remember we are talking about Japan and how it did things back then in swimming, NOT modern placing awards and attire.
I had no idea Kano had a background in competitive swimming. I am also not familiar with how competitive swimming was done back then in Japan. What I do know is that when you do swim competitively you don't wear anything that would weigh you down unnecessarily as that would result in slower times. That's why they make specialized bathing suits designed for racing as opposed to the standard bathing suit. Water dynamics were the same back then as they are now.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Makes sense. Back then, people held their pants up with suspenders. Belt loops didn't even exist until 1922, and didn't become common until after the second World War.
But you don't wear belts with bathing suits, they have drawstrings to keep them in place. And to the best of my knowledge that's how it's always been.
 

Gyakuto

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But you don't wear belts with bathing suits, they have drawstrings to keep them in place. And to the best of my knowledge that's how it's always been.
Well, this is me modelling a couple of my swimming trunks 😐
3703104D-36AA-4309-9E83-E7D8728543C4.jpeg
EF85C95D-4792-417E-A877-793B4E54F3BA.jpeg
 

Hot Lunch

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But you don't wear belts with bathing suits, they have drawstrings to keep them in place. And to the best of my knowledge that's how it's always been.
That's the point.
 
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punisher73

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I had no idea Kano had a background in competitive swimming. I am also not familiar with how competitive swimming was done back then in Japan. What I do know is that when you do swim competitively you don't wear anything that would weigh you down unnecessarily as that would result in slower times. That's why they make specialized bathing suits designed for racing as opposed to the standard bathing suit. Water dynamics were the same back then as they are now.
I never said that he had a background in competitive swimming. You do realize that you can see an idea somewhere and incorporate it as your own without ever doing the other thing, right?

No one ever said that they wore the belt while swimming.

Still not sure how you aren't grasping such an easy concept.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/18/Hajos.jpg/220px-Hajos.jpg

Swimming suit from 1896 Olympics. It wasn't until 1935 that the first men's "topless" bathing suit was used in competition. People were more modest back then. The belt would have been worn with clothes over the suit until time for them to "disrobe" into just their suit and swim.
 

Gyakuto

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I’ve heard that swimmers tried wearing heavyweight judogi whilst in the pool. But after several fatalities, the judogi was dispensed with and the Speedo budgie smuggler instead was adopted and named ‘Tighty Speedogi’. However, in honour of those who drowned in sodden judogi, the Tighty Speedogi was embellished with a standard judo belt, the colour denoting the number of lengths the wearer had swam in the last financial year. 😑
 

Hot Lunch

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I never said that he had a background in competitive swimming. You do realize that you can see an idea somewhere and incorporate it as your own without ever doing the other thing, right?

No one ever said that they wore the belt while swimming.

Still not sure how you aren't grasping such an easy concept.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/18/Hajos.jpg/220px-Hajos.jpg

Swimming suit from 1896 Olympics. It wasn't until 1935 that the first men's "topless" bathing suit was used in competition. People were more modest back then. The belt would have been worn with clothes over the suit until time for them to "disrobe" into just their suit and swim.
He's a nice guy, I like him. But I've noticed from the time that I joined this forum that he doesn't seem to follow discussions very well.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Still waiting for feedback from isshinryuronin from what I said in post #75

 

Gerry Seymour

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But it's not a "belt" per se. The Japanese Obi () is from the Heian period (794-1135) Japanese don't call it a "belt". Seems like in doing that things seem to have got mixed up. You don't hold you trouser up with it! It's generally worn on the outside over jackets. In my case the hakama goes on top of that. Black is a 'qualified beginner' regardless of however anyone else wants to twist its meaning abroad and in other arts. Associations have seniors panels to award higher levels. Expounding on the beginner concept even a licence of full transmission in the classical school still mentions the fact that you are still in a learning process.
In fairness, we use a "belt" on some trench coats, too. It seems to be the term used for most things worn somewhere around the waist.
 

Hot Lunch

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Still waiting for feedback from isshinryuronin from what I said in post #75

I will say that I don't know about the below.
Traditional masters in Japan usually wear a plain black belt devoid of rank markings - modesty is always in fashion.
If he's talking about dan bars, I guess, but I hope the lack of dan bars is what he means by "plain." Because if we're talking about embroidered calligraphy, then...

The head of JKA himself - Masaaki Ueki - not wearing a plain belt.
masaaki ueki.jpg


Nobuaki Kanazawa, son of Hirokazu and current head of SKIF - not wearing a plain belt.
Nobuaki Kanazawa.jpg


Morio Higaonna - head of IOGKF - not wearing a plain belt.
Morio_Higaonna_2016.jpg


Angi Uezu - his own dude - not wearing a plain belt
Angi Uezu.jpg


Who are the Japanese and Okinawan masters that are wearing belts with nothing on them?

My understanding was always the opposite - that having your name on your belt AND gi in Japan was the sign of humility. It's supposed to show that you have no expectation of the instructor remembering you or your name. It's fashionable to us in the West, because it's "foreign" and "exotic." It's just writing to them.
 
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Hyoho

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In fairness, we use a "belt" on some trench coats, too. It seems to be the term used for most things worn somewhere around the waist.
Another one of these words lost in translation. Funny thing is Japanese actually define the difference. ベルト Beruto is commonly used but has no application to MA.
 

Hyoho

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I will say that I don't know about the below.

If he's talking about dan bars, I guess, but I hope the lack of dan bars is what he means by "plain." Because if we're talking about embroidered calligraphy, then...

The head of JKA himself - Masaaki Ueki - not wearing a plain belt.
View attachment 30224

Nobuaki Kanazawa, son of Hirokazu and current head of SKIF - not wearing a plain belt.
View attachment 30225

Morio Higaonna - head of IOGKF - not wearing a plain belt.
View attachment 30226

Angi Uezu - his own dude - not wearing a plain belt
View attachment 30227

Who are the Japanese and Okinawan masters that are wearing belts with nothing on them?

My understanding was always the opposite - that having your name on your belt AND gi in Japan was the sign of humility. It's supposed to show that you have no expectation of the instructor remembering you or your name. It's fashionable to us in the West, because it's "foreign" and "exotic." It's just writing to them.
This a Japanese man wearing a belt. They seem to know the difference.
 

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Gyakuto

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This is why I find it weird to see people brag about how long it takes to get black belt at their school.

If it takes you ten years to learn the basics of your art, either switch schools or get yourself checked out for something.
When it comes to learning motor skills, there’s definitely something to be said for experience/number of repetitions and that takes time. ‘Living with the movements’, allowing the cerebellum/basal ganglia to smooth the movements by inhibiting extraneous muscle contractions takes active repetition, with thought, goal-setting, self-assessment etc and hence time. The idea that you can ‘hothouse’ learning motor skills to a high level of proficiency is the stuff of McDojo’s and their ‘intensive courses to black belt in just 6 month @ $499 (actual black belt not included. Terms and conditions apply)’.

Ten years is a long time, assuming twice+ weekly classes, several hours extra training, general fitness training and thinking about your art day and night (😵‍💫) but 3-5 years to shodan appears reasonable to me.
Either way, not impressive to anyone who actually gets to have an opinion. Students under Motobu Choki usually got the basics of his system down in about 6 months, everything afterwards was practical application.
On occasion, when I view the rare, very old footage of ‘masters’ and their students performing Karate and Iaido, I’m often struck by the low level of performance. Different times, different standards, little training science principles.
 

screamingskull

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who cares about a Black belt ... some can´t fight to save their lives :D
in the USA Black belts are ten-a-penny
 

Gyakuto

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who cares about a Black belt ... some can´t fight to save their lives :D
Well, it seems a lot of people do care! To many, fighting is not the point
in the USA Black belts are ten-a-penny
Yes because of all these weird new commercial styles ….Bibbledybobbledy Ryu (which split into Biddledydwibbledybobbdy Ryu)
 
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