More Belt Colors? WHY???

Aikikitty

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I was flipping through the latest Century catalog and noticed 4 new belt colors---Sand, Pink, Gray, and Navy! I saw on a different MA supply store website that they even had a Teal and (I think) a Hot Pink belt. I'm assuming the pink and teal belts might be to motivate girls, as I can't imagine boys wearing pink belts.

What's the purpose of more color belts (besides marketing)?

Which arts/schools are actually using them?

Are they for the kid's programs?

What are the positives and negatives of having more color belts?

Personally, when saw the new belt colors my first thought was more money for McDojos/McDojangs. :duh: But maybe someone out there might use them as alternative colors or possibly add these new colors to the kids program (but not charge lots of money) so the kids could test, but have to wait longer before making junior black belt? I'm trying to think positive. I don't know....

Robyn :confused:
 

arnisador

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A BJJ instructor I know used the pink belt as a punishment--forget your BJJ belt? You get the pink one!
 
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Aikikitty

Aikikitty

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A BJJ instructor I know used the pink belt as a punishment--forget your BJJ belt? You get the pink one!

:rofl: I've heard of that about the pink belt before. But that was probably a white belt dyed pink not one that was made to be pink.

Actually, one of the guys I trained with washed his white gi and somehow something red got in there. He's a big tough guy so it was very funny seeing him in a pink gi.

Robyn :)
 

Bill Mattocks

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At my dojo, the kids have many more belt levels than the adults. Since promotions are not money-making situations (sensei charges $5, the cost of the belt), I believe him when he says it is to keep their interest and keep them feeling that they are progressing.

There are definite standards that they have to meet, he doesn't just give them away, but their normal progression keeps them moving along in the rankings.

If I were a kid, I'd be on hachi kyu, but sensei doesn't like the idea of a 'yellow' belt for adults, so I'm still a white belt ready for testing for my sichi kyu orange belt. Just as well - yellow isn't my color.
 

terryl965

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Jade I keep seeing more belts the Little Dragons or Tiny Tikes, TKD has even startesd to add belts but I have no clue why, I guess it is about the money. I am so glad I have not started in this direction.
 

Drac

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There was a school near Missouri that claimed to be teaching Combat Hapkido and offered a "camo" belt..The federation was not happy with that information...The purpose of more belt ranks? I dunno..Maybe more testing fees for the Instructor??
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I was flipping through the latest Century catalog and noticed 4 new belt colors---Sand, Pink, Gray, and Navy!
Shinesmen anyone?:p "Salmon pink!"
I saw on a different MA supply store website that they even had a Teal and (I think) a Hot Pink belt. I'm assuming the pink and teal belts might be to motivate girls, as I can't imagine boys wearing pink belts.

What's the purpose of more color belts (besides marketing)?

Which arts/schools are actually using them?

Are they for the kid's programs?

What are the positives and negatives of having more color belts?

Personally, when saw the new belt colors my first thought was more money for McDojos/McDojangs. :duh: But maybe someone out there might use them as alternative colors or possibly add these new colors to the kids program (but not charge lots of money) so the kids could test, but have to wait longer before making junior black belt? I'm trying to think positive. I don't know....

Robyn :confused:
I've been checking out a local school that a lot of my sons' friends attend and they use a whole ton of odd belt colors for the kids, even the dreaded camo belt. And no, it isn't a taekwondo school.

The adults only have nine belts between white and black, and given that the curriculum is more substantial than that of Kukkiwon taekwondo, the fact that he has one fewer belt for the adults than our school does is pretty good. But the kids (ten and under, I believe) get the special colors before they can earn regular ranks.

When I talked to one if the instructors about belts and the cost of test, he looked at me like I was from another planet and said, "cost? What do you mean? You don't pay for colored belt tests here." I assume that this is the case with the kiddie belts as well.

His adult class is pretty darned good. Excellent, in fact. Very healthy and the blackbelts are no joke. He's definitely not a half baked instructor churning out belts for a living.

If they're being used as a teaching tool and not as a cash generator, then I see no problem with it.

Daniel
 

cdunn

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Also, remember, the actual color of the belts has no innate meaning. Belts only ever mean what your organization says they mean. My dan belt is midnight blue, because our founder wanted to avoid the mental baggage that comes with 'black belt'.

Scrambling people off their preconception of what a belt is supposed to mean can be a good thing. Granted, there are going to be a lot of hucksters that do use extra belts to bilk people, but they would have gotten up to their shenanigans in any case.
 

Bruno@MT

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When I was assistant teacher in the youth jiu-jitsu classes, none of the kids got colored belts. They had white with a number of lines. Each line represented 4 techniques of the white belt adult curriculum.
When they had all techniques, they had the equivalent of the white belt adult test. They could then progress to the yellow belt adult curriculum (additional 'notches' on their white belt) until they were 12, when they could test for yellow.

Once we have a visiting school, and they had color systems for kids. One of the green belts was so arrogant that he said to his teacher that he didn't want to wrestle with one of our white belts because it was so far beneath him. His teacher made him, and the kid got pounced on.

Personally I don't like belt colors. Not for kids and not for adults. If you need colors to keep you motivated and to feel good (look ma! I have a purple belt with gold trim and yellow polkadots!) then you are doing MA for the wrong reasons (imo).

And if you are 12, how good are you at fighting, really? If a 12 year old black belt gets slapped down by an adult orange belt, then the black represents nothing. In our jiu-jitsu system, you could not get colors before 12, and no black before 18, because it was felt that otherwise it would be a mockery of the term 'fighting art'.

Just my 2ct.

Btw, in Genbukan ninpo we have 3 colors:
white: newbie
green: kyu levels
black dan levels
 

KempoGuy06

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my little cousin was in a system that had the camo belt, thankfully i talked my aunt out of taking her there anymore

B
 

BrandonLucas

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Shinesmen anyone?:p "Salmon pink!"

I've been checking out a local school that a lot of my sons' friends attend and they use a whole ton of odd belt colors for the kids, even the dreaded camo belt. And no, it isn't a taekwondo school.

The adults only have nine belts between white and black, and given that the curriculum is more substantial than that of Kukkiwon taekwondo, the fact that he has one fewer belt for the adults than our school does is pretty good. But the kids (ten and under, I believe) get the special colors before they can earn regular ranks.

When I talked to one if the instructors about belts and the cost of test, he looked at me like I was from another planet and said, "cost? What do you mean? You don't pay for colored belt tests here." I assume that this is the case with the kiddie belts as well.

His adult class is pretty darned good. Excellent, in fact. Very healthy and the blackbelts are no joke. He's definitely not a half baked instructor churning out belts for a living.

If they're being used as a teaching tool and not as a cash generator, then I see no problem with it.

Daniel

To me, this is what it boils down to, and this post is very well said.

The only thing I can add to it, really, is that kids need to be motivated alot of the time. I'm not advocating young children get involved in MA...when I say young, I'm meaning 3 and 4 year old toddlers...but kids younger than whatever the age of pueberty is now-a-days don't have strong attention spans...most don't, anyway. So they receive valid training, and are actually learning the material and techniques, and are training on the level that they are able to train safely at.

The problem that I've seen is that kids alot of times don't understand that you don't just make blackbelt in a week, so they get discouraged. Not only that, but they see all of these other belt ranks on adults, and see the ranks as more of a "collection" to have than something that was earned. So, IMO, having the extra colors is a plus for kids who don't fully understand yet what it means to actually earn a rank...if they don't apply themselves, then they don't get the diamond studded orange and green belt, but if they do apply themselves, they can earn it, although it is not an actual rank.

Like Daniel said, though, as long as these belts are being charged for, or as long as the charge is basically the cost of the belt, and the cirriculum isn't vastly different from what the art intended, then what's the harm?
 

bowser666

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This is why I feel it is beneficial to train with schools that are part of a association. This way the ranking structure is pre-determined and belt colors CAN'T be added unless the organization leaders decide. ( Unlikely) I personally am wary of schools that operate outside organizations ( not saying all of them do) because this is where you find alot of the McDojo's . The ones that have 15 different belt colors, Black belt clubs, lots of 8 year old balck belts, and oh yeah, I forgot to mention , each colored belt level gets 3 stripes in between each belt level. IE orange 1 strip, Orange 2nd stripe, Orange 3 stripe then you test for next belt and start all over again for 3 more stripes.

Just my $0.02 . I don't see anything wrong with colored belt systems but overkill is too much and the mcdojo approach is wrong IMO.
 

IcemanSK

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The actual color of the belt doesn't concern me. The idea should be to mark a student's progress in the Art. For some, they want to make a visual progression from white (innocense) to black (completion or something similiar) so getting belt colors that show that progression are important.

I have a friend who teaches folks with mental disabilities as well as those without disabilities. For those with disabilities, he uses the same ranking system, but each belt has a white stripe through the center of the belt. It gives everyone an understanding of that student's special needs.

I know of many schools who use a "pink belt" when a student forgets theirs. My issue is finding a color that wouldn't be used as a badge of honor for a pre-teen girl:ultracool
 

Drac

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That is AWESOME!!!!! I'm going to buy a pink belt for my coach!

Dont stop there..I think Century made a pink gi..I saw Gene Judo LaBelle wear one..Not too many people said much to his face I'm sure...
 

astrobiologist

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A belt is just a means for a student and an instructor to follow the progress of an education in the martial arts. Too much significance has been placed upon the belt these days. I say, to each their own. If a school want pink belts, camo belts, or belts with flashy lights... whatever, that's their prerogative. If the school operator is including more belts so that they can make more money off of their students (McDojo extortion) then that hurts the martial arts, but who really cares what color(s) the belts are...
 

Nolerama

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I occasionally train with a gi, and have not earned a belt in any grappling art.

So it would be cool to wear a camo or pink belt IMO. I wouldn't wear it in a competition, but my training partners and I would get a kick out of it in our own gym.

Currently, I'm making my white belt into a checkerboard belt. Because that would be awesome... And it's the only thing I can do to pass the time away besides watching television.

Also, check out Happy Kimonos. I think they're fun.

Oh yeah, this poses the question:

Do martial artists place too much stock in the color of belts?
 

searcher

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I did not read all of the thread so if this was mentioned I apologize.

The sand(tan), and grey are for MCMAP ranking. They decided to use those colors inplace of "traditional" colors.

The navy is for differentiation between high and low blue in some systems. Other systems use stripes or tips for such things.



And the big reason why more colors is $$$$$$$. Each belt test is another chance tp make some more money. The McDojos love it.
 

BrandonLucas

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I occasionally train with a gi, and have not earned a belt in any grappling art.

So it would be cool to wear a camo or pink belt IMO. I wouldn't wear it in a competition, but my training partners and I would get a kick out of it in our own gym.

Currently, I'm making my white belt into a checkerboard belt. Because that would be awesome... And it's the only thing I can do to pass the time away besides watching television.

Also, check out Happy Kimonos. I think they're fun.

Oh yeah, this poses the question:

Do martial artists place too much stock in the color of belts?

Yessir. They sure do.
 

Steve

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Also, check out Happy Kimonos. I think they're fun.
Oh... dude... I can't thank you enough for that link. I've been planning on tie dying a gi for months, but couldn't figure out how to do a good job of it at home (seeing that I haven't tie dyed anything since day camp in the 70's).
 

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