More Belt Colors? WHY???

Daniel Sullivan

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Oh yeah, this poses the question:

Do martial artists place too much stock in the color of belts?
Martial artists? Not as a whole.

I think that we need to qualify what a martial artist isn't: getting your bb and the quitting doen't make you a martial artist; it means that you took a class and got a paper that said so. It does not make you a martial artist.

I think that schools do, as it is either a direct source of income or a goal that keeps iffy students around and paying longer.

And iffy students (I mean those who sign up just to get their blackbelt and then quit) do because having the belt is like having a trophy; it looks cool and you can say, 'I got a black belt in karate' and watch your uninformed friends say, 'ooh, wow! bet nobody can mess with you!'

I think that beginner students nearly always do, but those that actually become martial artists generally figure it out before they reach their first dan or equivallent. If not by then, usually soon after, the rank being a crutch to help them through the beginning part of their martial journey.

Martial artists tend to emphasize not the belt itself, but the blatant misuse of it by some to fleece students or their parents of gobs of extra cash.

Daniel
 

Nolerama

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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).

I've been thinking about doing that, too. Post pictures if you end up doing that.
 

teekin

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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).


OK Steve, I have a no so good Gi that ended up a washed out blue that I need to do Something with, soooooo..... I hereby challenge you and Nole to a Die Off ! (and not in the 28 Days Later way) Perhaps continue in Locker Room?
 
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Aikikitty

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Thanks everyone who has replied thus far. :D Keep it coming!

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.


You're the first to offer any explanation over the sand, grey, and navy colors. What does "MCMAP" stand for?

Robyn :asian:
 

punisher73

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: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 :)

That is how Judo Gene Lebell became famous for his pink gi. It was washed with something red and came out pink. If I remember the story correctly it was done on purpose by somebody and he wore it anyways and then it became his trademark.
 

Gordon Nore

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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...

Mr LeBell has been wearing a pink judogi for a long time. Legend is that there was a laundry accident when he was in Japan. He put the thing on, and it's been his trademark since. I have a pic of me and Gene in that gi somewhere. Mr LeBell has a wonderful sense of humour and a kind of loud charisma. The two times I saw him he had this wild out of control mop of red hair. Red and White belt, pink gi, red hair -- it works.
 

jarrod

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this thread gave me a GREAT idea. i have a student who's color blind. next promotion he gets, he's getting a pink belt.

jf
 

Andy Moynihan

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My martial arts experience so far from age 12 to present has included exposure to: Kenpo (Not the Ed Parker kind, the New England Villari-clone kind that you cannot escape in this area), TKD, western boxing( I'm Boston Irish, of course I have to know at least the rudiments), Judo, Small circle Jujitsu, Pencak-Silat( Kendang and Harimau styles) Modern Arnis, Dekiti-Tirsia-Siradas Kali.

Current training was Judo ,( formal, biweekly classroom basis)until expenses had to be cut last month as I am saving for my Great Trip South, Small-Circle Jujitsu ( Video/Occasional private lesson basis whan I have the time/money), Modified WWII combatives(own research, Surviving manuals, ).

Despite ALL of that, , my spare money/time investment for those things is limited enough that actually attaining black belt or equivalent rank in anything just doesn't seem to be in my cards. No matter--a black belt only covers an inch of your ***, the rest is up to YOU.

Now who wants a Fistful O' Fries with their Burger Belt? :D
 

Bruno@MT

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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...

On the day I went to my first MA seminar, the wife of one of the seniors accidentally washed his white gi with a red soccer sock... pink gi.
He felt embarassed and wore sweats instead of his gi.
 

Big Don

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Dark Helmet: Aw, buckle this! Ludicrous speed! Go!![Dark Helmet is screaming as he sees various warp trails on the monitor. Meanwhile, there are signs lighting up indicating "LIGHT SPEED", "RIDICULOUS SPEED", and a flashing "LUDICROUS SPEED" sign]Dark Helmet: What have I done?! My brains are going into my feet![Spaceball One passes Lone Starr's Winnebago]Barf: What the hell was that?Lone Starr: Spaceball One.Barf: They've gone to plaid!Dark Helmet: We passed 'em; stop this thing!Colonel Sandurz: We can't stop, it's too dangerous. We have to slow down first.
I won't be satisfied without a Plaid Belt!
 

Big Don

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this thread gave me a GREAT idea. i have a student who's color blind. next promotion he gets, he's getting a pink belt.

jf
There is, somewhere online, a shirt with a pattern like the colorblindness test. Inside the pattern it says F&^K the Color Blind!
My mom's husband is color blind, alas, my mom has no sense of humor...
 

Big Don

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I'm getting one.
Shame on you. You'd better hurry, they are packing up their crap and quitting due to too much hate mail.

I printed out the picture, took it to work and hung it on the wall to test it on the one color blind guy I used to work with.
 

Kwan Jang

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As Daniel mentioned earlier, more belt tests are not just a way of gouging people for cash (though unfortunately this does happen), but also as a way to keep people on track. This is not just for kids either. What gets measured gets done. By keeping people focused on their goals, they make better progress. This concept has been used consistantly in other forms of education and personal development successfully for a long time. One key is actually to tie the ranking to actual progress and the student's individual growth.

Is a belt system a neccesity? Obviously not. Are their abuses in the belt system at various schools from both the instructors and some of the students? We all know of many examples of this. However, when properly used, I beleive that it can be a valuable tool and to disregard it outof hand for these reasons is like "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".
 

Bruno@MT

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As Daniel mentioned earlier, more belt tests are not just a way of gouging people for cash (though unfortunately this does happen), but also as a way to keep people on track. This is not just for kids either. What gets measured gets done. By keeping people focused on their goals, they make better progress.

That is the idea, but by introducing so many additional belts, the sytem is pandering to instant gratification and the need for trophies..

Additionally, and this is just my opinion, by testing such small increments, the students never have to master a significant of new skills between each test.

Imo, there should be a significant chuck of new stuff between grades, so that the grade itself is a significant achievement, and not just mastery of 4 techniques. At least for adults.
 

Ronin74

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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...

LOL... I heard a story from one of my friend's instructors regarding that. He was on set for a film where Gene Lebelle was present (possibly as an advisor). We asked if it was there was any truth to the whole pink gi thing. He said, "yeah, Gene wore a pink gi around, but nobody really had the balls to say anything to him about it."
 

Aikicomp

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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.

Good point and sometimes very true. But, not always. On the flip side of that there are some organizations, federations, ect. that are very, prejudiced, holier than thou and political in nature which IMO is detremental to the students who see and hear such garbage spewed about other styles who are not affiliated with anything or are in another org./ fed. That's one of the reasons my teacher went on his own, started his own style and isolated himself from the BS that was happening at his time.

Thank goodness it has become not so prevelant as when I was coming up in rank. Today I see more and more open sharing and understanding of different diciplines and acceptance from and toward one another (such as this board as a matter of fact). It makes me very happy to see boards like this where open, honest and respectful discussion can be accomplished with minimum collateral damage.

Oh darn, kinda got off track this thread was about belt color right? sorry.

My opinion on how many belts or what color they are is up to each individual system as they see fit to guage rank according to their own tradition. Who cares if style A has 4,5 or 10 belts, who cares if style B has a blue, yellow or teal belt.

That's not what it's all about, never was and should never be.

The real questions that should be addressed is:

1. Are the Instructors competent and caring "teachers"?
2. Is this a style that works for me and my goals?

And the number one thing I ask myself everyday and my reason for teaching in the first place is:

Can this art I teach and how I teach it, help people to live better, more caring and understanding lives by showing them humility, patience, understanding and encouragement, while also exposing weaknesses and fraility or our own human nature.

If I can accomplish this I will be proud to have called myself a "teacher"

Michael
 
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