New Belt versus Old Belt.

goingd

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The ONLY reason I have more than one uniform is because my master graciously gave me two others. I wear them in intervals. Even at wholesale, I do not have the pocket change to dish out for a new one, so I keep what I have as clean as I possibly can.

^~^
 

jim777

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Worn and frayed belt from use is a pseudo-badge, but like stripes on a belt, it better have the skill to back it up. My old instructor had one that was just "his" belt. He had others, but that was the one that meant something to him as his original Black Belt, etc. It was worn, tattered, and frayed, but honestly, it looked right. He had other belts that he'd wear for more formal occasions, but otherwise, it was just that one. When that finally fell apart, he had a student remake the belt by getting new black cloth to slip over it.

One of my instructors wears a black belt that is nearly white it is so old. He teaches about 6 hours a day, and has for literally decades, and this is his "teaching" belt. It has all six of his stripes on it (though you really can't see them anymore), and he's probably been wearing it 35 years now. So I came to class early about a year ago and there was a small crowd around him chatting with him, and he looked a bit out of sorts. Turns out he was in a NEW, I mean, uncreased, right out of the wrapper brand new black belt and he just looked so completely different everyone was coming up and asking, "Jun Shihan, what happened!?" :lol: Now, this is a man of great skill and insight, but also nearly devoid of ego; he wears and cherishes that belt because of the GM who gave it to him, and the circumstances that surrounded the school back in the 70's (big split with parent org type of thing) when he earned it. He's never getting rid of his belt if he can help it.

Anyway, he sent his old belt to KI (who make all of our belts and gis, so they come pre-embroidered) and they repaired it for him so it works again but it still looks like its been to the moon and back.

It occurred to me when thinking about this thread that for any of the BBs in that school who are 4th Dan or above (and there are about 25 or so who fit that bill), if you put all their belts on a table, most of the students could walk past them one by one and tell you which one belonged to whom :) It's like a particular level of 'fray' becomes associated in your head with the character of the karateka who wears the belt.

So, I have no problem with old graying black belts used for everyday class. I honestly hope that I am physically able to devote enough time to the arts I love to wear out a good quality belt myself.
 

DMcHenry

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I have quite a few belts but tend to only wear 3. One plain black part of the time, one navy blue with red strip fairly new not very often, and another black with a red strip all the time. For me, it pretty much is determined which uniform I wear as to which belt I'll wear with it.

The last one was getting fairly frayed, and with some of the strings hanging off of it I too felt it was looking sloppy and torn up. I just wound up cutting some of the hanging strings off, so looks warn but much better now. I also like a very neat and pressed uniform.

I did start to not use my frayed belt due to it just looking tacky, but after trimming it up I don't think it's too bad now. Plus, seems like the older I get the smaller my belt keeps getting - that alone will require me to wear a new belt ;-)
 

Manny

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Dress and Appearance:

I see many Black Belts walking around wearing raggedy, old, frayed, faded Belts. Like it's a sign of their "years of training" or some badge of honor. I hear many people who think it's cool and means something. But I must be different because I think it is just plain dirty and cheap looking. I have always worn new, clean uniforms and belts. When they begin to wear out, or fade, I replace them. It's who I am. I wear nice clothes and keep my appearance neat and professional. When I walk into a dojang, with an Instructor who has on an old raggedy uniform and belt, the first thing that comes to my mind is "slob". Not "oh he trained a long time". I feel that an instructor should display pride and a image of professionalism through their teachings AND appearance. If a student sees his teacher wearing an old faded raggedy uniform and belt, they cannot be expected to keep a neat appearance. They are following the example.

I "retire" belts and uniforms when they need to be. I dont wear them when the collars are faded and frayed or my belt has begun to unravel and fall apart. When my Black Belt begins to look white in spots or begins fraying.... I replace it. I like my crisp, clean belts and uniforms. Knowledge is in my head... not my belt. So when you see me wearing a new looking uniform or belt, chances are it is. But thats me. Crisp and clean... (with no caffine).

Am I the only one who feels this way?

What image do you get when you see an instructor with an old frayed, faded belt?

Totally agree,a MA person wearing tarnished,yellowished uniform seems to me a careless person that even does not take a bath.

Like you,when my uniforms get sained or worn or decolored not to mention holes in them I replaced them with new ones.About the belt, some wore is okay but a blet thats so raged or discolored or falling apart NEVER!!!

My original black belt is very good cause I take care of it, I have a nice new one but it's in the closet cause my old blaclk belt is in good working condition and have certain atach to them because it was the one my sambonim gave me back in 1987.

However when my original black belt fade away I will pull it away and put it in the good memories container (where my old payches,medals,etc, are) and will use a new one.

Manny
 

IcemanSK

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I'm a big proponent of retiring old & worn out doboks. Belts, I believe, can be used for many many years & become quite frayed before they need to be replaced. If it's frayed by natural process of wear (& not with any help) I'm all for it. Some belts wear quicker than others. And some folks are harder on belts than others.

I have a belt that I wore for 8 years 4-5 days a week & it only turned a little gray. I also have belts that I've had for 3 years & wear 4 hours a week that are fraying in spots.

I do think this guy's belt is about ready to be retired, tho. http://www.kwon.com/kwon/shop_artikeldetails.asp?kid=11,364&agnr=1113
 

miguksaram

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I personally have 4 belts that I wear depending on the occasion. If I am teaching then I wear a simple BB with name on 1 side and TKD on other side (Both in Korean). When I attend USAT/USTC events I wear a Plain BB.

Were you at the US Open Hanmadang?
 

Omar B

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I personally don't "get" the draw of the old belt and the tattered gi. I'm not Ken or Ryu, I wear a gi in good condition and a BB bought off a web site and keep the belt from my Sensei at home.
 

Laurentkd

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I'm a big proponent of retiring old & worn out doboks. Belts, I believe, can be used for many many years & become quite frayed before they need to be replaced. If it's frayed by natural process of wear (& not with any help) I'm all for it. Some belts wear quicker than others. And some folks are harder on belts than others.

I have a belt that I wore for 8 years 4-5 days a week & it only turned a little gray. I also have belts that I've had for 3 years & wear 4 hours a week that are fraying in spots.

I do think this guy's belt is about ready to be retired, tho. http://www.kwon.com/kwon/shop_artikeldetails.asp?kid=11,364&agnr=1113

But his old ratty belt makes the uniform look so clean white and crisp! It's all a sales tactic ;)
 

Kacey

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I wear a clean, neat dobok to teach and compete; I keep the older ones to work out in - especially as, during the summer, classes are often outside on the grass, and grass stains are a pain to get out. Bleach makes the fabric degrade faster, so I wear the oldest stuff I have for outside; if they get grass stains on them I don't care, and neither does anyone else.

Likewise, I have an old, worn belt I wear to work out in - but for competition and other events where people might need to find me, I wear a different one, with my name embroidered in English on one side, and TKD and YCTA embroidered in Korean on the other.

Some classes have a tradition of passing belts down to other students - usually, those students are the ones who show the greatest promise, or someone the giver wants to provide extra attention/training/motivation for. Some have a "class" belt that is passed down at testings - the class at CU Boulder used to have a red belt that had been passed down so many times it was a faded pink, and being awarded that belt was a high distinction, and a very high set of expectations to live up to. Others are given as a mark of esteem by the giver, and are therefore often worn out when they are presented - and the expectation is that those belts should be worn, with the age a mark of the esteem shown the recipient.

It all depends on the traditions of your class and (if you're in one) your organization.
 
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d1jinx

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I do think this guy's belt is about ready to be retired, tho. http://www.kwon.com/kwon/shop_artikeldetails.asp?kid=11,364&agnr=1113

Now thats what im talking about. That just looks plain STUPID. A belt that looks like it was drug behind a car and used for everything under the sun; jumprope, tug-o-war, dog leash, strap your wagon to the mule. I mean come on...

As for belts with "sentimental Value", those are worm til they begin to show signs of wear (sounds funny right... worn til signs of wear) then they are put in the nice shiny wooden case i have most of my belts in.

Although I must admit, my very first Black Belt was tossed first chance i got. It was too small, and i wanted a wider belt with embroidery. But that was before they became ridiculously wide. I was more concerned with the right I had earned to wear the belt, than the belt itself. Over the years, belts came and went. I've had a few instructors who wanted me to wear a belt from their school and not have "KWONS TKD" worn at "JOES BB ACADEMY" (made up names of course but u get the point).. So I never really got attached to wearing the same belt for the last 22 years.

And YES... BB manufacturers matter. I had a Pine Tree BB that has been my favorite. It will outlast any AWMA, Century, SUN, adidas, etc any day of the week. I love those belts.
 
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d1jinx

d1jinx

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Some classes have a tradition of passing belts down to other students - usually, those students are the ones who show the greatest promise, or someone the giver wants to provide extra attention/training/motivation for. Some have a "class" belt that is passed down at testings - the class at CU Boulder used to have a red belt that had been passed down so many times it was a faded pink, and being awarded that belt was a high distinction, and a very high set of expectations to live up to. Others are given as a mark of esteem by the giver, and are therefore often worn out when they are presented - and the expectation is that those belts should be worn, with the age a mark of the esteem shown the recipient.

It all depends on the traditions of your class and (if you're in one) your organization.

Believe it or not I have never heard of such a simple thing..... I LIKE IT. Maybe thats something I can think of doing, not at BB of course. Maybe like the half way mark to black and then again at red or junior black. Great idea to think over. Thanks.
 

jim777

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Cyclona

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I went to an ITF dojang where the grandmaster wore his old frayed belt. Uniform was fine but he kept his old belt. I think it meant something to him, it didn't make me thing he was a slob. It just emphasized his lifelong dedication to tkd.
 

Kacey

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Believe it or not I have never heard of such a simple thing..... I LIKE IT. Maybe thats something I can think of doing, not at BB of course. Maybe like the half way mark to black and then again at red or junior black. Great idea to think over. Thanks.

Why not at black belt? My instructor's instructor gave him his IV Dan belt when my instructor reached IV Dan - his first student to do so. As my instructor's first student to reach that rank, he gave me a set of stripes from that belt (from back when they were strips of fabric sewn to the belt, and not embroidery). I gave my I Dan belt to another student when he was promoted to his I Dan. I don't know why it would be different.
 

matt.m

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I agree with CoryKS, it has to be clean and serviceable or its a no go. Belt handing down and swaping is always been something I have done. Just for the bow out ceremony at the end. As long as the belt doesn't look tattered then I will wear it.

Outside a training area then the uniform should show pride and be crisp and clean.
 
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d1jinx

d1jinx

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Where I grew up, you didnt wear your uniform or belt outside the Dojang in public unless we were doing a demo. You were asking for trouble. You definatley weren't allowed outside with your belts on.

Now adays I see IDIOTS wearing their uniform and belt inside walmart to pick up something.
UNIFORMS AND BELTS ARE FOR THE DOJANG OR ANY OTHER AREA YOU ARE ACTIVALLY TRAINING
 
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