Putting the black belt on a pedestal

Bill Mattocks

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All students represent their dojo to the outside world at large, yes. However, most skilled students and instructors of other schools pay closer attention to what the yudansha do.

I think the idea is that any dojo can have an occasional bad egg in the Kyu ranks. It happens. But making a rotten person or one with serious character defects a yudansha says something about that dojo and instructor. It's always possible to be fooled, and people sometimes change, but in general, making a yudansha is serious sober business not to be taken lightly.
 

Bill Mattocks

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With regard to ikkyu being the highest Kyu rank, I was responding to whomever said it was the lowest. Kyu ranks count backwards, down to one, so ikkyu is the highest Kyu rank. Then dan ranks start from one and go up to ten.

I don't know why this is, but it is. I have not heard of anyone becoming a jukyu and the next promotion being shodan.
 

Chris Parker

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All students represent their dojo to the outside world at large, yes. However, most skilled students and instructors of other schools pay closer attention to what the yudansha do.

Hmm honestly, I think it's more the inexperienced who look to the yudansha and instructors personally, I watch the whole class particularly the beginners to see how the development occurs. I'm with you on the "all students represent their dojo", of course I think it goes a fair bit beyond that, but that's another conversation.

I think the idea is that any dojo can have an occasional bad egg in the Kyu ranks. It happens. But making a rotten person or one with serious character defects a yudansha says something about that dojo and instructor. It's always possible to be fooled, and people sometimes change, but in general, making a yudansha is serious sober business not to be taken lightly.

Again, it can very much depend on the dojo I've certainly known many "bad egg" yudansha, instructors, and more over my time It has been observed (by myself and others) that martial arts can act more like a magnifier than a sieve aspects of the personality are expanded and emphasised, rather than the more common ideal of the art/class acting as a sieve to "weed out" the "bad people". Sadly, that simply doesn't happen. They might not become a dan grade in one school, but the old like attracts like still works in this situation.

With regard to ikkyu being the highest Kyu rank, I was responding to whomever said it was the lowest. Kyu ranks count backwards, down to one, so ikkyu is the highest Kyu rank. Then dan ranks start from one and go up to ten.

I don't know why this is, but it is. I have not heard of anyone becoming a jukyu and the next promotion being shodan.

Yeah, I had no argument against what you said it was more that I liked the way you said it (or, at least, the way I read it), with the idea of Kyu grades "counting down (towards black belt ranks, and ostensibly more serious training)", and Dan grades "counting up (in your progress of understanding, knowledge, and skill)".
 
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PhotonGuy

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Just noticed this old thread. Actually there is very little difference between ikkyu and shodan in Japan.

In Japan yes, I believe that's the case. They see the first degree black belt as just another belt, its just the belt after brown and the belt before 2nd degree, nothing more.

In the USA on the other hand they tend to make a big deal about the black belt and they often make it proportionally much harder to go from brown to black than to go up any of the other belts. At least that's what I've observed in this country. In regards to the black belt, that's the difference in Japan and the USA.
 

Chris Parker

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Rank is only ever of importance within the school it's applied/given in looking for differences is an exercise in frustration and futility, as it frankly doesn't exist. And, more importantly, it doesn't matter.
 

geezer

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Rank is only ever of importance within the school it's applied/given in looking for differences is an exercise in frustration and futility, as it frankly doesn't exist. And, more importantly, it doesn't matter.

I have to agree with you Chris, but on the other hand, what matters subjectively to any given individual is impossible to calculate. Clearly this matters a lot to PhotonGuy! ;)
 

Chris Parker

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True, but my comments were in the context of PhotonGuy still trying to establish hard, fast connections and differences between different countries and cultures perceptions despite being repeatedly informed that such things are superficial and largely meaningless outside of the school it's applied in. In a broader sense, though, yeah, agreed.
 
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