Putting the black belt on a pedestal

Hanzou

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Lol. Read the OP again. You were talking about BJJ. The OP is talking about black belts in general. You said black belts in BJJ are on a pedestal that infers that they are so much better than other black belts because they take up to 10 years to earn

Uh no. I was responding to Hussaf's post. Maybe I should have quoted it?

It is a measure of progress within the BJJ system, nothing more. I cannot compare anyone's black belt with anyone else's so the only comparison I have is belts that I award.

What are you even talking about? Nobody was comparing Bjj's black belt to anything else.

We don't put our black belts on a pedestal.

Good to know.

BTW, do you have a black belt in BJJ? I have only heard you talk of your Shotokan belt.

Nope.
 

drop bear

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I think it is a sign of humility to recognise someone's achievements. I have no issue putting black belts on pedestals. Just as i would anybody that has achieved more than i could.

putting yourself on a pedestal is possibly a different thing.
 

K-man

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Uh no. I was responding to Hussaf's post. Maybe I should have quoted it?

Perhaps you should have.

the only people I know that put a black belt on a pedestal don't actually train in Martial arts
Looks like you might be in the minority Hanzou.

Needless to say, black belts in Bjj are put on a pedestal, and its well deserved.

So you do put BJJ black belts on a pedestal.

[QUOTE="Hanzou, post: 1671786, member: 31336"
What are you even talking about? Nobody was comparing Bjj's black belt to anything else.
I must have misunderstood. I could have sworn you were putting BJJ black belts on a pedestal. Nobody else is putting their black belts on a pedestal so that might imply that you are saying that your black belts were better, what with taking ten years to earn and all that. Yeah, right.
 

drop bear

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I must have misunderstood. I could have sworn you were putting BJJ black belts on a pedestal. Nobody else is putting their black belts on a pedestal so that might imply that you are saying that your black belts were better, what with taking ten years to earn and all that. Yeah, right.

yes he does put their black belts on a pedestal. He thinks bjj is a good system and that the blackbelts deserve his respect.

i believe the same about mma.

you possibly believe the same about akido.
 

K-man

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I respect all adult black belts that have been earned with proper effort. If someone from a similar style comes to train with me, I respect and recognise their rank. I think BJJ is a good system too. I respect a black belt from BJJ the same as I respect the black belt from any other reputable martial art. None of them deserve a pedestal. A black belt just means you have reached that level in your training.
 

Dirty Dog

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yes he does put their black belts on a pedestal. He thinks bjj is a good system and that the blackbelts deserve his respect.

i believe the same about mma.

you possibly believe the same about akido.

To put something (or someone) on a pedestal is generally accepted as meaning you believe [the object or person] is perfect or more important than others.

Black belts should be accorded the respect due their accomplishments. They should not be put on a pedestal.

Unless it's for a brief period while they're handed their awards.
 

Danny T

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yes he does put their black belts on a pedestal. He thinks bjj is a good system and that the blackbelts deserve his respect.

i believe the same about mma.

you possibly believe the same about akido.
I agree that he thinks bjj is a good system and blackbelts deserve his respect.
That you believe the same about mma. (not aware of any ranking specifically in mma other than contender ranking)
Are there now MMA belt ranks?

For me the martial arts is all about respect. I respect all who come to the martial arts putting in the time and effort with a good attitude to constantly better themselves while helping their training partners become better also. Those who stay and earn bb and/or higher are respected for having done so however the level of respect is not because of having earned bb rank. It is simply another level so get back on the mats and help someone else get better as you continue to improve.
 

Hanzou

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Actually placing someone on a pedestal simply means you hold them in high regard and/or admiration.

I'm still trying to figure out how me placing Bjj BBs on a pedestal is somehow an insult to other MAs because they supposedly don't place their BBs on a pedestal. :rolleyes:
 

Danny T

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Actually placing someone on a pedestal simply means you hold them in high regard and/or admiration.

I'm still trying to figure out how me placing Bjj BBs on a pedestal is somehow an insult to other MAs because they supposedly don't place their BBs on a pedestal. :rolleyes:

The dictionary gives the definition as;
:the glorifying or idealizing of someone;
:to behave as if one person is more important than others;
:to elevated to a position of reverence
:giving someone uncritical respect or admiration; treat someone as an ideal rather than a real person.
this to me is a bit more than just high regard and/or admiration.

I don't believe you were/are insulting other MAs for many place BBs on a pedestal. Many do.
I don't, though I do give them respect and do admire them for what they have attained.
I happen to have far more admiration by how good one is at being a training partner helping others become better than by one becoming a BB.
 

Cirdan

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I'm not sure that this is what Touch of Death was meaning. In my Aikido we didn't have coloured belts at first. We still graded through various levels but kept the white belt. When coloured belts were introduced I went from white to brown. Going from a white belt to black belt without grading in between would be a tremendous jump.

I did not reply to ToD, the OP rather.

Anyway gradings are not jumps, they are just ceremonies and changing the belt does not change who you are.
 

drop bear

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I agree that he thinks bjj is a good system and blackbelts deserve his respect.
That you believe the same about mma. (not aware of any ranking specifically in mma other than contender ranking)
Are there now MMA belt ranks?

For me the martial arts is all about respect. I respect all who come to the martial arts putting in the time and effort with a good attitude to constantly better themselves while helping their training partners become better also. Those who stay and earn bb and/or higher are respected for having done so however the level of respect is not because of having earned bb rank. It is simply another level so get back on the mats and help someone else get better as you continue to improve.

there are belts in some schools but we don't have them. Otherwise a title is a title really be it a black belt or a competition ranking. The concept is the same.
 

drop bear

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there are belts in some schools but we don't have them. Otherwise a title is a title really be it a black belt or a competition ranking. The concept is the same.

again because i cant edit. If you have a rank in another style and we a wearing a gi wearing the belt is no issue. Which makes our judo class a bit different. We have karate guy judo noob in his black. We have a couple of kudo guys one with a black and one green. I roll around in a white but have been thinking of getting a camo belt. One actual judo girl in an orange.
 

drop bear

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To put something (or someone) on a pedestal is generally accepted as meaning you believe [the object or person] is perfect or more important than others.

Black belts should be accorded the respect due their accomplishments. They should not be put on a pedestal.

Unless it's for a brief period while they're handed their awards.

in a martial arts sense some people are more important. That is why you afford them the respect.

same as any activity that you would be passionate about.
 

Cirdan

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again because i cant edit. If you have a rank in another style and we a wearing a gi wearing the belt is no issue. Which makes our judo class a bit different. We have karate guy judo noob in his black. We have a couple of kudo guys one with a black and one green. I roll around in a white but have been thinking of getting a camo belt. One actual judo girl in an orange.

Why would you want a camo belt? Just curious. Sorry if missed something.
 

Chris Parker

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Uh no.

The black belt has reached a somewhat mythical status in the west but in Japan first degree black belt is just seen as another rank, the rank after 1st Kyu (which is often a brown belt) and before 2nd Dan.

As has been said many, many, many times in this thread, that all completely depends on the system, school, organisation, instructor etc but, in general, no, Shodan is not "just another rank" at least, not in the way you're thinking. We'll cover that in a bit.

Shodan, the Japanese word for first degree black belt is literally translated as "low man."

What? Where on earth did you get that from? In no way whatsoever does it mean "low man"宇hat would be gejin or kajin and would be written 銝鈭 (literally: low person) Shodan, on the other hand, literally means "initial level", and is written 畾. Absolutely no connection between the terms at all I don't even know where to start with describing just how far from the idea of Shodan "low man" would be.

So therefore I don't see why a sensei from Japan would view it as such a big deal, and would make the test for Shodan much harder than the test for 1st Kyu.

Because it can be a big deal even in Japan depending on the school itself. In some, it's really not anything to be excited about you can earn a Shodan in a range of arts by training in them as part of your high school study, for example but, just as commonly, it's a marked occasion. The reason is that it's representative (in many cases) of the students' moving on to a more in-depth study of the system. At that point, they've proven themselves worthy of gaining entrance to the arts and their teachings and, before knowing that a student is ready for that, it's quite reasonable to consider that the test (to ascertain their suitability) be a little more than what's been done before.

Before Shodan (or, in more traditional systems, before gaining entrance to anything beyond the basic levels of a Ryu-ha), the student is only focusing on basics a test to determine if you're suitable to go beyond that has to be fairly substantial.

Everything has reasons. Even if you don't see them.
 

Zero

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Actually placing someone on a pedestal simply means you hold them in high regard and/or admiration.

It may just be a lost in translation point. Not sure where you are from but now days the phrase "placing one on a pedestal" to an English speaker, at least in many Western countries, has certain connotations or implications that are not necessarily as favourable as a literal reading of those words. "Putting someone on a pedestal" can imply such person, while being good, does not necessarily merit such attention or being raised to such a level beyond that of others, in that they may actually be somewhat undeserving of being singled out.

I would say very few people actually deserve to be "metaphorically" put on a pedestal. Certainly not black belts per se and not simply for passing the bb examination. To be put on a pedestal with true merit in my mind this would be someone of the level of an Olympic medallist or a national/international level fighter (or kata exponent). Alternatively and away from competition, it would need to be someone very senior and/or accomplished in their martial art lineage or field. I have deep respect for my school sensei, who is 4th dan, but would not put him on a pedestal (and importantly, and this speaks volumes of the individual, he would probably in distaste try to bash me over the head with said metaphorical pedestal if I did!!). The head of the martial art system would be another matter.

Not sure if that helps at all?
 

Cirdan

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I think it is a mistake to put anything on a pedestal, be it things, symbols, concepts or especially people.

"Beware of heroes. Much better to rely on your own judgment, and your own mistakes"
 

Zero

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Beware of false prophets and...I forget how the rest goes...
 

Hanzou

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It may just be a lost in translation point. Not sure where you are from but now days the phrase "placing one on a pedestal" to an English speaker, at least in many Western countries, has certain connotations or implications that are not necessarily as favourable as a literal reading of those words. "Putting someone on a pedestal" can imply such person, while being good, does not necessarily merit such attention or being raised to such a level beyond that of others, in that they may actually be somewhat undeserving of being singled out.

I would say very few people actually deserve to be "metaphorically" put on a pedestal. Certainly not black belts per se and not simply for passing the bb examination. To be put on a pedestal with true merit in my mind this would be someone of the level of an Olympic medallist or a national/international level fighter (or kata exponent). Alternatively and away from competition, it would need to be someone very senior and/or accomplished in their martial art lineage or field. I have deep respect for my school sensei, who is 4th dan, but would not put him on a pedestal (and importantly, and this speaks volumes of the individual, he would probably in distaste try to bash me over the head with said metaphorical pedestal if I did!!). The head of the martial art system would be another matter.

Not sure if that helps at all?

I think part of the problem is that the ranking system in Bjj is quite a bit different than the ranking systems of other martial arts. In Bjj, a blue belt is the equivalent of a black belt in a lot of styles. A Bjj purple belt is instructional level, and that's the equivalent of a second or third degree BB in many systems. Most people don't make it past blue, much less purple due to the requirement of time invested. Also the promotions can be a little wacky sometimes. Your instructor will just come in one day and give you a stripe and say congratulations. Sometimes your instructor doesn't promote you for a very long time. So yeah, if you make it to black, that's quite a accomplishment.

Then there's the expectations that come along with being a black belt. You're tested constantly by just about everyone. Tapping a black belt is a massive accomplishment in Bjj, and its everyone's dream from white to purple to tap one out. So you have a big target on your back, and if you get tapped, you lose respect. The last thing you want is to be the Bjj school that puts out soft black belts. As a Shotokan black belt, I never had to worry about anything like that. No one ever came into my dojo wanting to fight me or anything, and I never had to spar with lower belts who wanted to take my head off. However, in my time in Bjj my instructor or co-instructor have been challenged many times, and the entire school watches when it takes place.

So yeah, that's where my reasoning comes from.
 

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