Some data for reflection about the word Dan

JR 137

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History of the Kata:
Essentially, the two Fukyugata are “Pinan equivalents” in that they were designed to be summation of the karate that went before. They are very new kata (made in the 1940s) and were created by Shoshin Nagamine (Matsubayashi-ryu) and Chojun Miyagi (Goju-ryu) at the request of Gen Hayakawa (governor of the Okinawa Prefecture) via the Karate-Do Special Committee.

The idea was to create standardised kata that would cut across all the various streams of karate, that were suitable for novices, and would provide a common grounding in the basics of karate.

The Pinans had been in existence for some time, but they were considered to be a summation of “Shuri-te” line alone (quite rightly) and hence were lacking the “Naha-te” side of things.

Shoshin Nagamine made the first kata (Fukyugata Ich) and Chojun Miyagi made the second kata (Fukyugata Ni).

Matsubayashi-ryu still practise them both.

Fukyugata Ni remains part of Goju-Ryu but under the revised name of Gekisai Dai Ichi (normally the first kata taught in Goju-Ryu).

Chojun Miyagi later went on to teach a second version of the same kata, which is largely the same, but with the addition of the circular hand motions common to other Goju kata.

This revised version of Fukyugata Ni / Gekisai Dai Ichi is called Gekisai Dai Ni (normally the second kata taught in Goju).

The name “Fukyu” (普及) translates as something like “universal”, “popular” or “widely spread”. So the name of the kata matches the intention behind their creation.

The revised name of “Gekisai" (撃砕) translates as “Pulverise” or “Attack and Destroy” which would seem to be more reflective of the intent of the applications; as opposed to the former name which reflected the “political intent” of the kata.

Source: Iain Abernethy.... but this is something my own research agrees with.
Thanks for that. That sounds like the exact article I was thinking of when I posted. There are several similar to it as well.

I just wonder why he agreed to it, other than being asked by an authority figure. Did he want everyone to learn karate the same way, or was he thinking help standardize curriculum taught in grade schools?

Sure enough, it was most likely his answer to the Pinans, but who was it intended for? Kids? Adults? It says novices, but who’s a novice? If he waited 2-3 years before he taught Sanchin, did he teach Gekisai Dai after that or before? Gekisai Dai came along towards the end of his life. Did he start teaching Gekisai Dai earlier in a student’s learning than he would’ve taught him Sanchin? Later? Everything I’ve read said the first kata he taught was Sanchin, and that was after 2-3 years. Nothing I’ve read mentions when he taught Gekisai Dai. But there’s not really a lot written about him teaching anyway. Most stuff comes from a handful of people who started training under him well before he developed Gekisai Dai.

As far as I know he didn’t teach children like the others did, so he had to teach it to some adults. Some may have been an age we’d consider children, but things happened a lot younger back then - marriage, having kids, working, etc. A 12 year old during his era was nothing like a 12 year old today.

Sorry for rambling a bit at the end there. I have no idea why Miyagi and how he taught intrigues me so much. If you know of any good biographies, I’d love to read one.
 
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TSDTexan

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Thanks for that. That sounds like the exact article I was thinking of when I posted. There are several similar to it as well.

I just wonder why he agreed to it, other than being asked by an authority figure. Did he want everyone to learn karate the same way, or was he thinking help standardize curriculum taught in grade schools?

Sure enough, it was most likely his answer to the Pinans, but who was it intended for? Kids? Adults? It says novices, but who’s a novice? If he waited 2-3 years before he taught Sanchin, did he teach Gekisai Dai after that or before? Gekisai Dai came along towards the end of his life. Did he start teaching Gekisai Dai earlier in a student’s learning than he would’ve taught him Sanchin? Later? Everything I’ve read said the first kata he taught was Sanchin, and that was after 2-3 years. Nothing I’ve read mentions when he taught Gekisai Dai. But there’s not really a lot written about him teaching anyway. Most stuff comes from a handful of people who started training under him well before he developed Gekisai Dai.

As far as I know he didn’t teach children like the others did, so he had to teach it to some adults. Some may have been an age we’d consider children, but things happened a lot younger back then - marriage, having kids, working, etc. A 12 year old during his era was nothing like a 12 year old today.

Sorry for rambling a bit at the end there. I have no idea why Miyagi and how he taught intrigues me so much. If you know of any good biographies, I’d love to read one.

My understanding that He was tasked with creating a summary kata of NahaTe. the essence of all that was NahaTe. He was asked by a lot of people to do so. He was one of the last original masters on the NahaTe side of things.

Most had died in the "hurricane of steel" or shortly thereafter. He was well loved by the Okinawan karate people.

So he was kind of honored by the request, and kinda pressured into it. I have heard some old masters who were children at the time who've said that he didn't really have in rotation in daily classes, just a handful of senior students learned it. They were the ones who brought it into modern goju.

From all that i've read...
The idea was to put it into the public school system along side the Pinan series. Those had been in the school system for about 36 years by this point.
 
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TSDTexan

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Thanks for that. That sounds like the exact article I was thinking of when I posted. There are several similar to it as well.

I just wonder why he agreed to it, other than being asked by an authority figure. Did he want everyone to learn karate the same way, or was he thinking help standardize curriculum taught in grade schools?

Sure enough, it was most likely his answer to the Pinans, but who was it intended for? Kids? Adults? It says novices, but who’s a novice? If he waited 2-3 years before he taught Sanchin, did he teach Gekisai Dai after that or before? Gekisai Dai came along towards the end of his life. Did he start teaching Gekisai Dai earlier in a student’s learning than he would’ve taught him Sanchin? Later? Everything I’ve read said the first kata he taught was Sanchin, and that was after 2-3 years. Nothing I’ve read mentions when he taught Gekisai Dai. But there’s not really a lot written about him teaching anyway. Most stuff comes from a handful of people who started training under him well before he developed Gekisai Dai.

As far as I know he didn’t teach children like the others did, so he had to teach it to some adults. Some may have been an age we’d consider children, but things happened a lot younger back then - marriage, having kids, working, etc. A 12 year old during his era was nothing like a 12 year old today.

Sorry for rambling a bit at the end there. I have no idea why Miyagi and how he taught intrigues me so much. If you know of any good biographies, I’d love to read one.

Chojun by Goran Powell is a good one
 

_Simon_

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The red and white paneled belt was to honor top judoka with Japan’s national colors. Same for the solid red, but at a higher level.

..


Trivial information - Kyokushin used to use red belt at 10th kyu (white belt is mu kyu/no rank). Mas Oyama changed it to orange after seeing some high ranking judoka wearing solid red, feeling it was potentially disrespectful to them.

Did... not... know about the red/white belt! So that's why!

Yeah I've noticed the use of orange belt in Kyokushin, didn't know that was the reason. My former Kyokushin org used red at 10th kyu though... whoops!
 

JR 137

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Did... not... know about the red/white belt! So that's why!

Yeah I've noticed the use of orange belt in Kyokushin, didn't know that was the reason. My former Kyokushin org used red at 10th kyu though... whoops!
Not everyone in Kyokushin eliminated the red belt. Seems kind of odd that Oyama would change it and some of them didn’t. This was well before his death and all the splintering. I could see if it was near the time of his death, but I think it was a good 15-20 years beforehand. Maybe I’m off on that timeframe though.
 
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TSDTexan

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Not everyone in Kyokushin eliminated the red belt. Seems kind of odd that Oyama would change it and some of them didn’t. This was well before his death and all the splintering. I could see if it was near the time of his death, but I think it was a good 15-20 years beforehand. Maybe I’m off on that timeframe though.

traditionalists...
 

JR 137

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traditionalists...
While Kyokushin isn’t the most traditional school (relatively speaking), there was quite a bit of uniformity within the organization. For an organization that large and in that many countries, it’s astounding how much uniformity there was. The red belt vs orange belt is one of the very, very few things I know of that wasn’t across the board. At least during Oyama’s lifetime.

After Oyama’s death a lot of the big names went their own way, just about all calling themselves Kyokushin. Many still do, and many that changed their names kept Kyokushin in the name somehow, ie Kenji Midori’s Shin Kyokushin. Many of the ones that branched off also added kata. Actually, not so much added kata but rather brought back kata Oyama taught earlier on but dropped later. I’ve seen Tekki/Naihanchi, Bassai, and a few others. But during Oyama’s lifetime, Kyokushin was like a huge well-oiled military machine.
 

thanson02

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Korean martial arts

Some Korean martial art schools use embroidered bars to denote different danranks, as shown on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd danbelts above

Korean martial arts lacked a grading system up until the Japanese annexation and then occupation (1910–1945) during which a variety of Japanese martial arts were introduced into the Korean school system, most notably judo, karate-do and kendo.

After the occupation ended, newly emerging martial arts like taekwondo, tang soo do, soo bahk do and hapkido adopted the dan (단, 段) and geup (급, 級) ranks.

The dan rank system is also used by baduk players. Nowadays, the Korea Taekkyon Association also issues dan ranks to taekkyeon practitioners.

Someone who has received a dan rank is called a yudanja (유단자, 有段者).
Someone who has received a "high" dan rank (6th Dan upwards) is called a "kodanja" or alternate spelling "godanja" (고단자, 高段者).

In some Korean schools, most notably in Kukkiwon-style Taekwondo, there is also a poom system in place (품, 品; "pum" using standard Romanization).

Practitioners who have not yet reached the age of 15 cannot test for a dan rank. For them, there is a system of four poom grades. After they reach the age of 15, their poom-grade can be changed to the corresponding "dan"-grade.

They also cannot test for 4th degree black belt before the age of 19, because they must stay in 3rd degree for at least 4 years.

Ranks in Korean

When numbering the dan ranks, Sino-Korean numbers are used. Common names for the dan ranks are thus:

Il dan (일단, 一段): first-degree black belt (also known as cho dan (초단, hanja: 初段))

I dan (이단, 二段): second-degree black belt

Sam dan (삼단 三段): third-degree black belt

Sa dan (사단, 四段): fourth-degree black belt

O dan (오단, 五段): fifth-degree black belt

Yuk dan (육단, 六段): sixth-degree black belt

Chil dan (칠단, 七段): seventh-degree black belt

Pal dan (팔단, 八段): eighth-degree black belt

Gu dan (구단, 九段): ninth-degree black belt

Sip dan (십단, 十段): tenth-degree black belt

For most Korean martial arts, the dan ranks do not go past ninth dan, although on some occasions in some organizations, a tenth dan (십단, 十段) has been issued.

From what I have seen, this looks pretty spot on for the Korean arts. The only thing I would add is that some martial arts may have additional titles associated with different ranks if they are involved with teaching at a dojang or not and others would assume that if you hit a particular rank, you will be teaching.
 

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