Still really enjoying the art



I have been pursuing hapkido since the middle of July and am getting so much out of it. Our dojang doesn't put a lot of emphasis on belts. As a matter of fact, there are only 2 colors: brown and black. The brown belts are broken down into 9 levels or gueps, which I am presuming are roughly equivalent to belt levels. Last night, my instructor told me that I am being moved up from guep 9 to guep 8. That was definitely exciting to know that he apparently sees the progress that I have been feeling.

I love the dojang I have found. The classes are generally very small, and the emphasis is on real-life application of the techniques. In this day and age, that is really the only way to fly.

Its great to hear that you are enjoying HKD. I like they 2 belt color idea. It helps to eliminate the focus on the next belt color. I will hopefully be opening my own dojang within a year and plan on doing something simular. I will only have 2 belt colors. Whit and black. The white belt will have levels just like the black. Of coarse The white belt will only be awarded one time, and the diferences in gups will be anotated by stripes on the white belt. Right now in my teachers dojang we have 7 gup levels ( Whit to Red ) before you get to black. And after 1st dan we do not do anything to the belts to identify the different Dan ranks. I really do like it this way, and to me it kinda takes it back to the traditional days.
Don't the strips on the belt have the same kind of effect as different belts though? Instead of wanting that next belt they want the next stripe?
Excuse my ignorance if I've misunderstood.
In a way it does, but not so much as a belt of color. With maintaining a white belt they can see through time their belts getting dirty and worn from training, and I'm hoping this will give them more pride and take the focus somewhat off of the stripe. the dojang I take classes at, there aren't even belt stripes. Your ranking is only seen on a chart on the wall in the front room...It's either a simple brown belt or a black belt. I like the simplicity of the system, too.

ya.. that is kinda cool about the 2 belt system.. but you can look at both systems that same.. weather your going for a stripe or belt.. both have its advantages.. and im not knocking either.. we have the color belt system.. I like it!! but the aging white belt is a cool concept as well!! every school has its differences.. but hey.. that's how is suppose to be right?? I mean if we were all the same.. what would we be in here talking about??

See ya all around!! :asian:

p.s fcpsp... glad to see you are enjoying your HKD classes.. and that you have found a school that shares in your philosophys!!
In dojo where i train hapkido we have: white, green, blue, red, black belts.

I think belts are very good ranking system because it's also one of the pointers how much you are getting better.

But it's a mistake focusing on belts only. They are just pointers, one should not focus on them, but be glad when get rank up.

Also, any other ranking system serving as pointer for somebodys progress is good, no matter belts or anything else.

Again, i think mistake is focusing on it. Set focus on your art and rankings will come.

I trained hapkido for few months with white belt, and hear no word about rankings. Suddenly, sensei camed to me and told: "Your progress is very good. Next training you should wear green belt". I like that approach much.

Sorry for bad english!!
Hello Tigerlove,

Your English seems okay to me, and I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head, so to speak.

A belt is simply an outward marker indicating the student's progress. Some students need the belt to help keep them motivated more than others do, but used as a teaching tool and progress indicator, I think belts are just fine.

I like the belt system as well. Our instructors know at a glance what set of techniques a student is learning and will give them techniques within that belt to practice. The instructors do not teach new techniques, our GM teaches each one personally. Also, we spar every class, mostly round robin style so each student will spar with every other student in class. At a glance, I know what level of instruction my opponent has compared to mine and I can adjust my sparring to correspond with any disparity. I am at brown belt (5th guep), so if I'm up against a red belt, I work more on my own skills and leave it up to them to deal with it. If I'm up against a yellow belt, I will spar with the goal of giving them opportunity to work on their techniques, but not overwhelm them. This breaks down at times. Occasionally, I get a fairly new fellow student, adult male, who wants to prove something. With these guys, I tend to gear my sparring to practicing defense and counter attacks, distance control, etc. I think a white belt, adult, middle age male trying to make up for the past is the most dangerous person in the dojang. Few skills, little control, suddenly inflated ego. From what I've seen so far, they tend to settle down after they get a few belts under them.
@daniel: I agree with you for the belts. Ok then, i thought my english was bad!!

@jimR: I share your opinnion that white belts have most potention for being dangerous.

Like you say, they have some skills, and their only ''control'' is their frustrated ego. That's not case every time, many people controls their ego long time before they enetered the dojo (me perhaps) - but we remember thos dangerous one very well.

But, they are here to learn, and i as all others will give them chance to learn. I believe when you control your moves and your ego while you receiving hits from partner, you also will control your ego and yourself in real life hard times situations (any situation, not fight related - at least not psihycal fight), what (i think) is crucial.

Greetings!!! Egon