Traditions that you pass on to your students

IcemanSK

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There are 2 traditions that I pass on to my students.
1) Don't wash your belt.
2) Don't let your belt touch the ground.

I teach mostly kids & share these two traditions with them. The first, I tell them that the tradition says, "all of your knowledge & pain goes into your belt. And that if you wash your belt, it will be washed away." Then I ask them if they think that actually happens. They usually say, "no." I say of course not, but that it's a tradition that we keep.

The second one I point out that if we do push-ups or sit-ups, our belts will touch the ground. The idea is that our belt & uniform are important parts of our training & we should treat them with respect. Dragging it on the floor isn't respectful. I ask them if they think a police officers would treat their uniform or badge like that. They say "no" & the point is made. It should mean something to them.

What traditions do you pass on to your students? What were some passed to you that you didn't pass on?
 

dancingalone

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Good topic.

Traditions I choose not to pass on:

  1. white uniforms only: I wear white most of the time myself, but I have no problems if someone wants to wear another color. The only rule I have is that your gear must be clean and odor-free. Most of my students usually choose to wear a judo uniform because it is functional and durable.
  2. the concept of a student gift to the teacher: I had to pay for some nice wooden additions to my teacher's dojo before he would accept me as his student. It's an interesting idea of proving your sincerity but ultimately impractical in American society. Instead I require commitment from a student. He has to come regularly and he has to train hard AND he has to LISTEN. The $25 a month tuition I charge helps to defray equipment costs, but truthfully I don't worry too much about collecting it.

Traditions I kept:

  1. limited belt colors: My teacher used white, green, & brown. I added purple before brown, but I certainly don't use the entire rainbow as seems to be prevalent right now.
  2. use of physical contact to desensitize students to being struck: We do lots of body conditioning and study the use pain points. We understand part of fighting is being hit yourself; nonetheless you have to survive the pain, and this helps you get used to it in the dojo where your partner is friendly.
  3. the use of sempai within the dojo to help teach the newbies.
 

NPTKD

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Why not wash your belt? I never have, not that I don't agree but I have never heard it before...... Asking questions is also a good tradition
 

K-man

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Why not wash your belt? I never have, not that I don't agree but I have never heard it before...... Asking questions is also a good tradition
We have the same tradition in Goju of not washing the belt. It takes years of blood, sweat and toil to get up through the ranks. We like to think that the spirit of all that work is maintained in the belt.
 

dancingalone

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We have the same tradition in Goju of not washing the belt. It takes years of blood, sweat and toil to get up through the ranks. We like to think that the spirit of all that work is maintained in the belt.

That's an American-added tradition. I actually train Okinawan Goju myself, and there's no such prohibition in my line.
 

Dave Leverich

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I was curious as to the origins on the belt touching the floor as well (washing for that matter too hehe). For me, it's just a number and holds my dobok closed. While I do value what it does, I know that I can fight just as well without it as I can with it?

I mean I don't go out of my way to disrespect the thing, but I pretty much consider it like any other inanimate object (although as part of my uniform I don't want it messy or torn up etc).
 

seasoned

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Wash the belt and it shrinks, really bad. :) Also. belt never touches the floor, was what we didn't let happen. Why,:idunno:.
 

Carol

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Wash the belt and it shrinks, really bad. :) Also. belt never touches the floor, was what we didn't let happen. Why,:idunno:.

Ever been to a small dojo, in the Northeast, in the winter? Especially one that has tile floors? Eeeeyuw! :D Between the melting slush/snow/salt/sand and dog-knows-what-else gets tracked in from everyone's boots...it can get pretty gross...esp. when all that muck is confined to a small space. ;)
 
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IcemanSK

IcemanSK

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I was curious as to the origins on the belt touching the floor as well (washing for that matter too hehe). For me, it's just a number and holds my dobok closed. While I do value what it does, I know that I can fight just as well without it as I can with it?

I mean I don't go out of my way to disrespect the thing, but I pretty much consider it like any other inanimate object (although as part of my uniform I don't want it messy or torn up etc).


I inmagine it came about when an instructor saw a young student dragging their belt behind them (& thinking of the US flag) said, "you shouldn't let your belt touch the ground." Just a guess.
 

girlbug2

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If I ever get a dojo, I'll be sure to pass on the tradition of hand sanitizing before and after class. It just makes a whole lot of sense.
 

K-man

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That's an American-added tradition. I actually train Okinawan Goju myself, and there's no such prohibition in my line.
Could be. Ours would have come via Yamaguchi (Japan) through Hawaii to Australia.
 

Cirdan

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Train every day

Even if you only do ten minutes of basics a day it adds up, it means you will have practiced your techniques 50 000 times more at the end of the year.

Do not wear your gi in public

It does not concern the public what we do or what we wear, if they want to know they can come to the dojo or visit our website. If you wear your gi walking to and from training put a jacket over.

Do not wash your belt

Not a strict rule but most higher belts follow it. There is of course the tradition of respect for the effort put into training symbolized by the belt but also other reasons. In Wado stripes and such are not put on the belt, instead you can tell how long the person have been training by how worn the belt is. Belts of some brands tend to fall apart or weaken from washing because the different fabrics in them are affected differently. We don`t mind putting the belt on the floor or even stepping on it however, we use them a lot for stretching and other activities.

Our tradition of not washing the belt is not american in origin.
 

dancingalone

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Could be. Ours would have come via Yamaguchi (Japan) through Hawaii to Australia.

Cool. My sensei is an Okinawan that emigrated to Singapore then to California. He has ties back to the Jundokan with some Meibukan influence.

Cirdan said:
Our tradition of not washing the belt is not american in origin.

Whatever the source, I'm inclined to believe it's a Western invention. All the Asian cultures I have been in contact with value cleanliness after all. Here's a link to a good article on the topic of washing belts or even letting them touch the ground. The author of the 24 Fighting Chickens says it more eloquently than I ever could. He's a sport Shotokan guy as I understand it.

http://www.24fightingchickens.com/2005/09/09/urban-legends-of-karate-belts/
 

Ken Morgan

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Well as I train in iaido and jodo, we have developed a most appropriate honourable tradition beer and wings after practice!!
 

searcher

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I don't let them wash their belts(I look at it as dis-respecting their rank. It may sound silly, but I don't care).

Don't wear your rank or uniform in public.

Don't brag about your skills.

Don't fight unless you have to.

White uniforms until brown belt.

Pass on what they have learned.
 

TaekwondoForLife

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Traditions I pass along to my students:

Address all black belts and senior instructors as sir or ma'am
Get used to bowing
Never stop practicing basics
You wear a white V-neck until you test for black belt and earn a black V-neck.
If you want to wear a non-white uniform, go somewhere else.
 
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