White belt

hogstooth

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After reading and responding to the thread "stop trying to pull the wool over my eyes" I thought this deserved more discussion.
It discussed a student of one art wanting to transfer into another art as the rank s/he was in the previous style.
What is so bad about a white belt? It is a starting point. Just like an associates degree. Everyone has to start here to progress and rise in rank. So why do so many have a bad view of it. If we are to have a beginners mind then what is wrong with actually being a beginner?
Is it ego? Do we think we will be thought less of for wearing the dreaded symbol of a beginner.
So I pose this question to all of you. Does the belt make the man, or does the man make the belt? Is the belt truely a symbol of a mans skill and knowledge, or is he?
 

terryl965

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I do not know, when I started other styles I have been told to wear my BB but I would rather wear a white belt even though I have over forty years that does not mean I understand your style and would hate to think people thought I was a BB inthat style and demostrating its techs. badly. People need to leave ego's at the door and just train. At least this is the way I see it.
 

still learning

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Hello, Just my opinion here....

If one is starting in a new art? ....one should start as a white belt.

Reason is it is a NEW system or style! Off course each Teacher/Sensi can make any ajustments.

Your past experiences may give you more chances for a faster promotions, but do not expect it!

Ego's is the main reason for wanting to wear an exiting rank in other systems or styles.

The kata's maybe really different too....START AS A WHITE BELT....WHO CARE'S WHAT YOU WERE BEFORE!

Martial arts is about being humble.................Aloha

PS: Learning new things is NOT about your past rankings.....be humble!
 

jarrod

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the only exceptions should be if the new style is VERY closely related to what you have a black belt in. still, if you feel you should already be wearing a black belt in a new style, why not just stick to the style you are in? there is no point to beginning new style if you don't begin as a new student.

jf
 

Brian S

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Hello, Just my opinion here....

If one is starting in a new art? ....one should start as a white belt.

Reason is it is a NEW system or style! Off course each Teacher/Sensi can make any ajustments.

Your past experiences may give you more chances for a faster promotions, but do not expect it!

Ego's is the main reason for wanting to wear an exiting rank in other systems or styles.

The kata's maybe really different too....START AS A WHITE BELT....WHO CARE'S WHAT YOU WERE BEFORE!

Martial arts is about being humble.................Aloha

PS: Learning new things is NOT about your past rankings.....be humble!


Exactly. If they are truly there to learn they will have no problem wearing a whitebelt. I went to whitebelt in kempo even though I'm nidan in goju, soo what. Theie curriculum was different, the way of moving and striking was different etc...

Ultimately, it's up to the instructor,but remember the old saying, "empty your cup."
 

Rich Parsons

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After reading and responding to the thread "stop trying to pull the wool over my eyes" I thought this deserved more discussion.
It discussed a student of one art wanting to transfer into another art as the rank s/he was in the previous style.
What is so bad about a white belt? It is a starting point. Just like an associates degree. Everyone has to start here to progress and rise in rank. So why do so many have a bad view of it. If we are to have a beginners mind then what is wrong with actually being a beginner?
Is it ego? Do we think we will be thought less of for wearing the dreaded symbol of a beginner.
So I pose this question to all of you. Does the belt make the man, or does the man make the belt? Is the belt truely a symbol of a mans skill and knowledge, or is he?


I have no problem wearing a white belt.

I have no problem starting over if I choose to learn a new art. I teach two different FMA's and I started all over at the beginning in the second one even though I had rank in the first.

I think (S)he represent who (S)he is. I think that the belt at best shows a list of techniques one should know for a specific system.
 

kenpofighter

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I agree with all of you so far. The way I see it is the color belt you wear in a certain system is a way for your instructor to keep up with where you are. And yeah it helps keep people always reaching out for a new goal, but ultimately you start a new system you start at the bottom just like everyone else.
 

Steve

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After reading and responding to the thread "stop trying to pull the wool over my eyes" I thought this deserved more discussion.
It discussed a student of one art wanting to transfer into another art as the rank s/he was in the previous style.
What is so bad about a white belt? It is a starting point. Just like an associates degree. Everyone has to start here to progress and rise in rank. So why do so many have a bad view of it. If we are to have a beginners mind then what is wrong with actually being a beginner?
Is it ego? Do we think we will be thought less of for wearing the dreaded symbol of a beginner.
So I pose this question to all of you. Does the belt make the man, or does the man make the belt? Is the belt truely a symbol of a mans skill and knowledge, or is he?
Does the degree make the man? No. It's that the degree has credibility and is a verifiable indication that "The Man" has achieved something of note. My personal opinion is that the belt is like a diploma. If you get your degree from "Joe Blow Correspondence School and Espresso" you might not expect to get much of a job with it. Conversely, a degree from Harvard is worth much.

This is because the standards from Harvard are high while Joe Blow's college might be... a little suspect.

Also like a degree from a college, the nature of the degree means something, too. A Bachelor's degree of Art in Literature wouldn't help a guy trying to get into the engineering college.

In the same way, a black belt from BJJ would be of little help in a kung fu school. But, much like a degree, a degree in a similar style might serve one well in a similar discipline. So, a black belt in Judo could advance quickly in BJJ and vice versa (depending on training). And a black belt in Shotokan Karate might do well in some other similar discipline. The skills would translate and the styles are very similar.

If this is rambling, forgive me as I've had 2 glasses of wine with my steak tonight and am a hopeless lightweight. :)
 

Mimir

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I myself have the utmost respect for the white belts. To me it means that they have made perhaps one of the hardest steps, which is to start.

Starting anything new can be very intimidating. I remember having that feeling when I started every time I see a white belt.
 

Steve

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I myself have the utmost respect for the white belts. To me it means that they have made perhaps one of the hardest steps, which is to start.

Starting anything new can be very intimidating. I remember having that feeling when I started every time I see a white belt.
I agree!
 

MJS

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After reading and responding to the thread "stop trying to pull the wool over my eyes" I thought this deserved more discussion.
It discussed a student of one art wanting to transfer into another art as the rank s/he was in the previous style.
What is so bad about a white belt? It is a starting point. Just like an associates degree. Everyone has to start here to progress and rise in rank. So why do so many have a bad view of it. If we are to have a beginners mind then what is wrong with actually being a beginner?
Is it ego? Do we think we will be thought less of for wearing the dreaded symbol of a beginner.
So I pose this question to all of you. Does the belt make the man, or does the man make the belt? Is the belt truely a symbol of a mans skill and knowledge, or is he?

I don't see how one can transfew to another art, especially if its totally different from the orignal art, and think they can be recognized in that art. I mean, I'm a 3rd degree in Kenpo. Should I go to a BJJ school, and expect to be viewed as the same rank in BJJ? Of course not.

You earn the rank that you have and nobody can take that from you, however, there is nothing wrong with starting over. If I wanted to take up TKD, I'd expect to put on a white belt. If the inst. insisted that I wear my black, I'd still consider myself a white belt, due to the fact I know nothing about TKD.

To answer the last part of your question...its the person, not the belt, that is a symbol of their knowledge and skill.
 

jks9199

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It's one thing to be given respect when visiting another school by being asked to wear the appropriate rank belt. It's another to begin training in a new style while wearing an inappropriate rank belt.

One practice I've taken from our chief instructor is the "humility rope." For some training, we replace ALL the belts with a simple white rope, as a reminder that we are all students and all there to train. This can sometimes be VERY instructive...
 

Svart

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Im a white belt and damn proud of it. Mines getting dirty now which I like. I can show myself Ive been training hard.
 

bluekey88

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In my experience, it's been very rare to come across someone who tried to insist on carrying rank in a new art based on expereince in another art. That's not to say that doesn;t happen, but it seems to be the exception to the rule.

I've started over so many times...I've got many a white belt kicking around. It's the right thing to do. Where things get dicey for me is in diclosing previous experience. Do I or don't I? I don;t want to brag, but I don't want to be deceitful either. I've had the expereince of being up fron with what I've done and had students/instructors sepnd too much time trying to "win me over" by subtly or not so subtly slagging off what I used to do. (read the old KF school that spent a lot of time trying to sell me on the idea that the Aikido I used to study was descended from Chinese MA's....or the Aikido guy that had NOTHING good to say about any other style and why had i wasted my time all those years?)

If I don't disclose and just go in percieved as a raw beginner, it quickly becomes apparent that I'm not when I start moving...and then I sometimes have the experience of being perceived as a show off or something.

In the end, I disclose my expereince at a new school when asked otherwise I try to remain humble and accept what the school has to offer in order to improve my knowledge and skillset.

the only time I'll wear rank in a different school is if I'm visiting (for a smeinar or just a one off class) and am told to do so by the instructor. In this case it's generally made clear to everyone that I'm visiting.

Peace,
Erik
 

Lynne

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We're a Tang Soo Do School and recently had a gentleman with his black belt in Tae Kwon Do join. He started out as a white belt in our school but is progressing rapidly as much of what we do is very similar to TKD.

I know of a young lady, with her cho dan, who went from a Tang Soo Do school to a Soo Bahk Do school. Traditional Tang Soo Do and Soo Bahk Do are practically identical as I understand. The young lady did not have to start as a white belt but she did have to prove to the dojang master that she was truly a black belt. (I don't know if she tested before him and a committee/how that happened.) I know she is now teaching at that school.
 

Kwanjang

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After reading and responding to the thread "stop trying to pull the wool over my eyes" I thought this deserved more discussion.
It discussed a student of one art wanting to transfer into another art as the rank s/he was in the previous style.
What is so bad about a white belt? It is a starting point. Just like an associates degree. Everyone has to start here to progress and rise in rank. So why do so many have a bad view of it. If we are to have a beginners mind then what is wrong with actually being a beginner?
Is it ego? Do we think we will be thought less of for wearing the dreaded symbol of a beginner.
So I pose this question to all of you. Does the belt make the man, or does the man make the belt? Is the belt truely a symbol of a mans skill and knowledge, or is he?

The point of the other thread (stop trying to pull the wool over my eyes.) was spoting complete fakes. People for what ever reason that have NO formal training. There have been people show up and Stated they were a "black belt" in "whatever art" I it is quite obvious they HAVE FORMAL training. It's easy to spot a fake was basicly what I was saying- with all due respect. There is nothing wrong with being a white belt!
 

MilkManX

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I think if you are going to a different school you should start as a white belt. The techniques will be different but similar. You will pick them up very fast and probably move to Black Belt in alot less time then a new student to any Martial Art.

In Enshin Karate if you have a Black Belt in another style you come is as Orange(A belt we dont use) and then we know you have experience but not in Enshin. Most of them move up fast too!
 

bowser666

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I agree that if you start studying in a new style, you start from the bottom. You most likely will progress faster though. Then again it isn't a race is it ?
 

geezer

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In the FMA classes I attend, there are two ranks, instructor and student. Some of the students are very advanced, and will be frequently be asked to act as assistant instructors. One experienced student even runs a branch school for the instructor. But when the head guy is teaching, we are all students. Many of us were "blackbelts" and instructors in other systems. No matter. Our FMA instructor knows how much experience each of us have, and that's good enough. It's like the old days in Okinawan karate when there were just white belts and black belts. Simple, humble, honest...I like it.
 
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I've had white belts in at least 5 arts in my 18 years of training and only 2 black belts. I plan on "collecting" a few more white belts in my life time.
 
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