Would you still consider a green belt a beginner?

monk64

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In some systems, green belt is the midway point. Some kung fu studios use white/yellow/green/brown/black sashes. In the style of kung fu I studied, a green belt would have learned about 180 separate techniques (each with 8-10 moves), plus forms. It was a multi-year effort usually. That's probably the most extreme placement of green belt.

In most Kenpo systems, you go yellow/orange/purple/blue and then green. After green is brown so it's an important transition. Brown/black are definitely the advanced section, so green is penultimate.

Here's one take from my Kenpo experience: yellow/orange belts are working on things a white belt would understand. Purple/blue belts are working on things a white belt might be able to conceptualize but maybe can't do. Green belts are working on things that are over a white belt's head.

Here's another take: in a lot styles, the art progresses like this: first you block and then hit, then you block and hit at the same time, and then finally you just move in and hit. Green belt is definitely in the "same time" category. In Kung Fu San Soo, for example, by the time you're a green belt, with every move you're doing multiple things.

Interesting question!
 

DennisBreene

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Certainly green belt shows that you are making progress and that is noteworthy. As with several of the others who posted, I was trained to believe that you were a beginner until you achieved black belt. At that time, my instructor would inform us that "now I can start to teach you Karate". And so we began again. Enjoy the personal progress you are achieving and try to view your art as a lifestyle and therefore there is no end in sight.
Dennis
 

celestial_dragon

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Do you feel like a beginner? Ask yourself this, on a 1 - 10 points of knowledge 1 being low and 10 high, where do you consider yourself, then subtract about 10% - 20% of that point for ego. And that is where you probably are, just saying.
 

chrispillertkd

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Well, it depends on things such as how many kyu ranks there are, how many dan levels there are, how long it takes to reach each rank, etc. I do agree with the people that say black belt (and by that I mean 1st dan) is a beginner rank, so in that regard, yes green belt in the rank structire that the OP posted is definitely a beginning rank.

Speaking personally, I knew much more as a green belt than as a white belt. But when I reached 1st dan I knew much more than I did at green belt. Now, as a 5th dan I know a ton more than I did as a 1st dan, and my instructor, who is a 7th still teaches me knew stuff every time I train with him! Now, I didn't feel like a beginner at 1st dan (although I still felt a little bit that way at green belt) but looking back now as a 5th dan I can see how I really was a beginner even at that rank.

Pax,

Chris
 

Aiki Lee

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Even a master level martial artist will be a beginner in another martial skill if he wants to keep learning. Building skills can be a long process and I think you can say you've moved beyond the begginner's level and into the advanced level when you know longer have to make things work and they just work.
 

arnisador

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If this is a yes-or-no question, then yes, still a beginner. Obviously, it's somewhere in-between, and systems vary (e.g., any belt in BJJ is pretty good). To my mind brown belt is usually where that changes.
 

Cirdan

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Impossible to say if a green belt is a beginner or not without knowing what the rank means in the particular system and if the person has additional training. Underestimating a "lower belt" you don`t know in sparring can easily result in getting your butt kicked.
 

Instructor

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after all these years I still feel like a beginner. It is best to approach each day as if it is new.
 

zamanbutt

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Congratulations on receiving your belt. I would never consider to you as a beginner.
 

Buka

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Embryo. Zygote, even. As we all were.
 

elder999

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I am a Ju-Jitsu practitioner and the belt order goes thusly:

White,
Yellow,
Orange,
Green,
Blue,
Purple,
Brown,
Black,
2nd Dan etc.


I have recently achieved my green belt, would you still consider me a beginner or not?

Obviously I'm not saying I'm a master or anything, just wondered am I past the beginner level?


Thank you! :)

[shodan means "first step."

My first class as a black belt, long ago, was purely a demonstration of how much of a beginner I had just become.

38 years later, I'm still a beginner.

4th kyu? Means you've stuck around more than most-look around you: how many people are there with you who were white belts at the same time you were?
 

PhotonGuy

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I am a Ju-Jitsu practitioner and the belt order goes thusly:

White,
Yellow,
Orange,
Green,
Blue,
Purple,
Brown,
Black,
2nd Dan etc.


I have recently achieved my green belt, would you still consider me a beginner or not?

Obviously I'm not saying I'm a master or anything, just wondered am I past the beginner level?


Thank you! :)

Generally the green belt is used as an intermediate belt. Really though, it would depend on the school and the standards they set. At some places I've seen black belts that I would consider beginners and at other places I've seen green belts and even white belts who are really good and really advanced, although such white belts usually if not always have previous experience in martial arts.
 

Buka

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Generally the green belt is used as an intermediate belt. Really though, it would depend on the school and the standards they set. At some places I've seen black belts that I would consider beginners and at other places I've seen green belts and even white belts who are really good and really advanced, although such white belts usually if not always have previous experience in martial arts.

It is not often that I am at a loss for words.
 

Tames D

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To me, a beginner is someone who is beginning to do/learn something. A green belt is certainly not a beginner. unless the ranking system in that particular art starts with a green belt. In the case of the OP, he's NOT a beginner. If we're talking about skill level, well that's another thing altogether.
 

Buka

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Why is that?

Because I have a big mouth and like to talk. Besides, how can I answer if I'm a loss for words? It would come out muted. :)

(Okay, poor humor aside, please forgive it.) White belts, yellow belts, green belts, there's not a heck of a lot of difference. Might be to them, but that's because they're white belts, yellow belts and green belts. They're still in boot camp. You can take the most athletic person you know, have him/her train in a really good Martial Arts school for a couple years and you'll still have an athletic beginner. Don't take my word for it, find one of those people and if they're still training ten years from now ask them what they knew in 2014, ask them how good they were at anything in Martial Arts. See what they tell you.

I have some belts. My favorite is a white belt in BJJ. Been a white belt for a long time, I have a lot of experience as a white belt. And if you've never trained in a grappling art I'll probably tie you up in knots. But I'm still a white belt. I'm still in boot camp. And I still suck at BJJ. This Martial stuff takes time. White belts in anything don't know sheet from tuna fish. (of course, that means you're reading something from a guy that doesn't know sheet from tuna fish) No matter how talented they are in other things.

Geesh, I talk a lot for a guy who's at a loss for words. I think I'll go have a tuna sandwich. (I better be careful!)
 

hussaf

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I have good experience. My buddy started straining with me a couple years ago and he basically just got his green belt. he certainly isn't a noob at the dojo - he's been there for years - but he is still working on grasping the basics. Generally the term "beginner" in a martial arts context references skill level. In most Japanese martial arts you are a beginner until around 1st kyu or 1st black belt. at black belt you are considered a serious student - this had either become a significant part of your life, or you just quit because you "mastered" that particular art.

Only ranking system I have a little familiarity with outside JMA is BJJ. they have people technically advanced in the colored belts.

In hindsight, the aikido branch of my organization just went from 7 kyu ranks to 10. I asked our organizational head how we should handle people already with rank. He laughed and said in all honesty colored belts are arbitrary, it's just an attempt at providing goal-based incentive while also attempting to chunk basic techniques into organized groups to help with continuity and ensure critical skills aren't missed.
 

Buka

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I'm wrong. Again. I was thinking about this last night. Believe it or not, I think about what everyone says here. I love Martial Arts, training in it, watching it, teaching it, talking about it, thinking about it. So I'm thinking last night....if you consider what a green belt knows, especially a seasoned one, comparing it to someone who's never trained...that can be quite a lot. Maybe even advanced. Or even a seasoned white belt could be put in that category. Then I thought about a seasoned black belt. And thought that might not be a fair comparison.

So, as I'm considering all of this my wife sees the look on my face and says, "What are you thinking about?" (warning to you single guys, beware of traps like this when the time comes) I tell her. She nods but doesn't say anything for a while. Then she starts laughing. I immediately respond, "Wha?"

She says, "You've been doing this a long time. The two main classes at night in all the dojos are what classes?" I say, "The beginners class and the regular class." She says, "And the regular class is called what on the schedule?" (the regular class is called the advanced class) She then says, "Every single green belt you've ever taught, every single one of them is in which class?" I quietly say, "The advanced class." She says, "and after a white belt has been in the school for a couple months, you know, once they're house broken, you throw them into which class?" I sheepishly say, "the advanced class."
She, says, "See, honey, when you want to know what you really think, all you have to do is ask."

So for the second time in as many days, I am at a loss for words.
 

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