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  1. goodlun is online now
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    Posted On:
    7/28/2012 1:07am

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Naszir check out what Matt Thornton has to say on the subject http://aliveness101.blogspot.com/200...out-belts.html
  2. RandomTriangle is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/28/2012 8:58am


     Style: Judo-Brown

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kave View Post
    Unfortunately I read that entire pile of drivel. Trying to equate the difference between pro and amature boxing with a coloured belt or sash ranking system. Trying to tell me that there is a ranking system in wrestling. Yes you make valid assumptions on someones ability in wrestling by the level of competition they have competed in, and how well they have done. No, this is not the same as a formal ranking system.

    Judo has competitive structures similar to Wrestling, does that mean Judo runs two parallel formal ranking systems? Would a system similar to the sash or belt system be of value in non-combat based sports such as sprinting or pentathlon?

    The answer is that in any competition driven art, ranking systems are completely unnecessary because your level of ability is judged by your results. In non-competition-driven arts your level of ability is only relevant within your school, and should be readily apparent to your training partners.

    However, if wearing a camo-belt gives you warm fuzzy feelings, and makes you feel like a super deadly ninja, feel free to wear it. Personally I don't actively seek rankings, but it doesn't bother me if you do.
    Actually I thought I read (here on bullshido) that the origins of the belt ranking system was taken from swimming? Something like advanced swimmers wore a black sash or something.

    I can't remember the details
  3. Omega Supreme is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/28/2012 11:31am

    staff
     Style: Chinese Boxing

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kave View Post
    This shows precisely how much martial arts ranks actually mean.
    I did say you're an idiot right?

    *edit
    I get what you're trying to say but you're refusing to acknowledge what I'm saying. Of course rank means something.

    Rank doesn't equal who is going to win in a fight.

    In our gym rank means that the person has been doing it longer so has acquired a certain level of knowledge. I don't expect my 130lbs competitive female intermediate student to tap out a 250 lbs athletic phenom. When that 250 lbs athletic phenom needs to learn an armbar variation though I'm going to put them with the my most experienced person so they're taught correctly. People know at my gym, when I'm not available, that they can go up to the next highest "ranking" student, to learn something new. My students are required to back up their knowledge with a certain level of skill.

    Now get your head out of that sheeps ass and start thinking for once.
  4. Chili Pepper is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/28/2012 12:26pm


     Style: Siling Labuyo Arnis

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by RandomTriangle View Post
    Actually I thought I read (here on bullshido) that the origins of the belt ranking system was taken from swimming? Something like advanced swimmers wore a black sash or something.

    I can't remember the details
    Different coloured swim-caps for Japanese swim teams - white, brown and black, for the different competitive divisions
  5. Kave is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/28/2012 4:57pm


     Style: MMA noob

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Supreme View Post
    In our gym rank means that the person has been doing it longer so has acquired a certain level of knowledge.
    I am sure that this is the case, and from everything I have heard regarding your gym I am sure that you are providing quality instruction and producing capable students. I am not attacking your ability, or the quality of the gym.

    What I am suggesting is that between schools even in arts such as Judo where ranking is theoretically supposed to be uniform under certain organisations (though everyone knows it isn't), belts are far less relevant than competition records.

    Within a school I can see the value that you are pointing to. My point is that for anyone that has been at your gym for 2-3 months or more, the level of ability of individual students should be clear, and therefore belts not necessary. For example, after a month training No-gi (no visible rankings) I could easily point out the students with a high level of ability and those with little ability.

    I guess perhaps I am looking at this from the perspective of my own gym where we generally only have around 30 people or less at classes. If you were training with closer to 100 or more people I could see value in a belt system. In a situation like that it would be hard to keep track of the various abilities of your fellow students.

    Also I can see some limited value on the occasions that someone from outside your gym comes to train. However I have seen outsiders come and train at our gym in classes without visible markings of rank and this has never caused any issues at all. I can also see the value to people that gain their sense of worth predominantly from external sources.

    Obviously I can see value in rank, but it is limited. There are also downsides. I see people headhunting higher belts in training, often sacrificing technique for aggression. Also if higher ranks lose to lower ranks, the ranking system can seem arbitrary and capricious to the students, bringing their coach/sifu/sensei's judgement into question. Thirdly, ranking systems can create arbitrary barriers between students, leading to an in-group mentality among higher belts/sashes.

    Obviously belts have some function, and therefore some value. I just think that the value is sufficiently limited that a gym is better off without them.
  6. Pakeha

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    Posted On:
    7/29/2012 12:38am


     

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    In my first brush with martial arts I graded to 4th kyu in kendo 15 years ago-ish which was an interesting experience but not very relevant as I only did Kendo for a year or so.
    I did nothing else combat sport related ( heck I barely did anything fitness related) intill I started BJJ.

    I am currently a 4 stripe white belt in BJJ which has taken 2 and half yearsish ( while surviving the challenge of my two kids arriving in my life) every one of those stripes have felt like they meant something and I value them, especially as I started as a noob of noobs to the whole deal. Grading to blue oneday will feel like a massive achievement to me, and will be one of the harder things I have stuck at and achieved in my life.
  7. Naszir is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/29/2012 3:25am


     Style: BJJ, Judo, SAMBO

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Kave, you mentioned seeing some limited value in belts/ranking within a school and within 2-3 months there should be a clear idea of a student's level. The value goes up exponentially when, like me, one visits/trains with multiple schools within a style. In the last three months, I have trained with six different judo clubs. My belt gave the instructor and my training partners a fairly good picture of where I was skillwise. I am not an outlier on this. In fact the USJA has an entire month for visiting another club. With this amount travel/visitation the belt is amazingly valuable.
  8. Omega Supreme is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/29/2012 12:33pm

    staff
     Style: Chinese Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kave View Post
    I am sure that this is the case, and from everything I have heard regarding your gym I am sure that you are providing quality instruction and producing capable students. I am not attacking your ability, or the quality of the gym.

    What I am suggesting is that between schools even in arts such as Judo where ranking is theoretically supposed to be uniform under certain organisations (though everyone knows it isn't), belts are far less relevant than competition records.

    Within a school I can see the value that you are pointing to. My point is that for anyone that has been at your gym for 2-3 months or more, the level of ability of individual students should be clear, and therefore belts not necessary. For example, after a month training No-gi (no visible rankings) I could easily point out the students with a high level of ability and those with little ability.

    I guess perhaps I am looking at this from the perspective of my own gym where we generally only have around 30 people or less at classes. If you were training with closer to 100 or more people I could see value in a belt system. In a situation like that it would be hard to keep track of the various abilities of your fellow students.

    Also I can see some limited value on the occasions that someone from outside your gym comes to train. However I have seen outsiders come and train at our gym in classes without visible markings of rank and this has never caused any issues at all. I can also see the value to people that gain their sense of worth predominantly from external sources.

    Obviously I can see value in rank, but it is limited. There are also downsides. I see people headhunting higher belts in training, often sacrificing technique for aggression. Also if higher ranks lose to lower ranks, the ranking system can seem arbitrary and capricious to the students, bringing their coach/sifu/sensei's judgement into question. Thirdly, ranking systems can create arbitrary barriers between students, leading to an in-group mentality among higher belts/sashes.

    Obviously belts have some function, and therefore some value. I just think that the value is sufficiently limited that a gym is better off without them.
    Yes. We experimented with this idea between 2006 to 2008. It failed. We reinstated the ranking system. Things run much smoother now.
  9. NeilG is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/29/2012 2:50pm


     Style: Kendo

    4
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Another point of view is that rank is about your own personal path, not necessarily a mechanism for comparison with others. Clearly the 68 year old gentleman in my dojo who just got 5th dan is not on an equal footing with the 25 year old world class competitor who just got his. But both are regarded as valid accomplishments.
  10. ChenPengFi is online now
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    Posted On:
    7/29/2012 4:45pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: Hung Gar, Choy Lay Fut

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kave View Post
    ... Would a system similar to the sash or belt system be of value in non-combat based sports such as sprinting or pentathlon?

    The answer is that in any competition driven art, ranking systems are completely unnecessary because your level of ability is judged by your results. In non-competition-driven arts your level of ability is only relevant within your school, and should be readily apparent to your training partners. ...
    Cycling uses a tiered system.

    http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=580
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