How do you pursue rank/promotion in your marital art of choice?
Recently I approached my new Judo coach to ask about testing for my Yellow Belt. I was essentially already that rank in my previous school, but that school only used white, brown, and black belts for ranking adults, so I was still a white belt.
My coach listened to my story and basically said that, after I get some more competition experience, they would just test me for green or brown belt.
I was torn by this. On one hand, I appreciate that they think I am good enough to test for this higher rank soon. On the other hand I still have a childlike fascination with getting a pretty new colored belt... even if my rank would literally not change in the eyes of USJF. On a third bizzar mutant hand I should be worried a lot less about rank and promotion and a lot more about getting better a Judo, especially after a rather lengthy layoff that has obviously dulled the few skills that I had developed so far.
What is your opinion of rank, and what training philosophy do you try and adhere to when it comes to rank and promotion? Do you strive to earn a new belt or rank (depending on your martial art of choice) or do you ignore rank and let the promotions come as they may?
For those without formal rank in their martial arts: do you think having a measurable progress that acknowleges your mastery of certain techniques at a particular level or a particular degree of competition success would be helpful?
tl;dr: Whatch think about rank in martial arts?
When I did mma, we didn't have ranks. We only knew how good everyone was by how they spar and seniority, which was great because we all respected one another GREATLY as such. (Where, being 13 at the time, would be referred to as "Sir" by my adult training partners I was calling "Sir". Over time it became "bud", "mate" or "little man".)
In Karate Kempo, I personally never aspired for the next belt (to the point where I'd call my sensei and tell him I couldn't make the testing cause I didn't want to go.) However, I've met students who crave that next color as a sign of prestige.
I most likely lost the desire for a new belt after the Bullshido McDojo Kung Fu place I practiced longer than I care to admit at, where a belt gave you prestige, rank, honor, etc, but said nothing of your skill as an actual fighter.
A higher rank could tell you to do whatever he wanted in relation to martial arts, only because he's been in the dojo longer. I noticed this when I came in at Yellow Belt (You don't spar as a white. Only at yellow and up) and had to regularly spar against Brown Belts because of my fighting "prowess".
(Really, they were just bad as I'm not great at fighting, and I was unnaturally aggressive so I always attacked first. To give you an idea of how it was, the sifu told us to stand in a DEEP cat stance with the weight on our back leg and to stay "on the tracks" meaning you move in a straight line.
Of course this is how you DON'T want to fight so those who did got whomped by everyone who didn't. Being young, immature, and stupid as I still am, I didn't listen and fought by slugging it out as I saw on Dragon Ball Z and tv. Not to mention that at the tender age of 8, being almost 4 ft means you're a giant.)
In the end though, each to their own. My tkd friend cares about rank and is trying to hit black belt as fast as he can (it's been a little over a year and he's one belt away from it.) while I cared more about the sparring aspect of it. I feel as though you "earn" your "rank" when you spar (and more importantly, get beat up), instead of having it be hand-fed to you.
how do RANT/promote MARITAL arts of choice?
Lots of 'em.
when i did an ma that was ranked i remember a lot of times thinking "how is this ************ ranked above me when i could whup his ass?"
that doesnt happen in arts without ranks. i like that.
Yep, I can appreciate that.
Originally Posted by alex
I give out rank, starting with black belt, and then it's a strict time-progression - been this many years since your last belt? You're up a rank.
And, it should be noted, nobody in my club actually wears a belt or any sign of rank.
I spent 11 years with the same instructor and left for personal reasons a few months before he would have awarded me my black belt. Things had deteriorated between us to the point that I decided I wouldn't accept a black belt from him even if he gave it to me. By doing this, I know that I will have to wait at least another year to move up to the next rank.
But I don't care about rank that much anymore. As I have stated in my training log, I find myself less concerned with the color of the cloth I tie around my waist, and more interested in going to class to get better.
So, to answer your question, I pursue rank by attending class as often as I can and focusing on improving while I'm there.
I like being in a martial art that doesn't have belts. Every time I've train one in the past, I've noticed a bit of a preocupation with the belt color. Now, I enjoy getting to tell who is better by sparring it out. There is a lot more self reflection now which I think has made me a lot better. It makes my training feel free because all I have to think about is my game and improving it. And it is up to me to do it. I like that.
Combatives training log.
Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D
kettlebell workouts give you “cardio
without the dishonour of aerobics”.
I dont know,common denominator with related experiences seems to center on the aliveness in the training indicating true status quo and not awarded rank.That can happen even in sistems with ranks, Judo and BJJ for instance.
Do people obcess over status? yeah.Do some schools and instructors cash in on that,yes. But but ultimatly its about the training,just because a sistem doesnt have clear ranking sistems doesnt mean its free of pecking order\petty politics **** either.
Edit: Oh yeah,Id rather have the skill over the belt anyday. Belt only covering two inches of your ass and all that...
Where I train there are ranks, but it is up to the individual to test. Guro doesn't identify material based on the level, he just teaches. Students know who has been there longer and there is no "I am a higher rank than you so..." B.S.
It is nice because there are some students who are just there to learn, and don't care about testing. For those of us who want to advance, we have to take it upon ourselves to learn new material for new ranks. Sometimes it's frustrating getting new material, but this also doesn't limit to just belt level practice. We are always practicing multiple level curriculum.
Myself and another student started a Saturday morning class focusing on curriculum for the lower students who want to advance.
My take, from my limited experience, the belt is to hold your cloths/pants... Rank is maybe nice when you are wondering to whom you should listen when you have a question and some times it is nice when you want to compete, but other than that, nobody cares.
I myself opted for my last promotion after ranking in my category/weightclass on national level and holding myself against folks two belts higher.
Over all I just want to have fun and simply be the better every class.
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