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  1. Lv1Sierpinski is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/02/2007 5:50am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Morita
    Then this discussion is over. ALL people in ANY art want to be a BB. Period. Why? The prestige of saying, "I take *insert art here*" What belt are you? "Black"
    I disagree. I for one am not the least bit interested in getting a black belt in BJJ, if I can walk into any BJJ school and have people think 'wow, for a little guy he doesn't suck as bad as I thought he would' I'll be happy. And in my last art there weren't even ranks at all.

    Also, because of the prevailing attitudes at school when I was a kid, I tend not to talk about MA that I study, and I had friends in high school that had known me for years that had no idea that I even did MA. Rarely is prestige in the belt, at least that's what I've found.
  2. glad2bhere is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/02/2007 8:57am


     Style: Yon Mu Kwan Hapkido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Dear Morita:

    I know, before I write this, how this is going to sound and I apologize in advance for saying this in a public forum. Having read your response I must say that, to my mind, you represent exactly what the problem is.

    a.) If you have to ask what a Black Belt means then I submit that your education has been sorely lacking. Hisorically, a Black obi around a person's middle indicates that he has been exposed to and mastered the fundamentals of his art and finds that material so agreeable as to want to dedicate his life to that particular path. This means that person accepts the methods, purposes, goals and beliefs of that method and plans to abide by it for the rest of their life. Its not something you give to a person to make them "feel good", award a "personal best effort" or to satisfy the expectations of the individual or his parents. It is something that is earned with hard regular training and no thought of self-aggrandizement.

    b.) Being able to flawlessly execute a form and do one-steps is not a sign of "mastery" as the clip on YOU TUBE shows even a chimp can be taught to do kicks and punches. Being able to know when to use one's skills and when not to, and being able to use the material the way it is expected to be used is a "check" 13 y/o kids can't cash.

    c.) If kids and adults NEED reinforment it is because they have not developed the maturity to be self-reinforcing. I can provide a long list of other activities where people train long hard hours with little or no reinforcement, as the up-coming Olympics can attest. Martial arts are NOT for everyone. It takes maturity to stick to something that is demanding and rigorous, especially when there is not a lot of pats on the back and adulation.

    d.) Certificates can be an improvement over belts since they are not visual cues a person can sport around their waist. They can be handed-out and taken home. The students in the school can all wear some neutral-colored belt that is intended merely to keep their uniform closed. At the Korean sword class I train at NOONE wears a belt. We all know who is of what level of expertise because we train regularly and are familiar with each other's skill level.

    Now, if you teach in order to make some money and need to pander to what your patrons want thats fine. There is nothing wrong with providing a service where people pay money on a regular basis to dress-up in exotic costumes, perform exotic movements, shout in a foreign language and periodically get a "gold star" for doing it. Its called "martial commerce" and "martial theatre" respectively and a lot of people make money doing it. However, I think you need to warm-up to the idea that selling ranks for performing tricks is the same model that has been used for generations to train circus animals. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Last edited by glad2bhere; 4/02/2007 9:00am at .
  3. EternalRage is offline
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    WARNING: BJJ may cause airway obstruction.

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    Posted On:
    4/02/2007 9:30am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Bajillion Joo Jizzu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The belt is supposed to represent fighting skill, not knowledge. When people saw a black belt in the past, they didn't immediately think "wow this guy must have lots of knowledge!" Their first conclusion is "wow this guy could probably kick my ass." That's why the belts were perverted so much, because practitioners want to be recognized as strong ass kickers. They were in demand, mcdojos supplied, and here we are.

    Belt = fighting ability. I don't know how you would do this to accomodate everyone and people's unique situations (ie age, injury, whatever), but that's what it means. So if the belt no longer represents what it should (which it normally doesn't), then it is time to abolish it alltogether.

    I told my master that I didn't want to test for 2nd degree because from my BJJ training I felt that belts should be a symbol of fighting prowess and how I didn't want to abuse that representation like so many others in the Federation. He understood but he did raise a good point in that where do you set the yardstick? What level of fighting skills do we represent with a first degree? Getting people to separate into levels is no problem, I suppose you could just let the pool of students go and then they will naturally sort out into levels in competition and practice (like in BJJ). But what belt degree or color do we assign to each strata? It stands to reason that if we set something like that the art itself as a whole won't grow, unless you have a good number of exceptional people willing to push themselves beyond the required fighting level for each rank. Even if we do somehow get the MA world to set belts to represent fighting ability, although it would be better than the mcdojofest we have today, would it act as limitations on long term growth?

    Yet another reason to get rid of belts, or just keep them around to keep gis closed.
  4. HonkyTonkMan is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/02/2007 6:17pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: TKD, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere
    Dear Morita:
    My real name is oldman34. Phrost changed it for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere
    I know, before I write this, how this is going to sound and I apologize in advance for saying this in a public forum. Having read your response I must say that, to my mind, you represent exactly what the problem is.
    Meh....dont worry about it, continue on.

    a.) If you have to ask what a Black Belt means then I submit that your education has been sorely lacking. [/quote]

    I should have been more clear. I meant what does a BB mean to you? I was just picking your brain as to what your thoughts on it were.

    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere
    b.) Being able to flawlessly execute a form and do one-steps is not a sign of "mastery" as the clip on YOU TUBE shows even a chimp can be taught to do kicks and punches. Being able to know when to use one's skills and when not to, and being able to use the material the way it is expected to be used is a "check" 13 y/o kids can't cash.
    I agree completely. However, could he use it against another 13 yr old? I dont feel that anyone should get a BB before 13. I used 13 because many cultures see 13 as a childs coming of age to manhood.
    I am not set in stone on that age.

    Quote Originally Posted by glad2bhere
    c.) If kids and adults NEED reinforment it is because they have not developed the maturity to be self-reinforcing. I can provide a long list of other activities where people train long hard hours with little or no reinforcement, as the up-coming Olympics can attest. Martial arts are NOT for everyone. It takes maturity to stick to something that is demanding and rigorous, especially when there is not a lot of pats on the back and adulation.
    Once again, I agree. I fought through a knee injury, stitches in my left eye brow (TKD training injuries, I like to play rough) and various other things to get my BB. Am I a master of the art? Hell no, not even close.

    Quote Originally Posted by g2bh
    d.) Certificates can be an improvement over belts since they are not visual cues a person can sport around their waist. They can be handed-out and taken home. The students in the school can all wear some neutral-colored belt that is intended merely to keep their uniform closed. At the Korean sword class I train at NOONE wears a belt. We all know who is of what level of expertise because we train regularly and are familiar with each other's skill level.
    I dont see the difference between belts/certificates. Both are something that is given out in recognition of MA achievement.

    Quote Originally Posted by g2bh
    Now, if you teach in order to make some money and need to pander to what your patrons want thats fine.
    I dont.

    Quote Originally Posted by g2bh
    There is nothing wrong with providing a service where people pay money on a regular basis to dress-up in exotic costumes, perform exotic movements, shout in a foreign language and periodically get a "gold star" for doing it. Its called "martial commerce" and "martial theatre" respectively and a lot of people make money doing it. However, I think you need to warm-up to the idea that selling ranks for performing tricks is the same model that has been used for generations to train circus animals. FWIW.
    I think that belts are fine, I think the way they are handed out sucks.
  5. Lv1Sierpinski is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/03/2007 4:44am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    EternalRage makes a good point, a point I wish I'd made. (before I continue I want to state that I'm happy for MA rank to indicate fighting ability...it's just that I knew that wasn't always the case as a lad, so it just never stuck)

    Having an absolute measure of fighting ability is fundamentally flawed. Now, if a particular style was only trained by men aged 15 and up...then you've got a shot at being able to match someone's skill to a rank and not be forced to do the opposite.

    With men and women training, from a wide range of ages and physical abilities (setting aside kids for the moment), the fighting ability scale needs to be split, with exceptions, and so on. Regardless of what we would like rank to mean, not everyone is going to be on the same page.
  6. glad2bhere is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/03/2007 9:19am


     Style: Yon Mu Kwan Hapkido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Morita

    I think that belts are fine, I think the way they are handed out sucks.
    Yes--- BIG "Amen". While I am not a big fan of rank from the start, the issue as I see it is not the rank, but rather how its used. I think you're right on the money.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
  7. MaverickZ is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/09/2007 8:15am

    supporting member
     Style: white boy jiujitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What is it about "traditional" martial arts that makes their practitioners so wordy?
  8. glad2bhere is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/09/2007 9:09am


     Style: Yon Mu Kwan Hapkido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MaverickZ
    What is it about "traditional" martial arts that makes their practitioners so wordy?
    This is just a guess, but I would say that traditional MA have much to do with context. Often when one wants to answer a question it is not just a matter of responding to the immediate thought, but to frame the response in terms of the cultural and historic circumstances.

    I was just given an extraordinary link to Korean TAEK KYON over on YOU TUBE (trusting that everyone here knows what YOU TUBE is, ne?) . The clip offered three TAEK KYON Masters and my guess is that most folks here would not appreciate what they were looking at until it might be presented in terms of the culture from which it comes. For me it was a thrilling experience as I clearly saw movements and techniques which can be found in material going back almost 400 years. Now I know that a lot of folks hear might look at the clip and ask something like "...yeah, but is it any good in a bar fight" and that would be a different context.

    Not sure if this is answering your question, Maverick. Just some odd thoughts.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
  9. kwoww is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/09/2007 9:50am


     Style: punching bag / crew jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MaverickZ
    What is it about "traditional" martial arts that makes their practitioners so wordy?
    Because it's full of complicated, touchy subjects which can require lots of explaining, especially when people try to support really bad arguments.

    My two cents:
    Belts are a measure of mastery of a style or art within your school or organization. While many schools try to have similar rankings to each other, there will inevitably be variation in what each rank means. Take trail designations at ski resorts. It's common knowledge that green circles are the easiest trails and double black diamonds are the most difficult. Just about everyone who skis or snowboards in the U.S.A. knows this. But some mountains have more difficult terrain than others. A black at Bellayre (New York, if you don't know) is less difficult than a black at Sugarloaf (Maine). A black at Butternut (CT) is easier still, and is more like a difficult blue at many other mountains. Is it cool to tell your non-skiing friends that you ski black diamonds all the time? Sure. Do advanced skiiers know you're full of ****? Probably. Is Butternut a McMountain? No. As long as people who ski at Butternut know that the terrain is relatively crap, what's the problem?
    A black belt in BJJ means a lot more than a black belt in TKD. Deal with it. I swear, certificates need disclaimers on them.

    And I just happen to love this smiley (I fucking hate the word "emoticon") so I'm going to put it in for shits and giggles:
    :f-off:
  10. EternalRage is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/09/2007 10:43am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Bajillion Joo Jizzu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As long as people who ski at Butternut know that the terrain is relatively crap, what's the problem?
    The problem is there's always a handful of idiots who will look at the color of their belts and still think they're as good as the ones that can actually fight. These students will go on to teach others, spreading their line of crap and possibly putting people in danger.
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