Thread: Taking Someone's Rank Away
11/09/2003 1:38am, #1
Taking Someone's Rank Away
In his "majority of people above 4th dan are fakes", Samuel Browning, tells a story of taking Isshinryu Karate from a former Marine named Don Nelson, who told him that the majority people above 4th dan are fakes".
The thing he added a paragraph later that Mr. Nelson had not "asked his own instructor permission to teach this class so when his instructor (who I believe was Ed Brown out of Stamford) found out that Don had given some middle school students yellow belt, second qu ranks he took Don's own Belt away." Samuel Browning went on to say "Since then I have never been able to claim with a straight face that I ever held a belt in Karate."
This really distrubed me. Once a belt or a rank is given, can it really be taken away? Should demotions or stripping of earned ranks occur at all, and if so under what circumstances do you think such an action would be justified?
A long time ago my instructor had to make a very tough decision. His instructor/employer was ripping him off, getting most of the money while my instructor did most of the teaching. My instructor decided to leave and form his own school. When he did so, his instructor sent a letter to all the students stating that my instructor had been stripped of his rank and any student that chose to follow him to his new school would be as well. This letter did scare a few people in staying with the old school and few stayed simply because they felt it was the right thing to do, but mainly the letter just pissed people off and drove them away. Even at 10 years old I knew my rank was something that I rightfully earned and no one could magically take it away from me.
Over the years I've never questioned the validity of my rank based on the standards of others. Its true that after college I went back to the same school I always trained in and turned in my Nidan for a white belt, mostly because I felt I didn't deserved that rank anymore. Now that I'm back up to brown belt, I strive to earn my rank not just during testings, but in every class I go to, and everyday I practice at home. The standards I strive live up to are mine, and in the end I'm the only one I'm concerned in convincing that I deserve to own my rank or not.
11/09/2003 2:39am, #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
- Wrestling, WC
I don't think rank should be able to be taken away. If you know the art well enough to have earned that rank, the fact that someone claims to have taken it away does not mean that you have lost the knowledge.
That being said, it is up to the organization that granted the belt to determine policy in taking it away. I know of an instructor that teaches Korean Grappling (Ho Shin Sool) and he is more than willing to allow students who finish blackbelt under him (a long, arduous task to be sure!) to teach his art as part of their curriculum. But he makes it very clear that, if they do something that brings disgrace to the system, they will no longer be permitted to advertise that they teach his system. No loss of belt, but a loss of the right to advertise or market what they teach. I'm not sure, but he may even revoke their certification to teach the art, too.
I don't think it is right for a martial artist to open a school in the same city as his own instructor without the blessing of his instructor. It creates direct competition with his instructor's school and compromises his own teacher's livelihood. Also, it's simply disrespectful. Even if the instructor was using him to teach the classes, he shouldn't have broken away and stolen students from his instructor's school.
11/09/2003 2:58am, #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
how about reevaulated. we just got a BB that joined our judo club...but she has not practiced in 5 years. now i don't know about her throws because we were doing ground work all day but she was easier to beat than our flock of new white belts.. if you retest and are at a lower level should that be your rank? what if you put on a hefty amount of weight and let your conditioning slide?
11/09/2003 3:15am, #4
I know this will sounds silly, but if you earn your rank, noone can take it away. You earned it, you know you earned it and that's that. What will the person trying to strip you of it do? Break into your house and steal your belt? Write a big scary letter?
Skill on the other hand is something different. Just because you are a BB and haven't done anything in five years, doesn't mean you can automatically kick ass of contribute in a meaningful way. It also doesn't mean you didn't, at one time, have those same skills. However, I do think you need a certain level of awareness about your own abilities and should take that into consideration accordingly.
At my school, the belt just holds up your pants. Our BJJ instructor tells us to just use whatever we have. So we have some Karate guys sporting their black belts. A guy rather portly claims to have a brown belt in Judo and wears it (He gets jacked up everytime) etc. For me, I just said **** it and wear my white belt when I wear a gi. I don't think I will ever wear anything else, since I never want anyone I am practicing with to hesitate giving me advice.
Last edited by MrMcFu; 11/09/2003 10:07am at .
11/09/2003 3:49am, #5
My TKD BB was stripped for non-payment of dues: i.e. I wouldn't pony up $1000 for the fucking certificate.
I laughed at them when they called to tell me. I don't consider myself a TKD BB.Monkey Ninjas! Attack!
11/09/2003 9:47am, #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
- TAi Chi Chaun
If youve earned it once, then the rest is just bureaucracy. I doubt that I would pay 1000 for a black belt under any circumstances.
11/09/2003 11:09am, #7
That **** is just pure McDojo. If anyone takes that seriously they are enabling people who are out to milk their senior students for money. In that situation with the teacher, that is the worst example of legalistic McDojoness I can think of. It's pretty simple really:
IF YOU'RE AFRAID OF LOSING STUDENTS, KICK THE OTHER GUY'S ASS.Normally, I'd say I was grappling, but I was taking down and mounting people, and JFS has kindly informed us that takedowns and being mounted are neither grappling nor anti grappling, so I'm not sure what the **** I was doing. Maybe schroedinger's sparring, where it's neither grappling nor anti-grappling until somoene observes it and collapses the waveform, and then I RNC a cat to death.----fatherdog
11/09/2003 2:49pm, #8
I'll probably get flamed for this, but...
Skill is earned and developed.
Rank is granted or given.
You get the rank by having the skill, but rank does not confer skill, nor necessarily indicate skill levels...
Rank can be taken away. This shouldn't be done thoughtlessly, nor for minor violations. We had an instructor that compromised the integrity of our art (he only required halves of forms to be known, didn't teach the required amount of material, etc.), and refused to conform to the standards we had adhered to for decades.
So he got reduced and $hitcanned. He was given several opportunities to fix the mess he created, but he was too concerned with his meal ticket to do so. Out he went.
Touchy subject, sure, but sometimes you have to deal with folks who will degrade the entire system...
11/09/2003 3:14pm, #99chambersGuest
Just call yourself a ronin and roam the streets looking for people that will hire you to beat up their neighbor. Rank hasn't mattered since midieval times. Sure, it certifies you to teach so it's good for bsuiness. Whatever. Just put a patch over one eye, wear a pony tail and kill your former teacher and you will get followers out the butt. .. at least .. that's how it works in anime ..
I have ranks. They are pieces of paper sitting in my closet.
Last edited by 9chambers; 11/09/2003 3:19pm at .
11/09/2003 3:20pm, #10
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
Blackbelt is a verb not a noun in my book. If you can do the **** then you ARE a blackbelt, if you can't then you can't. Moreover if you are DOING the **** then you deserve it, but if you aren't doing anything you shouldn't be called anything except retired. I don't care how long you've trained, who you've trained with, or who granted/revoked your rank.
I have lots of ranks, I don't care to be judged or respected because of them though. In my dojo discussions and DI style rants at pain in the ass students I always tell them not to respect me for my rank, but to respect me because I can kick their ass. My black belt does not magically grant me strength, wisdom, and honor. It also should not magically grant me respect. I've known many black belts that I wouldn't bet on against a crippled dwarf. If you want someone's respect you earn it by demonstrating skill, not talking about it. If every rank I've ever had was stripped tomorrow, I wouldn't bat an eyelash.