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  1. Larus marinus is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/25/2010 8:13am

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    Quote Originally Posted by RealManOfSteel View Post
    If there are no people with a dan grade higher than 10th, than how would somebody get promoted to a higher grade? Being able to indiscriminately kick other 10th dans asses?
    Or being *really* well respected by the other 10th dans for his achievements and services to the art?
    Or successfully introducing the art to another sapient species?
    Or winning the Kumite after purposefully entering unseeded and fighting though all 52 elimination rounds?

    Quote Originally Posted by callum828 View Post
    I know in JJJ the higher dans have to be awarded by the association for contributions to the martial art and the like. I imagine there's a similar system in most of the japanese arts.
    Yeah, like the council or elders, or the board, or whatever. Or the Soke - in arts that have a Soke and also use the kyu-dan system...

    To use Hatsumi as an example - AFAIK, he doesn't actually hold a specific rank in the Bujinkan, yet he promotes people to whatever rank he considers deserving as head of the organization.

    Actually, I think Jigoro Kano was the same in that regard...
  2. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/25/2010 8:18am

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    Quote Originally Posted by RealManOfSteel View Post
    If there are no people with a dan grade higher than 10th, than how would somebody get promoted to a higher grade? Being able to indiscriminately kick other 10th dans asses?
    Awards for 6th dan and above are given for advancement and understanding of the principles and philosophy of Judo, not for fighting prowess.

    I mean nowadays these guys aren't much of a fighting force:

    (From L to R: Ichiro Abe -87- 10th dan, Yoshimi Osawa -83- 10th dan and Toshiro Daigo -84- 10th dan)

    Although in their day they were formidable. As there had been no living Japanese 10th dan for 15 years Yukimitsu Kano the then Kodokan kancho decided to promote all three to 10th dan in 2006.

    This is of course mainly discussing the Kodokan 10th dan. The IJF and NGB issue 10th dan as well. For example the late Charlie Palmer of Great Britian and Anton Gessink of Holland were awarded by 10th dan by the IJF. Henri Courtine of France, George Kerr of Great Britian and Jaap Nauwelaerts de Agé of Holland have all been awarded 10th dan by their respective NGB.
  3. Larus marinus is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/25/2010 12:32pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post
    Awards for 6th dan and above are given for advancement and understanding of the principles and philosophy of Judo, not for fighting prowess.

    I mean nowadays these guys aren't much of a fighting force:

    (From L to R: Ichiro Abe -87- 10th dan, Yoshimi Osawa -83- 10th dan and Toshiro Daigo -84- 10th dan)

    Although in their day they were formidable.
    You know (this is something I mentioned a while back on the 'stupid things you used to believe about MAs' thread), a few years ago, I'd have read about those guys and immediately assumed that they were three of the most powerful and deadly fighters in the world. Yaknow, on account of the 'fact' that the older a practitioner of an Asian MA is, the stronger he is - and that a blackbelt is an empirically measured indicator of fighting power, with fighting power increasing on a logarithmic scale with each additional Dan (a bit like the Richter Scale), maybe with some borderline supernatural/mystic powers developing at the higher levels... :dink:
  4. Soju_King is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/29/2010 6:05am

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    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post
    The dan ranks in Judo are theoretically unlimited, I recall reading somewhere that Kano had specified a double width white belt for the rank of 12th dan. Although I can't remember where or when I read that, so may have invented it.

    A stripe would be highly unlikely as a potential indicator for a rank above 10th dan. As in Japan it isn't customary to indicate rank through stripes on belts. There are some who have a tab that can be sewn onto the bottom the of the gi skirt, that indicates rank through stripes, but on belts its effectively un heard of.

    The colour red is chosen specifically because its associations in Japanese culture with ends and new beginnings. White similarly was chosen for its associations with beginning and also endings. White is used as a funeral colour in Japanese society. As well as being associated with women, due to their ability to produce new life, hence the Joshi obi.


    ive been trying to find out why red is used for years. everybody i ask is like uhhh uhhh uhhh. but now finally after all this time lol.
  5. daishi is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/29/2010 9:16am


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    Yes, red symbolizes old age....60 years old I think. On your 60th birthday you get to wear a redbelt, or if your old school you will wear a red belt from that day on. Being that older people are typically higher ranked in Japanese TMA, the two got associated together..although a relative beginner can wear a red belt if they are 60+. 60 being the average lifespan of a Japanese person (at one point in time, at least) and that if anyone lived beyond that it was like they were starting a new life...red, blood, bloody afterbirth, etc.

    I think red can be worn by some women too, not sure how that works though..judoka_uk makes some association with that, he might know more.

    Most JTMA don't have physical tests beyond 4th dan...some for 5th dan but that's usually just a special demonstration for an event such as a VIP from Japan visiting or a big seminar/celebration, etc.

    At 4th dan, its common to receive the title "renshi" or "polished one" insinuating that person has polished his technique and is about approaching being as highly skilled a technician as he's ever gonna be. Beyond that, when one promotes they often receive such titles as "shihan" or "kyoshi" which meanings imply more of a personal or spiritual growth and an ability to teach others to better themselves (beyond simply kicking/punching/sitting on their face etc). Titles like these translate to "model person" or have some significance referring to their ability to translate martial concepts and training to personal and self-growth, etc etc. Likewise, one gets promoted beyond 4th dan levels based on the above-mentioned attributes (mentioned by other posters) as well as their contribution to their respective martial art (articles written, students taught, seminars taught, ideas shared with organization and implemented, schools run, regions managed, etc).
  6. meat monkey is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/29/2010 9:29pm


     Style: Judo, ITF, MT

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larus marinus View Post
    You know (this is something I mentioned a while back on the 'stupid things you used to believe about MAs' thread), a few years ago, I'd have read about those guys and immediately assumed that they were three of the most powerful and deadly fighters in the world. Yaknow, on account of the 'fact' that the older a practitioner of an Asian MA is, the stronger he is - and that a blackbelt is an empirically measured indicator of fighting power, with fighting power increasing on a logarithmic scale with each additional Dan (a bit like the Richter Scale), maybe with some borderline supernatural/mystic powers developing at the higher levels... :dink:
    You haven't seen when they use their fusion powers to combine yet..... man, have you got some word-eating to do.

    Not only that, but that guy in the middle there? He can crap in his adult daipers with enough force to destory an entire city block, not to mention the fallout in the surrounding area.
  7. Evilenzo is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/30/2010 9:00am


     Style: Aikido, Aikiken, Aikijo

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    Quote Originally Posted by callum828 View Post
    I know in JJJ the higher dans have to be awarded by the association for contributions to the martial art and the like. I imagine there's a similar system in most of the japanese arts.
    Aikikai does this too. Fourth Dan is achieved through an exam, then the fifth and the others are awarded for merit. Last stage I practiced with a Yondan, i think the mat has still the imprint of my back, he smashed mr down for doing an Irimi Tenkan variation wrong! lol
    OSensei awarded 10th Dand to a couple of his own deshi, i don't know if there are still living Judan, anyway 10the is the limit for Aikido.
  8. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/30/2010 12:11pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by daishi View Post
    Yes, red symbolizes old age....60 years old I think. On your 60th birthday you get to wear a redbelt, or if your old school you will wear a red belt from that day on. Being that older people are typically higher ranked in Japanese TMA, the two got associated together..although a relative beginner can wear a red belt if they are 60+. 60 being the average lifespan of a Japanese person (at one point in time, at least) and that if anyone lived beyond that it was like they were starting a new life...red, blood, bloody afterbirth, etc.

    I think red can be worn by some women too, not sure how that works though..judoka_uk makes some association with that, he might know more.

    Most JTMA don't have physical tests beyond 4th dan...some for 5th dan but that's usually just a special demonstration for an event such as a VIP from Japan visiting or a big seminar/celebration, etc.
    That may be the case for some Japanese martial arts, but it certainly isn't true for Judo and as Judo invented the modern belt ranking system I find it highly unlikely that any traditional Japanese martial art had such a belt system, Koryu schools issued certificates not belts to signify rank.

    In 1931 Kano wrote that 6-9th dans were to wear a kohaku (red and white panels) obi and 10th to 12th dans were to wear a solid red obi. All others were to wear white.
    For those of you who speak or read Japanese here is the original quotation:

    "十段以上を紅帯とし、その以外は白帯とする帯は修行の段階に依って色を異にし、初段より五段ま で を黒帯、六段より九段までを 紅白のだんだら、十段以上を赤帯とし、その以外は白帯 とする"

    This was subsequently revised on Kano's death based on unpublished writings to be that 9th to 10th dans may wear a red belt and 6th to 8th dans may wear a kohaku belt. The standard belt for randori and day to day Judo activities remained black, however.

    As for the colour issues I have found my notes.

    The colour white is associated with new life a.k.a beginnings through its association with womanhood and birth. This is why traditionally in Japan women have worn belts with a white stripe on them the joshi obi. White is also the funeral or Ososhiki colour in Japan so it's associated with endings. Hence why it was chosen to be both the beginning belt and the ultimate belt- 12th dan and above.

    White is also associated with purity, pure intentions and honour, think Jita kyoei... This is why it is the colour of the Judogi and why in Japan it remains the only acceptable colour for Judogi with blue gi being tolerated in certain situations and dojo.

    The colour red signifies happiness, the sun and completeness. The red belt signifies one who is complete or close to becoming complete in their mastering and/or knowledge of Judo. The kohaku obi shows that one is beginning the process of trying to accomplish becoming complete in Judo, the combination of white - beginning and red completness.

    The colour black being an abscence of colour symbolizes emptiness, an abscence of individualism and opening the mind and body to absorb knowledge and to "start a new chapter" in one's life. In Japan traditional wedding dress is black for the groom and guests. Black is considered a unique colour and shouldn't be combined with other colours except white.

    Hence why in Judo the natural and most aesthetcially correct practice is the wearing of a white gi with black belt.

    So to put it simply:

    White - beginning. So Mudansha/ Kyu grades.
    Black- New chapter and opening up to knowledge. Dan grade.
    Red and White - Beginning to approach completeness. High grades 6-8th dan.
    Red - completeness. Highest grades 9th-10th dan for men and 8th-10th dan for women.
  9. DCS is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/30/2010 12:50pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post
    As for the colour issues I have found my notes.

    The colour white is associated with new life a.k.a beginnings through its association with womanhood and birth. This is why traditionally in Japan women have worn belts with a white stripe on them the joshi obi.
    LIAR!!!
  10. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/30/2010 1:03pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    LIAR!!!
    Care to expand upon that?
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