History UsefulNotes / MartialArtsBelts

12th May '16 11:32:44 AM TheOneWhoTropes
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* {{Kendo}} has ''kyu'' and ''dan'' rankings but no belt system.

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* {{Kendo}} UsefulNotes/{{Kendo}} has ''kyu'' and ''dan'' rankings but no belt system.
25th Nov '14 11:55:48 PM TwoGunAngel
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The meaning of the black belt itself varies. The ''perceived'' meaning to western minds is that the black belt indicates mastery. However a first ''dan'' black belt is still a student (who may be addressed as ''[[SempaiKohai sempai]])''. They will generally assist the ''sensei'' in classes and may begin to teach in some capacity, but generally won't be acknowledged as a full sensei for a couple more ''dan'' ranks. (TheOtherWiki gives the analogy as a first ''dan'' black belt being like a bachelors degree - fluent in all the basics but lacking the experience that breeds full mastery). The highest ''dan'' ranks in a school are usually reserved for those who not only show mastery in the art but also contribute back to it as an instructor and/or leader, and past 5th ''dan'' or so are awarded solely by the will of the organizational body. For normal rankings, some schools award ranks based on completing a test demonstrating your skills, some grant ranks whenever the Sensei decides they've earned it, and some award them based on the amount of time you have been training. Aspiring black belts should beware what the martial arts community derisively calls the [="McDojo"=] - schools that are operated as a business (not bad in and of itself) and promise black belts in an unrealistically short amount of time (definitely bad). For an adult without prior martial arts experience, three to six years is considered the average time to go from white to black. (There are a few exceptions but such programs tend to be run by police or military organizations and are extremely intensive.)

There is also a stereotype that a person with a black belt can kill with his or her bare hands. This is a gross oversimplification, if not patently false. Let's face it: it's easy to kill people. If you get someone to stand still long enough, you can kill them with [[CherryTapping your bare hands]] or [[WebVideo/TheHorriblySlowMurdererWithTheExtremelyInefficientWeapon a spoon]] or even [[VorpalPillow a pillow]]. What's difficult is having the physical and mental training to deliberately provide a CloseCallHaircut--to demonstrate that not only ''could'' you have handed out a CurbStompBattle, but you have ''chosen'' not to. In this sense, a black belt demonstrates not your skill with your fists, but your CharacterDevelopment from ArrogantKungFuGuy to MartialPacifist, from someone who knows how to hurt people to someone who knows how ''not'' to.

to:

The meaning of the black belt itself varies. The ''perceived'' meaning to western minds is that the black belt indicates mastery. However a first ''dan'' black belt is still a student (who may be addressed as ''[[SempaiKohai sempai]])''. They will generally assist the ''sensei'' in classes and may begin to teach in some capacity, but generally won't be acknowledged as a full sensei for a couple more ''dan'' ranks. (TheOtherWiki gives the analogy as a first ''dan'' black belt being like a bachelors degree - fluent in all the basics but lacking the experience that breeds full mastery). The highest ''dan'' ranks in a school are usually reserved for those who not only show mastery in the art but also contribute back to it as an instructor and/or leader, and past 5th ''dan'' or so are awarded solely by the will of the organizational body. For normal rankings, some schools award ranks based on completing a test demonstrating your skills, some grant ranks whenever the Sensei decides they've earned it, and some award them based on the amount of time you have been training. Aspiring black belts should beware of what the martial arts community derisively calls the [="McDojo"=] - schools that are operated as a business (not bad in and of itself) and promise black belts in an unrealistically short amount of time (definitely bad). For an adult without prior martial arts experience, three to six years is considered the average time to go from white to black. (There are a few exceptions but such programs tend to be run by police or military organizations and are extremely intensive.)

There is also a stereotype that a person with a black belt can kill with his or her bare hands. This is a gross oversimplification, if not patently false. Let's face it: it's easy to kill people. If you get someone to stand still long enough, you can kill them with [[CherryTapping your bare hands]] or [[WebVideo/TheHorriblySlowMurdererWithTheExtremelyInefficientWeapon a spoon]] or even [[VorpalPillow a pillow]]. What's difficult is having the physical and mental training to deliberately provide a CloseCallHaircut--to CloseCallHaircut -- to demonstrate that not only ''could'' you have handed out a CurbStompBattle, but you have ''chosen'' not to. In this sense, a black belt demonstrates not your skill with your fists, but your CharacterDevelopment from ArrogantKungFuGuy to MartialPacifist, from someone who knows how to hurt people to someone who knows how ''not'' to.



Also worth noting: there is no universal standardization of what level of experience and skill a given belt represents, including a black belt; two schools training in the exact same martial art may expect very different things from their black belts (particularly if they are not members of a greater organization).[[note]]This is why news media stories about "the world's youngest black belt" are typically given little weight by actual martial artists, as the black belt on its own means nothing without knowing the instructor or school that awarded it[[/note]] Some schools - indeed, some entire styles - treat a 1st degree black belt the same way other schools would treat a colour-belt ranking: as a symbol of basic competency, with greater levels of proficiency being reflected in dan rankings. Kyu ranks in these schools are typically few in number or entirely absent, with the student being promoted directly from white belt to first dan. Conversely, some schools treat black belt as a mark of extremely high competency; such schools may not even bother with dan rankings, with "black belt" being a single rank, as the student is seen to be beyond the need for subsequent rank denotation. While there is a tendency amongst the martial arts community to criticize schools that promote black belts quickly as "belt factories" (criticism that is, more often than not, warranted), a more accurate statement would simply be that such schools expect different things from their black belts.[[note]]Although, more unscrupulous instructors may simply give out belts quickly as a way of generating significant income through testing and promotion fees. [[/note]]

to:

Also worth noting: there is no universal standardization of what level of experience and skill a given belt represents, including a black belt; two schools training in the exact same martial art may expect very different things from their black belts (particularly if they are not members of a greater organization).[[note]]This is why news media stories about "the world's youngest black belt" are typically given little weight by actual martial artists, as the black belt on its own means nothing without knowing the instructor or school that awarded it[[/note]] Some schools - indeed, some entire styles - treat a 1st degree black belt the same way other schools would treat a colour-belt ranking: as a symbol of basic competency, with greater levels of proficiency being reflected in dan rankings. Kyu ranks in these schools are typically few in number or entirely absent, with the student being promoted directly from white belt to first dan. Conversely, some schools treat black belt as a mark of extremely high competency; such schools may not even bother with dan rankings, with "black belt" being a single rank, as the student is seen to be beyond the need for subsequent rank denotation. While there is a tendency amongst the martial arts community to criticize schools that promote black belts quickly as "belt factories" (criticism that is, more often than not, warranted), a more accurate statement would simply be that such schools expect different things from their black belts.[[note]]Although, more unscrupulous instructors may simply give out belts quickly as a way of generating significant income through testing and promotion fees. [[/note]]
19th Aug '14 6:13:25 PM darkknight109
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Also worth noting: there is no universal standardization of what level of experience and skill a given belt represents, including a black belt; two schools training in the exact same martial art may expect very different things from their black belts (particularly if they are not members of a greater organization).[[note]]This is why news media stories about "the world's youngest black belt" are typically given little weight by actual martial artists, as the black belt on its own means nothing without knowing the instructor or school that awarded it[[/note]] Some schools - indeed, some entire styles - treat a 1st degree black belt the same way other schools would treat a colour-belt ranking: as a symbol of basic competency, with greater levels of proficiency being reflected in dan rankings. Kyu ranks in these schools are typically few in number or entirely absent, with the student being promoted directly from white belt to first dan. Conversely, some students treat black belt as a mark of extremely high competency; such schools may not even bother with dan rankings, with "black belt" being a single rank, as the student is seen to be beyond the need for subsequent rank denotation. While there is a tendency amongst the martial arts community to criticize schools that promote black belts quickly as "belt factories" (criticism that is, more often than not, warranted), a more accurate statement would simply be that such schools expect different things from their black belts.[[note]]Although, more unscrupulous instructors may simply give out belts quickly as a way of generating significant income through testing and promotion fees. [[/note]]

to:

Also worth noting: there is no universal standardization of what level of experience and skill a given belt represents, including a black belt; two schools training in the exact same martial art may expect very different things from their black belts (particularly if they are not members of a greater organization).[[note]]This is why news media stories about "the world's youngest black belt" are typically given little weight by actual martial artists, as the black belt on its own means nothing without knowing the instructor or school that awarded it[[/note]] Some schools - indeed, some entire styles - treat a 1st degree black belt the same way other schools would treat a colour-belt ranking: as a symbol of basic competency, with greater levels of proficiency being reflected in dan rankings. Kyu ranks in these schools are typically few in number or entirely absent, with the student being promoted directly from white belt to first dan. Conversely, some students schools treat black belt as a mark of extremely high competency; such schools may not even bother with dan rankings, with "black belt" being a single rank, as the student is seen to be beyond the need for subsequent rank denotation. While there is a tendency amongst the martial arts community to criticize schools that promote black belts quickly as "belt factories" (criticism that is, more often than not, warranted), a more accurate statement would simply be that such schools expect different things from their black belts.[[note]]Although, more unscrupulous instructors may simply give out belts quickly as a way of generating significant income through testing and promotion fees. [[/note]]
19th Aug '14 6:12:01 PM darkknight109
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Many seasoned martial artists will tell you that the art isn't about gaining rank, it's about the journey. Belts fill the desire to have tangible marks of successful progress along the path, but if you give them too much importance, you're missing the point.

to:

Many seasoned martial artists will tell you that the art isn't about gaining rank, it's about the journey. Belts fill the desire to have tangible marks of successful progress along the path, but if you give them too much importance, you're missing the point.
point.

Also worth noting: there is no universal standardization of what level of experience and skill a given belt represents, including a black belt; two schools training in the exact same martial art may expect very different things from their black belts (particularly if they are not members of a greater organization).[[note]]This is why news media stories about "the world's youngest black belt" are typically given little weight by actual martial artists, as the black belt on its own means nothing without knowing the instructor or school that awarded it[[/note]] Some schools - indeed, some entire styles - treat a 1st degree black belt the same way other schools would treat a colour-belt ranking: as a symbol of basic competency, with greater levels of proficiency being reflected in dan rankings. Kyu ranks in these schools are typically few in number or entirely absent, with the student being promoted directly from white belt to first dan. Conversely, some students treat black belt as a mark of extremely high competency; such schools may not even bother with dan rankings, with "black belt" being a single rank, as the student is seen to be beyond the need for subsequent rank denotation. While there is a tendency amongst the martial arts community to criticize schools that promote black belts quickly as "belt factories" (criticism that is, more often than not, warranted), a more accurate statement would simply be that such schools expect different things from their black belts.[[note]]Although, more unscrupulous instructors may simply give out belts quickly as a way of generating significant income through testing and promotion fees. [[/note]]

To put it another way: a belt (of any colour) is only as good as whoever is wearing it.
5th Jul '14 1:36:55 PM TVRulezAgain
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* Contemporary {{Capoeira}} adopted a belt system inspired by the oriental arts in order to cultivate image as legitimate sport so that they could get funding from the government. Belts are almost always braided cords of various bright colors with gray generally being the beginner cord, white being the master level (because you're supposed to be good enough to avoid dragging your cord and pants through the dirt). They frequently use the colors ofthe Brazilian flag (green, yellow, blue and white, and various combinations thereof)) with higher rank being denoted by colors closer to the center. However, various groups use a wide variety of different rope color progressions; the only common value is that white is always a master's belt.

to:

* Contemporary {{Capoeira}} UsefulNotes/{{Capoeira}} adopted a belt system inspired by the oriental arts in order to cultivate image as legitimate sport so that they could get funding from the government. Belts are almost always braided cords of various bright colors with gray generally being the beginner cord, white being the master level (because you're supposed to be good enough to avoid dragging your cord and pants through the dirt). They frequently use the colors ofthe Brazilian flag (green, yellow, blue and white, and various combinations thereof)) with higher rank being denoted by colors closer to the center. However, various groups use a wide variety of different rope color progressions; the only common value is that white is always a master's belt.
31st May '13 3:29:54 PM Liffguard
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Added DiffLines:

** It's also pretty rare for there to be any form of grading or formal testing in BJJ academies. Usually the instructor just hands out a belt when he thinks a student has earned it. This is often precipitated by consistent success in competition.
22nd Apr '13 10:13:42 AM StarSword
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There is also a stereotype that a person with a black belt can kill with his or her bare hands. This is a gross oversimplification, if not patently false. Let's face it: it's easy to kill people. If you get someone to stand still long enough, you can kill them with [[CherryTapping your bare hands]] or [[TheHorriblySlowMurdererWithTheExtremelyInefficientWeapon a spoon]] or even [[VorpalPillow a pillow]]. What's difficult is having the physical and mental training to deliberately provide a CloseCallHaircut--to demonstrate that not only ''could'' you have handed out a CurbStompBattle, but you have ''chosen'' not to. In this sense, a black belt demonstrates not your skill with your fists, but your CharacterDevelopment from ArrogantKungFuGuy to MartialPacifist, from someone who knows how to hurt people to someone who knows how ''not'' to.

to:

There is also a stereotype that a person with a black belt can kill with his or her bare hands. This is a gross oversimplification, if not patently false. Let's face it: it's easy to kill people. If you get someone to stand still long enough, you can kill them with [[CherryTapping your bare hands]] or [[TheHorriblySlowMurdererWithTheExtremelyInefficientWeapon [[WebVideo/TheHorriblySlowMurdererWithTheExtremelyInefficientWeapon a spoon]] or even [[VorpalPillow a pillow]]. What's difficult is having the physical and mental training to deliberately provide a CloseCallHaircut--to demonstrate that not only ''could'' you have handed out a CurbStompBattle, but you have ''chosen'' not to. In this sense, a black belt demonstrates not your skill with your fists, but your CharacterDevelopment from ArrogantKungFuGuy to MartialPacifist, from someone who knows how to hurt people to someone who knows how ''not'' to.
18th Sep '12 1:49:57 PM jadeangel
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* Muay Thai has something called a ''Pra Jiad'', an armband worn around the upper arm, traditionally to bring confidence and luck. Some schools use colour variation on these, though the meaning varies - sometimes it means the student has taken some number of gradings, sometimes a number of wins in the ring, and an instructor might wear one signifying that he's trained a fighter from scratch to his first ring win.

to:

* Muay Thai has something called a ''Pra Jiad'', an armband worn around the upper arm, traditionally to bring confidence and luck. Some schools use colour variation on these, though the meaning varies - sometimes it means the student has taken some number of gradings, sometimes a number of wins in the ring, and an instructor might wear one signifying that he's trained a fighter from scratch to his first ring win.win.
* Chinese-style and American-style Kenpo use a system with several variations. In the most common of these, awhite belt indicates either a recruit rank, or the lowest ''kyu'' grade. Colored belts follow, generally in the order of yellow, orange, purple, blue and green. Following this are the three degrees of brown belts, which are regarded as senior students or junior instructors. (Think petty officers or sergeants in military terms.) They are generally the lowest grades permitted to formally instruct junior students. Some schools use a red belt in lieu of the most junior brown belt, others use red to represent tenth ''dan'', though this rarely causes any real confusion. Anyone who brags about being a red belt is surely of the senior-''kyu'' variant. ''Dan'' grades are represented by a black belt, with increasing rank sometimes denoted by red stripes. Most senior instructors (who are variously called ''sensei'', Master or simply Instructor) who have their own ''dojo'' are of second ''dan'' grade or above. Ranks above fifth ''dan'' are honorary and somewhat arbitrary - by then, a student has learned all of the technical knowledge of the art and probably devised some of his own.
4th Sep '12 5:46:07 PM slvstrChung
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There is also a stereotype that a person with a black belt can kill with his or her bare hands. This is a gross oversimplification, if not patently false. Let's face it: it's easy to kill people. If you get someone to stand still long enough, you can kill them with [[CherryTapping your bare hands]] or [[TheHorriblySlowMurdererWithTheExtremelyInefficientWeapon a spoon]] or even [[VorpalPillow a pillow]]. What's difficult is having the physical and mental training to ''avoid'' hurting someone, to pull back and demonstrate that not only ''could'' you have handed out a CurbStompBattle, but you have ''chosen'' not to. In this sense, a black belt demonstrates not your skill with your fists, but your CharacterDevelopment from ArrogantKungFuGuy to MartialPacifist.

to:

There is also a stereotype that a person with a black belt can kill with his or her bare hands. This is a gross oversimplification, if not patently false. Let's face it: it's easy to kill people. If you get someone to stand still long enough, you can kill them with [[CherryTapping your bare hands]] or [[TheHorriblySlowMurdererWithTheExtremelyInefficientWeapon a spoon]] or even [[VorpalPillow a pillow]]. What's difficult is having the physical and mental training to ''avoid'' hurting someone, to pull back and deliberately provide a CloseCallHaircut--to demonstrate that not only ''could'' you have handed out a CurbStompBattle, but you have ''chosen'' not to. to. In this sense, a black belt demonstrates not your skill with your fists, but your CharacterDevelopment from ArrogantKungFuGuy to MartialPacifist.
MartialPacifist, from someone who knows how to hurt people to someone who knows how ''not'' to.
27th Mar '12 3:42:56 PM slvstrChung
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There is also a stereotype that a person with a black belt can kill with his or her bare hands. This is a gross oversimplification, if not patently false. Let's face it: it's easy to kill people. If you get someone to stand still long enough, you can kill them with your bare hands or a spoon or even a pillow. What's difficult is having the physical and mental training to ''avoid'' hurting someone, to pull back and demonstrate that not only ''could'' you have handed out a CurbStompBattle, but you have ''chosen'' not to. In this sense, a black belt demonstrates not your skill with your fists, but your CharacterDevelopment from ArrogantKungFuGuy to MartialPacifist.

to:

There is also a stereotype that a person with a black belt can kill with his or her bare hands. This is a gross oversimplification, if not patently false. Let's face it: it's easy to kill people. If you get someone to stand still long enough, you can kill them with [[CherryTapping your bare hands hands]] or [[TheHorriblySlowMurdererWithTheExtremelyInefficientWeapon a spoon spoon]] or even [[VorpalPillow a pillow.pillow]]. What's difficult is having the physical and mental training to ''avoid'' hurting someone, to pull back and demonstrate that not only ''could'' you have handed out a CurbStompBattle, but you have ''chosen'' not to. In this sense, a black belt demonstrates not your skill with your fists, but your CharacterDevelopment from ArrogantKungFuGuy to MartialPacifist.
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