Author Topic: "Dojo" Belts  (Read 5308 times)

Offline Sensei_Sue

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"Dojo" Belts
« on: April 18, 2003, 11:02:03 AM »
Hello,  
 
I have stummbled onto your site and find the topics very interesting.  I have a question I would like to ask, dealing with something that is currently going on at my school.
 
At first, all of the black belts just wore plain black belts.  It didn't matter if you were a black belt for 1 day or 20 years.  Everyone wore the same.  But the senior teachers got together and decided that all 4th dans and up (which we consider to be senior teachers) will now wear a "dojo" belt.  This belt will be still be black, but have something (I'm not exactly sure what) different about it, to show that this person is a senior teacher.
 
I don't have any problems with it.  But some of the brown and lower ranked black belts aren't totally happy with this.  They feel it might be an ego thing.  I don't believe this, and know that my teacher isn't like that.  But it seems to me to be more of a recognition for hard work and loyalty to the school.
 
I was just thinking that someone here would have thoughts on this.
 
Thanks,
 
Sue  
 
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline D-Man

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2003, 01:10:41 PM »
Tell them that THEIR "high ranking" brown and black belts might be an ego thing too, and see how they feel about you eliminating THAT problem.  ;) Their concern is good-hearted, but I don't think that your new system is anything to worry about.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline John Bishop

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2003, 01:29:50 PM »
It is very common for systems to have some type of differant belt or marking from various dan/degrees.  The most common is the stripes on the tip, ussually 1 for each degree.  Also, some systems utilize red belts for advanced black belt ranks.  
I don't think it is a ego thing, it basically shows a persons position in the system, since most systems have 10 degrees of black.  
Having just a plain black belt for all black belts would be equilivent to having a plain white belt for all the kyu grades.  
Now, would your brown belts want to trade in their brown belts for a white one untill they make black?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Offline Sensei_Sue

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2003, 05:29:57 AM »
Thank you for your responses.  I hadn't thought about the comparison between the black belts and the lower ranks.  I guess I will have to ask then if they would like to turn in their belt for a nice new white one!

Thanks!   ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline Nagi

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2003, 10:01:48 AM »
Sensei_Sue,
How many Black belts does your school have? Im just corious because most schools around my area usually have less than 6 Black Belts and your situation is never a problem (Im not saying it couldn't happen). S.Sue your school doesn't employ rank stripes on there black belts?

Ron
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:04 PM by -1 »
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Offline Sensei_Sue

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2003, 10:21:04 AM »
We have 7 black belts with the highest rank being godan, and several brown belts.

Basically a couple black belts and one or two brown belts have voiced disagreement.  Not openly, but more like locker room talk.  I've just been witness to this.

I don't have a problem and look forward to the day I can wear the special belt.  It motivates me to work harder.

As for rank stripes, yes and no.  Mostly no.  Everyone just wears a plain belt with there name in kanji and the school name in kanji.  We do keep a "rank" belt for special occasions like black belt promotions and such.  Then we wear our stripes.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Sifu Rick

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2003, 11:42:05 AM »
Sue: The Black Belts have EARNED the right to wear stripes-
the Brown belts have a LONG WAY to go to gain that level of
respect.  Maybe the brown belt students and others who are complaining can write a 3-page thesis on the meaning of being a true Brown Belt.  If the Brown belts are whining, then they should be re-evaluated, one-on-one with EACH Black Belt!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline Sensei_Sue

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2003, 12:12:20 PM »
Rick,

I like the way you think!  :D


It's not really the stripes they talk about.  It's this new dojo belt.  It will be different than any other belt we have had before.  But the more I find out about it, the more it makes sense.

This belt is going to be reserved for senior staff members.  The ones that make all the decisions regarding the school and its policies.  There are only three right now and they decide who gets promoted to black belt, who can be assistant instructors, etc.  As our school grows bigger and bigger, a lot of students don't know who to talk to about what.  This will clearly show who is a person to talk to when you have issues.  Some school use different uniforms, we will have a different style black belt.  No biggie to me!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline Mike Nagano

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2003, 12:30:33 PM »
It's very interesting how egos are "hurt" because of the way a black belt is presented/worn.  For many years I wore a plain white gi with a plain belt (black or otherwise).  Then, I began to focus on Kajukenbo and put Shotokan behind me, and then I wore a black uniform with a US flag, an association patch, a Kajukenbo print on my back, and stripes on my belt....

They'll get used to the change.  Every time administrative type changes are made in any institution, there will be some who disagree.

I wonder how those students you mention will feel when they are the ones now wearing the "dojo" belt, when they have earned the right.  I'm sure their points of view will be different then.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Offline Mell

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2003, 08:10:22 PM »
Changing the subject in regards to belts, I recently visited a local school which had all the students belts hanging on the wall.  When you came in to train, you took your belt down.  I've never seen this before.  Do any of you your schools do this?  What is the reason?  (I didn't think to ask anyone when I was there).  

Also, what do you do with Kids who come to the school, pull their belts out of their gym bag and they are filthy like they have been playing with them outside or dragging them on the ground?  We do not allow our students to wear their belts outside of the school so they should always look well cared for.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Offline John Bishop

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2003, 08:35:22 PM »
Mell, if it was a Japanese style school I may know why they do it.  It's sort of like lining up by rank.  Your belt progresses to the front as it changes colors.  Just a guess based on what I observed in Sensei Fumio Demura's dojo.  He had small wooden plaques with each students name hanging on hooks high around the walls.  They progressed from the most senior student down to the newest students.  As people quit, the ones that stayed had their plaques moved up.  I guess it showed everyone in the school a persons position in the school.  
Position in the Japanese culture is very important.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
John Bishop  8th Degree-Original Method 
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"You watch, once I'm gone, all the snakes will start popping their heads up!"  Sijo Emperado

Offline Mell

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2003, 06:59:59 PM »
Thank you!  That is the way the were lined up on the wall.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
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Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2003, 10:37:29 AM »
Sensei Sue,

We do the same thing at our school.  There are only 5 black belts and 3 of us are staff members.  Actually, to be more accurate, we sit on what we call the "board of senior instructors".  This board only has authority within our one school.  We are not a large organization.... yet!

But I do like to try and run the business side of the school like a business.  So that means board meetings and all that jazz.

Anyway, the board members all wear a different looking black belt than other black belts.  This is a subtle way of recognizing that they give a little more of their time and energy to the school.  It also shows students which black belts are the decision makers at the school.  This will be more important in a couple years when we have more black belts, and more teachers.

We don't find this to be an ego thing at all.  I like to wear my original black belt I earned.  But when we do more "official" things, like testing, I have this other belt I will wear.

I find more people get caught up with titles than with different belts.

Just my thoughts.


-John
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline William Badders

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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2007, 11:05:51 PM »
yep at my jujitsu school we hang are belt up before we leave but not in any order.
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Re: "Dojo" Belts
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2007, 03:37:19 PM »
Hi, Sue..I have a red belt with a black stripe all the way around it, signifying 8th degree. Sometimes I would just like to get rid of all belts and just come in and train. Man, even the "traditional" gong-fu schools have colored belts..one here in town even has the karate belts, another uses sashes! Oh, well...whatever it takes.
Prof. Frank Wohler