What is rank about ??

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I want everyone on here to answer this question in your own words and thoughts....What is rank about??? Sensei

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2001


Rank in karate is a formal recognition of an amount of learning. The most important thing about a rank or belt level is the skill and dedication of the person who holds that rank. The color of a belt is nice, but the knowledge is what you can truly own. Supposedly, in the "old days," the karate students began with white belts, which gradually got so dirty over the years of practice that they became black. So they had "rank" in more ways than one. (Sorry, but bad punning is just so easy late at night).

The number of colors that are in American dojos are mostly the result of commercialism. I have heard of dojos with 9 different belt colors, (white, gold, yellow, orange, blue, purple, green, brown, black) with five or more stripes put on each belt. That is to get the most money out of people who will drop out after a few weeks or months of practice.

I am not saying different belts are bad, though. It is definitely helpful in teaching larger classes to have some way of seeing what level of learning people are at, and it is nice to have the knowledge/skill recognized. But some people, I think, get the importance of the two confused-- they will brag about what rank or belt they are, but not what they have learned (I have mostly seen this in lower belt levels white/yellow).


-- Anonymous, October 01, 2001

I agree with what Hannah said about rank being a tool for a teacher to see the level each person in the class has attained. My initial thought was that rank also helps other students know how to treat thier classmates, but other then the proticol difference between sensei or sempai and kohai, we should always treat all of the people in our dojo (and everyone we meet!) with respect, so the rank is only of very minor importance. So my final conclusion on rank would be that it shows a persons level of learning, and a high rank would show a certain level of dedication, but other then those two things, it is fairly unimportant.

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2001

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