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Thread: A question about all the Red on Belts

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    Default A question about all the Red on Belts

    Ok after reading a post left at Martial talk it got me to thinking ďyeah thatís scary ď. The question was regarding rank and how high an instructor could promote a student. I have a question but I want to say upfront that I am not asking this to take away from anyone. But here goes and I hope this does not open a can of worms.

    As a lower belt rank I look forward to one day testing for Black belt. I also understand that this rank is not the end all be all and does not give me 007 license. This rank shows that I would have a strong understanding of the basics and would move much different that say a white belt. And as some one advances through the ranks to 2nd, 3rd Iím sure this person would be picking up new material for each rank. But this is where I get confused after you test for 3rd Deg and you have spent years in the art. It would seem obvious that if pushed you would know how to fight. And you would have a very strong understanding of the material that you have learned and have been teaching for a few years at least.

    Does anyone know why it is then that at 5th you add a 5Ē red bar (I think its 5Ē) I might be wrong. But anyway then at 6th another strip, 7th same all the way to 10th then another red bar at some point to me at least it seems overkill. I wonder why a military style of showing time in service/study was never introduced. Something like a hash mark on your sleeve for every two or three years teaching/studying.

    I am not asking this in a disrespectful way, and itís not because I donít think the red looks good because I think it is very cool. But I did see a picture that someone doctored and it got me to thinking about this. I mean after 2nd or 3rd itís no secret that you can fight, you know the material, and you have been involved in Kenpo for years. I will post the picture below that I borrowed from a post over at Martial talk.
    Oh and the reason I asked this here is that I didnít want to get roasted over there.



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    jfarnsworth is offline Parker / Planas Lineage
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    Yeah, the old Steve Spry reverse belt . I would be embarassed to wear that belt; at least that's just me.

    There has been some extensive conversation on MT about him in the last few years. Go into your advanced search option and put his name in for titles or threads containing to read it. Happy reading.

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    We used to laugh at Steve Spry at the Internationals because he had his face airbrushed on the back of his gi.

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    At least he cut his hair. Those early to mid 90's photo's in black belt magazine were terrible.

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    I didnít set out or post the picture to make fun of this guy. I had never even heard of him till I saw his picture posted. I am just using this picture that I thought was edited (the belt at least) to show why I question the use of all the red on a belt.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Quote Originally Posted by 2004hemi
    Ok after reading a post left at Martial talk it got me to thinking “yeah that’s scary “. The question was regarding rank and how high an instructor could promote a student. I have a question but I want to say upfront that I am not asking this to take away from anyone. But here goes and I hope this does not open a can of worms.

    As a lower belt rank I look forward to one day testing for Black belt. I also understand that this rank is not the end all be all and does not give me 007 license. This rank shows that I would have a strong understanding of the basics and would move much different that say a white belt. And as some one advances through the ranks to 2nd, 3rd I’m sure this person would be picking up new material for each rank. But this is where I get confused after you test for 3rd Deg and you have spent years in the art. It would seem obvious that if pushed you would know how to fight. And you would have a very strong understanding of the material that you have learned and have been teaching for a few years at least.

    Does anyone know why it is then that at 5th you add a 5” red bar (I think its 5”) I might be wrong. But anyway then at 6th another strip, 7th same all the way to 10th then another red bar at some point to me at least it seems overkill. I wonder why a military style of showing time in service/study was never introduced. Something like a hash mark on your sleeve for every two or three years teaching/studying.

    I am not asking this in a disrespectful way, and it’s not because I don’t think the red looks good because I think it is very cool. But I did see a picture that someone doctored and it got me to thinking about this. I mean after 2nd or 3rd it’s no secret that you can fight, you know the material, and you have been involved in Kenpo for years. I will post the picture below that I borrowed from a post over at Martial talk.
    Oh and the reason I asked this here is that I didn’t want to get roasted over there.


    I have an answer based solely on my own opinion.

    We all see getting a black belt as having 'made it', the end to the journey. Well we all know that it isn’t the end of the journey, there's more to learn. Depending on the style or branch of kenpo 'new' material ends somewhere around 3rd or 4th black (though I've often been told by my instructor there is no new material after orange... it's simply rearranged). So why have a rank past that? Just have a symbol for time in the art?

    Here's a hypothetical situation...

    2 friends start training at the same time in the same school, receive all their promotions together. They reach the 'end' of the material. At this point it is fair to say they have learned the 'how' of kenpo. What lies beyond is the 'why'. The 'why' of kenpo is explored through challenging and testing ideas, both existing and new. One of friends goes on to teach the 'how' and nothing more, never looking beyond. The other goes on to not only teach the 'how' but to explore and teach the 'why'. 20 years down the road the one who has explored the 'why' has far more knowledge and understanding than the friend who stopped at 'how'. How would the distinction be made between the two friends. Both have the same number of years learning and teaching.

    In short it’s not about the time, it is about understanding.

    Again just my opinion and I could be wrong.
    Last edited by dubljay; 06-01-2006 at 03:51 PM.
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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Here is the actual photo as per his website:

    http://stevespry.com/


    I haven't seen Steve Spry in almost 6 years. He is a nice guy, but I don't like the fact that he has changed so much of the system, and deleted so many techniques.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Quote Originally Posted by dubljay
    I have an answer based solely on my own opinion.

    We all see getting a black belt as having 'made it', the end to the journey. Well we all know that it isnít the end of the journey, there's more to learn. Depending on the style or branch of kenpo 'new' material ends somewhere around 3rd or 4th black (though I've often been told by my instructor there is no new material after orange... it's simply rearranged). So why have a rank past that? Just have a symbol for time in the art?

    Here's a hypothetical situation...

    2 friends start training at the same time in the same school, receive all their promotions together. They reach the 'end' of the material. At this point it is fair to say they have learned the 'how' of kenpo. What lies beyond is the 'why'. The 'why' of kenpo is explored through challenging and testing ideas, both existing and new. One of friends goes on to teach the 'how' and nothing more, never looking beyond. The other goes on to not only teach the 'how' but to explore and teach the 'why'. 20 years down the road the one who has explored the 'why' has far more knowledge and understanding than the friend who stopped at 'how'. How would the distinction be made between the two friends. Both have the same number of years learning and teaching.

    In short itís not about the time, it is about understanding.

    Again just my opinion and I could be wrong.
    I like your idea and respect the way you present a situation but I have to note that in this instance it is in a way unfair. Using the ď what ifĒ instance that can go either way in that what if person #1 was a 4th deg and stayed at that rank for 30 years. Does that automatically mean that a person that held the rank of 7th Deg would have more skill and Kenpo knowledge? I agree with what you said about the system requirements ending around 3rd or 4th that is why I asked the question that I asked. If you have been taught all the system and have no new material to learn then as you said you turn back into the why and all the little things that get missed along the way. I just have to wonder does more red on the belt or the next Dan rank mean that you have more skill, knowledge, respect. Donít get me wrong I am all for moving up in rank as to me I feel like I am moving forward not just standing still. But I also think it would be cool to have some form of recognition for time in service/the art. It has been said in a lot of threads that a person can branch out and name themselves GM and place any rank they want. It would be nice to have some form of recognized time in grade that can only be earned not given.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    I didn't mean to diminish the importance of time put in. I think that time in the art is very important and definately worth respect.

    As to your reference to a 4th black and the 7th... SGM Parker said it best

    "Although belt colors may show, it is not proof that you know"
    Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. - Buddha

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    i like how it is as far as kenpo black belt degrees are displayed.. it is easier than trying to count the lines on the belt.. just the way i look at it

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Hi.

    I've thought about this topic a fair amount and it's a difficult one. Generally speaking, the old adage is true: It's not what you show; it's what you know that counts.

    There are people who have progressed from 5th to 6th or higher and I don't see what they've done to warrant such a promotion, other than because 'it's time'. There are others who are 4th degrees, who I would turn to for much knowledge and understanding.

    Much of it is political. I know that some people have gotten promoted because 'they always get promoted when someone else gets promoted.' It doesn't mean all that much.

    Ultimately, you have to workout with the person to know whether you respect their rank. And that's all you have to judge by.

    There are those who are humble with their ranks and strive to learn all they can. I know two people who got their seconds, then became painfully arrogant. So what does it all mean?

    I guess it's all personal.

    --Amy
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    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    I would suggest a shorter belt lest he trip over it and fall. I don't mean that as a joke either. There's no way he can do maneuvers effectively with that "sash" around his waist and not get tangled up in it.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Ė Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    I would suggest a shorter belt lest he trip over it and fall. I don't mean that as a joke either. There's no way he can do maneuvers effectively with that "sash" around his waist and not get tangled up in it.
    The picture was a joke. The real one is much shorter.
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
    New Cool (free) kenpo tool bar: http://KenpoKarate.OurToolbar.com/


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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    The picture was a joke. The real one is much shorter.
    Steve or his belt? LOL
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Ė Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    Here is the actual photo as per his website:

    http://stevespry.com/


    I haven't seen Steve Spry in almost 6 years. He is a nice guy, but I don't like the fact that he has changed so much of the system, and deleted so many techniques.
    Hi Jamie,

    Were you under Mr. Spry for a long time? I see he has you listed on his tree and also as an affiliate.

    Thanks,
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    LOL oh no Iím gonnaí leave that one alone
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Quote Originally Posted by 2004hemi
    LOL oh no Iím gonnaí leave that one alone
    Eh?

    Just an honest question. Jamie has proven his skills over and over to many people, it's just a question nothing more.
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Quote Originally Posted by katsudo_karate
    Eh?

    Just an honest question. Jamie has proven his skills over and over to many people, it's just a question nothing more.
    I think he was referring to Crippler's post above it. Timing.

    --Amy
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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    I think he was referring to Crippler's post above it. Timing.

    --Amy
    I get confused when people don't quote LOL
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: A question about all the Red on Belts

    Quote Originally Posted by katsudo_karate
    I get confused when people don't quote LOL
    I still get confused when people do.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
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