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Thread: "advanced" color belts?

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    Default "advanced" color belts?

    just curious.. i keep seeing/hearing of advanced color belts lately. like an advanced green belt stopped by my school the other week to check us out. he had a black gi so im guessing he was an instructor at a time.. and 2 black stripes on his green belt.. i cant remember if he had a black line in the middle of his belt or not..

    just curious how does this whole "advanced" thing work, how do you test for that at different schools. what is the significance, etc. as you can guess we dont have that at my school...

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    At one school I attended, they had "Tips"- a colored stripe on their belt that signified they had been tested and were @ 1/2 way through the belt level. I didn't really care for it. Then again, I really don't like the "belt" system either. I was a private instruction student, but they let me work out with their classes any time I was in town. It wasn't uncommon for the "junior" students to move better than the "tiped" students.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    I"ve been at schools with stripes and schools without.

    Commercial schools tend to have them more. It marks progress, lets the other instructors know how much the students know (in case the instructors change), and helps to remind the instructors where each student is.

    If you have 50-100 students, it can be hard to remember where each one is. A stripe can either mean halfway or a third.

    I don't think the stripes are necessary after purple or so. By the time you are up to that rank, you should be committed enough to not need the extra validation of progress.

    They don't bother me though. I give my students stripes. It makes them feel good and then we joke around about them. Those who miss class, miss out on allll the cool things we learn and they don't get stripes.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    If you look Infinite Insights Vol 1 you will see the belt organizational chart, you will see the advanced belts. Many schools use the advanced belts to mark progress. I use them but it is not as a commercial thing but as a method to mark progress and to keep them motivated.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad
    If you look Infinite Insights Vol 1 you will see the belt organizational chart, you will see the advanced belts. Many schools use the advanced belts to mark progress. I use them but it is not as a commercial thing but as a method to mark progress and to keep them motivated.
    I agree. It's great for the student to see what they should be focusing on, and in larger classes, the instructor can make an immediate assessment of a student.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    In the Arnis (stick fighting) class I was in, we got stripes on our belts, but all the previous Kenpo classes I came up thru- stripes were just for the kids.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shodan
    but all the previous Kenpo classes I came up thru- stripes were just for the kids.
    Like kicks? Or is that Trix? Hmmmm.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Ha! Trix, me thinks.....yeah....Trix are for kids!!

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    (You must read the following with a very old person's voice in mind) Yeah......back in my day, we didn't need no stinkin' stripes to know we were advancing- we just sweat more and worked harder until our belt color changed..........And we liked it!! (sorry, I was having a SNL moment there)

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shodan
    (You must read the following with a very old person's voice in mind) Yeah......back in my day, we didn't need no stinkin' stripes to know we were advancing- we just sweat more and worked harder until our belt color changed..........And we liked it!! (sorry, I was having a SNL moment there)
    Don't be jealous.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Rank is all about marking progress and giving students a sense of accomplishing a short term goal while working toward the long term goal (becoming a black belt usually.)

    The advanced rank just breaks it down further. It's kind of like when you were a kid and you wanted to be older than you were so you would say "I'm 8 and 1/2 years old." Now that you're an adult, how many of you say, "I'm 30 and 1/2 years old." LOL. At the time you're a kid though it's important because you don't want to be associated as much with those childish 8 year olds as you do the more mature 9 year olds. LMAO. Same thing.

    Seriously though, a lot of Kenpo schools have tons of material they cover so it helps to break the material down for better retention and they show the students progress by awarding them an "advanced" rank. For instance: we used to break each belt level down into 1) basics, principles, and forms which got you the initial rank and 2) the self defense techniques which would get you the "advanced" rank.
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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Rank is all about marking progress and giving students a sense of accomplishing a short term goal while working toward the long term goal (becoming a black belt usually.)
    Nah! It's mo' about keepin' th' checks comin' in an' th' doors open. But, HEY, tha's impo'tant too!

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    ahh we just break it down to 4 stripes and each stripe is divided among the techniques/forms/sets/etc. so 1 stripe is 1/4 of what you need for your next belt. with the 5th stripe being a "pre test" sort of.. after your 5th stripe, refinement of what you know for that, and previous belts is the main focus untill the next belt test.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Quote Originally Posted by madeku
    he had a black gi so im guessing he was an instructor at a time..

    .. i cant remember if he had a black line in the middle of his belt or not..
    Different schools use the infamous 'black gi' differently. American Kenpo has a history of using Black Gi's. Sometimes, you will only see instructors in Black ... sometimes you can see any advanced students in black ... sometimes, a student can purchase a black gi any time they want.

    There is no set standard in the Martial Arts Industry.

    At some schools, you will see fancy colored gi's used by different people, the display team, instructors, whatever. Sometimes a Red Gi is an indication of the 'Head Instructor'.

    In some schools, they operate a 'Black Belt Club', and often this is indicated by a colored belt, with a black stripe down the middle of its entire length. Some schools don't have 'Black Belt Clubs' but had out the black striped belts for every student. Again here ... there is no rhyme or reason.

    Remember ... A good Gi costs about 50 bucks and a belt costs about 6 bucks. While some organizations have 'rules' about who can wear what, most of those rules are fuzzy at best, and most of the organizations are loosely knit together rather than tightly knit.

    So, it all comes down to the policy at your particular school.

    Mike

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    My school uses the black stripes to show the instructors where we are. Helpful with us as student instructors too. First tip means the student has learned all the forms for that belt, second tip means all techniques have been learned for that belt, and the third tip means that student is ready to test for the next belt. The kids get colored tips as well. They have to go through all their forms, techniques and creeds associated with a particular belt previously earned as well as the three tips before they can test for their next belt. We played with the advanced belts but in the end they were just used up as regular belts. I had an orange and a purple belt with the black stripe running through the center. I think our instructors original intent was to award the belt after the second tip was earned to indicate that the student was polishing everything up to get ready to test.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Stripes? I had to join the army!
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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    I have been in schools with and without stripes. I don't care either way, though. My philosophy is that the belt is really not that important-it is what you know and being able to apply it on the street. As for gi's, again it varies by dojo. I have been places where only black belts, brown and black belts, or everybody can wear them. It is all about the instructor.

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    Default Re: "advanced" color belts?

    We use both advanced belts and stripes in our school. The stripes help the instructors keep track of the students as far as their progress on a belt level. The advanced belts break the curriculum into smaller chunks for the students and helps keep them motivated.

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    Post Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Nah! It's mo' about keepin' th' checks comin' in an' th' doors open. But, HEY, tha's impo'tant too!
    Really, from a marketing standpoint, the primary advantage of both the yellow belt and the Advanced label is primarily psycho-logical and financial.

    I'd elaborate, but I don't wanna reveal the man behind the curtain or step on any toes.

    Ahhh heck...sure I do. lol I mean, if I didn't ? How would you know it was really ME posting and not some clever imposter?

    My feeling (*which I am certain in no way reflects the official opinion of the Staff, Fellow Instructors, Secret Order of Grand High Mucky-mucks of Kenpo, or anyone else who has even potentially thought of flying a Kenpo banner!) but my own suspicion is the was at lest initially created as a Student Preserver. If you were testing a group of students and some of them excelled and aced the test, but there was a couple who didn't quite make the cut, instead of outright failing them, (and thus taking the risk of losing a paying student...bad marketing) you instead promoted them to an Advanced Rank oof their existing level. "Congratulations Corky, you've graduated to the Advanced Orange Belt" sounds far better than saying..."Corky...we've reviewed your test results and survey sez.....BZZZZZZZZT...you suck!". This is both a path of least resistance for an instructor, (Who likes to tell someone they've failed?) As well as a way of encouraging students to stick with it and keep trying. It's just a more positive method of reinforcement as opposed to the electroshock therepy-type negative reinforcement, *..Twitch-twitch..* used in the old days. Remember when you made a mistake and were summarily beaten for it? Ahhh...now I am waxing nostalgic. Th new and improved learning process allows when you do have an exceptionally adept student, you can pat them on the back and say..."Congratulations, you did so well on your test, I'm going to go ahead and promote you directly to Purple belt!".

    Now this being said, I will admit this is all speculation on my part. As I don't use either the yellow belt, or the advanced differentiation. Then again...I'm also the teacher, looking underneath the floormats of my car for spare change every month when it comes time to pay bills.
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    Cool Re: "advanced" color belts?

    Quote Originally Posted by execkenpo View Post
    We use both advanced belts and stripes in our school. The stripes help the instructors keep track of the students as far as their progress on a belt level. The advanced belts break the curriculum into smaller chunks for the students and helps keep them motivated.
    Now playing my own Devil's Advocate. I also endorse this idea.

    When one of my students wanted to branch out, spread his wings and open his own school, we had a leangthy debate about the marketability of our decidedly sophisticated system. He thought we needed to create a "Kenpo Light" to be more competitive with the Average McDojo down the block promising Blackbelt courses in 12-18 months. His vision was to be the Costco of Kenpo. I told him I would prefer to be the Nordtrom's of Kenpo. If he wanted to make the short term goals easier to accomplish, I suggested he break down the materiel into smaller, easier to digest units. In other words add in additional belt levels as opposed to.....watering down the system. I explained that I had worked hard to develope the curriculum, which he was so proud to learn. That the lessons and materiel I taught was what I felt was both important and neccessary to develope a proper underestanding and respect for the art. How would we chose what to eliminate? In the end, I prevailed upon him. (Alright I also had to bludgeon him repeatedly with blunt trauma, but that's another story altogether...the imprtant thing is in the end, he saw things my way and the integrity of our teaching remains intact.)
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