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Thread: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

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    Default Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill
    By Bob Hubbard - Sun, 04 Nov 2007 23:07:09 GMT

    ====================

    Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve?
    By Paul Greenhill

    Imagine that you've been training BJJ for a few months and have been enjoying everything that's involved with the training: the technique, the camaraderie, the confidence that you've developed, the friendly mat rivalries that you've developed with your training partners, the locker room trash-talking, trying to guess who's going to be the next person to get promoted, and the fact that there are no expectations or pressure to perform.

    Then one day, as your class ends, your instructor calls you up and rewards you with your belt promotion to the next rank. Are you happy, heck no! The first thing that crosses your mind is denial because you don't think you're good enough yet. The next thing that crosses your mind is the person that you think is better than you that didn't get promoted and how they're going to feel. And it doesn't help as you walk towards the locker room, you hear some people whispering about how you shouldn't have gotten promoted before they did. And as you leave the school that night headed for home, a moment that should be celebrated has become a moment filled with anxiety and fear.

    Does that sound familiar to you? That's what I call "rank overload."

    Rank overload is an overwhelming pressure to prove yourself worthy of the belt promotion to every classmate that you were promoted ahead of that didn't agree with your promotion. Rank overload will
    also make you feel that you have to prove yourself worthy to be on the new belt line with the "old-timers" that have to welcome you into their group. Rank overload can force a grappler to change his
    attitude from enjoying grappling to hating it because of the incredible amount of pressure that he feels to prove himself to everyone. Grapplers that suffer from rank overload almost seem apologetic for the fact that they've been promoted and expect to be constantly reminded that they not worthy of the belt, especially if competing in tournament, visiting other schools to train, or when visiting grapplers show up at their school and outperform them.

    Rank overload can happens for a number of reasons:

    - The student is promoted too soon because the instructor wants to fill his school quickly with senior students

    - Students are given social promotions based on the fact they help out the instructor in non-grappling areas and are well-liked

    - Instructors are trying to appeal to a certain demographic among prospective students that may be lacking in his school (e.g.
    adults over 50 and women)

    - The student is technically proficient, but lacks self-confidence, has a horrible mat attitude, and wants to stay at a rank where expectations are low and they can exist as mediocre grapplers without being challenged

    For whatever reason that it happens, the grappler is put into a pressure cooker (sometimes unknowingly by the instructor, sometimes self-induced).

    If the grappler is to survive mentally, they must act quickly to eliminate this mental state before it steals the joy of the art. The grappler must accept the fact that denying the belt will probably do more harm than good mentally (as long as the promotion makes sense). What the grappler needs to do is develop the mental mindset to accept the fact that they have been promoted and to start developing their skills from where they are. If the grappler feels like they're not ready for the belt, they should be the first person at the gym and the last one to leave...EVERY TRAINING DAY POSSIBLE...trying to become the grappler they think they should be. Hiding at home from training or agreeing with others that you don't deserve it won't help you. The best way to get out of the rank overload hole is to work you way out of it... through incessant drilling and mental toughness.

    If you follow that approach, you'll realize that those "haters" that didn't think you deserve the promotion will have slowly disappeared because you're kicking their butts all over the mat!

    Paul M. Greenhill, "The Wise Grappler", is the creator of The Wise Grappler System and author of The Wise Grappler Ezine, a weekly ezine that provides martial arts training and personal development tips for the older (over 35) and non-traditional martial artists. To learn more about "The Wise Grappler" and to sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit his site at http://www.thewisegrappler.com or contact him at [mailto:paul@thewisegrappler.com]paul@thewisegrappler.com

    (c) Copyright - 2007 Paul M. Greenhill. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_Greenhill http://EzineArticles.com/?Do-You-Wea...rve?&id=700736


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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    What did somebody once say about a belt...." it only covers 2inches of your @#$%^&* and the rest is up to you!"





    Regards,
    Carl

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    I thought that the belt is what holds the jacket closed...
    ~Bill Richardson

    Rudeness is the frustrated attempt of a small mind to communicate.

    Forgive everyone everything

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    I know of only one person ranked under me who deserves to ranked over me. Matt Smith. The fact that he's ranked under me is only due to his time in the system. He is a phenom and often teaches me rather than the me teaching him. That's the exception, though. Anyone else is invited to try to take my rank.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Michael Huffman
    1st Black, AKKI
    www.akki.com

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Whether or not to accept rank that you don't feel you deserve is an interesting question.

    There is always seasoning with every rank. Every time I've put on a new color belt or stripe (in browns and up), I've felt a little like a faker. I wasn't sure I was ready for second when I got it, even though I'd trained my butt off for it for 16 months straight, but since I've gotten it, I've grown into it.

    I know quite a few people who have declined to wear promotions given to them.

    It seems fairly much like common sense, however, to train harder if you don't feel like you deserved a promotion you got.

    --Amy
    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: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael151 View Post
    I know of only one person ranked under me who deserves to ranked over me. Matt Smith. Anyone else is invited to try to take my rank.
    I don't think that was the point of the article.

    --Amy
    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: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Favorable treatment invites ugly politics. Everyone should be held to the same standard and the same procedure should apply in the school for everyone. Do that and you won't see a whole lot of "whispering."

    Personally, I feel like I earned every rank that I obtained. I worked my butt off, put in the hours, blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention bruises, busted lips, strained muscles, hyperextended joints, etc...)

    I actually passed some students by that had been at the school longer. But there was hardly any animosity. They knew I put in more time and effort than they did. If you do it will show. The positive reaction would be to motivate the other students to put more practice time in.
    "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." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Favoritism should never be acceptable. That said, I would consider turning down a rank promotion to be a direct insult to my teachers. After all, who knows better if my movement is good enough for the next rank? Me, a 3rd degree brown belt, or a group of Black Belts that go up in rank to 10th degree and the founder of the system?
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    A new rank ( say a 2nd degree black belt) doesnt mean you are a good 2nd degree black belt, it means your a good 1st Degree Black Belt.
    Brad Marshall SP
    KKFI

    trgodbm@yahoo.com

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    Favoritism should never be acceptable. That said, I would consider turning down a rank promotion to be a direct insult to my teachers. After all, who knows better if my movement is good enough for the next rank? Me, a 3rd degree brown belt, or a group of Black Belts that go up in rank to 10th degree and the founder of the system?
    It depends.

    I know of a good 2nd brown that received a "spot" promotion to 1st black (in Kenpo) because the instructor (also a 1st black, who spot promoted himself to 5th black) needed other black belt trainers.

    No knowledge.

    No test.

    No testing board.

    So when he left for the day, he left his black belt hanging on the wall in the men's dressing room and never went back.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Favorable treatment invites ugly politics. Everyone should be held to the same standard and the same procedure should apply in the school for everyone. Do that and you won't see a whole lot of "whispering."
    Favoritism does happen.

    And the reverse, prejudice against, does happen.

    When either of them happen and aware student will know what to do.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by toejoe2k View Post
    I thought that the belt is what holds the jacket closed...
    That is a "white" belt.

    Which is "mu" kup, which means "no rank".

    All the kyu's (kups) and the Dan rankings do have CRITERIA ATTACTED to them that is normally "earned".

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    It depends.

    I know of a good 2nd brown that received a "spot" promotion to 1st black (in Kenpo) because the instructor (also a 1st black, who spot promoted himself to 5th black) needed other black belt trainers.

    No knowledge.

    No test.

    No testing board.

    So when he left for the day, he left his black belt hanging on the wall in the men's dressing room and never went back.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    He did the right thing.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    He did the right thing.
    Yes.
    He joined my school.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Yes.
    He joined my school.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    You're welcome for the setup.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    You're welcome for the setup.
    It is strange the type of person that my studio does attract, but I do love them.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    That is a "white" belt.

    Which is "mu" kup, which means "no rank".

    All the kyu's (kups) and the Dan rankings do have CRITERIA ATTACTED to them that is normally "earned".

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

    What about systems that don't use "belts"? These days, belts can be very deceiving. I've tapped a 4th dan judoka and been tapped by a wrestler who has no "belt"; I dealt (rather easily) with a combative TKD BB who was being booked into the jail where I worked and I was made to look silly by a guy who never trained before but, was as stronger than anyone I've ever known. What criteria was attached to thier abilities? What do my belts indicate vs. those who bested me? What do the belts say about the training of those whom I've bested?

    I'll just maintain that the belt is what holds my jacket together...at least until I get 3 or 4 stripes. Then, maybe I'll feel comfortable behind the knot of the belt I'd be wearing.

    ~Peace
    ~Bill Richardson

    Rudeness is the frustrated attempt of a small mind to communicate.

    Forgive everyone everything

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by toejoe2k View Post
    What about systems that don't use "belts"? These days, belts can be very deceiving. I've tapped a 4th dan judoka and been tapped by a wrestler who has no "belt"; I dealt (rather easily) with a combative TKD BB who was being booked into the jail where I worked and I was made to look silly by a guy who never trained before but, was as stronger than anyone I've ever known. What criteria was attached to thier abilities? What do my belts indicate vs. those who bested me? What do the belts say about the training of those whom I've bested?

    I'll just maintain that the belt is what holds my jacket together...at least until I get 3 or 4 stripes. Then, maybe I'll feel comfortable behind the knot of the belt I'd be wearing.

    ~Peace
    YOU mismatching reality does not change my reality nor the reality of those that use a belt ranking system.

    It only deceives you.

    Have fun.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Who is the higher ranked person?

    A 1st degree blackbelt under Al Tracy, or Huk Planas, or Larry Tatum, or Ed Parker or Nick Cerio?

    Who is the better martial artist?

    Same folks.


    How about the 10 year, actively training green belt, vs the 3 year training time 2 days a week for 40 minutes each session black belt?


    I've sparred folks from all ranks, and at least 40 different arts/styles/schools.
    I've run 3rd degree blacks off the mat while only wearing a yellow belt, and had yellow belts run me into the ground and make me tap while a blue.

    I can create an art, decide that for Black, the requirement is to sing a short sailor dity, and mint me a blackbelt. But would that belt be worth the same as those worn by anyone here?

    The only thing any belt rank is good for, is keeping track of where you rank, within a particular organization and/or schools training system. Outside of that system, it's like exchanging money....it doesn't quite equal out. It's like Phd's. A Phd from Harvard is worth a lot more than one from 'Buds Mail-Order Doctorates'.
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    Default Re: Do You Wear A Belt Rank You Don't Deserve? by Paul Greenhill

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard View Post
    It's like Phd's. A Phd from Harvard is worth a lot more than one from 'Buds Mail-Order Doctorates'.
    Now Bob, to be fair - a Phd from Harvard also increases in its perceived value the farther you get away from the Boston Metropolitan area.

    For us plebeians who have had to deal with Harvard students, or any other student intellectuals from the Athens of America; such as MIT students, or BU, BC, Northeastern etc. we take a more cynical view.

    Such as the Boston real-life college literacy test of reading road signage given free to the incoming swarm. This annual test is given every late August & early September.

    As in when taking Storrow Drive, that “no trucks are allowed”, and “height restriction of 9 feet” is comprehended.
    John McPartland

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