Friday, July 13, 2012
Being the forgetful soul that I am, I've gotten to class only to realize I'd left my belt on my bed, in my car or in the gear bag I left at the office too many times to count. The third or so class after I tested for shodan had me beltless in the dojo because I'd left it elsewhere a day or two before. Did it change my technique at all or make me any less a karateka somehow? Other than the self-conscious feeling being obi-less gave me, I'd have to say not even a teeny bit.
Some schools and styles have the entire ROY G BIV rainbow connection happening where kyu-equivilant obis go. Others give stripes on existing belts to mark progress. Not knocking either, but, other than the economics behind the need to purchase a new belt (and sometimes a new gi with new color accents) for that new rank, what difference does it make?
Rank means differnt things to different people - and it means different things here in the land of McDojos than it does elsewhere, I'm sure. Charles James discussed it in a recent post on his "Okinawan Fighting Art: Isshin Ryu" blog; perhaps what he says is right: "What is in your heart is of more value than what color of cloth is around your waist." So strap that top closed (or wear a t-shirt or heck, even no shirt) and get to training already.
Posted by Felicia