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Thread: Red belt

  1. #1
    n2shotokai Guest

    Default Red belt

    Another thread here dislodged a thought running through my brain for some time now. Here and there in the USA I have seen instructors wearing a red belt. Does anyone know of anyone in Japan or Okinawa wearing a red belt as a rank higher than black? Or is this just a western thing?

    Steve Beale

  2. #2
    Gene Williams Guest

    Default red belt

    Hi, Jigoro Kano (judo) began a belt system that would enable people at the huge judo tournaments in Japan to easily distinguish the ranking seniors from the more junior black belts. Yondan was half red, half white with white on top, godan the same with red on top, rokudan was six inches red, six inches white, etc. The idea migrated to karate, mostly in Japan but some in Okinawa, then went wild in the USA because of all the rank happy egotists. It makes sense at a tournament where there are a couple of hundred dan and you don't know everyone. In a dojo with twenty students and everyone knowing each other, it is silly and just says, " Hey, look at me." Some more traditional ryu will reserve them for wear at formal occasions (testing, promotion, etc.) which seems appropriate. But, skill and bearing make a senior, not the red belt. Black should be good enough. I also hate to see belts with all the gold stripes for rank on them. The idea of martial arts is to subdue the ego, not promote it. Gene

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    Default Some reds out there

    Hi,

    I've seen some pictures of high ranking japanese karate instructors wearing a red or some other colour belt. Offhand I can think of at least two persons, one of them still alive and kicking. First one is Gogen Yamaguchi (here's one picture of him in a red belt, http://www.todomardelplata.com/esam/...hi%20Gogen.bmp. The other that came to my mind doesn't wear an all red belt, but rather a black-red belt with gold stripes. That's the current soke of Shorinji ryu Renshinkan, Iwao Tamotsu (http://www.synapse.ne.jp/renshin/english/index.html. I don't know if the belt he's wearing in the picture is somehow ceremonial, but I remember that he was wearing it last summer when he was here in Finland.
    Timo Saksholm

    Shorin ryu Seibukan karate
    Jinbukan kobudo

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    Default Re: red belt

    Originally posted by Gene Williams
    Hi, Jigoro Kano (judo) began a belt system that would enable people at the huge judo tournaments in Japan to easily distinguish the ranking seniors from the more junior black belts.
    Kano started it, alright, but it had little or nothing to do with the viewing convenience of tournament spectators. It's rare to see a dan-grade competitor wear anything other than a black obi during shiai, regardless of rank.
    Yondan was half red, half white with white on top, godan the same with red on top,
    Not in Judo!

    The standard scheme calls for plain black up through 5-dan.

    A few years ago, the USJA introduced an obi with alternating panels of red and black, to be worn by 4th- and 5th-dan, but it's achieved only limited acceptance in the US.
    rokudan was six inches red, six inches white, etc.
    6- through 8-dan wear the red/white striped obi;
    9-dan and above wear solid red;

    Judo protocol provides for 11th- and 12th-dan, but these have never been awarded (and probably never will be!).
    Theoretically, 11-dan would continue wearing a red obi, but 12-dan would be signified by a plain white obi, of double the normal width. Our theoretical 12-dan would also receive the title of shihan.
    Yours in Judo,

    Brian P. Griffin

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    Default

    Even Elvis was wearing a Red Belt. The pic below shows him recieving 8th Dan. His belt looks like a Black Belt wrapped in red satin.
    David Dyer
    4th Dan Black Belt
    Ro-Ken Karate Association

    It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. - Albert Einstein

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    Default Judo belts

    Originally posted by Brian Griffin
    Judo protocol provides for 11th- and 12th-dan, but these have never been awarded (and probably never will be!).
    Theoretically, 11-dan would continue wearing a red obi, but 12-dan would be signified by a plain white obi, of double the normal width. Our theoretical 12-dan would also receive the title of shihan. [/B]
    I seem to remember reading somewhere that judo protocol provides ranks upto 13 dan. Ah, found the page where it says that http://home.online.no/~judo/ordliste.htm#Grader i Norge (sorry, seems that the information is only in norwegian there). Hmm, maybe my limited swedish comes handy here. Any native speakers can then correct me:

    10. grad ju-dan svart eller rødt 11. grad ju-ichi-dan svart eller rødt 12. grad ju-ni-dan svart eller rødt 13. grad ju-san-dan svart eller hvitt m/dobbel bredde (?) 10. Dan er tildelt ca. 13 stk og mange av dem post mortem. 11. Dan er aldri tildelt noen. (?) 12. Dan er honorært tildelt Jigoro Kano post mortem. 13. Dan er aldri tildelt noen
    My translation:
    10. degree ju-dan black or red
    11. degree ju-ichi-dan black or red
    12. degree ju-ni-dan black or red
    13. degree ju-san-dan black or double wide white

    13 10. dan have been awarded, many of them post mortem
    No 11. dan have so far been awarded
    Honorary 12. dan has been awarded post-mortem to Jigoro Kano
    No 13. dan have so far been awarded

    But it seems that the author of the web site doesn't seem to be too sure about his information either, judging by the question marks, so your information might be more correct After all, what do I know about judo ? Nothing whatsoever
    Last edited by TimoS; 4th February 2003 at 13:39.
    Timo Saksholm

    Shorin ryu Seibukan karate
    Jinbukan kobudo

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    Talking Is this our future ?

    Oh and speaking of red belts and judo, here's an ad from a Finnish insurance company:

    The caption (freely translated) says: Try more!
    Timo Saksholm

    Shorin ryu Seibukan karate
    Jinbukan kobudo

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    Default

    Tetsuhiro Hokama (Goju-Ryu) wears a red belt. Also Shugoro Nakazato (Shorin-Ryu). I have seen photos of Zenryo Shimabukuro (from 1960's), wearing red belt. I believe these people did wear/wear the red belt as a sign of 9th/10th dan (depending on person) - and all are okinawans.

    So, I think it is an okinawan thing, originally.



    Jussi
    Jussi Häkkinen
    Shorin-Ryu Seibukan Karate-Do
    Turku, Finland

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    Default Re: Judo belts

    Originally posted by TimoS
    13 10. dan have been awarded, many of them post mortem
    Depends on who's doing the counting. The Kodokan recognizes twelve judan, five of whom were promoted posthumously. The IJF has recognized two more: the late Charles Palmer, and the very-much-alive Anton Geesink. The French Judo Federation (FFJDA) promoted Kawaishi many many years after he died a nearly-forgotten 7-dan.
    No 11. dan have so far been awarded
    So far, so good.
    Honorary 12. dan has been awarded post-mortem to Jigoro Kano
    Although I keep asking, no one has ever produced evidence that anyone ever promoted Kano to any Judo rank, at any time.
    Kano's Judo rank is Shihan, a title he used during life. You could say he awarded it to himself.
    In the unlikely event anyone achieves 12-dan, that person will also be shihan, but Kano was shihan without ever holding a dan-grade.
    No 13. dan have so far been awarded
    Nor will one ever be awarded.
    Judo protocol recognizes the possibility of further levels of achievement, even beyond 12-dan. At that point, however, it is considered that any need for outward marks such as numbered grades or colored belts will have been transcended.
    There are ranks in Judo beyond 12-dan, but they remain nameless, colorless, and un-numbered.

    If anyone wishes to check my assertions, please refer to the 1955 edition of "Illustrated Kodokan Judo."
    Yours in Judo,

    Brian P. Griffin

  10. #10
    n2shotokai Guest

    Default Re: red belt

    Originally posted by Gene Williams
    I also hate to see belts with all the gold stripes for rank on them. The idea of martial arts is to subdue the ego, not promote it. Gene
    On the Japan Tokaido (gi) website page for belt embroidery they specificaly state they WILL NOT embroider stripes. Hmmmm ......

    Well if Elvis had a red belt that's good enough for me

    Thanks for all the input. The info is great!

    Steve Beale

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    Default

    I had a red belt once. When I first started in Shotokan our red belt was like most peoples yellow. Now I think many if not most Shotokan schools have went to yellow because of the confusion of the koreans using red as a equivilent to karate's brown ect.....
    Ed Boyd

  12. #12
    n2shotokai Guest

    Default

    I currently attend, instruct whatever at three different schools and there are two different belt ranking systems. One system has more colors than the other. In addition purple and green are switched between the two systems. It sure gets confusing at times when working with junior students as my expectations of ability based upon rank is obviously extremely flawed.

    Anybody want to claim to be dictator and establish a worldwide ranking standard? Oh, and do we include red?

    Steve Beale

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    Occasionally stripes are used to mark renshi (1 stripe), kyoshi (2 stripes) and hanshi (3 stripes). I have seen a Tokaido-belt with such stripes. This, also, is a common custom in Okinawa.
    Jussi Häkkinen
    Shorin-Ryu Seibukan Karate-Do
    Turku, Finland

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