Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Does Rank Matter In The Martial Arts?

Does rank matter in the martial arts?

Often in the martial arts there is an emphasis placed on the black belt- a culture symbol of a master, or somebody proficient in the martial arts.

But is this true?

Exploring various martial arts and visiting dojos and school, one quickly discovers- just what is a black belt?

Regarding the schools that use a black belt, they will have different awarding systems, and different meanings attached to it- a black belt in one school might not be considered a black belt in another school.

In some school a black belt is considered a master, while in others- more traditional schools, it means one is not officially a student of the school and art.

Passing through the martial gate.

Further confusion here in the west as we tend to view martial arts ranks as a form of diploma or certification, compared to a more Eastern understanding of rank equaling responsibility and what one should be able to represent in the dojo or school.

So does rank matter?

Perhaps in navigating the meaning of rank and its relationship to the art and teacher you are studying.

What you are required to know, expected to know, and responsible for in the tradition.

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Located in Westchester New York, the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo is a martial arts training group founded in 2005 with the aim of coming together as martial arts friends to study the Japanese martial art of Masaaki Hatsumi through the lessons of the Bujinkan dojo.

As friends (buyu) we come together to grow, learn, and share our individual potential in this wonderful martial art.

Questions, comments, feedback, and inquiries may be emailed to the group here: BujinkanShinmyoken@gmail.com.