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Rank Market Crash


Ladies and gentlemen, and now a summary of the key events in the budo graduation market since last weekend.


The incidents started during routine promotions at the *** club. In the middle of the performance, some examinees suddenly withdrew their applications. At the same time, further participants declared publicly to waive their already awarded ranks.


How could this happen? The actions were triggered by recent articles on the Karate-Doctor website, which analyzed the current situation in the affected martial arts. A statistical projection showed that, based on the continuation of the current graduation practice, in about ten years all of today's green belt students will have to be awarded the twelfth black belt. New disclosures about the responsible budo association's politics, details of intrigues involving the local antisensei, and publication of the true club statistics completed the picture.


When more and more spectators, helpers, and coaches announced to reject their titles, it set off an avalanche. The news spread through cell phones and, within few hours, led to examination strikes and mass returns of ranks all over the country. Thereupon all graduation shows were aborted. Official statements assured that there was no plausible reason for panic, and that the situation would normalize in the coming weeks. But when it became public that the budo association was about to distribute several hunderd master diplomas in order to persuade selected persons to publicly take countermeasures, the condition escalated.


Over the following days, entire training classes returned their ranks and refused to wear their legitimate colored belts. Even passive and long resigned members joined the action. In some areas the paper recycling bins were congested with graduation certificates and membership passes. All structured training regimes collapsed nationwide. Beginners to advanced students intermingled arbitrarily, and many a pseudo-master could only escape his furious persecutors in the misty fog of shower rooms. 


Experts have long warned that the average rank level is unrealistically high. Over many years the entire system has developed into a ludicrously overvalued grading bubble. The present crash is a necessary and long overdue correction. However, quite deplorable is the fact that the good reputation of people with deserved ranks would be harmed, too. 


Meanwhile, the downtrend has levelled off, since most people have reached their appropriate degrees. A side anecdote caused both indignation and amusement. The antisensei from *** obviously took advantage of the tumults to pull in a series of pending favors and procured 25 further dan-ranks. Eventually, his euphoria and demand for being recognised as the nationwide hyper-master went down in the current climate of self-awareness and honesty.


What brings the future? The latest plans propose a graduation reform where the old fantasy degrees will be converted to new adequate ones in a 4 to 1 ratio. Actually, this means that most members will be demoted three levels. The decision to establish strict and serious belt examinations led to a flurry of membership resignations of so called fun-budoka and of busted officials. Parallel to this, the formation of a new martial arts association was announced. It promises to recognise all previous ranks together with a 25 percent loyalty bonus.


And now, the weather forecast.

 2007 UNE