This is no green belt level.
Yes, it is.
He has no purple belt standard.
That cannot be proven.
Nor has she.
Where should one draw the line ?
This doesn't meet brown belt
Those are completely arbitrary
This is no black belt level.
It is not
possible to define that.
Yes, it is !
But the definition is not done with mathematical formulas
or with words. It is done with examples, with many examples, namely
by all persons holding the specific rank in question, possibly
symbolized by some belt color. Of course, everybody can
only watch a limited number of other people, a sample usually
containing the members of one's home club and the participants at
training courses and at belt examinations. At some point one
has acquired an idea of what constitutes a specific rank level.
(This is at least possible if one is interested and observes
studiously.) One can realize it, learn it, understand it, grasp it,
even without being able to sufficiently put it into words or to
verbalise it at all.
When rank levels were introduced, the respective terms
got their meaning. Arbitrariness is no particular criterion at
the introduction of words, simply because it actually is the
first time they appear. But it becomes crucial when words have
been established and then somebody sets out to distort and
reinterpret their meaning for his own agenda. The article "The Name of the Game"
on this website deals with this topic.
Can such a definition of rank levels work and secure high
quality standards ? Yes, it can, provided that belt examiners and
instructors are qualified, dare telling the truth, and do not give
away ranks. And there was a time when it did work by and large, even
in the *** association. However, this was
quite a while ago.
And how about today? No, it doesn't work for the
most part, and that is true for all rank levels. And is it really
that bad? So the requirements have changed, and there are new
standards. Bad? Yes, about the worst that could happen in this
What will finally happen? For one thing,
the general qualifications decrease more and more, so the role
model function of people with specific ranks gets lost.
Moreover, at an increasing rate, inept
and dubious individuals receive ranks, most notably master grades,
and positions which they cannot live up to and which they
should never get in the first place.
There is an indispensable precondition for the rank
bungling business, namely the difference between the classic
grading requirements and the new ones. This is crucial, because
in people's minds, a specific rank is not equated with
the characteristics and the value of some new standards
epitomized by rank donees. Ranks and belt colors
are associated with the previous
definition, the high demand one. Its properties deliver what
people want to be identified with, that is superior
quality, respect, and reputation. And this is also
true for those persons who try to camouflage their (self-)
deception and voracity for titles with arbitrariness of rank
Eventually, the martial arts landscape will be poisoned
by charlatans, liars, cheaters, assholes, forgers, budo
criminals, bootlickers, twaddlers, impostors, heralds of
pseudo-philosophic justification and stultifying logic, utterly
Come again? Whether it is right to say such things?
To depreciate people in such a way? No, this is not what we are
doing, because fraud and charlatan and asshole and similar words are
not insults but praising expressions of appreciation for reality
based future optimism; at least with the new definition of those
terms. It might have been different with their old meanings, but
those were completely arbitrary and could not be proven; where
should one draw the line ?