Stripes

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by aceofspades, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. aceofspades

    aceofspades White Belt

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    I've been training for eight months now (for twice a week, i've never had a break longer than two weeks from training) on a small academy that's a branch of a larger one. My trainer was a recently promoted brown belt, and I've always had a great deal of respect and admiration for him. Two weeks ago, we merged into the larger academy under a black belt who was my instructor's sensei and, on occasion, ours as well. Whenever there's a belt promotion, it's him the one that gives them out, not our instructor.

    Because our instructor never bothered for the stripes system NONE of us had them. On this new academy, however, I saw certain people wearing them. IOut of curiosity, I went up to our sensei and asked him if I could attach a stripe to my belt when he felt I had earned it, and he didn't really give the matter that much importance, he just said "Sure sure, go put some tape around your belt, I think that guy has some". Then I tried asking my instructor, but he was busy and so I decided not to bother him since it didn't seem so important. Being a little childish and eager to impress my friends outside the mat, I went and wrapped some tape around my belt, and fought really well later besides. And at the end of the class I took my usual place in the line despite there being several older white belts who didn't have any stripes (I assume because they don't agree with the system) to my left.

    The problem is, my instructor is now incredibly pissed off at me. He sent a mass email airing off his concerns about this subject, but seeing as I was the only one who did it, it was obvious he was referring to me. He went on for a really long while saying that it's in bad form to request promotions, that he is our instructor first and that it's a breach of respect to speak to go over his head to seek promotions, etc. I tried sending him an email apologizing but he read it and didn't reply. Obviously I've taken off the stripe now.

    Still, is he overreacting or is he right to be so offended about it? I understand I was wrong now, but shouldn't have he explained it to me first before going off like that?
     
  2. Breadcutter

    Breadcutter Yellow Belt

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    Stripes are for 10 year olds. Prove yourself on the mat. You will be promoted if you at the level, stripe or no fucking stripe.
     
  3. Bebop

    Bebop Brown Belt

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    why not just buy a blue belt and wear it to the gym?
     
  4. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Did you actually put your own stripes on you belt? WTF!
     
  5. aceofspades

    aceofspades White Belt

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    Again, that was what my sensei said. Since I've never done any form of martial arts and I've never been promoted and don't know the protocol I was just going with what I was told. Just following orders.
     
  6. Bebop

    Bebop Brown Belt

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    i think the real topic to discuss here is your faulty sarcasm-meter =p
     
  7. MonkeyNuts!

    MonkeyNuts! Rear Naked Poker

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    Out of curiousity, is this a BJJ school?

    Regardless, giving yourself a rank is not a very respectful thing to do. Your instructor had good reason to be a little frustrated, although he should really take into account that you are a white belt and don't know any better, and with schools merging, probably there'd be some confusion on issues such as this.
     
  8. Stun Gun

    Stun Gun Green Belt

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    some instructors promotes their students to higher belts even w/o stripes.
     
  9. BatBoyJG

    BatBoyJG Brown Belt

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    You promoted yourself, yeah no problem here
    Ps: Stripes are stupid
     
  10. aceofspades

    aceofspades White Belt

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    Hahaha I actually thought so at first but he said it wasn't a big deal. And after I did it I showed him to see if it was all right and he clapped me on the back. He was just indulging me, I guess. Since I'm the only young girl (the other two girls in the academy are 28 and 32, I'm 17) in the academy I'm often treated a little different, especially since it's harder for me to get the hang of all the macho shit going on, like today.
     
  11. makaio

    makaio Blue Belt

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    Just train, don't worry about stripes.
     
  12. village_idiot

    village_idiot Blue Belt

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    I think your coach was being sarcastic and you just didn't pick up on it. It's pretty unheard of to give yourself stripes and could potentially be misinterpreted as disrespect towards the instructor.

    Its an honest mistake, I would just take the stripes off and clear the issue with your coach to be safe.
     
  13. aceofspades

    aceofspades White Belt

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    Yeah, it is. It's just one that's a little more traditional than most since a lot of the higher belts have long histories in judo, which is often more traditional compared to BJJ.

    The thing is that I didn't see it as giving MYSELF a rank. It's not as if I woke up and decided I deserved a stripe in my belt. I asked my sensei what the protocol was, he said I could just put it on, and I thought that was that. I plead ignorance :/
     
  14. Gerbiljiujitsu

    Gerbiljiujitsu Purple Belt

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    rank, and the drama it creates, is a recurring problem within BJJ :(
     
  15. Jeff Goldblum

    Jeff Goldblum Green Belt

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    it confuses me why you didn't sit down with both instructors and solve the problem then and there.
     
  16. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Are we talking about BJJ?

    never ever asked or query about promotion.
     
  17. MonkeyNuts!

    MonkeyNuts! Rear Naked Poker

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    3 posts above u mate
     
  18. aceofspades

    aceofspades White Belt

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    The problem arose after I got home and checked my email. I had planned to talk to both of them tomorrow, but I emailed my instructor and he read it and didn't reply, so I'm not sure if it's prudent to keep talking about the problem. I took off the stripe, I've learned my lesson, now I just think I'll keep my mouth shut, forget it happened, add a day to my training week and train until my eyes bleed.

    I just started this thread because I wondered if my instructor was right making such a big deal out of an honest mistake.
     
  19. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Since you were not aware of the etiquette then he is to be blamed for your lack of knowledge.

    I predict some futureissues between Sensei and the brown belt as well.

    It sounds like Brown belt does not like having Sensei verbally giving stripes to his students.
     
  20. KaosX

    KaosX Banned Banned

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    I think the issue is just one of patience.

    If you were to ask me if I thought I was ready for a stripe, I might say yes. I might say no. It's a matter of if you can be truthful to yourself.

    I personally would rather someone come to me and say "hey, you've worked hard - you deserve this"

    Now since you didn't stripe up at your first place - I'd have asked your brown instructor if he planned on updating anyone so that everyone in the academy would be on the same set of standards.

    Broach the subject without acting on it.
     

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