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    New FFJDA customisation of the kohaku obi

    Jonesy
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    Post by Jonesy on Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:06 am

    Following on from (or replacing?) their thrust for different panel lengths for different rank, it now appears if there are dan grade bars embroidered on the first white panel of the kohaku obi along with the date for FFJDA kohaku-obi holders.


    Last edited by Jonesy on Wed May 27, 2015 12:25 am; edited 1 time in total
    NBK
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    Post by NBK on Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:46 am

    All this might lead one to think that rank and priority are very important to status in the FFJDA.
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    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:31 am

    NBK wrote:All this might lead one to think that rank and priority are very important to status in the FFJDA.

    Hierarchy is indeed extremely important in France and Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Portugal, and Spain. It is very important for people to show abundantly that they are of higher rank than you or others hence they also will always wear their kohaku belt. You will typically see only people with considerable Japan experience who don't. In many places I visit in the West, people who are 6th, 7th or 8th dan and instructor are addressed by their first name. Not so in France, where people are eager to be referred to as "maître si ou maître là". It becomes very awkward when you then hear these people point out the moral values of judo such as humility. The line-up will take 20 minutes if that is the time needed to make sure that no 5th dan sits at the wrong side of a 4th dan, etc. The rank craze seems to have been an issue from early on in France, and perhaps even the start of a cancer that later spread throughout the entire Western judo world. When Yves Klein returned from the Kodokan in the 1950s as a 4th dan, the French Judo Federation refused to recognize his rank. From that moment onwards it was clear that rank was associated with some strange power and authority, and that the educational personal progress was completely taken out of the picture. Ranks in judo became like rank in the military. A colonel can't contradict the general because the general is higher in rank and therefore always right. As much as one can ridicule these things, foreign businesses who want to be successful in conducting business in these countries, better culturally adapt to these sensitivities. Maybe from a cultural anthropological point of view it is no surprise that the French are so interested in Japanese things where hierarchy also plays an important role in society. Even each place in a car going all the way from the seat behind the person next to the driver to the driver seat itself represent an hierarchy that is important to follow in where you seat people in a car in Japan.

    If you want to create some hilarity in France, make sure that when you are a senior rank holder that you wear a black belt and go sit in the line up so that some other people who are wearing kohaku belts but hold a rank lower than yours are seated at your lower-rank side ... I assure you that they will go tilt as you know completely void their status symbols.


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    Jonesy
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    Post by Jonesy on Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:44 am

    I used to live in France - Paris. In general France as a society exhibits a large degree of power distance (Hofstede) where it is accepted that there is a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. This is very prevalent in French industry and the political system where everybody knows who went to which Polytechnique, where in their class the graduated, and which year they graduated. It is no surprise to me that it is important to the FFJDA that everybody knows who is senior to who.

    What interests me is how do they deal with the fact that Shozo Awazu-sensei, at ONLY a 9 dan, is clearly more senior than Henri Courtine, a 10 dan. (Awazu-sensei's 9 dan is from the Kodokan - he accepts no other offered promotions, whereas Courtine's 10 dan is a FFJDA promotion.)


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    Post by Judoker on Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:26 pm

    NBK wrote:All this might lead one to think that rank and priority are very important to status in the FFJDA.

     Very Happy 
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    Post by NBK on Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:48 pm

    Jonesy wrote:I used to live in France - Paris.  In general France as a society exhibits a large degree of power distance (Hofstede) where it is accepted that there is a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. This is very prevalent in French industry and the political system where everybody knows who went to which Polytechnique, where in their class the graduated, and which year they graduated. It is no surprise to me that it is important to the FFJDA that everybody knows who is senior to who.
    .......
    But you're from England - a denizen of a culture that which by US standards is very hierarchical.

    Are you saying that to you, as a Englishman, that in your experience, France was (is?) much more hierarchical than England?

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    Jonesy
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    Post by Jonesy on Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:20 am

    I am not English (Welsh actually) but live in England. There is still more of the residual class system visible in the UK, but France is more hierarchical. Quite similar to Japan.


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    Post by Stevens on Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:48 pm

    Jonesy wrote:I used to live in France - Paris.  In general France as a society exhibits a large degree of power distance (Hofstede) where it is accepted that there is a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. This is very prevalent in French industry and the political system where everybody knows who went to which Polytechnique, where in their class the graduated, and which year they graduated. It is no surprise to me that it is important to the FFJDA that everybody knows who is senior to who.

    What interests me is how do they deal with the fact that Shozo Awazu-sensei, at ONLY a 9 dan, is clearly more senior than Henri Courtine, a 10 dan. (Awazu-sensei's 9 dan is from the Kodokan - he accepts no other offered promotions, whereas Courtine's 10 dan is a FFJDA promotion.)

    Until now there's no answer written on this forum. A similar thing happen at a clinic/tournement in Paris ca. 20 years ago. In the line up was Michigami sensei 9th dan, following a sensei of Osaka university 8th dan and after him came Gé Koning 9th dan of Holland and the rest going downwards in rank. I remember it took a while for the line up, 9th dan to 3th kyu. At the end all were sitting in a sqaure.
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    Post by Stevens on Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:53 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    NBK wrote:All this might lead one to think that rank and priority are very important to status in the FFJDA.

    Hierarchy is indeed extremely important in France and Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Portugal, and Spain. It is very important for people to show abundantly that they are of higher rank than you or others hence they also will always wear their kohaku belt. You will typically see only people with considerable Japan experience who don't. In many places I visit in the West, people who are 6th, 7th or 8th dan and instructor are addressed by their first name. Not so in France, where people are eager to be referred to as "maître si ou maître là". It becomes very awkward when you then hear these people point out the moral values of judo such as humility. The line-up will take 20 minutes if that is the time needed to make sure that no 5th dan sits at the wrong side of a 4th dan, etc. The rank craze seems to have been an issue from early on in France, and perhaps even the start of a cancer that later spread throughout the entire Western judo world. When Yves Klein returned from the Kodokan in the 1950s as a 4th dan, the French Judo Federation refused to recognize his rank. From that moment onwards it was clear that rank was associated with some strange power and authority, and that the educational personal progress was completely taken out of the picture. Ranks in judo became like rank in the military. A colonel can't contradict the general because the general is higher in rank and therefore always right. As much as one can ridicule these things, foreign businesses who want to be successful in conducting business in these countries, better culturally adapt to these sensitivities. Maybe from a cultural anthropological point of view it is no surprise that the French are so interested in Japanese things where hierarchy also plays an important role in society. Even each place in a car going all the way from the seat behind the person next to the driver to the driver seat itself represent an hierarchy that is important to follow in where you seat people in a car in Japan.

    If you want to create some hilarity in France, make sure that when you are a senior rank holder that you wear a black belt and go sit in the line up so that some other people who are wearing kohaku belts but hold a rank lower than yours are seated at your lower-rank side ...  I assure you that they will go tilt as you know completely void their status symbols.

    I learned that every kodansha is allowed to wear a black obi. Are there occassions that a kodansha "MUST" wear a koha-obi (or a red obi for 9th/10th dan)?
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    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:16 pm

    Stevens wrote:
    I learned that every kodansha is allowed to wear a black obi. Are there occassions that a kodansha "MUST" wear a koha-obi (or a red obi for 9th/10th dan)?

    One would have to come up with scenarios where not doing so would cause potential embarrassment or expressions of poor taste. One such occasion might be the kanchô of the Kôdôkan who currently is a 9th dan showing up in a red belt, and someone who is 10th dan then appearing in a black belt. The person would then basically being a sending a signal of "look, I am more senior than the kanchô yet more modest"; that would be public expression of poor taste and something to be avoided. In that case the 10th dan should replace his black belt by a red belt. I have witnessed some similar occasions where the issue is corrected. These kind of issues mostly take place with recently promoted 9th dan-holders who are still struggling somewhat with totally understanding protocol. I remember seeing Matsushita Saburô enter the tatami in a black belt while another 9th dan was wearing a red belt, so he (who was the Head of Dôjô and thus in Kôdôkan hierarchy considered more senior) turned around and went to replace his black bet by a red belt to avoid causing embarrassment. Protocol is important, but obviously will be adhered to more carefully during formal and solemn occasions than during ordinary leisurely workouts. Then again, most of us never will have to worry about the proper protocol for wearing a red obi !  Cool 


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    Post by Stevens on Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:20 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Stevens wrote:
    I learned that every kodansha is allowed to wear a black obi. Are there occassions that a kodansha "MUST" wear a koha-obi (or a red obi for 9th/10th dan)?

    One would have to come up with scenarios where not doing so would cause potential embarrassment or expressions of poor taste. One such occasion might be the kanchô of the Kôdôkan who currently is a 9th dan showing up in a red belt, and someone who is 10th dan then appearing in a black belt. The person would then basically being a sending a signal of "look, I am more senior than the kanchô yet more modest"; that would be public expression of poor taste and something to be avoided. In that case the 10th dan should replace his black belt by a red belt. I have witnessed some similar occasions where the issue is corrected. These kind of issues mostly take place with recently promoted 9th dan-holders who are still struggling somewhat with totally understanding protocol. I remember seeing Matsushita Saburô enter the tatami in a black belt while another 9th dan was wearing a red belt, so he (who was the Head of Dôjô and thus in Kôdôkan hierarchy considered more senior) turned around and went to replace his black bet by a red belt to avoid causing embarrassment. Protocol is important, but obviously will be adhered to more carefully during formal and solemn occasions than during ordinary leisurely workouts. Then again, most of us never will have to worry about the proper protocol for wearing a red obi !   Cool 


    I remember highgrade exams for 4th and 5th dan in Holland ca. 10 years ago, all examinators were kodansha and wore a koha obi except of de Korte sensei. He was then a 8th dan and was wearing a blackbelt. In your answer it would say he was doing wrong? Or...?? Later he was promoted 9th dan and wore always he's red belt on examinator occasions.

    This weekend i saw area exames for 1th-3th dan and a new promoted 6th dan examinator wasn't wearing his koha obi. I asked him about his koha belt and he said he's never wearing the koha belt, because it's in his closet together with his 6th dan certificat. Is he right or wrong, because all the other 6th and 7th dan examinators were wearing a koha obi?

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    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:22 am

    Stevens wrote:
    I remember highgrade exams for 4th and 5th dan in Holland ca. 10 years ago, all examinators were kodansha and wore a koha obi except of de Korte sensei. He was then a 8th dan and was wearing a blackbelt. In your answer it would say he was doing wrong? Or...??   Later he was promoted 9th dan and wore always he's red belt on examinator occasions.

    This weekend i saw area exames for 1th-3th dan and a new promoted 6th dan examinator wasn't wearing his koha obi. I asked him about his koha belt and he said he's never wearing the koha belt, because it's in his closet together with his 6th dan certificat. Is he right or wrong, because all the other 6th and 7th dan examinators were wearing a koha obi?


    As I am sure you can imagine, Japanese society and culture is complicated. One needs to study it and be embedded in a it for an extent of time to properly get it. Consequently, many Westerners are not particularly versed in it, add to that that in the West belts and dan-ranks always rather have been a tool to show off, to show that you are better/more worthy than someone else.

    Anyhow, there is no requirement for examiners to wear kohaku belt during exams; they may or they may choose not to. Either choice is possible but each one sends a different signal. Examiners for higher ranks may want to send the signal that you are all colleagues, all teachers of judo, or they may wish to send a signal that they all are senior to you.

    It is common for jûdôka with strong competitive history to avoid wearing kohaku belts at most occasions. People who wear kohaku belts all the time are by many Japanese sensei frowned upon. Of course one can find examples of competitive jûdôka who wear kohaku belts frequently such as Hirano Tokio, for example, BUT ... that was here in Europe, not in Japan, and here in Europe he was permanently in the position of the most senior teacher and not as an active competitor, so it is not the same.

    However, the situation as you describe it is an anomaly. It is not so much a question of who was wrong, but more a question of poor communication among the examiners.


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    Post by Stevens on Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:25 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Stevens wrote:
    I remember highgrade exams for 4th and 5th dan in Holland ca. 10 years ago, all examinators were kodansha and wore a koha obi except of de Korte sensei. He was then a 8th dan and was wearing a blackbelt. In your answer it would say he was doing wrong? Or...??   Later he was promoted 9th dan and wore always he's red belt on examinator occasions.

    This weekend i saw area exames for 1th-3th dan and a new promoted 6th dan examinator wasn't wearing his koha obi. I asked him about his koha belt and he said he's never wearing the koha belt, because it's in his closet together with his 6th dan certificat. Is he right or wrong, because all the other 6th and 7th dan examinators were wearing a koha obi?


    As I am sure you can imagine, Japanese society and culture is complicated. One needs to study it and be embedded in a it for an extent of time to properly get it. Consequently, many Westerners are not particularly versed in it, add to that that in the West belts and dan-ranks always rather have been a tool to show off, to show that you are better/more worthy than someone else.

    Anyhow, there is no requirement for examiners to wear kohaku belt during exams; they may or they may choose not to. Either choice is possible but each one sends a different signal. Examiners for higher ranks may want to send the signal that you are all colleagues, all teachers of judo, or they may wish to send a signal that they all are senior to you.

    It is common for jûdôka with strong competitive history to avoid wearing kohaku belts at most occasions. People who wear kohaku belts all the time are by many Japanese sensei frowned upon. Of course one can find examples of competitive jûdôka who wear kohaku belts frequently such as Hirano Tokio, for example, BUT ... that was here in Europe, not in Japan, and here in Europe he was permanently in the position of the most senior teacher and not as an active competitor, so it is not the same.

    However, the situation as you describe it is an anomaly. It is not so much a question of who was wrong, but more a question of poor communication among the examiners.

    Thanks for this info!

    We'll see what'll happen in our district of Holland.

    I liked the action of the new 6th dan, because Kano never wore a koha or red obi! All kodansha looked strange and i'm wondering what the president said.
    I'll let you know.


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    DougNZ

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    Post by DougNZ on Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:28 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:Anyhow, there is no requirement for examiners to wear kohaku belt during exams; they may or they may choose not to. Either choice is possible but each one sends a different signal. Examiners for higher ranks may want to send the signal that you are all colleagues, all teachers of judo, or they may wish to send a signal that they all are senior to you.

    Or they may wish to mark the significance of the occasion and honour the gradee by wearing kohaku belt.
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    Post by still learning on Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:13 am

    We were at a coaching event today with four senior grades, the first joined the mat wearing his kohaku belt, however as soon as he became aware that the principal instructor was only wearing his black belt he promptly changed his belt to match. I felt this showed proper respect and seemed the most appropriate action.

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