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traditions and ceremonies

Author Topic: traditions and ceremonies  (Read 4294 times)


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traditions and ceremonies
« on: January 19, 2005, 08:56:11 PM »
I would like to learn more about the old school traditons a ceremonies.  For example, How black belt promotions were done? ( being whiped with the belt or pinning of the belt). Does anyone still follow these practices?

Offline badsifu

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Re:traditions and ceremonies
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2005, 10:44:47 PM »
Our students take their belts.  Earned not Given.

Black Belts get the stomach work after their test.

Whippin' with the belt at promotion.  Whippins are best with a heavy silk belt.  The harder the better IMHO.  Put some back into it.  :)
Dan Tyrrell

Offline Sifu Julian

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Re:traditions and ceremonies
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2005, 09:41:47 AM »
Well, I am not sure exactly how "old school' these traditions are (after several long discussions with Prof. Alan Carter) but here are some of the ones that are still alive in the Midwest:

A) We do have a formal belt ceremony for under belt promotions. The belts are either carried or on a table located at the low ranking end of the Black Belt line. The highest ranking or promoting instructor "rips" the old belt off the student. (I say rips---it is taken off rather roughly and then thrown on the floor).

The new belt is then swiped across the forhead and kissed by each Black Belt (beginning with the lowest ranked and proceeding upward) until it reaches the highest ranking instructor and then the promoting instructor ties the new belt onto the student.

B) Since I began training at age 16 we have always bowed in using the Kajukenbo Prayer Ceremony. My first instructor did not know the prayer and so we did not say it, but the ceremony was the same. First, Salute to pay respects. Then bend down on the right knee and put the right fist on the floor and then we had a brief moment of silence (this is where the Kajukenbo Prayer would go if you use it in your classes). Then stand back to Attention and either have announcements or begin class.

C) This is the part that I am not sure about being "old school" according to Prof. Carter. Our Black Belt tests are notorious. The first student I promoted---his test lasted from 7AM to about 5:30PM with a 1 hour break for lunch. My training partner and I each had one student to test so we tested them together. My student But he hung tough and finished the test---a real testament to his heart and guts, IMHO.

Prof. Carter then presented the belts with a short lecture on the importance and traditions of the belt. he then gave a formal demonstration on the proper way to tie and wear the belt.

We then had a BBQ with family and friends and took pics.

I have to confess that I hadn't seen or even heard about the "whipping ceremony" until Vegas '99. Once I had seen it I thought it was a great way to celebrate the achievement of advancing in Black Belt rank. I don't think I would add it to my own school as having your new belt "tacked on" with Sijo's belt is a pretty awesome thing. If I were to do it I would take the student to a Luau and have it done with Sijo's belt during the promotion ceremony like I saw others done in Vegas.

So, those are some of what are still alive in our schools. I am not sure how that compares to what is done on the East & West Coasts and Hawaii, but these are still alive in the Midwest.

Great question, Mahalo!


Professor Julian Sims
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Offline Rob Poelking

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Re:traditions and ceremonies
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2005, 11:14:41 AM »
Regardless of rank, every belt promotion is formal.

For color belts promotions are handled from highest ranking student being promoted first on down the line to the juniormost student. The students are lined up by rank and asked to kneel during the promotions. The first student is called and removes his/her belt and does belt respects. Ties the belt ("permentantly") and sets it to the side. The new belt is taken by the juniormost black belt present and does belt respects (Hold the belt up with 2 hands, snaps it & touches it forehead, mouth, heart -- mind, body, spirit) then passes it to the next ranking black belt who repeats it until it reaches the senior most (chief instructor). He/She would do belt respects and then pronounce the promotion, "I (Title & Name), by the powers vested in my by the founders and co-creators of the Kajukenbo System do hereby promote (student name) to the rank of (belt color). Take your belt." At that time, the student aggressively takes the belt out of the hands of the instructor, does belt respects and ties the belt on.

Once all students have received their belts, the line is adjusted and they all do squatting position. Then, beginning with the juniormost black belt, each "pins" on the belt.
Here's an example of my black belt promotion in Vegas
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Offline GForbach

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Re:traditions and ceremonies
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2005, 10:36:54 AM »
Aloha everyone,
KAJUKENBO belt tests are "infamous".  I have had the honor of witnessing some of the best from every branch in our system.
Each one has its own local "flavor", but if it's really
KAJUKENBO, there are, and should always be unmistakable traditions.
The opening ceremonies, warm-up, forms, techniques (all of them for that particular rank, not "abbreviated"), many times followed by SIJO's famous "bull ring" or multiple attackers in a freestyle fighting situation.  Then after conferring with all Black Belts present as to whether each student passed or not there is usually a group consensus as to where they will stand in line.  Of course that final decision is up to the schools Chief Instructor.
Many of the brutal, grueling tests that are 99% of the time misunderstood by friends and family watching their first test are designed to test the perseverance of the individual as opposed to simply making them "puke" or humiliate them.  (Very important to "prep" first time KAJUKENBO test watchers!)  ???

The "whipping" tradition, as I remember it, was introduced by SIJO in the late '70's and in his own words was intended to "Wake up the Spirit" of that student/instructor.    ;D The "whipping" ceremony was never intended to be a part of "under belt" promotions.  Black Belts and above "ONLY".
Somehow I knew that in time this special, unique honor would be adapted for all belts.  WRONG!  This a continuing problem with our system.  Traditions and methods are ignored and "changed" without approval or regard for their purpose.  ::)
These traditions reserved for black belts were created and put into place for a reason.  When these unique concepts are breached, the true meaning and reasons for them is lost forever.
For example, "Students (under Black Belt) wear RED T-shirts, Black Belts wear BLACK".  Sounds trivial to many, oh well!  This tradition has been in place for ever to identify "who's, who".
This subject is only a part of one of my "pet peeves" with KAJUKENBO.  :-X
SIJO said, "Be CREATIVE!".  To be creative does NOT mean to "CHANGE".  Every KAJUKENBO tradition that "unauthorized" individuals (and there are more than you can imagine) chips away at the very heart and foundation of our system.
A word of advice, if your not sure, or do not really know the "true" tradition of KAJUKENBO (or any part of it), simply ask someone that really does.    ;)
Along with the ceremony is of course the infamous "Kiai Drills" or as I see it described here being "pinned".  Although the term "pinned" is a way of describing the tradition, never once in my training with the Late Grandmaster Aleju Reyes and to this very day with our SIJO, they, nor I have never used that term.
And then finally, there has to be a BBQ/Party to celebrate the students hard work and since of Ohana (the getting together and promotion of family togetherness)
Time has seen the evolution of our traditions and growth, but there are certain things that should never be fooled with!
GM Forbach   8)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2005, 10:45:50 AM by GForbach »
Gary Forbach, 9th Degree Original Method Kajukenbo under GM Aleju Reyes and Sijo A.D. Emperado


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Re:traditions and ceremonies
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2005, 12:48:26 PM »
GM Forbach Sir,you are so right! Traditions are every thing at our dojo,keeping it the same as it was handed down.As for the testing,if your not on the egde of puking ,your not pushing hard enough.Plus your teachers see you train every night,good nights and bad nights and know if you are holding back or giving it all you have! respectfully Rob
Sifu Rob Harris 3rd degree -Reyes Kenpo