Although I had announced it several weeks ago on facebook, I had not gotten around to talking about it on the blog. Looking around the martial arts world I have become tired of people's politics over belts. It really is a silly game. The politics are not even my own, nor concern me, but I see how they make people all goofy. I decided to shed the politics of rank on the mat - I now wear a rope. Actually I wore no belt for a while, but people got tired of seeing my belly. So a rope it is, unless the gi covers my flab. Here is a photo of me at a workshop last weekend among judo, aikijujitsu and aikido practitioners. I am the ugly guy in the middle wearing a rope. My gi had just been torn off and shredded by the old guy to my left so I had to grab my old kendo one from the back room.
Why do I wear a rope? I give everyone who shares the mat with me the right to grade my according to whatever system they see fitting. While many teachers have granted me rank in the past few decades, that is between me and them. I don't expect anyone else to respect or care about that. I invite you to grade me according to your own system as we play. I have no intention of lording rank over you, that you probably don't respect anyhow. If I have something to offer I will teach. I you have something to offer I will listen. Likely I will listen even if you don't think you have anything to offer. I am done with the politics game, let's hit the mat.
In other news, and timely with my disgust in rank issues, Bullshido has gotten around to giving me the stink eye. I invite any of my readers to join in the fun and flogging me. I believe it is under the thread labeled - So American Judo doesn't totally fellate equine genitalia. I believe I was used as a counter argument to that thesis. I have little ego in the game, so have at it kids. I would especially like the guys who I work out with to take a look, as the fighters at Bullshido seem to have a serious problem with our methods. Listen to the criticisms and take a serious look at your training. Get a new workout group if you have questions about your training at all.