Belt Patches – A Proposal
In order to signify proper achievement and rank in the martial arts I propose a new belt rank system, the Super Duper Action Belt Patch Series 3000.
It has long been established (thanks Jigoro Kano!) that universally the most respected belt rank is that of black belt. (the issue of red-black and red belts are for another post entirely) The black belt should represent in depth knowledge and superior skill above any other belt color within the respective combative art.
Unfortunately, with the advent of other martial systems adopting a wider color scheme, false and self promotions, more systems based on effectiveness, technical merit vs competitive skill vs ready4dastreetz practitioners, the current status of measuring skill in a martial art via belt color is severely faulty at best.
I submit the Super Duper Action Belt Patch Series 3000 as an attempt in clarifying the large skill gaps within the martial world.
Thumbs Up Patch
Your rank is genuine and official. Your peers agree that you have earned the belt tied around your waist. Be proud.
Two Thumbs Up Patch
You are an instructor, and your rank is genuine and official. Your students enjoy learning from you. You treat everyone with respect and you represent your martial art with great responsibility and honor. It is your hope that your students become better people through the study of martial arts rather than World Champions. Although both wouldn’t be bad.
Five Star Patch
You are deadly efficient in your combat system. You can handle a Professional Rugby Player OR a Firefighter OR both with ease. Anyone foolish enough to call you out on your skills are required to immediately apologise.
Question Mark Patch
You are clueless. You make up techniques as you go along. You attempt to be some kind of authority, feeling it is your duty to impart your knowledge on others less fortunate. Your martial roots are dubious. The authenticity of your rank and skill is in question.
Mickey D’s Patch
Upgraded from the Question Mark Patch. You train in a McDojo. Your rank is exactly what you paid for. Do not bother passing yourself off as an authority figure in any form of combat or martial manner unless you want members of Bullshido to come visit you and host a throwdown in your “school”.
Upgraded from the Mickey D’s Patch. You avoid all forms of confrontation related to the validation of your rank. You belittle all those that want you “exposed” most especially the “peers” in your art form.
BONUS: Special Jiu-jitsu Series Patches
Competitions aren’t for you, however, you provide fierce competition for your fellow practitioners. Your intensity is unmatched. You’re a mat-sparring pirate and your booty are the appendages of your sparring partner. ARRRGGH, indeed.
Terminator Skull Patch
You have entered multiple tournaments. You are a competing machine and you will not stop.
Terminator Skull (with LED glowing eyes) Patch
You have fought in the Mundials or in ADCC. You say the word armbar and the nearest person to you taps out just to be safe.
Triangle w/Exclamation Mark Patch
You are a dick. No one likes to train with you. You hurt others deliberately and could care less about their safety as long as your status (read:ego) is securely in place.
Road Runner Patch
You cannot distingush between a light friendly roll or competition level sparring. It is all the same speed and intensity for you. Unlike the Exclamation Mark Patch, you spar at the level you do because you don’t know any better.
Learn how to tell the difference or you will be upgraded to the Triangle-Exclamation Mark Patch.
Pink Heart Patch
You have more than two years of training in a striking combat system. Thank you for sharing the love.
Double Pink Heart Patch
You have more than two years of training in another grappling system. You really love grappling.
Ninja Star Patch
Your skill is not represented correctly by the color of your belt. You are better than it seems. Stop sandbagging and get promoted.
OR… You like ninjas.
Smiley Face Patch
You train for the fun of it. Everyone in your academy enjoys rolling with you. You don’t mind tapping out more than others. You’re one of the few great training partners. Everyone flocks to you while they avoid Triangle-Exclamation-mark Patch guy. You are missed when you’re not in the academy.
Terminator Skull (w/ pink LED glowing hearts for eyes) Patch
You love the Terminator TV series – the Sarah Connor Chronicles and have no problem saying the title five times fast.
Green Four-leaf Clover Patch
You have not had a serious injury… yet.
Handle With Care Patch
You’re cool with everyone else if they don’t abuse their strength during sparring matches with you. Or you have a nagging injury and request that others take it easy with you.
Special ability: any of the Skull Patch practitioners can immediately serve as proxy for players sporting a Handle With Care Patch. Apologies to the fans of the Terminator TV series.