Akron Vee-Jitsu Club
Explanation of the Grading and Ranking Processing
by Shihan Jim Roma
I would like to share with you some of my views concerning ranking, belt systems,
and advancement in the martial arts; Vee-jitsu in particular. The merit of having or
not having a ranking system has often been the subject of great debate. Quite
frankly, I can appreciate the logic of both viewpoints. However, every instructor
must finally decide to adhere to one view or the other. I lean toward a ranking
system that publicly recognizes and rewards achievement.
I believe that a belt system can be a good approach to reward and a reasonable
method of incentive and recognition. Also, a certain belt immediately positions a
student as to his development in the martial art system he is studying and to the
other students.
There is no one certain belt system that is universally accepted. There is no
single governing body that makes such decisions. Every art and every school
within that art will have its own standards, philosophies and methods. The
Vee-jitsu belt system is patterned after the Japanese Judo and Ju-jitsu belt
system that is widely accepted around the world. There are six classes (kyu)
prior to black belt recognition. These start at number six and end at one
(6,5,4,3,2,1). Traditionally, Judo had three white belts, three brown belts, and
then ten black belts. The black belt, or instructor rankings, start at number one
and progress to number ten. Each is a
Our belt system is one of integrity. A student is judged by his physical and
technical abilities, his mental knowledge, and his character. Such things as his
class attendance, helpfulness and attitude are taken into serious consideration.
No system of ranking is perfect and there will always be room for contention. But
our system is honorable, reasonable, systematic, uniform and yet, flexible.
The printed belt requirements serve only as a guideline to ensure consistency in
grading and to help to instruct in a methodical, progressive manner. It helps the
instructors to synchronize their instruction and allows for more productive
dialogue among the students. It is also a means of preserving the
landmarks of
Vee-jitsu. A belt system is not the end, but a means to the end. The
end being
a good martial artist and a better person. Our standards are high, but
attainable. Our purpose is, ultimately, the development of the individual
student and a desire to maintain the honor of Vee-jitsu.
Although there is room for flexibility and judgment calls on the part of each
school’s instructors when it comes to advancement, no one is guaranteed
advancement of rank. It must be earned. We do not give
‘honorary’ belts.
Instead, should someone deserve to be recognized for his contribution and hard
work, we do present certificates of recognition.
      In conclusion, we encourage each student to make learning his first objective and
being ranked as a secondary goal. I hope that this memo helps to clarify our approach
to belt advancement. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to ask
your instructor personally.
Copyright 2005 by Akron Vee-Jitsu Club
Last Updated