Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Finals O100k 1985 World Games Sombo

Monday, December 04, 2017


Megyn Kelly Supports 'Honor Diaries'

Sunday, December 03, 2017


Red/White Belt

I started Judo when I was 5 or 6 in 1955/56 or that’s when my parents said my brother and myself would do a bit after the seniors finished at Bowater’s. In those days there was no Junior Judo but I suppose the reality was I really started when my parents opened the first Junior Judo Club in the area in 1957 in a small hall in Milton Regis and was said you had to be Young at heart to that Judo thing hence the foundation of the now legendary Young Judo Club now there has been plenty written about that

So why have I brought the subject up? Well let me start by saying the highest grade in the area was Father Nobby and he was a 3rd Kyu green belt and occasionally we would have a Brown belt visit us and they were treated like Gods. As we moved into the 1960’s our Gods would be a Black Belt 1st Dan and as moved through the decades it would how many Dan’s you had. It must be the late 70,s early 80’s when a few notable Judoka became a Red and White Belt 6th Dan

Yet today picture on Facebook, Magazine, Blogs etc., there are a multitude of Red/White Belts. Now Red/White Belt was reserved for someone who was extraordinary to Judo, maybe top class international Judoka, a Coach who had trained many International Champions or even someone who performed Kata to an extremely high level. Yet today is treated as a Duty Of Right i.e. if You have served your time irrelevant of standard and ability you will be awarded your 6th Dan and eventually your 7th Dan and so on just make sure you stay alive long enough but I notice the age is dropping it seems if you know the right people or serve on the right committee your progress can be drastic. I believe Brian Jacks 10th Dan mentions this in his book or in a Press article Brian is an example of someone who should be a high grade

Obviously with many Judo organisations they all have different standards and I say to my pupils your Grade is only as good as the organisation you are with sadly not all standards are the same

My own organisations International Budo Federation UK has 2 registered 6th Dan Judo 1 registered 8th Dan judo 1 registered 6th Jiu Jitsu 1 registered 7th Dan Jiu Jitsu there has been 3 other 6th Dan’s who are no longer registered 1 died 1 is ill and one has retired, my point is that we are careful who we promote to Red/White Belt

IBF UK has been going since the 1970’s and we have a system where you grade to 5th Dan and above that you have to prove to a Board that you are worthy of the honour of 6th Dan or above. My son John was the recent receipt of a 6th Dan being my son I to be over caucus so he was sent the International IBF Congress in Belgium to present his CV. John had to prove he was an IBF member of long standing, prove his competitive success in not only Judo but Kurash and Sambo, he was asked questions on Kano, had to prove he was efficient at Kata, plus he could prove that he had been a Coach for 20 years and organised many Judo Tournaments. I deliberately did not attend the Congress.

I am not saying with should standardise all aspects of judo, I believe if you want start your own organisation why not we do live in a democracy. Every organisation should be aware their standards affect all of us. I remember one Jiu Jitsu a 2nd Dan starting his own organisation 8 years later he promoted himself to 10th Dan he was in his mid forties? Now some say he was Fraud well no he was not he invented his own style so he could decide what the standards were, obviously in my opinion they were not very high. It seems there is a catch up system at work i.e. when someone in a rival organisation gets a high grade a rival would claim the same level. Already in the USA someone is claiming to be the youngest 12th Dan I wonder how long will it before we have 13th, 14th, 15th Dan’s and so on, I notice we have several different types of block belts I recently saw a red and Black belt

I expect I will be ridiculed for this article but you will notice I never mention anyone by name or any organisation except my own, the purpose of this article is for all Martial Artists to face facts and not apportion  blame when a Red/White Belt will no longer have any kudos 

Martin Clarke
8th Dan Judo
6th Dan Jiu Jitsu

FIAS Sambo Grandmaster

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