So, here's the context: I recently decided to find a dojo for my nine year old son, I don't teach kids anymore, and he wouldn't listen to me as a teacher anyway, but he wants to try Karate.
I looked around a bit and found a traditional dojo that looked good, checked it out, met the teacher, thought it seemed fine. My son wanted me to accompany him for a month, and the teacher seemed keen on us joining.
I already have my own class of course, but would be training with my son as support at this dojo.
I email the teacher about rank etc. protocol, apparently he wants me to wear a white belt if I attend. I have had no issue wearing a white belt when I did Judo, etc. but being asked to wear one in a traditional Karate dojo after 30-something years of training I have to admit has rubbed me the wrong way.
It seems like a weird request to me on the basis of dojo-disruptive factors. A black belt doing kihon wearing a white belt in a mixed-age beginners class seems like it would be more disruptive than just wearing my black belt.
So, I am curious what people think about this? In my corner of the Karate world this would be something of an extreme insult - basically a way of cutting off someone's status as a possible peer.
I do remember stuff like this from the 80's though, and I don't think it's intended personally. The teacher has been very respectful, we chatted about mutual Karate acquaintances, etc.
My options are to just look for another place to get my son some basic Karate, try teaching him myself again, actually put on the whitebelt and go with him, or just send him and not be there.
What would you choose to do and why? Is this just my ego talking?
Is there a logic behind this sort of rule that I'm not understanding? In the Karate culture I've been a part of for 20 years or so, another instructor is a peer. When I have had other black belts in my dojo Ive not only acknowledged others ranks and/or backgrounds but I treat them as possible sources of knowledge and even extend some teaching opportunities if they are interested. To me this is common courtesy and sense in an environment where the point is skill improvement for everyone.
I realize I'm probably on the informal end of the spectrum here, and there are lots of dojo's with more rigid structure, but is this normal?