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I believe it was around 1980 that Mr. Parker promoted me to 5th degree. I had never worn stripes up to that point. He asked me to wear the 5″ bar because he wanted people to recognize the leaders of our art. Out of respect for his wishes I continued to wear the stripes up through my 9th degree. I honestly feel that if he were alive today we would not see the many 7th,8th, 9th, and 10th degrees we now see. It is out of hand and an embarrassment to kenpo. Not wearing the stripes is a small protest that probably will not matter to many but my own students but it is my protest and my reason.. It is not ok and as I have mentioned before some people cannot be embarrassed.