This is an age old question. There are many purists out there who believe rank is a game played by “marketers” to sell a product they call “karate” or whatever. They think it is a sell out of some kind to strive for more rank. Most of them are quitters. But they also are not completely wrong.
People in today’s world need MOTIVATION. And anyone who is a martial artist who has a brain, and many, too many don’t, would realize that the benefits of training come with TIME, the more time, the greater the benefit!
Titles like “champion” are nice, but they are fleeting. Earned rank is not defeated in the next match. There is always someone better and there always will be. Rank is personal, no one can take that away unless you allow it. You concured the great opponent to get it, yourself!
When I see a person achieve a rank, any rank in the arts by working hard, persevering in training I am very happy for them! Because that lesson is a step to greater things. If they has quit, they would have quit many other things too! I know I was once a quitter.
Those who think rank is worthless, you are welcome to your opinion, but it is just that, an opinion and we all have them! Try putting your ego aside and looking at what it means.
Martial arts is a personal journey. How far you go is up to you. Best to reach for the star, then you will at least hit the moon…..