The traditional belt system used in martial arts has roots in the 19th century. Since then, this system has been used by numerous disciplines. Students value this because it enables them to gauge their progress.
Karate’s various belt colors represent the stages of a plant’s development. Life has a circle to it. As you continue to train in karate, you’ll notice that you’re developing and changing just like a plant does. The belt’s hues convey a narrative of life, development, and progress. Beginning with conception and birth (white belt), progressing through developmental stages (orange, green, blue, etc.), and finally maturing and moving forward (purple, brown, black belt). The belts represent your development as a person, both inside and outside of the dojo. So that you know what to expect, let’s examine what each of these belt colors means.
Students wear this belt throughout the first part of their studies. In relation to the new student’s mind, the color represents fresh starts and emptiness. If you’re feeling a little uneasy, you should remember that even black belts started out wearing this belt. This should be a reminder that, with consistent practice, you can advance to the next belt in about three months.
Another important belt in martial arts is this one. It is the color of the sun and stands for optimism. It also symbolizes the fact that you are beginning a new journey and are still learning.
The color green represents growth. Wearing this belt demonstrates that you are improving your skills and learning new ones. Both new and honed martial arts techniques are taught (e.g., striking, grappling, wrestling). They haven’t been taught until now because it takes a lot of self-discipline.
We observe how the blueness provides light to everything that grows beneath it as we continue our ascent through the sky. Consequently, the blue belt denotes that you are gaining new skills and that both your body and mind are growing. You’ll get to start sparring at this point.
Here’s another instance where the power of the sun is depicted. Red, of course, also denotes danger. Therefore, students wear this belt to symbolize their growing proficiency in risky techniques.
The goal of every student is to obtain this belt. The color black symbolizes the gloom that exists after the sun. Here, students learn more about the physical and mental lessons of martial arts. The accomplishment can be viewed as a fresh start.
When you receive this belt, you are demonstrating your resolve to defend yourself honorably and live a disciplined lifestyle. Respect for others as well as for yourself is a way to demonstrate this. After all, becoming well-rounded is your ultimate goal.
Black Belt Levels
Even though everyone aspires to obtain a black belt, the journey doesn’t end when you do. Prior to receiving your final belt, you must advance through another 10 levels. The first five levels are attained through ongoing training, and it could take up to 20 years to reach the fifth level (a.k.a., dan, master).
Earning levels 6 through 9 could take more than 40 years. This is a noteworthy accomplishment that demonstrates your lifetime commitment to virtues like charity, humility, and selflessness. It is also here that you truly see how martial arts is more than a physical workout—it’s a lifestyle.
Are you ready to embark on your journey?
At Elevate Martial Arts in Tampa, FL, you can begin your own journey through these belts. Here, our instructors will work with you to hone your abilities so that you are prepared to ace your test and move up in rank. We invite you to stop by our training facility and begin taking classes right away.