Moving through the Belts

 

Belt Progression, Forms Training and Testing

The color of the belts used is by no means merely some random selection of colors to distinguish the different ranks. Each belt color has a meaning symbolizing advancement and increased awareness.

The color belt system is not just a representation of rank advancement, it is also is an acknowledgement of individual personal growth. Such advancement signifies not only growth within the dojang (training hall), but that of positive character and growth outside of the dojang.

The interpretation of the belt colors, which follows, is but one of many possible meanings. For example, the color blue could represent the water, as opposed to the sky, which the plant receives in order to continue to grow.  Our belt system is borrowed from this traditional concept and is tailored to fit our modern schedule of life.  This allows for shorter term goals for our students to set in between traditionally long term belt advancements.

  • White signifies a birth, or beginning, of a seed. A white belt student is a beginner searching for knowledge of the Art. 
  • Yellow signifies the first beam of sunlight which shines upon the seed giving it new strength with the beginning of new life. A yellow belt student is given his/her first ray of knowledge, opening his mind, from an instructor. 
  • Green signifies the growth of the seed as it sprouts from the earth reaching toward the sun and begins to grow into a plant. A green belt student learns to further develop and refine his/her techniques
  • Blue signifies the blue sky as the plant continues to grow toward it. A blue belt student moves up higher in rank just as the plant grows taller. The light feeds the plant so it can continue to grow. The student is fed additional knowledge of the Art in order for his/her body and mind continue to grow and develop. 
  • Red signifies the red-hot heat of the Sun as the plant continues growing toward it. A red belt student is higher in rank, he/she acquires more detailed knowledge and, just as the plant grows slowly toward the Sun, so the red belt student learns to be more cautious as his/her knowledge and physical abilities increase.
     
  • Black signifies the darkness beyond the Sun. A black belt seeks new knowledge of the Art. As he/she begins to teach others, he/she begins planting new seeds, his/her students, many of which will take root deep into the Art, blossom and grow through the ranks in a never-ending process of self-growth, knowledge, and enlightenment.

 

However, when martial arts was practiced hundreds of years ago, there were only white belts and black belts.  Everyone began with a white belt and through hard work and training, their belt became worn and dirty.  You always washed your uniform but you never washed your belt.  So a black belt was just an "old (and dirty) black belt" that only came with many years of training.