Since ancient times the practice of various martial arts prevails. Martial arts are not mere a self-defense technique, but it is a way of self-discipline. Indeed, it helps the practitioner to evolve in his life, raising the life’s quality. So considering the deeper dimensions of martial arts, it happens to develop in most cultures. Especially the eastern civilizations and societies made a considerable contribution to the evolution of such powerful skills. Karate is one such martial art that originated in Japan. There are many stages of this, represented by karate belt levels. However, Each belt has its unique significance and meaning. Let’s have a look at the broader aspects and dimensions of karate belt levels.
Origin of Karate and Belt Levels
Karate belt is mostly made out of thick cotton that the practitioners wear with their martial art outfit. The origin of Karate can get trace back to 14th-century Japanese and Chinese provinces. In the later phase of the 19th century, it was more relevant in Japan. Indeed, it is the reason why the origin of Karate is expressly said to be Japan—looking at the etymology, Karate meaning empty hand in kanji. In the starting quarter of the 20th century, the systematic teachings of Karate began in Japan.
Moreover, The government took a keen interest in promoting the martial art. In the global context, Karate gained popularity in the 1960s and ’70s. Several movies played a crucial role in wide the acceptance of Karate across the world. The philosophical aspect of Karate links more with Shingon Buddhism. Indeed, it is symbolically reflected in the colors of the karate belt.
Major Types of Karate
Due to the course of time, few types of karate styles have come up. However, there are four significant types of Karate, which are authentic and genuine.
- Shotokan: It is one of the popular karate styles. Indeed, it is the oldest type too.
- Goju Ryu: This type of karate style comprises of both hard and soft techniques.
- Wado-Ryu: It is similar to the Shotokan type karate. But Wado-Ryu techniques are more soft movements.
- Shito Ryu: The shito-Ryu style came to practice in the first quarter of the 20th century. The steps and movements of this type are more aggressive. Also, there are about fifty katas in this variety of styles.
Karate Belt Levels
The karate belt levels exhibit the position of the practitioner in context with the martial art. In general, the ten kyu level belt system is followed in Karate consisting of 9 colors. Indeed, each of these colors represents a deep meaning. Also, the belt can be considered as a grade of progress in Karate.
Karate Belt Levels Based on Colors
A white belt is the first belt that is hand over to a karate practitioner. As a beginner, the student needs to grow and progress in the area of martial arts. The white color in the belt indicates the snow that covers a seed in the winter. A student must show excellent progress and exhibit more receptivity while learning the art of self-defense. Indeed, the color white gets links in this aspect of Karate.
It is the second belt given to a karate student as a sign of progress in his practice. The yellow color in the belt represents the bright sun. Indeed, it symbolically represents the practitioner’s capability to receive the teachings of his master/sensei. The white snow will melt and disappear slowly, replacing the active sun. Also, during this karate belt levels, a student will get introduced to katas.
When a karate practitioner’s practice gets more intensify like an electrifying sun, he is getting into the level of orange belt. At this level, the student will become more receptive and will learn more from his master. Also, the necessary fundamental steps of Karate will get clear in this phase. At this stage, a student learns to have more grip and control over his efforts and actions. However, the color orange in the belt represents a fully active sun.
It is like an accelerating mode for a student in a green belt. Moreover, the students enter into a deeper aspect of Karate and learn intermediate steps. The green belt only gets awarded if the practitioner is good at necessary steps and clears his eligibility to go further. The color green represents the sprouting of the seed. Indeed, it is a symbolic representation of healthy progress and endurance in student life.
A karate student receives a blue belt as a recognition of strong perseverance in his practice. The blue color indicates the sky, as the practitioner vibrantly grows more. Indeed, from green to blue, a student is open to learning more tactics and steps of Karate. Unlike the other earlier phases, sensei will teach more intense and challenging karate techniques in the blue belt period. So one needs to acquire more focus and calmness during this period.
As a sincere practitioner, if one completes the blue level purple belt gets awarded. The sky turns purple when it turns to dawn. Indeed, it is a symbolic way that a karate student enters into the more advanced practice level. Also, it is a reminder that to appreciate the upcoming black belt levels.
The brown belt level represents a mature phase of a student. He is ready to go into the next dimension of Karate, which is a black belt. Indeed, the practitioner is in a position to reap the result of all his practices. In this phase, a student makes a concrete base of all his techniques and tactics.
Red belt in Karate symbolically represents sunset. Besides, This phase also represents the dedication, patience, and practice of a student. Now he has mastery over his steps and techniques. Moreover, in this stage, a student will have a much broader and more profound aspect of his martial art. One also learns perfect control and discipline. The color red also exhibits the sign of danger that a practitioner can be against his opponent or enemy. However, a student must have a balance over his self-control.
A black belt is the final level of achievement that a karate student receives. The black represents the finish/end. As the seed now is all set to harvest and one can enjoy the result. However, the black belt is not the end for a practitioner; it’s just a beginning. The real and more profound journey towards the philosophical and spiritual aspects of martial arts begins here.
Moreover, the knowledge and techniques that one has acquired in life can be shared. Indeed, in the teachings lies the totality of the martial arts. A black belt is also a reminder this great Karate technology that can transform one’s life should be taught to others.
Karate is not merely just a defensive martial art. Indeed, it is a technology or tool that can transform one’s life. With total dedication and sincerity, one can touch the core dimension of life. Indeed, this makes a person’s life more beautiful. Karate belts levels with different colors ad meaning exhibits a more excellent vision. Besides, in the summer Olympics, 2021 karate is a newly added sport.