This is what the belt colors mean in Karate

4.2
This is what the belt colors mean in Karate

In karate and many other martial arts, the different classes (Japanese: Kyu) of the students are represented by the color of their belts (Japanese: Obi).

However, these colors do not always have the same meaning in the different types. In general, however, a white belt is the lowest class. The higher the class, the darker the belt usually becomes - up to the black belt, the master's degree (Japanese: Dan). The master degrees are divided into 1st to 10th Dan, with the belt up to 9th Dan being black. The belt of the few carriers of the 10th Dan is red and white.

The following list applies to the German Karate umbrella organization and only for the karate styles Shotokan, Goyu Ryu and Wado Ryu:

9th Kyu (white = lower level)

This is where learning begins. The white stands for purity and clarity. First of all, speed and power are secondary. Correct execution of the techniques is more important. In Japanese they say about the white belt: "Snow lies in the landscape." In Asia, white is considered the color of the beginning, but also of the sadness that can afflict the beginner in karate when constantly repeating the basic techniques.

8. Kyu (yellow = lower level)

The movements in the basic techniques are now smoother. In Japanese they say: "The snow melts, the frozen earth glows yellow." The yellow symbolizes the sun.

7. Kyu (orange = lower level)

Orange stands for the fire and the warmth of the sun. In Japanese they say about the orange belt: "The sun warms the earth and makes it fertile." This means that the karate student can implement the instructions of the trainer or master better.

6. Kyu (green = intermediate level)

The student can act in a much more differentiated and varied manner. "The seed germinates, a plant comes," they say in Japan when they mean the green belt.

5th to 4th Kyu (blue / purple = intermediate level)

"The plant grows to the blue sky" is the saying in Japan about this color coding of the karate school class. The student shows good coordination of the techniques he has learned and is stable in his posture and position.

3rd to 1st Kyu (brown = advanced level)

The last three student grades, in which the color brown translated from Japanese means: "The tree has a strong bark. The color brown should remind the student of climbing a mountain, up to the master's degree.

What is the Order of Belts in Karate?

The first master degree. However, learning has not yet come to an end here, because there are a total of nine master degrees, which are symbolized by the black belt. The highest master degree is the 10th Dan, whose bearer can also be recognized by a red and white belt. It's a very long way to get there. Hidetaka Nishiyama, who was born in Tokyo in 1928, passed his 10th Dan exam in 2003, at the age of 75. He started learning karate at the age of 15. So it took him 60 years to reach the goal in Karate Do (The Path of the Empty Hand).