More than Rank: Why Colored Belts Matter in Martial Arts

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In the world of martial arts, any practitioner will tell you that belts actually matter. In any system where there is a hierarchy, it counts to know where you are. Today, let’s explore more about this concept. We believe there is a need to discuss this because we’ve been getting questions regarding the importance of colored belts.

The colored belt system is in place for a reason—several reasons in fact. Here are a few of them:

Student Progress

It is always very important to know that there is a goal and what exactly will tell you that you are closer to that goal. The colored belt system provides a very physical representation of the progress of a student.

Noting the progression is truly important for children who practice martial arts. They need to be able to see that they are getting somewhere in the hobby or practice that takes up so much of their time. The reward center of the brain triggers quite well when the promotion exams are completed successfully.

It isn’t just the children that benefit from having a clear marker of progress. Adults need to see that they are getting somewhere as well. It isn’t just the skills that progresses with each belt. It is also the expected maturity that goes along with it that matters.

belt - More than Rank: Why Colored Belts Matter in Martial Arts

Symbolism

The different colors usually represent something in the journey of the student. For example, most beginners will always begin with the color white. This not only represents the fact that they are complete novices. It also represents the fact that they are a clean slate—ready to take on the skills that they are going to learn.

The many different colors of the belts provide a different lesson and meaning in the teachings of the martial art. Different colors mean in different forms of martial arts. It would be beneficial to practitioners to familiarize themselves with the meanings. It will certainly help them better understand the art that they are trying to learn.

Conclusion

Colored belts matter and will continue to matter as long as there are people that continue to pursue martial arts. We think that more people need to verse themselves as to why colored belts are an integral process of learning martial arts. Doing so will better help the community; especially the younger set of practitioners.

Why do you think the colored belt system matters in the world of martial arts?