In martial arts, the black belt is a system that describes your graduation in the discipline of martial arts where your proficiency is marked by the color of the belt. Belts are used to indicate when a student has been promoted to the next level and are an adaptation of the Kyu / Dan rank system of Kodokan Judo. Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo, first devised the colored belt system and awarded the first black belts to denote a Dan rank in the 1880s.
The systematic use of belt color to denote the rank of the step-up Karate level system signals your progress in the study of the martial arts. The color of a belt indicates your rank and in theory, your ability. Each step forward represents a further accumulation of skills and knowledge. Belt colors generally get darker through each level towards black belt. This seems a likely reason for the black belt to symbolize the most advanced level.
The black belt is commonly the highest belt color and denotes a degree of competence. Testing for the black belt is commonly more rigorous than for beginner proficiency. Rank and belts are not equivalent between martial arts, styles, or even within some organizations. Martial arts vary so that a black belt can be earned in three years or in ten years. The black belt is not the end of training but rather as a beginning to advanced learning: you “learn how to walk” and may thus begin the “journey”.
To advance to a new martial arts level, you take a formal test. These tests for higher ranks can include practical, oral and written requirements. These vary depending on the martial arts level being tested. The contents of tests vary among styles but each school has set criteria.
Preparation for the Karate grading exam comprises many areas, including:
- Physical /technical preparation: aerobic, anaerobic and explosive training
- Mental/Spiritual preparation: Martial arts are not an activity, but something you become. The focus is on enjoying the journey, not just the end result.
- Knowledge and Understanding: understanding the expectations of your body and skill sets helps prepare you for your black belt test.
- The Test: Get there early to warm up and stretch to prevent injury. Perform your techniques with full power and focus on total concentration.
In contrast to the “black belt as master” stereotype, a black belt commonly indicates the wearer is competent in a style’s basic technique and principles. Warrior Martial Arts Academy offers periodic belt testing and ongoing instruction in martial arts so that you progress at your unique pace to develop your skills. For enrollment and instruction, please visit our closest location or contact us at 972-473-8721 or via
Email at Info@WarriorMartialArtsAcademy.com.