Livermore Alert Aug -Two Students Earn Their Next Rank

Yes congratulations to Ricky and Ben. They have worked several months, and worked really hard to pass their test for their Yellow belt, Rokkyu.

Belts in martial arts usually go from light to dark. This supposedly came from the fact that originally all belts were only white…and as the student progressed working outside in the dirt their belt became darker and darker with dirt and dust. Finally the belt would actually start to rip apart from age and underneath was a white cotton inside that would show through. Interestingly enough, only true Japanese belts which are called Obi’s in the native language are white on the inside. Korean belts are filled with green cotton…don’t know why…do you ?

Now days this is represented by belts that go from lighter to darker. Usually in six steps. In our system the belts are white, yellow (some schools substitute blue here), then green, brown (which has three degrees) and then black.In Japanese the names of the ranks are rokkyu, gokyu,yonkyu, sankyu, nikkyu and ikkyu,.The rok, go, yon, san, ni and ik represent the number 6-1 while the kyu means an unlicensed levelIt is interesting that once the student gets to black the Japanese name is shodan actually means new licensed level.Instead of 1 they use new.but then the counting comes again and it is counted up, nidan, sandan, yondan, godan, rokudan, shichidan, hachidan, kudan and judan, the dan means licensed or recognized level while the prefixes are the numbers 2-10.

In our system the black belts 1-3 wear a black belt, the black belts 4 and 5 wear a red and white belt and the black belts 6-9 wear red and white colored belts.  Our 10th black belt is a double wide solid red belt.

One way to look at this is going back to the old school described above, the belt gets darker and then wears out.  The black and red belt and the red and white belt symbolizes the showing through of the inner belt.  The red belt symbolized the complete wearing out of the outer belt.

Finally if we look at this from an academic point of view… The lower belts that are not black belts are like completing elementary school and high school. They have basic knowledge only. The 1st degree  and 2nd degree black belt is like completing the first year in college.  Again some basic knowledge and a little advanced knowledge. A 3rd degree black belt is like completing an Associates degree. A level of proficiency in a topic, in this case martial arts.  A 4th and 5th degree black belt are like completing your master’s degree.  Now it changes from knowledge to being able to teach the material and create some of your own ideas about the topics.  A sixth degree black belt and above is like completing your PHD.  You not only have basic knowledge, and can teach the subject to new students, you can also create your own theories and people will follow your theories because they believe you are someone respected in the field.

So once again, congratulations to Ricky and Ben.  They are now on the path to becoming instructors.

Elite Self-Defense conducts karate classes, martial art lessons, self-defense classes. You can learn martial arts, traditional jujitsu, jujitsu techniques. We also arrange karate birthday parties 
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