May 12, 2017 0:00

// Boxing and martial arts

The belt is an integral part of a fighter’s equipment. It reflects the skill class of the athlete. For beginners and fighters of the average level of the belt, as a rule, do not differ much. They are sewn from cotton and have longitudinal stitching. It is believed that the more of them, the better the belt. So, for the entry level, it is usually characterized by the presence of 6-7 lines. Belts with 8-9 lines are made for advanced level fighters.  For admission to participate in international competitions, there are special licensed belts for sale that meet the standards of the federation.

The most important feature of belts for athletes engaged in martial arts is the color. This is the indicator that allows you to understand the degree of skill of a fighter. Each student and workshop degree corresponds to a certain color. Certain types of martial arts have their own classification of belts. Let’s consider the main ones.


Due to the fact that karate has several varieties, the belt classification system may have variants. In this type of martial art, student degrees are called “kyu”, and workshops are called “dan”. We offer for review the most common gradation of belts. This is what the Japanese Karate Association (JKA) adheres to.

  • White (9 kyu);
  • yellow (8 kyu);
  • orange (7 kyu);
  • green (6 kyu);
  • red (5 kyu);
  • blue (4 kyu);
  • brown from light to dark (3-1 kyu).
  • black belt (1 dan and above).

The white belt indicates that a person has just entered the path of training, he is still ignorant of combat skills and has no experience. Yellow and orange are associated with the ability to control your body, possession of racks and performing movements in them. Green symbolizes the flowering of spirit and skills. Red implies a high-quality technique of movements, a high level of physical fitness, as well as the ability to combine punches and throws. The owners of the blue belt have learned flexibility, both mentally and physically. A fighter with a brown belt is already a physically and spiritually strong athlete, ready to move on and share his experience with novice fighters.

And of course, the pinnacle of skill is a black name belt. Every beginner aspires to it, but not everyone is able to go through this difficult path and become a real master of the art of fighting. Having received a black belt, the athlete does not stop there, but continues to grow, learn, study and apply techniques of the past and present. The black belt is not the end of the road at all, but only the beginning. An important point in this long period is constant introspection and self-improvement.

“The ultimate goal of karate lies neither in victory nor in defeat, but in improving one’s character”
the founder of Japanese karate Gichin Funakoshi:


This sport is a fairly popular type of martial arts. His homeland is Korea, and the founder of the South Korean army General Choi Hong Hee. The color of the belt in taekwondo, as in other martial arts, corresponds to the degree of skill. In this case, the belts have the following gradation: student (10-1 gyp), workshop (I-IX dan). Each level is indicated by a certain color. Unlike karate, there are basic and intermediate colors. Their order is as follows:

  • white (10 gyp);
  • white-yellow (9 gyp);
  • yellow (8 gyp);
  • yellow-green (7 gyp);
  • green (6 gyp);
  • green-blue (5 gyp);
  • blue (4 gyp);
  • blue-red (3 gyp);
  • red (2 gyp);
  • red-black (1 gyp);
  • black (1-3 dan – initial degree of mastery, 4-6 – assistant instructor, 7-8 – international instructor, 9 – grandmaster).

The path to the black belt, as a rule, is from 2.5 to 4 years. It depends on the fighter’s perseverance, abilities and quality of training.


The Brazilian martial art of jiu-jitsu, which originated from Kodokan judo, classifies belts by color depending on the age of the fighter.

Children’s jiu-jitsu belts (up to 15 years old):

  • white;
  • yellow;
  • orange;
  • green.

Belts for adults (from 16 years old):

  • white;
  • blue;
  • purple;
  • brown;
  • black;
  • black and red;
  • red.

In this type of martial arts, the age of an athlete is extremely important. Thus, a blue belt is never assigned to a fighter who has not reached the age of 16, and a black belt is 19 years old. Holders of a black belt in the process of improving their skills receive degrees of mastery – given. The 7th degree provides for the change of the black belt to black and red, the 9th degree – to red. Each color, as in other types of martial arts, in jiu-jitsu corresponds to certain skills, mastery of techniques, the development of strength, spirit and other important aspects.


Judo is not only a martial art, but also a whole philosophy. Its founder was the Japanese martial artist Jigoro Kano. Judo has a ranking system similar to karate, but with some differences. Student degrees are called “kyu”, and workshops are called “dan”. The classification of belts in judo looks like this:

  • white (6 kyu);
  • yellow (5 kyu);
  • orange (4 kyu);
  • green (3 kyu);
  • blue (2 kyu);
  • brown (1 cu);
  • black (1-5 given);
  • white-red (6-8 dan);
  • red (9-10 given).

Judoists have many theories of the appearance of belt colors. Here is the most common of them. It is clear that the person who started training was wearing a white belt. Then, gradually, from exhausting workouts and sweat, the belt acquired a yellowish tint. While practicing techniques on the grass, he turned green. Red and brown colors appeared during sparring with the opponent and getting on the blood belt. Over time, it darkened to black. After decades of exhausting classes, the belt wore out so much that it was erased to the internal structure and turned white again. This meant that the fighter had come full circle and achieved perfection. But the red and white belt is a symbol of the harmony of Yin and Yang.

Belts in Aikido

Modern Aikido has several styles that differ in approaches to techniques and to the certification system. Some schools classify the degrees of mastery, dividing them into children’s and adults. The same ranking system, as in karate, consists of student degrees (kyu) and workshops (dan). It takes from two to six months of high-quality training to move to the next level. On the 1st dan, certification is given no earlier than a year after receiving 1 kyu.

Belt sequence in judo (traditional Aikikan system):

  • white (6 kyu);
  • yellow (5 kyu);
  • red (4 kyu);
  • green (3 kyu);
  • blue (2 kyu);
  • brown (1 cu);
  • black (1-10 dan).

A characteristic feature of belts in Aikido is stripes, although this practice is not used in all schools. The number of stripes indicates an intermediate level of skill. In addition, the Japanese characters on the belt look very impressive. Black belts, as a rule, are decorated with the name of the fighter in the Japanese version. It symbolizes the unity of technology and philosophy, the master and the belt.

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