Belt meanings

Discussion in 'Kenpo / Kempo - General' started by Iron Leopard, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Iron Leopard

    Iron Leopard Green Belt

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    Can someone list the belt meanings. As my original belts are.

    white
    yellow
    orange
    purple
    blue
    blue with green stipe
    green
    green with brown stripe
    brown with 1 stripe
    brown with 2 stripes
    brown with 3 stripes
    black

    I understand what my teachers and myself are looking for in each progression weather it's knowledge of the basics and basic balance or more fluidity in movement and sparring or power etc but...

    What do the colors of the belts signify as you understand them.

    Some of you have the order a little different and even a few of these colors not in your system.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I may be of limited help but the meanings go a bit like so...
    Orange and purple are mechanical
    Blue for flow
    green for speed
    brown for power
    Black is represents having a basic understanding and ability to perform Kenpo.
    Sean
     
  3. Iron Leopard

    Iron Leopard Green Belt

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    I guess my main question is the colors themselves and what they represent.

    White = the clean slate empty for learning
    Yellow = Sun a new dawn of knowledge and so on. I've had a hard time looking into it. nobody seems to really know.
     
  4. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    From what I've researched, the meaning that seems to have the most valdity is that the colors stem from times when raw materials were rare.

    The belt started as white, and was dyed as the student progressed...white, yellow, green, brown, then black. The meaning isn't from the selection of colors (in old days, that was a resource to expensive for one to be choosy) but rather how the colors blended together.

    Hope that makes sense?
     
  5. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    The whole belt color system in martial arts is from judo. Which originally had white, brown, and black, and a purple (or green, I can't remember) which was a belt for children.

    Everyone else adopted it from Judo. The addition of the "colored" belts into the adult progression was done to make more baby steps in the path to black, and most of these changes originated in the west. Brown is just brown, a color, a rank, the addition of philosophical meanings of how this means you are better at grounding to the earth or somesuch are fine, but they were never in the original intention of the belt system.

    But if it makes you feel better, white is the color of purity in the Japanese culture.... and also the color of death. :D

    Lamont
     
  6. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    When Kano Sensei created the kyu/dan system there were no belts, just certificates. Later he added white and black, then (I believe) brown. The whole 'deeper' meaning thing was bolted on by practitioners with an overdeveloped fondness for the Mysterious Wisdom of the Exotic Orient. Or was that the Exotic Wisdom of the Mystic Orient?

    Colored belts were an innovation of an early French Judo teacher whose name escapes me. The Japanese adopted them enthusiastically, and they spread. The colors go from lighter to darker, or so my Judo teachers said back in the day, because you could reuse the belt. Just add (cheap) dye and you're good to go.
     
  7. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    White= the color of the cocoon, from which the butterfly will emerge with some color.
    Yellow= the color of a school bus that children take to the place of learning.
    Orange= the color of a fruit (oranges) that provide one with the vitamin that gives one life-saving immunity from the harsh outside world.
    Purple= the color of Royalty which symbolizes one's acceptance into the royal court or temple.
    Blue=the color of sadness (i.e. the Blues), because it is at this point in one's training that one realizes the tragedy of having to learn violence in order to survive in this cruel world.
    Green=The color of money, because in SKK the tests start getting expensive here (there is another version of this color which is it is the color of money because it is at this rank that many people realize they can make a ton of cash teaching) take your pick.
    Brown= The color of the noses of those students that hope to be double promoted to Black.
    Black= the color that one wishes to keep his studio in financially.

    I hope this was helpful.
     
  8. Hand Sword

    Hand Sword Grandmaster

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    Amazing! It even finds it's way into a discussion of belt colors. It's really beyond old at this point. (seriously)
     
  9. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    Calm down and develop a sense of humor. Seriously. :whip1:
     
  10. KempoGuy06

    KempoGuy06 Grandmaster

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    I was told that in the 'old' days you started with a white belt and as you trained and worked it would absorb the dirt, blood and sweat and eventually after time turn to black because you didnt wash your belt.

    The color system was introduced to represent this.

    B
     
  11. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    That is a parable. The belt system is recent and originates in Japan which has an extremely good written record, and more importantly, an extremely good sense of hygiene. Cleanliness is a good thing, and no one is going to tolerate the nastiness of a belt that turned BLACK because you managed to bleed all over it. More importantly, the likely antecedent of the Judo belt system is the use of a black ribbon around the waist of Japanese swimmers to designate advanced competitors apart from novices in competition. Think about how much swimming you would have to do to turn a ribbon black....

    Lamont
     
  12. John Bishop

    John Bishop Master Black Belt

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    Nothing wrong with a few bloodstains on your belt.
     
  13. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    Nope, there isn't anything wrong with it, but when it starts attracting flies, someone has to draw the line.

    Lamont
     
  14. KempoGuy06

    KempoGuy06 Grandmaster

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    i know it is a parable. I was only sharing my story with people. Dont take things literally. I was only relating the story to the hard work you have to put in to training to the color of belts. and as Mr. Bishop says "Nothing wrong with a few bloodstains on your belt."

    B

    PS-I do not wash my belt. In my mind it is disrespectful.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray Master Black Belt

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    especially if it's someone else's blood.
     
  16. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    How do you "disrespect" an inanimate object?

    You could "disrespect" a statue (because it is a symbol of something or somebody else) by vandalizing it or spraypainting it, you can "disrespect" your belt by washing it? Seems a bit weird, eh?

    Lamont
     
  17. KempoGuy06

    KempoGuy06 Grandmaster

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    1. its not weird...eh.

    2. im not positive but im pretty sure that statues are inanimate objects (someone check this for me)

    3. what do you think a belt does? It represents you progression in your style of martial arts. Im pretty sure thats a symbol (again someone check for me).

    4. I said and i quote "In my mind" that means the way i feel. To me it is a symbol of my hard work, the blood, the sweat and whatever else gets on it it part of the symbol for my hard work, washing it (again to me) is a disrespectful to myself and to the that symbol of mr hard work.

    5. At my school we are told not to.

    Hope that clarifies everything

    B

    PS-sorry to mods for being, for lack of a better word, an @$$. I do not like when people attack what i believe
     
  18. John Bishop

    John Bishop Master Black Belt

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    That's what I've always been taught. Don't wash it, don't swing it around, don't throw it on the floor. Don't disrespect it.
     
  19. Iron Leopard

    Iron Leopard Green Belt

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    I've always been taught and teach that you never wash the belt or you wash away all your knowledge. I know that won't really happen but...the kids sure get a kick out of and trying to keep their moms from washing thier belts! lol

    Danjo I guess that's as good an explanation as any and it did make me laugh out loud this morning.
     
  20. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    Well, one problem with washing a belt is that it ruins it in my experience. I washed a white belt when I was in Shotokan and the thing was destroyed in the machine.

    AS to respecting an inanimate object. Well, it's what the object symbolizes that you are respecting. It's our knowledge and achievement. Not literally, of course, but symbolically. It's sort of like pointing to a picture on my desk and me saying, "That's my wife." Well. it's not really my wife, but you get what I mean. If I marked it up and spit on it, it would be disrespectful to her. When you respect your belt, you are respecting what that belt symbolizes. Same goes for disrespecting it.123
     

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