This has been discussed somewhat in other threads but I thought it would be appropriate to start a thread of its own on this, what a black belt really is. The way I see it, the rank of black belt is not so much the physical belt but rather, it means you've met your instructor's standards in obtaining a certain level of proficiency in the martial art being taught. Now, just because you've got a physical black belt doesn't mean you've met anybody's standards and anybody can go buy one at a store usually for under $10. With all due respect, some people such as ballen0351 didn't seem to understand that, at least not at first, in some of the other threads, saying that they could mail me a physical black belt if rank was all I cared about. Like I said, the rank of black belt is not the physical black belt rather its the physical black belt that represents the rank. Some people claim to have not worn their black belt all that much. This one person said he wore his black belt only once. Some people might not wear their black belt at all, they might hang it up or throw it in the closet but like I said, it is not the physical black belt that matters, what does matter is meeting the instructor's standards for making the rank. To meet an instructor's standards for the rank of black belt, an instructor that you have put your faith into and put forth the time and effort to train under, that is what a black belt really is.