What is a Purple Belt?

skribs

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I was looking into different arts and schools and their belt orders. Trying to see how universal any given belt placement is. For example, white is pretty much always first, black is pretty much always last (and even if it's not, only a very select few are going to get to their post-black ranks). It seems pretty universal that yellow will come after white (and gray in BJJ), that brown and red are among the more advanced belts (understated in BJJ), that green comes before blue, and that blue is in the upper half of the ranks (which is still true in BJJ if you add in the kid's ranks).

However, there's one belt that just seems all over the place: purple.

Two of the three TKD schools I've attended have had purple belt as intermediate ranks, either the 3rd or 4th belt you get (including white). In Japanese arts, it seems very common for purple to be right before Brown. As a TKD guy, I look at someone who is a purple belt and think, "They're probably just starting to learn the second-most-basic techniques." Then I go to BJJ class and see a purple belt and think, "I hope they can teach me something because they're really good."

The unofficial standard in Kukkiwon TKD schools doesn't even have a purple belt.

Most belts, I think you could look at someone wearing one and ballpark how much experience they have in the art, where they are in the curriculum, how much rights and responsibilities they have. Purple is an enigma.
 
I was looking into different arts and schools and their belt orders. Trying to see how universal any given belt placement is. For example, white is pretty much always first, black is pretty much always last (and even if it's not, only a very select few are going to get to their post-black ranks). It seems pretty universal that yellow will come after white (and gray in BJJ), that brown and red are among the more advanced belts (understated in BJJ), that green comes before blue, and that blue is in the upper half of the ranks (which is still true in BJJ if you add in the kid's ranks).

However, there's one belt that just seems all over the place: purple.

Two of the three TKD schools I've attended have had purple belt as intermediate ranks, either the 3rd or 4th belt you get (including white). In Japanese arts, it seems very common for purple to be right before Brown. As a TKD guy, I look at someone who is a purple belt and think, "They're probably just starting to learn the second-most-basic techniques." Then I go to BJJ class and see a purple belt and think, "I hope they can teach me something because they're really good."

The unofficial standard in Kukkiwon TKD schools doesn't even have a purple belt.

Most belts, I think you could look at someone wearing one and ballpark how much experience they have in the art, where they are in the curriculum, how much rights and responsibilities they have. Purple is an enigma.
No purple in our system, but I noticed that some of the Americanized schools added them.
 
No purple in our system
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I'm not familiar enough with TKD, but my guess is this isn't actually a purple belt issue, but closer to a bb issue. If I assume there's 9-10 colored belts including white belt, that means that purple belt is just before the middle of the colored belts. In bjj, purple belt is the direct middle. It's just that when it takes two years to get to your second colored belt (counting white), versus 2 years to get your first degree bb, those midpoints mean very different things.
 
I'm not familiar enough with TKD, but my guess is this isn't actually a purple belt issue, but closer to a bb issue. If I assume there's 9-10 colored belts including white belt, that means that purple belt is just before the middle of the colored belts. In bjj, purple belt is the direct middle. It's just that when it takes two years to get to your second colored belt (counting white), versus 2 years to get your first degree bb, those midpoints mean very different things.
Two years?
 
I'm not familiar enough with TKD, but my guess is this isn't actually a purple belt issue, but closer to a bb issue. If I assume there's 9-10 colored belts including white belt, that means that purple belt is just before the middle of the colored belts. In bjj, purple belt is the direct middle. It's just that when it takes two years to get to your second colored belt (counting white), versus 2 years to get your first degree bb, those midpoints mean very different things.
From a kid's perspective, purple may take more belts to get there.

Many of the Karate belt systems I found online, the order is: white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red, black. This places purple at the 6th belt instead of the 3rd or 4th. It's 3 away from black, which places it closer to the front of the line.
 
From a kid's perspective, purple may take more belts to get there.

Many of the Karate belt systems I found online, the order is: white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red, black. This places purple at the 6th belt instead of the 3rd or 4th. It's 3 away from black, which places it closer to the front of the line.
In NGA, it's typically white, yellow, blue, green, purple, brown, black. Purple is generally considered the "serious student" rank; if you make it to that rank, you start being held to a significantly higher standard (not a linear progression from green).

Yes, the green and blue are backwards from many other systems I've seen. I don't know why all those other systems decided to do it the wrong way.
 
In NGA, it's typically white, yellow, blue, green, purple, brown, black. Purple is generally considered the "serious student" rank; if you make it to that rank, you start being held to a significantly higher standard (not a linear progression from green).

Yes, the green and blue are backwards from many other systems I've seen. I don't know why all those other systems decided to do it the wrong way.
Traditional TSD is white, yellow, orange, blue, green, red, black. Green is generally considered the serious student rank. At that rank, students have more responsibilities and are required to assist with technique demonstrations in class. I guess we got blue and green in the right order
 
Traditional TSD is white, yellow, orange, blue, green, red, black. Green is generally considered the serious student rank. At that rank, students have more responsibilities and are required to assist with technique demonstrations in class. I guess we got blue and green in the right order
I'm gratified to know that there are some styles out there with proper practices.
 
We only had 3 belts: white (8th and 7th kyu) , green (6th, 5th and 4th kyu) and brown (3rd, 2nd and 1st kyu)kyuuntil black. There were long periods of time of being at on colour
 
We only had 3 belts: white (8th and 7th kyu) , green (6th, 5th and 4th kyu) and brown (3rd, 2nd and 1st kyu)kyuuntil black. There were long periods of time of being at on colour
Colors? We dont need no stinkin colors!
 
I was looking into different arts and schools and their belt orders. Trying to see how universal any given belt placement is. For example, white is pretty much always first, black is pretty much always last (and even if it's not, only a very select few are going to get to their post-black ranks). It seems pretty universal that yellow will come after white (and gray in BJJ), that brown and red are among the more advanced belts (understated in BJJ), that green comes before blue, and that blue is in the upper half of the ranks (which is still true in BJJ if you add in the kid's ranks).

However, there's one belt that just seems all over the place: purple.

Two of the three TKD schools I've attended have had purple belt as intermediate ranks, either the 3rd or 4th belt you get (including white). In Japanese arts, it seems very common for purple to be right before Brown. As a TKD guy, I look at someone who is a purple belt and think, "They're probably just starting to learn the second-most-basic techniques." Then I go to BJJ class and see a purple belt and think, "I hope they can teach me something because they're really good."

The unofficial standard in Kukkiwon TKD schools doesn't even have a purple belt.

Most belts, I think you could look at someone wearing one and ballpark how much experience they have in the art, where they are in the curriculum, how much rights and responsibilities they have. Purple is an enigma.
There is no standard for belt colors that I have ever heard of. But something close would be white, yellow, green, & red (or brown for Okinawan styles and Shotokan). Usually, stripes are smattered in to get to nine Gup levels. I do see blue used quite often between green and red/brown.
Honestly, to me a purple belt is like a pink belt; it just doesn't fit. But many schools use a variety of colors as a 'motivator' manly for kids.
 

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