If you had even been to a martial arts training centre, you might have noticed participants dressed in a loose fitting, and white colored dress. It is called `Gi’… the Japanese term for costume. This is used as a suffix with the name of the martial art use as its suffix. Therefore, a Jiu-Jitsu student wears a Jiu-jitsu gi, and the judo student a judogi. However, you might have noticed participants wearing different colored belts. The purpose of color belts is to signify the level of experience in martial arts its wearer has achieved.
White belt: White is a symbol of birth. It signifies that the individual wearing it is starting to gain knowledge.
Yellow belt: Students who have learnt a bit about martial arts wear yellow color belts. This color symbolizes sunlight and new strength. It also indicates that its wearer is more skilled than those wearing the white belt are.
Orange belt: This color also symbolizes sunshine. However, while the yellow color represents the first rays of the sun, the orange represents a powerful sun that warms the earth. It also signifies that students wearing it are preparing for further development.
Green belt: This belt is given to students who have mastered the orange level. This color signifies a seed’s growth. It signifies that its wearer has learnt the basics and is now ready to refine and strengthen his tactics.
Blue belt: This is the color of the sky. This signifies that students wearing belts of this color are moving upwards to hone their martial art skills. One can compare it with a growing tree trying to reach the blue sky.
Purple belt: It symbolizes that students wearing this belt are undergoing changes, have gained enough experience of the martial arts, and are ready to advance towards the black belt.
Brown belt: This color represents maturity. It signifies that the student is about to see the results of his work, just like a farmer who had sown seeds and is now ready to reap his crop at harvest.
Black belt: It is the ultimate goal of any Martial Artist. It is the topmost level belt in martial arts. It signifies that its wearer has enough knowledge to teach new students. However, this is the beginning of a new chapter. There are ten levels of black belts, starting from sho dan (level one) to ju dan (level 10). This is followed by three samurai titles, Renshi, Kyoshi, and Hanshi (the ultimate martial arts’ master).
Red belt: Grand Master