Meanings Of The Belt Colors

by
Grand Master James S. Benko, Ph.D.


The color of the belts used is by no means merely some random selection of colors to distinguish the different ranks. Each belt color has a meaning symbolizing advancement and increased awareness.

The color belt system is not just a representation of rank advancement, it is also is an acknowledgement of individual personal growth. Such advancement signifies not only growth within the dojang (training hall), but that of positive character and growth outside of the dojang.

The interpretation of the belt colors, which follows, is but one of many possible meanings. For example, the color blue could represent the water, as opposed to the sky, which the plant receives in order to continue to grow.





White signifies a birth, or beginning, of a seed. A white belt student is a beginner searching for knowledge of the Art.

Yellow signifies the first beam of sunlight which shines upon the seed giving it new strength with the beginning of new life. A yellow belt student is given his/her first ray of knowledge, opening his mind, from an instructor.

Green signifies the growth of the seed as it sprouts from the earth reaching toward the sun and begins to grow into a plant. A green belt student learns to further develop and refine his/her techniques.

Blue signifies the blue sky as the plant continues to grow toward it. A blue belt student moves up higher in rank just as the plant grows taller. The light feeds the plant so it can continue to grow. The student is fed additional knowledge of the Art in order for his/her body and mind continue to grow and develop.

Red signifies the red-hot heat of the Sun as the plant continues growing toward it. A red belt student is higher in rank, he/she acquires more detailed knowledge and, just as the plant grows slowly toward the Sun, so the red belt student learns to be more cautious as his/her knowledge and physical abilities increase.

Black signifies the darkness beyond the Sun. A black belt seeks new knowledge of the Art. As he/she begins to teach others, he/she begins planting new seeds, his/her students, many of which will take root deep into the Art, blossom and grow through the ranks in a never-ending process of self-growth, knowledge, and enlightenment.


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