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Black Belts (1 Viewer)

Reilly Hall

Senior Member
[an:29ae1537aa]Recently, someone complained that other, less skilled, members of their dojo (martial art school) had their black belts. This person was a newcomer, but trained with enthusiasm. This is the response I gave him to try to make him see the light.[/an:29ae1537aa]Belts mean nothing.

You shouldn't complain that others, who you claim aren't as good as you, are a higher rank. I went through the same thing, and in the end, it doesn't matter.

Will wearing a belt of any colour make you a better, more skillful, or stronger martial artist? No. It won't. Only time and effort can do that.

Think about other people as well. I fully understand that many people simply put in their hours, pay their fees, and get their belts. But there are some who are older, or simply can't perform the way others can. Martial arts are meant to promote self-esteem as well, and this can't be done if the weaker of us are being surpassed by every young new student who comes in.

After I got my black belt, I decided to try a new style. They offered me the chance to wear my old belt in the dojo, but I declined. Why? Because I consider myself a beginner, and always will. We always get better, we always learn, and no colour or number of stripes, or fancy patches will change that.

Miyagi says: a black belt just means that you don't need to hold your pants up.


Having trained in the M.A. for over 20 years I have watched the concept of belts diminish greatly except in childrens classes etc. The Martial arts have changed significantly over the last 10 or so years with the development of MMA and now many contemporary styles/systems have withdrawn their use almost completely.

For example the suggested skill of a black belt Karate practioner in a fight would very likely lose to a BJJ grappler with 3 months experience in a limited rules enviroment.

Most systems in the traditional MA's do have belts but do they mean anything apart from knowing a few Kata's? No, the only exception being BJJ where the belt level is equally measured by the student ability to compete with his/hers peers.

Just some thoughts.


Senior Member
Black belt means you have the tools to begin studying on your own and have mastered the basics

My teacher told me if I wanted one I'd be best off to just order it out of a catologue.


As a former martial artist myself I know what you mean about belts being meaningless.

For one, too many dojos are glorified belt-factories.

Second, all a belt means is that you have attained a degree of education (and that degree is spoken for on the behalf of the different colors). Just because others are better or more educated does not nessesarily mean that those others are more skilled than anyone who isn't as advanced.

Third, look at how many dorks have black belts. They still get beaten up outside of the dojo. Do you really want to be like them? It's funny to see some geek in high school get beaten up and before he is hit he warns the bully that he is trained in martial arts, and he still get beaten down. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. To be young again.