Remember, the belts are symbols of what to expect from training as much as rewards for your efforts. That should act as inspiration and guidance. With progression, one should become aware of the significance of each level, and strive to manifest its nature in both your karate technique and your attitude in daily life.

As a way of further understanding the sense in which the obi colours are meant to reflect growth in character as much as growth in technique, a possible interpretation of the symbolism of the belt colours are included.

The White Belt

White belt is a symbol of purity. The new student at white belt level is said to be pure, because he/she is completely ignorant of the requirements of the art and utterly lacking in experience of it. The white belt symbolises the potential of the new student to achieve the other grades.

The Blue Belt

Blue is the colour of the sky and of the ocean. The blue obi shows one whose aspirations have begun to expand to the horizon, one whose spirit is beginning to have the depth of the sea but one yet resists his resolve to explore that depth.

The Yellow Belt

Yellow or gold is the colour of the sun, the colour of light, the colour of new found riches. The yellow obi indicates one for whom the light of the new day has begun to shine. It is the colour for one whose spirit, understanding and skill is dawning.

The Green Belt

Green is the colour of growth, the colour of the grass and of the forests. The green obi reflects one who has begun to absorb the light, one whose skill and spirit has started to blossom and bear fruit.

The Brown Belt

Brown is the colour of the earth, the colour of solidity. The brown obi expresses one whose technique has become competent, whose mind is fertile, and whose spirit is firm.

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