Martial arts belts that show a student's rank are as iconic as the traditional white uniforms. While a martial arts belt may be a simple strip of cloth used to hold a gi top in place, they mean a lot more to those that wear them. They are a visible symbol of a student's progress and achievements. Martial arts belts represent the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into learning and mastering a martial art. Many students save their old martial arts belts as they progress in rank and proudly display them. It's a good reminder of what they've accomplished and all the work it took to get there.
Martial arts rank belts are most often found in eastern martial arts such as Judo, Karate, Jujitsu, and Taekwondo. Each colour belt level represents a certain level of knowledge and experience. When moving to a new belt level it is common to have some sort of ceremony or a test proving that you have reached the skill level necessary for the belt. While white is generally used for beginners and black is worn by advanced practitioners the other colours of martial arts belt vary from discipline to discipline and even school to school. Some schools even include martial arts belts with stripes that denote degrees within a belt. A black belt also rarely means the end of training. Many schools have between six and ten levels of black belt. Reaching these high levels can take a lifetime.
While displaying rank with a martial arts belt is a tradition, it is a fairly new one. The first use of ranking belts happened in Judo around the turn of the 20th century. Before that belts were used only to hold a student's garments in place. The first coloured belt ranking system was based on the ranking system used by the competitive Japanese game of Go. This system made it easy to match opponents of comparable skill levels. The creator of Judo added the use of coloured martial arts belts to this system, though there were only a few colours originally. Other martial arts soon adopted this concept and the coloured belt system expanded. Today you are likely to see belts in white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, and black.
Whether you're getting ready for your first class, preparing for your next belt test, or taking on students of your own, a martial arts belt is an important part of the uniform. Made4Fighters offers a full selection of martial arts belts from top brands such as Venum, Bytomic, Gameness and Scramble. Bytomic has solid colour belts in various different colours.