This is one of the most popular martial arts. Its full name is karate-do, which means “the path of the empty hand”, where the empty hand is understood to be unarmed. This name was born in 1929. It was invented by master Gitin Funakoshi, who is the founder of modern karate.
The external attribute of the appropriate degree of skill are karate belts. They are also a symbol of a certain load during training, as well as a reward for the efforts of a fighter.
How many belts are in karate?
They reflect the appropriate degree of skill in this Japanese martial art, in particular:
- Kyu – student degrees in grades from 9 to 1;
- Dan – workshops – from 1 to 9.
Based on the appropriate level of skill, the belts are differentiated by color. With the improvement of combat skills, the shade darkens. There used to be only two colors of belts in karate: white and brown, and now – six. They correspond to 10 student levels (kyu). First, the student receives a white belt (the level of potential and purity), then, after hard training, he is handed an orange – 10 and 9 kyu (level of stability). After it goes blue – 8 and 7 kyu (level of variability), then yellow – 6 and 5 kyu (level of approval), then green – 4 and 3 kyu (level of emotions). Brown color – 2 and 1 kyu (creative level). This is the highest level for the student. Black belt in karate (1 dan) – is present exclusively from the masters of this martial art.
What does the latest tint of the belt in karate symbolize?
It is nominal, so the name is given on it and the owner is given. Due to the fact that the black belt is assigned only once in life, it must be very strong and thick enough, so its production is carried out using a special technology. The base of the black belt is white, which is trimmed with black fabric.
The material from which the obi (belt) is made is often rubbed and torn due to intense workouts. When the black belt is completely worn out, according to the rules of karate, it is considered that its owner has reached the highest possible level of skill.
Translated from the Japanese language, it is interpreted as a "society of the highest truth." Kyokushinkai is a karate style that Masutatsu Oyama founded in 1950. He is considered a rather difficult and tough kind of Japanese martial art in question.
This style was created as a counterweight to many contactless schools and the most fundamental principle of the martial art under consideration – karate without contact. He demonstrated to the world the real power of Japanese martial art and thus gained popularity among the fighters of many countries, and later became the basis for other contact styles of karate.
Karate Kyokushinkai as a sport
This is extremely spectacular. Fights (Kumite) occur with full contact and without special protective equipment (gloves, helmets, projectors). The only rule is to prohibit punches to the head.
In a full contact fight, one can often see powerful punches and high kicks. This does not leave indifferent a large number of viewers.
As in many other types of martial arts, Kyokushinkai karate has its own "vestments". Dogs, or keikogi, which are often incorrectly called "kimono", are a form of clothing in this style. Dogi consists of pants, loosely cut jacket and belt. All items are only white, of course, except for the belt, which has a corresponding shade, depending on a certain degree of skill of the fighter.
Great Danes for this style of karate is slightly different from the traditional, as it has short sleeves (up to the elbow or slightly lower). This cut is called the Oyama style, which is peculiar not only to Kyokushin-karate. Belts and shares have stripes corresponding to a specific federation and school. However, most often it is the calligraphic inscription "Kyokushinkai" located on the chest on the left side.
Belt value in karate
White, orange, blue and yellow are given to beginners. The list opens with a white color that symbolizes the potential of a new student with regards to the achievements of higher degrees of skill. All the spiritual power that hides inside a student comes out after hard training.
The orange belt expresses the qualitative and quantitative component of the obstacles. This color – Mooladhara – comes from the spinal center (coccyx) of the fighter. It is associated with the earth, as it is the largest element among all the others. The student is practiced in the ability to concentrate in the appropriate racks of stability.
Karate Blue Belt is the color of water. It symbolizes the element of Water, located in the spinal center (sacrum). Training on this color of the karate belt develops the student’s main ability – to respond flexibly and adapt.
Yellow belt – Manipura – chakra, located in the third vertebral center, an element of which is the Fire. This center is connected by polarity with a single point located below the abdomen (storage of creative energy and the center of physical balance). This color of the belt requires the student to seriously consider both physical fitness, dynamic coordination and balance, and the psychological aspect of training (perception, awareness, approval).
The green belt of karate, as with a combination of colors, is obtained by mixing yellow (Fire) and blue (Water). The skill level corresponding to the green belt is a kind of reference point on the way to a more serious degree of skill. This is Anahata – the chakra, which is located directly near the heart, and its element is Air.
A student at this level will recognize the true meaning of love for others, that is, he should not be indifferent to the fate of his neighbor.
The brown belt is an important level, so the student must have a very serious, responsible and mature approach to training. A student who aspires to master this level of skill is distinguished by substantial physical strength combined with calm calm, which is demonstrated during the execution of technical exercises.
In preparation for the master level (black belt), a student with a brown belt gradually assumes a number of responsibilities in Dodge. He instructs the class, guided by both personal experience and traditional learning. This student can clearly and correctly voice various psychological and physical concepts, as well as explain the essence of the spiritual potential of karate-do within the framework of the doja.
A black belt in karate is the most important step in the life of a karate. Practical equipment of this masterful level (first dan) is associated with good tuning, searching for the corresponding technology and helping to improve the younger black belts.
So, the karate belts were listed above in order, that is, in accordance with the degrees of skill of this Japanese martial art. As it has already become clear, the spiritual essence of the person, which participates in the process of developing a fighter’s internal discipline, is also affected here.
Shotokan karate style
He is considered the largest in this Japanese martial art. The emergence of this style dates back to the 30s of the last century. Its creators are the closest students and sons of Funakoshi Gitina (a karate master who introduced the Japanese to this Okinawan martial art): Funakoshi Yoshitaka, Egami Shigeru, Obata Isao, Nakayama Masatoshi, Hironisi Gensin and Hiroshi Noguchi.
The basis of the karate style is Shotokan, which is based on the shuri-te technique, which is characterized by sophisticated combat techniques, mainly at close range, as well as kicks at the lower level. Funakoshi studied it from such masters as Itosu and Azato, and later, together with his students, added new techniques to his technique: a kick at the top level, a middle distance fight, the development of a sports match system.
Thus, this style currently includes both the old traditional Okinawa tricks, and the new tricks and techniques of combat for the karate sports section.
Shotokan style features
Firstly, it contains strict requirements regarding physical fitness, level of knowledge with regard to equipment and dedication.
Secondly, each action must be associated with the following elements:
- proper breathing (activation of ki circulation);
- timeliness of action;
- control of the movement of the shock limb (clear completion of the reception);
- development of the maximum possible speed and power for a minimum period of time.
Thirdly, it is required to study more than 20 technical sets of techniques that are designed for a combat duel with two or more opponents.
Exceptional attention is paid to such moments as:
1. Developing a tight balance and overall stability through long-term work on low deep racks.
2. Rotational “snap” movements of the hips horizontally in one of two directions: along the impact vector or in the opposite direction (generation of a significant destructive force in relation to shocks and blocks).
3. Instant inclusion of all major muscle groups in the final phase of impact: with a quick change of positive acceleration to a negative or instantaneous stop.
Belts characteristic of this style
Today, unlike other styles, traditional Okinawan belts retain the existing color gradation relative to the degrees of skill in Shotokan karate. Belts have shades such as:
- white is the color of innocence;
- yellow – shade of the sun, light, wealth;
- green is the color of growth, grass and forest;
- brown – shade of the earth, support.
- black is a collection of all colors.
As can be seen from the list, the colors of the belts in this style of karate are slightly different from the gradations of kiokushin.
Technique of tying the belt in Kyokushinkai
- First, you need to take him both ends behind his back.
- Secondly, tightening the belt behind your back, you need to stretch its ends forward (they should be equally stretched along the length).
- Thirdly, it is required to connect both ends between themselves on the stomach by means of a flat knot (the remaining length of the ends must be equal to 15-20 cm.)
So, as has already become clear, mastering the technique of tying a karate belt is not difficult.
Thus, in both Shokotan and Kyokushinkai-Karate belts are differentiated depending on the degree of skill of the fighter. The ultimate goal of a karate is, of course, the achievement of the highest level of master, that is, getting a black belt, which after hard workout wears out a lot and wipes to white.
A well-known fact is that the karate belts during all the numerous trainings are not erased, they can only be dried. That is, it is a kind of tradition when, for example, white is sprinkled with red spots after hundreds of fights, which testifies to the diligence of a fighter on the way to achieving the next level of mastery of this Japanese martial art. But keikogi (training suit), on the contrary, should always be neat and clean.
The philosophical aspect of the meaning of the colors of the belt
This historical gradation is determined by the hierarchy of schools of the considered Japanese martial art, which arose on the basis of the structure of the existing samurai clans. Both those and others had exclusively individual “genealogical books”, in which the branch of all the rulers – Sjogunov and their courtiers, as well as teachers and relevant pupils – was reproduced. This made it possible to accurately determine, by the appropriate patch of the coat of arms, the identity of a fighter to a particular school or clan.
The color of the belt was a distinctive feature of the degree of approximation in the hierarchy to the existing head of the clan. In fact, this system initially assessed not the technical component of the fighter’s skill, but its proximity to the so-called spiritual center of each school – to Yemoto. Subsequently, it was transformed into a modern system of assessment of the degree of mastery, according to which after passing both the theoretical, physical and technical exam, the student is assigned the appropriate belt and degree (Dan and Kyu).
As mentioned earlier, the obi (belts) were not erased, because it was a symbol of very hard work that the student put into his daily workouts. After some time, according to Japanese beliefs, the white belt was turning yellow due to sweat. Then, from his injuries, he takes an orange tint. Further, after several months spent in hard training in nature, obi became green because of the grass. Some time later, the belt faded and faded, taking on a light-gray, close to blue color. Gradually, this shade darkened, turning into a gray-blue or purple. After a few years the obi became brown.
Further, if the karateka decides to continue his training, the belt becomes darker and becomes black. The owner of such a belt is a person who has diligently studied karate for many years. In the case when the karateka devoted his entire life to the study of this Japanese martial art, his obi gradually darkens, and then wears out and fades badly, that is, begins to turn white.
Thus, the karate philosophy regarding the learning process is that even when reaching the highest level of skill, the study of this martial art does not end, since this path has a spiral shape, symbolizing infinity.