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Martial Arts Belts: Working Your Way Up the Rainbow
Brand-new martial arts students begin with the blank slate of white belt. Learn where they go from there with Groupon’s look at martial arts belts.
There’s an old story about the evolution of the system of colored martial-arts belts: donning fresh white belts at first, trainees would let them darken over time with sweat and dirt, until, after years of increasing mastery, they turned almost black. If it sounds like a story that’s too good to believe, it almost certainly is. Although the belt system is conceivably an ancient tradition handed down from sensei to sensei, its origins can be readily traced to the early 20th century. That’s when Dr. Jigoro Kano was developing a new form of physical education for Japanese public school students: judo, a safer version of the jujitsu fighting style. Facing an influx of new students, he devised a hierarchy of colored belts to illustrate their progress at a glance rather than having to ask each one to fight him every day.
How quickly athletes move up the ladder will depend on the teacher, the dojo, and the style, in addition to their skills. They may advance by taking a formal exam with practical, oral, and written sections; they may be asked to spar with students in the next level to prove their readiness; or they may be awarded a different color belt because the old one clashes with their eyes. And in any discipline, tying on a black belt doesn’t mean you’ve made it. Instead, one might think of it as being inducted into an advanced training program. In karate, for instance, there are 10 grades of black belts, some of which require up to 10 years of study to attain.
A Chat with National Karate
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
We offer a variety of classes from children as young as 4 all the way up to adults that are 70+. We cater each program to that students individual needs. We make sure everyone feels comfortable and excited each time they come to one of our classes.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
I have always had a passion for the martial arts. National Karate was an organization founded in 1973 and has been around every since. Seeing the passion my instructors had when they were teaching me only made me want to have that same passion for teaching someone else.
What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about my job is seeing my students become the best possible martial artists they want to be. There is nothing better than seeing someone work hard to achieve their goal and watching them actually do it.
What is the best reaction you've ever gotten from a customer?
The best reaction I've gotten form a customer is telling me that their child has made improvement in their home and school life due to the karate program offered at National Karate. They said that once their son started our program his discipline and respect at home/school was better than ever.