The meaning of Belt colours in Kyokushin!
From the colours of the belt one can easily judge about the rank and the level of expertise about any person doing karate. The more common colour that we come across is white and black. Where white represents the starting level, Black represents the true expert having highest rank. Yellow, brown, red, green, blue are some other colours of belt.
Significance of the belt (obi)
The colour of the belt isn’t the only meaning. Another aspect is the way its worn. the obi encircles its carrier and in Buddhism this signifies a circle in the centre and totality of the universe. A correctly worn obi encircles the Hara, the centre of gravity of the carrier (just under the bellybutton) in martial arts this is where our inner power or Ki is generated. The meaning of the obi is therefore not only symbolic for the technical abilities of the carrier but also the spiritual maturity.
Thus, the belt is never washed. Every class you take, every drop of sweat is part of what goes into each students unique experience. It must be remembered although not clung to. The belt must tell its own story. Therefore, no experience is washed away.
The entry below is an excerpt from the book-
The Budo Karate of Mas Oyama, written by Cameron Quinn.
Level of purity and potential
Being new, unaware of the requirements of Kyokushin Karate and lacking in experience of it, the white belt’s heart is said to be full of hope. From this hope sprouts the first enthusiasm to train and learn.
Level of stability
Progressing from white belt comes the orange belt (replaced by red in some organizations). The first colour after purity level which is associated to earth (soil) colour. The major focus at this level is understanding the physical base.
Power and progress are built upon a solid foundation. Fundamentals such as your stances (eg. sanchin dachi) are very much reinforced and expected to be perfected.
Black belt − Understanding and New Beginnings: Every glowing object has a dark shadow behind it and that is what this color is all about. This belt shows that the person wearing it has mastered all the skills and he poses a great ability within him to enlighten others with his knowledge.
Black, it is a fusion of all the colours. The carrier has learned most of the techniques and has overcome all the possibilities of the first days. Its not the colour of victory but the colour of the night. This means that they have not found the road yet. As you have moved through the colours, after the day, the setting of the day, the growth and the creation, there will be a new day. A day where the carrier realizes that they are at a new beginning of a new vision of the road. The carrier is stepping out of the student period and now exploring the way to further grow and explores the way to maturity in Karate and possibility the way to become a teacher, or Sensei, which literally means, born before