The red bar (mostly visible on black belts but occasionally seen on others) indicates that the bearer is an instructor. They have an academy, as shown by the white stripes on the outside of the red bar. Usually but not always found on the Japanese martial art, this rank is usually only awarded after many years of training.
Although most black belts are actually brown or gray, some do have their belts made from white leather for special occasions such as public exams or promotions ceremonies. The color choice should not be confused with the use of white clothing to indicate a high degree of expertise or skill. In Japan, the term "honne" is used to describe someone who has achieved a certain level of mastery in their field.
There are several different methods for awarding black belts. Some organizations have specific requirements for what types of exercises must be performed under what conditions to be awarded this title. Others may simply require that you have enough years of experience to be able to teach others what you know. Still other organizations may award this title based on how much money you can raise for your school/dojo. No matter what the criteria, once they are met, you will receive your black belt.
All over Japan, you will often see people wearing white belts.
Stripes on colored belts serve as an interim indicator of achievement. It is a distinct rung level. Before achieving a black belt, a brown belt may have two to four stripes. Each stripe signifies an extra rank level and expertise gained. The usage of stripes varies from system to system. Some organizations use colors instead.
The meaning of the different colored belts in karate depends on which organization or school you ask. However, generally, if you reach a higher grade than your last promotion, then you will receive a new color belt to signify this advancement. If you are making money or winning fights, you might be given a color belt after every few wins. This is common in match-based systems such as amateur wrestling and mixed martial arts (MMA).
In some cases, once you achieve a certain number of victories, you will be given a color belt even if you did not earn one through promotion. For example, a yellow belt can win up to 10 matches in the amateur wrestling world before being promoted to orange. But once he has reached this point, he will always receive an orange belt even if he loses several matches later on. There is no removing the award once it is given out.
In other words, your color belt is an indication that you have achieved a certain degree of mastery over your art.
Color bars represent the time the individual was served and/or the geographic area. The real medal is kept safe at home, and this is commonly a patch with a purple and white bar. The indicator bars show the soldier's designated unit or mission. Each bar is three inches high and two inches wide.
The color scheme for these bars is as follows:
Gold for active duty in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and National Guard.
Silver for active duty in the reserve components of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.
Bronze for active duty in the inactive-duty endowment (Ivy) program in the Army and Marines. In addition, there is a bronze star for active duty in any military department during peacetime.
These indicators were used to identify units and personnel on official documents such as orders, reports, letters that contained information about the person serving in the military. The colors also indicate how the person was treated by his or her superiors. Gold and silver bars indicated favorable treatment, while a bronze one meant that your career was probably over before it started. These colors are still used today by some organizations when issuing commendations or promoting soldiers.
Stripes on Brazilian jiu-jitsu belts show a student's status within a certain belt rating. More stripes imply a better degree of proficiency. A 4-striped blue belt, for example, is a higher level than a 2-striped blue belt. Most schools will offer up to four stripes for each belt rank (not including black or red). Additional stripes can be obtained through successful completion of various challenges.
The first stripe on the belt indicates the student's rank in relation to other students at their school. For example, if there are 20 students at your school all ranked NOVICE, then all of them would have a single stripe on their belt. The belt could be yellow, green, white, red, purple, or brown; however, there must be at least one stripe on it.
If you want to compete, it is important that you wear clean, well-fitting BJJ gear. This includes the belt itself. Make sure that any stains on the belt are not from using tea as a cleaning agent. These areas should be white or light gray instead.
The second stripe on the belt shows where the student stands with regard to their instructor. For example, an instructor might give out two stripes to a single student as a way of showing favor. There are no rules against this type of behavior, but many schools will not do it because they want to keep everyone equal. You should ask your instructor about the possibility of being given extra stripes on your belt.
Karate belts indicate where you are in your training. Most people understand that a white belt is a very new, novice level student in the martial arts. It is also well understood that a black belt denotes a high level and many years of training. Belts indicate where you are in your training. There are several other colors in between, but these three are the most common.
Black belts are commonly worn for all dan ranks in several martial arts. In others, different colors are utilized, with the highest grade (10th dan) wearing a crimson belt in certain systems. 6th to 8th dan in Judo may wear a red and white-patterned belt, whereas 9th to 10th dan may wear a full red belt. In Karate, black belts are awarded at 1st dan and above; below this level a student wears a brown belt.
Only black belts are allowed to teach classes, so this symbolizes their status as the most advanced students in their schools. However other grades may be involved in assisting with teaching activities such as testing or grading papers.
The term "black belt" comes from kenjutsu, the Japanese art of sword fighting. In this system, black means expert and belt number indicates rank. So a black belt is someone who has reached the highest rank possible in aikido.