This Is What The Different Colors Of Karate Belts Actually Mean

Remember, no matter what karate belt you wear, you’re still wearing glorified pajamas.

1. White Belt

Kimberly / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: kohlerfolk

What You Think Your Belt Means: This is the beginning of your journey of self-discovery that will test the limits of your mind, body, and spirit. Your belt is white because you are a blank slate, ready to be molded into a lean, mean fighting machine.

What Your Belt Actually Means: Your pants won’t fall and your uniform won’t flap open while training. Wearing a white belt means you have the strength to pull off some sort of knot.

2. Yellow Belt

What You Think Your Belt Means: I have all the basic punches, kicks, and blocks down. I’m ready to spar!

What Your Belt Actually Means: You’re still everyone’s punching bag and the only reason why nobody wailed on you when you were a white belt was because you were too low on the food chain to care.

3. Orange Belt

What You Think Your Belt Means: I can defend myself against the average person on the street.

What Your Belt Actually Means: I can defend myself against anyone wearing a karate uniform with a flashy orange belt.

4. Green Belt

Sally / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: quiltsalad

What You Think Your Belt Means: You can break a plank of wood in half with a roundhouse kick.

What Your Belt Actually Means:You can break a plank of wood with a roundhouse “tap” while your sensei snaps it in half to make it look like you’re a force to be reckoned with.

5. Blue Belt

What You Think Your Belt Means: Ample sparring experience and body conditioning has made you a perfect contender for the local tournament.

What Your Belt Actually Means: In every fight, it’s your duty to suppress the urge to say “fatality” after winning a match.

6. Purple Belt

What You Think Your Belt Means: You now have the knowledge and skills to start learning Ryu’s move set from Street Fighter IV.

What Your Belt Actually Means: If you tell your sensei what you think your belt means, he’ll just sarcastically yell, “Sureeee, you can!” Which will sound an awful lot like ‘Shoryuken!’. Is that a yes?

7. Brown Belt

What You Think Your Belt Means: The sensei will start training you in the ancient art of Japanese weaponry.

What Your Belt Actually Means: Your face is well acquainted with both ends of the nunchuk by now.

8. Red Belt

Image Credit: Tallahassee Karate / Via tallahasseekarate.com

What You Think Your Belt Means: You’re one belt away from becoming a Black Belt. You’re practically a master already. You’re probably looking at some real estate to open your own sweet dojo.

What Your Belt Actually Means: You’ve paid too much for this to stop now and not get your black belt. You have the entire rainbow of cotton belts to prove it too.

9. Black Belt

What You Think Your Belt Means: 10 ranks later, I’ve mastered the art and skill of one of the world’s oldest martial arts. Plus, I look so badass.

What Your Belt Actually Means: You haven’t mastered anything. This is just the beginning of your REAL training. There are 10 more ranks involving gold stripes that take an entire lifetime to collect. Good luck with that.

correction

The description of the brown belt has been updated.

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