BELT LEVELS & REASONS FOR THEM
Karate is an extremely complex sport which requires years of training in order to excel and progress through the belt system. At Liberte Karate, our style, Shito-Ryu Karate Do, requires students to obtain eleven different colour belts before reaching their goal of a black belt. We have recently added a two additional belts in an area of the ranks which we have recognised to be a difficult area for new students. That being at orange belt which now has an additional orange with a black tip and at blue belt which now has an additional blue with a black tip. As well as this belt system, we also have a junior belt system otherwise known as the 'Samurai Belts', this mirrors the traditional belt system however only has 7 belts. This system was designed to help assist young students (4-8 years old) in developing a stronger foundation of coordination and other skill to prepare them for the more advance levels.
As karate is a very challenging sport, the belt system is designed to help students naturally progress with their training rather than initially overwhelming them with difficult techniques. This ensures that a student, while continually challenged, is gradually introduced to harder techniques over a period of time while they improve their karate. If the criteria to get your yellow or orange belt is made too complex for children, it cannot be expected of them to keep motivated to achieve more as they may feel disheartened and discouraged by the experience. As such, the belt system is designed to motivate students as every belt is constructed to steadily improve student's skills and abilities to prepare them for their black belt.
While the belt system helps to provide students with a gradual increase in the difficulty of techniques, it is expected that as student's progress to the higher belt levels – green, purple, red, etc – the workload and requirements placed up students becomes heavier. This ensures that skills essential in karate, such as coordination, speed and power, improve to from belt to belt to the standard that is then required. Similarly, at each belt level, it is expected that students gain knowledge of particular karate techniques and/or kata. This push is necessary to provide the students with the both the ability to perform karate techniques and kata at high standards and further motivate them to progress through the belt system and achieve their black belt.