If you imagine an expert martial artist who spent many years perfecting their practice and gaining powerful skills, you probably think of the famous black belt. Almost every person knows what it means when they hear “She has a black belt.” Although belt colors in East Asian martial arts only reach back to roughly the 1880s, the black belt has become a symbol of discipline, mastery, and deadly force.
The martial arts are fascinating even for those who don’t practice due to the rich history and philosophy that many different styles have. You’ve heard of a black belt, but what does it take to obtain a black belt? The power behind the belt might give you a little inspiration to step onto the martial arts mat yourself or just channel some extra discipline to tackle your to-do list today.
A Little Background on the Black Belt
You know what a black belt signifies in martial arts, but what about the history behind the belt? Though using colored belts to signify ranks is a relatively recent addition to martial arts, it’s quickly taken up a large role. Even the Marine Corps Martial Arts program uses a belt system, with a first and second-degree black belt ranking. There is a legend about the black belt that explains its color as the result of students refusing to ever wash the belt for fear it would also symbolically wash away the experience they’d gained. Though some martial artists abide by this legend, it isn’t the origin of the black belt. The true beginning of the belt system started with one man named Jigoro Kano–the founder of Judo. He devised the first belt ranking system, initially with only white and black belts. For a deeper history behind the belt system and what each color represents, check out our guide to belt rankings.
What’s the Number 1 Requirement to Obtain a Black Belt?
If you’re wondering how someone earns a black belt, there are many different factors to consider. First off, black belts aren’t just for any one style of martial arts. You can obtain a black belt in Karate, Aikido, Judo, and Tae Kwon Do. Yet, even across all these different styles, there’s one crucial factor when it comes to earning a black belt: time.
If there’s one thing a black belt represents, it’s the time that a student has dedicated to learning and perfecting their abilities. While some styles of martial arts require less time to obtain a black belt than others, all rigorous training schools will watch their students for consistent effort and improvement, both of which require time.
If you’re dreaming of donning a black belt, the most important step you can take to make that dream a reality is to start putting in the time as soon as possible. At Premier Martial Arts, we’ve helped many students climb the ranks to achieve their martial arts goals and we’re happy to support you on your black belt journey.
How to Start Obtaining Your Black Belt
If you’ve got your heart set on becoming a black belt martial artist, there are a few key factors you’ll need to know.
Don’t make the mistake of being tricked into an easy black belt by unscrupulous studios that care more about income than their students. Many studios will guarantee you receive a black belt after a certain time or a certain amount of money. While you might have the black belt, you won’t have the experience, skill, and mindset that makes a black belt more than just a piece of colored cloth.
Plan Your Training Schedule
Remember, when it comes to obtaining a black belt, consistency and time are indispensable parts of the process. Make sure you know exactly when you’ll fit in the time to train so you don’t fall off schedule and lose momentum on your black belt journey.
Enjoy the Process
It’s easy to idolize a black belt as the symbol of achievement, but any black belt martial artist will tell you that obtaining their belt was only the first chapter in a new, elevated journey of martial arts training. Enjoy the process and don’t get too caught up about the destination and you’ll find yourself arriving at your black belt sooner than you think.
Start Your Black Belt Journey
If you think you’ve got what it takes to obtain a black belt in martial arts or simply want to experience the thrill of training and growing, Premier Martial Arts welcomes you to start your journey with us.
Whether you’re ready to become a martial arts master or simply want a fun but challenging form of exercise and mental training, our studios are always open for eager students.