This video uploaded by JDubzs shows footage from a “real” black belt ceremony where students – obviously lacking in karate skills and training – were awarded black belts. Most of the students featured in the video could only do basic high start up, high end lag moves, and it’s clear that awarding them black belts in martial arts is questionable.
A black belt is a way to describe a graduate of a field where a martial arts practitioner’s level is often marked by the color of the belt. The black belt is commonly the highest belt color used and denotes a degree of competence and expertise.
In karate, the standard belt color system is white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red and black.
The white belt signifies a birth, or beginning, of a seed. A white belt student is a beginner searching for knowledge of the martial art. The yellow belt signifies the first beams of sunlight which shines upon the seed giving it new strength with the beginning of new life. The orange belt represents the growing power of the sun as it warms the earth to prepare for new growth in the spring. The green belt signifies the growth of the seed as it sprouts from the earth. A green belt student learns to strengthen and refine his techniques.
A blue belt signifies the blue sky as the plant continues to grow toward it. This means that a blue belt student moves up higher in rank just as the plant grows taller. The purple belt represents the changing sky of dawn, as the student undergoes prepares for the transition to advanced student. The brown belt represents the ripening of the seed, signifying an advanced student whose techniques are beginning to mature. The red belt represents the red-hot heat of the Sun as the plant continues growing toward it. Finally, the black belt signifies the darkness beyond the Sun, meaning that a black belt continually seeks more profound knowledge of the martial art.
Depending on the form of martial art, a black belt takes approximately three to six years of training to achieve. However, since a “black belt” is commonly viewed as conferring some status, achieving one has been used as a marketing “gimmick”. Some students are awarded black belts within a short period of time, just like in this video, even though they still have a long way to go in the mastery of the martial art. Martial art schools that place profit ahead of ability when using these tactics and are commonly referred to in popular culture as McDojos.