Belt colors in karate signify growth and development. As it was first done, all students started with a white belt. As each student gained more and more knowledge and skills, she would, over time, traditionally dye her belt a darker color.
The first color the belt would be dyed was yellow. Yellow showed that the student was aware that she was receiving her first beams of knowledge, or sunlight. The student had opened up her mind to learning and growth.
Next, the student would earn the privilege to dye her belt orange. Like the glowing sun warmed the earth to nurture new seeds, so too did the lessons that accompany the orange belt. The student could feel her strength grow and her understanding deepen.
A green belt showed that the student, like a seed, had broken out above ground and was reaching toward sun stretching for more knowledge.
Blue belts represented the sky, as the student grew farther toward the sun.
Purple demonstrated that the student had developed deep and more advanced knowledge. They started to understand the significance of maturity and the power of knowledge.
When the student dyed their belt brown, they were nearing earnest wisdom. All their hard work and determination had fruits to bear. They were just beginning to understand what the fruits meant.
Red meant danger. When a student had earned her red belt, she was capable of inflicting great harm. She posed great danger if she didn’t remain vigilant and respectful of her capabilities. The objective of the student with a red belt was to be cautious and seek more knowledge.
The student finally earned her black belt only when she fully understood the profound power of her knowledge. Black represented the vastness of space beyond the sun. There is much more to learn. The student became a teacher who continues to learn, forever.