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Japanese Judo was the first martial art to introduce the colored belt ranking system as a visible indication of the students’ progress.

As students pass through the ranks taking grading examinations they are awarded with different colored belts. The color order and which colors are used varies from school to school, as does the relationship between belt color and rank
( Kyu).

The belts simply went from white to black because the original Karate founders never washed their belts. They started off with white belts and after years of training ended up with black belts. The proponents of this theory assert that the belt, which was initially white, gets gradually dirtier and dirtier and so goes from white to brown to black in that way.

However the Kyu (rank) always starts at 10 and ends at 1. Black belts ranks then increase normally, from 1st Dan to 10th Dan. In most Karate schools beginners are automatically considered a 10th Kyu (wearing a white belt).

In the old days the white belt was simply dyed to a new color. This repeated dying process dictates the type of belt color and the order of the colors. The standard belt color system is white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black. Some Karate school and styles, the color order is difference.

The grading system in Karate has been introduced for a variety of reasons. In modern day, it is a sign of having achieved a particular skill level, which gives the student an indication on how they are progressing. As a visible sign, the color of one's belt lets other students in the class know what skill level to expect from their fellow students. This makes partner training easier, and the newer students know where to look for the more experienced students.

Traditionally in most Karate styles, there are 9 stages where students go from 9th kyu (kyu means student) to 1st Kyu wearing colored belts, and ultimately become 1st Dan (Black belt).The grading procedure typically involves a training session where experienced Karateka (typically black belts from 1st Dan onwards) examine the performance of the students, including basic techniques, Kata, and sparring.

In general, the further you advance in the study of Karate, the more precision and also fighting spirit is expected in the performance of all techniques. Familiarity with Instructors etiquette and also a good grasp of the Japanese terminology is also increasingly expected. Katas play an important role in Goju-Ryu Karate-do.

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