The History Behind The Belt Grading System
In ancient China, the belt was initially used primarily for suspending trousers. Later on, it was also utilized for keeping valuable items or weapons for personal defence. The different colors of the belt illustrated the social order, clan or region the individual that wore it. It was also used to show which style of martial arts the individual practiced as the belt colours often differed from school to school.
In the beginning, Japan applied a belt ranking system, in disciplines such as Judo and Karate. The colours used were: white for beginners and black for masters / teachers. These colours symbolized life and death. White, in contrast to the western concept, represents death. The white kimono and the white belt is meant to show that the student comes to sacrifice himself and rejects his previous life and therefore accepts a more sophisticated understanding of life through his martial arts practice. When the student achieves the master belt / black belt it illustrates that he has won over the fear of death.
The grading and ranking of the martial arts belt vary depending on skills and styles. However, for all disciplines, it typically defines the degree of the martial artist’s knowledge, practice and technique. The general rule is that the knowledge a master / teacher has gathered during his / her practice is formed into a system. This system is broken down into various colour belts, the colours of these belts are used to transfer knowledge and monitor the progress of each student. Once a certain level of knowledge, practice and technique is achieved, the student will progress to the next belt.The current ranking system for the colour belts, which appeared shortly after World War II has been accepted worldwide in almost all categories of martial arts.
Ruko's Belt Grading
Ruko consists of 5 belts: White, Green, Blue, Brown and Black. There is no specific duration from belt to belt. Ruko follows a simple philosophy of "what you put in, is what you get out". Students are graded on 3 principles:
1. Technique: The ability to execute each technique to the highest standard when practicing basic and advance techniques. After that, it is a matter of how you execute each technique when drilling it hundreds of times. Then it is a matter of doing each technique in reactive training (sparring padwork) and sparring (resistance and fight training).
2. Control: The ability to follow the sparring rules and control a resisting opponent without injuring them or yourself.
3. Heart: The ability to keep fighting without giving up or quitting. There are no second chances when you or you families lives are at risk.