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.
Ruko's Belt Grading
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 utilizes the toolbox principle - only training and specialising in a handful of techniques. These techniques consist of striking, kicking, blocking, throwing, choking and take downs. Like most martial arts, Ruko has a belt grading system: 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 their ability to prove their knowledge and technique, not only in constant practice but in sparring as well. Sparring and resistance training is the only way for students to test themselves and their capabilities, after all they are learning how to protect themselves and their loved ones.