What are the Black Belt Standards?
When you break belt ranking down to the basics, there are only four divisions for belts in the martial arts.
White belt to green belt is getting the gross motions down. Memorizing a couple of basic forms. This is the beginning level.
Green belt to brown belt is understanding the gross motions of applications. A person will understand the forms a bit better, see a few more complexities, but the complexities are just a quick but necessary side path as the basics begin to sink into the student. This is the intermediate level.
Brown belt to black belt the complexities become easy, but, more important, the basics become intuitive, combat becomes intuitive, the student has given up surface thoughts. He is a different type of human being. This is the expert level.
Black Belt to master is a different journey entirely, it is all about refining intuition and discovering all sorts of abilities that a man who has not discovered intuition can only dream about. As a person becomes a master he does not have intuition, he IS intuition.
Having described the journey in brief, let me ask the question: what is one actually pursuing here, when one does the martial arts?
Yes, he is pursuing finer technique, more polished forms, perfection, in a word, but those are just signposts. How smooth and polished ones physical motions only reveal a shadow of what is happening in the mind and the spirit.
What is happening is the true battle of a man; the battle between unconsciousness and awareness.
To be unconscious is to be asleep.
To be aware is to be awake.
The martial arts are a progression of steps which one climbs to become more aware.
How smooth your side kick is is only a reflection of your growing awareness.
The odd thing is that the white belt is not aware of how unaware he is, he is not aware that he is unconscious, that he is asleep.
Yet, first one feels ones own body, feels the muscles and bones. And, as he progresses through a deeper understanding of the basics, he approaches black belt, and he starts to feel energies. Some are small energies of the body; some are vast energies of the cosmos.
But the point is that the unaware person does not feel these things, and doesn’t even know they exist, except in comic books.
The aware person knows they exist, and becomes them.
The thing to remember is this: One does the martial arts to cultivate a discipline to launch himself as an awareness.
You ARE responsible for the birth of yourself as a spiritual being; whether you wake up or not is up to you.
The martial arts are, however, a deep and fruitful path to yourself, and that is the point of belt rankings.
Interested in higher martial arts? Check out Temple Karate.