These descriptions are mostly poetic for the color belts and get more specific as you read on.
The white belt can be compared to a blank canvas that is ready to be painted. To have one shows that you are ready to learn and have made a very important step in your journey as a martial artist: the beginning.
The yellow belt is the first rank that you'll earn. It symbolizes the first rays of sunlight that serve to indicate a new day and all the opportunities that come with it. At this point, you have taken the first steps in your journey as a martial artist.
The orange belt represents the rising sun in the early morning. Like the sun, a student with an orange belt is a rising star.
A blue belt represents the sky. It is fitting for a student to wear this color at this point in their journey. This is because at this point they will have taken to the skies as they begin to explore the depths of what the martial arts have to offer them and what they have to offer the arts in return.
A purple belt represents a brewing storm in the sky, signifying growing power and foreshadowing the coming challenges. A student wearing this belt is at the point in their journey where they have collected quite a bit of knowledge and skill and are now entering the next step in their journey as a martial artist: the grounding.
A green belt represents the growth, much like that of plants. At this point, the brewing storm of the purple belt has now watered the ground below, giving way to seeds sprouting. At this point in their journey, the student steps into a new period of growth and grounding in the martial arts.
2nd Green Belt
The second green belt represents a continuation of the seed sprouting as it forms roots that begin to push down into the soil. A student at this point in their journey is well on their way in grounding themselves in their knowledge of the martial arts. They have learned and achieved much, yet the journey is far from over. Challenges are just around the corner.
A red belt represents the large amount of effort that it took to get to this point. A student with a red belt has achieved a level of skill and proficiency in the martial arts that is very noteworthy. It is likely that the student has pushed through pain and many other challenges to become the skilled martial artist they are today.
2nd Red Belt
The second red belt is a continued acknowledgment of the student's achievements as well as a representation of the position the student has achieved as an advanced practitioner. This is generally when a student is considered an assistant instructor and begins playing a very active role in teaching other students without getting much instruction themselves. Through continued practice and seeking for knowledge, they can progress further towards mastery, but only by first solidifying their roots and grounding their knowledge of the basics.
A brown belt represents the ground in which the seed of growth is rooting itself. At this point in the student's journey, there is a large focus on solidifying oneself and improving on the basics. This is the solid foundation upon which the student can build themselves up towards mastery.
2nd Brown Belt
The second brown belt represents the strides made towards mastery from the ground up. At this point, the student is reaching out towards the unknown as they progress. With hard work and dedication, a brown belt is an unstoppable force as they improve mainly on their own, easily soaking up any feedback they receive. Some might say that they have a habit of breaking through any obstacle that might get in their way.
3rd Brown Belt
The third brown belt is an indicator that the student is on the final stretch towards mastery. A student with the third brown belt has almost completely stepped into the unknown, as seen in the dual colors on their belt. It is time for them to make the final leap.
To earn the black belt, one must have an extreme level of proficiency in all they have learned. A black belt has endured many challenges along the way. They have learned much and have grounded themselves in knowledge and skill. The black signifies the night and the completion of the day that began with the first yellow beams of sunlight. As a black belt, the starry sky is now visible to you and you are able to clearly see the vast, endless expanse that is the martial arts. The question is, what part of it will you explore next?
The master title separates those with mastery over the martial arts from those who are on their path to it. A master of the martial arts is in a position of authority due to their skill, dedication, respectability, and achievements. Remember that a true master is an eternal student.
2nd Black Belt
The second black belt is a significant step in furthering one's mastery. A martial artist who wears it has not only achieved the master title but has also made use of it. They are active in teaching others while still developing and progressing their own knowledge and skill.
3rd through 7th Black Belt
These belts are awarded based on the consensus of the other masters. Achieved through respectability, acts of service, teaching milestones, expanding/improving the system, maintaining a martial arts school, or anything else that the other masters may find fit to base the promotion on.
Grandmasters are generally the most respected, esteemed, and/or achieved martial artists of the system. They are given the most authority over the system due to their extensive experience in the martial arts.
8th and 9th Black Belt
The 8th-degree and 9th-degree black belts require that the practitioner receiving them has the grandmaster title. They are awarded based on the grandmaster's achievements and the general consensus of the other masters.
10th Black Belt
The 10th-degree black belt is reserved for those that have achieved the 9th-degree black belt and meet at least one of the following requirements:
Founded the martial arts style or led it into a new age
Became a highly esteemed martial artist throughout the world, through competition, fame, etc.
Passed from life on earth as a 9th-degree black belt