Belts are of great importance in Aikido. This is not only a garment and equipment but also a symbol, an indicator of the level of skill of the wearer in mastering Aikido. About the role of belts in Aikido, their Color, Meaning, and will be discussed in this article.

The role of belts in Aikido

The Aikido belt has several roles and reasons for its use. Among them are the following:

  • A belt as equipment. It goes without saying that, first of all, the task of the belt is to keep the kimono on the fighter. In this case, the belt is strictly fastened according to certain rules, which is discussed in more detail in our other article. A properly knotted belt also does not interfere with the performance of techniques and movements.
  • Aesthetic. Who said combat uniforms couldn’t be nice to look at?
  • Informativeness. In some situations, often during competitions, the belt can be labeled with the name of the fighter and the name of the school he represents.
  • Indicator of mastery. Everyone, even the uninitiated, knows that different colors of belts are used in martial arts, especially in Aikido. Each of the colors corresponds to a certain level of mastery of the techniques and philosophy of Aikido. This point is no less important than the purely practical initial application of the belt

Thus, the role of belts in Aikido is quite diverse, and sometimes symbolic. For example, the belt should be fastened in such a way that the remaining free ends are of the same length, which symbolizes the achievement of the inner harmony of the fighter.

Colors and order of belts in aikido

It should be noted that in traditional Japanese Aikido, the system of dividing practitioners according to the color of the belts was not initially used. A similar practice was introduced into this martial art by the French over time, and then it was widely used. The purpose of this system is to motivate aspiring learners and better rank experienced masters.

The aikido rank system is clearly displayed through the use of different colors of the belts worn by the fighters on the kimono. The separate colors of the belts reflect the skill level of the practitioner in understanding this martial art.

Grades are divided into student and master’s degrees, however, in different schools and areas of Aikido, different gradations can be used.

Modern Aikido is divided into martial, sports and traditional, each with its own color palette and classification. In fact, at the moment there are so many differences between them that even experienced craftsmen are unable to remember all the subtleties and variations.

In Aikikai

So, let’s imagine the dimming of Aikido belts in order:

White belt.

This is the very first student belt, however, it is not awarded to newcomers who have not yet passed the Aikido exams. After passing the exam of the first student diploma, newcomers become full-fledged learners and receive a white belt. White color in this case just symbolizes the beginning of a new life from scratch, where the newly created fighter will capture his first steps in his studies.


This personifies the long path traveled by the student, it is also an indicator that a person has been studying for more than six months. The color itself symbolizes sunlight and heat, the dawn of the morning at the beginning of a new day.

Red or orange.

A transition stage between yellow and green. If the previous color symbolizes summer, then red is similar to autumn colors, denotes the maturity of fruits and the maturity of acquaintances. The owner of such a belt at this stage analyzes the path already traveled and the achievements achieved, sets himself new goals.


This belt indicates that the student who is studying already has the first serious results, and he is in the middle of the path to the rank of Master. To get a green belt, you need to study for at least two years, and also very deeply master the technique and philosophy of Aikido, including some psychological techniques, for example, the fight against fear. Green color symbolizes spring and awakening, encourages the growth of Aikido seed in the already prepared spirit of the student’s soil. The teaching and the disciple are one.


This stage symbolizes not only a great mastery of techniques but also a deep understanding of the philosophy of martial art, and awareness of the importance of teaching. However, there is still much to learn and learn from his master mentor.


At this stage, it is recognized that a person has found, like a tree. Its strong roots in the culture and traditions of Aikido. Hence the brown color, symbolizing the Earth, the pillar of the tree, nature. It is believed that those who reached this milestone eventually linked their lives to learning.

Black belt.

The black belt is a symbol of wisdom and skill. A student who succeeds in learning and has passed all the previous stages receives the title of Master, in which he can further improve. The black color combines and unites all the experience and acquired knowledge of the fighter, received by him at each stage

In Yoshinkan

The main difference in Yoshinkan Aikido is the presence of two types of white belts. There is more kyu here than in the Aikikai. A special white patch is added here, one or two depending on the level. Brown belts are also subdivided into three sub-levels. Orange is used instead of red.

What is the difference between the order in children and the dimming of belts in adults

In Aikido, the term kyu is used, which means degree or rank. Kyu levels are awarded to students until they receive a master’s degree. In numerical terms, the lower the number, the higher the student’s level of success. The number of kyu in each school or individual direction of Aikido can be different. In some places, five or six kyus are used, but sometimes there are more, especially for groups of children. After the first kyu, a person reaches a new system of Master ranks called dana. The dans are also numerous, but all of them. Unlike the kyu, correspond only to the black belts of the Masters.

Features of belts with patches

  • There are three types of stripes on belts, namely: Japanese characters, signs, and Stripes.
  • Hieroglyphs are applied to high-ranking belts, where the name of the master is written on the name belts in Japanese.
  • Signs or all kinds of images most often display the emblem of a particular school. Used as a distinctive sign.
  • The bands are designed to distinguish the school levels of the students at the beginning of the training.

The article presented all the variety of Aikido belts, differing in color and rank. Obviously, this is an important attribute of the martial art in question. And now you already know all the secrets associated with it and available only to those who practice.


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