Monday Miyagi 092809
“[My son] accidentally got ketchup on his belt. I went to go wash it and he tells me that he is not supposed to wash his belt. Is that true? (I’m going to try to spot clean it but now I’m curious!)” -Curious Parent-
Yes, it is true. 1 of the stories of how Black Belts came into being is that everyone started with a white belt. As they trained hard their belts became dirtier and dirt is brown. That is why the last colored belt is brown. When students continued to train their brown belts turned black and that is why Black Belt represents a mastery of the basics. When Black Belts continue to train their belt starts to fray — revealing the white fabric again — which is a reminder that Black Belts have to practice their basics and share their knowledge with new students. So, symbolically we wash our uniforms but not our belts!
PS: If the spot cleaner doesn’t remove the ketchup completely it is okay. [You son] can still wear his belt and the stain will be a reminder that he is respecting the history and traditions of the martial arts 🙂