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Love is Like Karate

Why is love like karate?

If you look at how the ranking system works in karate, there are different colours of obis (which is like a belt) which represents the level one has achieved.

While many schools have their own unique spin on exactly what each color (or kyu) represents in terms of both technical skill and philosophical growth – and some might have slight variations in the order of their belts– most generally follow this path. Let’s break down what each rank means to a karateka beginning their training journey, color by color (from the AWMA).

  • White Belt – beginning
  • Yellow Belt – opening of the mind
  • Orange Belt – further opening of the mind
  • Green Belt – basic steps of the journey are complete
  • Blue Belt – further growth along the path
  • Purple Belt – growing into the more advanced levels of training
  • Brown Belt – ready to mature into the higher ranks
  • Red Belt – intense dedication to master their art
  • Black Belt – end of the journey and continue on the path to enlightenment

Each belt colour represents the level that one can achieve in karate and it represents hard work, dedication and commitment to the art of karate.

The Journey of Love: Progressing through the Colors

Similar to the progression of belt colors in karate, love evolves through different stages, each representing a deeper level of commitment and connection. Let’s explore the journey of love, from the early stages to the pinnacle of a lifelong partnership.

White Belt Love: The Beginning

White belt love represents the initial stages of a relationship, where everything is fresh and new. It is a time of excitement, curiosity, and exploration. This phase is characterized by infatuation and the thrill of getting to know each other. Couples in this stage often experience butterflies in their stomachs and a sense of euphoria.

Yellow Belt Love: Opening of the Mind

As the relationship progresses, love transitions into the yellow belt stage. This is a time of expanding perspectives and learning about each other’s values, beliefs, and interests. Couples in this stage begin to develop a deeper understanding of each other and start building a foundation of trust and shared experiences.

Orange Belt Love: Further Opening of the Mind

Orange belt love signifies a deeper level of emotional connection and commitment. In this stage, couples continue to explore and expand their knowledge of each other. They become more comfortable expressing their emotions and vulnerabilities, creating a stronger bond based on trust and mutual support.

Green Belt Love: Completing the Basic Steps

Green belt love represents a significant milestone in the relationship. By this stage, couples have established a solid foundation of trust, respect, and shared goals. They have mastered the basic steps of the relationship and are ready to explore deeper levels of intimacy and commitment.

Blue Belt Love: Further Growth Along the Path

Blue belt love symbolizes continued growth and development in the relationship. Couples in this stage are committed to supporting each other’s dreams and aspirations. They actively work on their communication skills and strive to deepen their emotional connection. This stage often involves facing challenges together and growing stronger as a team.

Purple Belt Love: Advancing into the Advanced Levels

Purple belt love represents a transition into more advanced levels of love. Couples in this stage have developed a deep understanding of each other’s needs and desires. They are willing to put in the effort to maintain a healthy and fulfilling relationship. This stage requires a commitment to personal growth and continuous improvement as individuals and as a couple.

Brown Belt Love: Maturing into Higher Ranks

Brown belt love signifies a level of maturity and stability in the relationship. Couples in this stage have weathered storms together and have developed a profound sense of trust and commitment. They have gained valuable insights from past experiences and are ready to take on new challenges as they continue to grow together.

Red Belt Love: Intense Dedication to the Journey

Red belt love represents intense dedication and passion for the relationship. Couples in this stage are committed to continually deepening their connection and understanding of each other. They prioritize the well-being and happiness of their partner, demonstrating unwavering support and loyalty. This stage requires both partners to invest time, effort, and emotional energy into the relationship.

Black Belt Love: The Path to Enlightenment

Black belt love signifies the highest level of commitment, trust, and understanding. It is the culmination of the relationship journey, where couples have reached a state of profound love and partnership. Black belt love represents engagement, marriage, or a lifelong commitment to each other. This stage requires ongoing effort and dedication to maintain the flame of love and to navigate the challenges that life presents.

We can compare love to karate in this way because one could say that love represents hard work, dedication and commitment between two people.

Obviously there are more elements to love but as a person trying to understand what love might mean, I think this can be a useful analogy.

If you meet someone and they tell you that they love you, think about what level that love might be at. Is it very new? Maybe it’s a white belt kind of love. Have you been together for a while? Maybe it’s a blue belt kind of love.

I think that once you get to the black belt level kind of love, that is such an advanced level representing the highest level of love – engagement, marriage, a lifelong partnership.

Some people get scared when they hear the “L-word” but in reality, love can represent a whole wide range of levels.

So the next time someone tells you that they love you, think about what colour of belt they’re wearing.

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