How an Instructor should read the colours of the Belts

Date: 30th March 2017
Author: Master Bonthuys

A martial arts instructor has many roles to fulfil. Teaching is of course one of the main aspects but understanding how to read the students belt colours is equally as important when delivering a class. Here's an insight to what you should be aiming for when teaching the main colours of a Korean belt system.


WHITE on their belts: Need to be ENTERTAINED

They have just started their journey and need to build their relationship with the instructor and the school. They need to enjoy the experience and feel that they are in the right place… they need to know that martial arts is right for them, and that they are right for the martial arts!

YELLOW on their belts: Need their CONFIDENCE raised

Teach them that they can do it and also be good at it.

GREEN on their belts: Need to be TIDIED up

Start the Japanese process of Kaisen - self improvement. Preparation for the real journey begins here. The time for changing a hobby into a way of life has arrived. Training is now an important part of their lives.

BLUE on their belts: Need to be IMPROVED

Structure and discipline are key with a healthy competition against themselves for self-improvement. Progress - not perfection is what we are looking for here.

RED on their belts: Need to be DEVELOPED

Black is the target. Focus, regular attendance, practice and a commitment to train often and intensely are the staple diet of the future black belt.

BLACK on their belts: Need to be PERFECTED

The real journey of the novice black belt begins…

Your job is that of a mentor to guide and inspire them to become the very best that they can be. A good leader inspires others with their own good example.

Your job as an instructor is simply to recruit new students every single week and to get them to stay for as long as possible with an exciting, progressive syllabus and a modern teaching philosophy.

Get rid of the old outdated teaching methods from the 50’s and 60’s (I have NEVER once had a student join my academy because they wanted to learn foreign history or an eastern language!).

If you educate them from white belt that the black belt is simply the beginning, they will stay to black belt and beyond. Growing your school and filling it with solid students is not as difficult as most people would think.

It is NOT about you being a world champion or a Master. It IS about trust, structure, proven methods and honest business systems!

Ignore everybody else (what they are doing is none of your business). Get a martial arts business coach that is active and that can demonstrate their own sustained and ongoing success.

Be honest and teach real martial arts… it’s a privilege and a gift!

Comfortable inaction often has a high cost! It’s called being happily lazy with the same unhappy results that you had yesterday. If you want better results, have the courage to follow a better and proven action plan and do not quit. Model off of someone that is actually getting the results that you prefer!


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