This article will serve to explain what the most commonly used colors of martial arts symbolize.
White - This is the beginner belt. It symbolizes a clean slate and the innocent mind of the novice as he begins his search for knowledge. It is the symbol of the untainted seed.
Yellow - The yellow belt symbolizes the dawn of the student's journey, as the first gleams of knowledge shines upon the seed. This is when the novice's mind is opened to the teachings of the art.
Orange -The orange belt symbolizes the continued rise of the sun, as the knowledge and strength of the student is increased.
Green - This level symbolizes growth, as the seed sprouts from the earth and becomes a tiny plant. This is when the student utilizes his knowledge of the art to grow, both spiritually and physically.
Blue - The blue belt is the symbol of the sky. It is now midday in the student's journey, and he is fed additional knowledge. The plant continues to grow big and reaches for the heavens.
Brown - As the plant grows bigger, it begins to form a tree, with sturdy roots to keep it stable. Just as the student becomes hardened in mind and body, so does the plant gain a layer of bark.
Red - This is the twilight phase - the sun is setting, signaling the end of the first stage of growth. This belt also symbolizes danger, as the student has grown powerful, yet still lacks some of the wisdom to coltrol it.
Black - The day has come to an end, and it is now time for the student to continue seeking knowledge of the art on his own. He must now take the roll of master and guide new seeds as they begin the same journey which he has already completed.
Of course, there are many different cultures within martial arts, and many of them have their own meanings of the belt colors. However, this is the general explanation to what the different belt colors symbolize in martial arts.