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Black Belts

In martial arts, the black belt is a way to describe a graduate of a field where a practitioner’s level is often marked by the color of the belt. The black belt is commonly the highest belt color used and denotes a degree of competence.

It is often associated with a teaching grade though frequently not the highest grade or the “expert” of public perception. It is also a relatively recent invention (dating from the late 19th century) rather than an ancient custom.

The systematic use of belt color to denote the rank was first used by Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo, who first devised the colored belt system using obi (sash), and awarded the first black belts to denote a Dan rank in the 1880s. Previously, Japanese Koryu instructors tended to provide certificates. Initially the wide obi was used; as practitioners trained in kimono, only white and black obi were used. It was not until the early 1900s, after the introduction of the judogi, that an expanded colored belt system of awarding rank was created. Other martial arts (Karate-Do) later adopted the custom or a variation of it (e.g., using colored sashes) to denote rank.

IJKA registered Blackbelts

No. Code Name Country Grade
 1  003 08 213  Bernhard Keller  Germany  8. Dan
2 002 08 113  Madjid Shamsahmar Irak  8. Dan
3  001 07 113  Klaus Reichelt Germany  7. Dan
4  001 07 213  Rafael Carrera Spain  7. Dan
5  002 07 114  Mohamed Oussar Algier 7. Dan
6  003 07 215  Himmet Kaysal Turkey 7. Dan
7  Pavlos Saltikiotis Greece  6. Dan
8  002 06 313  Horst Wittig Germany  6. Dan
9  002 06 413  Wolfgang Braun Germany  6. Dan
10  002 06 114  Erhard Wingrat Germany  6. Dan
11  003 06 116  Holger Horn Philippines  6. Dan
12  002 05 313  Frank Stolze Germany  5. Dan
13  002 05 113  Jörg Gantert Germany  5. Dan
14  Frank-Dietmar Berg Germany  5. Dan
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