Legend has it that ranking in karate arose from an ancient tradition of martial artists never washing their belts. White belts turned black from years of dirt, sweat, blood, and dedication. The more knowledgeable the martial artist, the darker and filthier the belt.
As the modern enlightened, we know a thing or two about legends.
They’re always true.
If you wash that belt, you could wash away mastery. Wash your black belt, and you could become a white belt again!
White means death, and that initial white belt symbolizes the sacrifice required to reject your old life. Only after years of discipline do you achieve enlightenment. At black you’ve conquered your fear of death.
There is no better way to show your fearlessness in the face of death than by training with a cesspool around your waist.
A long, healthy, safe life is for the weak. True warriors take unnecessary risks and die young.
And that blackened belt could one day save your life!
One night after weapons class, you might get attacked on the way to your car. Simply wipe your weapon on that petri dish of a belt, and plunge it into your attacker’s belly!
Instant sepsis, and you go on to live another day.
These are just words. They mean nothing.
Martial arts are about building a strong community. So what if that community is mostly around your waist?