Me and a few buddies were chatting in the pub tonight (all black belts in shotokan) and the subject of our belts came up.
A few of us are considering buying new black belts for ourselves and the colour of embroidery came into question.
When I was given my shodan my belt was a gift from my sensei (something I still do to all my students today actually!) It had my name embroidered in gold/yellow japanese writing (katakana I think).
I have always been under the impression that the colour of the writing on your belt was a reflection of your dan grade. The general protocol I am familiar with is.....shodan-gold/yellow, Nidan-red. sandan-green.yondan-blue.godan-white.
Is this something just specific to my club/style/area (I teach and train shotokan styled from kanazawa). Can anyone tell me where it may come from or any variations that may exist?
For the record pretty much all my dan grades have japanese embroidery at one end (no english or dan bars etc) and all stick to the colour scheme above (under my influence I guess?)
I also have got into the habit of assuming anothers grade by the colour of embroidery on the belt (ie. if I were on a course taught by a guy with white embroidery, I would assume him to be 5th dan or higher)
Your thoughts please.