Today I officially received my new belt, certificate, membership, and training passport. I’m the first person in Colorado to train in Farang Mu Sul. Master Pinto and I are working on building a school for modern knights here in Colorado. I already have a very strong medieval martial arts program that has been tried and tested at an international level. Now with the addition of the Modern Farang (one of he translations for the word is Knight) system Ironside Medieval Combat is even better! With these systems it becomes a beautiful blend of traditional, medieval, and modern fighting techniques.
As I was being presented my belt I asked Master Pinto about a story I had heard when I was a child. I grew up with a Kenpo background, and began training when I was 4 years old. When I was a child I was told the belt colors were based on wearing the belt during training and it changed colors through hard use. Over time the white belt of a beginner takes on stains and gets darker until it becomes a brown color. One of my many issues with this story was why start with yellow? Seems pretty gross because it makes me wonder what human bodily fluids would change a white belt yellow….Doesn’t seem all that respectful to the art.
I asked Master Pinto what he thought about the meaning behind the belts and he gave me this much more poetic answer. A white belt starts out as a seed full of potential. The seed is planted into the earth and begins to grow within the soil turning yellow. While still in the soil the seed spreads its orange roots searching for the sky. Slowly the first green leaf peeks out of the ground to greet the sun. A young tree begins to grow and stick up higher into the blue sky. With proper nourishment the tree reaches for the stars and stretches is branches out in the universe getting closer to the purple color of space. The tree is stronger now developing a thick brown trunk supported by a solid foundation buried deep within the soil. As the tree reaches maturity red flowers bloom along its branches. Red being nature’s color for poison and danger. The tree has learned how to defend its but hasn’t gained full control of knowledge. Finally, the tree realizes the moon it has been reaching for is an illusion distracting it from the innumerable stars of potential cast far and wide throughout the vastness of space and the blackened sky.