Ask any martial artist and they will probably tell you that the most prestigious or coveted belt is the black belt. And it’s no surprise that this is the case. Most martial arts disciplines require anywhere between 3-10 years of continuous training to earn a black belt. That’s no small feat. As worthy as the black belt is of being held in such high regard, there’s another belt that is equally as important, if not more so…and it may not be what you think.
The most important belt in the martial arts is the white belt.
Wait, what? The lowest ranking belt is the most important? How can that even be true. Allow us to elaborate.
The martial arts is a practice rich in history and tradition. During the earliest days, a student of the martial arts put on a white belt for two important reasons. 1. To hold their pants up (yes, really). 2. To symbolize a new beginning.
Interestingly, while in some cultures the color white symbolizes purity, in Japanese tradition, it actually also symbolizes death. You see, when a student approached a martial arts master they wanted to train under, they were expected to leave their previous life behind to pursue something more. If the master accepted them as a student, they would tie a piece of white cloth around their waist to represent the death of the old self and the start of their new training and way of life.
Stories are told of how over time, the white cloth would change colors from the sweat, dirt, and even blood that would get on it during training. Eventually the white cloth would become so dirty, it would look closer to black than white. Because of this, the belt was held in very high regard as it was the visual representation of a students progress in their training and development. Great care was taken to ensure that belts were properly folded and stored when not in use. It was seen as highly disrespectful to place the belt on the ground since any discoloration on the belt had to be earned through training.
Many traditional and modern styles still incorporate belt rank colors in their disciplines. While every style has their own rank/color order and meaning, some of the most popular traditions base their color progression on the new life of a flower as follows:
White– new beginning, innocence, purity
Yellow– the seed
Green– the stalk
Purple– the flower
Blue– the sky
Regardless of what color belts your martial arts style uses, the most important aspect is that there is a clear and visible way to measure your progress. There often comes a time in every martial artist’s journey where they doubt themselves, even briefly.
Progress isn’t always linear.
Sometimes we don’t live up to our own expectations. Sometimes we regress into old habits that don’t serve our new goals. Fortunately, as martial artists, we know to expect these kinds of obstacles in life. We train to persevere through these obstacles and choose to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even if and when our steps are less than stable.
During challenging moments like these, our belts offer a visual and physical reassurance that while we may not be perfect, we have made progress. And it all started when we made the decision to pursue a different way of life, with a different community of like-minded people…to say “yes” to transformation and growth, by receiving our white belt. So, we dust ourselves off, we tie on our current belt, and we begin again.
Ready to join our martial arts community? It’s easy to GET STARTED.
When you hear about a neighborhood martial arts school it’s easy to think about a bunch of kids in white pajamas punching and kicking at the air with the occasional “kiai” exclaimed. In the Cedar Park/NW Austin area alone there are at least 25 martial arts schools. So what setsInvictus Martial Arts apart from the rest?
One word: community
Invictus is a place where everyone belongs.
Whether you’re a kid struggling with self-confidence, an adult needing an outlet for stress relief, or a teen needing an encouraging dose of self-discipline, Invictus provides a welcoming environment with knowledgeable and supportive coaches that are passionate about seeing you succeed.In a world where social media silently demands you to live a picture-perfect life, only presenting the best parts of what you experience day-to-day, the culture at Invictus takes a different approach.
At Invictus, it’s okay not to have it all together, and it’s ok to fail, because failing is how we learn and learning is how we grow.
To state it plainly, at Invictus, it’s ok to just be authentically you. In fact, it’s not only ok, it’s celebrated. And when you’re part of a community where you feel seen and accepted just as you are, something remarkable happens: transformation.
Invictus Martial Arts is co-owned by two Avery Ranch residents, Dave Hackbarth and Selynda Garza. “It’s been our honor and pleasure to be able to help so many of our neighbors become the best versions of themselves through training in the martial arts”, says Mrs. Garza.
This month, Invictus celebrates 3 years of transforming lives through the martial arts.
In those 3 years, about a third of the members that have joined Invictus hail from the Avery Ranch neighborhood. Here’s what a few of them have to say about being a part of the Invictus family:
Olivia E.: “I like Invictus because it’s a fun way to learn kickboxing. Also it is a great community of people in the neighborhood.”
Nikhil S.: “I like going to Invictus class because I get to learn mixed martial arts which is fun and a good form of exercise.”
Arjun B.: “My parents say I am more confident than ever. Invictus has played a large role in that. I love my classes, coaches, and the energy in the room.”
Ethan S.: “I enjoy practicing martial arts and making new friends. And dad jokes.”
Livy S.: “It’s great to be able to attend class, exercise, learn, and build friendship with my peers.”
Maggie H.: “Kindness, discipline and strength are the words that, for me, best describe Invictus. I enjoy every single class I go to.”
Ganesh M.: “By joining Invictus, I’m proud to see my daughter grow from a timid kiddo to a more self-confident individual who can protect herself. While I originally tagged along to give her company, these days I look forward to every class myself for another day of fun filled learning experience.”
Jonah H.: “I enjoy being able to help others and be able to get away from the days stresses. Invictus has helped me with strength and courage in ways I am ever grateful for.”
Sarah M.: “I get compliments when I do something good; that boosts my self-confidence to give my best. The instructors are really kind and not very strict. I get to learn how to fight and I love it.”
Dhiya M.: “I like being active and moving my body. It’s totally fun.”
Jude G.: “I like Invictus because it is a place to train and work out with friends and family. Being at Invictus has helped with getting to know the community better and has helped with my strength. And I can’t wait to see where this leads me in the future.”
Ready to join our martial arts community? It’s easy to GET STARTED.
Have you ever wondered: isn’t all martial arts fitness? Or all martial arts essentially do the same thing, right? Sadly, no. In fact, some martial arts styles are great for fitness! But, martial arts styles aren’t all created equally.
And this is particularly true regarding fitness and conditioning.
We believe that all martial arts styles have merit and value. They’re all beneficial in some way. And what you receive from training really depends on your goal. If your goal is fitness and conditioning, you truly need to understand the philosophy of the instructors and coaches.
Why? Because our experience has found that some martial arts styles are better equipped than others when it comes to fitness and conditioning. This becomes even more apparent when you want to develop strength, stamina, agility, power, leverage, efficiency, and durability.
So, if you’re like us and want to truly receive all the fitness benefits that martial arts has to offer, here are three things to consider:
Tradition vs Innovation
Every martial art in existence today has a rich history of lineage with some dating back thousands of years. But to truly be beneficial to you today, it HAS to adapt. No exceptions.
A typical solution to a traditional martial art that has found itself slowly becoming less and less relevant is to add a combative style of training to the base curriculum. This can look like a very traditional style deciding to add Krav Maga for self-defense or even a cardio-based class to the schedule. This “add-on” approach is a great choice for some but doesn’t genuinely create a habit of a fitness-focused lifestyle.
In recent years, a more innovative approach to martial arts has been widely adopted in professional competitive sports. Modern martial arts styles understand that every session needs to smartly incorporate a mindset of practice and even create accountability to help you achieve your goals.
It should come as no surprise that most if not all professionals today choose these modern styles of martial arts when performing competitively. Additionally, you don’t have to want to compete professionally or even want to fight at all to benefit from training like Conor McGregor, Buakaw Banchamek, or Gordon Ryan. As a matter of fact, you can’t go wrong finding a good instructor or coach to help you learn a more modern fitness-based martial art. So, go try a class for FREEand see if you like it!
Isolation vs Integration
Traditional martial arts are well known for isolated movements which only target one primary muscle group at a time. So, if your goal is to develop ridiculously amazing psoas muscles (also known as your hip flexors), then a more traditional martial art may be right for you! Additionally, seniors may find it more challenging since these more isolated movements can put undue stress on joints.
Fortunately, modern martial arts put more emphasis on total-body synergistics for complete muscle integration. Modern martial arts comprehensive training always gives you more benefit and value by targeting muscular kinetic chains. In fact, during a typical training session at Invictus, you can expect to effectively condition your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, lats, delts, traps, pecs, and more.
Choreography vs Performance
Everyone knows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is so much to be admired in the fluid, choreographed sequences of patterns of martial arts. It really is beauty in motion!
But in today’s world, choreographed movements like katas/forms have little if anything to do with real-world application. Today, people like you want to know, “Will this protect me?”
Modern martial arts help condition us for chaos and give us the power to do something about it.
Fitness is your potential for performance. Conditioning is putting your potential to work with the physical and mental ability to perform. By focusing on fitness in training then conditioning for unpredictability, you’re not only making yourself more metabolically resilient but cognitively flexible as well.
As you can see, all martial arts have value but AREN’T the same. This is especially true with fitness goals. What matters most is that you find a solution to help you accomplish your goals and coaches who are as committed to your success as you are. So, when you’re ready, come TRY A CLASS FOR FREE and we’ll be happy to partner with you to help you accomplish your goals!
Traditionally, learning martial arts has been limited to In-Person classes. Fortunately, interactive technologies now allow us to share the martial arts experience with a broader audience through virtual learning.
Our experience shows that children and adults can consistently advance in the development of their martial arts skills through virtual learning. In fact, experts agree that a person training remotely can reach up to 80% proficiency in any given technique.
Here are four benefits of virtual learning through martial arts:
1. Develop Critical Thinking Skills
Virtual training requires thoughtful attention to detail and technique. Without the potential distraction of a bag or partner, virtual learning trains a person like you to focus on their own individual body mechanics to develop better precision of movement.
2. Promote Physical, Mental, And Emotional Health
We can all agree that personal wellness is an important part of life. And training in the martial arts is a great way to get in shape. Understandably, not everyone’s lifestyle allows them to consistently attend scheduled In-Person classes. However, there are several at-home fitness options that a person like you can participate in on your own schedule. Now, these options typically don’t deliver in the way of consistent motivation and noticeable progress. Fortunately, virtual martial arts training delivers the convenience of training remotely while also promoting personal progress through belt rank progression.
3. Encourage A Sense Of Community And Connection
Remotely training with other like-minded individuals always helps build a sense of friendship and community. Of course, when In-Person social interactions are limited, virtual training with others provides an excellent opportunity to develop relationships with people who are pursuing similar goals.
4. Demonstrate The Importance Of Persevering Through Obstacles
The unexpected happens in life and it often has the potential to change everything we’ve come to accept as normal including how we train in the martial arts. However, virtual training provides an opportunity to embrace these challenges and confidently move forward with our personal development while avoiding potential setbacks.
You’re invited to CONTACT US today to experience how training with Invictus Martial Arts can personally benefit you.
At Invictus Martial Arts we a mixed martial art style of kickboxing called K-1 Kickboxing. Now, we don’t know about you but some people have wondered…
What is K-1 Kickboxing?
K-1 is a modern martial art that was first conceptualized in 1980 and started in Japan as a competition. It eventually became popularized as a world sport by 1993.
K-1 Kickboxing is a stand-up martial art that initially combined karate, kickboxing (Dutch, Savate, Muay Thai, and Western), and kung fu (hence, the “K”). The “1” resembles the combative element of the style which sought to find the best of the best through competition.
At Invictus Martial Arts, you can earn multiple ranks of black belt in K-1 Kickboxing in a safe and fun training environment. Invictus members also benefit from practicing MMA grappling and learning Gracie Combatives (Jiu-Jitsu).
All of our memberships are geared towards training in community which means that families who belong always save more.
Perhaps you or a person you know would benefit from building strength, having a lot of fun, and learning very practical self-defense. If so, we would be honored to have them join us for a FREE class this month!
Invictus Martial Arts premier training facility is located at the SW corner of N. Lake Creek Pkwy. and Lakeline Mall Dr. across from the Lakeline Super Target in Northwest Austin.