In traditional martial arts there are three belt colors to show rank: white, brown, and black. New students wear a white belt and are told it is bad luck to wash their belt. The more they practice, the dirtier it gets until the belt is brown. As they continue to practice, their hard work is reflected in a belt that has become so weathered by practice it is black. Still, the student practices and their belt begins to fray at the edges, revealing the white threads within. Even at the rank of black belt, the master knows there is much more to learn. There will be times when he or she is again a student learning from a master.
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