It's not directly on point, but I thought it'd be ok to ask here all you guys who actually practice a martial art: what is the real deal with the black belt designation? It's obviously supposed to mark a very high level of expertise in a given art, but what I don't understand is how people who look like they struggle to put their socks on or kids are given black belts. I read all the time how some prodigy 10-year-old kid who played clarinet with an orchestra at the age of 5 also has a black belt in karate. Is it a joke? Shouldn't you have to display a level of strength and stamina simply beyond capability of a prepubescent kid? Also, are black belts exclusive domain of a particular teaching school or are they regulated by some outside associations to provide uniformity and objectivity, which would perhaps explain why they seem to be given out so randomly, if the former. Thanks for shedding any light on the subject.