Most people know that ranks are related to skills in the martial arts, but each person has a level of importance that he or she places upon the meaning of achieving a martial art rank. This makes the meaningfulness of ranks very subjective, which is understandable since the awarding of belt ranks is so subjective within the same school or organization and most certainly within the martial arts in general.
Awarding of rank is the way an instructor acknowledges and recognizes student accomplishment and progression through the martial art curriculum. Rank also signifies a student's position within the hierarchy of a school or organization. As in other areas of life, rank has its privileges, so higher rank students have more prestige within a school or organization. However, as in other areas of life, the significance given to rank is only important within that area; outside that area, rank has little significance. Outside of the martial arts, no one really cares about martial art rank.