Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Nia Belt System

Posted by terrepruitt on July 4, 2009

I feel I need to clarify something.  I keep seeing these great articles on the internet about Nia.  They are so great I get excited and I want to share them, until I get to the part where it says something like, “Nia students work through levels akin to martial arts and the different belts”.  This is where my enthusiasm for the article dies.  To me this makes it sound like a participant of Nia™ has to earn a belt in order to participate.

Nia is a workout.  A person can go to a Nia class every day and workout and never have to think about belt levels.  Belt levels never come into play during a workout.  Nia as a workout is so beneficial you may never want to progress to anything beyond that.  Think of it like yoga, you can go to a yoga class every day and never have to participate in the meditation or yoga life-style of a yogi or yogini.

My Nia White Belt and my manual

My Nia White Belt and my manual

 IF someone is interested in learning more about Nia, aside from what the book and the DVDs, the classes, and the workshops have to offer, one can participate in an “Intensive”.  THIS is where the belts come into play.  Each intensive is about 40 hours of intenseness.  There is lectures and movement and workouts.  There are five belts.  Anyone can participate in the intensive, but they must be taken in order White, Blue, Brown, Black.  And they require a year in between each belt.

Each of the four belts mentioned has principles.  There are 13 principles for each belt, each belt also has a focus.

I am sure you noticed that I mentioned five belts but only named four, that is because one of the five belts is Green Belt.  Green Belt is newly added and it is for teachers.  So while any one can take an White, Blue, Brown, or Black belt intensive only teachers can take the green.  That is because Green is focused on assisting teachers.  It is just another aspect of the continuing education that Nia offers and recommends.
 
So, again I will say, anyone can participate in Nia as a workout and that is great and that is fine.  You will gain many, many benefits from it.  No one has to think about belts and the levels.  Only if you are interested in making Nia a practice and learning more about it do you need to even think about the belts.  Just come and enjoy the way your body feels during and after a Nia workout.  Then if you arrive at wanting more you will do so . . . in your own time . . . in your own way.

3 Responses to “Nia Belt System”

  1. Belts in most arts seem somewhat odd to me. There is so much that can be learned in parallel, yet we either only recognize accomplishment when a number of often unrelated prerequisites are filled or do not allow the student to learn in parallel at all.

    Militaries worldwide and scouting use such systems with badges and other sorts of decoration.

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    • Ok, I honestly don’t know a lot about “belts” in martial arts. I thought that a certain skill set was learned, then a test was taken to see if the person qualified for the belt, then more learning, more test . . . and so on. Yes? I think I understand what you are saying, it is almost like school where you can take a test and pass and not really know the material?

      With Nia, I believe, it is more of just a way to signify where you are in your practice. Nia is a workout that can be a practice, if you want it to be a workout it is, if you want to take it further and make it a practice it is. I just didn’t want people who were interested in a different form of working out, thinking that they had to get involved in the belts.

      As I stated, one must wait a year between each belt. I feel that if you are interested enough to participate in the White Belt Intensive, you are willing to see what it is about and abide by the one year wait. Once you participate in the intensive I think you would see why it is easy to need a whole year in between each intensive. The principles that we are introduced to can easlily take a year to work with and work on. So in Nia I think it is a little different than martial arts. Its more of a personal journey than a physical test. And since it is a personal journey it is understood that you will travel at your own speed in your own natural time. Nia just has classes (“Intensives”) with different belts that you can take to introduce you to different concepts and assist you on your journey.

      Now, I don’t mean to sound mysterious because there is a science to Nia and how we move during a workout, but there is also that body-mind connection that a lot of people are not connected to. So, to me that always makes it sound mysterious . . . and different because a lot of people are not accustom to it.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

      In case you didn’t see it, but you are interested, here is the link to my 13 White Belt Principles: https://terrepruitt.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/nia-or-nia-technique-is-a-specific-practice/

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  2. johnpruitt said

    The karate kid said it best:

    Daniel: “Hey What kind of belt do you have?”
    Mr. Miyagi: “Canvas. You like? J.C. Penny. $3.98”

    Like

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