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The oldest I'm personally aware of is GM Cacoy Canete of Doce Pares Eskrima/Eskrido - a Filipino martial art. GM Cacoy was born in 1919. I'm guessing there are some older black belts in the world but he is the oldest I'm aware of and there wasn't an answer here yet.

One thing I would request for this subject is that we actually build a list of these "young at heart" black belts. Katsuya Miyahira, 10th Dan, was born on August 8, 1918 in Kaneku Village, Nishihara, Okinawa. He is the head of Shido Kan Shorin Ryu.

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16y ago
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12y ago

There is much discussion as to whether a child can be a black belt. They are certainly capable of executing the moves, however, the level of maturity and physical ability is questionable.

the youngest black belt in karate in Britain is Mark Garry aged 8

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13y ago

There is no central authority for recording who has a black belt (other than the Kukkiwon - see comments below); therefore, no way of knowing who the youngest black belt would be. Some schools will not allow a child to get a black belt until a certain age (which also varies widely among schools).

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According to the promotion regulations at the Kukkiwon, world Taekwondo headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, the youngest age for a Black Belt is 15. Under that it is a Jr. Black Belt called a pum (aka: poom) and they wear a half red, half black belt with similar trim on the collar of the uniform. Nevertheless, many instructors around the world present children with school certificates that call them "Black Belts" and Dan (which is really an adult rank), and let them wear the full Black Belts that is traditionally reserved for adults.

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13y ago

The youngest black belt in the world is Varsha Vinod at five years old.

Sure, and a five year old could take out an adult. Sorry, it may be a provisional black belt or a youth rank, but it isn't a real black belt.

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14y ago

The youngest is about 4 but they don't get treated like a blackbelt until there teens

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8y ago

There is one 10th degree black belt for each style of karate. There is usually at least one sensei that has a 10th degree black belt in each style

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10y ago

Black belts are given in the Japanese arts. Kung fu does not necessarily give out rankings, that is a creation of the American systems.

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13y ago

Grand Master S.U. Lee

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Q: Who has the highest ranking black belt?
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