You start as a white belt, as in most martial arts’ systems, including the Israeli, and then: yellow, orange, green, blue, brown and ultimately the coveted black belt; in other words, six very distinctive and noteworthy levels of achievement. It is conventional wisdom, as with most legitimite Krav Maga systems, that once attaining a green belt (or level three) that one’s Krav Maga skills are starting to truly take shape; however, even from day one of your training, you essentially are a Kravist!
Yes, you may see various Krav systems’ general outlines regarding numbers of classes attended equating to belt requirement/testing scenarios, but intuitively, I do not believe in this; as I have always held to the fact that skill truly matters, and I am not just talking about curriculum requirements, but: attitude, natural and technical ability, conceptual awareness of real fighting and the philosophical understanding of the flow in any kind of assault, whether it be hand-to-hand, multiple attackers, weapons of various natures, etc., which of course takes time, especially for the 90% of the world that are not instinctive and true fighters.
I make very clear to all students, when awarded the following belts, that generally: yellow/you possibly can escape an assault; orange/probably; green/definitely; blue/fight two attackers, or one with ability; brown/two skilled, even taken to the ground; and lastly, for me black belt is “Zen”, one’s individual path to fighting excellence; incorporating accurately, your best total attributes. This may even including offensive knife abilities, stick work, gun skills, multiple attackers, etc., whatever is found in one’s personal make-up, to truly maximize innate intelligence and survival skills.
And, keeping in mind that I have friends with vast street-fighting (including prison) skills, that are as dangerous, even more so, as any high-ranking belt in whatever martial arts system!
90% will believe and the other 10% will definitely know.