About Testing

We were all white belts at one time.

Advancing through the rank system is an important part of how we gauge progress in our training. There have
been many questions lately about the rank testing and promotion process. My hope is to answer some of these questions and to relieve some anxieties.

Testing Announcements

After approximately three to four months of training a new student may begin to expect to see his or her name appear on the list posted on the bulletin board as well as on the website under “testing.”

This timeframe may vary based on many factors including:

  • attendance
  • behavior
  • motivation in training

When a student’s name appears on the promotion list it means that the student has covered the required material and has demonstrated the proper attributes required for advancement. A student should check their name on the list for the correct spelling as this is how the name will appear on the promotion certificate and in the record of promotions.

Promotions Fees

Once a parent feels that their child is also demonstrating improvements outside of the dojo they may pay the promotion fee. The student will not be tested until the promotion fee is paid. This fee should not be paid if the student is not living up to the expectations at school and at home. Once the fee is paid the students name will be highlighted indicating that the student, parent and myself are all in agreement the student should advance. Promotion fees cover administrative costs for certificate and records management as well as the belt procurement.

Testing Requirements

Once the student’s name has been highlighted the student may be pulled aside at anytime for testing. During the testing the student will be required to demonstrate the basic techniques and associated terms that are required for the promotion.

In addition to the terms and techniques the student will also demonstrate the katas (or “forms”) that are required for their rank. The student will be tested on everything up to their rank. For example, if a student is testing for blue belt the student is required to know everything from yellow belt up to blue belt.

What Determines the Time Frame From One Rank to the Next

The higher one advances through the ranks the more proficient the student is required to be in all techniques and katas. This may result in longer time at one particular rank or level. For example, the time frame from one colored belt to another is usually measured in months but brown belts rarely pass from one level or another in less than a year. Black belts measure their time in a grade or rank by years. It takes decades of training, research, teaching and promoting the art to reach levels of mastery above black belt.