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126barnes
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 29 Oct 2015
Posts: 46
Location: Canada
Styles: Kenpo Karate

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:42 pm    Post subject: Belt test Reply with quote

currently training for my brown belt test. Test to include the following :

Kicks and punches in air and on bag.
Kata, kata by attackers and kata with Attackers. So 10 katas 3 times each
2 on 1 fight against black belts (3) 2 min rounds. Funny enough no shortage of BB volunteers for this one.
Physical test. Push up, chin ups, pull overs, crunches, etc.

told it will take 4-5 hours.

Wondering how this compares to to other brown belt test.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15712
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Belt test Reply with quote

126barnes wrote:
currently training for my brown belt test. Test to include the following :

Kicks and punches in air and on bag.
Kata, kata by attackers and kata with Attackers. So 10 katas 3 times each
2 on 1 fight against black belts (3) 2 min rounds. Funny enough no shortage of BB volunteers for this one.
Physical test. Push up, chin ups, pull overs, crunches, etc.

told it will take 4-5 hours.

Wondering how this compares to to other brown belt test.

To me, this appears to be a common brown belt testing cycle; a general test in todays MA school.

Good luck, hang in there, have fun, relax, and practice!!



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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2292
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At my school we have a 2 hour grading to be promoted up to 1st kyu (brown belt is 2nd kyu). Unless 3rd kyu & 2nd kyu's attend a black belt grading for their promotion which then it is 4-6 hours.

Our two hour grading comprises of a warm up, kihon (basics), kihon (combinations), kata (up to their belt kata + 1 extra), pre-arranged sparring (includes bunkai for adults) and then kumite (approx 10 3 min rounds)
Kumite includes awase kumite and point sparring, adults 1st kyu up get light sparring (like point sparring but more contact and more techniques allowed).

Our black belt gradings encompass above, BUT more of them of varing degree of difficulty. So can be either really easy or really difficult. Kumite you have to be able to do 15-20 rounds 3-4 mins length each. Awase, point & light will be done.
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Montana
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 827
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: Belt test Reply with quote

126barnes wrote:
Wondering how this compares to to other brown belt test.


The last student I promoted to brown went this way. I watched him for the past 2 years of training, saw where he was at at the belt prior to brown belt (we have 3 brown belts), and decided he deserved his first brown belt.

I called him out at the end of class, opened my briefcase and handed him a certificate and belt for 3rd kyu.

Simple, huh? No pushups (they do those every class anyway), no massive kata drills (these do kata every class anyway), and no sparring (they do that most classes anyway).

Esentially, that student had been testing weekly (every class) for the past 2 YEARS!

Personally, I don't see a point in a "formal" testing process like you described.
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The Pred
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 385

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think either way is fine. I mean if you have a small dojo not part of any organization or hombu then the CI can keep a better eye one students. However, if you're part of a large organization then perhaps a testing should be in order.


Just my two cents
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chiliphil1
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Posts: 225


PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Belt test Reply with quote

Montana wrote:
126barnes wrote:
Wondering how this compares to to other brown belt test.


The last student I promoted to brown went this way. I watched him for the past 2 years of training, saw where he was at at the belt prior to brown belt (we have 3 brown belts), and decided he deserved his first brown belt.

I called him out at the end of class, opened my briefcase and handed him a certificate and belt for 3rd kyu.

Simple, huh? No pushups (they do those every class anyway), no massive kata drills (these do kata every class anyway), and no sparring (they do that most classes anyway).

Esentially, that student had been testing weekly (every class) for the past 2 YEARS!

Personally, I don't see a point in a "formal" testing process like you described.


This is how my new dojo does it, sort of. You have to as 2 seniors to watch you and if they feel that you are good they will tell the CI and then he will watch you and that's it. No formal tests, they see what you do in class and if you've got it they know it. I really really like this system and I think it's much better than the normal method. Not sure how it works at the BB level, he's never had a student make it that far, but there are 2 which are now 2nd kyu and should be doing it fairly soon.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2442
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the method Montana describes and with a formal test. The only wrong way to promote someone is to give them a rank they don't deserve, simply because they paid their dues and put in time.

I personally love to be tested formally. I don't look at it as a test, per se; I look at it as a hard workout. Get out there, do what I know, have my CI take me out of my comfort zone, and my senpais push me hard.

I've never been promoted without a test. I'm not sure how I'd feel, to be honest. At my current and former dojo, we weren't allowed to ask to promote. Our CI tells/told us when we are/were ready to test. If I'm asked to test, that means that I'll be promoted unless I do something very stupid during the test. Stupid consists of being outright disrespectful, giving up, or totally freezing up and no one can get me to do anything right. Hasn't ever happened to me.

Gradings at honbu and the like are probably more of a test for the CI than the students actually testing. Heads of organizations and seniors at honbu know which dojo students are from. Students who have no business being there are a reflection on their CI's credibility and teaching IMO.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Belt/rank tests are as arbitrary as the belts themselves. The only thing that is of any relevance is whether or not the candidate has improved and progressed in skills and understanding of what said person trains.

Having a formal grading ceremony following hours of intense drills and kata to exhaustion does not make one grading more meaningful than another. Like many other things about martial arts, there is no standard way of conducting a test or grading and the is an immense scope of variety from dojo to dojo. Even within the same style or organization. It depends entirely on the instructor in charge.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1873
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Belt test Reply with quote

Montana wrote:
126barnes wrote:
Wondering how this compares to to other brown belt test.


The last student I promoted to brown went this way. I watched him for the past 2 years of training, saw where he was at at the belt prior to brown belt (we have 3 brown belts), and decided he deserved his first brown belt.

I called him out at the end of class, opened my briefcase and handed him a certificate and belt for 3rd kyu.

Simple, huh? No pushups (they do those every class anyway), no massive kata drills (these do kata every class anyway), and no sparring (they do that most classes anyway).

Esentially, that student had been testing weekly (every class) for the past 2 YEARS!

Personally, I don't see a point in a "formal" testing process like you described.


I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately. Why do we subject students to testing? Is it simply because of tradition? We know they're ready. We often hear, and say, that a sensei would not be testing a student if they did not believe in their readiness. If we only test those we feel are deserving, ready, and (most importantly) capable of passing, then why do we test? It's an interesting topic and one that I think deserves deeper consideration.

That being said, those requirements are fairly standard and seems to be the same ones (more or less) that I was held to when I tested for that rank. Good luck!
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps one reason why testing and gradings and ceremonies exist is that they are a way for the students to attach some kind of tangible value and be recognized for their efforts. In short it is a reward, just like the belt and fancy paper certificate.

Students need this to feel that they have achieved something. It is somewhat akin to free instruction versus instruction for a fee. People always value something more if it is presented as a reward.

An experienced and trained instructor may be able to see even the slightest improvement, but the student often does not notice or realize it unless he is explicitly told how, what and where these are. For many, if not most this translates to doubting one's progress.
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