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All new karate ka start with a white belt. Testing usually takes place every three months with under 16's testing for a stripe belt before moving up to a full color. The under 16 students only need to know the first half of their alloted kata while adults need to know the full kata.

  • White to Purple Belt
    At this level, the rank advancement is every 3 months, except when moving up from 5th kyu, then it becomes every six months.
    From 5th kyu to 4th kyu an American flag is added first then a Japanese flag. Heian Yondan and then Heian Godan are the katas for this level. Students are expected to learn the Bunkai for these levels and are asked to demonstrate their levels of knowledge at the belt test.
    This is the level in karate when the 'drop-out' level rises in the students. As the intensity of training continues to escallate.

  • Brown Belt
    Again, a flag will be added to the belt every six months proving the karate-ka attains the required level of competence. Above this point the 'drop-out' rate is somewhat smaller, but still less than half those who achieve 3rd Kyu will eventually reach black belt.
    Katas for brown belt are Tekki Shodan and Bassai Dai.

  • Black Belt
  • Wearing a black belt is a great privilege, and carries a deal of responsibility. Fewer than 1 in 10000 people ever try their hand at a martial art. For every 1000 people who do begin Karate, fewer than 50 will achieve a Dan grade.Most will drop out before they achieve a senior grade (senior grades are 3rd Kyu - brown belt - and above).
    The black belt test usually takes place not less than 6 months after a passing grade 1st kyu. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, a Shodan Ho will be awarded. The Shodan candidate is expected to know every kata from Taikyoku Shodan up as well as any kata selected from an approved list which can include Kanku Dai, Enpi, and Jion.


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