Belt testing is held every other month. For coloured belts up to and including black (1st Dan), it is up to each student to determine when they're ready to test, and to inform their instructor. There are 7 coloured belts: White, Yellow, Green, Orange, Blue, Purple, Red, Brown, and Black. This post outlines where you should be / can expect to be at each belt level.
You are ready to test for a coloured belt when:
- You understand the curriculum as written on the wall, up to and including the belt you are testing for.
- For each technique up to and including the belt you are testing for:
- You don’t need to see the technique demonstrated in order to recall it.
- You can demonstrate the technique at slow, instructional speed while verbally highlighting the salient points.
- You can perform the technique in one continuous motion without losing balance.
You are ready to test for your 1st Degree when:
- You can demonstrate the techniques in the curriculum:
- at normal speed,
- with control, and
- while projecting confidence.
- You are able to play randori (or ‘random’) without blanking or real-time coaching.
You may be considered for a 2nd degree when:
- You have completed at least 2 years as an instructor.
- You can transition when techniques fail during randori.
- You know how to neutralize techniques and achieve reversals.
- You can demonstrate variations on techniques and understand their pros and cons.
- You can gracefully wield at least one weapon.
You may be considered for a 3rd degree when:
- You have demonstrated mastery of the curriculum at slow/instructional speed.
- You can play randori effectively, with confidence and grace.
- You have contributed to the body of knowledge within our club.
- At least one white belt has earned their black belt since you earned yours, and you have participated in their instruction.