Rank Examination Protocols

  • Once a student has been asked to test, it is up to the student to ensure he/she knows all the requirements listed for the belt exam. The Sensei may ask a student to test based on several factors, such as his/her spirit, time in training, daily training effort or special circumstances not understood or known to the student. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure he/she knows the requirements listed. If the student does not know a technique listed on the requirements, contact the Sensei and he will arrange for it to be taught or he may waive that requirement for the exam. It would be inappropriate for a student to tell the Sensei they are not ready to test. The student should learn to trust his/her instructor’s decision and realize that Sensei may be pushing the student to better themselves. The student should, however, discuss their concerns or fears about testing with the Sensei so that they may feel better about the decision.

  • The student’s written portion of the exam will be due the day of the test and must be submitted both digitally and as a printed copy. The written paper for the exam is an essential part of the test and allows the Test Board to get a better understanding of the student’s thoughts and ideas. It should be taken seriously and effort should be put into it just as if it were a required kata or kihon. The paper may be put on the dojo website and may be read by people from around the world. Research may be required for some paper topics. Students are encouraged to use the library or dojo book collection for reference material.

  • Students testing for 4th kyu and below are required to have a brown belt mentor to assist in preparation for the test. If testing for 3rd – 1st kyu or a black belt rank the mentor must be a black belt of higher rank than what the student is testing for. The mentor should be someone that the test candidate feels comfortable with and who can help him/her understand what is expected on the test. Mentors should review all the test material, ippon work and discuss the written topic with the test candidate. If the test candidate cannot find a mentor, he/she should notify an instructor no less then one (2) week prior to the rank exam.

  • The testing fee should be paid prior to taking the rank examination. If the student is unable to test, cannot complete the test or does not pass the examination, the testing fee will be refunded to the student. The testing fee only covers materials used on the test and does not include any materials, such as boards or breaks, that may be used in the preparation of the test. Additional fees may be required for those items.

  • The test candidate is responsible for finding a partner to use on the exam for self-defense and application (bunkai) work required for the test. The partner should be a current member of the dojo and approximately the same belt rank.

  • The test candidate must try to avoid using his/her class time to work with the partner. They should try and arrange times before or after class to train for the test. If you are asked to be a partner on a belt test, it is considered a high honor. It signifies your fellow Karate-ka think you can help them look good on their belt examination and that they trust you to be an important part of their promotion. The partner on a belt exam should take this responsibility seriously and train hard to help the test candidate perform at their very best.