BELT RANKING SYSTEM
We use a traditional karate belt ranking system to identify students’ current level and experience in karate.
The purpose of the belt rank system, traditionally, is to demonstrate progressive levels of proficiency and seniority in the skills of Karate-do and also to distinguish beginner from advanced students. This system also provides an opportunity for students to set short and long-term goals. Each time a new belt is earned, a positive reinforcement loop is activated and motivates the students to continue personal growth. This encourages students to push themselves and teaches them how to reach goals. Another benefit of this belt system is establishing a hierarchy of command from senior students to beginner students. This hierarchy instills a feeling of pride and achievement in each belt attained and also develops the student’s social skills. By learning to give and take orders, students at any level or age group learn cooperation as well as leadership qualities and skills. Furthermore, students learn that in order to be respected, one must respect others (beginners respecting seniors, and vice-versa).
Black Stripes – are earned regularly each testing if a student demonstrates the necessary physical and technical requirements needed for a certain level. Three black stripes are needed in order to progress to the next belt
Red Stripes – are special stripe earned when a student takes pride in their school work and demonstrates a positive attitude at school. This can be as simple as participating in class discussions, completing homework assignments on time, respecting the teacher and other members of the class etc. To receive the Red Stripe, students must bring their report card to the dojo and show an instructor. If the instructor agrees that the student has shown exempliary behavior/work-ethic at school, a red stripe will be issued.
Green Stripes – are a rarely earned, special stripe that are awarded to students who have taken initiative on their own, outside of the dojo, to do something charitable for society.
*Please Note – All patches must be sewn to the left sleeve of the gi, just underneath the shoulder’s hem.*
Each patch represents a character trait that is essential to for success in karate:
Attendance Patch – This patch is awarded to students who rarely (if ever) miss a class. Attendance is necessary for success. How can one be expected to learn a certain technique, if they are absent when the technique is being taught? The students who show up to every class, are the ones that go the furthest in karate.
Effort Patch – The first step to success is attending as many classes as possible. After attending classes regularly, a decision must be made: Will you put in your maximum effort into the training, or instead just give 50%? To be the best that one can be, 100% effort must be given. To be reach only 50% of one’s potential, only 50% is required. Nothing good comes easy, and the more effort that is put into training will produce a more positive result.
Modesty Patch – This kanji symbol is synonymous with ‘respect’. To a have modest attitude is to embody what karate is all about. Karate-ka are known for being humble in their demeanor, but also having a silent confidence in themselves. Boasting has no place in the dojo. Technique will speak for itself. Instead of wasting energy boasting about one’s accomplishments, karate-ka put that effort into training and improving even more.
Leadership Patch – This patch is given to those who go above and beyond expectations in the dojo and demonstrate leadership qualities each class. This can be done by combining physical/technical knowledge, exemplifying strong character, and showing compassion and kindness to those who are new to the dojo and offering assistance. All of these actions are what is needed to earn a leadership patch. Leaders set a positive example for others to follow.