Rank testing is a very important and rewarding part of martial arts training. But rank is not the most important aspect of training. LEARNING is!
Rank is awarded based on 3 things:
Ability- How well the student learns and demonstrates the techniques.
Attitude- How well the student listens and behaves in class. The Sensei will instruct and correct students on the proper way to behave in the dojo. It is the students responsibility to listen, learn and adapt their behavior. They are expected to show respect to the Sensei, Sempai, their fellow students and to the dojo. Please see the dojo etiquette sheet for further info on what is expected.
Attendance- Consistent participation in class is crucial to advancement. Everyone's time is valuable and coming to class shows that you are dedicated to learning and that you respect the instructors time and energy in being there to teach you. Of course there will be times when a class has to be missed and that is understandable. (If you are sick, PLEASE stay home and don't spread it!) But if it becomes a habit to miss class, you won't be able to advance at the same rate as the students who choose to sacrifice other activities to dedicate more time and energy to training.
The Sensei will advance the student fairly and on the schedule that he or she judges best for the individual. It is inappropriate etiquette to ask if or when you can test. You may ask if there are any specific things you need to work on to prepare for your next rank. Reaching yellow belt sometimes takes a little longer as the student is new and needs a lot of instruction and practice to build a strong foundation for future techniques. We genuinely care about our students and always want what is best for them. It typically takes an adult student between 3 and 3 ½ years to reach black belt if they attend classes regularly. With the younger students, it will take longer and they will be issued a “Shodan Ho” or junior black belt until they reach the age of 16 at which time they can test for their official Shodan (black belt) rank.
Rank may seem important, but learning the techniques and philosophies correctly, having confidence in your ability to do them effectively, demonstrating a good attitude and good behavior and having good attendance habits are all much more important to ones growth as a true martial artist. There are REAL dojos and there are ones that are “certificate mills”. We are a real dojo. We do not give away or sell rank. Each student must earn it the old fashioned way----with hard work and dedication. Only then will the result exceed the expectation.
We have 8 rank levels to black belt. These are the rank levels and the testing fees (as of January, 2008):
The first two ranks are issued by the dojo. You will receive your belt only.
The remaining ranks are issued by the dojo and are also certified by USJJF. A formal certificate will accompany these ranks.
*Fee is to be paid on the day of testing upon passing the rank test.
copyright 2018, Harbor City Dojo