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Karate Promotion Protocol

Martial art teachers use a variety of common practices for student advancement. In our dojos, we teach and develop people as they are, whatever their initial state of body, mind and spirit, and train them according to their capacity to learn.

It is natural that some are ready for promotion to the next rank sooner and some later. We believe this has nothing to do with level of intelligence. Some students require more help with body coordination, some require additional practice in following directions, some may require growth in confidence and/or bravery, and some may need greater repetition, either through more practice at home and/or attending additional training opportunities each week.

The first several ranks received in our dojos are field promotions. As soon as we recognize that a student has achieved the required minimum expectations for one of those ranks, we promote them, usually on the spot. Even if only one student is ready for promotion, we seldom require them to wait.

Some martial art instructors test a whole class and then promote the entire class at once. We do not promote students in that manner. We prefer to move students up and into a new part of the curriculum as soon as they are ready. We also allow the students that require more time the opportunity to develop, so when they do advance, there is no question in their minds (or in the minds of their class mates) about whether or not they earned the rank and position.

We interact with martial artists from around the world who excel at their craft. To maintain our own reputation for excellence, our students must achieve a proficiency level worthy of their next rank before we promote them to that level.

Candidates for testing at each rank are expected to exhibit the following:

  1. Respect and correct etiquette.
  2. A humble yet indomitable spirit.
  3. The ability to demonstrate an understanding of the techniques required for the rank they are pursuing.
  4. An ability to explain those techniques to others.
  5. Administrative responsibility (in the beginning, administrative responsibility entails having their student packet and a karate notebook with them.
  6. A noticeable contribution to the martial art brothers and sisters with whom they train. (How they encourage others, how they set an example of being a good student, demonstrating leadership and other behaviors can reflect contribution to the group.)

Expectations for junior students are age-appropriate, but create a smooth transition when it is time to transfer into a more mature and serious-minded class.

Our methods differ from those of some other martial art instructors, but we strive to provide a method of development that focuses on people, rather than on a business model. The powerful potency potential of the students IS our business model.