Goju-Shorei Systems

Martial Arts for the 21st Century

Most, if not all, martial arts systems have some kind of time requirement for grading to the next belt. At the lower levels (kyu) it might be just a couple of months before the student is allowed to test again. 

At black belt (dan) the time between tests is measured in years. A typical time in grade is; 2 years between first and second degree, 3 years between second and third degree, 4 years between third and forth degree, etc. So if a person achieved their 1stdegree black belt at 18 they couldn’t test for their 4thdegree until they were 27. 

There are of course exceptions; a person may be promoted because of their contribution to the martial arts, new organizational responsibilities, new teaching assignments, or exceptional talent.

What is the reason for time in grade?

  1. It takes a certain period of time to fully hone the techniques, basics and katas of the curriculum of the new rank, as well as maintaining the skills of all of the previous ranks. As the student moves up in rank they have more to learn and more to perfect. The student should be working very hard to become more skilled at all levels during the time in grade, and not just coasting until it is time for the next test.
  2. It takes time, a lot of time, to become a good teacher. The higher the rank the more skill that is required to teach the higher level students. I strongly believe this is the most important reason for time in grade.

Use the time in grade to explore, polish and sharpen every aspect of your art.

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