Black Belt Requirements

…a man strives initially in the martial arts to become a “Black Belt” in karate to learn to fight. But as his training progresses he should become aware of a stronger calling, the molding of himself into a better person, not only in fighting ability but also in dignity and honor. This has traditionally been the goal of the martial arts student. The black belt is an award or honor given to the modern knight or samurai who has sacrificed many hours in disciplining and honing his body and mind to achieve the epitome of physical and mental attainment. The black belt is the symbol of an expert.

Originally, the ranking system was established to provide a series of levels by which students could measure their progress. The first black belt awarded for karateka is known as a “Sho-dan”.

This means the student has mastered the basics of the art and is now ready for a more advanced form of training.

by Master Hidetaka Nishiyama

The Black Belt is your goal as a student.  You have learned the basics and are now ready to become an advanced student, then to begin sharing your skills with the younger and weaker.

The Black Belt test is by Sensei recommendation only, and is conducted in front of a panel of judges.  You must demonstrate at least 30 self-defense and 30 one-step moves, along with 10 kata, sparring, and the entire curriculum. This is the final rank listed in this curriculum sequence and may take many years to be prepared for.  Please find below a PDF link containing the final requirements for your black belt.

BROWN TO BLACK BELT CURRICULUM SEPT 2015 Updated 1-6-2018

Brown Belt Requirements

Brown Belt is the first belt tested in front of a panel of sensei’s – not just Sensei Tope.  Sensei will have to recommend you to test, and it may be 18 months or longer as a Red belt, depending on the students skill, maturity and dedication.  By this level, the student should be able to demonstrated 20 self-defense and 20 one-step techniques, earning the ‘Self Defense’ merit badge.  Regular sparring is required, and attending at least one tournament a year is required.  At Tournament, we suggest you demonstrate your open hand kata, weapons kata,  and sparring skills, as all these will be required at your Brown Belt test.

You may find the complete Brown Belt requirements at the PDF link below:

RED TO BROWN BELT CURRICULUM SEPT 2015 Updated 1-6-2018

Red Belt to Brown Belt Self-Defense

Red to Brown Belt One-Steps

 

Empty Hand Kata #8 – Heian Godan

This video does not show a few of the recent changes.

 

Wushu Broadsword Kata #2 (32 Step)

 

Wushu Staff Kata#2

 

Tiger Tornado Broadsword Kata – Courteousy of Team Theiss

 

Red Belt Requirements

Red Belt is the final belt before the Brown and Black belt testing.  Progression to Red Belt may take several semesters as the student has more complex material to learn and must practice at home to learn and memorize the one-steps, katas, self-defense and more.  To enter Red Belt level, the student should be demonstrating Heian Yondan kata and several weapons katas.  By this point they should be able to demonstrate over 20 different striking techniques, earning their Striking merit badge.  You may find the complete Red Belt requirements at the PDF link below.

ORANGE TO RED BELT CURRICULUM SEPT 2015 Updated 1-6-2018

 

Red Belt Self-Defense

Red Belt One-Steps

 

Straight Sword Kata embusen

– Straight sword kata instructions.

 

Straight Sword Kata Video

 

Wushu Fan 2 Video

 

Empty Hand Kata #6 – Heian Sandan Video

 

Empty Hand Kata #7 – Heian Yondan Video

 

 

 

Orange Belt Requirements

Orange belt begins preparation for the Brown and Black belt testing.  By this level, the student should be sparring regularly and must have a full face headgear in addition to their hands, feet, chest, mouth and cup.   By this level the student should be able to demonstrate 20 kicks and 20 blocks, earning their Kicking and Blocking merit badges.  They will also be progressing into the Heian series of open hand katas. You may find the complete requirements for Orange Belt below in PDF format.

PURPLE TO ORANGE CURRICULUM SEPT 2015 Updated 1-6-18

 

Empty Hand Kata #4 – Heian Shodan

Empty Hand Kata #4 – Heian Shodan – Mirror Image

Mirror image is great to practice in front of the TV as long as the TV subject is facing you.  It does not work well when the TV subject has their back to you.

 

Wushu Staff Kata #1

Wushu Staff Kata Embusen (Map)

– Written Instructions for Staff kata 1.

 

Wushu Staff Kata #1 – Mirror Image.

Mirror image is great to practice in front of the TV as long as the TV subject is facing you.  It does not work well when the TV subject has their back to you.

 

Empty Hand Kata #5 – Heian Nidan

This video shows front view only.

 

 

 

Purple to Orange Belt One-Steps

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Belt Requirements

 

Purple belt begins the Advanced karate studies and can take several more semesters study beyond Blue belt.  Blue belt students working toward Purple belt will begin to learn controlled falling techniques – ukemi – and earn their ‘falls’ merit badge. During Blue belt the student is also expected to know full uniform care including tying the belt and will earn their Uniform merit badge.  They also begin learning ‘one steps‘ – real world techniques to stop an attacker from hitting them.  Please find the full curriculum below in PDF format including the required Kata, Self Defense and One Steps.

BLUE TO PURPLE BELT CURRICULUM SEPT 2015 Updated 1-6-2018

Taikyoku Nidan Embusen (Map) – Refer to the karate workbook pages 112 and 113.  Taikyoku Nidan is the same as Taikyoku Shodan except moves 6, 7, 8, 14, 15 & 16 are high punches.  (Down the middle are high punches).

Empty Hand Kata #3 Taikyoku Sandan –

Embusen (Map).  Note: Taikyoku Sandan is the same as Taikyoku Nidan except outside blocks are in a backstance and are a side block instead of a low block.

Wushu Broadsword Kata #1 Embusen (Map)

– Written instructions for Broadsword 1 kata.

 

The videos linked below should assist your learning.

Wushu Broadsword 1 Kata video

 

Wushu Broadsword 1 Kata video – Mirror Image

– This works well when the TV subject is facing you.  It does not work well when the subjects back is to you.

Purple Belt Self-Defense Video

 

Purple Belt One-Steps Video

 

 

Blue Belt Requirements

To advance to Blue Belt, students will need to master basic curriculum, six self-defense breakaways, their first empty hand kata (Taikyoku Shodan embusen is available in the workbook) and Staff Kata 1 (or previously Fan Kata 1) (Video links available below).   Blue belt progression from green often takes 2, or more semesters to complete, depending on the maturity, focus and at-home practice the student completes. Please find the complete requirements below in PDF format.  Click the link below for a required list of basics to be mastered.

GREEN TO BLUE BELT CURRICULUM SEPT 2015 Updated 1-6-2018

Below is the Green belt to Blue belt curriculum daily practice video.  Self-defense and weapons kata videos are farther down on the page.

The above video is correlated with the green to blue belt curriculum (See above). Number one is the first block, strike and kick on the Belt Rank Curriculum.

Previously, we have had green belts learn Wushu Fan Kata 1. Due to a shortage of quality fans at what we feel is a reasonable price, this semester we will be focusing on Wushu Staff Kata 1. Please view the embedded video below.

Staff Kata One focuses on basic staff moves to prepare for more advanced staff katas.  The above video appears as if you were watching it be performed.

Mirror image can be a great tool for students practicing in front of a monitor or TV.  The student moves the same direction as the picture.

Wushu Staff Kata Embusen (Map) Click on this link for a map of Staff Kata 1.

Note: While we are not formally teaching Fan Kata to students this semester, there are students that have previously worked on fan kata and may want to perform it at tournament.  For this reason, we have left it on the website.

Fan Kata 1

 

Fan Kata 1 – Mirror Image

Students can practice in front of the computer or TV.  This works well when the TV subject is facing you.  It does not work well when the subjects back is to you.

Taikyoku Shodan

(First Empty Hand Kata) Embusen (Map) is available in the Karate Workbook on Pages 112 & 113.  Additional kata information is available on Pgs. 111 – 116.

Wushu Fan Kata Embusen (Map) –

This is the Embusen for Wushu Fan Kata 1.

 

Green Belt Self-Defense

Self-Defense moves to move from Green to Blue belt.

 

 

 

Green Belt Requirements

From Yellow Belt, the student will work to earn their Green Belt.  All the moves are  illustrated in the Karate Workbook, available for order at http://www.mw.activstars.com.  Along the way, the student should earn their Dojo Etiquette merit badge.  Merit badges should be sewn on the right shoulder of the uniform.  Please find the PDF file of the requirements attached below.

YELLOW TO GREEN BELT CURRICULUM SEPT 2015 Updated 1-6-2018

 

Yellow to Green Belt 3 Minute Daily Practice Routine

This video is a review of previous learning.  Students should only practice what has been learned in class.  Students can stand in front of the TV or computer and practice their curriculum in mirror image.