Black Belt

Earn a Black Belt

So how to earn your black belt. Well, obviously you have to approach your training with diligence and with discipline and with regularity. And training in that way, of course, you’ll go through the earlier ranks of colored belts and perhaps after three years, four years, maybe five years on average you’ll get your black belt. But the black belt is the first level of your real progress and can be where you start refining your technique.

In fact, the first black belt is shogun in Japanese which means the beginning level, literally. You’re building your foundation until you reach that beginning level and I often like getting your shogun to passing your driving test. You’re allowed to go on the road. When you get your shogun, you know, you can say you’ve really practiced karate. You have your basics down to a certain degree. You have your kata, your forms, and your kumite. And you can, you can do it with some proficiency. Training two or three times a week is strongly advised. Obviously, home training as well to develop a little bit more is encouraged.

And you’ll go through the ranks of the kyu grades. Kyu grades are what we call the grades before black belt and the numbers start from nine going up to the first kyu, which is your brown belt. They’ll be three brown belts, two purple, two green, two orange in my dojo. Different dojos have different colors. Sometimes they’ll be yellows and reds in the early grades, but most people have green, purple, and brown prior to black belt.

You’ll take a grading perhaps every six months, sometimes less in some places. I do them every six months and I generally don’t let students test unless they’re ready. So twice a year, three or four years, and you should be close to the black belt.

Karate Techniques

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Peter A Soto is a Black Belt with more than 20 years of experience, athlete, teacher and webmaster. Based in the city of San Diego, California.