Criteria and Grading information for attaining  Black Belt status.

The facts about SHODAN HO and why it is necessary.

The status of Black Belt should never be the focus of training.

Some students can reach that level in 4 or 5 years some take much longer than that, there is never any point in comparing yourself or your performance with another student. That is an exercise in frustration and while you are thinking of that you are never able to fully concentrate and be in the moment.

But however long it takes no one can get there without the help of a LOT of people on the way.

To ensure that these "helpers" eventually get their reward for assisting someone else to achieve their goal we will  award the rank of SHODAN HO initially.

After a period of approximately 12 months and a minimum of 50 training sessions spread over 1 calendar year the Black Belt can again attend a grading (at no further cost)  at which they will be required to display their updated skill set to be awarded with their  Shodan grade certificate and Soke's personal gift of a silver Toshi medallion.
During this time the Black Belt will have given of their knowledge to someone else and realised that there is more to being a Black Belt than just the belt.
The student must display marked progress in their knowledge and depth of their Karate and commitment to their art.

The idea that being  Shodan-Ho is a bad thing and prolongs the training journey is entirely wrong and if that is what the student thinks then they just don't " get it" and are not yet embodying the true spirit of Karate do.

If a student has the right attitude towards their Karate it should not have an end date.

The truly engaged student should never think about their Black Belt as a trophy to be ticked off  a "bucket list".
Grading to Black Belt is not the decision of the student,  just train --
and one day  SOKE  will tell you that you are ready.

Further requirements from Shodan Ho to Shodan.

Three new  Kata learnt during the year following initial grading to be performed at the next camp to show commitment to your art and you fellow Karate ka.

Training must be consistent and spread over a minimum period of 12 months.

Provided that the Black  Belt is a current financial member there will be no charge other than the cost of the camp.

To maintain Black Belt accreditation membership must be current at all times, this applies to ALL past Black Belts .

Requirements may change at times at the discretion of Shihan to accommodate the individuals circumstances, these changes are ALWAYS Soke's decision and are final.

Soke Les Elliott,

March 2015.