About Belt Promotion
Each belt level assists students in goal setting as they develop skills according to the curriculum. Our belt system is designed to provide class structure where students can train in a group that is appropriate for their skill set and is not intended as an extrinsic reward.
We encourage students to be familiar with our belt curriculum, (all belt levels can be viewed here in this website). For highly visual learners, feel free to watch our Tao of Peace Instructional Videos on YouTube and practice skills at home.
Students will receive “stripes” on their belt in recognition of the number of classes they have attended. The attendance computer will tell your child when to visit the office to get their new stripe.
Little Ninjas become eligible to work through the main belt progression when they choose to move up to the Junior program at 7 years old.
Once the required number of classes, unique for each belt level, have been attended, the student will be advised to start wearing their jacket in class. This indicates commencement of the prequal process and identifies the student to the instructors.
During prequals, the Instructors will evaluate the student’s “readiness” for the next belt level by looking at such things as attitude, effort, and skill acquisition. Hence the student will be more confident and prepared for the test.
Please note that as students progress to higher belts, the emphasis for “readiness” relies less on attendance and more heavily on the skill and philosophy development of the student.
When the student has demonstrated readiness for the next belt, the Instructors will pass them on their prequals. The student will be given a black stripe on their belt, their attendance days are reset, and then they are asked to rejoin the regular classes.
At this point, the student will be invited to the next test for their age group via e-mail.
Please note that our curriculum is divided into sections of three belt levels each called Tiers. For example, tier 1 is yellow, orange and green/stripe belts.
Adult testing in divided into tier systems (tier 1&2 and tier 3&4) to provide a more intimate, skill-based testing experience. Adult testing is run monthly and the schedule is available for reference on our Event Calendar. During the test, the student is provided with an understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses within the Tao of Peace curriculum. It is encouraged that the student attends tutorial nights prior to their test to feel more confident within their skill sets according to their belt level, especially once attaining the third tier (purple belt). Students, upon reaching Tier 3 (going for Purple belt), are asked to complete self-directed prequals for all subsequent belt levels (please contact us for more information). In the later tiers, the student is encouraged to train specifically towards their own belt level to grasp a greater understanding of the techniques and how to apply them. At Purple, Bodan, Black and subsequent Dan's the student will do a full review of the entire curriculum they have currently learned.
Junior Black Belt Program (14-18 years)
Many of our wonderful students are approaching the black belt level as they are in the midst of graduating high school and possibly preparing for university. This tends to be a busy time and the rigors of an adult black belt test and all the preparation it requires can be overwhelming. Often students at this point in their martial arts journey have been training with us for many years, only to head off to college or a job without reaching their black belt goal. To facilitate this important milestone in a realistic amount of time. Students may prepare for a Junior Black Belt test as the age requirement is 14 to 18 years of age. Students who are 16 to 18 years old who feel prepared may challenge the Adult Black Belt Test with permission from our full time teaching staff.
The student’s level of maturity and applied life skills or wisdom is important criteria to progress to black belt. The Junior Black Belt requirements as compared to the Adult Black Belt fundamentals are as per usual with the exception of weapon training and joint lock. Students going for their Junior Black Belt will still be learning weapons and joint lock, but at a level appropriate for their age and training regime.
Students who have reached tier 3 (Purple, Brown and Red Belt) are encouraged to start educating and preparing themselves for the Junior Black Belt experience. Acquistion of the skills required along with the written exam and the development of a personal pattern is essential for success. At this level, we are encouraging students to self-advocate as part of taking a greater role in their own progress. Once students reach their Bodan Belt (belt prior to black) they can start to set realistic goals of when they may expect to test for their black belt with assistance from our full time staff. All staff members, full and part time are here to mentor and guide students along their path.
The Tao has always felt that the experience of achieving a black belt is a highly impactful part of developing ones confidence and self-awareness. For many young people who are not exposed to any form of rites of passage, this experience will promote a personal growth that will aid them in times of adversity. This progression is designed to challenge their mind, body and spirit, providing insights into their inner strength and infinite potential.
Adult Black Belt Test
All students, regardless of athletic ability, age or physical limitations, are capable of achieving their black belt. Our program, from white belt forward, is an individualized program designed to enhance the mind, body and spirit of each student. Since we are all unique with individual needs, strengths and areas of limitations or weaknesses, the program of martial arts and philosophy must be tailored specifically.
Generally, as a student approaches this level and is preparing for their black belt test, the student will pick up a package from the office staff that will outline the basic procedures that lead up to the test. There is a written reflective component that is to be completed and handed in one month prior to the test date. Participating students will create their own personal pattern (or kata) that needs to be authorized by the full time teaching staff. There are options regarding selections of uniform and belt embroidery, color and sizes. The student schedules a meeting(s) with the head instructor to individualize the preparation, learning and review process leading up to the test.
On test day, students meet several hours prior to the physical test to share and explore wisdom and philosophical concepts. The physical part of the test is usually around four hours in length, is safe, fun, challenging, and hopefully inspiring.