Belt ranks and promotions are generally a lower priority in Kaijin-Ryu Karate. However, they are important to gauge proficiency and knowledge. Belt ranks help a student keep track of their progress and it gives them something to strive for and seek improvement. It also gives them a measure of competition.
Belt promotions for Youth Budokai are in June and December.
Belt promotions for Adult Budokai are in June and December until Brown Belt is attained. 3rd, 2nd and 1st rank Brown Belt is tested once a year until Black Belt is attained.
Three weeks prior to a promotion a student is individually “assessed” for the techniques they should know for their new belt rank. If they display reasonable knowledge of their skills and technique, they will earn a black stripe. At this time, a student is given feedback on what they must improve on.
One week from promotion, students are assessed again (usually in a group setting) and, if satisfactory, will earn a red stripe. A red stipe denotes promotion to their new belt rank, and may or may not be promoted to their next belt.
On belt promotion day, the class session is entirely dedicated to sparring. This is to see if the student is proficient in their techniques. If a student displays heart, courage, aptitude, good sportsmanship and application of their learned techniques, they will be promoted to their well-deserved belt.
Youth students will retain their Shodan Ho until they become 18 years old. They will then be tested as adults, to include the 10-person kumite requirement for Adult Shodan.
Adult students of Kaijin-Ryu Karate will require years of dedication to the martial art to achieve Shodan. It is a rigorous journey.