Rank Promotion in March 2009

Child earns yellow belt

Child earns a yellow belt

USA Karate is currently identifying students who are eligible for rank promotion.  The evaluations have been taking place in class during the week of March 2-March 7.  Sensei Justin and the Sempais under the direction of Shihan Joni have been taking notes on each student’s progress.  Candidates should plan to attend the graduation ceremony, Saturday, March 21, 2009, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.  All candidates must be present in order to be awarded their rank.

Parents, family members and friends may attend the ceremony.  We ask that those in attendance please observe our dojo rules such as:  No Shoes on our dojo mats, observe the demonstrations positively, and if desiring to take pictures or video please ask permission from Shihan first.  Unless arranged for in advance all candidates must stay through the ceremony until formally dismissed.

Candidates should be prepared by arriving to the dojo at least 15 minutes prior to the start time.  In addition candidates should:

  1. Wear a clean, pressed uniform.
  2. Bring their sparring equipment. (Yellow Belts and Above)
  3. If  learning a weapon, their weapons.
  4. The Official Promotion Record Book

Elements being evaluated for each rank promotion include:

Consistent class attendance which has been measured since the last rank promotion date. (Evaluations are conducted every 4-6 weeks)

  • Demonstration of improved physical skills in the basic minimum requirements of correct form;  proper development of each basic skill including correct body alignment in thrusting, striking, blocking, kicking, footwork both in static and moving stances as well as sparring stance.  Improved physical fitness areas: cardio vascular endurance, flexibility, muscular strength, and coordination.
  • Correct attitude displayed in class. This area of scrutiny is met by students applying the dojo etiquette  such as: bowing to show respect at the appropriate times, showing good effort and intense spirit in training, responding to the class leader’s commands with ethusiasm and positive energy using “osu” and “hai”, improved use of the spirit shout, “Kiai!”, contributing to the overall harmony of the class by following directions and demonstrating self-discipline and self-control by not disrupting class.
  • Mental strength.  Controlling ones emotions.  Making an effort to remain calm under stressful or challenging situations.
  • Responsible citizenship.  Students are asked to demonstrate consistent respect and humility toward their parents and family members as well as teachers and classmates in their respective schools.  A home and school report is distibuted to those students deemed eligible for rank promotion so the staff at the dojo can receive feedback from parents and school teachers about dojo members 12 years and under.  Listening, following directions, contributing positively, honesty, perseverance, homework habits, and personal development are the areas requiring a grade from both the parents and the chld’s academic teacher.

The intent to promote along with the home/school report forms and respective registration fees are due back in the dojo office prior to the graduation ceremony.  In addition, all membership and tuition fees must be up to date.

We realize that testing procedures and rank promotion time periods can produce anxiety for students and parents alike.  Although not all students receive a pass during rank promotion, the system of testing for rank is designed to teach students that they must be accountable for their own progress.  When students are expected to meet a certain level of skill to achieve thier new rank, they realize they must practice and apply themselves to earn their rank.  In addition accepting higher rank comes with accepting more responsibility.

It is our experience that students who apply these standards toward rank achievement will learn to set and accomplish goal setting tactics; short, mid and long range goal setting is practiced by following the belt ranking system thereby producing a realistic approach to self-improvement.

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