How Do I Get My Black Belt!

     "How do I get my Black Belt?'
     That's a pretty basic question. Here's the answer below in two formats: a quick summary followed by a more detailed answer.
     Once you've read the material below, also go to the Yudansha page by clicking here for even more information.
     If you have any questions please feel free to email me by clicking here.

How Do I Get My Black Belt [Quick Summary]

  1. Review www.budoshin.com/yudanshakai.htm . Whenever you have questions or are unsure of anything please contact me.

  2. Purchase your BJJY membership [includes Student Handbook] and the 8-dvd Home Study Course. The Basic and other books should also purchased at some point to increase your practical and theoretical understanding of the art. Additional videos are available to help you expand your technical knowledge and theoretical understanding of the art as you progress in your studies.

  3. Use the Student Handbook as your guide. All instructional sequences and tests up through 1st kyu are in there. Practice, practice, practice and practice more!

  4. Self-test for 6th-4th kyu, sending your video DVD [or mp4 file you can send via my Hightail dropbox] to me for evaluation and critique. Kyu ranks will be issued if you meet the skill level required.

  5. Testing for 3rd-1st kyu is a more formal matter. You will need to know all the kata names in Japanese by this point. You may test via video. When you are ready to test just let me know and I will send you specific written instructions – which must be followed to the letter – plus the actual mat test.

  6. Testing for shodan [1st dan] and higher grades is based on procedures set forth in the Black Belt Handbook, which will be sent to you  [free] when you reach 2nd or 1st kyu. It will have additional technical and informational requirements for each dan grade. However, the Black Belt Handbook/procedures continue the smooth flow of growth established in the Student Handbook and there are no real barriers or hurdles to overcome. The mat testing process is the same as for 3rd-1st kyu and you may test via video DVD [or mp4 file you can send via my Hightail dropbox] .

  7. Certification is optional below 4th kyu & certificates are free upon request. Starting at 3rd kyu BJJY certificates are issued --- also at no charge. Starting at 3rd kyu you will also have to become a paid member of the American Ju-Jitsu Association [$20 for the calendar year in 2016] and pay for AJA rank certification [$8 for kyu grades and $15-25 for dan grades].

 

What I Need to Do to Get My Black Belt [detailed]

1. Review this website!!

     a. There’s a lot of information here. Don’t let it overwhelm you.

     b. The most important page to go over is www.budoshin.com/yudanshakai.htm

          i. Great Q&A & membership information

     c. If you have any questions about anything at any time ---- ask them!!

2. Purchase

     a. BJJY membership

     b. 8-DVD home study course

          i. a. & b. can be purchased together at a discount.

     c. Basic Jujitsu and Intermediate Ju-Jitsu books are strongly recommended usually before testing for sankyu.

               a] Knowledge of theory & application is important

3. Use the Student Handbook as your guide

     a. Please read it.

          i. It contains information that will be useful and the procedures in it will be followed.

     b. There are more techniques on each DVD than are required for each belt rank.

          i. You should practice them all to broaden your knowledge base.

4. Self-test for 6th-4th kyu

     a. Test for these belt grades whenever you feel ready.

          i. Many kata & waza get repeated as you go up in rank.

               a] I expect progressive improvement, not immediate perfection

     b. Actual mat tests for each of these belts can be found on these pages:

          i. 6th kyu [green belt] p24

         ii. 5th kyu [blue belt] p27

        iii. 4th kyu [purple belt] p30

        iv. There is no time-in-grade requirement for any kyu grade exam/promotion.

               a] You may proceed as fast as you wish

                b] You do not need to film the entire test for 6th – 4th kyu at one time.

                     1] It is preferred that you do so – and you should be able to

               c] In a normal dojo situation it takes about ___ minimum to get ready for testing to ___.

                     1] 3 months to 6th kyu

                     2] 6-9 months to 5th – 1st kyu

                     3] 6-12 months for 1st dan

          v. There are general time-in-grade requirements for black belt grades.

     c. As a regular BJJY member you are entitled to submit 3 video evaluations per calendar year.

           i. Additional video evaluations are $25 each.

         ii. You may submit videos as often as you wish – even if you are taking a test over.

         iii. There is no charge to redo small parts of a test

     d. Have someone record you doing the “kata” & “waza” on a dvd & send it to me.

          i. You will only need one camera -- on a tripod for stability. 

         ii. Execute techniques slowly and smoothly as listed.

                a] I need to see that techniques are done correctly, not quickly.

                b] Speed will come naturally as your execution improves at higher ranks.

        iii. Execute techniques so that I can see the submissions when you use them or

                a] redo the technique a second time from the opposite direction.

        iv. I will respond by sending you an audio evaluation [as an email attachment] of your performance.

                a] It will also indicate whether or not you meet the criteria for promotion to the rank you tested for.

5. Formal Testing 3rd – 1st kyu [brown belt grades]

     a. This is a formal testing environment.

          i. There is a test setup fee of $25 that must be prepaid.

          ii. Any test at this level [and including dan grades] is automatically void for any of the following reasons

               a] If the camera stops for any reason

                b] There is a break in the testing or the testing stops for any reason

               c] There is any violation of the actual test procedure or instructions.

                d] There is an additional charge of $25 to set up any replacement test.

     b. You will have to submit your answers to the questions on the brown belt exam along with the test setup fee.

     c. I will send you specific instructions via US mail on how to proceed with the mat testing.

          i. You must follow the directions to the letter. NO exceptions

          ii. You may use only one camera for sankyu & higher tests

               a] It would be too easy to violate the test security otherwise.

               b] For sankyu & higher grades the entire test must be taken in one “filming”

                    1] If the camera stops or the testing stops for ANY reason the entire test is void.

                    2] You may use 2 or more uke for sankyu & higher testing

                    3] You will need a test reader to pronounce the Japanese kata techniques with phonetic spelling.

                         i] This very rarely gets butched.

               c] Your total “testing crew” will include the following:

                    1] Camera person

                    2] Test reader, who will be the only person who sees the actual test.

                     3] 1-3 uke [so they don’t get worn out]

                    4] Optional audience to cheer you on. J

          iii. You must know all the kata as listed dependent upon which level brown belt you plan to test for:

                     1] p31 [3rd kyu]

                    2] p35 [2nd kyu]

                    3] p37 [1st kyu]

                     4] The 3rd – 1st kyu kata portions are almost identical

                           i] contain most of the kata originally taught for 6th – 4th kyu

                     5] The waza requirement is identical for 3rd – 1st kyu

                    6] Increased proficiency is required in kata & waza at each of these 3 levels.

                    7] You must know the names of all the kata in Japanese.

                         i] The vocabulary "list" in the Student Handbook exceeds what need to know for any tests.

                         ii] If you know the kata names you should be ok on the kata portion of the test.

            iv. You will be tested on 10 kata & 15 waza that I select from each kata & waza list. 

                     1] Some kata & waza may be repeated in the 3rd – 1st kyu testing.

                    2] You will not know which ones prior to their actually being called out.

                         i] Therefore you must know them all.

                    3] Your response must be immediate

                    4] I am looking for the following:

                        i] correct and proper execution of requested techniques

                        ii] smoothness & quality

                        iii] use of a distraction, followthrough and submission as appropriate to the attack.

                     5] I am NOT looking at speed

     d. If you have progressed up through the belt ranks [6th-4th kyu] to this point

           i. notify me when you feel you’re ready to take the 3rd, 2nd, or 1st kyu test.

            ii. This test should be a smooth sequential step up from your 4th kyu test.

           iii. Also submit your answers to the questions on the brown belt exam at this time.

           iv. I will send you specific instructions via US mail on how to proceed with the testing.

           v. You must follow the directions you recieve to the letter.

                     1] ABSOLUTELY NO exceptions

     e. If you have NOT progressed up through the belt ranks to this point and you think you’re ready to test

           i.  please notify me when you want to take the 3rd, 2nd, or 1st kyu test.

           ii. You will have to submit a dvd video [or mp4 file you can send via my Hightail dropbox] of you demonstrating:

                     1] ALL of the kata AND waza listed on the sankyu-nikyu-ikkyu mat test on pp33-34

                     2] This demo tape may be done in a few sequences as it may be physically exhausting.

           iii. This route is not encouraged as there has been a high failure for the few who have tried it.

                     1] Reason for failure: Too many errors in basic movements and sheer sloppiness.

           iv. It’s actually less work to progress belt by belt

                     1] You get feedback to correct basic moves.

                     2] Otherwise errors become entrenched in your execution.

           v. If I believe that your skill level is high I will commence  the formal testing process.

                     1] Submit your answers to the questions on the brown belt exam at this time.

                     2] I will send you specific instructions via US mail on how to proceed with the testing.

                           i] You must follow the directions to the letter. NO exceptions

           vi. If your proficiency is NOT up to the level required for testing to a brown belt grade:

                     1] I will advise you of such

                     2] Inform you of what needs to be done to improve your skill level

                          i] via an audio evaluation sent to you as an email attachment

                     3] I may or may not do any one of the following:

                          i] Award you a lower grade without having you submit a specific test video

                          ii] Request that you test for a specific lower grade

                           iii] In a worst case scenario in which there are too many basic core knowledge errors

                                 a]have you test for 6th kyu once you have made corrections in very basic moves.

6. Formal testing – Black Belt grades

     a. You will be sent a copy of the Black Belt Handbook once you reach 2nd or 1st kyu.

          i. Please read it as the procedures will be followed.

     b. The mat testing procedure is essentially the same as the brown belt exams.

          i. If you have earned the rank of 1st kyu, the shodan exam should be a smooth transition of growth

           iiIf the first test you are planning to test for is shodan:

                1] You will need to meet the same prerequisites as established for 3rd-1st kyu [above]

                2]This route [your first test is for shodan] is not encouraged.

                      i] The failure rate thus far has been 100% for the few who have tried it.

                      ii] Reason for failure: Too many errors in basic movements and sheer sloppiness.

     c. There are additional practical skills and knowledge required as specified in the Black Belt Handbook.

          i. These include but are not limited to:

                 1] Weapons demo as an  extension of the “empty hand” theory for each dan grade up through 5th dan

                     i] You must demonstrate use of a different “defensive tool” for each dan grade test.

                     ii] Examples are short stick, hanbo, bo, jutte, sai, asp, PR-24, flexible baton, newspaper, etc.

                      iii] A gun-safety course shall be required in lieu of one of the “defensive tool” demos.

                     iv] Law-enforcement personnel may use their weapon certification in lieu of the gun safety course.

          ii. Several open-ended essay questions.

          iii. First aid certification & CPR

          iv. Additional theory and application available from my books & other sources.

7. Rank/Grade Certificates and certification will be done in the following manner:

     a. 6th-4th kyu

          i. A BJJY certificate of rank will be issued if you request it at no charge.

          ii. There is no charge for a certificate of rank.

     b. 3rd-1st kyu grades

           i. BJJY Certificates WILL be issued for all ranks 3rd kyu and higher at no charge.

                1] You must submit 1 “passport type” photo, which will be sealed onto your BJJY certificate.

                2] You must be a current paid member of the AJA [American Ju-Jitsu Association]

                3] You must apply for an AJA certificate of rank from the AJA

                      i] There is a minimal  AJA certificate fee [$8 as of 3/1/2010]

     c. “dan” [black belt] grades

          i] BJJY Certificates WILL be issued for all dan grades at no charge.

                 1] You must submit 1 “passport type” photo which will be sealed or scanned onto your certificate.

                  2] You must have been a paid member of the AJA

                 3] You must apply for an AJA certificate of rank from the AJA

                      i] There is a minimal fee [prices as of 3/1/2010]

                           a] 1st & 2nd dan: $15

                           b] 3rd dan: $20

                           c] 4th & higher dan grades: $25

 





   
     
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