Dojo etIquette as set forth by the S.K.I.F. are to be carefully followed. These rules have been handed down from ancient times and are continued as part of the Karate-do.
Peak Performance Shotokan Karate-Do is affiliated with Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF) and Shotokan karate International Federation –USA. We are dedicated to the teachings and curriculum as put forth by Kancho Kanazawa.
What is testing in Shotokan Karate and why is it important:
Testing is an opportunity for a student to demonstrate how s/he has grown in his or her knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of Shotokan Karate. It allows the student to demonstrate his or her skills to the chief instructor, other instructors and other students in the Dojo. This is done in the presence of the entire dojo. The chief instructor acknowledges that a student has reached the new level of growth by passing them to the next kyu or black belt ranks. Higher rank is recognized by a change in belt color or titles within the kyu and black belt levels. These principles are focusing on the kyu ranks. Remember that testing is like a road marker, it is a way for you to check to see how far you have come and find out what you need to continue.
As a student begins their journey in learning Shotokan Karate, there are fundamental or basic techniques, applications of these techniques and a philosophy of what these techniques mean and why are they essential to the study of karate for the student to explore. With each step the student demonstrates their growth and knowledge. Each progression is symbolized by a belt color and rank. Each student should understand the ranks….as these provide the framework for teaching and learning within the dojo. Each level has a new responsibility and respect and it takes time to move up through the ranks. Details on the test specifics are described in the “Testing Requirements” section of this website.
There is a minimum of 3 months training between each kyu rank up until you reach 3rd kyu (or first level of brown belt). After 3rd kyu there is a minimum of 6 month between tests.
How do you know when you are ready to test?
Students will work with your instructors to determine if you are ready to test. An instructor’s verbal permission is required to test at all levels. The skills you will demonstrate in the test are specific for each level and defined in the “Testing Requirements” section of this website.
Each time you test you will be tested on the basics, kata and kumite required for that level. And you will be asked to perform any kata that you previously learned…..’which one’ is selected by the Chief Instructor. Each kata is a building block in your training. And as you grow in your understanding of kata, how you perform the kata will show an increased understanding of its applications or ‘bunkai’ and its technique. Seeking this permission allows a student and instructor to agree that the student is ready to move to the next level. It does not guarantee that the student will pass, but if a student decides to test without discussing it with their instructor the results will be mixed.
The Testing Process
Who are the instructors that administer the test?
Sensei Chris Johnson has the title of Chief Instructor which is the highest position in the dojo. She is a sixth degree black belt and the owner of the Peak Performance dojo. Sensei Chris administers the test for the kyu ranks and has other high ranking Masters in the organization administering black belt tests. (There are separate guidelines for black belts). When Sensei Chris administers the kyu tests another instructor or instructors who have helped train the students may also sit at the testing table, and provide input into the student’s test and how the student has demonstrated their karate knowledge and skills during training and during the test. It is the Chief Instructor, Sensei Chris, who decides whether a student is ready to move to the next level.
My objective at Perk Performance is to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all ranks of Karate-ka. I look forward to guiding you-- along with the other dedicated instructors-- on this fulfilling journey to train, learn, and ultimately teach Shotokan Karate.
My mission and the Dojo’s mission is to train, grow and teach following the principles of our leader Kancho Kanazawa. Through this journey we will strive to make the Dojo Kun the very essence of our character.
Peak Performance Shotokan Karate Dojo
All testing requirements are as prescribed by Shotokan Karate International Federation-USA as approved by Shotokan Karate International Federation.
10th Kyu – White belt
9th Kyu – Yellow belt (Youth students only)
8th and 7th Kyu – Orange belt
6th Kyu – Green belt
5th and 4th Kyu – Purple belt
3rd, 2nd and 1st Kyu – Brown belt
1st Dan to 7th Dan - Black belt