Belt Tests

The club offers colored belt testing for registered and auditing karate students at De Anza College at the end of every Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter. These tests are completely extra-curricular. Students must be passing the karate class they are enrolled in to qualify for belt testing, but participation, or deciding not to participate, in belt testing is totally optional and has no impact on one’s grade what-so-ever.

Testing is arranged by the club in co-ordination with the karate instructor(s) on campus, and ranking is accredited by the WTKO, with whom the club is an domestic affiliate school. The club arranges the location, date, and time, which is typically in either PE14 or PE15 at DAC at 5PM on the Friday of finals week. The club also arranges for black belt examiners for tests. This always includes the karate instructor(s) from DAC, and typically includes one or more black belts from the club as well. WTKO membership is not required by students to test for a colored belt.

Students wanting to test for a beginning level belt can test at will as tests occur. Students pursuing intermediate and advanced colored belts should consult with their instructor first. Typically, students may only test for one belt level at a time, but in rare cases students can be permitted to test for more than one rank at a time. In all such cases, prior approval from the student’s instructor is required. Typically, this is done when a student has missed a belt test but has continued their training as if they had taken and passed regardless. Students taking more than one test at a time must pay the cumulative fees for all the tests being taken, if any.

Each rank group, beginner, intermediate, and advanced, has an overall theme that is taken into account with the specific requirements of each rank. Additionally, students must understand that requirements are cumulative not sequential: That means that students are responsible for any material that is required for previous belt level tests, at the current rank’s expectations for ability.

Students that have rank with other martial arts or schools may or may not have that rank honored in our club. Students with rank awarded from other WTKO schools will always have their rank recognized with our club. Students with rank from other Shotokan schools that are familiar to De Anza’s instructor(s) are likely to have their full rank recognized. Students with rank in other Shotokan schools typically have their rank recognized once verified with the student’s other instructor. Students with rank in other karate styles may or may not have their rank recognized depending upon the similarity of style, curriculum, and skill of the student. Typically, such students train with non-beginner students for a quarter and are informally assessed at the end of the quarter. Students with rank in similar martial arts, such as Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, and so on, typically have their yellow belt test waived, if desired. Students with rank in other martial arts must still begin as white belts.

tl;dr

  • Belt tests are offered by the club and not the school
  • Belt tests are optional and do not affect one’s grades
  • Belt tests happen at the end of each academic quarter
  • Check with your instructor before testing for an intermediate or advanced colored belt
  • If you can’t make it to a test, you can still learn the new material and test twice the next quarter
  • Students with prior experience/rank should consult with the instructor