Belt rank advancement is one of the most important experiences in the martial journey, whether the student is 3, 33, or 73. Belt testing is not about the art, or the curriculum, or the studio. At any age, this process is about the student reviewing his or her own martial progress. In an era when the word “test” means “test scores” and “competition,” rank advancement is about true learning and personal growth.
A young child learns self-confidence, self-discipline, and respect in a whole new way at a belt advancement. The moment they step on the floor, they are taking a risk, but in a very healthy way. They have to perform a few basic skills, on demand. They experience a genuine feeling of accomplishment, and enjoy the praise that comes with it. This builds a foundation for success for many years to come.
Rank testing for older children
Martial success makes children feel special and unique. As a child reaches the upper elementary and middle school years, he or she is discovering who they are as an individual. In Kung Fu, they demonstrate a clear understanding of martial values like self-discipline, self-control, patience, honesty, and respect. It is a parent’s dream – a child who believes in him- or herself on the strength of who they are.
Rank testing for adults and teens
Belt advancement for adults is particularly exciting, because many of our students haven’t taken a test of any kind for many years. Master Meyer tests teens and adults at one central location. He or she will assess their progress, and provide helpful feedback in a respectful and positive environment. In addition to the physical challenge, there is also a chance to learn from a high ranking master. Time and again, students come back to their local studios to talk about how important the experience was. The instructors can see it too, as a student’s skills take a huge leap forward with each new belt. The martial journey becomes more and more “real,” and more exciting.
Can I fail a belt test?
Every belt advancement is like a mile marker along the martial path. Did you ever take a long car trip, and stop every now and again to stretch your legs? Did you take the time to notice the beauty in each new place? Did you understand how it connected with where you have been and where you are going? With each new rank, we know more, we can do more, and we understand a bit more about ourselves, as martial artists and as individuals. The martial journey, like life itself, is about learning and growth. Fortunately, that never ends.
Enjoy your journey.