Testing Principles

As you (or your child) begin the journey through the ranks, here are some essential principles to remember in regard to belts and promotions:

  • At Old School Kenpo Karate all belts are earned, not given! Even within children’s ranks, this principle applies. Many schools bend to the wishes of enthusiastic parents, promoting kids to ranks as high as blue belt, green belt, and beyond when the child hasn’t yet shown competency in the fundamental basics of the art. When you receive a belt promotion at Old School Kenpo Karate you can be assured that you’ve earned it!
  • Never tell your instructor you are ready to test. The progress of each student is carefully monitored and analyzed by our team of instructors. Continual progress, focus, and dedication factor into promotions as much as actual tests. As you improve towards the next level, however, you should ask your instructor what you can do to prepare for your next evaluation. Your instructor will guide you specifically on what to work on.
  • Don’t worry about anyone else’s progress but your own! Students often put pressure on themselves to progress as quickly as their classmates; and they worry what others will think if they don’t. At Old School, we foster a community of support for one another; nobody is ever judged. In keeping with Ed Parker’s fundamental ideology of each learner being different, some will progress faster due to time and effort invested, natural aptitude, or both. We encourage every student to stay focused on learning Kenpo—not on racing to acquire belts! The keys to progress are focus, respect for the teachings, and effort.

REMEMBER: The bottom line in belt promotions is the accumulation of knowledge and skill. What’s draped around your waist may be important, but what fills your mind, your heart, and your body’s muscle-memory is far more vital.

For details on how tests are administered, please review our Test Procedures.