Welcome New Students
This page is devoted to answering the most frequently asked questions for new students.
When do I come to Class?
You will take classes based on what type of program you are enrolled on. Most new students come two times per week. As you progress, you may decide that you would like to come more frequently. Mr. Houston or Mrs. Houston can help you switch programs, very easily. Often it is just a 5 minute paperwork process and very little change in the cost of the program.
No matter what program you have chosen, you can change the days of the week, you attend, based on what works best for your schedule. If you are happy coming every Monday and Thursday, then that is what you should do. Your program does give you the flexibility, however, to come any other days of the week. You are not enrolled on any particular days, but rather on a number of days.
How does Testing work?
When you first enter classes, the teachers work on helping you learn the basic 20 techniques to get to Gold Belt. They are all listed on the back of your class card. As you get certain techniques passed off, you earn colored tips on your white belt that correspond to the colored blocks on your class card. When you have earned Gold, Blue, Green, Brown and Black Stripes, you are ready to be promoted to Gold Belt. Most students earn a stripe about every two weeks. In any case, as a student or as the parent of a student, you can check your progress every time you come to class, by looking at the back of your attenance card.
One week every two months is designated as the Test Reveiw Week. At the end of the Test Review Week a Promotion Ceremony takes place. You can find these dates on the current newsletter that is emailed out monthly. We also have all of these dates posted in our lobby. During this week, instructors will be working in all of the classes to make sure that, if you are close to a promotion, they teach and drill you on the remaining few techniques to get you passed to the next belt level.
If you do pass your testing requirements, you will be told at the end of a class to go to the front counter and register for your promotion. You will be asked to fill out an American Martial Arts Association(AMAA) promotion application. The fee for promotion is $20 for the first promotion and $20 each time after that. Many memberships include free testing fees. If you are interested in an all inclusive program, just see Mr. or Mrs. Houston for more information.
- Our Deputy Ranks, explained below, are not certified ranks, so they will be awarded to our students, free of charge.
We do not certify rank in the Little Samurai program. So, for all of our 3-5 year old Little Samurais, we will award them their new belts at the Promotion Ceremony along with all of the other students. The only difference is that we don't ask you for a certification fee to AMAA.
What is the order of the Karate Belts?
In our Karate system we have 7 colored certified belts you can receive under Black Belt. In addition to these official belt ranks, we have added some Deputy Belts. These Deputy Belts help the student know that they are close to their new rank, and at the same time, they help us as instructors to split up the classes. So, to clarify, here is the order of our belt system for all students 5 years and older. The belts in green are the non-certified belts. Non-certified belts are awarded at the promotion ceremonies as well. We feel the Deputy Belts help the students get through the longer periods between officially certified rank.
Gold with Green Stripe
Deputy Green Belt (a gold belt with a black stripe running lengthwise),
Green Belt with Brown Stripe
Deputy Brown Belt (a green belt with a black stripe running lengthwise)
3rd Brown Belt (a brown belt with three white tips)
2nd Brown Belt (a brown belt with two white tips)
1st Brown Belt (a brown belt with one white tip)
Deputy Black Belt (a brown belt with a black stripe running lengthwise)
One other belt you might see round the classes is a red, white and blue belt. These belts are awarded, at the Promotion Ceremony to the Students of the Month in each class group. The Students of the Month will get special priveleges in each class. They are usually selected by the instructors for any special duties, such as leading the stretching exercises. They are also the beginning of the line in lining up for saluting in to and out of classes. They return the Student of the Month belt at the next promotion ceremony so another student may wear it.
Little Samurai Belts
Little Samurai Belts are a bit different. They are white belts with a colored stripe going through the entire length of the belt. They are based on our Karate curriculum but slightly different for the 3-5 year old gross motor skills. Most of our Little Samurais earn a tip color on their belt about every two weeks with regular attendance. When they get all 5 tip colors, they will be promoted to the next belt. You will note on the back of your Little Samurai class card, there are colors that correspond to the tip stripes they are earning on their white belt. When they have earned Gold, Blue, Green, Red, Brown and finally Black tips, they are ready to be promoted to the Gold Stripe Belt. The process continues in a similar manner for each Belt level.
- White Belt
- Gold Stripe Belt
- Blue Stripe Belt
- Green Stripe Belt
- Red Stripe Belt
- Purple Stripe Belt
- Brown Stripe Belt
- Black Stripe Belt
- Deputy Gold Belt (ready for big kid's classes)
When should I expect to be promoted to Gold Belt?
Since every student is an individual it is hard to say exactly when each student should expect promotion. Most new students reach Gold Belt within about 2 months. Young children may take a bit longer to reach Gold Belt as there are some other issues which slow them a little, such as coordination, attention span and cooperation with a teacher. We teach those skills as part of the program, but some children already possess these skills and will move a little faster than others. In any case, most everyone reaches Gold Belt in two months with regular attendance!
Any more questions?