Ranks and Promotion
The modern ranking system in karate is based on the traditional progression from white to black. In Goju Karate, we use three stripes on the white belt, followed by three colored belts (green, purple, and brown), and ten degrees (Dan) on the black belt.
In our dojo, promotions are usually given twice a year, one at the end of each semester. (Here you can find a sample of our promotion requirements.) We believe that a test is not merely physical, but rather a combination of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of our art. The test is meant to be a learning aid to teach the student how to perform under pressure, as well as to help the student clarify techniques in his/her own mind. A student's attitude, spirit, desire, drive, comprehension, as well as his/her physical performance all go into the requirements for rank.
Nevertheless, students should not get distracted by the ranking system. Rank merely denotes the curriculum that a student is working on, and does not specifically show the quality of the student. A student who is over concerned with rank is missing the point of the martial arts training.