A big part of the karate experience is working towards your black belt.
To achieve the black belt level, one must have a clear understanding of all the etiquette expectations noted in the Etiquette section, as well as demonstrating a clear understanding of all the techniques involved in kumite (sparring) and kata (individual fight sequences). At various points during the year, students are given the opportunity to show what they have learned (and practiced) at promotion tests. It is important to note that Montclair Shukokai Karate School does not engage in the “belt mill” mentality. In the Shukokai style of karate, it can take about five + years of study and instruction – or beyond – to earn a black belt.
Students start as a white belt and graduate in the following manner: yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, and black. For children, there are the additional belts of white with a black stripe (prior to earning a yellow belt) and yellow with a black stripe (prior to earning an orange belt). For all students, there are three degrees (kyu) of brown belt that must be achieved prior to being considered for black belt. Sensei Justin adheres to this limited belt structure as he believes it gives more meaning to each level of achievement. Separate fees apply for each belt advancement.