Becoming A Black Belt

Preparing for Your Black Belt Ranking Test
By Gary S. Young

Becoming a Black Belt has already begun.

From the first day you begin your training in the Martial Arts you are preparing to become a Black Belt at Allen Sarac's Professional Karate Center.

Each lesson practiced and learned prepares you for the examinations to achieve your next belt rank, 12th Gold through 3rd Red and each of these successful advancements prepare you for the day that you will qualify to test for your Black Belt.

Making this journey is both exciting and rewarding

Family is important at Professional Karate Centers. Here is Mr. Young's Family

To be successful in becoming a black belt you should consider this advice:

1.    Attend class as often as you can. Any time you can receive instruction and practice what you are being taught your mind and body grow in its understanding. Attend more classes weekly after you get your Brown Belt.

2.    When being taught, listen to the instructions, watch the demonstration of the skill and practice it as perfectly as you can. Challenge yourself to do that same skill accurately, more quickly and stronger each time you attend class. Pick a student that is a higher rank and that you think shows the skill correctly; practice the skills better than they do.

3.    Practice on your own.  Not only practice the movements, but also visualize and talk through the skills. See what it is that you are doing and how it is done.  Explain to someone what you are doing and why. Explanations are extremely important in becoming a black belt.

4.    Practice the “BASICS.” Train your mind and muscles to fluidly do the skills of martial arts. They must be done precisely on your test.

5.    Each belt requires that you learn a new kata. During your black belt test you will demonstrate 11 of them. You will be required to do them accurately without mistakes, keep pace with others and show power and understanding in the moves. Ask questions when doing the katas. Listen to your instructor when being critiqued. Practice them hard, once you have learned them.

Master Chaney once said, …if you practice katas hard, strong, correctly and give 100% an average student will not be able to do them all... For your black belt test your endurance will need to be more than average.

6.    One-steps teach you to accuracy, distance and timing. Learn the moves accurately, and say them to yourself so that you learn to describe them by their listed number. Ask questions as you move to your next level about the one-steps you have already learned. Listen to your instructor when being critiqued.

I remember walking at Sunset Park with another student while practicing the one-step numbers and descriptions. Eventually, we were able to pick any number and describe the one-step, without hesitation.

7.    Weapon katas are exciting and challenging. Every student I know gets a big smile on their face when they learn their first one. Just learning the kata is not enough. Unlike the katas we practice every week in class, weapon katas must be practiced away from class.

My advice is to work with it every week, just like you do with the class katas. Regular practice will allow you not only to demonstrate the kata, but also show your skill in handling the weapon.

Mr. Gary Young smashes concrete blocks with a sledgehammer while Black Belts lay on beds of nails. Grandmaster Allen Sarac is on the bottom

My training as a karate student began June 20, 1989. I loved coming to class! I asked questions.  I shared my growth with my family and friends. My journey as a black belt and a martial artist began May 8, 1992 and continues today. I still love coming to class, passing on my knowledge to others and asking questions. You should, too!

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Mr Young Sr and Jr after black belt tests in 1992 at Allen Sarac's Professional Karate Centers

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