Welcome New Gold Belts

This page is devoted to answering the most frequently asked questions for new Gold Belt students.

When do I come to Class?

  • Although you have recently been promoted to Gold Belt, your classes remain the same as when you were a White Belt.
  • 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.  Our Program Manager, Josh, 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 Tuesday 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?

  • Now that you have passed the basic 20 techniques to get to Gold Belt, our instructors will begin teaching you how to interact with a partner.  Your testing requirements are listed on the back of your attendance card.  You will be working on completing the requirements on the right column on the back of your card. To get to Gold Belt, the students were awarded colored stripes on their belts.  That is something that we do only for white belts.  Now that you are a Gold Belt, you can chart your progress by checking the back of your attendance 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 in the current newsletter that is distributed by email, on our mobile app and 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 now only $20.  Many memberships include free testing fees.  If you are interested in an all inclusive program, just see Josh Olevsky, or program manager.
  • 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 and we don't hand the Little Samurai a certificate when they get their new belts.

What is the Kata?

Now that you are a Gold Belt one of the new things you will learn, is called a Kata.  This is a memorized routine of movements.  The purpose of the Kata, originally, was to teach the student to practice his/her self defense techniques without a partner.  It was believed that constant practice of the Katas, develops the skills that it takes to have the automatic reflex it takes to defend oneself.  The first Kata you learn as a Gold Belt is Attack Form 1.  This Kata is taught in classes, but if the student would like extra help on the Kata, you have several options.
    1. You can ask for a private lesson to work on the Kata (some membership programs include free passes for the $25 half hour lessons.
    2. The text book we sell, Essentials of American Karate, includes pictures and written description of how to perform Attack Form 1.
    3. The DVD that we sell, Karate International Master Kata DVD, also includes Attack Form 1 as well as many other Katas you will learn in the future.

What is the order of the Belts?

In our 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 in any class and can be earned anytime throughout the month.  Since they are not certified by AMAA, they are simply given out in a class whenever a student earns them.  We feel the Deputy Belts help the students get through the longer periods between officially certified rank.

  1. White
  2. Gold
  3. Gold with Green Stripe
  4. Deputy Green Belt (a gold belt with a black stripe running lengthwise),
  5. Green Belt
  6. Green Belt with Brown Stripe
  7. Deputy Brown Belt (a green belt with a black stripe running lengthwise)
  8. 3rd Brown Belt (a brown belt with three white tips)
  9. 2nd Brown Belt (a brown belt with two white tips)
  10. 1st Brown Belt (a brown belt with one white tip)
  11. 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 each month 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.

When should I expect to be promoted to Gold Belt with Green Stripe?

Since every student is an individual it is hard to say exactly when each student should expect promotion.  Most new Gold Belts, attending two times per week should expect to get to Green Stripe Belt in about two months if they are adults, and two to four months if they are children.  In children, we may be slowed down in promotion based on attention span, coordination and disclipine.  We will teach these skills, as part of the program, but students who already have these skills progress a little faster.

Any more questions?

We are constantly trying to improve this New Member FAQ page.  So, if you have a quesiton that is not answered on this page, please email it to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be happy to address it and add to this page!