WHITE BELT | START WHERE YOU ARE
Asking for help is an act of vulnerability that requires courage. Wearing a white belt is a declaration of your status as a beginner. You’ll learn basic striking and exercise technique, breathing, and body organization. The first of the five Pinan kata are introduced. We honor your commitment to this path by showing up for you; white belts work extensively with senior students and receive the most attention.
GOLD BELT | DISCOVERY OF POWER
A basic understanding of technique allows you to deepen your training. As you begin to internalize the shape of each technique you’ll learn to move from your center with power as you push, pull, squat, and strike. You’ll practice coordination and continue to build trust with your training partners as you learn to hold pads.
GREEN BELT | THE RECKONING
Physical and emotional self-control become a focus as you are introduced to sparring with leg and body contact. You’ll explore the self-defense principles and applications in the kata. As your perception expands you may experience frustration or doubt at the scope of the quest before you. Remember: one step at a time.
BLUE BELT | TAKING THE SWORD
Blue belt marks a shift in mindset: you’ve seen the challenge and chosen to move forward. Cut away distraction. You’re held to a higher standard and may be given responsibility within the dojo. Physically you’ll learn to throw and to fall, and to grapple. Contact to the head is introduced in sparring, trust your technique as you cross the threshold into the next stage of your journey.
RED BELT | GROWTH THROUGH TRIAL
Sparring is the primary medium for your training at red belt. In objective-focused rounds, you’ll move from technique, to tactics, to understanding strategy. Clinching and throws are included in sparring. And your trust practice continues as you learn to apply and escape choke holds with your partners. You’ll continue to refine your fundamentals by working with junior students.
BROWN BELT | THE CRUCIBLE
To earn your brown belt you’ll be pushed to your limits in a grueling test. Brown belt is about confronting your fear and finding courage, not the insecurity of bravado. You’ll learn the final of the five Pinan kata and be expected to show that you can integrate your training up until this point.
BLACK BELT | THE LABYRINTH
You must devote yourself to the dojo for one year after earning your brown belt to be eligible to test for your black belt. You’ll split your time between learning-by-teaching to junior students and working on your own to refine your techniques. As you strive for technical excellence, you’ll be forced to confront and own your imperfection. To be a black belt is to show not just a command of the curriculum, but the results of being shaped by your training: self-acceptance, compassion, character, integrity, courage, and presence.