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Thread: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

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    Default How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Here are 5 simple tips to help you Ace your next belt test.

    Set Goals
    Setting goals with a specific date allows you to properly guage your progress. make sure your goals are realistic. Say I want a Black Belt in a really short time is futile or just saying I want a Black Belt by a certain date unless you are one level below Black Belt. Make sure you set goals for each stepping stone to get to your major goal or long term goal.

    Do Your Homework
    To be properly prepared to test you have to be in class as much as possible and practice on your own time as well. Unfortunately most of us don't have a dojo in our homes so space is limited, but if you are serious you will find a way to do it. Too many people do sloppy walk throughs when parcticing at home, this becomes apparent on test day. Give 100% in class and don't cheat yourself when practicing at home, give 100% there to. If you do sloppy walk throughs at home you will do sloppy technique when the mugger gets in your face and it just might not be enough.

    Fully Prepare
    Repitition makes tasks easier. The more you practice the closer skills come to becoming second nature. The more you are prepared for the test the more successful you will be. To truly be prepared you must go into the test physically and menatally prepared, block out the rest of the world for that test period.

    Team Up
    Find someone to practice with if possible or atleast someone to watch what you are doing and give you an honest criticque of what you are doing. Have your partner vary your skills that you show, don't throw all your punches then block then kicks etc... followed by forms, then the self defenses in the same order each time. have them mix things up and whe you can just bang of a self defense technique or form without hesitation you are then ready to test.

    Exude Confidence
    Your demeanor can speak volumes to the person(s) conducting your test. If you show lack of confidence in what you are doing why should you advance to the next rank. It is your responsibility to show them that you have the skills to move ahead. Make your actions crisp, speak with a clear loud voice, and most importantly if you do not know an answer to a question you are asked just say, "I don't know" it is much better than trying to formulate an answer.

    Good luck with that next test.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    In some places

    1) Hand over blank check...
    Susan A. Spann

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    i test for my first black June 16.. im going to Revere Karate Academy.. that is Mrs. C's school... i cant wait.. im so amped up for this.. only a month and a half away..

    i have found a work out partner on this website that lives in my town.. plus another student form our school is going for 3rd black at the same test... so we get together on sundays for extra time in, and we are getting together this friday also...

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Time to revisit this thread. Hopefully anyone getting ready for a test will find something useful.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Must've missed this one before. Those are some excellent tips! Thanks Rob!
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Those are good tips.

    I think you forgot about the 'tip the instructor beforehand' part.

    And get it all on video.
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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    Here are 5 simple tips to help you Ace your next belt test.

    Set Goals
    Setting goals with a specific date allows you to properly guage your progress. make sure your goals are realistic. Say I want a Black Belt in a really short time is futile or just saying I want a Black Belt by a certain date unless you are one level below Black Belt. Make sure you set goals for each stepping stone to get to your major goal or long term goal.

    Do Your Homework
    To be properly prepared to test you have to be in class as much as possible and practice on your own time as well. Unfortunately most of us don't have a dojo in our homes so space is limited, but if you are serious you will find a way to do it. Too many people do sloppy walk throughs when parcticing at home, this becomes apparent on test day. Give 100% in class and don't cheat yourself when practicing at home, give 100% there to. If you do sloppy walk throughs at home you will do sloppy technique when the mugger gets in your face and it just might not be enough.

    Fully Prepare
    Repitition makes tasks easier. The more you practice the closer skills come to becoming second nature. The more you are prepared for the test the more successful you will be. To truly be prepared you must go into the test physically and menatally prepared, block out the rest of the world for that test period.

    Team Up
    Find someone to practice with if possible or atleast someone to watch what you are doing and give you an honest criticque of what you are doing. Have your partner vary your skills that you show, don't throw all your punches then block then kicks etc... followed by forms, then the self defenses in the same order each time. have them mix things up and whe you can just bang of a self defense technique or form without hesitation you are then ready to test.

    Exude Confidence
    Your demeanor can speak volumes to the person(s) conducting your test. If you show lack of confidence in what you are doing why should you advance to the next rank. It is your responsibility to show them that you have the skills to move ahead. Make your actions crisp, speak with a clear loud voice, and most importantly if you do not know an answer to a question you are asked just say, "I don't know" it is much better than trying to formulate an answer.

    Good luck with that next test.
    Spoken like a true instructor.

    Thanks for the great tips.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    A quick suggestion to those that "test". Treat every technique, every movement in a form, every punch and kick as if you were being "tested" at that moment.

    Then when the test comes, simply proceed as usual! (Easier said than done I guess, especially from someone who comes from a style where we do not offically test) LOL

    Great article Rob- One of my favorite things on these boards is finding old threads that are beneficial, and bringing it to the forefront for the newer members. We are fortunate to have SOO many knowledgeable folks on here, and MUCH sage advice is hidden withing the archives here-

    Cheers!
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Great tips!

    If I could add one thing, it would be video tape yourself so you and others can critique and review all your stuff. This is also a great way to monitor your progress if you keep some for historical uses.
    Loyal student of Sifu DangeRuss
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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Miyu View Post
    In some places

    1) Hand over blank check...
    ROFL!!
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Great tips! I hope to test for green by the first couple of months next year. I guess I should start using them.

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Anyone have tips for taking advanced tests in multiple systems at the same time...besides working your butt off!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Excellent tips, Thanks Rob!

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Those are great tips Rob, I find too many people expect without the dedicated practice time needed.

    Something I've found is that some students find the pressure of "being tested" to be their largest barrier.

    1) If you teach private lessons: Bring the student in (for a lower belt ranking), run through all the techniques + kata top to bottom. Where the student thinks it's a hard review, you're testing them. Sometimes the pressure of a test for a beginner is their biggest enemy. That measure of success will give the student confidence and help steady them for the future.

    2) Pre-Test: Have someone emulate the test as you might expect it to be. Find a senior person who's already been successful and get that person to help you. While testing, have the person take a pencil and mark down all the technqiues where they saw area's of improvement and only comment once you're done. There's no need to train wreck your flow until the material is complete.

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-scholar View Post
    Anyone have tips for taking advanced tests in multiple systems at the same time...besides working your butt off!
    I've done that before. I divided my work-out time evenly between the two systems and increased the number of times I practiced each week which basically equates to.....working your butt off! Sorry....I guess there's no easy way to do that! LOL.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Miyu View Post
    In some places

    1) Hand over blank check...
    Too funny, but true. We all have a few dojo's around that do that; 1000.00 black belt testing fees. Sound's like a trip to the dominican for the sensi to me :P

    Something I like to do on occasion is visit other styles and watch the black belt's test. Well, the one that rings clearly was the 800.00 testing fee and there was "7" ... 7! black belts going for their test and all were successful. I can honestly say I know of less than 8 in over 11 years where I train and some of those people were black belts before I joined.

    So, I watch the testing and it's broken into a number of parts and there's 15 minutes breaks between each section. There's a coreographed "self-defense" section that was poorly done. Imagine 2 man set practiced twice in your life then you partner with someone just as practiced then you test at that level.

    The "board breaking" section was interesting, half of the students couldn't break the boards. They tried to the point where their confidence was broken. The instructor went and got boards half the thickness so they could pass (must have been the 800.00 option).

    - Just my experience
    Trevor

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    This old chestnut needed dusting off, lets keep this thread going.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    Here are 5 simple tips to help you Ace your next belt test.

    Set Goals
    Setting goals with a specific date allows you to properly guage your progress. make sure your goals are realistic. Say I want a Black Belt in a really short time is futile or just saying I want a Black Belt by a certain date unless you are one level below Black Belt. Make sure you set goals for each stepping stone to get to your major goal or long term goal.

    Do Your Homework
    To be properly prepared to test you have to be in class as much as possible and practice on your own time as well. Unfortunately most of us don't have a dojo in our homes so space is limited, but if you are serious you will find a way to do it. Too many people do sloppy walk throughs when parcticing at home, this becomes apparent on test day. Give 100% in class and don't cheat yourself when practicing at home, give 100% there to. If you do sloppy walk throughs at home you will do sloppy technique when the mugger gets in your face and it just might not be enough.

    Fully Prepare
    Repitition makes tasks easier. The more you practice the closer skills come to becoming second nature. The more you are prepared for the test the more successful you will be. To truly be prepared you must go into the test physically and menatally prepared, block out the rest of the world for that test period.

    Team Up
    Find someone to practice with if possible or atleast someone to watch what you are doing and give you an honest criticque of what you are doing. Have your partner vary your skills that you show, don't throw all your punches then block then kicks etc... followed by forms, then the self defenses in the same order each time. have them mix things up and whe you can just bang of a self defense technique or form without hesitation you are then ready to test.

    Exude Confidence
    Your demeanor can speak volumes to the person(s) conducting your test. If you show lack of confidence in what you are doing why should you advance to the next rank. It is your responsibility to show them that you have the skills to move ahead. Make your actions crisp, speak with a clear loud voice, and most importantly if you do not know an answer to a question you are asked just say, "I don't know" it is much better than trying to formulate an answer.

    Good luck with that next test.
    Awesome tips! Thanks for that! I've got another grading coming up at the end of March...I'm definitely nervous, but I plan to give it 100%
    "You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them." -- Michael Jordan

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    Good Advice Rob. Everyone testing should think about that leading up to their test.

    I have a couple things to add from sitting on test boards and getting completely infuriated with people testing and doing specific things.

    1. Do not memorize your pledges the day of the test. Start reading your pledges the day you are promoted and start working on that material. Put thought into those pledges and make connections with them and your own personal code of ethics.

    2. Start any projects, thesis, outlines, techniques, personal forms, or other creative requirements as soon as possible and revisit them often and tweak and refine them as you approach your test. There is nothing more uplifting for someone in a test situation to present their creative requirements and nail it and see an impressed look on the testing boards faces, on the other hand there is a huge distraction for those that obviously did not put the time in and obviously have not tried their best and can see that too in the testing boards faces.

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    Default Re: How To Ace Your Next Belt Test

    I think of it like any of your other tests in school. You should be spending about 2 hours of private study for every one hour you are in class. This is the time to get the reps in and really analyze what you are doing and why you are doing it (the movement).

    Also, you should be learning the material to HELP you out and because you will need it one day. Don't just learn material because it will be on the test. The test should be no problem for you if you have done your work to learn the art. If you have ever done that in school, you know that the test is no big deal and you don't even have to study for it because you KNOW the material.

    That brings me to the last point, you should not be CRAMMING for the test trying to get that last movement or learning the last section of that form/kata. If you are, then you are testing merely to get a belt and not because you are mastering the material. Wait until next time, while we ALL want to be recognized for our accomplishments don't lose sight of what the goal really is....protecting you and your loved ones and no belt will help you with that.

    There is also a very good book on the subject called "The path to blackbelt" written by Kris Wilder and Lawrence Kane. It goes over your journey to help you make progress the quickest. Notice I didn't say the "easiest" because that is going to be hardwork, but things like that book and Mr. Broad's post will help you eliminate unnecessary detours.
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

    Romans 13:4

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