Jase was six-years old when he first expressed an interest in karate. Around the same time, a flyer came home about karate classes done in the evenings at a neighboring elementary school. At $60 for a 10-week class and with the first class free, it sounded like a great opportunity for Jase to try karate.
He liked the class, so we signed him up for the winter session. And then the spring session. He enjoyed learning the moves. We attended karate weapons camp and he went to the required tournaments. By May, he was an orange belt.
And up through the belt colors he went – from white, to yellow, orange, green, blue and then to purple. There are three degrees of purple. Beginning at green belt, the tests are further apart meaning you need more class hours and tournaments to rank up to the next level. It was finally as a purple belt that he won his first tournament. He then won the next one two as he got better at sparring.
Jase kept up karate for three years, taking the fall, winter and spring sessions and then skipping the summer. All of his hard work and practice finally paid off last week when he took his red belt test. (A red belt is the highest level he can reach as a youth, though there are three degrees of red, so he will be continuing on.)
The test for a red belt was much different than the others. For most tests, you did the required number of sit-ups and pushups, you answered history questions and then were tested on a few techniques or combinations. But there is more to a red belt test.
Red belt test requirements
- 200 sit-ups
- 200 push-ups
- 1 mile run
- 250-word essay on attitude
- Know all history from white belt on up
- Perform a 30-step kata (that he had to create and name)
- Pass his techniques test
Jase has not written a lot of essays in school so getting him to expand on the word attitude was a little bit of a challenge. But we got the essay done before his test. He was more excited to work on his kata called Too Many Fighters. Originally, he made it complex until one of the instructors told him the secret of repeating his actions but just changing directions. That made it so much easier.
The night of the test we had to arrive early so he could get through all those sit-ups, push-ups and run the mile. Needless to say, he was exhausted after that but no break as the test then began. They don’t let the parents watch the test, so I had to wait outside.
In the end, all the hard work must have paid off as he got his red belt. So proud of him. And glad that he will be sticking with karate in the fall.