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Belt System & Testing Requirements

Each Songahm belt level has two stages, the “recommended” level and “decided” level, meaning students will spend at least two testing cycles in each belt color (with the exception of white belt).  Students may be promoted beyond the half belt level at the discretion of their instructor based on their performance and attitude, or students may progress more slowly depending on class attendance and maturity level.  Earning your black belt is not a race. It’s an individual journey.

Songahm belt colors progress as follows:

belt singles basic

Songahm’s belt system progresses a little differently for each program as well as for the age level, maturity, and skill level of each student.  See the program information below:

Tiny Tigers

Tiny Tigers (ages 3-7) wear white belts with colored stripes down the center to signify their rank.  Typically, tigers will have two belt types for each color, one solid color and one animal print, meaning they will spend a total of two testing cycles at each color.

To test for the next belt level, Tiny Tigers must be able to:

  • Demonstrate a black belt attitude and Songahm courtesy and customs
  • Demonstrate 1/2 of a Songahm form with help from an instructor
  • White-Yellow belts must demonstrate 2 one-steps with help from an instructor
  • Camo-Red belts must demonstrate both combat and traditional sparring
  • Complete a board break or demonstrate a weapon with help from an instructor (depending on the testing cycle)

Tiny Tigers cannot reach black belt level directly from the tiger program as tiger requirements are less than the regular promotion requirements.  To test for black belt, Tigers must first test for and transition to the Karate for Kids program.

When a Tiger ages out of the Tiger program or demonstrates sufficient self control, knowledge, and capacity to move up to the karate for kids program, they will not necessarily move up at their current belt color.  During this transition, Tigers will test into the Karate for Kids program (not for their next belt color).  For example, a brown belt Tiny Tiger may test into the Karate for Kids program at the camo belt level.  This is left up to the discretion and judgement of the instructor and is dependent on the attitude, maturity, and skill level of the individual student.  Once a Tiger moves to the Karate for Kids program, they must meet K4K requirements to test.

Karate for Kids and Adults

Students in the K4K and adult programs (ages 7+) wear solid color belts for recommended belt levels and belts with a black stripe down the middle for decided belt levels. To test for the next belt level, students must:

  • Demonstrate technique proficiency appropriate for their belt level
  • Demonstrate a black belt attitude and Songahm courtesy and customs
  • Demonstrate their full Songahm form on their own
  • White-Yellow belt Karate for Kids must demonstrate 2 one-steps on their own; teens and adults must demonstrate 3 one-steps on their own
  • Camo-Black belts must demonstrate both combat and traditional sparring
  • Complete a board break or demonstrate a weapon on their own (depending on the testing cycle)

Invitations to Test

Invitations to testing will be handed out a few weeks before each test date to students who have demonstrated a black belt attitude, have attended class regularly, and meet testing requirements. Testing fees cover new rank registration with the ATA, the student’s new belt, and an official rank certificate. Not every student will test each cycle.  Sometimes it just takes a little longer to master the current level before moving to the next.  Testing is left to the discretion of the instructor and the demonstrated attitude and proficiency of the student.

If at any time you have questions about your or your child’s training, requirements, or readiness for testing, please reach out to your instructor in person or send an email to info@unitytkd.com.