Martial Arts Belt Testing, What’s the Purpose?

The best challenges are the ones we have a choice in. By choosing to undertake difficulty, we make ourselves stronger. –Sensei/YDN Caitlin

Pile o' belts.

Pile o’ belts.

Today, I was reading about the history of using colored belts when I came across another great quote. “Achievement of rank should be considered as a side-effect of karate training and not a goal.” (You can read the essay here if you’re interested, but it is a fairly dry [no offense to its author] historical essay full of facts, names, and dates).

Anyhoo, I agree that your training shouldn’t only be focused on achieving belt rank. That’s shortsighted, and misses the point of martial arts.

But I *do* think that testing is an important ritual in martial arts. Let me explain… (click “more”).

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Tournament and Test Anxiety

If you’ve ever participated in a competition or have taken a test, you know that nerves can sometimes get the better of you. Even if you know the subject well, test anxiety can paralyze your performance and skew your scores. According to the ADAA, 1/8 children suffers from some kind of anxiety disorder, as well as millions of adults.

test anxiety

Do tests make you feel like this?

Martial arts is great for learning to overcome test anxiety. The system is set up for each student to learn progressively, in steps, at their own pace.

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