Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Are Tests for Rank Advancement?

Testing is conducted routinely each month. However, not all students test every time. Beginners initially test each month for approximately 6 to 9 months. Intermediate students (Purple Belt and higher) test approximately every two to three months. Advanced students test less frequently, as their tests require more preparation time.

Testing depends on 3 elements:

  1. Amount of time and number of classes attended at the current rank (students must attend a certain number of classes to be ready to test).
  2. Proficiency in the techniques for their rank.
  3. Attitude of the student.

Do Kids Have Any Special Team Practices?

Yes, we are very proud of our Children’s Demo Team. Demo team members attend extra practices and perform throughout the region at schools, PTAs, church functions, or anywhere positive activities of children are noteworthy.

Will I Have To Break Boards?

Board breaking is generally reserved for more advanced students (Brown Belts and higher). It is a means of testing your strength using karate techniques. It confirms to the individual their ability to actually apply a destructive force with their chosen techniques. Breaking is optional, and students may elect to be excused due to various reasons, including occupational requirements for manual dexterity such as a surgeon, pianist, typist, etc.

Will I Have To Fight, Spar, or Grapple?

Safety is always our very first concern. Students are encouraged to begin exercises or drills for sparring and grappling soon after beginning however they are not permitted to “free spar” until their instructors have verified both their knowledge of proper technique but also superior self-control when striking at other students. Also, all sparring is done with proper foam safety equipment – including shins, hands, feet, groin for men, and mouth guards for all students. Foam headgear is recommended.

What Do I Wear?

The karate uniform, or gi, is a comfortable loose fitting 2 piece outfit. It is very functional. The cotton material helps wick away moisture which helps keep the body cooler. The lapels are reinforced so that we can practice self-defense against opponents who grab our collars. If we were to wear just an ordinary T-shirt then we would be regularly ripping our clothing off. Additionally, with everyone wearing a karate gi, all students are spared physically displaying themselves. The uniform is a great equalizer. The karate uniform removes all the potential for conflict. As the characters for karate literally mean “to stop conflict,” it is appropriate.

How Long Does It Take To Reach Black Belt?

The answer always depends on the individual and how many hours per week they are able to consistently spend training. The typical healthy student (with no special physical or mental abilities) can achieve black belt in 5-6 years. The important thing to realize is that all students can achieve a “black belt attitude” towards personal development. This attitude can be achieved in a much shorter length of time.

Got a question we didn’t answer? Please email us!

Fairwood Martial Arts
17138 116th Ave SE, Renton, WA 98058
(425) 255-8144