Black Belt Testing Process
To be ranked as a Black Belt within any Martial Arts system requires a high level of dedication, practice, and skill. CMATOS is no exception. Unlike traditional schools CMATOS operates primarily through distance learning so that students can train and practice on their own. However, just because we are a distance learning organization, does not mean we do not subscribe to the traditional concepts taught through our decades of experience within the martial arts. This being said, to be fully certified within the Black Belt ranks within CMATOS, it will require an in-person testing process as well as the standard video testing and written thesis.
Part 1: Black Belt Thesis
When you are ready to start considering testing for your black belt, you will need to start working on your black belt thesis. More information about what is needed for your thesis is listed on the black belt thesis requirement page. You should start preparing for your thesis well in advance of your testing date, as it should take a significant time to produce. The quality of your thesis reflects both the quality of your instructor as well as the quality of your material. In most situations, the thesis will have to go through several revisions before being finally accepted. These theses will be available for everyone to view on the CMATOS website, so the material must reflect the complete synthesis of your training through the system. Once your thesis has been accepted, you will be ready to begin the technique testing process. Once you have successfully passed through the black belt promotion process (thesis, video, and in-person test) your material will be made available on the website for the general public to review.
Part 2: Black Belt Ranking Video
The second step in the black belt testing process is for you to produce your black belt ranking video. It is the same process and procedure as testing for the under belts via video as described on this page. This video is a portfolio of all your work within the CMATOS system, and should demonstrate your skill and proficiency in all material throughout the CMATOS system. This means that every technique you did for white belt through jun-ichi dan will need to be represented in your testing video. For upper black belt ranks, you will need to not only show proficiency in your chosen additional forms and styles, but will have to show an improvement in mastery of all your previous CMATOS material. Once your video has been submitted and reviewed, you will either pass onto the next stage, or will have to work on additional material and submit a new black belt ranking video. Students who pass the video test will be granted provisional ranking – indicated by a red “tip” at the end of their belt. Just as with your thesis, once you successfully pass the complete process, your material will be made available for review on the website by the general public.
Part 3: In Person Testing
Once you have demonstrated your material via the video review process and have successfully passed the reviews, you will then be eligible to take the final step in your black belt testing process – which consists of an in person test and demonstration with an authorized instructor. Because CMATOS is relatively new, there are very few CMATOS instructors – but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of trusted martial arts instructors around the world who can verify and validate the CMATOS ranking material. You have many different options when testing for black belt, you can have one of our CMATOS instructors travel to your location, you can travel to their location, or you may be able to get another local instructor (non CMATOS affiliated) to step in to validate and verify the material.
Before you run out and pick any martial arts instructor off the street and ask them to validate your material, we will need to vet them through our system. Please get them in contact with us so that we may verify and validate their credentials, as well as ensure that they understand what is required as part of an in-person test.
The cost associated with the in-person test varies widely, and is based on many factors. CMATOS charges $250 for an in person test ($125 for students signed up with distance learning membership), plus expenses (travel, room, board, supplies, and facility rental). Many of the expenses can be deferred (room, board, facility rental) if you can work out an arrangement with a location or provide the travel costs. The cost for an in-person testing from a non CMATOS affiliated instructor will based on your agreed upon fee for their services (some may do it free of charge).
Part 4: Final Steps
Once you have completed the in person testing and the instructor certifies your test, you will be granted full rights as the new Dan ranking – your test date, instructor who certified the in person test, and your thesis and testing video(s) will be linked on the website. If you would like you can order your rank belt through us (or via Kataro directly) – we can send you the Japanese text needed on the belt. As well as order a rank certificate – for more personalization, you can have the instructor who completed your in-person test sign the witness line on the certificate for your own records. Congratulations and look forward to your next test!