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Antonio G
Antonio G's picture
10 tips for successful belt exams

Hello, here are my 10 tips and advices to my students for karate belt exams : 


Please read and share if you like it : comments are appreciated :)



Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Antonio G wrote:
here are my 10 tips and advices to my students for karate belt exams

Lots of sound advice in there! Thanks for sharing.

All the best,


Marc's picture

Hi Antonio,

good article with many valid tipps for the practitioner.

I would like to add:

11) Get to know your examiners. Train with them on a regular basis or at seminars. Talk to them and find out (ask) what they feel is important. If possible, attend exams that they hold so you can see how they do it and get a feeling for the atmosphere. By training with them more than once or twice, they will also get to know you. So you can ask them for advice and whether they feel you're ready for the next belt. If they tell you that you need "a little more time to prepare", listen! They mean well. Don't embarrass them by taking the exam in spite of that. No examiner likes to see you flunk.

12) If possible, choose an examiner who approaches karate in a similar way as you do. If you are a practical bunkai person choose a practical bunkai examiner, don't go to the competition kumite guy. Conversely, if you are a 3-K-karate person choose a 3-K-karate examiner, don't go to the reality based self-defence guy. That way you can show what you have trained regularly, and your examiner can appreciate your skill and may be able to give you some valuable advice for your future development.

13) Just to underline it: Number 2) again: Get to know the examination program -- and do train accordingly. -- If you don't understand what the program says, ask your instructor. It is really astonishing, how many people are surprised by some of the techniques or kumite forms they are asked to perform. In the exam regulations in my association the student may be asked to perform any of the katas they had to show in previous exams. For example if you have to show Heian Yondan for blue belt, you should also be able to perform Heian Shodan, Nidan or Sandan, because those were required for yellow, orange and green.

14) Go train. Regularly. -- Your exam should not be the goal of your training. It should be a side product. When you karate improves naturally through training the time will come when you will be ready for the next exam. Find objectives you can actually work on. As I wrote in my article on the use of belt colours, setting your objective as "I want to achieve my blue belt in summer" is very different from "I want to improve my hip rotation and breathing technique until summer". It is similar to the desire to own a car as opposed to actually learning to drive.  -- This is to underline Number 1): Train with diligence. - And with objectives as well.

15) To avoid any hassle on the day of the exam, be sure all formal requirements are met. For example, in my association, you need to bring your karate pass (issued by the association), and it must be complete with a photograph, signature and a valid membership label. Our regulations also require minimum preparation intervals between every two gradings. And finally, by our regulations the exam is payable in advance. If you don't know the formal requirements in your organisation, please ask your instructors for that information.

All the best,


Antonio G
Antonio G's picture

Thansk Iain :)

Thanks Marc for your comments

11) & 12) In out country, we do not choose or know who will be our examiner (for blakc belts) -> random 3 examineers

13) & 14) I do agree !

15) we are lucky, on our country, all is very prepared and controlled, we have ton send an apply form and documents 1 month before the exam

In France we have one major organisation which represents 99% of praticionneer

thanks again 


Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture


thanks for very good article,

Kind regards


Antonio G
Antonio G's picture

Thank you Les !