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THE KARATE CREED
I come to you with only karate.
My hands are empty but I fear no man.
Should I be forced to defend myself,
my honor or my principles,
should it be a matter of right or wrong,
life or death, then here are my weapons,
my empty hands.
Precepts In The Mastery of Karate-do
The mastery of karate-do requires dedication and strenuous effort. To pursue karate means to seek to master one's self. The true study of karate must transcend the mere physical; it must become a way of life. The following precepts should serve as a guide to what karate truly is.
1) He is human and so am I.
2) I cannot develop my own potentialities when in the trap of self-limitation.
3) I must discard this self-limitation. If he practices 3 times, I must practice 6 times.
4)"Do not be dependent upon others for your improvement." Musashi Miyamoto, Japan's greatest swordsman, once said,"pay your respects to the Gods and Buddhas, but never rely on them."
5) Earnestly cultivate your mind as well as your body and believe in yourself.
6) Karate-do may be referred to as the conflict within yourself, or a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training, and your own creative efforts.
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There are two types of ranks in karate. They are kyu ranks (collectively referred to as "mudansha" or all ranks below black belt) and dan ranks ("yudansha" or all ranks of black belt). How they are designated by colored belts varies greatly from school to school. To get an accurate idea of someone's rank, you need to ask what "kyu" or "dan" they are, because the same kyu rank can be shown by a different colored belt from school to school. Indeed there is such a disparity in how schools do their colored belts that when competing in tournaments, the divisions are classified by "time in karate" rather than the color of the belt. The exception is the "black belt" divisions where it is commonly accepted that a black belt has been training over 3 years. Below is the rank/belt system as practiced by Liberty Karate Club. The time frames given for promotion are a guideline and exceptions can be made by the Chief Instructor.
- One begins karate training in our school wearing a white belt which signifies "no rank". At the first promotion to 8th kyu, one green tip is added to the belt. This promotion usually comes 3 months after starting karate training. Three months later is the next test for 7th kyu. If successful in promoting, a second green tip is added to the belt. The white belt rankings are considered Beginner Ranks.
- The next promotion to 6th kyu is designated by a green belt. This promotion usually comes 3 months after 7th kyu. The next promotion to 5th kyu is designated by adding a brown tip to the belt. This promotion usually comes 3 months after 6th kyu. The next promotion to 4th kyu is designated by adding a second brown tip to the belt. This promotion usually comes 6 months after 5th kyu. The green belt ranks are considered Intermediate Ranks.
- The next promotion to 3rd kyu is designated by a brown belt. This promotion usually comes 6 months after 4th kyu. The next promotion to 2nd kyu is designated by adding a black tip to the brown belt. This promotion usually comes 6 months after 3rd kyu. The next promotion to 1st kyu is designated by adding a second black tip to the brown belt. This promotion usually comes 6 months after 2nd kyu. The brown belt ranks are considered Advanced Ranks.
- Shodan (1st degree black belt) in our school is achieved after approximately 3 to 4 years of training depending on class attendance and effort. From 1st kyu to shodan takes a minimum of 1 year. Shodan is an adult rank requiring maturity and responsibility and will not be awarded to anyone under 18 years of age. A shodan is an advanced student.