Martial arts ranks (sometimes called grades or levels) are not like regular school grades that students progress through year to year. Where an academic curriculum is primarily focused on establishing intellectual skills that lead to earning a living and contributing to society through a job, our martial arts school curriculum is primarily focused on educating a student how to live—emotional and mentally equipping them to better manage the inherent conflicts that arise throughout life.
Grades or ranks in karate, called kokyu for children and kyu for adults, may take longer for some students to progress to than others. The reason is that where in a general school or college, the goal is for all students to be marked against a general academic standard at each grade, at our martial arts school, the goal is for each student to improve their own standards before progressing to a new grade. For children, some begin being shy, some unfocused, and others unmotivated. Though there is a required set of skills that must be attained before progression is warranted, it is the independent improvement of a student’s nature and behaviour that is most important.