We have a belt system which trains children how to work hard to earn something: I do not sell belts. I am ashamed by many martial arts schools that merely promote students haphazardly after they attend classes for one month.
I test my students personally every quarter: children are required to work hard for three months to improve their strength, flexibility, discipline, school grades, and skill. I also require my students to write an essay for the test, on a topic relating to the values and lifestyle we promote. This gives children the opportunity to discuss with their parents topics such as, “How can I continue to Challenge Myself”, or, “Why do we follow a Creed when we study the Martial Arts”.
Belt promotion requirements are published and posted in the dojhang. Students who take class regularly should expect to be invited to test quarterly. Testing is always optional, although we encourage our students to be ambitious.
During our Promotion Ceremony, children stand individually and present themselves, even the small children. Some children who are not as verbal draw pictures, or present with their mentoring older classmates.
We provide an awards and recognition program at the school that inspires achievement (i.e. Student of the Month, and our Annual, Student of the Year Award). We are studying Martial ART: Mental & Physical strength and skill (Martial) with Beauty (Art). I emphasize the origin of Martial Art, which was for the purpose of health and wellness.
Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts uses the awarding of different colored belts to emphasize the acquisition of skills, distinguish different levels of achievement, and to certify goal achievement. Belts and their colors are symbolic of the mental and physical skills expected for each level, and the corresponding understanding and wisdom represented by each color.