4th Degree Black Belt Curriculum

Dear Black Belt Candidate:

It has been my greatest pleasure to be able to have over 350 students graduate to the level of Black Belt.  And in the last 25 years of doing so, I have learned a great many things about what it takes to become a great Black Belt and to make this moment in your life a very memorable one for you and your family.  I want this day to be a success for you.  Here are a few tips to help you with that:

  1. Your training will require your undivided attention and your maximum energy level in every class.  You should not need instructor motivation for training at your best in class.
  2. Don’t let 4th Degree Black Belt become a hassle: It’s a minimum commitment of 48 months to achieve 5th Degree Black Belt but if it takes 54 or 60 months that OK.  It’s about the journey, not the time it takes to get there.
  3. The instructors are not here to push you to become more committed to Black Belt; they are here to help you review and become prepared for your testing.
  4. You must choose between 2 levels of Black Belt Training.
  • Black Belt: Requires completing the minimum requirements to achieve the Black Belt in the quickest and easiest way possible without necessarily expanding your potential. Requires the minimum required attention and energy level. The Result: A beautiful Black Belt to wear around your waist.
  • Black Belt Excellence: Requires completing the requirements to your highest level possible and taking every moment, as if it is the last moment, you have to train. It means committing yourself to create an unprecedented future and limitless possibilities as a Black Belt -- not only in Martial Arts, but in life.  The Result: A beautiful experience and a memory that will last you forever.

The choice is yours...
"Doing more things right is no substitute for doing the right thing."

Your Black Belt exam is a mirror of your life. Everything in your life is only as important as you make it. There are opportunities everywhere in your life that allow you to make decisions, to take them, or ignore them. There are moments to take advantage of and there are moments to waste, moments to obey all negative thoughts, or to fight them and do the right thing. The right thing is to give your all at any given moment. The right thing is to demonstrate an attitude of respect, honor and indomitable spirit during all practices of Black Belt training or your life.

  • Black belt boot camps
  • board break options
  • testing reuirements
  • our relationship
  • how to approach your test
  • Daily Practice
  • Advice for a successful test
  • strength & endurance standards

Testing Requirements

Below is the checklist and requirements for testing. Each item must be met in order to test for your 5th degree Degree Black Belt.

  • Regular class attendance – 14 classes per cycle (no exceptions)
  • Personal training - 15 minutes everyday
  • Flexibility – be able to kick waist high and head high with kicks
  • Endurance – push-ups, sit-ups
  • Running (at testing) – 5 laps around gym, after each lap the student must perform 5 push-ups, 5 sit-ups, 5 squats, and 5 jumping jacks.
  • Attend the required number of Black Belt Camps (Confirmation phase is the time spent earning stripes, Recommended phase is the 6 months prior to testing for the belt)

Attendance Requirement

Each 4th Degree Black Belt must maintain attendance just like every other student. The 4th Degree Black Belt curriculum becomes more demanding on technique so active participation is required.

To test for your 5th Degree Decided you must have a total of 48 months of classes with a minimum of 14 classes per cycle. If you do not obtain 14 classes for that 2-month period of time, it will not count towards your final time for 5th Degree Black Belt.

Total Time Requirement for 4th Degree Black Belt's Testing for 5th Degree Black Belt.

  • 24 – 2 month cycles of 14 classes each
  • 3 Confirmation Testing’s (Approximately every 12 months). For each confirmation testing you have to fill out a confirmation testing form.


January 2019 – Tested for 3rd Degree Black Belt
January 2020 – Confirmation Testing (stripe 1)
January 2021 – Confirmation Testing (stripe 2)
January 2022 – Confirmation Testing (stripe 3)
January 2023 – 5th Degree Decided Testing

Make Up Tests

Due to the requirements for 4th Degree Black Belt and above, make-up tests are not allowed.  If you are unable to be present at testing please speak with an instructor to determine what options, if any, are available.

Private Lessons

Students will often set up private training sessions with me to make sure they are prepared for testing, whether it’s help improving cardio or perfecting their board breaks.  The most common private training package they purchase is 4 (15 minutes) sessions for $70.  If you are interested in purchasing that package just let me know.

Minimum Strength Requirements

During each confirmation phase you test for, you will need to meet the strength and endurance standards set forth by Martial Arts USA.  Please locate the chart and see what your standards are. 

*Students must meet the Pushup and Sit-up requirements within the first two weeks of a confirmation or testing cycle by testing with either a Senior or Master Instructor. If you are unable to meet the standards you will be ineligible to confirm or test during that cycle.


Each confirmation you will perform anywhere from 2-4 rounds of sparring and you will face partners of different sizes and abilities.  We are looking for your usage of every technique and sparring strategy you have worked on up to your test.


On your last phase, you must break 4 stations (2 hands and 2 feet).  The board sizes and the quantity of each station will be determined by Kyoshi Cvitak.  Each breaking technique must have the approval of a Senior Instructor or Master Instructor.  Result in not breaking each station is a 0 on your grade card and results in a no-change in your rank.  A word of advice: choose what you are going to break with during your first 2 months of being a recommended Black Belt, get Master C’s approval and start practicing your breaking techniques on the heavy bag 20 times each day you come to class.

Overall technique of kicks and punches

We expect to see every technique that you have been taught up to this point in your training.

Testing Fee

We do not have any testing fees associated with the confirmation tests but we do have a 5th Degree Black Belt test fee of $250.

Black Belt Run

At testing, all recommended and above, perform the Black Belt run.  To prepare for this run we suggest training in this manner: Run 300 feet, once completed then do 5 push-ups, 5 sit-ups, 5 squats, 5 jumping jacks.  This needs to be done in less than 60 seconds.  If you can do this lap in 45 seconds than you get to rest 15 sec before you have to run the next lap. 

- Total: 5 laps
- Total Time: 5 min or less

Once you get done with the Black Belt Run then perform the Black Belt kicks:

10 front kicks each side, 10 side kicks each side, 10 round kicks each side, 10 boxing combinations

- Total Time for Black Belt Kicks: 5 minutes (2.5 min per person)

- Combined Total Time of Black Belt Run and Black Belt Kicks: 10 minutes

Make Up Tests

Due to the requirements for Recommended Black Belt and above, make-up tests are not allowed.  If you are unable to be present at testing please speak with an instructor to determine what options, if any, are available.


During your last phase you will be given an essay sheet to fill out, one for the student and one for the parent (if needed).  This essay will be what the journey to Black Belt has meant, hurdles you’ve overcome and the changes that you have been through.

Score Card & Receiving Your Confirmation Stripe

You are testing in 6 areas.  In order to progress to the next phase you must pass all areas.  If you no-pass any section you must wait until the next testing date to try again.

You will be graded over these areas during the testing but not awarded your confirmation stripe until the following week.  We will sit down with you and discuss your scores and award you the confirmation stripe if you pass or explain what you need to work on for the next testing cycle.

The areas you will be graded on are:

  1. Black Belt Run
  2. Black Belt Kicks
  3. Black Belt Boxing
  4. Self Defense
  5. Sparring
  6. Overall Effort & Enthusiasm

Black Belt Run - Stamina / Jumping Jacks / Push-ups / Sit-ups / Squats

Kicks - Power / Execution / Chambers / Re-Chambers / Speed / Guarding Position

Boxing - Hands Up / Hip Twist / Power / Speed / Snap

Self-Defense - Reaction Speed / Knowledge / Energy / Enthusiasm

Sparring Skills - Footwork / Movement / Offense / Defense / Boxing (hand techniques) / Kicks / Counters / Stamina

Effort and Enthusiasm - Yelling during self-defense / Showing energy in techniques