This is the process our Karate students take to become Black Belts. It is a well tried and tested method and it has evolved into the most efficient process to produce Black Belts since we began teaching Martial Arts in Norwich in 1980.

In our view, becoming a Black Belt requires an awful lot more than simply learning physical techniques.

To us it means living life as a Black Belt would live, facing up to and overcoming challenges as a Black Belt would. Having the confidence that a Black Belt would have when meeting people and showing the respect that Martial Arts Black Belts are reknowned for.


It means conducting yourself with control and respect when you are at school or in the workplace and taking responsibility for your own health and wellbeing. It means doing the things necessary to achieve and maintain health of body and mind.

To think like a Black Belt would think, to avoid being judegmental or cynical.


We enjoy teaching these aspects of life and consider them vitally important for living life to its full potential.


This level of membership allows the students to discover if he/she enjoys Martial Arts and would like to commit to developing a Black Belt Lifestyle. Basic membership is 'no frills', just basic membership, no; weapons, musical kata, Extreme Martial Arts (XMA) or sparring. This level of membership is to help the new student to understand how to incorporate Martial Arts into their lifestyle and for them to enjoy the environment at the Academy whilst getting to know more about our positive coaching methods. 

The length of a basic membership is 3 months maximum. We would, however, expect a student who recognises that Martial Arts is for them to upgrade to Lifestyle membership before their basic membership expires.


Once the basic member has decided that he/she will become a Black Belt, this level of membership/commitment will ensure that the journey to Black Belt is both fun and life enhancing. A student who chooses Black Belt Lifestyle Training as their course to Black Belt Excellence will enjoy all the physical and mental benefits that learning martial arts within a a caring, modern Academy includes.


In short, Lifestyle Training is the mental and spiritual training that we give our students. It is the level of personal and interpersonal expertise that we expect our teaching staff to hold. 

We want to create Leaders in society with this program.


Chosho Options

Our Blackbelt Students have 'Chosho Options' that they can cgoose to be tested on once they achieve that coveted rank.

The concept of 'Chosho' grades is twofold;

1. to allow each individual blackbelt to choose a long or short term specialist area/subject, to achieve a very high level of skill with that area and then to be tested on that material in front of his fellow black belts and kyu grades, at a normal colour belt assessment.

2. to allow the colour belts being assessed to see first hand, just how amazingly good the Black Belt in their Academy are. And of course to remember that, when those Black Belts were orange belts, the looked and performed like orange belts.

Here (below) is a PDF file of the most current 'Chosho' choices. These are updated periodically but remember, you may create your own chosho. If you have an idea, please discuss it with me and, if it is suitable, we can add it to the choices.





K-MAX gradings are 'optional' extras for existing Black Belts

Please note, these requirements may be updated/amended from time to time. If you are planning to attempt a K-MAX grading, please check the requirements before you begin your training.


  • K-MAX Dan gradings are NOT part of the usual syllabus. Students may progress through the normal grades in the normal way with the normal Black Belt (Dan grade) time constraints.

  • Students may however attempt K-MAX grades one year after a Junior Black Belt or Dan grade.

  • A K-MAX Dan grade may be attempted one year after another K-MAX grade that you achieved/attempted.

  • K-MAX grades are not counted when measuring time from one Dan grade to the next.

  • You must have a minimum of 12 months between being assessed for K-MAX  Dan grades.

  • You must have a minimum of 12 months between a K-MAX Dan grading and any other Dan grading.

  • You must attend the December Blackbelt Prep classes for K-MAX grades.

  • K-MAX Dan gradings will only be held at December Dan Gradings.

  • K-MAX Dan gradings ARE NOT COMPULSORY, they are entirely optional and designed to give blackbelt students the opportunity to further develop their skills to an EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH DEGREE and receive recognition for their hard work.

  • We appreciate that time/age restrictions on numeric Dan gradings (JBB, 1st Dan, 2nd Dan, 3rd Dan etc) are often frustrating and may act as a ‘dis-incentive’ to students who enjoy being continually pushed to achieve higher standards. This is why K-MAX grades have been integrated into the ‘Blackbelt Academy’ grading system.  

  • At any K-MAX grading you will also be required to complete some parts of the assessment syllabus that you performed at your last blackbelt grading. For example, if you are JBB, you will need to perform your chosen K-MAX grading AND any part of the JBB grading syllabus that the grading panel may ask for.




Pre Grading Requirements

  1. Train regularly in your ‘home’ style, at least an average of 2 sessions per week for 12 months prior to grading.

  2. Teach own class or assist in class on a regular basis for a minimum of 1 year prior to the K-MAX assessment. (Allowances will be made for students who’s work/study commitments make it impossible to teach on a regular basis).

  3. Have an exemplary attitude in classes, at home and at work/school.

  4. Carry out at least one (more than one is good) community based project for the 12 months prior to the grading. This may be volunteering for; litter picking, visiting the elderly or disabled, youth club type work, beavers, cubs, scouts etc, animal sanctuary, rehab centre (ensure this is safe). Students may even create their own project to benefit the community. Please ensure that the community undertaking that you have decided upon, is acceptable to your instructor, BEFORE spending time on it.



Syllabus Choices


Part 1 Karate


6 x Blackbelt level Kata (e.g. Koryo, Chung Mu, Chul Gi, Unsu, Gankaku or others of equivalent level).

Any Kata may be chosen BUT must be approved before you begin training.


Demonstrate and describe your ‘bunkai’ for at least 15 moves from any Kata.


Demonstrate takedowns for; front kick, round kick, side kick, heel kick, turn back kick, turn heel kick.


Part 2 K1/Kickboxing

(this K-MAX grading is NOT available to K1ckboxing blackbelts)


Train in kickboxing classes at least once each week for 12 months prior to K-MAX assessment.


Perform blackbelt level fitness as described in NAK1 syllabus.


Achieve the required 'blackbelt' level in ‘beep’ testing.


Perform all kicks/leg techniques from K1ckboxing 1st Dan syllabus


All hand techniques/combinations from K1ckboxing 1st Dan syllabus


Perform any combination of hand/leg techniques moving forward, backward or sideways, that the grading panel devises.


Shadow spar demonstrating; forward/backward/lateral movement, cover and counter, timing changes, fakes and feints, slips/rolls, evasion,


Kickboxing sparring 3 x 1.5 minute rounds with a KB blackbelt.


Kickboxing 1st Dan sets.


Devise 5 hand and foot combinations to drill with a partner.


Part 3 MT


Attend MT classes at least once per week for the 12 months prior to the K-MAX assessment.


Achieve ‘beep’ testing at required level.


Achieve blackbelt level fitness as described in the MT syllabus.


Perform all upper body techniques from Muay Thai 1st Dan


Perform all lower limb techniques from Muay Thai 1st Dan


Perform any hand/foot/elbow/knee combination devised by the Dan grading panel.


Grappling techniques from Muay Thai 1st Dan


Muay Thai 1st Dan sets


Muay Thai Sparring with a MT Dan grade 3 x 1.5 minute rounds


Shadow spar Muay Thai demonstrating; forward/backward/lateral movement, cover and counter, timing changes, fakes and feints, slips/rolls, evasion,


Devise 5 Thai upper limb and lower limb combinations to drill with a partner.



Part 4 Shield


Train in ‘Shield’ classes at least twice per month average for 12 months before assessment date.


Achieve all 3 levels of 'Shield' and demonstrate expertise individually.


Demonstrate possible defence scenario (including anticipation/observation/preparation) for a 3 person attack.


Demonstrate all ‘Shield Kata’


Have lead a ‘Shield’ self defence course (6 weeks or more).




Part 5 XMA


All Jump Kicks (straight) from 'Chosho' list

Jump kicks (circular) from 'Chosho' list

Jump spinning kicks from 'Chosho' list


Extreme combinations for the length of the room and back.


Extreme freestyle Kata minimum 35 moves

Extreme weapons Kata minimum 35 moves


9 Bull Close






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