Do you like reading Karate books?
Because today,I’ve put together a quick list of a few of my favorite books that every Karate Nerd™ shouldown.
To save you time, I’ve also added a small blurb about what eachbook is about, followed by my own personal comments.
Of course I’ve read them all – numerous times!
Check ’em out:
Translated &compiled by Patrick McCarthy
“Treasured for centuries by karate’s top masters, Bubishi is a classic Chinese work on philosophy, strategy, medicine and technique as they relate to the martial arts. Referred to as “the bible of karate” by the famous master Chojun Miyagi, for hundreds of years the Bubishi was a secret text passed from master to student in China and later in Okinawa.
No other classic work has had as dramatic an impact on the shaping and development of karate: all of karate’s legendary masters have studied it, applied its teachings or copied passages from it.
This beautiful new hardcover edition features over 250 line drawings, photographs and calligraphy throughout. Along with additional commentary and a new foreword from Patrick McCarthy, the first person to translate the Bubishi into English, this book is an excellent addition to anyone’s library.”
Comments: Okay, here’s the first one on my list – for a reason! Although Bubishi isn’t a physically ‘big’ book, it’s still pretty dense – and superimportant. Why? Because it’s the earliest written record of a genuine martial arts transmissionfrom China toOkinawa (the birthplace of Karate).
So, historically speaking, the Bubishi isessential to your library.
The stuff you find in the Bubishi , i.e.kata techniques, self-defense, pressure points, combat tactics, herbal medicine, philosophy etc. isexactly what old-school Karate consisted of.This particular translation is by far the best one, because the editor,PatrickMcCarthy,is the world’s best Karate researcher.
–>Get it here, amigo!
By Funakoshi Gichin
“Gichin Funakoshi, “the father of karate,” once said that “the ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.”
To support this life-long stance and offer guidance to future practitioners, he penned his now legendary twenty principles. While the principles have circulated for years, a translation of the accompanying commentary has never found its way into publication–until now.
As axioms, Funakoshi’s principles are open to various interpretations. “There is no first attack in karate” has occasioned endless discussion about its true meaning. Many of these ambiguities are clarified in the commentary, which is also filled with philosophical musings, fascinating historical episodes, and advice for anyone seeking a better Way.”
Comments: This book is so awesome. Containing the famous “twenty guiding principles of Karate” laid out by the legendary master Funakoshi himself, this timeless collection of wisdom will have you thinking a lot.
I seriously love the authentic feel of the book (physically), and even though the book is actually a lightweight, the content really speaks for itself. I could write a whole book about each single page. Really.
–>Get it here, mate!
By Funakoshi Gichin
“Linking the time when karate was a strictly Okinawan art of self-defense shrouded in the deepest secrecy and the present day, when it has become a martial art practiced throughout the world, is Gichin Funakoshi, the “Father of Karate-do.”
Out of modesty, he was reluctant to write this autobiography and did not do so until he was nearly ninety years of age. Trained in the Confucian classics, he was a schoolteacher early in life, but after decades of study under the foremost masters, he gave up his livelihood to devote the rest of his life to the propagation of the Way of Karate.
In telling of his own famous teachers – and not only of their mastery of technique but of the way they acted in critical situations -the author reveals what true karate is. The stories he tells about himself are no less instructive: his determination to continue the art, after having started it to improve his health; his perseverance in the face of difficulties, even of poverty; his strict observance of the way of life of the samurai; and the spirit of self-reliance that he carried into an old age kept healthy by his practice of Karate-do.”
Comments: Another book by Funakoshi Gichin, and one of the first Karate books I ever read. Unlike most other Karate books, this is more of a “story” type book.
Basically, if you want first-hand accounts of how Funakoshi and his awesome teachers (Itosu and Azato) applied dirty Karate skills in their daily struggleon the unforgiving streets of ancient Okinawa, this is your book. Fascinating old-school Karate stories, with a highre-read value. Love it.
–>Get it here, comrade!
By Hokama Tetsuhiro
“Tetsuhiro Hokama is one of the most prolific writers on the history of Okinawa martial arts. Unfortunately for most of us, the majority of his books are written in Japanese! This volume is a noteable exception […].
The first section deals with the history of Okinawan Karate: Origins of Martial Arts, Martial Arts Pioneers, and The Evolution of Modern Martial Arts. All three sections deal exclusively with Okinawan fighting arts and teachers, and there are plenty of photographs throughout, many which have NOT been published in other books on Okinawa karate.(Video) Kim Jong-Un brutally shoots an orchestra conductor 90 times in front of every artist in Pyongyang
The book includes a training guide section, including one kata demonstrated by Hokama sensei himself. The unique chapters cover things like ‘Ekkinkyogi’ – physical practice and internal power, ‘Kappo’ (rescusitation techniques), ‘Iron Hand’ hardening, ‘Kakie’ (pushing hands), 2-man body-hardening exercises, kata, bunkai and more.
Comments: I have to admit something folks: Hokama sensei is a true badass. How do I know?I’ve visited him many timesin Okinawa, training at his dojo, even staying at his house –which has a huge section dedicated to his Karate museum.
So, if you want to experience the written collection of professor Hokama’s amazing historical &technical knowledge – without having your fingers broken (literally!), or giant boards smashed over your head (been there, done that, got the t-shirt) – this book will be perfect for you as an overview of basic Okinawan Karate and its history.
Buy it. Read it twice. Learn it.
By Funakoshi Gichin
“Gichin Funakoshi is a legendary figure and the founder of Shotokan karate, the most popular style of Japanese karate, with millions of practitioners worldwide. In The Essence of Karate, Funakoshi creates, in his own words, a narrative of modern karate. He explains the philosophical and spiritual underpinnings and includes memories of his own training, as well as recollections of other karate masters and the history of the martial art. He also discusses the importance of winning without fighting, and the reason why many great martial artists improve with age.See Also7 Surprising Benefits of Strength Training- Fit GladiatorOnly 3 Things You Need To Know about Strength Training and Weight Loss - Christian BosseExipure Reviews: High Quality Diet Pills or Fake Weight Loss Hype? [Updated]10 Best Shoulder Exercises For Men
The preface has been contributed by Hirokazu Kanazawa, President of the Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (and Funakoshi’s disciple). He fondly writes of his memories of Gichin Funakoshi during his youth and what he learned from the master. In the afterword, the founder’s great-nephew, Gisho Funakoshi, shares previously unknown personal anecdotes about his “Uncle Funakoshi.””
Comments:Yup, Funakoshi Gichin again. You see, apart from being “the grandfather of modernKarate”, he was an insane writer – producing more material than many of his peers. And yes – the material is great.
I actually got this book personally signed by a livingFunakoshi family member in Okinawa (as I wrote here), so needless to say, this book is pretty special to me.
Thebook contains goldennuggets of Karate wisdom, and the physical feel of the book is awesome. I love both the design and the content. The book truly outlines the essence of Karate and should be mandatory reading for today’s Karate youth especially. You’ll know why when you read it.
By Mark Bishop
“Written by a well-known figure in the Martial Arts community noted for his outspokenness, this book is an engaging and rich text, certain to provoke and please. ‘Okinawan Karate’, long sought after by connoisseurs of Okinawan Martial Artsl arts, is the definitive survey and examination of traditional Martial Artsl arts of the island.
With detailed lineage charts of most of the major Okinawan Martial Artsl arts systems, sequential photographs displaying the distinctive techniques of his subjects, solid reportage, and frank quotes from his interview subjects, Okinawan Karate is a complete and encyclopedic source of information.”
Comments:If you have any interest in old styles of Karate, this book is for you. The author, Mark Bishop, basically went everywhere in Okinawa’s traditional Karate community and scribbled down his cool experience – the sum of several face-to-face meetings with a plethora of incredible Karate and Kobudo masters, most of whom are dead now.
The fact that an Okinawan friend of mine (a 7th dan shihan) bought this book for his own study says a lot. The book contains wonderfully rare photos (I’m a sucker for rare Karate photos!) and a great directory at the end too. Highly recommended for history buffs and people who like weird/rare/secret stuff.
–>Get it here, pal!
By Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida
“Lyoto Machida, son of karate master Yoshizo Machida, is one of the top-ranked mixed martial arts competitors in the world. After earning his karate black belt at thirteen, he mastered a number of other martial arts disciplines, including sumo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Combining techniques from the various disciplines to form an unorthodox and highly effective fighting style, Machida took the martial arts world by storm, defeating legendary mixed martial artists such as BJ Penn, Rich Franklin, and Tito Ortiz. Now, for the first time, Machida divulges the secrets to his revolutionary fighting system.
Whether you re new to the martial arts or an experienced fighter, Machida-do is for you. Detailing everything from stance to complex combinations to elaborate counterattacks to intricate ground fighting tactics, Machida has left no stone unturned. In Machida-Do, Lyoto Machida shares the fighting system that elevated him to the top of the MMA mountain.”
Comments:An extensiveDVD box featuring Lyoto Machida, the hugely successful point-Karate fighter to become a champion in UFC, the world’s biggest Mixed Martial Arts organization. Wow. In this 4-DVD set he shows exactly whichKarate techniques work in the cage… and which doesn’t.
Machida’s evasive style, footwork and classical Karate counters – adapted to the full-contact rules of MMA – make this a must-buy for every serious fighterout there. It alsoincludes ne-waza (ground fighting).
So if you want to be the king of the dojo, this is for you. Believe me!
–>Get it here, bro!
By Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder
“Men commit 80 % of all violent crimes and are twice as likely to become the victims of aggressive behavior. The Little Black Book of Violence is written for men ages 15 to 35, and contains more than mere self-defense techniques. This book provides crucial information about street survival that most martial arts instructors don’t even know about. Kane and Wilder explain how to use awareness, avoidance, and de-escalation to help stave off violence.”
Comments:The dojo is a fun place where we laugh, sweat and enjoy some exercise. The street, on the other hand, is a nasty place where we cry, run and scream. At least until you’ve read this book.
If you read this book, you will learn the difference between Karate for the dojo and Karate for the street, by exploring the gritty sides of Karate in this all-encompassing book (as related to self-defense), featuring tons of stuff that your sensei probably won’t/can’t teach you.
Kids, close your eyes – this is real stuff. Contains a lot of street psychology and verbal skills too.
–>Get it here, homie!
By Boye Lafayette De Mente
“Literally, the form and order of doing things in Japan, “kata” is the cultural conditioning that causes the Japanese to think and react in the way they do. The secret to understanding Japanese business, culture, and society is explained by this cultural framework upon which Japanese behavior and etiquette is built.
Veteran Japanologist Boye Lafayette De Mente explains the concept of kata and offers the reader insight to the art of bowing, the importance of apology, the origin of the Japanese obsession for quality, and other key cultural ideas which, when mastered, unlock the mystery of Japanese professional and social interaction.
Comments:The meaning of the term kata will never be the same again when you’ve read this book. I know, because I read it many times when I lived in Japan.
Although the book has nothing to do with Karate directly, it has everything to do with Karate indirectly, i.e. through Japanese society &culture – which, as we know, serves as the historical backdrop to the evolution of Karate. In other words, if you’re interested in the cultural landscape from which modern Karate flourished, this is the book for you.
Japan is kata, and so is Karate – you just don’t know it yet. But soon you will.
–>Get it here, dude!
Bythe world’s handsomestKarateblogger
“Straight from the bestKarate blog in the galaxy, comes three long-awaited books from Amazon #1 best-selling author Jesse Enkamp; featuring some of the most popular hand-picked articles of KARATEbyJesse.com on the art, science, knowledge and culture of Karate online. WARNING! Strictly recommended for Karate Nerds™ only! May contain traces of awesome.”
Comments:What? Seriously. Don’t give me that look. Ever since I wrote The Karate Code(which became a #1 ranked Amazon.com best-seller!) people have asked me for new books. So, after letting people vote for theirfavorite KbJ articles, I edited them and added some new stuff and put them in three awesome books.Get them if you want to support my work. Good karma included. My eternal love too!
–>Get ’em here, you sexy beast!
PS.If you’re tired of books–check outthe Seishin gi. Very limited stockleft.
10epic Karate Nerd™ books.
Happy reading! ; -)
PS. There are MANY more books (and websites) that I recommend in my FREE7-Day Karate Nerd™E-mail Guide.
In order to give them greater strength and endurance, he developed a more progressive training system, which he recorded in a book, Ekkin-Kyo, which can be considered the first book on Karate of all time.What ancient book is considered the bible of karate? ›
#1: Bubishi: The 'Bible' of Karate
Referred to as “the bible of karate” by the famous master Chojun Miyagi, for hundreds of years the Bubishi was a secret text passed from master to student in China and later in Okinawa.
The Father of Modern Karate. Funakoshi Gichin was born on Nov 10, 1868 in Yamakawa, Shuri, Okinawa Prefecture.What is the number 1 rule in karate? ›
The first rule is that karate is for defense only. Rule No. 2 is to first learn rule No. 1.Is Taekwondo stronger than karate? ›
They have very few differences in terms of form and ranks, and both provide you with a good workout while keeping self-defense as the main focus. Karate tends to focus more on solid stances, power, and strength, whereas Taekwondo focuses on flexibility, speed, and mobility.What are the 7 books removed from the Bible? ›
Did you know that the Catholic Bible contains seven books that are not included in the Protestant Bible? These special books of the Bible—Sirach, Wisdom, Tobit, 1 Maccabees, Judith, additions to Daniel, and Esther—contain harrowing stories of family, resurrection, and prayer.What is the oldest style of karate? ›
Okinawa Shorin-Ryu is the oldest karate fighting style. Its founder Grandmaster Sokon Matsumura was the only person in history of karate who was awarded the honorary title of “Bushi” by the King of Ryukyuan Dynasty. Sokon “Bushi” Matsumura called his fighting style ShuriTe.What are the forbidden books of the Bible called? ›
The Confession provided the rationale for the exclusion: 'The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings' (1.3).What is the name of 1st Kata? ›
First Basic kata is the first kata taught to Wado Ryu students. It was initally a Shotokan karate form created by Master Otsuka's former Sensei, Shotokan founder Gichin Funakoshi. He named this kata “Taikyoku Shodan” which translates into “First Cause Number One”.Is karate Japanese or Indian? ›
Karate originated in the island of Okinawa with the influence of Chinese Gong Fu which, in turn had been influenced by ancient Indian martial arts. Hence, Karate is indirectly related to India. Karate is a striking based martial art, which includes punches, blocks, kicks and open hand strikes.
Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan karate, is generally credited with having introduced and popularized karate on the main islands of Japan. In addition, many Okinawans were actively teaching, and are thus also responsible for the development of karate on the main islands.Who is No 1 martial artist in the world? ›
1. Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is ranked first among the top 10 martial artists in the world in 2021. Lee Jun-fan (27 November 1940 - 20 July 1973) was a Chinese martial art performer, star, film maker, martial art teacher, and philosopher.What is the highest rank karate? ›
Brown Belt (1st Kyu)
The brown belt rank is the highest in the karate hierarchy.
b) ILLEGAL TECHNIQUES: Head butts, hair pulls, bites, scratches, elbows, knees, eye attacks of any kind, take downs on a hard surface floor, ground fighting on a hard surface, any stomps or kicks to the head of a downed competitor, slapping, grabbing for more than one second, uncontrolled blind techniques, any ...What kicks are illegal in karate? ›
Before the fight, the referee made a note of the rules and clearly mentioned that strikes to the face would not be allowed in the fight. In fact, actor Ralph Macchio has mentioned in multiple interviews that the referee made a clear note of this and that makes the crane kick an illegal move.What is the hardest move in karate? ›
In karate, the most dangerous move is simply an elbow to the face, Ribeiro said. Elbows are harder than fists, and an attack with an elbow is more likely to make contact than a knee or kick attack, Ribeiro said.Is karate harder than boxing? ›
A master boxer will beat a master karate practitioner. Boxers spar often and have mastered the art of doing damage with their hands. Most modern karate is point fighting with no full contact sparring. Or at least that is what the overwhelming video and practical evidence show.Is karate better than Jiu Jitsu? ›
BJJ is better than Karate in self-defense since its techniques are more practical and effective. Karate is also good, but the modern practice is too oriented towards point fighting and light contact.What is a real name of Jesus? ›
Jesus' name in Hebrew was “Yeshua” which translates to English as Joshua.Why do Catholics not read the Bible? ›
The Church rejected this new and Protestant understanding of the Scripture. The Bible, the Church believed, was not the only source of revelation about God: God also revealed himself in nature and through Sacred Tradition. Catholic catechesis, then, included truths not drawn directly from the Bible.
In A.D. 301-304, the Roman Emperor Diocletian burned thousands of copies of the Bible, commanded that all Bibles be destroyed and decreed that any home with a Bible in it should be burned. In fact, he even built a monument over what he thought was the last surviving Bible.What age is too late for karate? ›
There is no age limit, and there is actually very little physical restriction as well. In fact, karate lessons can actually help you improve and overcome some perceived boundaries set by either your age or your physical state. Some of the benefits karate offers kids are the same for adults.Is 9 too old to start karate? ›
There is no martial arts age limit, and anyone can benefit from beginning to train. Here are a few reasons why you should ignore the naysayers and start your training -- at any age! Although exercise is important to all age groups, the older we get the more imperative it becomes to stay active and maintain good health.Is 38 too old to start karate? ›
The truth is that it's never too late to start training in the martial arts because you're never too old to learn something new! In fact, it's great for the brain to take on new challenges at any age.What are the 5 missing books of the Bible? ›
“The Forgotten Books of the Bible” illuminates five ancient biblical texts (The Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentation, Ecclesiastes, and Esther) helping the modern reader to hear them not just as meaningful truth bombs from the past, but edgy commentary in today's politically charged society.Why was the book of Enoch removed? ›
The Book of Enoch was considered as scripture in the Epistle of Barnabas (4:3) and by many of the early Church Fathers, such as Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus and Tertullian, who wrote c. 200 that the Book of Enoch had been rejected by the Jews because it contained prophecies pertaining to Christ.Who Wrote the Bible? ›
Even after nearly 2,000 years of its existence, and centuries of investigation by biblical scholars, we still don't know with certainty who wrote its various texts, when they were written or under what circumstances. READ MORE: The Bible Says Jesus Was Real.What is the oldest kata? ›
Seisan is thought to be one of the oldest kata, being quite spread among other Nahate schools. Shito-Ryū has its own version similar to Sanchin and different versions are now practiced even in Shuri-te derivatives like Shotokan (called Hangetsu) and in Wado-Ryū (called Seishan). Isshin-ryū also adopted this kata.What is the 9th kata? ›
Yellow Belt - 9th Kyu
Taikyoku Shodan - First Cause. Taikyoku Nidan - Second Cause. Taikyoku Sandan - Third Cause. Heian Shodan - Peaceful Mind Number One.
Unsu (雲手, lit. 'cloud hands'), is the most advanced kata found in the Shotokan and Shito-Ryu karate styles and is generally taught to karateka at the 3rd to 4th Dan.
Judo and kendo are part of law-enforcement training in Japan, and many police officers continue to study the martial arts throughout their careers. In most cases, the toughest dojo in a city in Japan is a police dojo.What are karate students called? ›
The name that people call karate students varies according to the country. For instance, a Japanese can use the name 'gakusei' for a karate student. Generally speaking, you can call karate students by the word that translates directly into a student in your country.Is 35 too old to learn karate? ›
Many of our instructors began training when they were still too young to go to school — but that's not a requirement! The truth is that it's never too late to start training in the martial arts because you're never too old to learn something new! In fact, it's great for the brain to take on new challenges at any age.Is karate or kung fu better? ›
Overall, there's more variety of techniques, styles, weapons and uniforms found in the Chinese kung fu systems compared to karate. However, that is not to say that one system or style of martial art is superior to another. They are just different and to the observer, it could come down to personal preference.Is karate or taekwondo older? ›
Simply put, Karate began in Japan while Taekwondo originated in Korea. The first form of karate originated around 500 years ago on the Japanese island of Okinawa.What is the highest degree black belt? ›
The 10th Degree is only awarded to those martial artists who have given a lifetime to the furtherance of the martial arts and have demonstrated a lifetime of significant achievement.Who is the top 2 martial artist? ›
- Bruce Lee. The world's most famous martial artist in 2021 was ranked first, as Bruce Lee was named number one top martial artist in the world. ...
- Wesley Snipes. ...
- Jean-Claude Van Damme. ...
- Donnie Yen. ...
- Tony Jaa. ...
- Johnny Trí Nguy. ...
- Jackie Chan. ...
- Vidyut Jammal.
- Capoeira. Capoeira is a famous Brazilian art that is not that practical for real fighting. ...
- Aikido. ...
- Sumo. ...
- Tai Chi. ...
- Kyusho Jitsu. ...
- Atma Raksha Tantra (ART) ...
- Ba Gua Zhang. ...
- Yellow bamboo.
The more common color that we come across is white and black. Where white represents the starting level, Black represents the true expert having highest rank. Yellow, orange, red, green, blue are some other colors of belt.
Japanese martial arts commonly use Sensei (先生) meaning "teacher" or literally translated, "born first" or "one who has gone before". A Sensei is a person who has knowledge and is willing to teach that knowledge to another.What rank is Mr Miyagi? ›
Throughout his military service, Mr. Miyagi was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was highly decorated. Mr. Miyagi's unit was the 442nd Infantry Regiment, one of the most highly decorated regiments in the history of the United States Armed Forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients.What's a karate outfit called? ›
The Karate uniform is called a Gi (pronounced ghee). Traditionalists will argue that the correct term is Dogi or Keikogi, depending on your point of view.What are the first 5 books in order? ›
The Pentateuch are the first five Books of the Bible in the Old Testament. The authorship of the Pentateuch is attributed to Moses. The Pentateuch, or the books of Moses, are the first five books in the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.What is the first karate kata called? ›
First Basic kata is the first kata taught to Wado Ryu students. It was initally a Shotokan karate form created by Master Otsuka's former Sensei, Shotokan founder Gichin Funakoshi. He named this kata “Taikyoku Shodan” which translates into “First Cause Number One”.What was the name of the first complete martial arts book? ›
However, most importantly, this art also became very popular with the general public. In those days it was called Kwon Bop, Tae Kyun, Soo Bahk, Tang Soo, etc. The very first complete martial arts book was written at this time. This most important book is called “Mooyae Dobo Tongji”.What is the first level of karate belt? ›
Orange Belt (X Kyu) – This is the very first karate belt that a student receives following an examination. It is designed to point out a student who has made some great initial progress in studying karate.What is the first word in the Bible? ›
The translated word in the Hebrew Bible is Bereshith (בְּרֵאשִׁית): "In beginning". The definite article (the) is missing, but implied. Archē (Ancient Greek: ἀρχή) is the original word used in John 1:1.What are the first 3 words in the Bible? ›
 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.What is a set of 5 books called? ›
A pentalogy (from Greek πεντα- penta-, "five" and -λογία -logia, "discourse") is a compound literary or narrative work that is explicitly divided into five parts.
Unsu (雲手, lit. 'cloud hands'), is the most advanced kata found in the Shotokan and Shito-Ryu karate styles and is generally taught to karateka at the 3rd to 4th Dan. It contains many intricate hand techniques, such as the ippon-nukite (one finger strike) in the opening sequence.What is the 26th kata? ›
“Iron Horse Three” Bassai Dai.Who is No 1 in martial arts? ›
1. Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is ranked first among the top 10 martial artists in the world in 2021. Lee Jun-fan (27 November 1940 - 20 July 1973) was a Chinese martial art performer, star, film maker, martial art teacher, and philosopher.What is the rarest belt in karate? ›
Among the most coveted is, of course, the prestigious championship belt. In martial arts, there is no prize more valuable than the ONE World Championship title. The ONE World Championship belt is a symbolic ornament of honor and glory.Can you get a black belt in karate in 5 years? ›
Karate (5 Years)
Earning a black belt in karate depends on several variable factors. The student's commitment is evaluated as well as the standards of the issuing martial arts school. It takes five years of dedicated training to acquire the wisdom and spiritual growth necessary to advance to a black belt.