Graduation Information and Frequently Asked Questions

What is graduation?  This is when a student has completed all the requirements to move to the next belt level and is receiving the new belt.

How often is graduation? Graduation happens at the end of each Curriculum Cycle, which means 5 times per year. We have three 10-week cycles and two 11-week cycles each year. Planned future graduation dates are posted on our CALENDAR.

Will my student graduate every cycle? Not always. During the early part of our karate program most students who attend regularly do graduate each cycle. As they move on, it becomes more difficult and many require two cycles to complete the requirements. Once a student reaches Blue Belt there is a two-cycle minimum for belt advancement.

Where is graduation held? Each year we have several different graduation locations and styles. Some graduations are held at the Dojo, typically on Saturday morning, and are divided up onto several mats at staggered times. These are smaller, more intimate events. Occasionally we will have huge combined  graduations in the gym at either Chestnut Mountain or Spout Springs Elementary schools; when we do this you'll see all of the graduating students on the mat at the same time. Once each year, usually in April, we'll have an informal fun day graduation here at the Dojo with food and bounce houses. And we try to have at least an annual "Show" graduation on the big stage at The Venue across the street.  See the GRAD TIME & PLACE tab for details for the next graduation. 

What happens at graduation? The kids' graduations look somewhat like a very large class where the students get to perform and demonstrate what they have learned during the cycle for a few minutes, and then each graduating child is recognized and awarded their new belt. We also may have special performances and demonstrations.

What time is graduation? We frequently run separate ceremonies divided by belt and program level and age. Check the current schedule on the GRAD TIME & PLACE tab.  Graduations usually last about 40 minutes. We always start exactly on time; don’t be even a minute late!

What should my student wear? Be sure and wear the full uniform (not T-shirts!) and the current belt. If you are moving to a new program next cycle (White uniform to Red uniform; or Red to Black) wear the color uniform the student wore during the current cycle. (At the fun day graduation in the Spring, no uniform is required -- just wear play clothes.)

What if we can’t attend the graduation? Graduating students who miss the graduation ceremony or event can pick up their belt at the front desk the next time they attend class.

Why are there graduation fees? We include graduation fees as part of our revenue structure to offset the significant costs of testing and tracking students, conducting the ceremony, and buying and distributing new belts. We strive to keep this cost as low as possible (see schedule below). Many martial arts schools charge regular “testing fees” as often as every one or two months, and as high as $50!

How much is the graduation fee? Here is our fee schedule:

·         Advanced White belts: $20 (We do not charge for the White belt or for the first Advanced White Belt - Orange Stripe)

·         Colored belts (Orange – Brown): $40

·         Additional colored belts in the same family, same cycle:  $20

·         Family maximum graduation fee per cycle (any combination of above):  $80