What makes an instructor excited and proud of their students? Seeing a student that I have taught that can expertly perform a group of techniques is a great start! A testing cycle lasts approximately three months. At the beginning of a testing cycle, classes are very technical and sometimes slower passed because of all of the new moves that the students must learn. As the testing cycle progresses, we allow the students to practice the new techniques with a partner in either free-rolling (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu) or free sparring (kickboxing).
At Inferno Fitness & Mixed Martial Arts, we have quarterly belt testing. For a student to be eligible to test for their next color belt, there are 3 stripe testings. Stripe testings take place in a students regular class. In the first stripe testing, the students show us grappling techniques. Typically there is a position, a submission, and a submission defense. If the student performs the techniques correctly, they will earn their white stripe. That puts them one step closer to being eligible for the next belt testing.
The second stripe testing is usually for kickboxing. The students will perform a boxing and kickboxing combination. To earn their stripe, they need to have mastered the movements. As the student moves to higher belt levels, we expect a higher level of technical ability from them.
It’s just kicking and punching! What could possibly be difficult about that?
There are many things that make the students look sharp. Are their hands up? Are they in a good stance? Are their knees bent? Are they using speed, power, and accuracy? Are they breathing correctly? Do they have the ability to hold pads and be a good training partner for other classmates? Are they goofing off? Are they asking questions if they need help?
So you can see that there are many variables in striking. If all of these questions are answered “yes”, they will earn their blue stripe. And that is one more step towards being ready for their next belt testing!
Usually the week prior to the actually belt testing and graduation is a busy week! The students must earn the red stripe. This is the stripe that is awarded when the coaching staff has approved the student for belt testing. This is an important stripe! Does having the red, white, and blue stripe guarantee that a student will pass their belt exam? Absolutely not! We keep our standards high and grade all students with integrity.
1. Students stay motivated because they achieve small goals that build up to a big goal
The ultimate goal for many of our students is to earn their black belt. But considering that it will take anywhere from 4 to 5 years of martial arts training to achieve this goal, how can they stay motivated along the way?
As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In other words, if you want to achieve a big goal, you must break it into smaller goals.
By achieving these smaller goals that build up to a bigger goal, our students stay motivated and excited about their martial arts training.
2. Students understand the specific qualities they must master in their martial arts training
What happens if you kick hard, but your kick lands in the wrong place? You won’t do any damage. That’s why you need both power and accuracy.
What happens if you punch toward the correct target, but you were too slow? Your opponent will move out of the way. That’s why you need both focus and speed.
What happens you perform all the moves of a form correctly at a tournament, but without any energy or zest? You’ll likely receive a low score from the judges. That’s why you can’t achieve excellence without intensity.
Simply being able to memorize and execute self-defense moves, submissions, and sparring combinations does not make you black belt material.
Why not? Because in martial arts, it’s not just about what you do, it’s how you do it.
3. Students learn that in martial arts training, they must balance the mental with the physical
After all, a martial artist isn’t just someone who kicks and punches well. A martial artist is someone who embodies the qualities of confidence, self-discipline, respect, and courtesy.
You can see that are several qualities that we are looking for in a martial arts student. Students are presented with obstacles along the journey to black belt. It is our belief that a student will be a better martial artist AND person if they are allowed to overcome that obstacle.
Dedicated to your success,
Inferno Fitness & MMA