Belt testing (grading) from White Belt to Black in the Traditional Japanese Karate Network's Shito-ryu groups

Bunbu Ryodo - translates to "educated & sophisticated warrior", coined "Pen & the Sword" in the West

Although the Traditional Japanese Karate Network is comprised of a few styles, this webpage is focused on the Shito-ryu groups and what one needs to cover off on to test from White belt to 1st level black (1st dan or shodan). Additionally we have a separate webpage & free video which focuses on the fist black belt test and dan ranks above that (click here...).

Student's over the age of 12 in certain styles within the Traditional Japanese Karate Network, who are testing for a yellow belt, green belt & black belt, are required to sit an open-book theory exam (check with your sensei to see if you are one of these ryu-ha). Of course, the theory test is only part of the process, the major component of your award is the physical belt test day - performed in front of a panel of sensei.

In regards to the theory exam content, it is pulled from our textbook on our history, Network & dojo culture and is titled the "Karate Theory Manual". The textbook and corresponding test, covers history, street injury rates, dojo culture, philosophy, curricula rationale & it lists your minimum physical ability required to test. The below links allow students to access their tests which must be completed prior to the physical belt test day (your results will stay in our central database and also be forwarded to your sensei).

As discussed further below, the theory component is an open book exam and has a 90% score needed for a pass. Most questions are multi-choice, and there are just a few written sentence style answers. When you start the test, do the exam in one sitting and expect it to take up to 30 mins (depending on how much you have perused the sections highlighted for your rank before the exam). The point in doing the test is to cover certain core topics related to fighting and our budo philosophy, think about them and then select a best answer. It is the thinking about the topics that matters, it is not a memorization test.

The cost to sit the theory test is $12 and after paying through the below link, you access a download document that gives you the link to perform the test on our website.

What happens if I do not get 90% & what does that mean?

As soon as the test is completed the system automatically sends the spreadsheet of the recorded answers and result to your direct sensei. If the score is not 90% you must sit down with your sensei and go through the incorrect answers to be sure that together you have thought about that topic in more detail. Once this is done with your sensei you are considered to have passed the theory component (a pre-requisite before proceeding to the physical test).

Related links for colored belt (kyu) rank testing in our Network:

content pulled from the "Karate Theory manual"

content pulled from the "Karate Theory manual"

- For those testing in the lineage of the Network's Shito-ryu.

This black belt theory test pulls from the Black belt theory manual and curriculum

Note: For kyu ranks a theory test is not required at every rank, only on transitioning to yellow, green or black.